Volvo slightly exceeded YouTube acquisition four years ago

To get an idea, almost four years ago, Google was snapping up YouTube for $1.65 billion, brushing aside copyright concerns to seize a starring role in the online video revolution.

Geely and Ford officials have now completed the transaction by which the Swedish manufacturer Volvo goes under the patronage of the Chinese.

Ford dropped Volvo for the amount of 1.8 billion dollars, less than one third of the amount paid in 1999. The money will be transferred to accounts by the end of 2010.

Following the transaction, Stephen Odell, Volvo’s chief executive will take the lead of Ford Europe Division, and Li Shufu, Geely chairman, will become head of Swedish manufacturer.

Although Volvo has left the Ford’s protecting wing, the American manufacturer is willing to continue providing powertrains, vehicle components and the IT support required.

“Volvo is an excellent brand with a strong product line, and it has returned to profits after a successful restructuring. We are confident Volvo has a solid future under Geely’s ownership,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO.

“At the same time, the sale of Volvo will allow us to sharpen our focus on the Ford brand around the world and continue to deliver on our One Ford plan serving our customers with the very best cars and trucks in the world,” he added.

Li Shufu, Geely chairman, said “The signing and completion of this acquisition reflects the commitment of Ford and Volvo executives to the future of this company, along with the vital input of labour representatives and government officials in Sweden, Belgium and China as well as other relevant countries”.

Paris Motor Show 2010: Premiers

Paris Motor Show is fast approaching and the car manufacturers put on the starting line the most exciting new models or concepts. This year, Paris Motor Show will take place from 2-17 octombre and manufacturers’ stands will be arranged in Porte de Versailles. Given that they play at home, French car manufacturers will come with the most spectacular premiers.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin stand will be full of news. The British builder most likely will come to Paris with its DB9 model. The British supercar received a very delicate facelift, not long ago.

Audi

In Audi’s stand, the audience at the Paris Motor Show will be able to admire the new A7. This Coupe sedan will become the first rival for Mercedes CLS.

BMW

BMW will come to Paris together with its new X3 generation. After six years since its launch, the Bavarian compact SUV has a new design, much more attractive. Also, in their stand is likely to get acquainted with the long-awaited Megacity concept.

Bugatti

The Bugatti will come to Paris Motor Show with their new Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. The new version of the Veyron was able to enter the Guinness Book, reaching speeds of 431 km/h. This car is equipped with a 1,200 horsepower engine and 1500 Nm.

Chevrolet

Like they did at Geneva Motor Show, this year, Chevrolet will also present the Aveo RS concept at Paris Motor Show.

Citroen

Citroen’s stand will certainly be one of the most admired. French will present to the public its new generation of C4, but only the version with five doors. Also, the French manufacturer will make us aware of their DS4.

Ford

Ford officials will bring with them the new Mondeo facelift. The retouched version of the Mondeo offers customers a range of technological elements that were missing on the present model.

Land Rover

In the Land Rover stand, the audience at the Porte de Versailles will be able to admire the new Range Rover Evoque. The new British model is the smallest, lightest and most environmental Land Rover car created so far, and will be launched on the market with the anniversary of 40 years of the company.

Lotus

Lotus will be among the stars of the Parisian Motor Show, their stand will host the Esprit supercar concept. Besides that it is possible to see a GT roadster and two concepts.

Mercedes

Mercedes will present in Paris the new CL facelift and also the new CLS. The new CL-Class comes with a front look more aggressive and with a new propellant. Twin-turbo V8 unit produces 429 hp and develops a torque of 699 Nm.

Mini

The British manufacturer’s stand will host the new Mini facelift. The first information and pictures were presented in June, but its changes are minor, both externally and internally.

Opel

The tenth generation of the Opel Astra has received a release for a family, and the Paris Motor Show is the perfect place to display it. For the first time, Astra’s station wagon version drop its Caravan denominations for the name Sports Tourer.

Peugeot

Another car manufacturer who will play at home is Peugeot. French will showcase the new 508, mid-size sedan that will replace the old 407. French brand fans will get a surprise and officials are wishing to present the long awaited Peugeot 308 GTI.

Renault

Renault’s stand will be at high agitation because the French will present DeZir concept, an electric prototype that has a fascinating design and a 150 horsepower propeller with a range of 160 kilometers. Also, the French will come accompanied by the electric version of Fluence.

Smart

The Smart will be present at the Paris Motor Show with a restyled version of its Fortwo. The actual Smart Fortwo will leave the current car market until 2013, when it will be replaced by the new generation developed in collaboration with Renault and this facelift aims freshening this generation.

Suzuki

Suzuki from Japan will be accompanied at the Porte de Versailles, by the new generation of urban model Swift. The third generation of the Swift comes with a design slightly retouched with new, somewhat larger sized engines.

Volvo

If Geneva was introduced to the Volvo S60, Paris will see the V60. The wagon version of its S60 received the title of Sports Wagon to emphasize the sport allure.

Image source: Automarket

Ford and Chrysler recalls 55,846 vehicles due to safety

Chrysler recalls 22,118 cars. Among the models are Dodge Nitro, Dodge Ram, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler 2010 version, due to possible malfunction of the braking, according to U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration.

At these models, the hose through which the breaking fluid flows, may crack and lose fluid.

Ford recalls about 33,728 Transit Connect, 2010 version, for replacement of the system which fix the ceiling material. The system does not meet the federal rules on head protection.

The two groups will notify the owners to bring in their cars for repair at the local dealers.

Ford’s new web site revealed

Ford’s www.thefordstory.com site unveiled today a new section dubbed “Your Ideas.”

Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, showcased the new tool at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers conference in Detroit.

This new site helps Ford staff to improve their services by allowing the public to submit new ideas for future vehicles, along with suggestions upon its current offerings and technologies.

“We are going beyond traditional consumer market research, studies and focus groups,” Fields said at the conference. “Ford is turning to the social Web as an innovative way of generating new vehicle feature ideas customers really want and value.”

Volvo will be sold to Geely

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will arrive this weekend in Sweden to discuss with representatives of the North-European state the final details related to crossing Volvo in the portfolio of the Chinese manufacturer Geely.

If the business will be closed, buying the brand Volvo will become the largest car deal in China’s history, total costs reaching two billion dollars.

Volvo representatives confirmed the visit of the Chinese State man, sources inside of the North manufacturer announced that the deal will be officially announced in a ceremony which will take place on Sunday.

Zhejiang Geely, announced that Volvo’s main target will be achieving profit by 2011 by building new factories in China and by doubling the annual production.

Currently, the only barriers to a deal between Ford and Geely about sale Volvo are the protests of the Volvo union workers in Sweden, who are frustrated that until now have not received any information regarding the Volvo needs in post-sale period, the number and name of the investors behind the deal and the company’s management.

Bob Lutz planned to leave General Motors

Bob Lutz, GM’s vice president, will retire from the company on May 1. Lutz will end a career of 47 years in automotive industry, during which he worked at GM, BMW, Chrysler and Ford.

This is not the first withdrawal of Bob Lutz from General Motors, Lutz giving up the American corporation also in February 2009, but returned shortly after the company got out of insolvency.

Bob Lutz is 78 years old and is responsible for the reinvention of GM products. He is considered to be as the “father” of Chevrolet Volt.

Lately, Bob Lutz was in charge of marketing and communication of the American company. Lutz is one of the most colorful characters of the global auto industry, known for his commentaries on global warming and other similar problems.

A few weeks ago, Bob Lutz said that the salaries of GM’s U.S. directors are very low, and according to rumors this might be an important factor in his departure from GM.

Moreover, some other sources say that Bob Lutz wants to retire or move to another corporation in the automotive world.

Until now, neither Bob Lutz, nor those from General Motors have made any official statement on the departure of the vice-president.

Image source: green.autoblog.com

General Motors and Ford desperate to save themselves from bankruptcy on the back of those from Toyota

The U.S. government is behind the campaigns that GM and Ford have recently launched, in which owners of Toyota models are tempted with significant bonuses if they change their car, according to Japanese media

The Americans exaggerate in general opinion, the U.S. television broadcasting repeatedly the testimony of a woman from Tennessee who went through a traumatic experience in 2006, when the Lexus copy she was driving accelerated suddenly and the woman was close to a fatal accident.

Toyota made a gesture that has tarnished its image, Toyota recalling in service, vehicles for inspection at the accelerator, this time involving additional costs.

The remedial procedure developed by Toyota engineers includes the installation of a steel plate in the throttle assembly, designed to create a space that reduces friction within the mechanism.

Given the imminent bankruptcy of GM and Ford in the general acceptance they would not have the necessary resources to recall in service, vehicle owners to prove or improve something as the Toyota staff did.

From other sources, all this advertising was made due to boundless despair for those from GM and Ford, speculating the idea, as that they have use unfair competition by distorting the truth in order to make negative advertising to those from Toyota, in this way, hoping for a rescue from bankruptcy.

The specialists say that many accidents occur due to human factor and that bugs can be found at all automakers, none of them not being directly responsible.

Some say that GM was not able to save any loan from which they benefited from U.S. government, provides the advantage that, according to Japanese media, the American legislature portrays the people from Toyota as “thugs and bastards”

According to statistics, in the U.S., Lexus and Toyota permanently win against Mercedes and BMW, and Toyota was also No. 1 in reliability.

Japan’s conservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara, believes that “If these problems would have arisen at Ford or GM, the whole story would have been different. The United States shown artfulness “.

The Japanese attack the U.S. after Toyota hearings: the campaign orchestrated by the cunning

Toyota’s staff hearings that take place for two days in the U.S. Congress have stirred anger in Japan media, which holds that the U.S. legislature portrays the people from Toyota as “thugs and bastard”.

During the hearings in the United States, Toyota was represented by the Japan President, Akio Toyoda, the best-selling newspaper in Japan argue that the whole picture of the hearings are a political show orchestrated by Washington to divert public attention from real issues of this country before Parliament elections.

“Toyota is treated as a band of bandits, U.S. television broadcasting repeatedly testimony of a woman from Tennessee who went through a traumatic experience in 2006, when the Lexus copy she was driving accelerated suddenly and the woman was close to a fatal accident,” said the Yomiuri journalists.

Nikkei BP Magazine supports the view of those of the Yomiuri, publishing an article showing that “hearings are the perfect opportunity for Americans legislators to demonstrate their qualities in order for them to be voted again, demonstrating their voters that they work hard for the welfare of nation.

Another part of the Japanese media says that the U.S. government is behind the campaign that GM and Ford have recently launched, in which the Toyota owners are fooled with significant bonuses if they change their car.

“If these problems would have arisen from Ford or GM, the whole story would have been different. The United States have shown cunning, considers Shintaro Ishihara, the conservative governor of Japan.

Image source: Automarket; thecollegedriver.com

The next C-car variant on Ford’s agenda is a Mercury

Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas said during a speech at the West Michigan Automotive Manufacturing Summit that is planning on making a Mercury variant of its new C-car architecture.

His comments underline the Ford CEO Alan Mulally statement towards Inside Line earlier this week that the company still supported the brand.

“That’s our plan — to continuously improve the Mercury and Lincoln brands,” Mulally said.

Except for the Milan and the aging Grand Marquis, Mercury hasn’t any other passenger car offerings so it better put on the table something – anything – especially a C-car. It will also help Ford held its promise to craft 10 new vehicles from it’s global compact car architecture. So far they have the C-Max and Grand C-Max minivans (launched at the 2009 Frankfurt show – the latter is destined for the U.S.), while the new Focus sedan and five-door hatchback were unveiled at this year’s Detroit auto show.

“Certainly, one will be a Mercury, it’ll give us something to put into showrooms, and help energize the Mercury brand.” said Mark Schirmer, spokesman for Lincoln-Mercury.

There are no details unveiled for the “mini-Merc” so far and no official name. It could be the new Focus or the Lincoln C concept shown at the 2009 Detroit auto show.

The new Mercury model is slated to be unveiled later this year (likely at the Los Angeles auto show), and should go on sale in early 2011, shortly after the 2012 Focus arrives on showroom floors.

Ford utilizes the technology from AVATAR movie

This type of technology was used to create movies like Avatar, Lord of the Rings or Shrek, and Ford is the only car manufacturer that uses this system.

“Like in the movies we apply humans a large number of sensors in order to understand the interaction between man and vehicle,” said Gary Strumolo, manager of Ford. “After data is collected, we create virtual people who are used to realize a large number of tests that will help us understand how people of different body dimensions interact with different types of machines. It is an effective way to create future cars, the Ford official completed.

Moreover, the system used by U.S. manufacturer called Human Occupant Package Simulator (HOPS) and software for image capture combined with a particular test vehicle. “The comfort or discomfort are inherently subjective measures,” said Nanxin Wang, head of Ford Engineering. “A car can be comfortable for some while others may find the opposite. Our challenge is to find the reason why people feel good or not in the car and change their design” completed Nanxin Wang.

“Before we have HOPS system, the only way we could evaluate the design of cars was to ask people to get into it and tell us how they feel. This was too much time consuming. Now we can group these subjective data with objective measurements taken using the HOPS ” concluded Nanxin Wang.

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