Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Hyundai is currently the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms. The company first started in 1967 as an assembler. It is now the 39th biggest brand in the world and the 7th biggest automobile brand in the world according to Interbrand.
Mr. Chandan Thakur (in the suit), MD of Michelin Malaysia with his regional counterpart and Bibendum, aka Michelin Man
Today I met with a few of the tyre guys from Michelin over at a hotel in Petaling Jaya. We were all there for the launch of their latest tyre that will cater for the up and coming SUV market which right now is about 9% of the total volume for the passenger car market and climbing. The tyre in question is the new Michelin Primacy SUV.
This exclusively designed all-weather on road tyre for SUVs is available from 16 inch and above sizes. These are in the common sizes for most popular and family oriented SUVs in the market like the Honda CRV, the Nissan X-TRAIL and the Mazda CX-5 to name a few.
Monday, October 05, 2015
This is something nice to dream about. A 1995 BMW M3 E36. This was the first six cylinder M3 and it had a 3.0liter straight-six engine that made about 280bhp. This was something everyone who loved cars dreamt about owning in the 1990s. So this could be a dream come true for some of you out there. This blue car has the 3.0liter engine with the 5 speed manual gearbox. A purist's spec. But those days, most of these performance BMWs had a manual gearbox.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Short Drive: The Volvo Trucks FH 440 Prime Mover With Tanker Trailer - I drive one on a Racetrack in Thailand
The Kaeng Krachan Circuit on the outskirts of Hua Hin, Thailand is a wonderful place to be driving anything. It is about 3.2km in length and has tight turns and undulations. It has nicely cambered corners, dips and crests that one can play with whilst driving on it.
Volvo Trucks let me drive one of their prime movers on this race track. I would have liked a nice hot hatch but beggars can't be choosers. So thank you so very, very much whilst we are at it. The Volvo Truck in question was the latest Volvo FH 440 Sleeper Cab. The 440 means 440hp and about 2200nm torque from a Volvo D13A 13,000cc in-line 6 cylinder turbocharged engine. It runs the power it makes through a Volvo I-shift automated transmission unit that has 12 forward speeds. There are a heck of a lot of power and drivetrain configurations for the Volvo FH, from the 13liter 400hp engine to a 16liter 610hp /2800nm trucker's dream machine special coupled with either the I-shift automatic, a 12 speed and a 14speed manual transmissions to play around with.
This is the second piece of news today that also deals with lucky people. Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia's authorised dealer SISMA Auto Sdn Bhd and Qatar Airways had teamed up during a recent campaign by SISMA Auto called the SISMA Auto 'UK VIP Experience'. The grand prize was two return business class tickets on Qatar Airways’ world’s best Business Class, 5-star accommodation for 4 days 3 nights, a Land Rover Experience Drive in Solihul and a private tour of Land Rover’s manufacturing facility.
The Grand Prize winner of the SISMA Auto ‘UK VIP Experience’ promotion was property developer Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ramasamy a/l Muthusamy, who was represented by his wife Puan Sri Indra Ghandi at a simple ceremony at SISMA Auto’s Kuala Lumpur City showroom at Menara Worldwide recently.
Shell Advance Brand Manager Desiree Cheng (L) and Shell Associate Consumer Brand Manager Jamie Lai with the five lucky Grand Prize winners in Zhuhai
Recently, five lucky Malaysians had won the grand prizes of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup promotional contest held on the 31st of May to 30th July 2015. The lucky five won an all-expense paid trip to Zhuhai, China to catch the fourth round of the 2015 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup (SAATC) motorcycle racing championsion which was held recently. I suppose you can consider them the extra support or cheerleaders for the seven Malaysian riders competing in that round.
A week after the Grand Prize winners had enjoyed their trip to China, Consolation prize winners were treated to a fun day out on the tracks at the Elite PLUS Speedway Go-Kart Track at Shah Alam. They were given an opportunity to go on laps on the 150cc MiniGP bikes (which look absolutely tiny on some of the prize winners) or go-karts, compliments of Shell Advance. Some of the Malaysian riders taking part in the 2015 SAATC also came for a meet-and-greet session and to train at the track.
Contest winners getting ready to go onto the Elite Speedway track in 150cc Mini GP bikes
Friday, October 02, 2015
Yesterday, on the 1st of October 2015, a total of 16 finalists from the bus and truck category competed in what Scania believes to be the toughest practical finals that they have organised to date in the Scania Driver Competitions. Eight truck and eight bus drivers duked it out against each other in their respective categories in the Scania Driver Competitions 2014/2015 Malaysia-Singapore and as in any competition, there can be only one winner (for each category of course).
Mr. Saiful Nizam Abd Aziz of Bank Simpanan Nasional was the champion in the bus category whilst Mr. Abdul Aziz Amir of Shaziman Transport Sdn Bhd was crowned champion in the truck category. Each champion took home RM10,000 in cash, a championship trophy and a certificate of achievement. The companies they represented were awarded a RM5,000 worth Scania service voucher.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
This, is the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer. Details of it has just been released for all to see.
It is basically the same car we first saw in 2007. It is a facelift. In fact it is the first real facelift since the car first came out in 2007. The one they had a few years ago was some bits here and there with the same bumpers and stuff. This one you get a new front bumper with integrated DRLs (more than previously) on the outside and inside you get a very, very, very, very, oh you get my point slightly redesigned center console with an upgraded infotainment system. The rear of the car seems to have remained the same...bumper and all.
In one of the American automotive industry’s most rigorous tests of vehicle safety, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson and 2016 Hyundai Sonata earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award. This is the first time Tucson, which received a significant redesign for the 2016 model year, has received the highest honor from IIHS.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
I don't really like writing about the Toyota Vios. It isn't because it is ugly like a Nissan Almera or a half baked effort like the Proton Iriz. It's just a car which is so darn common and every uncle, auntie, grandpa, grandma, fresh grad, college student, ah soh and soh hais actually drive it on a daily basis. Especially the soh hais. These are those that think that the Vios is an AE 86 and they tailgate, beam and overtake on the left like nobody's business.
Being typical Toyota, it attracts Malaysians who seem to think of resale value over anything else when they want to buy a car. And because of this a Toyota is always on top of their list. For anyone selling Toyotas, it is like setting on the auto-pilot. Everything is quite straightforward. But today this used Toyota Vios caught my eye over in mudah.my.
The Volkswagen crew are hard at work pushing the brand over here in Malaysia. These dedicated bunch of people will be hitting the One Utama and The Curve shopping malls again this October 2015 with their range of Volkswagen vehicles. From 1 to 4 October, the German automotive brand will be at The Curve and One Utama from 10.00am to 10.00pm.
I was over at the Curve yesterday where the KenTrade Trading Challenge II by Kenanga (“KenTrade Trading Challenge”)was officially launched. This is Kenanga's effort to continuously create awareness and education on share trading and the market. So why am I at an Investment bank event? Well, a Volkswagen Beetle 1.2TSI is the grand prize for the challenge winner this time around.
I managed to squeeze in a question to the people at Volkswagen at the event as regards the 'Dieselgate' issue over in the United States and the change of leadership arising out of this in Europe. They don't really have much to say as Volkswagen Malaysia sells mainly petrol powered vehicles and the issue is on its diesel powered vehicles. There is not much to be said except that whatever Volkswagen Group over in Europe says is what their stand is over here. It makes sense when the issue in question is pretty much irrelevant here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
The Volkswagen 'dieselgate' crisis has is not limited to just Volkswagen. Audi, who are part of the group has now admitted that 2.1million of their diesel cars use the same emissions decreasing software that lowers the NOx ratings when the cars detect that they are being tested for emissions. Out of the 2.1million cars, Audi claims that only 13,000 of the cars were sold in America and the rest were sold in Europe. This is really shitty news. You can read it in Reuters too if you think that we're just making things up.
This actually could be part of what Volkswagen had already admitted, i.e, that 11 million VW Group diesels are affected by the scandal (especially the Euro 5 EA189 turbodiesel engine). Skoda, Seat, Volkswagen and Audi use this engine and have confirmed that their cars are affected. All we can now see is the shares for these companies tank a little. However, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche have denied that they use such defeat tech on their engines. I suppose this is quite obvious as their production numbers are small, they adhere to a stricter set of rules and they don't use tiny four cylinder engines. But we never know.