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Lamborghini Officially Unveils SUV Concept: the Urus


Lamborghini Urus, Courtesy: Lamborghini Ltd.

The luxury Italian carmaker, Lamborghini Ltd., officially unveiled its new sport-utility concept vehicle, the Lamborghini Urus, in Beijing, days before the annual Beijing auto show.

The Lamborghini Urus is the first real attempt by Volkswagen AG (parent firm) to produce a full production super-car SUV.

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Toyota Chooses Microsoft to Power Upcoming In-Car Telematics Systems

toyotaThe world’s largest carmaker, Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp (TMC), announced a new non-exclusive $12-million partnership with the world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corp, that will see telematics systems in upcoming Toyota hybrid vehicles powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform.

From 2008 to 2009, global production of vehicles declined by 13.50-percent to almost 70-million cars manufactured in 2009, the biggest decline in over a decade, as demand fell amid the global financial crisis.

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Rolls-Royce to Unveil First Electric Phantom At Geneva Auto Show

Rolls-Royce display vehicle at the Canadian International 2011 Auto Show in Toronto on February 19, 2011.

The luxury German carmaker, Rolls-Royce, will unveil the company’s first electric powered vehicle, the Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX, at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, which is scheduled to open on March 1, 2011.

Rolls-Royce said in the announcement that it is committed to continuing to provide an authentic Rolls-Royce driving experience, going on to say the new electric Phantom will not initially be available to consumers as the company says it is using the model to evaluate performance, range, and how consumers would react to an electric vehicle from the company.

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Millions of Honda/Acura owners affected by hacked Honda database

The Japanese motor company, Honda, today issued an alert to U.S. customers concerning a security breach resulting from a hacked database.

The database that was managed by a third-party marketing group contained confidential information, including names of car owners, personal e-mail addresses, and even Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN).

The company downplayed the breach, saying it would be very difficult for the hackers to actually utilize the stolen information to steal a person’s identity.

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BMW introduces its first car rental service in Munich

The German luxury car-maker, Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) AG, has announced a new pilot project dubbed BMW on Demand, that would allow consumers to rent the company’s luxury vehicles on an hourly basis, the first project of its kind for the company.

BMW is first launching the service in Munich, Germany, the same city the company’s headquarters is located in.

When the project launches (firm date has not been announced yet), for the next 12-months during the project test period, consumers would be able to rent top vehicles from the company, including the latest X6, M3, and 7-Series sedan at a rate of about $45 USD per hour (for the 7-Series), with other less expensive BMW vehicles costing consumers less on a per hour basis.

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BMW banking on Mexico to cut costs as demand jumps

The world’s largest luxury carmaker based in Munich, BMW Group, today announced plans to increase purchases from Mexico in a bid to lower total costs under a new cost cutting program.

More specifically, BMW will buy more auto parts that are manufactured in Mexico for its vehicles that are assembled around the world, particularly in Germany and the United States.

BMW said it would more than double auto part purchases from Mexico over the next few years, starting two years from now.

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Tesla Motors raises $226mn as it completes IPO

2010 Tesla Motors Roaster

Update: The Tesla IPO proved to be a hot one, with the stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) rallying up to close 40.53-percent above its debuting price of $18.61 to $23.89 per share, topping out with a ceiling of $24.76 in intraday trading.

The California-based electric carmaker, Tesla Motors, has raised $226.1-million in capital, according to a SEC filing, following an initial public offering.

The company confirmed it took 13.3-million shares at $17 per share to raise the total amount of capital that will be used by the company to finance operations, production, and future acquisitions.

Tesla Motors did not disclose information relating to which firms the company could acquire in the future.

The initial stock price could be construed as high given the company has never produced any free cash flows in its history since the company was founded in 2003.

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BMW Group reports strong net sale gains across all brands in May

New 2010 BMW 5-Series

The luxury German carmaker, BMW, today released sales figures for the month of May 2010.

The company reported strong year over year gains in sales for select brands and models, including the super expensive Rolls-Royce Ghost that saw sales grow by more than 330-percent compared to the same period last year, as global economies slowly recover from the credit crisis.

The BMW brand sold 101,775 vehicles in May 2010, marking a significant 12.3-percent increase over May 2009.

The BMW 7-Series and the company’s new 5-Series models helped fuel sales.

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Toyota announces $50M investment in Telsa Motors to develop clean cars

Japanese-based Toyota, who is now the top carmaker in the world after edging out General Motors earlier in the year, has announced a new massive $50-million common stock investment in Telsa Motors.

The investment will see both firms cooperating on jointly developing cost effective fuel-efficient battery powered electric vehicles. The firms will jointly work together on developing various systems including parts and new systems that will see even more efficient vehicles in the future.

Telsa co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk said today in a statement, “It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,”

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Chrysler repays $1.9bn to Treasury from $4bn TARP loan

The U.S. Treasury today confirmed late today Chrysler has completed a $1.9-billion payment to the Treasury as part of repayment to the government when it received emergency bailout loans.

The specific sum is in relation to a $4-billion TARP loan that the Treasury underwritten on January 2, 2009.

The current payment is below the face value of the loan, but the amount received by the Treasury was greater than expected.

The U.S. Treasury to date has given Chrysler just over $14-billion in total loan payments to ensure the auto giant survives the global economic downturn and the credit crunch.

Chrysler currently has no other outstanding obligations with the U.S. Treasury in relation to TARP funds.

Chrysler most recently reported a significant $197-million total loss in the first quarter of this year. That number compares to $2.7-billion in total losses in Q4 ’09.

The company is aiming to breakeven by the end of 2010.

The news comes today as the top U.S. automaker, General Motors, released earnings for the first quarter of 2010. The company reported a net profit of $865-million in the quarter, marking the first profit in many fiscal quarters.

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