AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, executive motoring briefs
Nov 26, 2012 (Menafn - AME Info - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --TOYOTA POISED TO RETURN AS THE BESTSELLING AUTOMAKER: Toyota Motor Corp is set to regain its position as the world's largest automaker, a remarkable turnaround after years of safety recalls, huge federal fines and the Japanese earthquake last year, the LA Times has reported. The Japanese carmaker is likely to sell 9.7 million vehicles this year, surpassing second-place General Motors Co by more than one million vehicles and setting a record for annual auto sales, the report said. "Toyota has done some smart things," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. "They have concentrated a lot of time and effort on the US, which is incredibly important because they make so much money here."
GM IN TALKS TO SELL A PLANT IN FRANCE: General Motors has confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with the Belgian company Punch Metals International over the sale of a site in Strasbourg, eastern France, AFP has reported. "In a best-case scenario, the sale will be completed by the end of the year," a GM spokesman told the news service. The sale involves a production site and a research centre, and according to GM the Belgian group will arrive with orders from a German client, ZF. Punch plans to manufacture a new eight-speed transmission at the plant, with production expected to begin in 2015 and extend to 2021, the spokesman said.
INVESTMENT DAR RECEIVES BIDS FOR 50 percent STAKE IN ASTON MARTIN: Aston Martin's controlling shareholder, Investment Dar Co, has received competing bids from European private-equity fund Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra (MM) for half the sports-car maker, Bloomberg has reported, citing three people familiar with the matter. The Kuwaiti investment firm may choose a winner as early as this weekend, said the people. The buyer will get the stake as part of a capital increase, two of the people said.
OMAN 'FLOODED' BY COUNTERFEIT AUTO PARTS FROM UAE: Oman's Consumer Protection Agency has said 70 percent of some 55,000 fake automobile parts, which were confiscated in the first nine months of this year, came from the UAE, Times of Oman has reported. According to data by the commerce and industries ministry, car agencies such as Japanese car manufacturers, Toyota, Nissan and Honda spend an average of OR3m annually on advertisements to warn motorists about the dangers of using counterfeit spare parts.
LOWER TAXES ON HYBRID CARS LURING MORE JORDANIAN MOTORISTS: According to official figures by the Jordan Customs Department, over 600 motorists have replaced their used cars with hybrids since the government decided to reduce taxes on fuel-efficient autos nearly five months ago, Jordan Times has reported. On June 1, the cabinet decided to reduce the tax on small-engine hybrid cars from 55 percent to 25 percent and to place a five-year age limit on vehicles imported to the local market, in a bid to renew the fleet of cars on the country's roads and to address the ballooning gasoline bill. The special tax on conventional fuel-driven cars is currently 90 percent of the value of the vehicle.
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