Auto Sector

Insurance Industry Names Ford, Subaru and VW as Safest New Vehicles

Ford Motor, Subaru and Volkswagen AG have topped the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety list for 2010 model year as the safest new vehicles. On Wednesday, the IIHS released its 27 vehicles long 'Top Safety Pick' list, which included 19 passenger cars and 8 SUVs.

UK to support GM's Vauxhall plan

Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port and Luton plants will survive as new chief of Opel/Vauxhall said that far fewer than 800 workers in the UK would be made redundant.

Nick Reilly, who will oversee Opel temporarily, said GM plans to slash European capacity by 20-25 per cent, which would result into 9,000-10,000 job-losses across Europe.

Speaking on the issue, Nick Reilly "I would hope that manufacturing in the UK is maintained and I would include both Ellesmere Port and Luton in that statement."

Rolls Royce bags big orders from Air China and Ethiopian Airlines

UK engineering firm Rolls-Royce announced that it bagged orders worth about $2 billion from Air China and Ethiopian Airlines.

Rolls-Royce will supply Trent 700 engines to Air China for a value of $1.5 billion to Air China, which will use them to power 20 A330 aircrafts.

The deal includes maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines.

Second order was from Ethiopian Airlines, which ordered Trent XWB engines worth $480 million. Ethiopian Airlines will use the engines to power 12 Airbus A350s.

Union concerns resolved at Missouri plant: Ford Motors

Ford Motor Co. said Saturday that it reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers Local 249 over working conditions at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri.

However, a UAW union officer claimed that they were moving ahead with a planned strike authorization vote.

The union said problems emerged in October when the company added a third shift, which resulted into increased, uncompensated work and gave birth to safety issues.

Nissan kicks off Leaf’s 22-city US tour

Nissan, Japanese automaker, kicked off electric car Leaf's 22-city national tour in the US and announced that it would begin taking reservations for the new vehicle in the spring.

Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the new battery-car will cost almost the same as a similar-size gasoline-powered car. However, consumers will have to pay a separate monthly fee to lease the Leaf's lithium-ion batteries.

Carlos Ghosn further said that the company would make money on the new vehicle despite the cost of its launch.

GM is committed to pay back government loan

Edward E. Whitacre Jr., the chairman of General Motors, said on Tuesday that the company was committed to pay back its government loans. However, he did not declare any specific time- limit for that.

During his speech at Texas Lutheran University, Mr. Whitacre said,

"There is a sense of urgency at G. M. to repay the money we owe as soon as possible."

But, Whitacre accepted that GM, which owes more than $50 billion to the government, would take a long time to regain its original shape.