Nissan developing all-new sports car to challenge MX-5

August 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

According to recent reports coming out of Europe, Nissan has entered into full development of a new budget sports car that will challenge the Mazda MX-5’s dominance in this market.

Apparently the sporting model will use a completely new platform that may be sourced from Daimler. This is the same platform pegged for the next-gen Nissan 370Z. Nissan is also in discussions with Lotus to collaborate on the car’s handling.

Engine options and power outputs remain a mystery for now but there are rumours Nissan may use either hybrid power or a fully electric system for this new machine. Continue reading “Nissan developing all-new sports car to challenge MX-5” »

Daimler posts record $2.5 billion USD profit

July 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Daimler, the company who owns the Mercedes-Benz brand has just posted a record net profit of $2.5 billion USD for the second quarter of 2011. This has exceeded estimates and marks a 30 percent increase over the same period last year.

The results come from a much increased demand for Mercedes-Benz product, with sales increased to 357,600 units in the quarter, an increase on last year’s already record level of 342,500 units.

The big sellers for Mercedes were the freshly facelifted C-Class range, the S-Class flagship sedan and the new SLK roadster. The Chinese market has also become a gold mine for Mercedes-Benz where demand is currently greater than supply. Continue reading “Daimler posts record $2.5 billion USD profit” »

Blow up the balloons – the airbag turns 30

September 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s probably one anniversary you can afford to forget, but that doesn’t make it any less important – the airbag has turned 30. Daimler is officially celebrating the airbag’s 30th anniversary and wants to tell everyone about it.

Three decades ago, the very first production car with the life-saving safety tech rolled off the production line, this began an industry-wide push for ever safer vehicles. That first airbag-equipped car was an S-Class sedan, and Mercedes-Benz claims it put a grand total of 13 years of research and development into the project before it even hit the street.

Thirty years later the airbag has saved over 28,000 lives since the technology was first introduced — and that’s just in U.S.A. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle without at least some form of airbag, and Mercedes-Benz says that all of its products have featured a standard driver airbag since 1992. Blow up the balloons and pop the champagne.

Daimler has faux threesome with Renault-Nissan

April 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The auto industry is all about getting into bed with one another. It’s an perpetual tale of courtship and heartache, with the occasional oddly formed incestuous child. So, it comes as no surprise that yet another alliance has been announced, this time between Renault-Nissan (already an alliance) and Daimler AG.

In the global economic scheme of things there are advantages to sharing, and that’s exactly what will happen. We missed out on the foreplay, but there’s plenty of slap and tickle in the press release below:

Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announce wide-ranging strategic cooperation
April 7, 2010

Cooperation on the next-generation smart fortwo and Renault Twingo, including electric versions, as well as on expanding the smart and Twingo families

Widespread powertrain sharing and co-development on future projects with applications across passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, specifically:
o The sharing and co-development of diesel and gasoline engines from the Renault-Nissan Alliance; to be used in the new smart and Renault Twingo and to be adapted and modified with Mercedes- Benz characteristics for its new generation of premium compact cars
o The sharing of gasoline and diesel engines coming from Daimler to Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan Motor Company, and providing the opportunity for further collaboration
o The sharing of a Renault-Nissan Alliance diesel engine and transmission for the Mercedes-Benz Vito
¢ Collaboration in the field of light commercial vehicles ¢ One-time cross-shareholding amounting to 3.1% of each partner’s
equity capital

¢ Additional synergies encompassing selective common purchasing opportunities, exchange of operational benchmarks and best practices to be shared across both groups.

Continue reading “Daimler has faux threesome with Renault-Nissan” »

Daimler to sell stake in Tata Motors

March 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Daimler is struggling in the tough economic climate and weakening global demand for luxury automobiles has lead to large 2009 losses.

According to recent reports Daimler is now looking to raise money to rebuild its business in developed regions by selling its 25.6 million shares of Tata Motors stock. The share sell out should net the German automaker an estimated $429 million USD. Shares of Tata Motors are doing well with stock up 19 percent since February 26, so Daimler stands to earn some big bucks from the sale.

Existing european markets and the blossoming Chinese market are Daimler’s focus now with all money to be concentrated in these regions. However, while Daimler is selling, Tata isn’t keen on buying, stating that its collection of companies isn’t interested in purchasing the shares. This leaves Daimler attempting to sell the stocks on the open market in block deals, which will shift large amounts of shares at once.

Daimler’s break from Tata is set to be fairly clean with the two companies not currently working on any joint ventures together. Analysts reportedly don’t believe Daimler’s sale of Tata shares will affect the Indian automaker’s stock price.

Daimler’s design comp receives 50,000 entries

March 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Daimler started a design contest earlier this year called “Style your Smart.” Now it seems the idea of decorating a virtual Smart Fortwo appeals to a lot of people, with over 50,000 design ideas submitted from 100+ countries.

There could be only one winner, (pictured) and it was a submission from Tamir Shefer of Israel. For his winning entry, Shefer will get €1,500 and had his car generously described on the contest website as:

The winner of the contest meets the philosophy of the brand perfectly and encourages the observer to open his mind. You cannot miss this car due to the artistically high level. It combines the joy of life, humanity and the spirit of the city in a modern, fresh and graphically convincing way. It is urban and human friendly at the same time and shows that cars and humans do belong together.

Contest participants also won cash prizes for being active on the company’s website, and three other designs got into the prize money.

Click here to check out the Daimler website.

Daimler Chrysler TV Commercial

February 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Daimler Chrysler TV Commercial

Daimler buys 10% stake in Tesla Motors

May 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Tesla Roadster Brabus fq

During a recent press conference held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Dr. Thomas Weber, the head of research and development for Mercedes-Benz, announced that Daimler is buying a 10% stake in Tesla Motors. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was also present for the big announcement. The companies did not specify the amount paid by Daimler, other than to say it was in the double digit millions USD. Daimler will be bringing engineering support to the party and possibly parts that may go into the Model S. Tesla, will chip in by providing battery packs for the second-generation Smart ED due out later this year. Tesla will also focus on battery pack integration and battery management systems for Daimler vehicles in the furture.

The deal will also give Tesla access to the automotive lithium ion cells being produced by Daimler’s investment in Li-Tec, a joint venture between Evonik and Daimler. Weber announced that Daimler would commence series production of fully electric Smart vehicles in 2012.

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