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Maier Gets Smart.

We like Klaus Maier, the ex-boss of Mercedes-Benz trucks. An all-round good egg with his eye on the ball, and one who is greatly missed at MB truck press conferences.Conceive, therefore, of our delight in reading that he is likely to be leaving current position as sales boss of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to head up the entire Smart Car unit, a career path very similar to that followed by current DaimlerChrysler truck supremo Andreas Renschler – incidentally another splendid fellow.Will Maier get the top job at DC trucks when Renschler moves up a peg?

Cummins Goes to India. Passes Business Confidence on its Way Out.

Good to see that the Cummins Inc Board of Management is getting out and about a bit, and is currently enjoying some R&R in India, from which many good things are predicted to emerge, and where the US Engine builder already has a considerable presence.One does hope that the Economist was not one of the proffered publications on the plane from Indiana to Mumbai.

More BioDiesel Nonsense

If that Lord High Priest of Grumpiness, Viscount Weatherly, DSO, Bart is allowed to vent his prejudices within the halls of Roadtransport.com - mostly, but not, I suspect, uniquely concerning oversized American pick up trucks, - then I feel it only reasonable to kick off with one of my own pet hates.Bio Fuels. A nonsense if ever there was one, and yet touted by those who should know better as being the saving of us all.

MAN, Scania, zzz...zzz...zzz...zzz

Can it get worse?Evidently: now Investor AB has begun to stick its oar in once again, telling Handelsblatt that it would like to talk to either MAN or VW – the key word here is ‘or’ - about Scania’s future. One has to laugh at Investor's stated desire to keep discussions off the front pages of the newspaper - well, it amuses me at any rate.This is fast turning into a Rocky Horror Picture Show for 21st Century truck manufacturing.

Piech to Head MAN?

Make of this what you will, but it seems like Dr. Piech is angling for the top spot on MAN AG’s supervisory board. Given that he has run Porsche with not so much an iron as a Hafnium Carbide fist, the Munich Job Centre might be well advised to cancel holiday entitlement for the forseeable future.Can it get worse?

Not a Truck, but a Plug for an Icon.

A key element of Ford’s survival strategy has been announced.It is going to revive the Taurus, a model name dropped last year, and apply it to the Five Hundred model; itself selling in units of one or two per eon.Oh dear. Last year, Ford lost over $400 per second. How will the re-adoption of the Taurus reverse this trend?

MAN. Making Hay whilst the Clouds Gather.

We’ve been looking forward to seeing MAN’s results for 2006.And here they are, complete with the sound of heads being patted, and champagne being uncorked. Alles ist schön.No it isn’t.

Yet Another Fuso Recall

There’s news here of yet another recall by Mitsubishi-Fuso.This has now passed any form of newsworthiness, and, with recalls seeming to be issued on an almost monthly basis one has to wonder where things are going to end up. This latest fiasco involves the Super Great heavy truck, but we’re hard pressed to think of a Fuso model that has not been the subject of a recall over the past couple of years. Which leads us to wonder how infinite DaimlerChrysler’s patience is.

Cummins Interview at just-auto.com

There is an excellent interview with Hugh Foden of Cummins over at just-auto.com. A synopsis is contained here in editor Dave Leggett’s blog – which, by the way, never fails to offer a reasoned and – at times – counter-intuitive take on the auto industry as a whole. As far as the Cummins interview goes, it makes some very interesting reading, not least in terms of a Tier 1 engine manufacturer and its survival plans.