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South Africa: the Mirage Begins to Fade?

According to this report at any rate. Seems like increasing interest rates are beginning to take the shine off the previously buoyant South African CV market. Year on Year figures remain strong, but next months figure may make for interesting reading.

ArvinMeritor Bites the Bullet

We've been expecting some serious cuts from AM, and here they are. It is to close 13 plants in North America and Europe and cut 2,800 jobs globally in a restructuring plan expected to cost $325 million.Nine plants in North America and four in Europe will close at a cost of 2,400 jobs. So far, it has only identified one plant - in Frankfurt, Germany - for closure.

Navistar Files $2 Billion Suit Against Ford

Ouch.Navistar is going after Ford for $2 billion, following the disclosure of the fact that Ford is to develop its own diesel powerplant for its Super Duty range, likely to come on stream by 2012.Given the parlous state of Ford's finances, and the marked absence of Navistar customers, this is a lawsuit that neither side can afford to lose. But what will the likes of Iveco make of it all? Would Fiat feel comfortable getting in the middle of all of this?

Renton: Not Much Happening.

We find ourselves driving North from Seattle Airport en-route to Spokane, Washington, when we espy an exit for Renton. Ho-Ho we think. Let's go and take a look at the Kenworth plant.From the outside, you understand. The likelihood of getting through the gate here is limited, and so it's time for the long lens and a bit of sneakiness.In this aim, we are aided considerably by Boeing's decision to build a multi-story car park overlooking the dispatch yard. Not much going on there.

Business booming for MAN Trucks

First quarter results released today by MAN Nutzfahrzeuge show the German truck manufacturer continues its unprecedented growth rates. Its share of the European truck market above 6.0t GVW is now at 16.7% - up from 15.3% for Q1 2006 - the order book is 33% up in terms of order revenues and the company is well on course to hit its 96,000 truck production target for 2007.

The New Freightliner Cascadia.

For now, pix - as of tomorrow, we'll have some words, but, bottom line, this is the truck that makes the notion of DaimlerChrysler as a global - rather than a multi-regional - truck producer a reckonable one.

Paccar and ForEx

Right then.We are about to stub out the last cigarette and consign ourselves to ten hours inside an aluminium tube with only the prospect of the INS at the other end. Back to America for the World Truck Blog, and, tomorrow, the launch of the new Freightliner. More of which anon.There is an obvious sign upon our forehead that suggests a keenness to enter into dialogue with other passengers. This assumption needs to be corrected - we are grumpy when confined, and view humanity with some disdain.

KamAZ Cuts Component Production by 70 Per Cent?

Not entirely sure what to make of this one.KamAZ is - according to this report - to cut its components production by 70 per cent, through outsourcing. Very good - it already has a JV with Knorr-Bremse - but beyond this, we're not quite sure what it all means. If you have any ideas, please drop an email in this direction.

Ashok Buys US Testing Firm

Here's some interesting news c/o Reuters.Ashok Leyland has acquired Defiance Testing and Engineering Services Inc, a not insignificant player in the vehicle testing biz, from GenTek.There's not a great deal of significance in an Indian company buying a non-Indian company at present - in fact, by our calculations, the Indian's are investing more overseas at present than the overseas is investing in India.But, the fact that Ashok Leyland is now investin

Paccar Project Jupiter a Burning Issue

Oh dear.Paccar's secret Project Jupiter - otherwise known as its new engine plant - has caused a bit of a furore in the Mississippi legislature.On Friday, the $48.4 million bung was approved by the state Senate, which then proceeded to go home, in the process failing to pass a bill allowing a $10 million grant to allow Mississippi burns patients to be treated in er Mississippi.All good stuff, and as for calling it Project Jupiter - that's just catchy.