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Freightliner Staff in Strike Threat

Freightliner's woes continue. According to this report, staff at its Gastonia plant look to be heading towards strike action.Are we surprised? Not really, save for the fact that Freightliner still has 750 people on the books. Thought they'd been laid off by now.

A New Hyundai for Malaysia. Where Next for the Koreans?

News here that Hyundai - in collaboration with its Malaysian partner Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors - has launched its first locally built truck.Priced at RM98,825.40 ($28,612 / €21,449 / £14,577), the Inokom HD5000 is aimed at the five tonne market.Fair enough, we say, but what - if any - plans do the Korean OEMs have for the medium duty European market?

Iveco's Brazilian R&D Plans. Not for Tata - Yet.

The fog clears a bit with reference to Iveco's announcement that it is to open a new R&D facility in Brazil at the Fiat Sete Lagoas plant at a cost of some $15 million.This is Iveco's second major investment in Brazil this year.

More on DaimlerChrysler and India

We reported yesterday the rumour that DaimlerChrysler was considering going it alone in the Indian market by establishing a new truck plant at Pune, and this report lends some credence to the gossip.It seems that the negotiations with Eicher have come to nothing - but quite what DC will do with its close to four per cent stake in the Indian OEM remains to be seen.

Kamaz to be Privatized in 2008

According to this report, Kamaz - Russia's most significant truck OEM - will be privatized during 2008, with an IPO likely to come during Q3.

Renault Begins Taiwanese Assembly

More news from Taiwan, where DAF's on-off relationship with Formosa Motors continues to cause intrigue.This time its Renault, and the announcement that the first eight Euro 4 compliant Renault Premium 450.26 T 6x2 trucks have been assembled in the Arcadia Motor plant, Renault Trucks' local dealer.

DaimlerChrysler Fleet Tests Hybrid Sprinter

In what it calls 'a display of commitment to the development of hybrid powertrain architecture and advanced batteries', DaimlerChrysler is expanding its concept plug-in hybrid program to include the new Sprinter.Up to 20 Dodge-badged Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will be placed in the United States between now and the first quarter of 2008 as part of a test-fleet program. Four of the vehicles, built on the previous Sprinter platform, are already are in operation with customers.

Tata Completes Acquisition of Hispano Carrocera

Some bus news.Tata is to buy out the remaining 79 per cent of Spanish bus builder Hispano Carrocera for an undisclosed amount. The Indian OEM acquired a 21 per cent piece of the Spanish company in 2005, and is now exercising its option - which had another three years to run - to take on the rest.