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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.

Volvo, Fuso, Scania and Yuejin Expand in Asia

Some Asian news.According to this report, Volvo Malaysia is seeing strong truck market demand and is forecasting 2007 sales of around 350 units. "The demand for trucks in Malaysia remains strong in a very competitive market," said Goran Nyberg, Managing Director, as quoted on Business Times Malaysia. Volvo currently has around 13 per cent of the overall Malaysian market, and its products account for around 33 per cent of the tractor unit business

Kamaz Leasing Business Doubles Year on Year.

Or more than doubles, according to this report: in February 2007, it placed 290 vehicle units with customers - valued at RUR378 ($14.55 / €10.89 / £7.4) million as compared with 132 units - valued at RUR151 ($5.81 / €4.35 / £2.95) million in February 2006.Which all sounds like rather nice business.

GAZ Profits Rise

And here's some news from the GAZ Group, where profits rose 2.3 fold in the first nine months of 2006.

Kamaz, K-B to Establish Russian JV

We receive this Press Release from Knorr-Bremese, which may be paraphrased thus.Knorr-Bremse and KAMAZ have signed a declaration of intent, which will lead to the establishment of a joint venture in Russia. Knorr-Bremse will take over industrial leadership of the joint venture in which both partners have a 50 percent share. KAMAZ brings to the joint venture its activities in the wheel brake sector.

More Layoffs at Paccar

In addition to the layoffs at the Chillicothe, Ohio plant that we reported last week, here's news that the Renton plant will be shut down between April 4-17.But the eye-watering news is the projected output as of the 18th April. At present, Renton is producing 30 trucks a day. On resumption, that figure will be nearly halved to just 18 units per day.

DaimlerChrysler Opens Ladson SC Sprinter Plant

DaimlerChrysler has officially opened its new US Sprinter plant at Ladson, South Carolina. The new facility - built on the site of the old American LaFrance fire truck plant will allow US Sprinter build capacity to 32,000 units, which will be badged both as Freightliner and Dodge products. It represents an investment of $35 million and employs 180 people.