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2007 South African M+HD Market to Increase by 20 Per Cent

South African Vehicle finance provider WesBank is predicting that the biggest growth segment for the country's automotive industry in 2007 will be medium to extra-heavy commercial vehicles, sales of which are expected to reach 40 000 units.

Tata Plans Another Indian CV Plant

According to this report, Tata is considering building a new CV plant in India.The decision has been prompted by the significant growth it has witnessed in the Indian CV market over the past couple of years: in 2005-06, Tata's CV business grew by 13.1 per cent. In the first 11 months of fiscal 2006-07, cumulative sales of Indian CV sales stood at 2,68,453 units -- a 43 per cent increase on the previous year.

Isuzu Names Hosoi as President

Isuzu has named Susumu Hosoi as its new President.Given that it was Hosoi who drove the negotiations that resulted in Toyota taking a 5.9 per cent piece of Japan's biggest LD truck producer, it seems likely that we will now see further and closer ties between the two companies. How Hino fits in remains to be seen.

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.