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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.

DaimlerChrysler Mulls Truck Production in India

Here is news that DC is thinking - apparently seriously - about establishing a truck plant in India. It has - according to the report - earmarked a 15 acre site near Pune - coincidentally home to Tata."We haven't taken a decision yet, but there is a proposal to manufacture trucks in India. A decision on this would be taken shortly," a company official said.Does this mean that DC has given up attempting to take either a piece of Ashok Leyland or a large lump of Eicher?

DaimlerChrysler HDEP to Launch in August

DaimlerChrysler's Heavy Duty Engine Platform (HDEP), its delayed global platform will launch in the US in August, Freightliner sources tell us. We do not know whether the entire 12, 14 and 15 litre range will be launched at once, but have been made aware of significant problems with the higher volume engine.

DAF and China. What Next?

We've mentioned DAF's deal with Taiwan-based Formosa Motors in the past. The PACCAR scion already has an assembly deal with Formosa, based at Taichung in Taiwan, but there have been rumours of the establishment of a JV based in Zhejiang province in China.These have now been denied by Formosa Motors parent company Formosa Plastics - which was cited as being the JV's primary customer.

Volvo Delays Q1 Report

AB Volvo has that said it is postponing publication of its First Quarter results as it deems fit to publish the results on the same day as its almost-completed acquisition - Nissan Diesel - which will release its year-end report on May 11.

Volvo Boasts 2006 Russian Sales by 83 per cent.

Volvo increased its Russian sales by 83 per cent, to record figures of 2,436 units during 2006. The Russian Federation is now the largest buyer of Volvo products in the fast-growing Central and Eastern European region, with Poland in second place with 2,079 unit sales of Volvo trucks in 2006, ranks second. With the addition of second hand vehicles exported from Europe, the company's Russian distributor - ZAO Volvo Vostok - estimates that there are now 30,000 Volvo trucks registered within the country.

Asia Motor Works to Compete on Price

Volvo's only 49 tonne competitor in India - Asia Motor Works - is to take the fight to the Swedes on price. Following a Supreme Court ruling in 2005, which finally put an end to overloading - or has certainly reduced any defence against the same - the 49 tonne market is potentially a high growth one.AMW's 49-tonne tractor-trailer uses a ZF 9-speed gearbox, a Cummins 235hp engine, Meritor axles and Valeo clutch. Its gross combination weight allows a 36 tonne payload.

Mid America: A Blogger Intrudes on an Industry's Grief

So that's it for Mid America for another year. Next stop on the show trail is the RAI Show in Amsterdam and the Tokyo show, both of which - in a fit of genius on the part of the respective organisers - are slated to take place simultaneously.But back to MATS, and an initial reaction. Miserable. We rather felt like a gatecrasher at a bedside vigil.