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Ford - Navistar Dispute Deepens.

The Ford-Navistar Power Stroke engine dispute is getting yet more unpleasant.News here suggests that it will begin idling the Louisville, Kentucky plant where the F Series truck is made. And, just for good measure, in a SEC filing yesterday, Ford's North American restructuring costs have increased by $1.2 billion to $11.2 billion.Still, it's only money.

GAZ, MAZ and Engines

News from Belarus - honestly - about the Minsk Auto Works - and the decision by MAZ to opt for a GAZ-produced Euro 3 version of Renault's DCi11 engine.So what, you might well say, but not only does this upset Deutz, MB and MAN - all of whom already supply Euro 3 engines to MAZ - it also points to an intriguing development c.2010, the year in which MAZ will - or so it claims - produce a Euro 5 truck.

More Woes for the US Auto Biz.

This piece in the Detroit News catches the eye.It looks like the US automakers are facing a big bill - $100 billion or so over seven years - in order to fall into line with the Bush administration's decision to improve US vehicle fuel efficiency. Detroit hasn't been a very happy place for some time. Looks like it just got a lot more miserable.

Cummins: China Good, Tata History

Here's some happy news for Cummins. For the third year in succession, it has seen turnover in its Chinese business top $1 billion. According to the report, the US engine builder now makes 50 per cent of its money away from its domestic market - probably a good thing given the current state of the NAFTA Truck business - with India and Russia coming second and third to China in terms of value.How does Cummins celebrate?

Marchionne Gets Mysterious

Sergio Marchionne is reported to have said that "The year 2007 will be the year of Fiat's heavy machinery unit CNH Global NV."What does he mean? And why are there no reports of a mention of Iveco at Wednesday's Fiat presentation in London?Is there a plot, and, if so, how thick is it?

China. Not Good.

And so it begins.Sitting here, I'm watching reports of stock markets hemorrhaging value just about everywhere. The reason is China, and, at the risk of sounding smug, we'll just say:Told you so.

Daimler and Chrysler

The Daimler-delete-as-applicable debacle develops apace.We now know that VW, Nissan, GAZ and Fiat aren't interested, and that DZ could - allegedly - be in the market for a bit of GM, were GM to take on a lot of Chrysler.

VW Buys More of MAN. Rest of World Shakes Head.

We trailed news of VW's decision to up its stake in MAN a few days ago, and here is confirmation of the same. VW has paid out €1.2 / $1.6 billion / £80 million in order to take its holding in MAN to 29.9 per cent.We still contend that this is a piece of abject lunacy.

Freightliner Refuses to Make Interim Award Payment to MAN

We receive the following email from Freightliner:"We have notified the UK judge that we will not pay the interim award."We'll say no more at this point, but merely hope that both sets of lawyers - Clifford Chance and Slaughter & May are strapped in tight. MAN vs Freightliner looks set to become a bumpy ride.