At the moment, Audi sells the most luxury cars in India. Last year it sold 650 more than Mercedes, but Mercedes are sniffing out a killing as they plan to overtake their German rivals in the sweltering climes of east Asia. To help them achieve this bid for glory, they are planning to sell more compact cars in an effort to capitalise on India’s growing love of premium cars.
Following the launch of their entry-level compact car, the B-Class, Mercedes want to double their compact car sales, with this particular segment making up a fifth of their total sales last year. Indeed, it is their plan to launch 15 different models in India this year – its most ever.
“We’re on full-speed, we have our foot on the throttle,” said Eberhard Kahn, MD of Mercedes-Benz India. It’s a full-on, aggressive assault of India by Mercedes, one which has got Audi worried. In a counter punch, they’re planning to launch 10 models in India this year. In a counter-counter punch, the rumour is that Mercedes will launch 45 next year as they look to take over India completely, changing the country’s name to ‘Mercedes’.
Aston Martin Looks To Raise Cash
Aston Martin is on the verge of finalising plans to raise £150 million from shareholders in a bid to return to profitability. The money will go towards funding an expansion, with investors including Kuwaiti bank Investment Dar. Sources close to the company say the brand is not desperate for the cash, but the money will go some way to ensuring that the amount of losses they’re currently suffering will be plugged.
Despite Aston Martin’s heritage – they supply the cars used in the James Bond movies – they’re struggling to sell, with sales plummeting from 7,300 in 2007 to just 4,000 in 2014. Aston Martin has recently been described as a ‘standalone company, but with a benevolent sugar daddy.’ It remains to be seen whether they will supply the car for the latest James Bond film, Spectre, but it is alleged that budget-brand Dacia “would be interested” if the producers looked at other models. “We do need to make James Bond more appealing to the common man,” observed a Dacia buyer, “and giving 007 a budget car would get more people in the cinema. Most of us can’t afford an Aston Martin. Give him something we can all relate to. You know, give him a cramped interior and some dodgy controls.”
BMW X5 Is Thieves Car of Choice
It was revealed this week that the BMW X5 is the UK’s most stolen car and scoops the award for ‘Most Stolen Car of the Year’ for the SIXTH year running. Indeed, the top 10 most stolen cars in the UK is dominated by the German brand, with four BMW’s on the UK’s most notorious list. The runner-up was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, while vehicles with a keyless entry system are becoming more and more popular with thieves who are becoming extremely tech savvy. BMW were unavailable for comment when we attempted to get a quote from them on their unprecedented success, but Pete Dobson, a known villain from Manchester, said that, “BMW X5’s are top cars aren’t they? Everyone wants one. Our kids got 3 of ‘em. Fancy a pint, mate?” Pete Dobson has since been imprisoned for 25 years thanks to our interview.
Honda Spend Millions Of Dollars Urging Drivers To Return Their Cars
Honda are to spend millions of dollars on an advertising campaign aimed at urging owners of Honda’s with defective Takata air bags to get them repaired. From Monday next week, Honda adverts will adorn 120 U.S. newspapers, as well as 110 radio stations. The adverts will be in both English and Spanish, and the ads are just one part of a massive campaign designed to encourage Honda drivers across 50 American states to get their airbags repaired.
The defective air bags are particularly subject to failure in hot areas, with buyers in Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico targeted at first, before Honda launched a nationwide appeal. If the airbags do fail, they can send metal shrapnel flying into the drivers face and have already been linked to numerous deaths. One Honda driver we spoke to summed things up when he said that, “airbags are supposed to save your life aren’t they? What’s the point if they’re running around killing people? That don’t sound like any air bag I’ve ever had. Airbags used to be friendly, not murderers. What’s happened to the world?” Quite.
Sales For New Mustang Heat Up
The Ford Mustang is back, and it’s back with a bang, with around 500,000 being specified and priced online in the last month, which is more than any other Ford car. Moreover, close to 1.2 million people visited the Mustang website during the last month as excitement hots up. More than half of buyers configured their new Mustang to come with the 2.3-litre EcoBoost 314PS engine, with the rest opting for the powerful 5.0-litre V8 power plant.
Roelant de Waard, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service of Ford of Europe, summed up the excitement when he said that, “for some people, the new Mustang is the car they have waited for their whole lives.” UK buyers were lapping up the Race Red coloured Mustang, while in Spain and Germany black was the colour of choice. Drivers will still have to wait a few months until they can get behind the wheel of their new toy, with the Mustang not due to launch in the UK until the autumn.
Toyota Recalls 112,500 Cars After Issues With Steering
Toyota has been forced to recall 112,500 of its cars and SUVs after it was highlighted that there was an issue with electric vehicle software and the electric power steering controls. The recalls include Highlander SUVs and RAV4 SUVs, all of which are brand new for 2015. It’s claimed – by Toyota – that a circuit board was probably damaged in the factory in the lead up to the launch, which basically means that the power-steering could easily fail, potentially causing drivers to crash. At the moment, Toyota admits they have no idea if there have been any crashes so far.
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