By on February 10, 2009

An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Beijing until further notice.

Nissan’s no-hitter: After announcing an expected loss in the current fiscal, Nissan will suspend corporate sports activities, including its standout baseball team, the Nikkei [sub] reports. Nissan’s ball club, which was founded in 1959, has won corporate championships and produced a string of professional baseball players. Also to be sidelined is Nissan’s table tennis team, which also dates back to 1959. Its most recent stint atop the winner’s podium occurred in 2007. The table tennis and track and field teams will be disbanded at the end of next month. All eyes are on Toyota and whether they will ditch their vastly more expensive F1 team. The rumor mill says they will stick with it for the now.

Nissan goes for green green: Nissan has applied for low-interest loans being offered under a US government program aimed at promoting the development of environment-friendly cars, the Nikkei [sub] says. This is the first time a Japanese carmaker has applied for the 25-billion-dollar program. One of the conditions for qualifying for the federal loan program is that the applicant has been operating facilities in the US for an extended period of time. Nissan intends to apply for similar aid programs for developing environment-friendly vehicles in Europe and China.

Cheaper hooch: One of the many problems of bio-ethanol is that it’s expensive to make. Toyota, Nippon Oil, Mitsubishi Heavy and three other firms will jointly develop technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol from nonfood plants. By bringing together their know-how in such fields as plant cultivation, glycation and fermentation, they hope to develop a comprehensive production system and bring down production costs to around 40 yen ($0.44) per liter by 2015, says the Nikkei [sub].

PSA China up: Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën joins the ranks of Chinese carmakers who had surprisingly good January sales. They sold more than 19,000 vehicles, including 12,414 units of the Dongfeng Citroën brand and 6,750 units of Dongfeng Peugeot, Gasgoo writes. In January, the Dongfeng Citroën series saw its retail sales reach 12,414 units, up 107 percent year on year.

Great Wall up in China: Chinese private automaker Great Wall Motor sold 15,000 vehicles in January 2009, hitting a record high. The growth of its total sales volume for the entire 2008 topped 10 percent.

Denmark first in Europe for China’s BYD: Denmark will be the first European market for BYD’s electric cars, due to be on the streets by 2011. Sales manager for BYD, Henry Z. Li said that Denmark was chosen as the first European test market because it ‘has the best tax policy among EU countries in relation to electric cars.’ BYD intends to launch its own 3F DM hybrid car and the E6 electric cars on the Danish market, together with a network of car charging stations, Gasgoo reports

PSA: “It’s going to be horrible:” PSA CEO Christian Streif is readying his company for 20 percent less sales in 2009 than in 2008, Das Autohaus reports. According to Streif, “the perspectives are horrible.” He doesn’t see a quick turnaround. 2010 will also be challenging, said Streif.

It’s official: China largest car market in January: Largely due to the plunge in American car sales, China overtook the U.S. in monthly vehicle sales in January 2009 for the first time to be the world’s No. 1 auto market for the month, according to official data released by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) today, Gasgoo says. According to the CAAM, 735,000 vehicles were sold in China in January. That surpasses the 656,976 vehicles sold in the U.S. the same month. If China can outpace the United States in sales for all of 2009, it will become the world’s largest vehicle market. Last week, Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors Corp.’s executive director of global market and industry analysis, projected that Chinese auto sales could hit 10.7 million vehicles in 2009, more than his estimate of 9.8 million unit sales in the U.S. this year. Autodata Corp. forecasts 2009 U.S. sales at 9.57 million.

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4 Comments on “While America Slept. Tuesday, February 10th 2009...”

  • avatar

    One of my morning quick reads is the Charlotte Observer. The Nascar ‘cup’ circuit is in terrible trouble due to lack of sponsors. How far away can we be from the 2.8 pulling the plug on that money pit? Where’s our hero Corker when we need him? Will the bankruptcy judge’s eyes light up when he sees that little item on the list of expenditures? Assuming he’s not a race fan of course.

  • avatar

    How dumb is it to continue down this ethanol path, anyway? Especially in nations not hobbled by the “5 year plan” (heavy sarcasm) put forward by the central controlling Federal Government which chose “ethanol” over “butanol” 30 years ago, as the “subsidy recipient” (i.e. taxpayer boondogle money-pit).

    Butanol is coming into its own with recent technology which allows it to be made as easily as ethanol, and has distinct and very evident advantages.

    It is almost a drop-in substitute for gasoline (similar BTU’s, octane, etc)

    It CAN be run through current oil pipelines, unlike ethanol (which requires massive numbers of delivery trucks, which use DIESEL OIL)

    There is no need to blend it with 15% gasoline, since Butanol is poisonous and cannot be sold as hooch for drunks. (They’ll simply die; Butanol is a 4-carbon alcohol, ethanol is a 2-carbon alcohol, also known as the basis for “vodka” and other such things humans foolishly imbibe).

    Have a peek for yourself.

    Of course, the BP company is apparently working with Butanol with Dow chemical, and putting forward plans to use British grown sugar beets as the basis for bio-butanol (which is essentially, redundant; unless butanol is foolishly made out of petro-chemicals, it is by definition, bio-butanol).

    Will we ever figure this stuff out, or simply continue to go down the wrong path? At some point, common sense and the desire to keep something resembling a viable and sustainable world is going to slap us on all four cheeks, collectively.

    Will this world go out in a wimper? Or a bang?

  • avatar

    I really really hope the U.S. government denies any of the 25 billion dollars to Nissan. If Nissan wants or needs money, they can go to their own governmnent, not ours. We owe nothing to corporations outside our country, whether they are involved here or not. American money should go to American corporations. Its about time we start taking care of ourselves, then worry about others.

  • avatar

    @ menno

    In energy, politics and $$$ rule; no-one dares to deconstruct what we have.

    To cut through to a sensible future of alternatives will take a “bang” I fear.

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