Toyota overtakes GM in first quater sales
Toyota has taken the first-quarter global automotive sales lead,
from General Motors, selling 2.41 million vehicles, to GM’s 2.25
million, over the first three months of the year.
GM said on Wednesday that, its first-quarter sales dropped
across the globe, by less than 1%, but Toyota said, its sales
increased by 2.7%, during the January-March period.
GM barely won the global sales race, with Japan-based Toyota
last year. Toyota overtook General Motors as the world’s top
automaker, in global vehicle production, last year. A record 64%
of GM’s sales came from outside the United States.
Strong demand in Europe supported Toyota’s world-wide sales. GM
posted record sales, in three of its four regions, but a 10%
drop in North America pulled down the overall numbers. Sales
increased by 8% outside of North America, the Detroit automaker
While the challenges of the US economy, continue to put pressure
on the automotive industry there, we saw nearly 20% growth in
the Latin America, Africa and Middle East, and 6% growth in the
Asia Pacific region, GM vice-president of global sales John
Middlebrook said, in a statement.
Toyota said that, output of popular, fuel-efficient small cars,
such as the Corolla model, grew strongly in China, while
production of pickup trucks rose steadily in Thailand, during
Some analysts say its only a matter of time, before Toyota,
which built its business in the decades, after World War II by
imitating American automakers, overtakes GM in terms of annual
global sales, as well as production.
In the Japanese fiscal year, through March 2008, Toyota’s global
output rose 6.4% from a year earlier, to 9.66 million vehicles.
Your trusted motor guru
responds to your queries…
A regular reader from Kandy
Q : Can you please explain the pros and cons of replacing a
petrol vehicle with a diesel vehicle?
A : First of all, I have to say that, this is not an act,
that I can recommend and fully agree. I presume that, conversion
of a petrol vehicle, to liquid gas and replacing of petrol
engines, with diesel engines are direct results, of high cost of
petrol. If you are replacing, along with the engine, mainly
suspensions and shock absorbers should also be replaced, as the
manufacturer, has designed the vehicle, for a petrol engine. But
this not something, I can recommend.
A regular reader from Pepiliyana
Q : My vehicle is a Peugeot 307. As a habit,I fasten the seat
belts, whenever I am driving. But the light in the dash board
that indicates, whether you have ‘fastened’ or not ‘fastened’
the seat belts blinks, even when I have fastened the seat belts.
Can you please figure out the fault?
A : Yes. It is fault in the seat belt circuit. You can take
the vehicle to a qualified electrician, and you may be able to
get it fixed. If it is beyond repair, you can go to the local
agents of your vehicle brand, and get them replaced.
A regular reader from Ratmalana
Q : I have 64-xxxx Toyota Corolla and the mileage is over
200, 000 kms. Whenever I start the vehicle in the morning, a
knocking sound comes up. What is the fault? Please explain.
A : Assuming your vehicle model is CE 110, possibly the
sound may be coming from the vacuum pump, on the rocker corner
top. There is no need to replace the vacuum pump. You can go to
any qualified mechanic, and get the pump repaired.
A regular reader from
Q : Some say that, when you are inflating the tyres, the rear
wheels should be inflated more than the front wheel. What is the
validity of this statement?
A : It is a myth. All the wheels should be inflated, with
equal pressure. The prescribed pressure for the tyres by the
manufacturer, is mentioned in a plate, riveted to the front door
pillar of any vehicle.
A regular reader from Dehiwela
Q : My vehicle is a Toyota CR 47. I recently got it
serviced and now the power shutters are not working. When I
contacted the service station, they said that, while being
serviced, water must have gone insider the door, and it will be
alright once the water gets evaporated. But still the shutters
are not working. Can you explain why?
A : Get the power shutter switches and motor contacts
attended to, by a qualified electrician. Cleaning the sensors
will make the shutters work again, and you might not have to
A regular reader from Kaduwela
Q : My vehicle is experiencing difficulties in gear
shifting. My vehicle is a Nissan FB 14, petrol. I recently
changed ATF, but the fault is still there. Should I get the gear
A : The engine type of your vehicle is GA 15DE and its an
EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engine. Go to your mechanic and
get both the injector and the throttle body cleaned. After that,
a proper engine tune up and an adjustment in the kick down cable
should fix your problem, and there is no need to replace the
A regular reader from Gampaha
Q : My vehicle is diesel Mitsubishi Galant, manufactured in
2000 and the mileage is above 150, 000 kms. Whenever I start the
car in the morning, excessive white smoke comes up, from the
silencer. What could be the fault?
A : A suspected oil burn, but need more information to
accurately detect the problem.
A regular reader from
Q : I have heard many saying that, dripping of water
out of the silencer, is a positive sign of the fine condition of
the engine. Is it true?
A : There are so many misconceptions among Sri Lankans,
about motor vehicle related matters. It is very unfortunate to
mention that, most of these misconceptions are provided by
mechanics, who have little knowledge on the subject, but boasts
about themselves as motor-pundits. Let me give you a scientific
explanation to your problem. Both petrol and diesel have hydro
carbon elements in them, and water is created as a by product
when they are subjected to combustion. The water created becomes
condensed in the silencer and, it is this water, that drips out
the silencer. Therefore, now you can see that, dripping water
out of a silencer and the condition of an engine of a vehicle,
do not have a rational co-relation.
launches Veyron in China
a media conference on press day, at the Beijing Motor Show Dr.
Franz-Josef Paefgen, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.,
officially declared, Bugatti’s entry into the Chinese market.
“We are delighted to be here“, said Dr. Paefgen. It is a
historic moment for the legendary Bugatti brand. It is the first
time that, Bugatti presents a car in mainland China.“
The Bugatti Veyron will be one of the highlights, of the Beijing
Motor Show. Bugatti’s has selected Bentley China, a subsidary of
the Dah Chong Hong Holdings Ltd., as its General Distributor in
mainland China. The DCH Group takes up Bugatti’s sales and
service responsibilities, in Beijing, Shangai and Shenzhen.
BMW opens its first
showroom in Kolkata
BMW India has
opened its first showroom in Kolkata following increasing demand
for its cars and has announced plans to launch a dealership
providing sales, service, spares and systems to its clients. The
4,300 sq ft showroom was inaugurated Wednesday.
“Initially we will display five Beemer models here. Plans are to
make the entire Beemer series - 3, 5, 6, 7, X and M - available
to the city soon.”
“The attraction of the showroom is the new M3 coupe model that
was launched in January. Now Kolkata residents can get the car
for Rs.7,420,000 from this showroom,” BMW India president Peter
Kronschnabi told reporters.
“The market demand for BMW is increasing every year in India.
Last year 1,387 cars were sold and this year the sales figure is
expected to round up to 2,000. We expect this showroom to sell
around 100 cars a year,” he said.
“Once this first Kolkata showroom starts rolling, we will think
about launching our 4S dealership (sales, service, spares and
systems under one roof) here,” Kronschnabi added.
BMW India began its operations in the country in 2006.
antitrust clearance for Jaguar, Land Rover
US antitrust authorities have cleared India’s Tata Motors Ltd’s
purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co.
Antitrust authorities completed their review of the $2.3 billion
deal, without taking any action to block it, the U.S. Federal
Trade Commission said, in a notice, issued on Wednesday.
In March, Tata announced that, it would buy Jaguar and Land
Rover, giving the Indian automaker, a line-up of products,
ranging from the world’s cheapest car, to some of the most
Maserati’s GranTurismo at
Beijing Auto Show
Maserati presented the GranTurismo S, for the first time in
Asia, at the Beijing Auto Show, after its world premiere, at the
Geneva Motor Show. The car features a 440 HP V8 4.7 engine, with
a maximum torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm, electro-actuated
gearbox with fast MC Shift, Transaxle layout and brakes made
with dual-cast technology. The GranTurismo S has an acceleration
from 0 to 100 Km/h, at 4.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 295
Km/h, the highest ever reached by a production Maserati.