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Geely will make their first foray into the notoriously tough British market in 2012, hoping to emulate the success of Korean brands like Hyundai.
While Geely already helps produce the iconic London taxis, the company will face an uphill battle regarding the vehicle’s perceived quality. Their first UK offering, the EC7 compact car, will cost 10,000 GBP (roughly $15,581 USD) and feature a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
Geely is looking to recruit 30 to 40 dealers and sell about 1,000 cars in 2013, with a new model added for the next 4 to 5 years. Geely will be based out of Coventry, where the office of Manganese Bronze Holdings’ London Taxi Company (its partner in London Taxi production) resides, but Geely will remain separate from its subsidiary Volvo Cars.
[Source: Automotive News]
You couldn’t ask for a better time to sell Kate Middleton’s car than right now, just after her royal wedding. The current owner of the indigo blue, three-door 2001 Volkswagen Golf, Sonny Brazil, who lives close to the Middleton’s home in Berkshire, England is auctioning off the car via Ebay. Brazil, 21, bought the car for $2,300 (£1,400) in 2009 after Kate, 29, gave the Golf to her brother James.
The car currently has 62,000 miles on the odometer of which Middleton put on 60,000. Kate had the mirror replaced in 2003 and one of the front headlights fixed in 2006. According to an auction house in Dorset, England, the VW is valued at an estimated $48,000, with the starting bid set at $32,000. Along with the car, Brazil will include a pair of sterling silver cufflinks he found inside the car. ”They might have been William’s or they could have belonged to James,” he says. ”It’s amazing to think I only paid about £1,400 for the car,” Brazil said. “And now it’s worth far more than that.”
With the glamor of the Goodwood Festival of Speed behind us, car enthusiasts in Britain will no doubt turn their attention to the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. This annual event is held at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire.
At this year’s event, which runs from July 15 to 17, a very special Subaru is hoping to take the crown as the fastest car on this challenging 1.2-mile track. This special Subaru is an Impreza STi that has been tuned by Cosworth. The model is called the STi CS400 and produces 395-hp. Apart from the power gain over the standard model, the car also gets lighter 18-inch wheels by Pro-Race, and six-piston caliper brakes by AP Racing.
Taking the fastest car crown at this track won’t be easy, since there will be some other fast machines hoping to take the glory. Cars such as the Ariel Atom V8, Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570-4 Performante, and the McLaren MP4-12C are just some of the other cars taking part. Last year, a Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera set the fastest time ever on this circuit with a time of 62.68 seconds.
To give the Cosworth STi its best chance of winning, the car will be piloted by British Rally Champion Mark Higgins. He recently set the fastest timed lap of the Isle of Man TT circuit in a Impreza STi. So they have the right man for the job, but will the car deliver? That we have to wait and see.
Hot on the heels of the Bugatti internship comes a job posting by Repair A Car, one of Britain’s largest car service finder service. They are seeking a delivery driver who is responsible, and who can travel back to home base from anywhere in UK or Europe by using public transportation. Oh and one more thing, the person who scores this position will get to drive exotic cars such as Pagani’s and Koenigseggs.
In other words, probably the best job ever for a car enthusiast. Getting the job won’t be easy, because the number of applicants will likely be very high. A spokesperson from the company said, “This is a highly specialized role which requires a very special talent. Driving something like a Bugatti Veyron is a very different experience from driving a Ford Focus. Many of these vehicles are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds so it goes without saying that we are looking for a safe pair of hands here. This isn’t a job for a boy racer.”
Compensation for the successful candidate is not bad either. You’d get a $50,000 yearly salary, plus expenses for the times you’ll need to take a bus or a train to get back to home base.
So if you’re interested, (if you’re on a car website as soon as you wake up, you probably are) then you should polish up your resume and send it over to them.
[Source: Repair A Car]
The Suzuki Kizashi may have enjoyed critical acclaim (and rightly so) but it’s sales figures have never been stellar. Suzuki is planning to sell the Kizashi in the UK later in 2011, and while Suzuki only plans on selling 500 units, it’s difficult to imagine the car being anything more than a low-volume curiosity.
With only a 2.4L 4-cylinder, a CVT gearbox and all-wheel-drive, the Kizashi will go up against fully loaded players like the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo, two established cars beloved by buyers on the other side of the pond. A lack of a diesel option will also hurt Suzuki, but the company thinks that the AWD system will allow it to attract buyers who may gravitate towards Subaru and AWD Vauxhall models. We wish them luck. They’ll need it.
Ask any auto manufacturer and they will say that one of the most important car markets at the moment is China. With their population and economic growth, China is now one of the largest car markets in the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Jaguar/Land Rover opened a flagship store in Beijing last month, and expects to sell 400 vehicles a year from this facility. Another new showroom in the city of Tianjin has also opened doors, and should move about 200 vehicles a year.
In 2010, Jaguar/Land Rover sales doubled in China, with Jaguar moving 2700 vehicles, while Land Rover moved an astonishing 23,500 vehicles, suggesting SUV’s are the preferred mode of transport for the rich.
Bentley‘s wildly successful Continental GT is due for a refresh, having been on the market since the 2003 model year and finding homes among a multitude of athletes, rappers and regular rich-folk.
For 2011, the Conti gets an all new redesign, but we can hardly tell the difference. The new car does share some style cues with the Mulsanne sedan. The big news is under the hood, where a flex fuel capable 6.0L W12 puts out 567 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. For those worried climate change, a 4.0L V8 will help alleviate your guilt, though power figures haven’t been announced.
Putting that power to the ground is an all-new “Quickshift” 6 speed automatic transmission, which sends 60% of the power to the rear wheels. 60 mph comes up in 4.4 seconds and the new Continental GT is said to be good for 198 mph. Inside, an 8″ touch screen with an integrated Google Maps app ensures you won’t get lost on your way to the gold mine, while new climate controlled seats help regulate the temperature of your backside.
Look for Birdman to take delivery of a Continental GT sometime next year, while other folks get theirs sh0rtly after.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
Gallery: 2011 Bentley Continental GT
A candidate for the Labour party in the British general election was dumped by the party after it emerged that he had made a series of inappropriate comments on a popular automotive message board. John Cowan, 35, a former manager of glamor models, was kicked out of the Liberal Democrat party in 2004 for sending “sexual emails”.
A string of messages left on Pistonheads.co.uk, a popular online car forum, as well as PlentyOffFish, a dating site, saw Cowan boast about various taboo topics, including tales of his sexual exploits, paying his housekeeper in cash (for the purposes of not reporting her income to the government), speculating on the deats of Jeremy Clarkson and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and soliciting nude models for a photography business, and expressing his displeasure at the prospect of his daughter marrying a Muslim.
Cowan’s comments have been met with widespread displeasure in Britain, but for anyone who has ever frequented an automotive message board, comments like these are unfortunately typical, if not slightly tame.
[Source: The Telegraph]