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Volkswagen won’t be competing in the 2012 Dakar Rally, but the company will still provide support vehicles to event organizers.
For the third year in a row, the company will provide 40 vehicles including 30 Amarok pickup trucks. Despite not competing, those trucks have to be tough enough to handle anything the course can throw at them— everything from canyon crawling to desert dune running.
Those attending the event can look forward to meeting some notable guests, like F1 legend Jacky Ickx who, won the Dakar in 1983 for Mercedes-Benz, will be giving off-road racing lessons.
The race starts at Mar del Palta, Argentina and runs just short of 5,600 miles through Chile to finish in Lima, Peru.
General Motors’ Opel division is set to expand outside of Europe with its establishment in Chile and Israel. Reports say that GM has inked a deal with an independent distributor to sell Opel vehicles in Israel, independent of GM’s vehicle distribution channel in the country.
Despite selling Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Isuzu, through one channel, Opel will be sold through its own network perhaps because of Opel’s premium positioning.
Meanwhile, Opel will launch in Chile as brand makes a foray into Latin America. Chile is South America’s most prosperous economies and avoids the high taxes that neighbouring Brazil places on cars. Michael Klaus, the executive director of Opel international operations, told the AP that “German automotive engineering has a high appeal in South America and we are glad to start with Chile.”
[Source: Sympatico Autos]