20 DECEMBER 2010
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Car manufacturers have been both pro-active and re-active to a vastly changing world in 2010. Their actions have included a quest to reduce C02 emissions, to promote the battery powered car to a dubious consumer and the improved performance in hybrid powered cars though again with challengeable fuel economy results.
There has been a strengthening acceptance of the stop+start systems that include power retrieval during braking action as a contribution towards cutting emissions and fuel consumption though little appears to have been claimed for savings on engine wear.
When it comes to progress Suzuki has demonstrated a clear intention to become a stronger contender in the mainstream markets with the introduction of the new Swift hatch back that has benefited with co-operation from Volkswagen, the Korean Hyundai (new ix20 small cross over model and the closely related Kia Venga) is proof that both makers are on target to become major players on a world-wide scene. Finally, Audi has proved that operating under a recession can actually generate strongly increased sales for those who come up with the right products. Where some manufacturers have had to cut production Audi claims that all its factories, including in China, are at full stretch with waiting lists!
One wish that has come true (for me at least) is that the antiquated London ‘black cab’ is finally being challenged by a modern design based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
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