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Germany's diesel working group recommends hardware retrofits: report

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The Subcommittee of Experts of the National Diesel Forum of Germany will return so-called selective devices for selective catalytic reduction to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), the newspaper said in an excerpt from an article that will be published on Sunday, provided by Reuters on Saturday.

Nevertheless, there is no consensus as to who will pay the modernization bill, which can cost 3,000 euros or more per car, the document says.

He cited the government spokesman as confirming the plan for Chancellor Angela Merkel to take action on measures to reduce NOx emissions this month.

Last week, the court ruled that Frankfurt, the financial center of Germany, would have to ban environmentally friendly older diesel cars from the city center from next February as part of an air quality improvement plan.
The city of Hamburg this year voluntarily blocked the old diesel models from using the selected main roads. Other cities, including Aachen, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, where Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Porsche (VOWG_p.DE) live, are also considering bans.

The discussion about air quality was caused by reports of persistent high NOx emissions in the largest cities in Germany and the admission of Volkswagen in 2015 to falsify the testing of diesel emissions in the US using engine control devices.


U.S. fund managers trim bank stocks on profit worries

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According to Goldman Sachs, the average unit fund in the US reduced its share in financial companies by almost 1.1 percentage points in the second quarter to about 14 percent, which is the highest for a quarter compared to 2013.

The departure from banks, insurance companies and mortgage lenders was caused by the fact that the financial sector did not cope with the broad S & P 500 index by more than 5 percent since April.

Many fund managers believe that banks have already reached their peak income. One red flag is that the US Treasury yield curve is flattening, as short-term yields are rising in anticipation of an increase in US interest rates from the Federal Reserve, while long-term yield falls on concerns about economic growth and trade strains. This situation usually compresses the profit of the bank.

Some investors fear that long-term profitability may fall below short-term profitability. Such an inversion of the yield curve, which can signal an impending recession.

"The flops of the yield curve, the harder it is to make money," said Jan McDonald, co-leader of the financial research group Janus Henderson Investors, which controls assets under the management of 370.1 billion dollars, adding that "the funds are inspected and say that if we we will see a weaker growth, we need to get out of the financial state. "

The spread between the yield of two- and 10-year Treasury bonds US2US10 = RR is trading around its very flat for 11 years. The growth of short-term rates leads to an increase in the cost of borrowed funds of the bank, while the drop in long-term rates limits the amount of payments for loans.

Nevertheless, McDonald said that large banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) remain attractive, even if the sector as a whole does not. He noted that large banks invest in online platforms and mobile applications, which makes them more attractive for millennia and less dependent on expensive affiliates.

"The US retail banking industry is moving from the post-crisis phase of risk management to the fintech phase of managing customer experience," he said.

Ben Kirby, portfolio manager of the investment fund for Thornburg investment income worth $ 15.4 billion. USA, said that its fund is more moving to European banks, such as ING Groep NV (INGA.AS), which is caused, in particular, by the recent sale of shares after a steep decline in the Turkish lira. This year, the Turkish currency fell by more than 40 percent due to growing tension with the United States and fears that the country's central bank is losing its independence under President Tayyip Erdogan.

"For the past 10 years, the US has been a market lover, and this has led to an assessment that is slightly more stretched, and an economic cycle that is a little more mature," Kirby said. "If in Europe it happens earlier, and growth accelerates."

In general, according to Thomson Reuters, in the financial sector S & P 500, the ratio of trading prices to revenues is 14.5, and for the year to date it has grown by 2.2 percent. The broad S & P 500, by contrast, traded with a lagging P / E of 22.06 and is almost 9 percent over the same time.

According to Lipper, investors also retreated from financial activities, and the Financial Sector Select SPDR, ETF, which tracks financial stocks in the S & P 500, while losing $ 1.7 billion. USA as a result of outflows in the last 4 weeks.

Although banks have stronger balances than at the beginning of the financial crisis 10 years ago, "it's difficult for us to find anything that can worry about financial performance," said Tom Plumm, manager of the Plumb Equity Fund, valued at $ 29.7 million.

Instead of banks, Plumb has its largest positions in credit cards and payment companies Visa Inc (V.N) and Mastercard Inc (MA.N), which continue to grow, as more retail purchases are made online rather than in physical stores.

"It's a mistake to get out of the big macro trend too quickly," he said.
Kyle Martin, an analyst at Westwood Holdings Group, a Dallas firm with assets under management of $ 21.6 billion. USA, said that the increase in interest rates and the yield smoothing curve may point to a recession in 2020, which means that financial stocks are less attractive.

The investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc (HLI.N) looks attractive, despite the prospect of a decline in economic growth, given its focus on mergers and acquisitions in the medium-term market, which should see higher transaction activity, as the threat from a technological malfunction grows, he said.

"Banks are obviously safer than 10 years ago," he said. "At the same time, they will soon see a decline in profits, and the fund manager will not be able not to have the client listed in the application if we move into another crisis."


Ford kills plan to sell Chinese-made vehicle in the United States

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The automaker's decision came because US President Donald Trump is stepping up a trade battle with China, threatening to impose duties on an additional $ 200 billion of Chinese goods.
The Trump Administration has already imposed duties on cars of Chinese production up to 25 percent. Trump separately evaluates the proposal for the introduction of tariffs for all imported cars for reasons of national security.

The Chinese Focus Focus, which Ford called the crossover, would be a niche vehicle for the United States, and the decision to abandon plans to launch it in the US market next year will not cost jobs or significantly affect US automakers' sales, Ford North America head Kumar Galotra told reporters during a conference call on Friday.

"It basically comes down to how we deploy our resources," said Galotra. Given the prospects for high tariffs, Focus Active costs in the US will be much higher.
When asked when the decision was made, Galotra said: "We just did it. Literally."

Halotra said that plans to build and sell Focus Active in Europe and China will move forward.

Ford's decision to abandon Focus Active contrasts with the effort of competitor General Motors Co (GM.N) to seek a release from the new 25 percent US tariffs on its official Buick Envision car.
Envision is a larger car than Focus Active, with an initial price of about $ 35,000. Ford did not set the US price for a compact Focus Active, but it would compete in a segment where prices start at about $ 20,000, leaving less profit to absorb additional import duties.

Ford and its rivals are also closely following the results of the negotiations on the revised North American Free Trade Agreement, which continued on Friday. The representative of Ford declined to comment on the proposed changes to NAFTA's automatic trading rules, and Galhotra did not address them.

Ford said in April that it would reduce most of its traditional passenger car models for the North American market and omit the earlier plan to import Focus Focus sedans from China.
About 95 percent of Ford cars sold in the US are assembled in the US, Canada or Mexico, Galotra said. U.S dealers receive a small sports utility EcoSport from India and small Transit Connect minibuses from Spain.

"At the moment, we do not see a significant risk for these products," said Galotra.


HNA Group trims debt nearly 11 percent, or $11.6 billion, in first half

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The total debt of the HNA Group amounted to 657.41 billion yuan (96.25 billion US dollars) at the end of the first half, which is 10.7 percent or 11.6 billion dollars. USA since the end of 2017.
Despite the decline, the Group's total debt to EBITDA was 21.36 times at the end of the first half of the year.

The company reported that the net profit in the first half was 1.3 billion yuan.

The expulsion of HNA for the sale of assets under pressure from Beijing follows a weight of $ 50 billion, led by former co-chairman Wang Jian, who saw that HNA accumulates assets ranging from a stake in Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) to large foreign real estate.
Van died during a business trip in France on July 3.

In early August, HNA Group announced the reshuffle of the management to calm concerns about leadership in the conglomerate.

($ 1 = 6.8 million Chinese yuan)


Ferrari F1 junior Antonio Giovinazzi tops final Formula E test entries

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Ferrari F1 junior Antonio Giovinazzi tops final Formula E test entries

Ferrari Formula 1 protege Antonio Giovinazzi will take part in the Formula E rookie test in Marrakech, as the full entry list is completed.

The Italian made his F1 debut in 2017 as replacement for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber, and was a contender to join the Swiss team full-time for the upcoming season.

However, Sauber opted for fellow Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc and team regular Marcus Ericsson instead, with Giovinazzi having to settle for a third-driver role.

He will now make an appearance in the January 14 post-race FE rookie test in Marrakech, and will pilot DS Virgin's DSV-03 car alongside BMW racer Joel Eriksson.

Giovinazzi's test opportunity comes against the backdrop of Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne evaluating a foray into the all-electric racing category with his Fiat Chrysler Automobiles company's Maserati brand.

The entry list has also revealed two other names participating in the test, completing a 20-strong line-up.

Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett, who has previously stated he would "absolutely" consider following the manufacturer to Formula E when it quits the German series at the end of 2018, will test for Venturi - which currently employs his DTM team-mates Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel.

Meanwhile, Formula 2 ace Alex Albon will slot in alongside Japanese F3 champion Mitsunori Takaboshi in the Renault e.dams test roster.

Test line-up
Renault e.dams Mitsunori Takaboshi, Alex Albon
Audi Abt Sport Nyck de Vries, Nico Muller
Mahindra Dani Juncadella, Sam Dejonghe
DS Virgin Joel Eriksson, Antonio Giovinazzi
Techeetah Frederic Makowiecki, James Rossiter
NIO Harry Tincknell, Alexandre Imperatori
Andretti Bruno Spengler, Colton Herta
Dragon Racing Maximilian Gunther, Andrea Caldarelli
Venturi Michael Benyahia, Gary Paffett
Jaguar Paul di Resta, Pietro Fittipaldi


Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio long-term review

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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio long-term review

The super-saloon version of Alfa’s long-awaited M3 rival has already wowed our road testers, but what’s it like to live with?
Life with a Giulia QV: Month 5
Giulia QV’s fuel gauge quirks – 06 December 2017​

The Giulia’s fuel economy gauge always seemed back to front to me, but a software update has put that right.

Originally, the graph started at 75mpg and descended towards zero with each prod of the throttle, seemingly emphasising how thirsty the car was.

Now it reads upwards. The dot that shows the average is still close to the ‘0’ end, though. Getting the Guilia QV booted and suited – 22 November 2017​

The low tyre pressure warning that was mentioned in the previous report turned out not to be caused by a slow leak, as we first thought, but by a faulty sensor on the Giulia’s nearside rear wheel.

I discovered this when I took the car to Alfa Romeo dealer HWM to get all four tyres replaced.

I’d been looking for an opportunity to find out what sort of aftersales care we could expect from HWM – not only our nearest Alfa dealership but also the world’s oldest Aston Martin dealer and a former racing car constructor – and the need to fit new tyres gave us a good excuse to visit its service centre in Hersham, Surrey.

Given HWM’s history, I suspected it would be an interesting experience, and I wasn’t disappointed. While the work was being carried out on the Giulia, I got to have a good look around the workshop, where a number of lovely customer cars are kept in storage and which is also home to a 1950s HWM Formula 2 racer that’s still owned by the company.

If you’re an Alfa owner, the chances are you’ll enjoy the opportunity to loiter there while your car is being worked on, if you want to.The fact that the Giulia’s tyres needed replacing after just 4000 miles in our hands – all on the road – might seem like a shocking rate of wear, but bear in mind that the QV wears sticky, high-performance Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, developed specifically for the car, so you can’t expect them to last as long as more everyday ones. Nor would you want anything less on a car of this calibre – in warm conditions, at least.

The other mitigating factor is that the tyres weren’t brand new when we took delivery of the car, which already had 7000 miles on the clock at that point. The tyres had already been replaced at least once, earlier in the year, so it would appear that the set we’ve just taken off had actually covered between 6000 and 7000 miles.

That’s still a pretty severe wear rate, but I suspect most QV owners will be able to better that in normal road use. Curiously, the front tyres were looking more shot than the rears, with severely scuffed shoulders, suggesting that there’s a price to pay for having such quick steering and phenomenal front-end bite.

The bill from HWM came to £1276, but a bit of online research revealed that it could be reduced by more than £100 by going to a tyre dealer such as Black Circles. Although the job took a little longer than expected to complete (the new tyres were reluctant to seal properly on the rims) and the faulty sensor couldn’t be sorted on the day, the experience was entirely a positive one for me. I’d be more than happy with the standard of service if I’d bought the car from HWM in the first place.The Corsa tyres may be the business when they’re hot and sticky, but they’re less happy in colder, wetter conditions. To be fair, there’s still plenty of grip, but the electronics have to work overtime to rein in the rear wheels’ eagerness to spin up, and the car feels stiff-legged when the tyres can’t get enough heat in them. The rear end tends to react more to bumps with a sideways kick, too.

Since the Giulia is about to take part in our annual Britain’s Best Driver’s Car extravaganza and will therefore be crying out for yet another set of tyres immediately afterwards, that might be the ideal time to try it on winter rubber, hopefully making it feel more comfortable as the temperature gauge heads into single figures.

I wouldn’t normally bother, but I suspect the Giulia will respond well to such a move.

Best of all, Pirelli’s Sottozero winter tyres are available in the right sizes to go onto the QV’s lovely 19in alloys, so I don’t have to mar the car’s brooding good looks.


Dacia Sandero Stepway LPG long-term review

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Dacia Sandero Stepway LPG long-term review

Life with a Sandero Stepway LPG: Month 4
Why is buying an LPG car a challenge? – 22 November 2017

Cheap, uneventful. Two words I find myself coming back to when people ask what it is like to drive around in an LPG-powered car.

Colleagues who borrow it for a week have a happy knack of using similar words to describe their own experiences. "I don’t know why you can’t buy one here officially” is the (paraphrased) follow-up point myself and others typically make.

So why is that? As discussed right back at the start of this long-term test, LPG-powered cars, which produce fewer harmful emissions, could be used to help tackle the UK’s air-quality problems while we wait for the more widespread availability of affordable electric, zero-emissions cars and a charging network to make their use viable for more motorists.A report landed on my desk with stats on LPG across Europe. On the other side of the English Channel and North Sea, you’ll find more than 45,000 LPG stations before you hit the edge of Spain, the Balkans or Turkey, depending on your direction of travel. In the UK, there are only 1250.

Those 45,000 pumps can provide fuel to a whole host of mainstream cars – not just cheap and cheerful ones like the Dacia Sandero we’re testing – that leave their respective production plants equipped with an LPG tank alongside their conventional petrol one, meaning no need for an aftermarket conversion.

Alfa Romeo will sell you an LPG-powered Mito or Giulietta; Fiat a 500, 500L, Panda, Tipo or Punto (yes, they still make Puntos); Ford the B-Max, C-Max, Fiesta and Focus; Kia the Picanto, Rio or Venga.

The good people at Mitsubishi will provide your ASX or Outlander with LPG power if you so choose.

Likewise Nissan with the Juke, Micra or Note; and Opel with the Adam, Astra, Corsa, Insignia, Karl (known as the Vauxhall Viva in the UK), Meriva, Zafira Tourer and Mokka X.

Still with us? There’s more. The Peugeot 208, Citroën C3, Hyundai i10 and i20, Renault Clio and Mégane, Honda Civic, Subaru XV, Forester and Outback, plus the Ssangyong Tivoli and Korando, complete the set of models sold in the UK that are offered with an LPG option on the continent but not here.Two main reasons are typically given for it not being offered: first, the LPG-powered cars are not produced in right-hand drive; and second, that LPG is no longer protected from the fuel duty escalator, meaning it is exposed to the same rises in taxation as petrol and diesel.

Autogas, the chief supplier of LPG in the country that was set up as a joint venture between Shell and Calor in 2000, isn’t having any of the latter argument.

It points out that the escalator has yet to be enacted and that LPG duty is much lower anyway, at 15.8% of the cost of a litre to the 58.9% of petrol and diesel.

Even if the tax went up, it would remain a much cheaper fuel at the pump than either of its more traditional alternatives.

As for the point about left-hand-drive, Autogas uses the Ford Transit Connect van as an example of an LPG-powered model that is already in production in right-hand drive.It is built in Spain and exported to Hong Kong, where motorists drive on the left, like we do here in the UK.

So, Ford, why not divert some over here to gauge the reaction? From our experience, buyers are missing out unfairly on perfectly decent vehicles.

Mileage: 2260


Confirmed! Electric VW Microbus Coming in 2022

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Confirmed! Electric VW Microbus Coming in 2022

For many years, Volkswagen teased the concept of a retro-minivan without the intention to produce them. It's changing today. VW has just announced that in fact, really, seriously going to put a fully electric minibus, ID. Buzz, in production in 2022. We know. We, too, can not believe this.

We have seen ID. Buzz in conceptual form (pictured above) earlier this year at the Auto Show in Detroit, but we never expected it to enter production. Then, in media reports, it was suggested that the main brand of VW Herbert Dies actually insisted on getting ID. Buzz in production. Apparently, Dies got his way.
I.D. Buzz will ride a new modular electromobile platform Volkswagen (called MEB), which debuted at CES in January 2016. This platform, which is going to make its debut on production in ID. hatchback in 2020, integrates its battery into the floor, like Tesla. I.D. Buzz will also receive an optional all-wheel drive engine with electric motors on the front and rear axles.

It is this clever packaging that allows Buzz to exist at all. With all its transmission components mounted on the chassis, VW can freely carry a car with very short overhangs and an incredibly spacious interior, like the original. And unlike the original, this one will meet modern safety standards in a collision - something VW could not do with a modern bus with internal combustion.

VW says that the Buzz has the outside dimensions of a compact cargo van from the outside, offering the interior space of a large SUV. And, speaking of the cargo, VW will make delivery of the van version I.D. Gul.
When I.D. Buzz reaches production, it should include reconfigurable seating, like the concept we saw earlier this year, and it will offer self-contained driving at level 3. This is not complete autonomy, since it is required that the person behind the driver's seat pay attention, but ID Buzz will handle the steering, braking and acceleration independently in certain scenarios.

Expect to see I.D. Buzz in American dealers sometime in 2022, shortly after I.D. The hatchback hits the market.


The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet Is Stunning

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The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet Is Stunning

Rarely for a convertible to be more beautiful than its coupe-analog. The perfect exception is the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet, which debuts today at the Monterey Car Week. Coupe Maybach Vision 6, which premiered last year was beautiful, but it's just delicious.
Above the open, the Vision 6 Cabriolet evokes the appearance of a small high-speed boat, which you will see on the French Riviera with a long tail. Its rich blue exterior paint, respectively called Nautical Blue Metallic, and white leather trim, probably also help bring sea images.
This masterpiece measures over 20 feet in length and features a great art deco design. Wheels measure 24 inches in diameter and have central locking hubs painted in pink gold. Mercedes says that the large grille on the front was inspired by a suit with stripes, but there is practically no functional advantage for its inclusion.
This is because the Vision 6 Cabriolet is all electrical. It is equipped with batteries installed on the floor, which power the electric motor with a capacity of 750 hp. and provide a range of 200 miles. Under the long hood of the 6 Cabriolet, it looks like an installed baggage and a picnic set, rather than an internal combustion engine.
Inside there is Napa leather trim and a pink decoration that you could hope for, and, interestingly, a wooden floor. Again, Mercedes emphasizes the navigational influence of Cabriolet Vision 6.
Right now, it's unclear whether Mercedes will be able to customize the Maybach model, similar to this one, to production, as its ultra-luxurious hand is currently simply modifying the standard Benz models. In any case, it indicates magnificent magnificent things.


The Next BMW Z4 Might Weigh a Lot Less Than its Predecessor

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The Next BMW Z4 Might Weigh a Lot Less Than its Predecessor

With its collapsible metal rigid roof, the heavy previous generation of the BMW Z4 was more of a cruiser than a sports car aimed at the Porsche Boxster. It is reported that the next, previously announced in a conceptual form yesterday, will be different from its predecessor. The magazine Automobile Magazine reports that BMW threw a folding hard surface for the Z4 and aimed at a weight of 3000 to 3200 pounds.


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The outgoing Z4 weighs over 3,200 pounds when equipped with a four-cylinder engine, and the choice of two additional pistons adds an additional 300 pounds. If the Automobile report is confirmed, it means that the next generation Z4 will have significant weight savings. BMW, apparently, keeps weight, avoiding heavy technologies, such as steering with a rear wheel and all-wheel drive.

For reference, Porsche says that both the standard 718 Boxster and Boxster S weigh about 3000 pounds - a bit less if you choose a manual, a little more with an automatic one. For comparison, the 340-hp Jaguar F-Type V6 weighs about 3,500 pounds.

The car reports that the Z4 will receive two variants of a turbocharged engine - a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 hp. in the model s20i and 248 hp. in s30i and 3,0-liter in-line-6 ​​power of 320 hp in the M40i. As we reported earlier, there will not be a full version of the M-version of the Z4, but BMW is considering a "Contest package" for the M40i, which will deliver 40 hp. A six-step manual with an eight-step automatic option will be available.

All this information is also good news for the long-awaited revival of Supra, which shares the platform with the Z4. The car said that the Toyota boss Akio Toyoda himself went to the new Supra in Germany and left impressed.

We hope that the information provided here will be confirmed. The 3.0-liter six-speed BMW, a six-speed manual gearbox at a weight of about 3200 pounds, is like a recipe for a good time for us.