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It may say "Daimler" on the doors, but it says "Mercedes-Benz" on the cars, and that's what has attracted almost euro2 milliard of Abu Dhabi money into the company.

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India's TATA, which has had all manner of problems in getting factories set up due to local opposition, yesterday brought the Nano to the market. The eagerly anticipated "one-step-up-from-a-motorbike" car will sell in India only. It's price a jaw-dropping low of under GBP2,000 (equivalent). And everyone wants to know more.

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Maybe the surprise popularity of the Peugeot RCZ has inspired more manufacturers to be daring, moving what would once have been concept cars into production - and at an affordable price. At the Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo, the nicer end of the Fiat range, has announced the 4C and it's creating stirrings in places that usually only upmarket sports cars reach.

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GPS tracking for four-wheelers and even people has been around for a while. Xact Technology(TM), LLC says its a new patent pending GPS portable tracking device is adapted particularly for power sports enthusiasts.

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It's widely being touted as a done-deal. But there is a small phrase in Chrysler's statement about links with Fiat that show that the deal is far from complete.

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As US Automakers pray that sharply lower petrol prices will mean customers buy the mountains of "gas-guzzling" monsters that Detroit has pumped out without thinking that the market might drop, Hyundai has come up with a novel scheme. And many people will be foolish not to take it.

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Mr Katsuaki Watanabe is not a happy man. As the first head of Toyota to announce a loss in 71 years, he is standing down. The irony is that the losses are really not his fault.

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Almost in the face of some of his own cabinet, President Bush has announced that, in the dying days of his presidency, he will authorise support for the automotive industry - as little as ten days before GM is thought likely to run out of money. But it's not a grant or a gift. And it's a message to the financial sector: use the TARP money wisely or we'll take it back.

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What US Treasury Secretary Paulson did not mean when he spoke of "an orderly bankruptcy" for the US auto industry was closing it down. He means a variety of insolvency procedures designed to keep the businesses going.

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Is there a pattern? Peter Mandelson's links to Indian businessmen were one of the reasons for at least one of his disgraces. Now, within weeks of his return from exile in Europe, he is once again "considering" assisting an Indian business.

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