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ChiefOfficers.Net

It's beginning to look as if Toyota simply had no disaster plan. It took a year to decide that the sticky pedal was a real problem, and only last week they said the Prius wasn't affected. It is now. And the sharks are circling as a litigation bandwagon starts to roll. But not all faults are attributable to cars.

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As GM continued its shutdown of SAAB, Genii Capital said that that was the final straw and pulled out of discussions. That was yesterday morning in Europe. By yesterday morning in the USA, GM had announced it had, at last done a deal to sell what's left of SAAB. It would, the company said, go to Spyker after all, and the shutdown would be suspended immediately.

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Take a shoe box and turn it into an aerodynamic shape, forge it in lightweight materials and mount it on a chassis that is more space than frame; stick a large but lightweight engine in the middle and paint it dark green with a wide mustard stripe down the middle, from front to back. And now, the finishing touch: yes, it's a Lotus badge. Oh, and one last thing: that paper fluttering in the driver's hand: it's his entry form for the Lotus Evora Cup.

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After almost a decade of losses as GM moved SAAB from its quirky but profitable models to standardised boxes built from the GM parts bin, the final attempt to save the company has failed. As Spyker dropped out of negotiations, GM says it is starting a wind-down of operations.

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Saying that it could not reach agreement with its consortium partners over a strategy to move SAAB from mass market to premium brand, Koenigsegg has told both GM and the consortium that it's not going ahead with the deal announced in June.

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A stark press announcement from Volkswagen Group Malaysia says that VW Cars Sdn Bhd is no longer an authorised dealer for the marque which is just beginning to introduce models to the Malaysian market that have been hankered over for some time but not available through authorised channels.

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Five foreign subsidiaries of Thermon Manufacturing Company, a San Marcos, Texas-based firm, have agreed to pay a total of USD176,000 in combined civil penalties.

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Whilst major motor manufacturers are struggling, specialist sportscar manufacturer Lotus is expanding its R&D and production facilities. And it has full order books.

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Lotus Engineering is using the recession to develop and launch a range of new ecology and economy-friendly products. The latest, its Range Extender Engines comes just as oil prices climb above USD70 per barrel.

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