Renault out to lead green future in the Middle East

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Infiniti Q30
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Land Rover Discovery pulling a road train.
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Renault ZOE long range electric vehicle.
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The new Audi Q5. 
Updated 07 October 2017
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Renault out to lead green future in the Middle East

Renault, in conjunction with its alliance partners, has released details of a six-year plan which is hoped will cement its reputation as EV trailblazers in the region. The Renault, Nissan & Mitsubishi motors alliance has pledged to launch 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles by 2022. The two announcements are significant steps in supporting the “Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050” which envisions Dubai having the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. The new incentives, announced by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, allow new EV buyers to charge their vehicles for free at Dewa-approved stations until 2019, access free designated green parking in Dubai, qualify for free electric vehicle registration and renewal fees, as well as exemption from Salik’s tag fee and a license plate sticker identifying the vehicle as an electric car.

Audi has presented two new models: The new Q5 and SQ5 which are now available in Middle East markets including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon and Jordan. The SUV with the four rings combines the sportiness of an Audi sedan with a multifaceted character of an SUV and a highly flexible interior. Whether it is connectivity, efficiency or driver assistance systems – it is hoped the new Audi Q5 and SQ5 set standards in their field. “The first Audi Q5 was for many years the world’s best-selling SUV in its class. It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management at Audi AG. “With the new Q5 we are setting the bar a notch higher. Among the great innovations are the Quattro drive system with ultra-technology, highly efficient engine, the air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.”

One year on from the launch, the Infiniti Q30 hatch has become one of the best-selling vehicles for the manufacturer in the Middle East. Since its introduction in August 2016, Infiniti has delivered almost 1,200 vehicles to customers around the region. This makes the Infiniti Q30 the dominant performer among premium hatchbacks in the C-segment. Juergen Schmitz, managing director, Infiniti Middle East said: “When the Q30 was introduced, it marked a new chapter for our brand. It was the first ever hatch to be introduced by Infiniti – something we felt could contribute strongly to the premium C-segment.

The Land Rover Discovery has taken on a 110-ton road train and the Australian Outback and won. The sight of a seven-trailer truck being pulled by an SUV sounds far fetched — but that’s exactly what happened when Land Rover put the Discovery to the ultimate towing test. Land Rover completed the impressive display of towing capability by pulling a 100-meter road train in the remote Northern Territory to announce the arrival of the 2018 model year Discovery. The Discovery Td6 has a maximum certified towing capacity of 3,500kg on public roads but successfully towed a 110-ton road train 16km along a closed section of the Lasseter Highway, thanks to its 258PS 3.0-liter diesel engine and four-wheel-drive traction.


Tesla production leader Doug Field exits company

Tesla produced 5,000 of its Model 3 cars, along with a combined total of 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Tesla production leader Doug Field exits company

SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla on Monday confirmed that the head of Model 3 production, who went on leave after chief executive Elon Musk took over his duties, will not be returning.
The departure of engineering senior vice president Doug Field came as California-based Tesla appeared to have finally hit a self-imposed goal of cranking out 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in a week.
Tesla co-founder Musk fired off a Twitter post over the weekend saying “7,000 cars, 7 days.”
In a note to investors on Monday, Analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities said that in the preceding week, Tesla produced 5,000 of its Model 3 cars, along with a combined total of 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles.
Tesla has been under pressure to increase production to show it can operate profitably and at the kind of scale needed to be considered a major auto company.
Musk has been managing the Tesla production line, which has been rejiggered to pump out cars faster.
Field will not be returning to the company, according to Tesla.
“After almost five years at Tesla, Doug Field is moving on,” a company spokesman told AFP.
“We’d like to thank Doug for his hard work over the years and for everything he has done for Tesla.”
Tesla announced in June that it was cutting nine percent of its workforce to enhance profitability, but said the move would not affect an ambitious production ramp-up of its Model 3 sedan.
The job cuts are part of a company-wide restructuring to address excess staff in some areas due to the company’s speedy growth, Musk said in an email to employees.
The cuts concern salaried staff but not production workers and will not affect Model 3 output targets, said Musk, who characterized the downsizing as an acknowledgement of the need to focus more on costs.
“Given that Tesla has never made an annual profit in the almost 15 years since we have existed, profit is obviously not what motivates us,” Musk said in the message.
“What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable.”
Shares of Tesla closed the formal trading day down 2.3 percent to $335.07 but regained some of that ground in after-market trades.