New Merc E200 to come $7,000 cheaper
Bumper to bumper Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor

Headline: New Merc E200 to come $7,000 cheaper

IN anticipation of lower COE prices in the coming tender, Cycle & Carriage has tagged the new Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor at $213,000 on the road, $7,000 lower than previously. The package is only valid for one bidding round, similar to the $165,000 deal for the former C200 car. Likewise, Performance Motors has cut the price of the BMW 318i substantially. Observers feel the price cuts are possible also on the back of a weak Deutschemark and euro, vis-a-vis the Japanese yen. Still, it is not a bad time to pick up a Merc. It wasn't too long ago when the E200 was priced at $250,000.

Headline: Volvo soft-launching S60 today

VOLVO distributor S M Motors is having a soft-launch for the sporty S60 today at its showroom in Alexandra Road. Targeted at cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-class and BMW 3-series, the S60 is scheduled to be officially launched at the Singapore Motor Show on Nov 10. Visitors to the pre-launch event today can expect "introductory offers". The two-litre light-pressure turbo is going for $159,888, while the 250-horsepower T5 is going for $179,888. "Guaranteed" packages are $168,888 and $190,888 respectively. Both come with in-built GSM phones. Delivery is due to start in late-December or early-January.

Headline: Renault ends talks to buy Samsung CV

RENAULT of France has ended talks to buy Samsung Commercial Vehicle after more than one year of talks, putting the survival of the Korean company in question. According to Bloomberg, the European carmaker withdrew from the negotiations on Oct 10, saying it would have been burdened by a second takeover after acquiring 70 per cent of Samsung Group's car business earlier this year.

Headline: New Proton Waja to hit S'pore roads

CYCLE & Carriage is unveiling the new Proton Waja tomorrow at Takashimaya Square. The first new model to follow the successful and long-running Wira line, the Waja boasts more Malaysian content. It also has input from Lotus Engineering - courtesy of Proton's ownership of the UK sports car specialist. The variant available now is a 1.6-litre 16-valve, both in manual and auto form. A 1.8-litre version will arrive later. The launch of the Waja coincides with Proton's use of a new tiger head emblem. Question now is whether the new car will have the same roaring success as the Wira.

Headline: Momo names sole distributor

STAMFORD Tyres has just been appointed the sole distributor of Momo Road Wheels in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, and Momo Corse line of racing products in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Hongkong. Momo is an established manufacturer of high-quality and uniquely designed steering wheels, gear knobs and other racing accessories. This has been the case since 1964, when Ferrari won the Formula One World Championship with the first ever Momo steering wheel. The Corse racing accessories include steering wheels, fire-resistant suits, a Kart line of accessories, seats, safety harnesses, pedal covers and technical accessories.

Headline: SDG car plates bidding results on Sat

AS today is a public holiday, results of the weekly bidding exercise for SDG-series car number plates will be announced on Saturday, Oct 28, after 2pm. Bidders can check the results via the Land Transport Authority's 24-hour pay Infoline on 1900-9140900. Otherwise, wait till Monday, Oct 30, to collect the results by hand.

Headline: Porsche recalls mountain bikes

IF you own a Porsche mountain bike, read this. The German sports car maker is carrying out tests on 713 of its bicycles. The models affected are Bike S (white), Bike FS (blue) and Bike FS Evolution (carbon frame). The air-cushioned front fork of these bikes requires rework as the upper closure cap of the left fork member can break due to a potential inadequate wall thickness. The fault can result in physical injury to the rider. Owners will be informed in writing to send their affected bikes to dealers for rectification. This is the automotive industry first known bicycle recall.

Headline: Keynote speaker at LA Auto Show

WOLFGANG Reitzle, the ex-BMW board member who now heads Ford's Premier Automotive Group, will be keynote speaker at the LA Auto Show scheduled for January. He will address the Motor Press Guild at a breakfast talk on Jan 4, 2001. Among the more colourful and respected characters in the industry, Dr Reitzle was instrumental in reshaping California's automotive landscape by relocating the North American headquarters of Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin to the West Coast.

Headline: New automotive portal launched

ANOTHER automotive portal, DreamMotor.com, has been launched officially. According to CEO Alan Tan, since the website's Singapore beta launch in June, "we have received encouraging response and feedback from both dealers and public users". The site encompasses everything from cars and bikes to yachts and helicopters. It also provides the latest automotive news, listings of buyers and sellers of vehicles, accessories, lifestyle and merchandising products. There is even financing and insurance information.

Headline: Saab golf's cause

THE Saab Golf Challenge 2000 was successfully held at Laguna National Golf and Country Club on Oct 18. Inaugurated in 1993, the event saw about 100 participants, comprising Saab owners and their friends, as well as specially invited guests from Malaysia, congregating not only for a game of golf, but also to play for a good cause. This year's top honours went to Citibanker Jeremy Soo. But no one walked away with the hole-in-one prize of a Saab 9-5. During the prize-giving ceremony, Saab agent Trans Eurokars announced that it was sponsoring a transport vehicle for the Red Cross Home for the Disabled.

Headline: Bridgestone to shut down 3 US plants

BRIDGESTONE will shut down three US plants and lay off 450 workers because demand for its tyres has dropped in light of a massive recall by subsidiary Firestone. According to Bloomberg, Bridgestone will close plants in La Vergne, Tennessee and Oklahoma City for 28 days. Its Decatur, Illinois plant will close for 14 days, and about 25 per cent of the workforce there are being released for an indefinite period of time. Firestone is recalling some eight million tyres which are suspected of having caused numerous accidents, with over 100 of them fatal.

Headline: Eating drive

AUTO adventure group Wheels For Fun is organising an "eat all you want" trip next Saturday and Sunday. The menu includes top-grade durians and red rice wine. Charges are $49.99 for adults and $35 for children between four and 12. A $20 car registration fee applies. For details, call 235-2591.

Headline: NightRider goes two-ways

TIBS NightRider bus service has gone two-directional. There are eight routes criss-crossing the island, linking population centres to entertainment hubs. The NightRider service was started in March, but was only one-way, bringing revellers back home and providing an alternative to taxi services.