Positive sustainability report from SMMT

The SMMT’s 11th annual sustainability report shows that the UK automotive industry has made “significant progress” in cutting CO2 emissions, waste and energy use.  This is despite the recent economic crisis.  Total energy use and CO2 emissions continued to fall in 2009.  The report shows progress in social, environmental and economic sectors of the industry through 2009.  Last year the industry took £23.8bn of the UK’s total exports and employs over 700,000 people.   “The recent string of global investments in the UK-based development and production of low carbon technologies are indicative of the longer-term strength of the sector,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
More from Kate Rumsby on +44 (0)2 073 499 219 or krumsby@smmt.co.uk

US Class 8 truck sales up 21%

Transport Topics reports a “strong surge” by Freightliner Trucks led heavy-duty US truck sales to a 21% increase in September.  This was the ninth straight month of rising Class 8 sales.
More from Transport Topics at www.ttnews.com

Ten Versas for Shrewsbury Park & Ride

Arriva will use ten new Optare Versa midibuses worth some £1.5m to service a new contract in Shrewsbury.  The new buses will work between the city and its three Park & Ride sites.  Arriva Midlands and Shropshire Council specified Versa after trials involving several vehicles.  The criteria included fuel use, emissions and passenger capacity.  The Versa’s modern styling also helped it win the deal, as it should prove appealing to passengers.  The first of the 11-metre Mercedes-Benz powered Versas will be delivered soon.  Each has CCTV, full colour Hanover destination boards, a unique livery and 38 Esteban high back seats with headrests.
More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or drowlands@automotivepr.com

Vauxhall supports Van Best Practice

Vauxhall just said it supports the UK Department of Transport’s Van Best Practice programme.  This aims to help van users to save money by improving the efficiency of their vehicles.  It offers free advice to firms of all sizes to show they can cut costs and emissions.  Vauxhall plans to promote Van Best Practice through its website and its van customer magazine, The Wheels of Business.  “We’ve always been keen to help businesses reduce costs and their impact on the environment,” says Steve Bryant, brand manager for Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles.
More from Justin Hawkins on +44 (0)1 582 427 617 or justin.hawkins@vauxhall.co.uk

Tiss success at Automechanika 2010

Tiss Security Systems says it is still processing the “huge number” of enquiries and leads generated from promoting their TankSafe range of Fuel Security Devices at Automechanika in Frankfurt last month.  “We were thrilled with the response and, in particular, the interest surrounding the TankSafe ‘Impregnable’ device,” said Matthew Rose, director at the firm.  “With rising fuel prices, most of the visitors to our stand told us it is more important than ever to protect fuel.”  Tiss says it had more than 65 “strong enquiries” from 24 different countries around the world.
More from Matthew Rose on +44 (0) 1253 400 401 or matthew.rose@tissltd.com

Trucks to pay for pollution

The EU wants member states to charge trucks for air and noise pollution as well as infrastructure costs.  The idea is to revise the “Eurovignette Directive” to help member states deal with congestion problems better.  The plan offers the opportunity to charge different rates for using the same piece of road at different times of day.  “It is part of a much broader drive to create a ‘fair financial’ framework for transport where prices for the different transport modes reflect the real costs to society and the taxpayer,” according to Siim Kallas, vice-president of the European Commission and responsible for transport.
More from Alex Robinson on +44 (0)2 073 441 614 or arobisonson@smmt.co.uk

Protect your cat

Retainagroup and Cat Clamp have developed a system to protect catalytic converters against theft from vans and other vehicles and make them easier to recover if they are stolen.  The firms say that the combination of the precision-made clamp and Retainagroup’s highly visible, secure marking and registration system presents a formidable challenge to criminals.  In future, each stainless steel clamp will have a special label that can’t be removed without leaving evidence.  There is also a fluid to permanently etch a Retainagroup unique code and telephone number of the company’s secure database, the International Security Register into each catalytic converter.  This offers immediate identification if a theft occurs.
More from Roland Worsley on +44 (0)1 233 333 133 or roland.worsley@retainagroup.co.uk

More payload for Citroën Berlingo

Citroën says the latest upgrade of its Berlingo van offers a 749 kg payload, up 149kg more than the previous model.  To make the point, the firm has named the new van Berlingo First 750.  The payload increase is one of a range of changes that increase the van’s gross vehicle weight from 1,730 to 1,995kg and push its towing capacity to 1,070kg.  The specification also includes remote locking, electric front windows, an electrically adjustable passenger side door mirror, a near-side sliding side load door and an under-body engine protection plate as standard.  The price is £11,435.
More from Phil Reed on +44 (0)2 086 684 048 or leadingpr@aol.com

Brigade cuts alarm prices

Brigade Electronics says more efficient manufacturing processes have allowed the firm to “radically” cut the prices of its white sound reversing alarms.  The firm says its unique and patented alarms are safer, quieter and “at least 35% cheaper” for some models.  The pioneer of what some have called socially acceptable reversing alarms recently said it would phase out the old-style beeping alarms over the next few years on the grounds of safety and social responsibility.  It claims shrill, bleeping alarms cause noise complaints, stress and disorientation.
More from Emily Randall on +44 (0)1 322 420 300 or sales@brigade-electronics.com

Another export Whale

Solihull-based Whale Tankers says it just exported its third VacuumWhale in 12 months to an EU member state.  This latest vehicle is one of the first tankers to feature Whale ‘iWeigh’, a recently developed waste monitoring and receipt printing system that can be upgraded to give predictive axle loading data.  Designed to carry sewage and other non-hazardous sludges, the 9,000 litre VacuumWhale is on a Daf LF55 19-tonne two-axle right hand control truck chassis.
More from Paul Watson on +44 0161 973 6763 or paul@wentworthcomms.co.uk