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Vauxhall Zafira SUV 2016

Vauxhall/Opel confirms plans for a new SUV model as part of a 27-strong product offensive

2014-11-20 14:41

Vauxhall has confirmed it intends to build a large SUV and it’ll be on sale by 2020.

Just like Auto Express exclusively revealed last month, the GM-owned brand intends to add a trio of high-riding models to steal market share from key rivals - one of which is a large SUV. Others include replacements for the Meriva and Zafira MPVs.

Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, said that the flagship model will be produced at Opel’s headquarters in Russelsheim by 2020. Some 245 million euro will be invested in the plant to build the car, while additional investments of more than half a billion euros in the engine and transmission plants in Russelsheim, Kaiserslautern and Tychy (Poland).

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The three new cars will be part of a 27-strong product offensive by Opel/Vauxhall which also includes 17 new engines.

Barra said: “Opel/Vauxhall is of high strategic importance for GM. The product offensive with 27 new models and 17 new engines has enjoyed a very successful start. These additional investments will help the brands shine again and further strengthen our position in Europe. They are a clear sign of GM’s commitment to Opel/Vauxhall, to Germany and to Europe.”

James Batchelor
State says automaker hid safety defects; Toyota minivan passes key crash test; a $250,000 Caddy?; slow sales for fast rides.
Road safety week, motorway, accident, highways agency

Safety organisations call for change to drink-drive limit & driver development ahead of General Election

2014-11-20 13:02

Dropping the drink-drive limit, providing clear guidelines on driverless cars and continuing driver development are just some of the proposals put forward by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) in their respective road safety manifestos.

With this week marking National Road Safety Week, and the next General Election due in May 2015, the two bodies have put forward what they think political parties and the future Government should be focusing on to make the UK’s roads even safer.

MPs want killer drivers to face manslaughter charges

PACTS is putting much of its focus on a UK-wide lowering of the current blood-alcohol limit from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml. “Reducing the drink-drive limit would be a high priority for us,” a spokesman said. “Scotland and Northern Ireland look like they will do it. That leaves England, Wales and Malta as the only European countries with such a high limit.” PACTS believes that this could save at least 40 lives per year.

Also on the body’s manifesto is a return to national targets on reducing the number of road deaths and casualties per year – scrapped under the current Government. “Targets are not a magic solution, but it’s a statement of intent,” the spokesman explained. “It gives local authorities something to work towards and helps galvanise resources, as road safety currently struggles to compete with other issues, such as child welfare.” PACTS also wants the Government to adopt Single/Double Summer Time – putting the UK one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead in summer. It claims this could save 50 lives a year.

Meanwhile, further education for all drivers is at the heart of IAM’s agenda. “We want drivers to take their driving to a higher level,” a spokesman told us.

“With so much traffic on the roads and so many distractions, like phones and sat-navs, we want motorists to improve their own driving skills.”

Britain's most dangerous roads revealed

Both bodies want to see more done to ensure that young drivers are ready for the road. “Once they’ve passed their test, we want them to continue learning and become more accomplished drivers. In their lessons, they won’t have driven on a motorway or in the dark.”

IAM hopes for road safety advertising budgets to be reinstated, too, and plans to keep older drivers safer for longer.

Road Safety Manifesto 2014

PACTS and IAM’s proposed policies for future UK Government

Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS):

• Reduce the general drink-drive blood alcohol limit to 50mg /100ml

• Create safer conditions for the use of the network by adopting Single/Double Summer Time

• Upgrade the strategic and local road network targeting sections and areas of the highest risk

• Improve knowledge and understanding of collisions and casualties in UK road transport

• Set challenging national quantitative targets for road safety

Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM):

• Keeping older drivers safer for longer

• Reducing the risk to young drivers

• Continuing driver development is key to safer roads

• Cuts to Government road safety advertising budgets must be reversed

• Clear guidelines should be set now for driverless cars

What do you think needs to be done to improve road safety in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below...

Chris Ebbs
TRW Automotive shareholders today approved a $13.5 billion takeover offer by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen, the companies said, paving the way for a new global automotive supply powerhouse to rival Robert Bosch.
TRW Automotive shareholders today approved a $13.5 billion takeover offer by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen, the companies said, paving the way for a new global automotive supply powerhouse to rival Robert Bosch.

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