euronews the network – Car industry’s bumpy road, who’s to blame?

I’m Chris Burns and welcome to The Network where we connect into a matrix of newsmakers to get to the heart of an issue. 
Let’s take a look at the issue in our latest programme.
It sent a shock wave through France’s political system and beyond when Peugeot announced it would slash 8,000 jobs and close at least one plant, sparking protests by workers and by the newly elected Socialist government. The carmaker cited plunging sales as much of Europe slides into recession.
Some blame surging imports due to a new free trade agreement with South Korea, though Volkswagen’s exports to Asia are rising. Others blame lagging productivity, high taxes and labour costs in France and other countries.
Europe’s auto industry has been plagued by overcapacity for years. Some say it is high time for a thinning out and a wave of mergers.
Some see it as a wider problem in Europe — that labour costs and productivity need improvement in many sectors and that propping up old industries should not be at the cost of encouraging new sectors to create new jobs.
Wired into this edition of The Network, from Tokyo is where he is on a trip to Asia, is Ivan Holden, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, ACEA.
Here at the European Parliament in Brussels is Luc Triangle, Deputy General Secretary of European trade union IndustriAll and also from the Parliament is Catherine Trautmann, a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy who is also a member of the French Socialist party.
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Used cars OH-6

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Used cars (OHIO)

Posted by Auto Budget Center on 2012-12-23 13:38:18

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Tuning Diesels: Simple Modifications to Improve Diesel Car Performance

This is a quick guide to modifications to get more from any diesel engined car. While it is possible to go to much further, most of these diesel tuning suggestions are relatively cheap, quick and simple.

Engine Upgrades

As diesel engines use compression ignition, the two main areas we are looking at for diesel tuning is the injection system and air intake. Adding a tuning chip or external tuning box allows you to get more from your engine. Diesel engines often come in several performance variants, and are tuned to run on a wide range of fuel qualities.

Modern diesel tuning systems – either the external diesel tuning box or internal chip remapping will adjust the engine parameters dynamically to give better power at all rev ranges. As a bonus, since you have more power available, you will often find you use less fuel overall – unless you have a very heavy right foot.

Choosing between a external tuning box and diesel remapping is largely a matter of preference. Costs are similar – normally around £300-£500 for a quality system. Diesel tuning boxes can often be installed at home, while engine remapping will require a visit to a workshop, or a mobile workshop visit. The external tuning boxes also have the advantage that they can be removed if the car is going to a main dealer for servicing, or you want to transfer it to a new vehicle.

Some older systems for tuning diesel engines just ‘fooled’ the ECU into think it was colder, causing smoking and idling problems, but modern tuning boxes and tuning chips are much more complex, varying the adjustments they make depending on the engine requirements. These modern diesel tuning systems are probably the single biggest upgrade available to most people, with up to 35% more power promised, depending on your make and model.

A replacement air filter will give increased air flow, so giving more potential power. Almost all modern diesel engines will automatically allow the for increased air flow, giving a small boost of a handful of percent. Even replacing your current filter with a new standard filter will help, as they do become clogged over time.

See BHP Plus for a range of Diesel Tuning Boxes and Air Filters.

Tyre Upgrades

Surprisingly, tyres can give a significant boost to performance – although perhaps not straight line acceleration. Sports tyres give better grip (generally at the cost of reduced lifespan), which will improve cornering and braking.

Switching to a lower profile type tyre improves handling by reducing the amount the tyres distort under heavy cornering. They do, however, generally give a harsher, noisier ride quality.

Sport and low profile tyres are more expensive than regular tyres, but the only way to see if the gains are worth is is to try them, or try two identical vehicles with and without them fitted.

One other tyre upgrade worth mentioning is winter tyres. With a rubber compound that stays softer at lower temperatures, and tread designed …