Clipper Race: Trades finally arrive:
(February 10, 2018; Day 11) – Following the recent equator crossing ceremonies, the North Easterly trade winds that the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race teams have been wishing for have finally kicked in for the fleet leaders. The top three remain unchanged from yesterday but it is close at the top with just two nautical miles separating the race leader, Qingdao, from Dare To Lead, in second.
Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch reports: “As wished for the North Easterly trade winds finally arrived. We got the spinnakers out of their bags and are running towards Sanya at 10+ knots again. Over the next 300nm, we will pass quite a few islands, reefs and shoals and I hope I wil…
Full Article: Scuttlebutt Sailing News – Clipper Race: Trades finally arrive, Editor
VIDEO: Hard water sailing is for kids too:
GM’s sale of Saab has some wondering what would become of certain Saab vehicles already in the planning pipeline. A newly updated 9-5 line is a go, but what about a product that won’t be out until late in the 2010 calendar year – Saab’s 2011 9-4X crossover? Well, according to Saab that vehicle will hit the market as planned and on schedule too.
The Saab 9-4X is a product much needed by the Swedish automaker as it repositions itself as a distinctly unique brand. The manufacturer’s earlier foray into the world of SUVs was a failure as the current 9-7X is based on an aged GM truck platform Saab shares with Chevrolet and other US brands. The upcoming 9-4X and the recently released Cadillac SRX utilize a modified version of GM’s Theta platform.
Gas And Diesel Powerplants Offered
Engine choices haven’t been finalized but the new Saab will offer both gasoline and diesel powerplants. The latter engine choice will enable the 9-4X to compete all across Europe where gas-diesel sales are evenly divided. No word yet if the Mexican built crossover will offer a diesel option for its North America dealers as American and Canadian customer demand for these types of engines remains quite low.
The five passenger Saab 9-4X will be offered in both front and all wheel drive variations. Leather and chrome treatments will be found throughout the cabin with dual zone air conditioning, voice recognition navigation system, high end audio system with a hard drive device along with all of the latest safety features customers demand will be offered. In addition, a cargo management u-rail system, OnStar, Bluetooth capability and a theft-deterrent alarm system will be standard across the Saab 9-4X line.
Battling Stiff European Competition
The Saab 9-4X will be up against stiff competition when it debuts. The Volvo XC60 occupies the same segment and offers a long list of safety features including City Safety where the crossover is able to automatically come to a complete stop when it “senses” that it is about to hit the car in front of it. Saab doesn’t have a similar safety feature to offer buyers, instead it will be relying on its competitive price point to help it battle Volvo, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes for customers. Expect the front wheel drive Saab 9-4X to retail in the low 30s with the all wheel drive version priced from the mid 30s.
Even well before the Saab 9-4X is released, its new owners will need to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that Saab remains a viable player for many years to come. Hybrid and alternative fuel technology are options for Saab as are alliances with GM, Opel and others to help the Swedish automaker offer an expanded line up in order to maintain a viable market presence for the long term.
Max Rossi writes for FCPgroton.com http://www.fcpgroton.com/ a worldwide foreign auto parts distributor. Get European car parts at affordable prices.
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