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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Election Fog

Today was a mixture of fog, rain and snow which perfectly reflects the ongoing election campaigns - partly confusing with a chance of victory. Polls continue to favour the Conservative party so people wait for a game changer or we head into another Conservative minority or maybe even a majority government this time.
Sometimes we have a vague idea that we will probably vote for a certain party and will only change our mind if they say something that makes us mad, or if the other party says something so great that it completely changes our mind about the candidate.

I don't really understand the commercial that says "A vote for the Liberals is a vote for Michael Ignatieff" because I am pretty sure that's the way it has always been. You vote for both the local representative and the leader of the party when you cast your vote. Conversely, a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for Stephen Harper. If that's the most negative advertising that's going to happen I will be impressed by how civil the election is being run.
We need everyone to jump on the streetcar, or bandwagon, and get out there and vote on election day May 2nd, 2011. You can pick one of the five main parties (Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc Quebecois or the Green Party) or chose an independent or other registered political party like the Pirate Party of Canada or the Rhinoceros Party.

Remember, you can't talk about the election without talking about parties!

You know what I like about the Toronto Roller Derby? EVERYTHING! I like the scantily clad battlin' femmes, I like how the action and excitement of a hard fought bout is worth every penny of the reasonable ticket price, I like how friendly and often shy the ladies are when greeting their cheering fans and I like how the beer isn't $20 a can.
The 2010 Champions Gore-Gore Rollergirls will be rolling against Chicks Ahoy at the Downsview Park Hanger - game time at 6:30pm. The league says "The Chicks Ahoy! are no strangers to victory. Team captain Tara Part is confident the sailors will emerge victorious in their rematch against the champs: “We've been training really hard on developing our strategies and especially our team work... which I believe is the key to a successful team.”As for the Gores, the champs are eager to defend their position at the top. 
Taking inspiration from the leopard whose motif appears on their uniforms, team captain Brim Stone (above) claims “Adaptability, speed, stealth and opportunistic hunting habits will win the Gores this game.”
Bambi

Land Shark from the Death Track Dolls

Doors open at 6:30 pm with skaters hitting the track at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and at our ticket outlets for $12, or at the door for $18.  Children aged 9 and under are welcome without charge (with adult accompaniment). Bring blankets and folding chairs for trackside seating, or find a spot on the bleachers surrounding the track. Food and refreshments are available for purchase."


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

- Stuttgart carmaker Daimler takes part in the tour "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom" ("SWR3 - Three days powered by electricity") with a large fleet of electric cars
- Winners of the SWR3 draw experience driving pleasure and the high everyday practicality of electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and smart for themselves

Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 31, 2011 – From 31 March to 2 April the 60 winners of a draw held by radio station SWR3 will have an opportunity to drive various electric cars during a three day tour of the broadcasting region and to form their own impression of the performance, everyday practicality and driving feel of the locally emission-free vehicles.



Daimler is supporting the unique road show "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom" with a total of 25 electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart. The tour will cover almost 500 kilometres right across the SWR3 broadcasting region from Koblenz to Ulm and will give SWR3 listeners an insight into the electric future of the automobile.

Participants include the smart fortwo electric drive - the electrified pioneer of urban mobility, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, the Vito E-CELL van and the B-Class F-CELL. With this vehicle fleet the inventor of the automobile is providing the majority of the participating electric vehicles and is once again demonstrating how practical and reliable its electric vehicles with both battery and fuel cell technology are today.

"The tour is an excellent practical opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities that e-mobility will offer all citizens in future. This is why we are supporting the SWR3 tour and providing 25 electric vehicles", says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. And he continues "The tour is a great idea. It's really customer-oriented and promises sheer driving pleasure. And because the 60 drivers will convey their impressions live on SWR3 radio to the many listeners, the road show is authentic and shows that with Daimler it is possible to experience the future of driving on the streets nowadays."

Three days powered by electricity

To mark the 125th anniversary of the automobile, for the first time a road show with electric vehicles will take place in the SWR3 broadcasting region. The radio station recently held a draw for seats in the locally emission-free vehicles. A total of more than 30 electric vehicles will take part in the tour. In addition to the 25 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart, cars made by Tesla, Mitsubishi, Renault, Peugeot and Citroën will also take part in "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom". The tour will start in Koblenz and pass through Bingen, Bruchsal, Worms, Ludwigsburg and Schwäbisch Gmünd before reaching Ulm. At the stops of the respective stages interested visitors will have an opportunity to find out about the technologies and ways of charging and refuelling the various vehicles.

Wide-ranging fleet of electric vehicles

The vehicles taking part in the tour demonstrate just how varied the Daimler model range of electric cars already is today. The participating smart fortwo electric drive is the ideal battery-electric driven car for the city. With a range of 135 kilometres the electric smart is great fun to drive in urban areas. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL is powered by hydrogen and has a locally emission-free range of around 400 kilometres. It is also ideal for longer journeys and can be fully refuelled in less than three minutes. The A-Class E-CELL offers lots of space, versatility and a very high level of comfort – without producing any emissions. With a range of more than 200 kilometres it is suitable for zero local emission driving in urban areas and in the countryside. A battery-electric van is also taking part in the tour in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL. This environmentally friendly and quiet van is particularly advantageous for deliveries and transportation in inner city areas. All four models have reached full production maturity and are already available to selected customers.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

- Stuttgart carmaker Daimler takes part in the tour "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom" ("SWR3 - Three days powered by electricity") with a large fleet of electric cars
- Winners of the SWR3 draw experience driving pleasure and the high everyday practicality of electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and smart for themselves

Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 31, 2011 – From 31 March to 2 April the 60 winners of a draw held by radio station SWR3 will have an opportunity to drive various electric cars during a three day tour of the broadcasting region and to form their own impression of the performance, everyday practicality and driving feel of the locally emission-free vehicles.



Daimler is supporting the unique road show "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom" with a total of 25 electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart. The tour will cover almost 500 kilometres right across the SWR3 broadcasting region from Koblenz to Ulm and will give SWR3 listeners an insight into the electric future of the automobile.

Participants include the smart fortwo electric drive - the electrified pioneer of urban mobility, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, the Vito E-CELL van and the B-Class F-CELL. With this vehicle fleet the inventor of the automobile is providing the majority of the participating electric vehicles and is once again demonstrating how practical and reliable its electric vehicles with both battery and fuel cell technology are today.

"The tour is an excellent practical opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities that e-mobility will offer all citizens in future. This is why we are supporting the SWR3 tour and providing 25 electric vehicles", says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. And he continues "The tour is a great idea. It's really customer-oriented and promises sheer driving pleasure. And because the 60 drivers will convey their impressions live on SWR3 radio to the many listeners, the road show is authentic and shows that with Daimler it is possible to experience the future of driving on the streets nowadays."

Three days powered by electricity

To mark the 125th anniversary of the automobile, for the first time a road show with electric vehicles will take place in the SWR3 broadcasting region. The radio station recently held a draw for seats in the locally emission-free vehicles. A total of more than 30 electric vehicles will take part in the tour. In addition to the 25 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart, cars made by Tesla, Mitsubishi, Renault, Peugeot and Citroën will also take part in "SWR3 – Drei Tage unter Strom". The tour will start in Koblenz and pass through Bingen, Bruchsal, Worms, Ludwigsburg and Schwäbisch Gmünd before reaching Ulm. At the stops of the respective stages interested visitors will have an opportunity to find out about the technologies and ways of charging and refuelling the various vehicles.

Wide-ranging fleet of electric vehicles

The vehicles taking part in the tour demonstrate just how varied the Daimler model range of electric cars already is today. The participating smart fortwo electric drive is the ideal battery-electric driven car for the city. With a range of 135 kilometres the electric smart is great fun to drive in urban areas. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL is powered by hydrogen and has a locally emission-free range of around 400 kilometres. It is also ideal for longer journeys and can be fully refuelled in less than three minutes. The A-Class E-CELL offers lots of space, versatility and a very high level of comfort – without producing any emissions. With a range of more than 200 kilometres it is suitable for zero local emission driving in urban areas and in the countryside. A battery-electric van is also taking part in the tour in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL. This environmentally friendly and quiet van is particularly advantageous for deliveries and transportation in inner city areas. All four models have reached full production maturity and are already available to selected customers.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


On March 29, the three B-Class F-CELL vehicles started in Sydney and embarked on their 13th leg, therewith starting the third stage of the F-CELL World Drive. Within three days the tour will cover 1,300 kilometres. On top of that, Australian media took the chance to test drive the B-Class F-CELL during a press event, one day before its start in Australia.

Follow the F-CELL World Drive online on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mercedesbenzfcell











Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


On March 29, the three B-Class F-CELL vehicles started in Sydney and embarked on their 13th leg, therewith starting the third stage of the F-CELL World Drive. Within three days the tour will cover 1,300 kilometres. On top of that, Australian media took the chance to test drive the B-Class F-CELL during a press event, one day before its start in Australia.

Follow the F-CELL World Drive online on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mercedesbenzfcell











Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.












We've previously brought into your attention the likelihood of an extensive partnership between Daimler AG and the British luxury brand Aston Martin. More details have come to light lately and indicate that talks amid the two companies have reached an advanced phase. The plans are to officially announce the deal this year, most probably towards the autumn, when Maybach will launch a brand new concept car at Frankfurt. This vehicle will showcase the new direction adopted by the uber-premium manufacturer and will be the first demonstration of the Daimler-Aston Martin alliance. The future series production Maybach model is tipped to underpin the technical platform and technologies of the seventh generation S-Klasse, to be unveiled in late 2012, but otherwise, it will be completely mastered by Aston Martin, whose expertise in the luxury field is a proven certitude. As part of the cooperation, Daimler will supply the British firm with their newest "V" engines and powertrains for the forthcoming Aston models: a four-dour coupe aimed at Bentley and Rolls-Royce and a SUV version based on the Lagonda concept of 2009. By sharing parts and knowledge, both entities intend to cut production costs by up to 50 percent. Moreover, the assembly of the new Maybach will be relocated to Aston Martin's facility in Gaydon, United Kingdom.


Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


We've previously brought into your attention the likelihood of an extensive partnership between Daimler AG and the British luxury brand Aston Martin. More details have come to light lately and indicate that talks amid the two companies have reached an advanced phase. The plans are to officially announce the deal this year, most probably towards the autumn, when Maybach will launch a brand new concept car at Frankfurt. This vehicle will showcase the new direction adopted by the uber-premium manufacturer and will be the first demonstration of the Daimler-Aston Martin alliance. The future series production Maybach model is tipped to underpin the technical platform and technologies of the seventh generation S-Klasse, to be unveiled in late 2012, but otherwise, it will be completely mastered by Aston Martin, whose expertise in the luxury field is a proven certitude. As part of the cooperation, Daimler will supply the British firm with their newest "V" engines and powertrains for the forthcoming Aston models: a four-dour coupe aimed at Bentley and Rolls-Royce and a SUV version based on the Lagonda concept of 2009. By sharing parts and knowledge, both entities intend to cut production costs by up to 50 percent. Moreover, the assembly of the new Maybach will be relocated to Aston Martin's facility in Gaydon, United Kingdom.


Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

- Significant increase in sales, revenues, and earnings
- Five strategic approaches for sustained success
- Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “We plan to surpass the unit sales mark of 40,000 buses in 2011.”

Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 31, 2011 – Growth in the bus industry kept pace with global economic recovery last year, as the increase in worldwide bus sales exceeded expectations. The bus market grew by 17 percent last year compared to 2009. This resulted in a total volume of approximately 305,000 units. The growth forecast issued last year for 2010 was around four percent. Daimler Buses was able to more than profit from this development, as its growth significantly outpaced that of the market as a whole last year.



Daimler Buses sold 39,118 chassis and complete buses in 2010. This figure corresponds to a 20-percent increase from the 32,482 units sold in 2009, and is also nearly as high as the record figure posted in 2008.

These sales generated revenues of €4.6 billion for the unit in 2010 (+8 percent). EBIT last year rose 17 percent to €215 million (2009: €183 million).

Speaking in Stuttgart today, Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, had the following to say about business development in 2010: “Daimler Buses was once again the top performer in the global bus business. We were able to grow more rapidly than the market as a whole and this growth exceeded our own forecasts.”

Five strategic approaches for sustained success

“Daimler Buses is already the world’s most profitable bus manufacturer,” said Schick. “Our goal now is to achieve a return on sales of six percent on average across the entire business cycle, and thus consolidate our benchmark position. We will do this by fully exploiting existing growth potential in our traditional markets and by further expanding business in new ones. We will also extend our technological leadership. At the same time, we are continually working together with our approximately 17,000 employees to further improve our efficiency. As an attractive employer, we can rely on a highly qualified and effective team that will makes us more able than other companies to overcome future challenges.”

Daimler Buses will introduce two important new products in Europe this year: the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban bus and the small Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 77 city bus. The two models will make a major contribution to expanding the unit’s leading position even further. In the U.S. last year, Daimler Buses presented the new Setra TopClass S 417 and the Orion VII transit bus with EPA10 exhaust-gas treatment technology.

The Competence Center for Mercedes-Benz bus chassis in Brazil puts the unit in an outstanding position to participate in the dynamic market growth expected there. Moreover, the World Cup soccer championship in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 will provide additional sales momentum.
In 2020, one out of every five buses with a GVW of over eight tons will be sold in India (currently the world’s second-largest bus market after China). Daimler Buses therefore plans to exploit all possible sales and service network synergies with Daimler Trucks in order to benefit from this growth as well. Besides the travel coaches it has already introduced to the Indian market, Daimler Buses is developing additional customized products for India.

Schick pointed out that markets like Indonesia also offer potential for profitable growth. “Strong growth was recorded in Indonesia over the last few years through the modernization of city bus fleets and infrastructure,” he said. “In fact, market volume in that country will nearly double over the next eight years. Sales growth of 73 percent in 2010 now gives us a market share of 40 percent in the country, and we’re very confident that we’ll be able to highly benefit from growth in Indonesia in the coming years as well.”

Growth through new products

Expansion of business in new markets offers growth opportunities that can be exploited with the help of new business models. Traffic volumes in large cities will continue to rise significantly — and this will also lead to an increase in demand for viable public transportation systems. A promising growth sector here is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a system in which buses run in extremely short intervals in separate traffic lanes. Daimler Buses is already active in this area in cities like Nantes, Istanbul, Bogota, and Johannesburg.

“Over the next few years, the potential for BRT systems is particularly high in Brazil,” Schick said. “We believe the World Cup and the Olympics will generate bus sales potential of 5,000 units.”

Daimler Buses is pursuing its vision of sustainable mobility with innovative products such as hybrid and fuel cell buses. Daimler Buses in North America has supplied the world’s biggest fleet of hybrid buses (more than 3,200), for instance. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec Hybrid urban buses are already in operation in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Krefeld, Mühlheim, Rotterdam, and Milan. As part of the EU’s CHIC (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities) project, 26 Mercedes-Benz fuel cell-hybrid buses will begin to operate in five cities this year in order to demonstrate the suitability of fuel cell technology for everyday use.

Operational Excellence — the fourth pillar of Daimler Buses’ business strategy — focuses on consistent and continual efficiency enhancement. It’s therefore only logical that the unit is investing in its production locations. The body-in-white manufacturing facility in Mannheim was expanded, for example, as was the paint shop in Neu-Ulm. In 2010, Bus production capacity in Turkey was increased to 4,000 units per year in order to be able to respond more effectively to market demands. The division will also invest in the expansion of its production capacities in Latin America this year.

Daimler Buses’ production network ensures cost efficiency and flexibility. The division’s four European facilities form a flexible production network, thereby guaranteeing optimal capacity utilization and the ability to react effectively in the normally weak months at the beginning of the year and the more active ones in the second half.

With its innovative, high-quality new products, Daimler Buses expects to remain ahead of its competitors as the world’s leading supplier of buses over 8 tons GVW. The division also expects to build on last year’s high sales figures in 2011 and 2012. However, the room for growth is rather limited due to the anticipated development of the core markets in Western Europe and Latin America.

Schick summarized the expectations for 2011 as follows: “We expect global bus market volume to total approximately 310,000 units this year. As a result, we have set ourselves the firm goal of surpassing the important 40,000 unit sales mark for Daimler Buses in 2011.”



Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

- Significant increase in sales, revenues, and earnings
- Five strategic approaches for sustained success
- Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “We plan to surpass the unit sales mark of 40,000 buses in 2011.”

Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 31, 2011 – Growth in the bus industry kept pace with global economic recovery last year, as the increase in worldwide bus sales exceeded expectations. The bus market grew by 17 percent last year compared to 2009. This resulted in a total volume of approximately 305,000 units. The growth forecast issued last year for 2010 was around four percent. Daimler Buses was able to more than profit from this development, as its growth significantly outpaced that of the market as a whole last year.



Daimler Buses sold 39,118 chassis and complete buses in 2010. This figure corresponds to a 20-percent increase from the 32,482 units sold in 2009, and is also nearly as high as the record figure posted in 2008.

These sales generated revenues of €4.6 billion for the unit in 2010 (+8 percent). EBIT last year rose 17 percent to €215 million (2009: €183 million).

Speaking in Stuttgart today, Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, had the following to say about business development in 2010: “Daimler Buses was once again the top performer in the global bus business. We were able to grow more rapidly than the market as a whole and this growth exceeded our own forecasts.”

Five strategic approaches for sustained success

“Daimler Buses is already the world’s most profitable bus manufacturer,” said Schick. “Our goal now is to achieve a return on sales of six percent on average across the entire business cycle, and thus consolidate our benchmark position. We will do this by fully exploiting existing growth potential in our traditional markets and by further expanding business in new ones. We will also extend our technological leadership. At the same time, we are continually working together with our approximately 17,000 employees to further improve our efficiency. As an attractive employer, we can rely on a highly qualified and effective team that will makes us more able than other companies to overcome future challenges.”

Daimler Buses will introduce two important new products in Europe this year: the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban bus and the small Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 77 city bus. The two models will make a major contribution to expanding the unit’s leading position even further. In the U.S. last year, Daimler Buses presented the new Setra TopClass S 417 and the Orion VII transit bus with EPA10 exhaust-gas treatment technology.

The Competence Center for Mercedes-Benz bus chassis in Brazil puts the unit in an outstanding position to participate in the dynamic market growth expected there. Moreover, the World Cup soccer championship in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 will provide additional sales momentum.
In 2020, one out of every five buses with a GVW of over eight tons will be sold in India (currently the world’s second-largest bus market after China). Daimler Buses therefore plans to exploit all possible sales and service network synergies with Daimler Trucks in order to benefit from this growth as well. Besides the travel coaches it has already introduced to the Indian market, Daimler Buses is developing additional customized products for India.

Schick pointed out that markets like Indonesia also offer potential for profitable growth. “Strong growth was recorded in Indonesia over the last few years through the modernization of city bus fleets and infrastructure,” he said. “In fact, market volume in that country will nearly double over the next eight years. Sales growth of 73 percent in 2010 now gives us a market share of 40 percent in the country, and we’re very confident that we’ll be able to highly benefit from growth in Indonesia in the coming years as well.”

Growth through new products

Expansion of business in new markets offers growth opportunities that can be exploited with the help of new business models. Traffic volumes in large cities will continue to rise significantly — and this will also lead to an increase in demand for viable public transportation systems. A promising growth sector here is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a system in which buses run in extremely short intervals in separate traffic lanes. Daimler Buses is already active in this area in cities like Nantes, Istanbul, Bogota, and Johannesburg.

“Over the next few years, the potential for BRT systems is particularly high in Brazil,” Schick said. “We believe the World Cup and the Olympics will generate bus sales potential of 5,000 units.”

Daimler Buses is pursuing its vision of sustainable mobility with innovative products such as hybrid and fuel cell buses. Daimler Buses in North America has supplied the world’s biggest fleet of hybrid buses (more than 3,200), for instance. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec Hybrid urban buses are already in operation in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Krefeld, Mühlheim, Rotterdam, and Milan. As part of the EU’s CHIC (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities) project, 26 Mercedes-Benz fuel cell-hybrid buses will begin to operate in five cities this year in order to demonstrate the suitability of fuel cell technology for everyday use.

Operational Excellence — the fourth pillar of Daimler Buses’ business strategy — focuses on consistent and continual efficiency enhancement. It’s therefore only logical that the unit is investing in its production locations. The body-in-white manufacturing facility in Mannheim was expanded, for example, as was the paint shop in Neu-Ulm. In 2010, Bus production capacity in Turkey was increased to 4,000 units per year in order to be able to respond more effectively to market demands. The division will also invest in the expansion of its production capacities in Latin America this year.

Daimler Buses’ production network ensures cost efficiency and flexibility. The division’s four European facilities form a flexible production network, thereby guaranteeing optimal capacity utilization and the ability to react effectively in the normally weak months at the beginning of the year and the more active ones in the second half.

With its innovative, high-quality new products, Daimler Buses expects to remain ahead of its competitors as the world’s leading supplier of buses over 8 tons GVW. The division also expects to build on last year’s high sales figures in 2011 and 2012. However, the room for growth is rather limited due to the anticipated development of the core markets in Western Europe and Latin America.

Schick summarized the expectations for 2011 as follows: “We expect global bus market volume to total approximately 310,000 units this year. As a result, we have set ourselves the firm goal of surpassing the important 40,000 unit sales mark for Daimler Buses in 2011.”



Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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