Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:49

Natter Nosh and Noggin

The Pattaya car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park.  The next meeting is on Monday May 12 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m.  A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations).  Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers.  A couple of the members were scrutineers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so they may have some scuttlebutt about the F1 scene.  Always a fun night.  Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)!  The Car Club nights are only on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday)!

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:47

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked what came into being in 1967, was in general use 1968 and outlawed 1969.  The clue was: think FIA.  It was the high aerofoil wings.

So to this week.  Which manufacturer who built the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles” also built a superior car?

For the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, 08 May 2014 13:58

Miguel Torres the Wine King of Spain

The Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar at the Royal Cliff hosted the deVine Wine Club’s April gala dinner, featuring Spanish wines from the vineyards of Miguel Torres.  The Torres vineyard was proclaimed the best European Winery of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2012 and its wines have just been voted as “The Most Prestigious Wines in the World.”

Thursday, 08 May 2014 13:41

Ruffino at the Centara Grand Phratamnak

The Centara Grand Phratamnak has come a long way in a very short time.  Opened last year, GM Dominique Ronge has been in charge of what has obviously been a runaway success.  Their up-market restaurant is called Ruffino - the same as the winery whose wines we were to sample during the dinner.  Apparently the Ruffino winery and the Ruffino restaurant felt there was much to be gained in brand awareness by sharing the name.

There is an unfortunate tendency for people to equate “cook” with “chef”.  Sure, both of them cook food.  Both of them wear white tunics and something on their heads - but that is about where the similarity starts and ends.

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) ­ its first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country.  Antibiotic resistance ­ when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections ­ is now a major threat to public health.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:39

Volvo with chopsticks in 2014

Volvo has announced that China is poised to replace the US as Volvo Car Group’s (Volvo Cars) largest market in 2014 with sales of at least 80,000 cars, up from 61,146 in 2013, highlighting the company’s growing presence in the world’s fastest growing automobile market.  Sales in the US in 2014 are also expected to increase.

The emergence of China as Volvo Cars’ leading market represents an important step towards the company’s long term goal of selling 800,000 cars a year and promises to break a 20 year cycle during which it has consistently sold around 400,000 cars a year.  For a company that looked ready for extinction a few years ago, this is an amazing fight back.

“Growing demand for first-class safety and environmental performance makes Volvo an ever more attractive brand in the Chinese marketplace,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO.  “As a company at the forefront of technological and environmental developments, Volvo Cars is well placed to enhance its reputation as a premium brand and further strengthen its position in China.”

The premium segment of the car market in China is forecast to grow by 20 percent this year.  Volvo Cars expects to outpace this growth, indicating it is gaining market share from its competitors.  Volvo Cars’ confidence is borne out by first quarter sales figures for the China market, which reveal sales rose to 17,286 cars, a 25.4 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) revealed the Volvo S60L PPHEV (Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Concept Car at the 2014 Beijing International Auto Show.  The ingenious petrol plug-in hybrid - an electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car all rolled into one - offers the driver an outstanding combination of dynamic driving pleasure and superb fuel economy.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:33

GM makes major China investment

General Motors has indicated that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million units.  This is all part of a USD 12 billion investment program through 2017.

Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said that includes three factories due to open this year and two more next year.  He said “I think the addition of the several new plants currently under construction will help us reach the capacity of 5 million units by the end of 2015.”

GM and Germany’s Volkswagen AG are level pegging to be China’s most popular vehicle brand.  GM said earlier that its 2013 sales rose 11.4 percent to 3.1 million vehicles.

Forecasters expect the overall market in China to expand by 8 to 10 percent.  That could raise GM sales to 3.4 million.

The company plans to increase production capacity in China by 65 percent by 2020, Tsien said.

In China, GM manufactures sedans, minivans and pickup trucks in joint ventures with state-owned SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industries Co.) and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co.  The three companies also launched a separate low-cost brand, Baojun, the company that Warren Buffet also bought into.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:30

Debut Lexus NX Crossover at Beijing

The world debut of the new Lexus NX was held at the Beijing motor show and is the first Lexus to enter the fast-growing premium compact crossover segment

The initial showing of the all-new NX at the Beijing motor show marks the company’s entry into the fast-growing premium compact crossover market.

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