NINE speeds? I can remember when Powerglide had just two

NINE speeds? I can remember when Powerglide had just two

Detroit, conveniently packaged in one family-sized, take-home pack, is here. Enjoy.

A little tale of misfortune concerning BMW, execs and VIPs, vehicles for the use of, surfaced this morning with Reuters unable to resist a comment about thieves taking the idea of 'people coming to the motor show to choose their next car' a little too literally. Still to come, I guess, is the awkward little moment when the bit on the claim form asking 'were keys in ignition?' is reached.

Elsewhere in the autoworld it was business as per. ACEA published its 2010 sales data for Europe, we took a closer look and China topped out at 18m while local automaker Chery pegged its 2011 growth at over 17%, ahead of the consensus 10-15% overall forecast.

BMW Brilliance remained upbeat despite the Beijing registration restriction and the idea of Chinese made Volvos being sold in the US was floated as parent Geely eyed 150% 2010-2015 growth.

Growth was also eyed in India by Hyundai and a Japanese seatbelt maker which wants to triple production even before its first set gets made in March. And we learned that the Germans own the luxury car market there, passing the 15,000-unit mark for the first time in 2010.

We also dug a little further into the intriguing Renault 'spy' case.

And, as if eight speeds in your new BMW weren't enough, we learned that ZF is now developing a nine-speeder for transverse use - can anyone else remember when Powerglide had just two?

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor