[Deep sigh]. Here we are, slaving away to keep track of all things automotive worldwide, and what did you lot read about the most in the last week? Trains...

In this case, there was an auto connection - Audi using der trusty zug powered by renewable energy to shift cars across Germany. And, being German, I guess they probably run on time without excuses about the wrong type of snow (see British Rail; Eurostar) or 'leaves on the line'. An interesting tale that shows how being green can extend beyond the actual cars and factory gates.

Another popular tale this week concerned crashing and self-combustible Ferraris which is not the sort of publicity the maker of delectable sportscars needs and is surely working on at speed. The crashes - the majority of incidents - can perhaps be blamed on over enthusiastic, underskilled drivers but, when a car catches fire all by itself, something else needs finding and sorting before a reputation is snuffed out. We've heard of one more crash and fire since our story was written.

We've had some previews in the past but now PSA has confirmed its first diesel hybrid - the 3008 crossover - makes its public debut at Paris next month. They'll be three-deep around that on the media days.

Matthew Beecham sat down for a Q&A with TRW and Our Man in Brazil reported on the interesting new engines-for-cars deal encouraged by free trade between his land and Mexico.

Rumours Alfa Romeo would be sold to VW were firmly suppressed and Ford and Mazda got serious about building the next pickup truck generation at their JV in Thailand.

News from the Moscow motor show included a start date for local Mitsubishi assembly and there was also lots from a major auto conference in India with big plans at Ford, also at GM, confirmations from Renault, and Maruti mulling yet another plant.

Finally, news of yet another Toyota recall, which also swept in a Pontiac model built for GM; suspect ECM soldering affects North America only, as Toyota over here was fast to point out.

As we mention elsewhere, we're off on our last three-day weekend of the year; the BBQ is on stand-by, as is a paint brush...

Enjoy yours, too.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor

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