Feb 2 2010 Maurice Glover
Keeping seats smarter for longer
A BRIGHT idea in upholstery treatment should soon be allowing leather seats to look like new for longer.
The world's largest supplier of leather to the car industry has come up with a finish system claimed to be 'highly immune' to soiling from fabric like denim.
In addition to its cleaning properties, the new Ansole treatment makes also makes leather easier to keep clean.
'With automobile interiors trending toward lighter colours, there is a greater need for interior materials to resist soiling and staining - especially from denim. Our system uses both physical and chemical technologies that create a surface that is highly immune to the attraction of soiling agents.
'It also has a pleasant soft touch,' said Eagle Ottawa research and development vice president Nathan Mullinix.
Ansolé is claimed to make light coloured leathers up to 65 per cent more stain resistant and up to 75 per cent more cleanable against denim dye transfer. In addition, light coloured leathers are up to 60 per cent more stain resistant and up to 85 per cent more cleanable against carbon based soiling.
RENTAL and leasing car firms spent around £7billion on new cars last year.
The firms accounted for almost half of all new fleet car registrations in 2009, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.
'Cars chosen by our members had an average list price of £19,698, which shows just how vital the leasing market is to the car manufacturers and explains why the companies are now investing so heavily in their fleet sales operations.
'Britain's scrappage incentive to encourage sales has provided a valuable boost to the car industry in its time of need, but it is a one-off,' said spokesman John Lewis.
BVRLA members provide short-term rental, contract hire and fleet management services to corporate users and consumers. They operate a combined fleet of 2.3 million cars, vans and trucks and represent the interests of more than two million business car drivers and the millions of people who use rental vehicles.
What a number!
AN OLD registration plate bearing the number 1 000 has been bought for more than £80,000.
A mystery buyer bid over 10 times the £8,000 reserve set for the plate at the first DVLA personalised registrations sale of the year.
Prior to 1 000 going under the hammer, the most expensive number sold was 1 LFD, which raised £20,000.
'We were hoping for big things from 1 000 and it certainly delivered. Now we expect further large sums to change hands for other triple 000 plates that will be released during this year,' said marketing manager Damian Lawson.
The next batch of personalised registrations will be auctioned in March and will include the 2 000 number.
DESPERATE drivers have turned to credit cards, CD cases and hair dryers in the battle to keep their cars free from snow and ice this winter.
And the Arctic weather prompted some to make use of brooms and garden spades, according to a new survey.
Nine out of 10 motorists questioned in a poll by Glass's Guide admitted to using items other than regular ice scrapers and de-icer sprays.
'Many people have been caught unprepared and it's worrying to hear how some have resorted to fairly desperate measures. Motorists should think carefully about the potential damage they could cause to their vehicles by cutting corners or using extreme methods when getting ready for the road,' said spokesman Andy Carroll.
Digital harmony call
BROADCASTERS, Government departments and car manufacturers will have to work together to put digital radio into every vehicle.
Coordinated research and action is needed if plans to introduce digital sound to all vehicles are to be met, believes the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The Government wants all new vehicles to have digital radios from 2013. But a move to make every vehicle on the road capable of receiving the signals from 2015 means more than 30 million converters will be needed.
'It is essential that a thorough study is undertaken before we commit to any digital migration date. We think a collaborative approach between broadcasters, vehicle manufacturers and the Government is vital,' said a spokesman.
London cabs in Warsaw
BRITAIN'S famous black taxi is now picking up fares in Poland.
Under a deal struck between the London Taxi International and importer Dufort London Taxis, the iconic model is now busy in the streets of Warsaw Company.
'I have been working for a long time to bring this fantastic vehicle to Poland and people love it just as much as I do. We're now able to help businesses here offer a real alternative to the cheap cramped saloon taxis or expensive limousines,' said Dufort managing director Jacek Kurowski.