x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Porsche aims to double its sales by 2018

Plus a "Pastafarian" gets a driving license, the debuts expected at the Dubai motor show, Kate Middleton's old car is selling on eBay and more motoring news.

Austrian police allowed Niko Alm to wear the pasta strainer in the photo.
Austrian police allowed Niko Alm to wear the pasta strainer in the photo.

Porsche has announced it plans to double its sales total to 200,000 vehicles by 2018, with sport utility vehicles expected to make up a large part of the increase.

The German marque intends to increase production of its Cayenne 4x4 model by 10 per cent this year and 20 per cent in 2012.

The recently updated Cayenne 4x4 is in hot demand worldwide and Chinese buyers have a 12-month wait on their hands to get their hands on one. Porsche intends to halve that wait in time for next year.

Company-wide, Porsche has seen its first-half orders for 2011 increase by 26 per cent to 65,660 units.

The car maker also expects big sales from its Panamera, with expected sales of 28,000 in 2011.

The sales prediction for the company comes after The National last week reported a 41 per cent sales boost in the UAE in the first half of this year.

The Cayenne, with a starting price of Dh249,000, makes up 70 per cent of the 1,356 Porsche cars sold across the Emirates. Last year, Porsche sold 958 vehicles in total in the UAE.


'Pastafarian' gets to wear strainer in driving-licence photograph

An atheist has been allowed to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driving-licence photo as his religion is "pastafarianism".

The Austrian applied for the licence three years ago after learning that headgear was acceptable if it was for religious reasons.

Niko Alm told authorities that the sieve was a requirement of his pastafarian religion.

A police spokesman in Vienna later said the licence was issued because Mr Alm's face was fully visible in the photo.

"The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible," Manfred Reinthaler said.

After receiving Alm's application, Austrian authorities had required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive, which he passed.

The atheist says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted, US-based group whose members call themselves pastafarians.


Big debuts at Dubai show

The Dubai International Motor Show is already shaping up to be the biggest yet, with a host of top motoring marques making their debuts.

Now in its 22nd year, the event will feature some marques new to the Dubai show, such as McLaren, Lotus, MG and De Macros. In addition, several manufacturers will unveil their latest models, concepts and technological innovations over the four days.

The growing list of exhibitors confirmed this year include: Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Jaguar will debut the XKR-S here, Jaguar's fastest production vehicle to date. Chevrolet will have two regional debuts and one world premiere, while its stablemate, Cadillac, will have two regional launches and GMC will showcase a concept making its debut in the Middle East.

The motor show takes place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 10 to 14. Tickets cost Dh50. Visit www.dubaimotorshow.com for more information.


Nissan hits seven figures with its SUV production in Sunderland

Nissan has celebrated building its one millionth Qashqai at its Sunderland plant in the UK this month.

The small SUV started production on December 5, 2006, and, according to Nissan, has gone on to its millionth version faster than any other car ever produced in the UK.

On average, 1,200 Qashqais are produced at the plant per day, or one every minute that the production line is working. More than 80 per cent of Qashqai production is exported to 97 markets worldwide from the Port of Tyne.

The Qashqai is one of the UK's top 10 best-selling cars and was the fourth best-selling model in the C-segment across Europe last year. Its top five markets were the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

In the Middle East, the Qashqai is offered with a choice of two- and four-wheel drive, with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).


Kate Middleton's Volkswagen selling for Dh118,000 on eBay

The Duchess of Cambridge's former car, a 2001 Volkswagen Golf, is being auctioned on eBay for £20,000 (Dh118,000).

Current owner Sonny Brazil upped the price of the car when he realised that Kate Middleton was its former owner.

Middleton, 29, used the car when she was a student alongside her future husband, Prince William, at University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

Despite being bought new for just £10,818 in Edinburgh in 2001, Brazil has put a reserve price of £20,000 on the auction after finding out about the 1.4L car's royal connections.

Middleton racked up about 60,000 miles (96,500km) and was regularly seen using it while working as an accessories buyer for clothing chain Jigsaw in London.

The Middleton family sold the car to Brazil's father, Al, a car dealership owner, for just £1,400 and it has hardly been used since, with the current mileage sitting at 62,000 miles.