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International Handbook of Universities

December 2009 Issue


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December 31, 2009

UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON: SPRING 2010 FASHION


Benetton

The United Colors of Benetton collection for Spring 2010 brings together small stories to be discovered.

For women, outerwear remains the key player for the spring, together with shirts which often become dresses. Trousers, available as Bermuda shorts, play an important role both in women's and men's wardrobes.

The Womenswear Collection

The well known garment, the jacket, takes centre stage, with dresses, shirts, sweaters, skirts and trousers as its co-stars.

New textiles & patterns revive drapery. Reversible fabrics with patterns on one side & plain on the other create a special "double" effect. Denim is understated. Plain and yarn-dyed poplin is used for a wide range of shirts. Cotton chenille and plush viscose create the jersey collection. Outerwear is in medium-lightweight cotton yarns.

The waist & shoulders are the focus of silhouette, whilst the trousers are full length.

The white, blue, pale blue and cherry red are the colors of the first theme. The second pallete includes white, grape red, blue, beige and grey; while brown, purple, green, yellow and orange are the colors of the third theme.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Cotton top with sequins. Cotton jodhpur trousers. Leather sandals with cork sole.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Cotton jumpsuit with gathered waist. Eco-leather shoulder bag with applied pocket. Leather sandals with cork sole.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Cotton muslin shirt with gathering. ¾-length sweatpants with applied pockets. Eco-leather maxibag. Leather sandals with cork sole.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Linen waistcoat with belt. Cotton shirt with gathering. Satin trousers with drawstring waist. Leather sandals with cork sole.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Viscose vest top. Cotton muslin jodhpur trousers. Leather sandals with cork sole.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

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Description: Eco-leather jacket with zip. Eco-leather belt. High-heel leather court shoes.


BENETTON

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Description: Delavé denim jacket. Cotton muslin maxi-shirt with all over print. Cotton t-shirt with central print. Microfibre leggings. Delavé canvas sneakers.


BENETTON

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Description: Delavé denim jacket. Stretch cotton t-shirt with print. Cotton jodhpur trousers. Delavé canvas sneakers.


The Menswear collection

London, Paris, New York, or any other large city in the world, after a busy day at work. The look? A pullover, a t-shirt and a pair of comfortable trousers, and outerwear.

A mix of classic and sports fabrics. Double cotton for trench coats, blends of cotton/wool or cotton/linen suitable for jacket and trouser suits. Check patterns, windowpane checks, houndstooth checks on cotton for jackets, trousers and shirts. There is a range of greys and browns/beige with touches of red and pink for the first theme, while white, electric blue, lime green, red, indigo blue and steel grey are the colors proposed for the second theme.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

Description: Unlined nylon trench coat. Round-neck cotton sweater. Slim-fit cotton trousers. Braided leather belt.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

Description: Lined cotton/nylon jacket with applied pockets. Yarn-dyed crinkled cotton shirt. Slim-fit cotton trousers. Braided leather belt. Delavé canvas sneakers.


UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

Description: Suede leather jacket. V-neck cotton sweater. Cotton scarf with fringes. Braided leather belt. Delavé canvas sneakers.

United Colors of Benetton is a global brand with a strong Italian character. The Benetton Group is present in 120 countries around the world.

Source: Benetton Headquarters, Italy.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 12:56 AM | Link to this Post

December 27, 2009

Longines PrimaLuna: a New Star in the Longines Galaxy

Longines

Longines PrimaLuna

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Photo: The Refined New Longines PrimaLuna. The circular rose gold case, set with 48 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds (total weight 0.403 carats), surrounds a white mother-of-pearl dial decorated with 11 arabesque Arabic numerals. The case houses an automatic self-winding mechanical movement L595 that shows the hours, minutes, seconds and date. This model is fitted on a rose gold bracelet with a folding safety clasp. Water-resistant to 30 meters.


Longines PrimaLuna

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Photo: A symbol of passing time, living time, the moon that enchants us. The New Longines PrimaLuna. The circular stainless steel and rose gold case, set with 48 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds (total weight 0.403 carats), surrounds a silvered dial with a flinqué decoration featuring 11 blue Roman numerals. The watch houses an automatic self-winding mechanical movement L595 that shows the hours, minutes, seconds and date. This model is fitted on a stainless steel and rose gold bracelet with a folding safety clasp. Water-resistant to 30 meters.


Elegant, contemporary, subtle and carefree, the new Longines PrimaLuna offers a new collection of exquisite models.

This ladies' watch is also a piece of jewelry. The pleasing curves of the case are enhanced by a play of diamonds.


Longines PrimaLuna

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Photo: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, wearing the Longines PrimaLuna. (Photo © Longines.)


Longines PrimaLuna

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Photo: The New Longines PrimaLuna. The circular stainless steel case, set with 48 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds (total weight 0.403 carats), surrounds a white mother-of-pearl dial set with 11 diamonds and houses a quartz movement L129 that shows the hours, minutes, seconds and date. This model is fitted on a stainless steel bracelet with a folding safety clasp. Water-resistant to 30 meters.


Longines PrimaLuna


This is how Longines describes PrimaLuna: "A silvery moon on a spring night; a star that glistens reaches its peak and then disappears. A symbol of passing time, living time, the new Longines PrimaLuna is a tribute to the silvery star the moon that entrances us with its rounded, delicate lines. Its soft silhouette is enhanced by the exquisite purity of the dial and the whole is illuminated by a play of sparkling diamonds. Graceful, magical, this is a model that will seduce women who appreciate contemporary, sophisticated elegance."

Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World's leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries. Based in St. Imier in Switzerland since 1832, Longines has been timekeeper for world championships in various sports.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 10:59 PM | Link to this Post

December 23, 2009

Volvo XC90 Makes its First Appearance in Bollywood


Volvo Cars


Volvo Cars

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Volvo XC90 R-Design makes its first appearance in Bollywood with "3 Idiots" starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The film will be released on December 25.

"We are delighted to be a part of a big banner Bollywood movie. Bollywood is a cult in India," says Paul De Voijs, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India.


Volvo Cars

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For the first time in India, Volvo Cars gets associated with Bollywood with the debut of its red XC90 R-Design in the much awaited releases of 2009 - 3 Idiots. Produced by Vinod Chopra Films and directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, the film's cast includes Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi.

Aamir Khan has scored successes in all the movies in which he has been involved since the start of the 2000s. Today he is somewhat more restrained in his on-screen output and performs in no more than two movies a year. The female co-star Kareena Kapoor is also immensely popular. The other two stars R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, are also among Bollywood's acting elite.


Volvo Cars

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"The movie and its lead characters emanate vibrancy, energy and sportiness; exactly the qualities represented by our XC90 R-Design. Hence the ideal integration of our brand and the movie," says Paul De Voijs.

"Artistic integrity is crucial for successful brand placements and the utility of the product has to be woven properly into the script. The placement should be a natural fit," Paul de Voijs further adds.


Volvo Cars

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The film is about the journey two friends undertake in their search for a third compatriot, played by Aamir Khan. The backdrop of the movie is along the length and breadth of India, covering the scenic beauty of the mountainous region of Ladakh. The film has been shot along the world's highest-altitude road, at 5,590 metres or 18,340 feet above sea level. The landscape is dramatic and breathtaking.


View Trailer on YouTube


Volvo Cars


Volvo Auto India is a new operator in India, a gigantic, fast-growing market and one of the most competitive in the world. Volvo established a presence in India just over two years ago and has since then worked intensively to market the Swedish brand.

With a corporate office in Gurgaon, Volvo Cars opened its first dealership in Chandigarh in March 2008 and currently market's its products through its dealerships in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Pune.

So far Volvo Auto India has chosen to launch two models, the Volvo XC90 and Volvo S80 but the coming years they are lining up more new models. The first one to be launched during 2010 is the Volvo XC60. The focus is on positioning the brand in the luxury car segment.

In 2012, India is expected to be the world's fifth or sixth largest car market.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 12:43 AM | Link to this Post

December 20, 2009

Electric Drive: First Electric 'smart fortwo' Handed Over to Customers in Berlin


Smart Electric Car

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Smart Electric Car

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The first smart fortwo electric drive vehicles were handed over to customers in Berlin on December 17.

The compact two-seater is the first emission-free vehicle in the world with state-of-the-art lithium-ion technology and an intelligent charging management system on board. This makes the smart fortwo electric drive the first environmentally and customer-friendly electric vehicle.


Smart Electric Car

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The very first drivers of the electric smart will be Rolf Bauer (artist and owner of a film dubbing studio) and Lutz Tamaschke (owner of a dental technology company). "I've always been a fan of smart and am proud to be able to set a new trend once again by driving the electric smart. Thanks to the smart fortwo electric drive, I can make my own contribution to preserving the environment," commented Rolf Bauer.

With the smart fortwo electric drive, these two men now own a vehicle that is suited to urban mobility and offers driving pleasure, while being locally emission-free at the same time. "I allow myself and my car a rest for the night, so that we can both recharge our batteries. After a few hours sleep, we're both good to go," said Lutz Tamaschke.


Smart Electric Car

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The first two vehicles were handed over on December 17 in Berlin by Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, and Harald Schuff, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Sales and Marketing Organization.


Smart Electric Car

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"Environmental compatibility and latest functionalities have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then, its innovative concept has combined pioneering technology with individual, urban mobility. The smart fortwo electric drive is just as convincing as its siblings with conventional drive when it comes to suitability for everyday use, safety and driving pleasure. In terms of environmental compatibility it sets a new benchmark with its emission-free electric drive. In addition, with just 12 kwH consumption and its purely electric drive system, it is the most economical and environmentally-friendly way of driving," stated Dr. Thomas Weber.


Smart Electric Car

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The electric smart will be delivered to selected fleet, business and private customers around the world as part of various "e-mobility" projects. These customers will receive a complete service package for their vehicle. "Beside state-of-the-art vehicle technology, we also want to provide our customers the best service possible - for us, this is an integral part of the concept of groundbreaking mobility," commented Harald Schuff.

Key objective of these projects is to evaluate customer behavior and specific support services. In addition to Germany, the electric smart will also be made available to customers in Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, as well as the USA and Canada.


Smart Electric Car

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A 30 kW electric motor operates in the rear of the smart fortwo electric drive, which ensures good acceleration as soon as the car is started. When fully charged, the highly-efficient lithium-ion battery guarantees a range of 135 kilometers. In order to charge the battery if required, the smart can either be hooked up to a public charging station, a wall box in the garage or simply to any standard household socket.


Smart Electric Car


Smart Electric Car

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The smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with an intelligent charging management system. The on-board electronics allow for the permanent exchange of information with the grid. As such, electricity billing, for example, can be arranged in a very convenient, simple and secure way. Irrespective of where and from whom the smart fortwo electric drive has obtained electricity, the customer will only receive one electricity bill from his own energy supplier. By using a smartphone or other internet interfaces, he can also check the charging status and the current range of his electric smart in any place and at any time.


Smart Electric Car


With the smart fortwo electric drive, smart is continuing its success story as the founder of the intelligent city vehicle. The new electric smart has redefined urban mobility by focusing on a purely emission-free way of driving.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Hybrid/Plug-In/Electric Battery Development for Detroit.

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) is seeking Requests For Proposal information (RFPIs) for four projects related to advanced battery development for hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles.

USABC (United States Advanced Battery Consortium) is a consortium of USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid and electric vehicles.

USABC's four RFPIs, for consideration of contracts that will include a 50 percent minimum cost share by developers, are for:

1. Development of advanced high performance batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications;

2. Development of advanced energy storage systems for high-power, lower energy-energy storage system (LEESS) for power-assist hybrid electric vehicle (PAHEV) applications;

3. Development of advanced high-performance batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) applications; and

4. A technology assessment of proposed advanced battery technologies for EV applications.

--- Statement issued on December 23, 2009 by USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). [USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.]


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GM Announces Battery Assembly Production:

"On Thursday, January 7, 2010, exactly three years to the day the Chevrolet Volt concept car was revealed, General Motors takes another historic step in mass production of the vehicle and a giant leap for the auto industry from a petroleum-filled past to a potentially gas-free future.

At 10:00 a.m., GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, along with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, leading government officials and honored guests will witness the start of battery production at the GM Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant. The plant, located in Brownstown Township, Michigan, is the first lithium ion battery pack manufacturing plant in the U.S. operated by a major automaker."

-- General Motors (January 5, 2010).


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Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Outlook to 2020. (New Study by The Boston Consulting Group).

"For years, people have been saying that one of the keys to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is the electrification of the vehicle fleet. The reality is, electric-car batteries are both too expensive and too technologically limited for this to happen in the foreseeable future..."

"Although electric-car battery costs are expected to fall sharply over the coming decade, they are unlikely to drop enough to spark widespread adoption of fully electric vehicles without a major breakthrough in battery technology..."

"The long-term cost target used by many carmakers in planning their future fleets of electric cars--$250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)--is unlikely to be achieved unless there is a major breakthrough in battery chemistry that substantially increases the energy a battery can store without significantly increasing the cost of either battery materials or the manufacturing process..."

(Despite this cost challenge, the report projects steady growth for electric cars and batteries.)

"Under the most likely scenario of the industry's evolution, it is estimated that 26 percent of the new cars sold in 2020 in the major developed markets (China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe)--or approximately 14 million cars--will have electric or hybrid power trains. That same year, the market for electric-car batteries in those regions will reach $25 billion..."

"This burgeoning market will be about triple the size of today's entire lithium-ion-battery market for consumer applications such as laptop computers and cell phones..."

"Beyond costs, other key challenges facing the electric-car battery market are energy storage capacity, charging time, and infrastructure needs..."

(Of the roughly 14 million electric cars forecast to be sold in 2020 in China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe, the report projects that some 1.5 million will be fully electric, 1.5 million will be range extenders, and 11 million will be a mix of hybrids.)

--- The Boston Consulting Group. (The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and is an advisor on business strategy. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 67 offices in 39 countries.)


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 8:11 AM | Link to this Post

December 17, 2009

Mergers and Acquisitions -- Strategic Deals and 'Mergers of Productivity' to Drive M&A in 2010: PricewaterhouseCoopers


Mergers and Acquisitions


There have been signs of life in the deal market during the second half of 2009, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is expected to pick up in 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Transaction Services practice.

While credit markets are easing for some participants, financing will remain the dominant challenge to M&A activity next year, increasing the pressure on middle market deals. Strategic buyers with strong balance sheets and robust cash reserves will be well-positioned for strategic M&A opportunities. As these strategic buyers take advantage of their ability to maneuver in the face of a challenging deal environment, PwC predicts they will pursue deals with a focus on synergies - including enhancing productivity, providing cost-savings and adding revenue volume to their businesses.


Mergers and Acquisitions


"Those who have built their balance sheets for a rainy day might come out of last year's storm to find the rainbow, and at the end of it, nicely-valued acquisition targets that provide opportunities for revenue growth and enhanced productivity," said Bob Filek, Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services. "As a result, M&A activity in 2010 will be driven by strategic buyers who have access to capital and the strategic vision to capitalize on some of the best values we have seen in recent times."

"Companies have taken aggressive actions on costs; the low hanging fruit is gone, and to drive further efficiency they will look to combine with similar players to drive scale and enhance productivity. The 'merger of productivity' will be a driving force in 2010 as companies look to drive revenue growth and enhance margins," continued Filek.


Mergers and Acquisitions


Through the first eleven months of 2009, there were 6,772 deals worth a total of $614 billion, compared with 8,890 transactions worth a total of $1 trillion during the same period last year, according to financial data provider Thomson Reuters.

The credit freeze has impacted transactions across the board, including private equity (PE) and middle market transactions.

"There is still in excess of $1 trillion of capital committed to alternative investment funds sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the appropriate opportunities. The diversified private equity players have been bulking up their debt, hedge and distressed funds to take advantage of opportunities in distressed, reflecting their ability to evolve and successfully navigate choppy waters," said Greg Peterson, Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services.

Regarding private equity exits, "we expect to see more IPOs coming to market in 2010 from private equity as the markets continue to firm up," noted Peterson. More the half of the IPOs completed during 2009 were by financial sponsor-backed (primarily private equity) companies, a trend expected to continue through the remainder of 2009 and 2010.


Mergers and Acquisitions


Sectors that continue to present opportunities include:

Consumer Products:
As retailers continue to pressure margins and growth through private label strategies, consumer product companies are accelerating trade spend at the expense of margins. Watch for high-profile combinations as branded companies look to gain scale and negotiating leverage with retailers, while enhancing their scale to drive productivity. A focus on high-growth categories and emerging markets will also be in vogue in 2010.

Technology:
The headline transactions of the past year - transformative deals - will continue as the battle over the data center and end-to-end services continues to drive the larger players. The large, mature players will also continue to absorb smaller companies who provide intellectual property that can be leveraged - at an array of multiples - as some will be seen as desirable by multiple players and others are made attractive by a higher bar to access in the public markets. At the other end of the scale, there is more consolidation to come amongst weaker players, especially in semiconductors.

Energy:
The opening of the capital markets window (both debt and equity) will pave the way for increased M&A activity in 2010. The seller/buyer expectation gap is slowly narrowing. Large-cap exploration and production companies and Master Limited Partnerships have strengthened their balance sheets considerably and are ready to fuel growth again via the M&A route. PwC expects natural gas to continue to be a particular bright spot for acquisitions.

Financial Services:
As the FDIC continues to take actions with troubled banking institutions, watch for consolidation among the regional banks at the hands of the FDIC to be a key theme of 2010. One key question is if private equity will take more seats at the banking deal table. PwC expects the asset management sector will also continue to be popular in this space.

Automotive:
With the U.S. automotive industry remade, it will be time for the suppliers to resize and adjust their business models to the new paradigm. Watch for a realignment of product portfolios and manufacturing footprints as tier-one suppliers adjust to the new reality. Low-cost country sourcing will be a continued theme, while Asian acquirers may start to acquire more U.S.-based assets.

Healthcare:
Once healthcare reform has run its course, look for the industry to ratchet up M&A activity. Consolidation will accelerate in the services, managed care and pharma sectors, driven by the need to reduce costs and increase productivity. Watch for seasoned leaders to embark on new ventures to shake up the business-as-usual model. The pharmaceuticals sector will continue pursue smaller acquisition targets, and explore areas less dependent on government, such as consumer product applications, animal health, vaccines, and biologics.

Entertainment and Media:
Despite a sluggish economy, the Entertainment and Media sector still managed to pull off several high-profile entertainment deals in the second half of 2009. Look for strategic buyers to focus their efforts on content- and distribution-oriented acquisitions, both domestically and internationally, in response to favorable pricing in the market, as well as continuing to explore new media opportunities.


PWC-05.jpg


Other factors influencing M&A activity in 2010 may include the following scenarios:

Private equity's ability to exit through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) or acquisitions:
The IPO market has been re-established as a viable exit vehicle for private equity investments. IPO activity in Q4 of 2009 is expected to be the strongest quarter since 2007, with PE-backed deals contributing the majority of the volume in this deal channel. Assuming the equity markets do not experience a significant correction, PwC expects IPO activity to continue to increase in 2010.

The "Wild Card":
How much would an economic double-dip rain on the M&A party? "We see continued weakness in key fundamental indicators, not the least of which is consumer demand," said Filek. "However, while we may see some challenges and market disappointments in 2010, the underlying fundamentals will outweigh the short-term stress, and companies will stay committed to their strategic vision and complete a lot of transactions in 2010."

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 11:50 PM | Link to this Post

December 16, 2009

TIME Names United States Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke 2009 Person of the Year


TIME

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TIME has named United States Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the 2009 Person of the Year.

TIME's Person of the Year issue has the first full, on-the-record print interview with Bernanke since he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

IN A SERIES OF THREE INTERVIEWS, BERNANKE TELLS TIME:

On the financial crisis:
"We came very, very close to a depression...The markets were in anaphylactic shock. I'm not happy with where we are, but it's a lot better than where we could be...Of course there were things we could have done better, but this was a perfect storm."

On unemployment:
"The additional steps aren't as obvious or clear as the ones we've already taken. It's an enormous problem. There aren't easy solutions."

On questions about his handling of Lehman, AIG and Bear Stearns:
"It's the price of success: people start to think you're omnipotent. We say we didn't have the authority, and it's 'Oh, you're the Fed. You could've come up with something.'"

Bernanke tells TIME that major financial crises generally cost nations 5% to 20% of their national output. This panic seems likely to cost the U.S. a fraction of 1%. "How much would you pay to avoid a second Depression?" Bernanke asks. "I mean, this is a pretty good return on investment."

On his background:
"I'm not one of those people who look at this as some kind of video game. I come from Main Street, from a small town that's really depressed. This is all very real to me."

On banker pay:
"I think that bankers ought to recognize that the government and the taxpayer saved the financial system from utter collapse last year. And in recognizing that, I would think that bankers ought to look in the mirror and decide that perhaps there should be some more restraint in how much they pay themselves, given what the government and the taxpayer did to protect the system."

Source: TIME

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 10:24 AM | Link to this Post

December 14, 2009

World-Class Universities Debate Rankings


QS


Universities


Over 700 university academics and administrators from around 45 countries gathered at the fifth QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education Conference in Kuala Lumpur to hear international experts from 25 countries speak on globalization and the role of rankings in higher education.

A Rankings Workshop, held on 23 November, brought delegates up to date with developments in the QS World University Rankings, and sought their feedback. QS, the authors of the World University Rankings, has conducted over 70 Rankings Workshops in the last five years, attended by more than 5,000 senior university officers, planners and strategists.


Universities


Universities


Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS says: "These workshops ensure the methodology, rigor and impartiality of the QS World University Rankings are constantly reviewed by the academic community and fed back to the QS rankings team."

Tony Sheil, Associate Director, Research Policy at Griffith University, Australia observes: "QS has always been open and accountable, willing to listen and quick to take on changes for the better. The QS method has become very difficult for institutions to 'game' due to its use of both qualitative and quantitative indicators."


Universities


Universities


QS Quacquarelli Symonds, one of the world's leading networks for careers and education, has been publishing world rankings since 2004.

These rankings have obtained increasing influence among academics worldwide and have a growing effect on prospective students and government policy makers.

QS World's Best Universities: Top 200 has also been published by U.S.News & World Report.


Universities


Universities


Colleges


Below are the world's top 400 universities according to the Times Higher - QS World University Rankings.


TOP 200

2009 RANK --- INSTITUTION --- COUNTRY

1 HARVARD University, United States
2 University of CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
3 YALE University, United States
4 UCL (University College London), United Kingdom
5= IMPERIAL College London, United Kingdom
5= University of OXFORD, United Kingdom
7 University of CHICAGO, United States
8 PRINCETON University, United States
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
10 California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States
11 COLUMBIA University, United States
12 University of PENNSYLVANIA, United States
13 JOHNS HOPKINS University, United States
14 DUKE University, United States
15 CORNELL University, United States
16 STANFORD University, United States
17 AUSTRALIAN National University, Australia
18 Mcgill University, Canada
19 University of MICHIGAN, United States
20= ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute), Switzerland
20= University of EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
22 University of TOKYO, Japan
23 KING'S College London, United Kingdom
24 University of HONG KONG, Hong Kong
25 KYOTO University, Japan
26 University of MANCHESTER, United Kingdom
27 CARNEGIE MELLON University, United States
28 Ecole Normale Superieure, PARIS, France
29 University of TORONTO, Canada
30 National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
31 BROWN University, United States
32= NORTHWESTERN University, United States
32= University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), United States
34 University of BRISTOL, United Kingdom
35 HONG KONG University of Science And Technology, Hong Kong
36= Ecole Polytechnique, France
36= University of MELBOURNE, Australia
36= University of SYDNEY, Australia
39 University of California, BERKELEY, United States
40 University of BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada
41 University of QUEENSLAND, Australia
42 Federal Polytechnic School of LAUSANNE, Switzerland
43= OSAKA University, Japan
43= TRINITY College Dublin, Ireland
45 MONASH University, Australia
46 The Chinese University of HONG KONG, Hong Kong
47= SEOUL National University, South Korea
47= University of NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia
49= TSINGHUA University, China
49= University of AMSTERDAM, Netherlands
51 University of COPENHAGEN, Denmark
52= NEW YORK University (NYU), United States
52= PEKING University, China
54 BOSTON University, United States
55= Technical University of MUNICH, Germany
55= TOKYO Institute of Technology, Japan
57 HEIDELBERG University, Germany
58 University of WARWICK, United Kingdom
59 University of ALBERTA, Canada
60 LEIDEN University, Netherlands
61= The University of AUCKLAND, New Zealand
61= University of Wisconsin-madison, United States
63= AARHUS University, Denmark
63= University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I), United States
65 Catholic University of LEUVEN, Belgium
66 University of BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
67= London School of Economics And Political Science (LSE), United Kingdom
67= LUND University, Sweden
69 Kaist - Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, South Korea
70= University of YORK, United Kingdom
70= UTRECHT University, Netherlands
72 University of GENEVA, Switzerland
73= Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
73= WASHINGTON University In St. Louis, United States
75 UPPSALA University, Sweden
76= University of CALIFORNIA, San Diego, United States
76= University of TEXAS At Austin, United States
78 University of NORTH CAROLINA, Chapel Hill, United States
79 University of GLASGOW, United Kingdom
80 University of WASHINGTON, United States
81 University of ADELAIDE, Australia
82 University of SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom
83 DELFT University of Technology, Netherlands
84 University of WESTERN AUSTRALIA, Australia
85 DARTMOUTH College, United States
86 GEORGIA Institute of Technology, United States
87= PURDUE University, United States
87= University of ST ANDREWS, United Kingdom
89 University College DUBLIN, Ireland
90 EMORY University, United States
91 University of NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
92= NAGOYA University, Japan
92= University of ZURICH, Switzerland
94 Free University of BERLIN, Germany
95= NATIONAL TAIWAN University (NTU), Taiwan
95= University of SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom
97 TOHOKU University, Japan
98 Ludwig Maximilian - University of MUNICH..., Germany
99 University of LEEDS, United Kingdom
100 RICE University, United States
101 University of OSLO, Norway
102 Hebrew University of JERUSALEM, Israel
103= DURHAM University, United Kingdom
103= FUDAN University, China
105 University of MINNESOTA, United States
106 University of CALIFORNIA, Santa Barbara, United States
107 Universite De Montreal, Canada
108= ERASMUS University Rotterdam, Netherlands
108= University of BASEL, Switzerland
108= University of CALIFORNIA, Davis, United States
108= University of HELSINKI, Finland
112 University of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, United States
113 University of WATERLOO, Canada
114= TEL AVIV University, Israel
114= University of PITTSBURGH, United States
116 MAASTRICHT University, Netherlands
117 University Pierre and Marie Curie - PARIS, France
118 QUEEN'S University, Canada
119 CASE WESTERN RESERVE University, United States
120= EINDHOVEN University of Technology, Netherlands
120= PENNSYLVANIA STATE University, United States
122= University of Fribourg, Germany
122= University of MARYLAND, College Park, United States
124 City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
125 University of OTAGO, New Zealand
126= Catholic University of LOUVAIN (UCL), Belgium
126= Ecole Normale Superieure de LYON, France
128 University of VIRGINIA, United States
129= GEORGETOWN University, United States
129= OHIO STATE University, United States
129= University of ABERDEEN, United Kingdom
132= TECHNION - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
132= University of VIENNA, Austria
134 POHANG University of Science And Technology, South Korea
135 CARDIFF University, United Kingdom
136 University of GHENT, Belgium
137 University of LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
138= CHULALONGKORN University, Thailand
138= University of GRONINGEN, Netherlands
140 VANDERBILT University, United States
141 University of ROCHESTER, United States
142 KEIO University, Japan
143 Mcmaster University, Canada
144= University of BATH, United Kingdom
144= University of BERGEN, Norway
146= HUMBOLDT University of Berlin, Germany
146= University of CAPE TOWN, South Africa
148 WASEDA University, Japan
149= Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Germany
149= University of CALGARY, Canada
151= The University of WESTERN ONTARIO, Canada
151= YONSEI University, South Korea
153 SHANGHAI JIAO TONG University, China
154 University of Science And Technology of China, China
155= KYUSHU University, Japan
155= LOMONOSOV MOSCOW State University, Russia
155= WAGENINGEN University, Netherlands
158 NEWCASTLE University, United Kingdom
159 Technical University of DENMARK, Denmark
160 TUFTS University, United States
161 University of CALIFORNIA, Irvine, United States
162 LANCASTER University, United Kingdom
163 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
164 QUEEN MARY, University of London, United Kingdom
165 VU University AMSTERDAM, Netherlands
166= University of ARIZONA, United States
166= University of SUSSEX, United Kingdom
168= NANJING University, China
168= Saint-petersburg State University, Russia
168= University of LAUSANNE, Switzerland
171= HOKKAIDO University, Japan
171= University of BARCELONA, Spain
173 STONY BROOK University, State University of New York, United States
174= Kth, ROYAL INSTITUTE of Technology, Sweden
174= University of BOLOGNA, Italy
174= University of TSUKUBA, Japan
177= University of ANTWERP, Belgium
177= University of ATHENS, Greece
179 TEXAS A&M University, United States
180 University of MALAYA (UM), Malaysia
181 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), India
182 RWTH AACHEN University, Germany
183 RUTGERS, The State University of New Jersey, United States
184 University of KARLSRUHE, Germany
185 University of GOTHENBURG, Sweden
186= University of Colorado At BOULDER, United States
186= University of Gottingen, Germany
188 University of CANTERBURY, New Zealand
189 MACQUARIE University, Australia
190 National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
191= Free University of Brussels, Belgium
191= University of READING, United Kingdom
193= INDIANA University Bloomington, United States
193= University of BERN, Switzerland
195 The HONG KONG Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
196= SIMON FRASER University, Canada
196= University of LEICESTER, United Kingdom
198 CHALMERS University of Technology, Sweden
199 University of NOTRE DAME, United States
200 University of TWENTE, Netherlands
...............................................................................


201- 400

2009 RANK --- INSTITUTION --- COUNTRY

201= Queen's University of BELFAST, United Kingdom
201= University of FLORIDA, United States
201= University of INDONESIA, Indonesia
204 PARIS IEP Sciences Po, France
205 Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
206 University of STUTTGART, Germany
207= University College CORK, Ireland
207= University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
209 RENSSELAER Polytechnic Institute, United States
210 HELSINKI University of Technology (TKK), Finland
211= Autonomous University of BARCELONA, Spain
211= KOREA University, South Korea
211= Technical University of BERLIN, Germany
214 DALHOUSIE University, Canada
215= Autonomous University of MADRID, Spain
215= STOCKHOLM University, Sweden
215= University of DUNDEE, United Kingdom
218= KOBE University, Japan
218= Paris-Sud XI University, France
220= MAHIDOL University, Thailand
220= Radboud University NIJMEGEN, Netherlands
222 MICHIGAN STATE University, United States
223= National TSING HUA University, Taiwan
223= Rmit University, Australia
225 University of IOWA, United States
226 University of OTTAWA, Canada
227 Free University of BRUSSELS, Belgium
228 Paris-SORBONNE University (Paris IV), France
229= CHARLES University, Czech Republic
229= LOUGHBOROUGH University, United Kingdom
229= VICTORIA University of Wellington, New Zealand
232 University of Technology, SYDNEY, Australia
233 Goethe University FRANKFURT, Germany
234= ATENEO De Manila University, Philippines
234= BRANDEIS University, United States
234= SOAS - School of Oriental And African St..., United Kingdom
237= Indian Institute of Technology KANPUR, India
237= University of BONN, Germany
237= University of MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst, United States
237= WAKE FOREST University, United States
241= LA TROBE University, Australia
241= University of VICTORIA, Canada
243 National University of Ireland, GALWAY, Ireland
244= CURTIN University of Technology, Australia
244= QUEENSLAND University of Technology, Australia
244= University of MIAMI, United States
247= KING SAUD University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
247= ZHEJIANG University, China
249 University of SURREY, United Kingdom
250 GADJAH MADA University, Indonesia
251 University of WOLLONGONG, Australia
252= Complutense University of MADRID, Spain
252= University of CALIFORNIA, Santa Cruz, United States
254= FLINDERS University, Australia
254= University of Strasbourg, France
254= University of STRATHCLYDE, United Kingdom
257 STOCKHOLM School of Economics, Sweden
258 LAVAL University, Canada
259= HIROSHIMA University, Japan
259= University of MANNHEIM, Germany
259= University of UTAH, United States
262= GEORGE WASHINGTON University, United States
262= University of The PHILIPPINES, Philippines
264= University of TURKU, Finland
264= VIENNA University of Technology, Austria
266= KING FAHD University of Petroleum & Mine..., Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
266= University of EXETER, United Kingdom
266= University of NEWCASTLE, Australia
269 NORTH CAROLINA STATE University, United States
270 NORWEGIAN University of Science And Technology, Norway
271 Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees..., France
272 University of HAMBURG, Germany
273= Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres et Science, France
273= University of ESSEX, United Kingdom
273= University of HAWAII, United States
273= YORK University, Canada
277= Pontifical Catholic University of CHILE, Chile
277= University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, France
279= DUBLIN City University, Ireland
279= University of ULM, Germany
281= DRESDEN University of Technology, Germany
281= Joseph Fourier University - GRENOBLE I, France
281= National CHENG KUNG University, Taiwan
284 Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India
285 University of CALIFORNIA, Riverside, United States
286 Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy
287 ASTON University, United Kingdom
288= DARMSTADT University of Technology, Germany
288= University MONTPELLIER II - Sciences and..., France
288= University of CINCINNATI, United States
291= GRIFFITH University, Australia
291= National University of Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia
291= University of DELHI, India
291= University of LIEGE, Belgium
295= State University of CAMPINAS (Unicamp), Brazil
295= TULANE University, United States
295= University of SOUTH AUSTRALIA, Australia
298 University of BUENOS AIRES, Argentina
299 MASSEY University, New Zealand
300 University of SOUTHERN DENMARK, Denmark
301 University of Cologne, Germany
302= JAGIELLONIAN University, Poland
302= University of EAST ANGLIA, United Kingdom
302= University of Tromsa, Norway
305 AUSTRAL University, Argentina
306 National YANG MING University, Taiwan
307= CHIBA University, Japan
307= HONG KONG Baptist University, Hong Kong
309= ARIZONA STATE University, United States
309= University of Warzburg, Germany
311 VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC Institute, United States
312= NOVOSIBIRSK STATE University, Russia
312= University of PADUA, Italy
314= University of Science, Malaysia (USM), Malaysia
314= University of WAIKATO, New Zealand
316 ROYAL HOLLOWAY University of London, United Kingdom
317 Friedrich Alexander University of Erlang..., Germany
318= BRUNEL University, United Kingdom
318= Umeå University, Sweden
320 University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia
321 University of The WITWATERSRAND, South Africa
322 University of PISA, Italy
323 BEN GURION University of The Negev, Israel
324= Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany
324= POMPEU FABRA University, Spain
326= DUBLIN Institute of Technology, Ireland
326= University of TASMANIA, Australia
328= KUOPIO University, Finland
328= University of LEIPZIG, Germany
330 IOWA STATE University, United States
331= Johannes Gutenberg University of MAINZ, Germany
331= University of OULU, Finland
333 University of Lille 1, France
334 Paris Diderot University, France
335 Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
336 University of GRAZ, Austria
337= University of ALABAMA, United States
337= University of ST GALLEN (HSG), Switzerland
339= HANYANG University, South Korea
339= MONTERREY Institute of Technology and Hi..., Mexico
339= University of CONNECTICUT, United States
342 BIELEFELD University, Germany
343= BOSTON College, United States
343= University of CHILE, Chile
345 Putra University, Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia
346= HOWARD University, United States
346= Ruhr University BOCHUM, Germany
346= University of KONSTANZ, Germany
349 University of WARSAW, Poland
350 National University of Sciences And Technology, Pakistan
351= American University of BEIRUT (AUB), Lebanon
351= BANDUNG Institute of Technology (ITB), Indonesia
351= NATIONAL TAIWAN University of Science An..., Taiwan
354 University of MARBURG, Germany
355= DEAKIN University, Australia
355= JAMES COOK University, Australia
357= Saarland University, Germany
357= Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
357= SWANSEA University, United Kingdom
360 BILKENT University, Turkey
361= GOLDSMITHS, University of London, United Kingdom
361= University of INNSBRUCK, Austria
363 COLORADO STATE University, United States
364= HITOTSUBASHI University, Japan
364= University of PARIS V - Descartes, France
366= University of COIMBRA, Portugal
366= WASHINGTON STATE University, United States
368= SHOWA University, Japan
368= University of GEORGIA, United States
368= University of TEHRAN, Iran
371= FLORIDA STATE University, United States
371= Paul Sabatier University - TOULOUSE III, France
371= PUSAN National University, Korea, South
374= Heriot-watt University, United Kingdom
374= KYUNG HEE University, South Korea
374= UNITED ARAB EMIRATES University, United Arab Emirates
377= University of FLORENCE, Italy
377= YOKOHAMA NATIONAL University, Japan
379 SOGANG University, South Korea
380 University of TENNESSEE, United States
381= City University of New York, United States
381= University of NAVARRA, Spain
383= Federal University of RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil
383= University of BRADFORD, United Kingdom
383= University of NEW MEXICO, United States
386= ABERYSTWYTH University, United Kingdom
386= CARLETON University, Canada
386= University of BAYREUTH, Germany
389= National CHIAO TUNG University, Taiwan
389= University of MANITOBA, Canada
389= YESHIVA University, United States
392= ILLINOIS Institute of Technology, United States
392= NAGASAKI University, Japan
394= BANGOR University, United Kingdom
394= CZECH TECHNICAL University in Prague, Czech Republic
394= Universite Du QUEBEC, Canada
397= DREXEL University, United States
397= EWHA WOMANS University, South Korea
399= OSAKA CITY University, Japan
400 University of BREMEN, Germany

Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds (www.topuniversities.com). With permission.
Copyright © 2004-2009 QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.


UnivGuide.jpg


Read the full edition of the QS Top Universities Guide online.


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 5:48 AM | Link to this Post

December 10, 2009

Many Automotive Brands are Losing Buyers to Competitors Due to Poor Customer Treatment though they have High Customer Satisfaction with the New-Vehicle Sales Process: J.D. Power


JD POWER


Car Brands


Car Makers


Overall satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience has improved from 2008, but automakers are losing 12 percent of new-vehicle sales to other brands, on average, as a result of poor customer treatment at dealerships, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

The study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience. Overall customer satisfaction is measured for five factors:

Dealership Facility;
Salesperson;
Paperwork, Finance Process;
Delivery process; and
Vehicle Price.

Overall satisfaction averages 836 points on a 1,000-point scale in 2009, up by 11 points from 2008. Satisfaction with each of the five factors improves from 2008, with the greatest improvements in the two areas that are most within the dealer's control -- the salesperson and delivery process factors.


Auto Showroom


Car Showroom


According to J.D. Power, salespeople have improved most notably from 2008 in helping buyers stay within their budgets and in negotiating prices quickly. Within the delivery process, dealerships have improved considerably in providing complete explanations of the owner's manual and explaining vehicle features.

"In this difficult economy, dealerships are working particularly hard to close sales, but need to be attentive to customers without exerting unwanted sales pressure," said Jon Osborn, director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Nearly one in four buyers in 2009 reports experiencing sales pressure from their selling dealer."


Auto Brands


Automakers


The study finds that more than one in five shoppers who leave a dealership without purchasing a vehicle do so because they experienced poor treatment or dealer performance issues such as pricing games, sales pressure tactics or discourteous treatment. While 43 percent of these buyers ultimately purchased from a different dealer of the same brand, 57 percent decided to purchase from a different brand altogether. For the industry as a whole, this equals a 12 percent loss of retail sales to other brands.

"With the billions of dollars that automakers spend designing, producing and marketing new vehicles, as well as in driving customers to showrooms, it is critical that potential buyers are not pushed out the dealer's door because of a poor customer experience," said Osborn. "Manufacturers and dealers should be concerned with the experiences of all shoppers, whether they purchase or not. From a buyer's perspective, recollections of their shopping experience include not only the selling dealer, but also all of the other dealers they visited."


Automobile Manufacturers


Car Dealer


The 2009 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from approximately 48,000 new-vehicle buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicles in May or June 2009. The study was fielded between August and October 2009.

Sales Satisfaction Index Ranking --------- J.D. Power Circle Rating
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

Luxury Brands
Jaguar ---------------------- 898 ---------------- 5
Cadillac ---------------------- 893 --------------- 5
Lexus ----------------------- 877 ---------------- 4
Mercedes-Benz ------------ 877 ---------------- 4
Land Rover ------------------ 872 --------------- 4
(Average) ------------------- 864 ---------------- 3
Lincoln ----------------------- 863 --------------- 3
BMW ------------------------ 861 ---------------- 3
Porsche ---------------------- 861 --------------- 3
SAAB ------------------------- 857 --------------- 3
Acura ------------------------ 856 ---------------- 3
Infiniti ------------------------ 845 --------------- 2
Volvo ------------------------- 842 --------------- 2
Audi -------------------------- 828 --------------- 2


Mass Market Brands
Mercury ---------------------- 867 --------------- 5
smart ------------------------- 865 --------------- 5
Buick ------------------------- 864 --------------- 5
Pontiac ----------------------- 864 --------------- 5
Chevrolet -------------------- 863 --------------- 5
MINI -------------------------- 862 --------------- 5
Saturn ------------------------ 858 --------------- 4
HUMMER --------------------- 856 --------------- 4
GMC -------------------------- 853 ---------------- 4
Ford --------------------------- 847 --------------- 4
Subaru ------------------------ 834 -------------- 3
Suzuki ------------------------ 832 --------------- 3
(Average) -------------------- 832 --------------- 3
Honda ------------------------ 830 --------------- 3
Volkswagen ------------------ 828 --------------- 3
Scion -------------------------- 826 --------------- 3
Kia ----------------------------- 823 -------------- 3
Toyota ------------------------ 823 --------------- 3
Chrysler ---------------------- 822 --------------- 3
Hyundai ---------------------- 819 --------------- 3
Nissan ------------------------ 815 --------------- 3
Mazda ------------------------- 809 --------------- 2
Dodge ------------------------ 805 ---------------- 2
Jeep -------------------------- 805 ---------------- 2
Mitsubishi ------------------- 778 ---------------- 2

Source: J.D. Power and Associates

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Our Opinion

"A typical car buyer trusts others' advice rather than any traditional advertising.

Hence, the Word of Mouth is the forgotten most powerful publicity tool that an automobile manufacturer may explore and employ to advertise its products as well as to promote its dealer showrooms."

© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.



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Edited & Posted by Editor | 11:58 AM | Link to this Post

December 6, 2009

Volvo Ocean Race: Legs 9 & 10: From Marstrand to Stockholm, From Stockholm to St Petersburg


The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 was the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it took in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race. Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports over nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier ocean yacht race for professional racing crews.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: Telefonica Black, skippered by Fernando Echavarri (ESP) finish first on leg 10 in St Petersburg. © Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: Telefonica Black, skippered by Fernando Echavarri (ESP) finish first on leg 10 in St Petersburg. © jiang yongtao / Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: A Swedish Navy ship accelerates on front of Green Dragon at the start of leg 10 from Stockholm to St Petersburg. © Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: Spinnakers up for the downwind leg of the in-port race in Stockholm. © Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: PUMA Ocean Racing at dawn on leg 9 from Marstrand to Stockholm. © Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: Delta lloyd passes the finish in IJmuiden --- It took skipper Bouwe Bekking just 5 hours 23 minutes and 18 seconds to sail the Delya Lloyd 105 miles from Lowestoft to IJmuiden. © Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: The fleet get under way at the start of leg 10 from Stockholm to St Petersburg. © Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA) at the start of leg 9 from Marstrand to Stockholm. © Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.


Volvo Ocean Race

ENLARGE

Photo: Ericsson 3 chasing Telefonica Black at dawn, as the fleet pass the Orsund Bridge on the way to Stockholm. © Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.


Volvo Ocean Race was run for the first time in 2001-02.

During the nine months of the 2008-09 Volvo, which started in Alicante, Spain and concluded in St. Petersburg, Russia, the teams sailed over 37,000 nautical miles of the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Goteborg and Stockholm.

Each of the seven entries had a sailing team of 11 professional crew, and the race required their utmost skills, physical endurance and competitive spirit as they raced day and night for more than 30 days at a time on some of the legs. They each took on different jobs onboard the boat. About two sailors in each team had medical training. Also, each team consisted of a sailor trained as a sailmaker, a sailor trained as an engineer, and a sailor trained as a media specialist.

During the race the crews experience life at the extreme: no fresh food is taken onboard and they go through temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 9:35 AM | Link to this Post

December 4, 2009

World Bank: Majority of People Want Action on Climate Change, Even if it Entails Costs


WORLD BANK


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: View of lakes and mountains. Photo © Curt Carnemark / World Bank.


A new poll of 15 nations, most of them in the developing world, finds that majorities of the people canvassed want their governments to take steps to fight climate change, even if that entails costs. People signaled they would support public measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and step up adaptation measures. For example, respondents would support higher fuel efficiency standards for cars, preserving or expanding forests, and extending funding to vulnerable countries so they can develop hardier crops suited to more severe climates.


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: Fishing. Photo © Alex Baluyut / World Bank.


"The poll's findings shed light on global attitudes at a particularly important moment: the run-up to the conference on climate change to be held December 7-18 in Copenhagen. Hearing from people in the developing world offers a new lens on this issue," says Katherine Sierra, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: Horse-drawn cart. Mali. Photo © Curt Carnemark / World Bank.


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: Mali. Photo © Curt Carnemark / World Bank.


Carried out by WorldPublicOpinion.org and commissioned by the World Bank, the poll questioned 13,518 respondents in 15 nations -- Bangladesh, China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam.

Other key findings include:

• Public concern about climate change is high worldwide, but it's generally higher in developing countries.
• Publics, particularly in developing countries, believe climate change is already having negative effects.
• In most countries, wealthy and poor alike, large majorities are willing to pay to fight climate change.
• Support for increased adaptation funding to poor countries is widespread worldwide.


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: View of river and mountains. Bhutan. Photo © Curt Carnemark / World Bank.


"It is encouraging indeed to see strong across-the-board support for committing to emissions limits in both developed and developing nations, since behavior change and attitudes will help determine whether we succeed or fail in addressing this global issue," says Marianne Fay, World Bank Chief Economist for Sustainable Development and Co-Director of the World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change.

Ms. Fay explained that the poll was commissioned as a follow-up to the recently released WDR. The aim was to gain a better understanding of how the recommendations of the Report to invest substantially and immediately to manage climate change ("Act now, act together, and act differently") resonate in a cross-section of countries.

In the low-income country of Vietnam, for example, 98% say their government should commit to limiting emissions as part of a deal, and 93% support the same course in the absence of a deal. At the other end of the wealth spectrum, the people of France express 97% support if an agreement is reached at Copenhagen, and 87% if no agreement emerges.


World Bank

ENLARGE

Photo: View of road before storm. Ghana. Photo © Curt Carnemark / World Bank.


Majorities in 14 of 15 countries are willing to pay to fight global climate change.

Majorities in most countries also support measures that would raise costs for energy and transportation.


WORLD BANK

ENLARGE

Photo: Portrait of children. India. Photo © World Bank / Curt Carnemark.


Similarly, majorities in 12 countries support "gradually increasing the requirements for fuel efficiency in automobiles, even if this raises the cost of cars and bus fares." Majorities in 11 countries support "gradually reducing government subsidies that favor private transportation, even if this raises its cost." Majorities in all countries polled support "preserving or expanding forested areas, even if this means less land for agriculture or construction."

WorldPublicOpinion.org operates as a collaborative project involving research centers from around the world that is managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. The margins of error for each country range from +/-3 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations in September and October 2009.

Source: World Bank

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Quote

"We, the Heads of the MDBs and the IMF, appeal to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to agree in Copenhagen the foundations for an ambitious, comprehensive, and equitable global climate change regime that enables all countries to achieve sustainable development along climate-resilient and low greenhouse gas emission-intensive paths. We recognise the primacy of the UNFCCC, whose principles and process we have supported from the start. We endeavour, in accordance with our organizations' respective mandates, expertise, and resources, to further coordinate our financing and analyses of climate change actions and enable our client partners to maximise the effective use of new financial flows."

-- Joint statement by the heads of the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.


Quote

The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has released the names of over 140 leading climate experts from 17 countries who are asking the United Nations and other supporters of this month's Climate Change Conference to produce convincing OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE for their claims of dangerous human-caused global warming (AGW) and other changes in climate.

"With revelations that critical temperature data used by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change appear to have been intentionally distorted to increase warming trends, national representatives to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference must demand a thorough re-examination of the scientific evidence supporting proposed mitigation actions. This should not be limited to simple temperature data auditing but must also include a re-evaluation of many of the climate-related assertions uncritically accepted by politicians and media worldwide."

-- Dr. Tim Patterson, ICSC Chair and Professor of Earth Sciences at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

"While policies designed to conserve energy, reduce pollution and help vulnerable peoples adapt to climate change are important to pursue, proposals to severely curtail GHG emissions in an effort to control climate make no sense, given the current state of scientific knowledge. Instead we need to focus on environmental issues we know we can positively impact - air, land and water pollution being primary examples."

-- Dr. Wibjörn Karlén, Professor Emeritus, Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Sweden.



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Edited & Posted by Editor | 8:32 AM | Link to this Post

December 2, 2009

Los Angeles International Auto Show: Porsche Boxster Spyder Makes World Debut


Porsche


PORSCHE

ENLARGE

Photo: Porsche Launched the New Boxster Spyder to World Media in Los Angeles.


Today, at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche took the wraps off one of its most nimble and sportiest mid-engine cars: the 2011 Boxster Spyder.

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG.


PORSCHE

ENLARGE


PORSCHE CARS

ENLARGE

Photos: Porsche rolled out its new Boxster Spyder for the first time at a press conference at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. Helping usher in the sports car for this world debut was Austria's freestyle rock drummer Alfred Vogel. (Porsche Cars North America, Inc., Axel Koester)


"The new Boxster Spyder looks distinctly different from its Boxster siblings," said Klaus Berning, Porsche's executive board member responsible for worldwide sales and marketing, speaking at the Los Angeles Auto Show press conference today. "Our designers borrowed from the rich history of our mid-engine sports and race cars of the '50s, but under the skin it has our most advanced technology so that its performance matches the Spyder's looks, making it the quintessential purist Porsche."

"When equipped with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission and the Sports Chrono Package, the new Spyder, using Launch Control, accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Top track speed is 166 mph -- with the roof open."

Weighing only 2,811 lbs. and delivering 320 horsepower, it goes on sale in February 2010 and will join the Boxster and Boxster S that made their world debut here last year.

Source: Porsche

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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