FACTBOX-Central Europe’s car makers hit by COVID-19 pandemic

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July 30 (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges for carmakers in central Europe. Below are figures on producers in the region and their contribution to the economies of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the countries in the region that are most reliant on the auto industry.


Population: 9.8 million.

The car sector’s contribution to GDP is about 4-6%, and it accounted for almost one third of industrial output and 21% of exports in 2019.

The sector employs around 170,000 people.

GDP FORECAST FOR 2020: the government projects a 5% decline (vs OECD projection for a decline of 8%)

** AUDI – production is running in three shifts at its car plant, but certain parts of the engine plant were not back at full capacity as of mid-July. It made 164,372 cars last year and 1.969 million engines but declined to give a forecast for this year’s

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Why the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class could be the world’s safest car

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The next Mercedes-Benz S-Class can jump out of the way of a crash, make way for ambulances, project warnings onto the road and cloak rear passengers in tentlike airbags.

Set to be revealed in September before going on sale next year, the S-Class is Mercedes’ range-topping sedan, a model chosen by millionaires and VIPs around the world.

Benz has teased would-be customers with drip-fed information in recent weeks, confirming the car will offer cutting-edge tech such as facial recognition within its infotainment and connectivity systems.

The high-resolution head-up display features hologram-like augmented reality, projecting video game-like arrows on the road ahead, and new “digital light” headlights can project symbols onto the road, telling pedestrians it is safe to cross or warning the driver if they’re following the car in front too closely.

A sophisticated stereoscopic dashboard display also offers hologram-like 3D visuals, and an enormous central screen does away with

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Owning the same car for 12 years has saved me thousands

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Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

I didn’t always plan to keep my car this long. 

As excited as I was to go to the dealer nearly 12 years ago and buy the silver Acura I adored, I never thought we would have this kind of longevity. But keeping my car — the first I ever bought — has been one of the best financial decisions I’ve made. 

We may think a car payment is a fact of life. A thing we have to have, especially if we live in an area without great transportation options. In fact, transportation is the second-leading expense for American households, behind only housing, according to a 2019 report from the

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The Concours Virtual Is a World-Class Car Show You Can Enjoy From Your Couch

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With the coronavirus pandemic canceling all of our favorite events this year, there hasn’t been much to look forward to. Enter the Concours Virtual: a world-class Concours d’Elegance event you can enjoy without ever leaving your couch.

a car parked in front of a brick building: 17 classes and over 180 culminate in the world's most exciting virtual car event yet.

© Concours Virtual
17 classes and over 180 culminate in the world’s most exciting virtual car event yet.

The Concours Virtual is exactly what it sounds like: a virtual car show involving some of the most beautiful and historically significant cars on the planet. There are over 180 cars spread throughout 17 specific classes, ranging from pre-war steam cars to iconic Eighties exotics. You’ll also find rare concept cars, specialty American muscle, vintage race cars, and everything in between.

Here’s how it works: The event’s website reveals the cars for one class on a specific date and announces judging results a week later. It kicked off with Class A (pre-war preservation) on June

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