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Quick, name the 12th largest automotive manufacturing country in the world. Since we kind of gave the answer away in the headline, we're not too surprised that you just answered Thailand. But did you also know that 1.6 million vehicles were produced in Thailand last year and that the country is an export powerhouse? Over half of those vehicles (55 percent) were exported to countries/areas like Australia, Malaysia, Philippines and the Middle East, and that makes what happens in the Southeast Asia

Late last night, students from Virginia Tech University got wind that their E85-burning extended-range electric Equinox was named the overall champ of EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.

Starting today, students competing in the collegiate engineering competition, EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, began putting their alternative-fuel vehicles through a series of tests for the final time before the winning team is announced on June 17th in Washington, DC.

MSU's award winning EcoCAR towing test equipment - Click above to watch video after the jump

GM may have discarded the Saturn brand in the company's bankruptcy, but there are still at least 150 young engineers working hard to turn a Saturn Vue into the most efficient vehicle possible. The engineers are all students from 17 universities who are participating in the EcoCAR challenge, the three-year follow-up to Challenge X.

Toyota told Reuters they will join Thailand's plan to be the eco-friendly car production capital of the world. Trying to repair the economic damage to the Thai car industry from the 2006 coup, the Thai government is offering green car makers 50 percent cut in the excise tax, no income tax for 8 years and machinery imports duty free.

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