Author Archive: Simon Burger

Author Archives for Simon Burger

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that Insight ranked as the industry’s best-selling car among new vehicle registrations* in Japan for the month of April 2009, with sales of 10,481 units (source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association). It is the first time in history for a hybrid model to be the industry’s best selling vehicle in Japan for any monthly sales period.

Fit was the industry’s best-selling car among new vehicle registrations in Japan for calendar year 2008 and the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Fit was also the industry’s best-selling car for the month of March 2009, for the fourth consecutive month since December 2008, until it was displaced by Insight to become the industry’s second best-selling car in April 2009,with sales of 9,443 units. It is the first time Honda has occupied the industry’s top two best-selling car positions.

Since its introduction on February 6, 2009, the all-new Insight has been very well received [...]

Toyota Motor Corp. is considering offering the company’s core technology for hybrid vehicles to struggling General Motors Corp. of the United States, it has been learned.

The possible move comes on the back of speculation that GM will soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

According to sources, Toyota is essentially ready to provide the technology if GM asks it to do so, even if the U.S. firm becomes subject to the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

The technology Toyota is considering providing to GM is patented technology for increasing fuel economy by controlling the movement of the engine and the motor. The technology is used in the Prius and some other Toyota vehicles. Fuel economy using Toyota technology far exceeds that achievable with technology developed by GM.

One reason seen behind GM’s current travails is that the company fell behind in the field of environment-friendly technologies, which, coupled with spiraling gasoline prices [...]

I was asked to order a new GTR for a client in December 2007, so I went down to my local Nissan dealer and plonked down a deposit, chose gunmetal premium edtition with a few other options.

Due end of March I was told but because of gearbox manufacturing problems in Germany this was delayed until end of April. Apparently a lot of the boxes are not meeting Nissan’s margin of error so until that is sorted expect long er waiting times. I was told 6 months when I picked mine up.

Couple of gripes with Nissan as far as customer service. The salesman thought I was coming down at 3pm, I thought they would come pick me up or drop the car off, i.e how do I get there if I have to drive the car away, catch a a taxi? Don’t think so. He called and I told him I was waiting, so [...]

A Japanese company (TOYOTA) and an American company (FORD MOTORS) decided to have a canoe race on the
Missouri River.

Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of Senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to [...]

Japan’s Best Car supposedly has yet another scoop on the Nissan Silvia revival, and while the image gracing the mag’s cover is little more than a photoshopped pipedream, the information presented within deserves note.

According to one of the publication’s editors, a source at Nissan has suggested that the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe could benefit from the Nissan/Renault alliance and fitted with a 2.0-liter engine lifted from the French automaker. Speculation is that the 225 hp turbocharged four-pot powering the Renault Megane Sport could be mounted up front, sending power to the rear wheels on a modified Z platform. Not only would that keep production costs low, but the motor could be shoved far back into the firewall, making it a competent corner carver in the process.

Best Car expects the S16 Silvia to be priced between $18,000 and $21,000 if and when it goes on sale in 2010

Our take on this is it’s [...]

Yeah another sensational headline. Most of you will probably already know the new GTR is pretty big.

Here’s a photo to help. Pretty wide across the hips isn’t she, up there with the Ferraris etc. she was aimed at to beat. 190cm wide. Problem is for most of the Japanese market that’s too wide. To buy a car here you have to have a carparking space by law. The majority of people in the major citys such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe live in apartment buildings with mechanical lift style carparks to save space. A lot of these have a max permissible width of 180cm. Some like mine have 185cm. If it’s 1mm over you can’t register the car and therefore can’t buy it.

There are a lot of guys here who have bought every GTR since the 32 in 1989. It’s almost religious. They have been waiting for the 35 for a few [...]

In the last two years the number of recalls on Toyota vehicles has risen dramatically. In the US the numbers were up ten fold over the previous year and in Japan the numbers were up 100 times, mostly because Toyota never had recalls. So what’s the problem? Is Toyota quality dropping in their quest to become the world’s dominant manufacturer, slashing supplier costs and raising retail prices, cashing in on their reputation to build up a huge pot of money to further their expansion plans? Yes that certainly has something to do with it but there is more to the story.

In 1990 Toyota declared a profit in Japan of about $500 Million on a huge sales volumn pushed along by the late 80s bubble economy. In 2000 they reported a profit of $1 Billion on less sales volumn. How do you do that? No big secret, make your cars for less and sell them [...]

This is taken from the Nissan blurb that they handed out to the press.

The new Nissan GT-R may well be the most accomplished and technologically advanced high performance car ever made. One of the world’s fastest vehicles (including a production car lap record at the famous Nürburgring in Germany), it is also probably the world’s easiest and most secure high-speed car to drive fast. The multi-performance supercar Nissan GT-R raced through the Nürburgring circuit – where the condition of the most feared high-speed corner, “Kesselchen” was wet – with a record time of 7m38s. It can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. The new Nissan GT-R is also striking value, offering much better performance – in acceleration, cornering power and braking – than all equivalently priced sports coupes.

Like previous versions of the legendary race-winning GT-R, the latest model is a showcase for Nissan’s engineering talents. Features include an advanced full-time four-wheel drive system [...]

I traveled up to Tokyo on October 23rd and met up with Jeff Ash of C-Red Tuning for the Tokyo Motor Show 2007. Jeff had organized some press passes so we got the royal treatment with plenty of handouts and CDs including an excellent, fact packed, picture loaded and video filled one on the new GTR.

Because of the amount of information collected and interesting new releases, not just supercars but also Japanese makers are finally entering back into the domestic market with common rail diesels of their own, I’m going to spread the show over several entries so come back from time to time to get the Auto Insider’s take on the new releases at TMS 2007.

Well of course I’m going to lead off with the star of the show. Yes we saw the unveiling by Carlos of what will be without doubt not just another Japanese icon to follow the previous GTRs [...]

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