Latest company and industry news

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the release of the all-new Skyline Crossover, which goes on sale today at Nissan dealers nationwide.

The new Nissan Skyline Crossover represents a fusion of luxury coupe and luxury SUV, a union beautifully expressed in its dynamic design, sophisticated performance and unmatched driving pleasure. Along with its flowing silhouette and modern interior, the Skyline Crossover offers an optimal balance of smooth handling, supple ride comfort and responsive acceleration provided by its powerful 3.7-liter VQ37VHR engine and 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. It also features a number of advanced technologies and safety systems, highlighted by an Around View Monitor with Parking Guide and Lane Departure Prevention system.

Innovative Design – The Fusion of Coupe and SUV
The exterior of the Skyline Crossover evokes the image of solidity and lightness. Its long front nose, with hood bulge extending from the grille to the front door mirrors, combines with the coupe-like [...]

I’ll be honest I hadn’t but then I don’t spend a lot of time surfing the net for news about electric cars. And it seems of course that the main media outlets can’t be bothered either. So a little known Canadian electric car maker, Zenn, is about to become a global player thanks to the technology of EEStor, a Texas based tech firm that have developed a revolutionary super capacitor.

Look out Toyota, Honda and all other hybrid jokers, this Electrical Energy Storage Unit, EESU for short, so outperforms any chemical battery on the market today it takes your breath away. It is the Holy Grail of energy storage without the use of any toxic materials. Unaffected by temperature extremes, almost 0 storage trickle loss this EESU not only has applications for automobiles but any industry where energy storage is required.

EEStor’s patents reveal objectives that are nothing short of ‘replacing the electro-chemical battery’ in [...]

Mazda Motor Corporation has commenced sales of the freshened Mazda Biante range for the Japanese market. Mazda’s updated, mid-sized tall ‘high-roof’ minivan goes on sale today at all Mazda, Mazda Autozam and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including sales tax) start from 2,131,500 yen for the 2.0-liter versions and 2,699,000 yen for the 2.3-liter versions.

The top-selling front-wheel drive (FWD) 20S model grade now offers fuel economy of 13.6 kilometers per liter*1,
a seven percent improvement over the previous model, thanks to the addition of i-stop, Mazda’s proprietary engine stop/start system. With a quick engine restart of just 0.35 seconds, i-stop also suppresses noise and vibration, making the stopping and restarting of the engine barely noticeable and ensuring that drivers experience a natural
driving feel.

In addition to i-stop, the FWD 20S model grade also comes with features to support eco-driving: a trip computer with a fuel economy meter [...]

New technology is great, I’m all for it – when it works, and we aren’t just being sold something because it’s new and trendy. Toyota would have us believe that their range of hybrid cars makes them incredibly green, clean and wonderful, saving us from a doomed CO2 furnace. Hmmm.. is that really the case.

I was reading a Japanese car mag last week that took the new Lexus GS350 and the new GS hybrid model for a back to back/side by side spin. They travelled 900kms in these two vehicles, a combination of city traffic and highway cruising. At the end they did the numbers and surprise surprise there was nothing between them in the fuel consumption. Both returned 9.1km/l. The extra 200kgs for the motor and battery of the hybrid undid any gain it might have had.

When you add in the extra CO2 footprint these hybrid cars have at the factory stage [...]

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the sales launch of the all-new Mazda Axela (known overseas as the new Mazda3) in the Japanese market. Mazda’s mainstay model has been fully redesigned and updated with a host of new features, including the ‘i-stop’ engine stop/start system. Sales commence today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Autozam dealers nationwide. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including sales tax) for the all-new Mazda Axela range from 1,660,000 to 2,678,000 yen. The target sales volume in the Japanese market is 2,000 units per month.

Since the Mazda Axela first debuted in October 2003 it has become a core model in Mazda’s lineup, selling over two million units worldwide and currently comprising over a third of its annual global sales. For the second generation Axela, the development team was determined to once again exceed customer expectations. As a result, the new model inherits and evolves Mazda’s highly acclaimed sporty performance and exterior styling. [...]

The NISSAN GT-R, winner of the 2009 World Performance Car of the Year, has improved its lap time at the renowned Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany to 7min 26 seconds 70 on April 23.

This new time underlines Nissan engineering team’s commitment to constantly challenge the GT-R’s performance.
Previous recorded lap times at the ‘Ring’ were:
7 minutes 27 seconds 56 on April 15, 2009
7 minutes 29 in April 2008
7 minutes 38 in September 2007

“This record demonstrates our commitment to the continuous evolution of the Nissan GT-R,” says Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer and Chief Vehicle Specialist. “We would like to continue delivering the passion and pride of ownership to our customers by improving its performance every year.”

The Nissan GT-R has won more than a dozen awards globally including Car of the Year from CAR Magazine in the UK, and Car of the Year by both Motor [...]

Orders in Japan for Toyota’s new Prius hybrid have topped a booming 110,000, a major dealership chain said Saturday, in what is turning out to be a rare bright spot in the gloomy auto market.

The third-generation Prius officially rolled out in Japan just two weeks ago. But dealers are already flooded with orders, including some placed weeks in advance, according to the dealership.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, said two weeks ago that it received 80,000 advance orders, and has not updated that number.

But the Toyota Tokyo Corolla dealer said Saturday that nationwide orders at Toyota dealerships in Japan, including those of rivals, have soared to 110,000. Dealers tally their customer orders differently from the way manufacturers do.

But any way you slice it, the Prius is a hit. Toyota has set its monthly sales target for Japan at 10,000 new Prius cars — a figure that should make it the [...]

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 [...]

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