Friday, March 12, 2010

Nissan Motor Thailand announces start of production for all-new March

2010 Nissan Micra/March - New vehicle will lead Thailand's eco-car segment

BANGKOK, Thailand : March 12, 2010 - Nissan Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (NMT) today celebrated the start of production for the all-new Nissan March, a global compact vehicle. More than 200 guests and employees were at the kick-off event, which included representatives from the Thai government, including Trirong Suwanakiri, deputy prime minister.

Officially launching March 26 at the Bangkok International Motor Show 2010, the Nissan March will be the first model offered for sale under Thailand's "eco-car" program, created to encourage the development of energy-efficient vehicles.

To receive eco-car designation, requirements for low fuel consumption and emissions must be met, as well as passenger safety standards for front and side impact under the stringent standards of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE regulation 94 and 95). The Thai eco-car program is an initiative of the Ministry of Industry's Board of Investment, which was successful in establishing Thailand as a manufacturing hub for pickup trucks.

"With an increasing vehicle population in Thailand and valid concerns about higher pollution levels in cities across the country, we're introducing a product that will have fewer CO2 emissions and less environmental impact," said Toshiyuki Shiga, COO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "Very importantly, too, producing and selling the eco-friendly Nissan March in Thailand, as well as exporting it to other countries in the Asian and Oceania markets, will create jobs and contribute to the country's progressive auto industry development," added Shiga, who attended the event.

The start of production for March positions NMT as a center for excellence in manufacturing, R&D and customer care. Thailand will join China, India and Mexico as one of Nissan's global manufacturing hubs for Nissan March (known as the Micra in Europe and other countries), which ultimately will be offered in 160 world markets.

Nissan March is built on a new versatile platform, the V-platform, and is designed to have broad appeal to customers in both developed and emerging markets. The designers in Japan worked to create a vehicle that would convey agility and robustness in the design. On this, they delivered. As well, March is a reliable, stylish and eco-friendly car for people who enjoy everyday driving. The compact hatchback, with its affable appearance, also is engineered for easy handling and sprightly performance, while realizing class-leading fuel efficiency. The newly developed March powertrain features a 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder engine with an output of 79PS (108Nm) and 120g/km CO2 emissions (under UNECE regulation 101). March is available with a five-speed manual transmission or an all-new continuous variable transmission (CVT).

"The all-new March will simplify city life," said Toru Hasegawa, NMT president. "March is a smart eco-car for people who enjoy their daily drives. New March drivers in Thailand will be pleased as well with the car's modern and roomy interior and the many user-friendly technologies. It's really the right car at the right time for this market."

Dealers will accept customer bookings for Nissan March starting tomorrow, and vehicle delivery will start within a few weeks for the five-speed manual transmission version. Delivery of the March with CVT will begin in early June.

Priced from 375,000 baht to 537,000 baht, March will be sold through the NMT dealer network across Thailand.

As part of its mid-term business plan (named "Revolution 2012") announced last October, NMT has targeted a more than 10 percent market share for Thailand. The company expects to achieve this mainly through the success of the eco-car project, launch of at least one new vehicle every year through 2012 and continuing quality improvements in the sales network. NMT FY2009 sales are expected to total 34,000 units, an increase of 22 percent versus FY2008. The company plans to sell 48,000 vehicles in FY2010, including 20,000 units of March.

Images : 2010 Nissan Micra/March

[Source : NISSAN]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Porsche specialists support Walter Röhrl at Nordschleife comeback

Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Walter Röhrl

STUTTGART : March 11, 2010 - Preparations for the racing comeback of Walter Röhrl (63) at the Nürburgring 24 hour race are at full revs. During a seat fitting at the Weissach Motorsport Centre, the double WRC champion met the teammates with which he will share the cockpit of the standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS on 15th and 16th May. Former DTM pilot Roland Asch (59) as well as journalists Horst von Saurma-Jeltsch (55) and Chris Harris (35) know the Nürburgring-Nordschleife like the backs of their hands and have contested Germany’s greatest long distance race several times.

Double DTM vice-champion Roland Asch has tackled the 24 hour event in the Eifel more than a dozen times. In 2004 he secured fifth overall. The foundation for Asch’s career was laid in the Porsche brand trophy series. Contesting the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup, the Swabian proved to be virtually unbeatable, winning the championship three times straight. In 1991, he claimed the championship title of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. Already in the 2010 season, Roland Asch has a race track marathon behind him: At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, he contested the Dubai 24 hour race where he fought long and hard for the lead until his retirement.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

At his debut race in 1987, Horst von Saurma-Jeltsch was Asch’s teammate in the 944 Turbo Cup. It didn’t take long for the Nürburgring-Nordschleife to become the favourite circuit of the editor-in-chief of the specialist magazine “sport auto”. Since 1988, Horst von Saurma-Jeltsch has contested the 24 hour classic twenty times. In 2001, the 55-year-old shared the cockpit of a Porsche 911 GT3 R with a line-up that included Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard. As a journalist, he regular conducts tests on the Nordschleife and in 2004 even set a lap record with a Porsche Carrera GT.

British motorsport journalist Chris Harris got his first taste of the Nordschleife in 1999. Since then he has contested the 24 hour race four times, most recently in 2007 in the cockpit of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. During the 2008 season, Harris yielded tenth place with a 911 at the Nürburgring long distance championship (VLN). At two guest appearances in the Carrera Cup Great Britain, he brought home sixth and seventh place.

In preparation for the 24 hour marathon, Röhrl and his fellow racers aim to contest two VLN races with their 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 RS. “I’m sure we will quickly familiarise ourselves with the track and the car,” said a confident Röhrl. “We’ll need to practice our pit stops. After all, it was 17 years ago that I last made a driver change at race speed.”

Images : Porsche - 24 Hrs Nurnburgring Race

[Source : PORSCHE]

Peugeot presented hoggar,its first brazilian pick-up

Peugeot Hogga

HOGGAR demonstrates Peugeot’s ambition for internationalisation and confirms the acceleration of the Marque’s strategy.Designed in Brazil for the Brazilian market, this pick-up is perfectly adapted to the local clientele’s expectations. It allows Peugeot to endorse and expand its status and links as a local manufacturer.

A world first, it revives the historical savoir-faire of the Marque by merging it with the future. HOGGAR subtly combines the robustness and reliability of a pick-up with the design and dynamism that distinguishes the Marque.

With HOGGAR, Peugeot brings a touch of seduction and emotion to the world of Pick-ups.

The comfort and quality of the finish of HOGGAR will seduce the most exacting customer because it does not compromise function for style. This is thanks to a load volume of 1151 litres and a payload of up to 742kg, which makes this vehicle a point of reference for the market.

The name HOGGAR, taken from a Peugeot concept car, evokes a world which combines strength, durability and action.

HOGGAR, the pick-up by Peugeot, seductive, dynamic and robust targets a mainly male customer base who are looking for a versatile vehicle with a distinctive style.

This vehicle will be manufactured at the Porto Real factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Equipped with a bold and modern design, HOGGAR is a new line in exclusive cars, 207 of Brazil, after the saloon, hatchback, SW and SW Escapade versions.

With this expanding range in the Brazilian market, which is expected to grow in 2010, Peugeot aims to have a 10% market share for pick-ups over the whole year.

HOGGAR will be launched in the Brazilian market on the 15th May, with three trim levels and two engine sizes : 1.4 and 1.6 litre.

[Source : PEUGEOT]

Infiniti adds limited production 2010 G Anniversary Edition Sedans, Coupes and Convertibles

2010 Infiniti G Sedan Anniversary

FRANKLIN, Tenn. : March 10, 2010 - While every 2010 Infiniti G Sedan, Coupe or Convertible seems special to those who design, engineer, manufacture or market them – and also to their owners – Infiniti has just released four new G Anniversary Editions that stand apart from every other Infiniti G ever created. These uniquely equipped Anniversary G37s, built in commemoration of Infiniti’s 20th anniversary, will be available in very limited numbers – 350 G Sedans and 200 each for the G Coupe and G Convertible. They are scheduled to go on sale at Infiniti retailers nationwide in mid-April.

“These unique and very limited editions represent what Infiniti is all about – Inspired Performance,” said Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit. “Building on the popularity of the Monaco Red Leather and special Red-toned Maple interior that helped launch the G Convertible, the Anniversary Editions add a number of new styling touches that will make them instantly recognizable on the showroom floor and on the road.”

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* for the four available 2010 Infiniti G Anniversary Editions are:
  • G37 Sedan Anniversary Edition $43,350 USD
  • G37 Sedan AWD Anniversary Edition $43,550 USD
  • G37 Coupe Anniversary Edition $50,550 USD
  • G37 Convertible Anniversary Edition $54,900 USD

The Anniversary Editions are based on the G Sedan Journey and AWD, G Coupe Journey and G Convertible and come standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine and 7-speed automatic transmission. Premium and Navigation Packages are included on all of the Anniversary Editions.

The Anniversary Edition Sedans and Coupe also receive the Sport Package and 4-Wheel Active Steer (not available on Sedan AWD). The Convertible is offered with the highly desirable climate-controlled seats.

Each Anniversary Edition comes in a new Graphite Shadow exterior color that was just added for 2010, with the interiors appointed with Monaco Red Leather. The Coupe and Convertible interiors are accented with special Red-toned Maple and the two Sedans have the new Shodo-finish aluminum trim.

Other Anniversary Edition equipment includes special aluminum-alloy wheels, W-rated summer performance tires, Midnight Black grille, unique front chin spoiler or front fascia, sport side sills (Coupe and Convertible) and rear spoiler (except Convertible). The Coupe also receives an updated rear fascia.

“We wanted to ensure that the G Anniversary Editions are the sportiest and most distinctive Infinitis offered,” added Poore. “Though they won’t arrive until April, we wanted to release pricing early to allow interested buyers to reserve the Anniversary Sedan, Coupe or Convertible of their choice before they are all gone.”

Images : 2010 Infiniti G Sedan Anniversary Edition

[Source : INFINITI]