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Found 22 results

  1. The bad news for General Motors continues to flow in. The Detroit News reported yesterday morning that GM has put two of its engineers, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio on paid leave as part of as part of a continuing internal investigation into the ignition switch recall. The two engineers were singled out during the congressional hearings as members of congress were very dubious as to why the company hadn't fired anyone at the moment. In a statement released today, GM CEO Mary Barra said the decision came after an update from Anton Valukas, the former U.S. attorney who is currently overseeing an independent investigation over the recall. “This is an interim step as we seek the truth about what happened. It was a difficult decision, but I believe it is best for GM,” said Barra. Altman and DeGiorgio played key parts in some of the recalled vehicles. Altman was the program engineering manager on the Chevrolet Cobalt through May 2005, while DeGiorgio was project engineer responsible for the ignition switch on the Cobalt and Ion. DeGiorgio's name first came up when Senator Claire McCaskill D-MO revealed a document with his name authorizing the part change to the ignition. This contradicts testimony given by him last year where he stated he didn't know about the change. Later in the day, GM announced an expansion of the ignition switch recall to include the replacement of the ignition cylinder and if necessary, cut new keys. The automaker says it is aware of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of the ignition while the vehicle is running. Source: The Detroit News, General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Replace Lock Cylinder During Ignition Switch Recall Second repair added to vehicles recalled earlier DETROIT – General Motors informed the NHTSA today that it is adding ignition lock cylinders to its safety recall of 2.2 million older model cars in the United States. The cylinders can allow removal of the ignition key while the engine is running, leading to a possible rollaway, crash and occupant or pedestrian injuries. As always, owners of manual transmission vehicles should be sure the ignition is in the “Off” position and set to reverse gear with the parking brake set before removing the key. Owners of vehicles with automatic transmission should be sure the vehicle is in “Park” before removing the key. GM is aware of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of ignitions. Searches of GM and government databases found one rollaway in a parking lot that resulted in a crash and one injury claim. The same searches turned up no fatalities. GM has decided to replace the ignition lock cylinders and cut and, if necessary, reprogram new keys. The cars covered are model years: 2003-2007 Saturn Ion 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 2007-2010 Saturn Sky 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR All of these cars were recalled in recent weeks for ignition switches that may fail to meet GM’s torque specification. The ignition switch may unintentionally move from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position with a corresponding reduction or loss of power. This risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off the road or experiences some other jarring event. The timing of the key movement out of the “run” position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes. Until recall repairs are made, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. If there is a key fob, it also should be removed from the key ring. GM also announced Thursday that the company expects to take a charge of approximately $1.3 billion in the first quarter, primarily for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the 2014 calendar year to date and related courtesy transportation. This amount includes the $750 million charge previously announced on March 31. On a preliminary basis, despite the $1.3 billion recall charge, GM currently expects to report solid core operating performance in the first quarter financial results.
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 12, 2013 A new report from Autocar says that Mazda plans to have three crossovers in its lineup by 2016. This information comes from Mazda president Takashi Yamanouchi. The first crossover is of course the CX-5. Joining alongside it are a full-size crossover, most likely the next or replacement to the CX-9; and a small crossover. The small crossover will be a new model and look much different than the current CX-5 according to sources. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 27, 2013 Back at the introduction of the 2014 Cadillac CTS at the New York Auto Show in April, Cadillac introduced a new trim called VSport. VSport offers unique styling and performance tweaks to a model. A few months back, Cadillac announced that the XTS would be getting the VSport trim as well. The Detroit News reports that more Cadillacs will be coming with VSport trim. Executives say VSport offers buyers the styling and performance they want without going to a full V model. “In the future you can look to us to expand this idea to additional models, additional vehicle models, and also using the branding for performance or sport appearance-related options and accessories,” said Hampden Tener, Cadillac’s product director. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 11, 2013 Mercedes-Benz has set forth an ambitious goal for its AMG arm: 30,000 vehicles sold by 2017, a 50% increase from the 20,000 vehicles sold annually. How are they planning to pull this off? By adding more models. Ola Kallenius, head of AMG told Autocar that they plan to have thirty models on sale by 2017. The new A45 AMG shown at the Geneva Motor Show is the first model as part of this plan. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 26, 2013 Nissan is in the midst of expanding its NISMO brand. At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the new Juke NISMO and refreshed 370Z NISMO. Today at in Yokohama, Japan. CEO Carlos Ghosn made three key announcements for the future of NISMO. The first was that NISMO was moving to a new facility that offers more engineering and development resources. NISMO's 180 employees will have access to a workshop, engine shop, fabrication room, and carbon composite processes at the new facility. Not moving is the production of NISMO vehicles; they will be built alongside their standard counterparts. Second was that NISMO would be introducing a their version of the GT-R supercar sometime next year. No word on what the GT-R NISMO will be packing power wise. "It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R. The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can't wait to drive it." said Ghosn. Finally, Ghosn announced that at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, Nissan would be racing with a “pioneering race car incorporating electric technology". The race car will be built by NISMO and will occupy a special section of the Le Mans grid reserved for innovative technologies, Garage 56. “We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology,” said Ghosn. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand Redeveloped global headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for NISMO NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars Juke NISMO is the first, followed by new 2014 370Z NISMO New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar Nissan’s global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand and officially opening the new NISMO global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan. NISMO is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, NISMO is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan’s reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan production vehicles. In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsports activities. “NISMO will democratize performance and bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people,” said Mr. Ghosn. “Whether it’s a small car or a sports car, if it’s wearing the NISMO badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.” The first new Nissan production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring. A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer. Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more NISMO models – at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology efforts, the Nissan GT-R. “It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R,” said Mr. Ghosn. “The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.” A New Home for NISMO Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for NISMO’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. The new headquarters facility allows the NISMO team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for NISMO’s key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof. The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan’s Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory. “This is a great move for NISMO as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally,” explained NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani. “NISMO is a key element in Nissan’s future global vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand,” he added. “This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance.” The NISMO Spirit At the heart of each new NISMO model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities. Nissan’s new range of NISMO performance models will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the NISMO brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements. Every modification NISMO makes to a production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new NISMO model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan’s philosophy of “innovation that excites.” Connecting the Virtual with the Real NISMO is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke NISMO was provided virtually through Gameloft’s Asphalt 7: Heat. Now, at the same time as NISMO is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable NISMO-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers. “For many would-be NISMO customers, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony’s Gran Turismo® series,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. “Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with exciting, real NISMO cars created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car.” Performance for the Road and Track The spirit and inspiration for NISMO started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost 50 years ago. In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT. What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984. With the digital generation, Nissan realized the power of the NISMO legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3. Now, as NISMO accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience. NISMO Expands Role in Motorsports NISMO’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsports activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan’s reputation for excitement and innovation. NISMO is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan’s motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world. “Nissan’s commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports,” explained Miyatani. “Our spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of NISMO around the world but, more importantly, it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for NISMO production cars, race cars or tuning parts.”
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 16, 2013 We known for a time that the Mini lineup would be growing to ten models, but we weren't quite sure how that would happen. Well Car and Driver had the chance to talk with Mini U.S. product planning manager Patrick McKenna about the possibilities. Model eight is the new Mini Clubvan, while nine and ten will not be a new body style. Instead, nine and ten will be a front-wheel-drive hybrid and a second-generation electric Mini, both based on the three-door Cooper. Also in the pipeline is the new Cooper which will debut in November and come with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a next-generation Clubman. One model that will not be coming is the Rocketman, that has been canned. Source: Car and Driver William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. Sales of crossovers have been booming in the past year thanks to lower gas prices. Sensing a huge opportunity, General Motors is planning to add more crossovers to its various brands. The Detroit Bureau reports that Cadillac is planning to add a crossover that will compete with the likes of the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. We first reported on this back in November as Cadillac plans to add a compact, subcompact, and full-size crossover to its lineup in the next few years. No mention was given in either report of when we'll see the subcompact crossover. Meanwhile at Chevrolet, sources say the brand is considering a new midsize model to slot in between the Equinox and Traverse. This model would come with three-rows and compete against the likes of the Toyota Highlander and Ford Edge. Chevrolet is expected to move the Equinox slight down market and the Traverse slightly up market to give the new model some breathing room. Source: The Detroit Bureau
  8. The Nissan Rogue crossover is proving to be a very popular vehicle for the brand. Through the first half of the year, Nissan has moved 135,397 Rogues - making this the second best-selling model behind the Altima. According to Automotive News, Nissan will be tapping its Kyushu, Japan factory to produce an extra 100,000 Rogues starting next year. This will help give Nissan the ability to sell 300,000 Rogues. Automotive News also reports that the company will be introducing two new variants of the Rogue in the future. According to two sources, Nissan will launch a hybrid Rogue next year. Following this will be the smaller Qashqai crossover. Based on the Rogue's platform, the Qashqai is about 10 inches shorter and two inches narrower. This is expected to be the replacement for the Rogue Select, which is the last-generation Rogue. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries has a plan to increase to increase overall value by 2020. To help them out, Subaru has plans on expanding their performance arm, STI in the U.S. "The United States is the highest priority for STI. We'd like to create a car that drivers can control like their own legs so they can push the car to the limit," said STI President Yoshio Hirakawa to Automotive News. STI has three parts to its business: Complete vehicles, performance parts, and motorsports. At the moment, the U.S. is STI's biggest market for vehicles. 2014 saw 6,500 WRX STIs be sold in the U.S. How does Subaru plan on expanding STI in the U.S.? We got a sneak peek at New York earlier this month when the automaker showed off STI Performance Concept which takes the BRZ coupe ands and number of parts from STI including a new body kit and suspension pieces. Subaru spokesman Michael McHale said a BRZ STI will be coming in a couple years. Subaru will also wind down their SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) line of performance parts and replace it with STI parts. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. For awhile, we've been reporting on MINI's plans to expand their lineup to possibly ten models. But now, the company is reversing that decision. Bloomberg reports that MINI's parent company, BMW has decided that MINI has too many models and is cutting it down from eight to five models. Peter Schwarzenbauer, MINI's brand chief says the automaker will focus on “superhero” vehicles such as the three-door hardtop. “Like a superhero, each of these cars has its own personality and unique capabilities. It is important to find the right balance between growth on the one hand and profitability on the other,” said Schwarzenbauer. Schwarzenbauer goes onto say that this new focus means that three to four of the current models will remain in the lineup, though he doesn't say which models will be cut. Likely models to be cut include the MINI Coupe and Roadster. Even with these cuts, MINI isn't giving up on introducing new models. Schwarzenbauer says that the automaker is planning to introduce an electric vehicle “soon” once it appears that zero-emission driving becomes a must in urban areas. Source: Bloomberg
  11. Mazda is planning an expansion of the 6 family with the introduction of a coupe. Auto Express reports that the Japanese automaker is planning to launch a 6 Coupe in 2016. Styling will be a more dramatic version of the current Kodo design language, possibly taking some more ideas from the Shinari Concept that was shown a few years back. Motor Trend follows up this report with talk of a range of Mazdaspeed models coming in the near future. First up is the next-generation Mazdaspeed3. The model is expected to pack a turbocharged 2.5L SkyActiv four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Also in the pipeline is Mazdapeed versions of the Mazda2 and 6. Source: Auto Express, Motor Trend William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 27, 2013 Back at the introduction of the 2014 Cadillac CTS at the New York Auto Show in April, Cadillac introduced a new trim called VSport. VSport offers unique styling and performance tweaks to a model. A few months back, Cadillac announced that the XTS would be getting the VSport trim as well. The Detroit News reports that more Cadillacs will be coming with VSport trim. Executives say VSport offers buyers the styling and performance they want without going to a full V model. “In the future you can look to us to expand this idea to additional models, additional vehicle models, and also using the branding for performance or sport appearance-related options and accessories,” said Hampden Tener, Cadillac’s product director. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 16, 2013 We known for a time that the Mini lineup would be growing to ten models, but we weren't quite sure how that would happen. Well Car and Driver had the chance to talk with Mini U.S. product planning manager Patrick McKenna about the possibilities. Model eight is the new Mini Clubvan, while nine and ten will not be a new body style. Instead, nine and ten will be a front-wheel-drive hybrid and a second-generation electric Mini, both based on the three-door Cooper. Also in the pipeline is the new Cooper which will debut in November and come with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a next-generation Clubman. One model that will not be coming is the Rocketman, that has been canned. Source: Car and Driver William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 26, 2013 Nissan is in the midst of expanding its NISMO brand. At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the new Juke NISMO and refreshed 370Z NISMO. Today at in Yokohama, Japan. CEO Carlos Ghosn made three key announcements for the future of NISMO. The first was that NISMO was moving to a new facility that offers more engineering and development resources. NISMO's 180 employees will have access to a workshop, engine shop, fabrication room, and carbon composite processes at the new facility. Not moving is the production of NISMO vehicles; they will be built alongside their standard counterparts. Second was that NISMO would be introducing a their version of the GT-R supercar sometime next year. No word on what the GT-R NISMO will be packing power wise. "It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R. The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can't wait to drive it." said Ghosn. Finally, Ghosn announced that at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, Nissan would be racing with a “pioneering race car incorporating electric technology". The race car will be built by NISMO and will occupy a special section of the Le Mans grid reserved for innovative technologies, Garage 56. “We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology,” said Ghosn. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand Redeveloped global headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for NISMO NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars Juke NISMO is the first, followed by new 2014 370Z NISMO New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar Nissan’s global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand and officially opening the new NISMO global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan. NISMO is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, NISMO is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan’s reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan production vehicles. In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsports activities. “NISMO will democratize performance and bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people,” said Mr. Ghosn. “Whether it’s a small car or a sports car, if it’s wearing the NISMO badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.” The first new Nissan production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring. A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer. Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more NISMO models – at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology efforts, the Nissan GT-R. “It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R,” said Mr. Ghosn. “The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.” A New Home for NISMO Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for NISMO’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. The new headquarters facility allows the NISMO team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for NISMO’s key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof. The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan’s Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory. “This is a great move for NISMO as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally,” explained NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani. “NISMO is a key element in Nissan’s future global vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand,” he added. “This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance.” The NISMO Spirit At the heart of each new NISMO model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities. Nissan’s new range of NISMO performance models will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the NISMO brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements. Every modification NISMO makes to a production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new NISMO model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan’s philosophy of “innovation that excites.” Connecting the Virtual with the Real NISMO is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke NISMO was provided virtually through Gameloft’s Asphalt 7: Heat. Now, at the same time as NISMO is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable NISMO-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers. “For many would-be NISMO customers, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony’s Gran Turismo® series,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. “Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with exciting, real NISMO cars created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car.” Performance for the Road and Track The spirit and inspiration for NISMO started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost 50 years ago. In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT. What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984. With the digital generation, Nissan realized the power of the NISMO legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3. Now, as NISMO accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience. NISMO Expands Role in Motorsports NISMO’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsports activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan’s reputation for excitement and innovation. NISMO is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan’s motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world. “Nissan’s commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports,” explained Miyatani. “Our spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of NISMO around the world but, more importantly, it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for NISMO production cars, race cars or tuning parts.” View full article
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 11, 2013 Mercedes-Benz has set forth an ambitious goal for its AMG arm: 30,000 vehicles sold by 2017, a 50% increase from the 20,000 vehicles sold annually. How are they planning to pull this off? By adding more models. Ola Kallenius, head of AMG told Autocar that they plan to have thirty models on sale by 2017. The new A45 AMG shown at the Geneva Motor Show is the first model as part of this plan. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 12, 2013 A new report from Autocar says that Mazda plans to have three crossovers in its lineup by 2016. This information comes from Mazda president Takashi Yamanouchi. The first crossover is of course the CX-5. Joining alongside it are a full-size crossover, most likely the next or replacement to the CX-9; and a small crossover. The small crossover will be a new model and look much different than the current CX-5 according to sources. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. The bad news for General Motors continues to flow in. The Detroit News reported yesterday morning that GM has put two of its engineers, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio on paid leave as part of as part of a continuing internal investigation into the ignition switch recall. The two engineers were singled out during the congressional hearings as members of congress were very dubious as to why the company hadn't fired anyone at the moment. In a statement released today, GM CEO Mary Barra said the decision came after an update from Anton Valukas, the former U.S. attorney who is currently overseeing an independent investigation over the recall. “This is an interim step as we seek the truth about what happened. It was a difficult decision, but I believe it is best for GM,” said Barra. Altman and DeGiorgio played key parts in some of the recalled vehicles. Altman was the program engineering manager on the Chevrolet Cobalt through May 2005, while DeGiorgio was project engineer responsible for the ignition switch on the Cobalt and Ion. DeGiorgio's name first came up when Senator Claire McCaskill D-MO revealed a document with his name authorizing the part change to the ignition. This contradicts testimony given by him last year where he stated he didn't know about the change. Later in the day, GM announced an expansion of the ignition switch recall to include the replacement of the ignition cylinder and if necessary, cut new keys. The automaker says it is aware of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of the ignition while the vehicle is running. Source: The Detroit News, General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Replace Lock Cylinder During Ignition Switch Recall Second repair added to vehicles recalled earlier DETROIT – General Motors informed the NHTSA today that it is adding ignition lock cylinders to its safety recall of 2.2 million older model cars in the United States. The cylinders can allow removal of the ignition key while the engine is running, leading to a possible rollaway, crash and occupant or pedestrian injuries. As always, owners of manual transmission vehicles should be sure the ignition is in the “Off” position and set to reverse gear with the parking brake set before removing the key. Owners of vehicles with automatic transmission should be sure the vehicle is in “Park” before removing the key. GM is aware of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of ignitions. Searches of GM and government databases found one rollaway in a parking lot that resulted in a crash and one injury claim. The same searches turned up no fatalities. GM has decided to replace the ignition lock cylinders and cut and, if necessary, reprogram new keys. The cars covered are model years: 2003-2007 Saturn Ion 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 2007-2010 Saturn Sky 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR All of these cars were recalled in recent weeks for ignition switches that may fail to meet GM’s torque specification. The ignition switch may unintentionally move from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position with a corresponding reduction or loss of power. This risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off the road or experiences some other jarring event. The timing of the key movement out of the “run” position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes. Until recall repairs are made, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. If there is a key fob, it also should be removed from the key ring. GM also announced Thursday that the company expects to take a charge of approximately $1.3 billion in the first quarter, primarily for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the 2014 calendar year to date and related courtesy transportation. This amount includes the $750 million charge previously announced on March 31. On a preliminary basis, despite the $1.3 billion recall charge, GM currently expects to report solid core operating performance in the first quarter financial results. View full article
  18. Sales of crossovers have been booming in the past year thanks to lower gas prices. Sensing a huge opportunity, General Motors is planning to add more crossovers to its various brands. The Detroit Bureau reports that Cadillac is planning to add a crossover that will compete with the likes of the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. We first reported on this back in November as Cadillac plans to add a compact, subcompact, and full-size crossover to its lineup in the next few years. No mention was given in either report of when we'll see the subcompact crossover. Meanwhile at Chevrolet, sources say the brand is considering a new midsize model to slot in between the Equinox and Traverse. This model would come with three-rows and compete against the likes of the Toyota Highlander and Ford Edge. Chevrolet is expected to move the Equinox slight down market and the Traverse slightly up market to give the new model some breathing room. Source: The Detroit Bureau View full article
  19. The Nissan Rogue crossover is proving to be a very popular vehicle for the brand. Through the first half of the year, Nissan has moved 135,397 Rogues - making this the second best-selling model behind the Altima. According to Automotive News, Nissan will be tapping its Kyushu, Japan factory to produce an extra 100,000 Rogues starting next year. This will help give Nissan the ability to sell 300,000 Rogues. Automotive News also reports that the company will be introducing two new variants of the Rogue in the future. According to two sources, Nissan will launch a hybrid Rogue next year. Following this will be the smaller Qashqai crossover. Based on the Rogue's platform, the Qashqai is about 10 inches shorter and two inches narrower. This is expected to be the replacement for the Rogue Select, which is the last-generation Rogue. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries has a plan to increase to increase overall value by 2020. To help them out, Subaru has plans on expanding their performance arm, STI in the U.S. "The United States is the highest priority for STI. We'd like to create a car that drivers can control like their own legs so they can push the car to the limit," said STI President Yoshio Hirakawa to Automotive News. STI has three parts to its business: Complete vehicles, performance parts, and motorsports. At the moment, the U.S. is STI's biggest market for vehicles. 2014 saw 6,500 WRX STIs be sold in the U.S. How does Subaru plan on expanding STI in the U.S.? We got a sneak peek at New York earlier this month when the automaker showed off STI Performance Concept which takes the BRZ coupe ands and number of parts from STI including a new body kit and suspension pieces. Subaru spokesman Michael McHale said a BRZ STI will be coming in a couple years. Subaru will also wind down their SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) line of performance parts and replace it with STI parts. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  21. For awhile, we've been reporting on MINI's plans to expand their lineup to possibly ten models. But now, the company is reversing that decision. Bloomberg reports that MINI's parent company, BMW has decided that MINI has too many models and is cutting it down from eight to five models. Peter Schwarzenbauer, MINI's brand chief says the automaker will focus on “superhero” vehicles such as the three-door hardtop. “Like a superhero, each of these cars has its own personality and unique capabilities. It is important to find the right balance between growth on the one hand and profitability on the other,” said Schwarzenbauer. Schwarzenbauer goes onto say that this new focus means that three to four of the current models will remain in the lineup, though he doesn't say which models will be cut. Likely models to be cut include the MINI Coupe and Roadster. Even with these cuts, MINI isn't giving up on introducing new models. Schwarzenbauer says that the automaker is planning to introduce an electric vehicle “soon” once it appears that zero-emission driving becomes a must in urban areas. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  22. Mazda is planning an expansion of the 6 family with the introduction of a coupe. Auto Express reports that the Japanese automaker is planning to launch a 6 Coupe in 2016. Styling will be a more dramatic version of the current Kodo design language, possibly taking some more ideas from the Shinari Concept that was shown a few years back. Motor Trend follows up this report with talk of a range of Mazdaspeed models coming in the near future. First up is the next-generation Mazdaspeed3. The model is expected to pack a turbocharged 2.5L SkyActiv four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Also in the pipeline is Mazdapeed versions of the Mazda2 and 6. Source: Auto Express, Motor Trend William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
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