Automotive Purchasing Weekly 27 April 2015 - page 6

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Nissansales figuresdown inAsiaandOceania
27 April 2015 | OEM
Nissan announced total Asia and Oceania
sales for March of 28,370 units, a 24%
increase over the prior year. In fiscal year
2014, Nissan group sold 265,280 vehicles
across the region, down 5.8% compared to
the prior fiscal year.
Thailand market share posted a record
high in fiscal year 2014 to 8.0%. X-Trail and
NP300 Navara were the main contributors to
sales in Thailand, accounting for 1,030 and
1,980 units, respectively. The outperforming
X-Trail has become the No. 1 SUV in the
country.
Continuing sales momentum driven by the
“The Big One” (1%) finance offer campaign,
Australia set the best sales record for X-Trail
(2,080 units) and Qashqai (1,250 units).
Indonesia market share grew 1.4 point to
5.3% annually thanks to the strong bookings
of X-Trail, Datsun GO and GO+.
Malaysia posted its second-best monthly
sales in the fiscal year, reaching 8.7 percent2
market share for the month, led by Almera
(2,920 units) and X-Trail (1,280 units). Given
the robust sales growth of X-Trail, it is
expected to crown the high SUV segment.
Sales were challenged by the slowing
market demand particularly in Thailand
and Indonesia. However, Nissan has been
significantly accelerating the pace of
product development by rolling out key
global models, such as the Nissan NP300
Navara and X-Trail, along with Datsun brand
models, across the region.
Other markets achieved outstanding
performance: Korea recorded its best-ever
sales in history, with Nissan sales soaring
43.2% year-on-year to 4,810 units; Infiniti
sales rising 84.1% from last year, to 2,760
units.
Vietnam sales also hit historic high to
2,610 units (up 11.9% annually), propelled by
positive sentiment on Sunny and NP300.
Hong Kong marked a record high sales
volume in two consecutive years, accounting
for 3,380 units. Nissan posted record sales
in Singapore with 5,300 units, reaching 11.9%
market share, while Nissan ranked number 1
in the light commercial vehicle segment and
captured 42.7% market share.
1,000kmplug-inhybrid road triphelps
Porschecelebrate 10millionFacebook fans
27 April 2015 | OEM
A dream drive for one Porsche enthusiast will become a reality this week when Ingo Georges
Vandenberghe from Austria joins a special road trip around England and Wales in a Porsche
918 Spyder plug-in hybrid super sports car.
Ingo (27) won this amazing prize in
a competition hosted on the Porsche
Facebook page to celebrate the landmark
of reaching 10 million Facebook fans
worldwide. Now, he will visit a series of top
cultural and motoring landmarks from the
unique vantage point of the cockpit of the
epochal 918 Spyder.
At each stage on the car’s 1,000 km
journey, Porsche owners and enthusiasts will
be invited to sign the car as a memento of its
historic trip. The 918 Spyder will be joined
by a Cayenne S E-Hybrid and Panamera
S E-Hybrid, underlining the pre-eminent
position of Porsche as the only premium
marque offering three plug-in hybrid cars.
The 918 Spyder – the fastest production
car ever to lap Autocar magazine’s road
test circuit – will drive from central London
and tour through Oxford, Wales and the
Cotswolds before finishing at the Porsche
Experience Centre at Silverstone. The route
has been chosen to demonstrate both the
power and efficiency of Porsche E-Hybrid
technology, the ultimate expression of
Porsche Intelligent Performance.
To encourage people to share in this
special moment, the car has been specially
wrapped so it can be signed at stops during
the journey.
The choice of Bourton-on-the-Water as a
stopping point was inspired by the Facebook
competition. Fans were asked to identify
the country and location of a landscape
photograph, and the closest guess won this
amazing ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
Featuring a bespoke 608 hp 4,593cc V8
petrol engine supported by a 115 kW electric
motor driving the rear axle, and a 95 kW
electric motor powering the front wheels,
the 918 Spyder produces a total output of
887 hp. This power offers the potential for
acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 secs
and a top speed of 214 mph. Such blistering
performance is combined with the potential
to accelerate to 93 mph in pure electric drive
mode, and fuel economy of up to 94 mpg
with emissions as low as 70 g/km CO2. Built
in a limited series of 918 examples priced
from €781,155, every example of the carbon
fibre two-seater 918 Spyder has been sold.
GMhelping ‘Kinect’ gaming
technologywithchildsafetyseats
27 April 2015 | OEM
With ample space and adjustable second
row seats, the Chevrolet Traverse offers
parents flexibility when it comes to
fitting child safety seats. But how do GM
engineers determine what seats fit and
where, especially with hundreds of models
on the market?
A Kinect motion sensor, originally
developed for the Xbox 360, is helping solve
that challenge.
“There are over 250 different makes and
models of child safety seats on the market,
and new or revised models are introduced
every year,” said Julie Kleinert, GM’s Global
Child Safety Technical Lead, “and the lack of
an industry standard for the size and shape
of child seats makes it quite challenging for
vehicle engineers.”
Through the Center for Child Injury
Prevention Studies (CChIPS), a National
Science
Foundation-funded
industry/
university research cooperative with partner
research sites at The Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Ohio State
University, Kleinert and engineers from
other vehicle and child seat manufacturers
are working to develop new tools to
help manufacturers evaluate child seat
compatibility.
The Kinect for Windows sensor first
launched for the Xbox gaming console
before being made available to Windows
devices. The same technology created
to capture player movements and enable
voice control of video games doubles as a
powerful scanning tool in the automotive
industry.
The project, led by CHOP’s Dr. Aditya
Belwadi, developed a methodology to use
the Kinect controller to digitise the shape of
a child seat in minutes and at a fraction of
the cost of an industrial scanner.
CHOP researchers created “surrogate”
child seat shapes by overlaying the
individual child seat scans produced by the
Kinect on top of one another. The surrogate
represents the maximum amount of space
needed for a particular category of child
seat. Virtual evaluations of the surrogate
may prove to be a simple way for vehicle
manufacturers to assess a large range of
child seats with a single tool.
“This new tool will be a great help to us in
evaluating child restraint compatibility early
in our vehicle design process,” said Kleinert.
The team hopes this approach, which was
presented as a technical paper at the 2015
SAE World Congress in Detroit this week,
may influence other vehicle and child seat
manufacturers to adopt a common standard
for the size and geometry of different
categories of child seats.
“We haven’t reached that point yet,”
said Kleinert, “but we believe this project
is an important a step in that direction. This
project is just one example of how vehicle
manufacturers, child seat manufacturers and
university researchers are working together
through CChIPS on research to improve the
safety of children in vehicles.”
2016MazdaMX-5Miata fuel economy
improves25%versusoutgoingmodel
27 April 2015 | OEM
Lighter, quicker and more nimble than its
predecessor, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
demonstrates the power innovation can
have when re-engineering a roadster from
the ground up.
In addition to all of the aforementioned
improvements the 2016 MX-5 has, fuel
economy can now be added to the list, with
MX-5 achieving an EPA-estimated 27 mpg
city/34 mpg highway/30 mpg combined
when equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-
MT six-speed manual transmission (EPA-
estimated 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30
mpg combined when equipped with the six-
speed automatic).
This performance represents a 25%
increase in fuel economy versus the 2015
MX-5’s EPA-estimated fuel economy when
paired with the outgoing model’s available
six-speed manual transmission, highlighting
the benefits of SKYACTIV Technology.
“SKYACTIV Technology is more than a
catchphrase for Mazda; it’s a total effort to
increase efficiency, improve performance,
safety and technology and instill each Mazda
vehicle with a directness and responsiveness
that’s unmatched in the segments in which
our vehicles compete,” said Jim O’Sullivan,
president and CEO, Mazda North American
Operations. “The 2016 MX-5 shows that a
sports car can hit all targets today’s buyers
want.”
MX-5 followed the same “Gram Strategy”
Mazda global weight-savings initiative
as other vehicles full engineered with
SKYACTIV Technology before it – CX-5,
Mazda6, Mazda3 in addition to the upcoming
CX-3 – paring approximately 150 pounds
while strengthening the body and improving
safety. At the same time, the 2016 MX-5 has
gained Mazda’s torquey, yet fuel-sipping,
SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine.
“There has always been an MX-5 for all
types of drivers, from weekend autocross
and track-day enthusiasts to those who just
want a stylish convertible sports car,” said
O’Sullivan. “With its improved fuel-efficiency,
we believe that audience will grow even
larger when it goes on sale this summer.”
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