AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Michigan, it’s more than just Great Lakes, the Big Three and the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. To the surprise of many, GM, Ford and Chrysler aren’t the only games in town. Practically every major OEM and supplier company has offices, technical centers or test facilities in the mitten state, and Toyota is making a major investment its facilities.
Japanese McDonald’s customers will have an easier time eating and driving starting on April 24 when the fast food giant will begin giving away the item shown above.
Which 90's Japanese Sports Car Would You Destroy?
It’s not every day that AutoGuide launches a new weekly feature. Today, however, is not just any day; it’s first installment of an interactive segment we call ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
Tensions are rising out in China, as anti-Japanese sentiment continues to grow as a result of the two countries’ dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea.
In a recent study released by J.D. Power Asia Pacific, overall customer satisfaction with new-vehicle sales has declined, while fuel efficiency is the most frequently cited factor in choosing a new vehicle.
Honda announced today that it will start a mass-production recycling program to extract rare earth metals from used car parts.
Partnering with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., the automaker will begin extracting the materials, which are 95 percent controlled by China. The majority of material harvesting will be from nickel-metal hydride batteries collected from used hybrid vehicles sourced from Honda’s massive dealer network.
Currently, China’s near-monopoly over the material is causing drastic price inflation, but finding a way to circumvent that cost is obviously advantageous.
The project will extract 80 percent of the nickel-metal hydride from used hybrid batteries and will eventually use the process for other components as well.
With the Subaru BRZ due to arrive in showrooms very soon, Subaru is out promoting its new sports coupe in full force. One way to get your car noticed is by taking it racing, and that is exactly what Subaru did on April 1, 2012.
The BRZ race car made its public racing debut at the season opener Super GT, GT300KM race held in Okayama, Japan. This grueling race features some of the most established sports car brands such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Lamborghini Gallardo. So the BRZ was going to have a tough time competing with the big boys, but was still able to qualify 8th on the grid.
The BRZ actually stayed in 8th place for most of the race, but when the car came in for a driver change, it soon after developed a problem and had to be retired. Upon further investigation, the problem turned out to be a faulty rear differential.
The main driver for the BRZ GT300 is Tetsuya Yamano, who wasn’t completely happy with the set-up of the car, and is insistent that the team is working on it and it will get better in races to come.
We wish the Subaru team much success in future races and hopefully will see this exciting new sports coupe in the winners circle very soon.
Watch the video’s below of the BRZ on the track.
Discuss this story at Subaru BRZ Forum.
Since Renault and Nissan formed a strategic alliance in 1999, the two companies have made tremendous strides in streamlining their business, with sales performances significantly improving for both companies.
To further its efforts, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that it will establish a new company, Renault Japon Co., Ltd., to import and sell Renault vehicles in Japan.
While Nissan Trading Co. was originally responsible for Renault operations in Japan, the decision to form Renault Japon was based on the need to establish a flexible management system that is able to make quick marketing decisions. Renault Japon will operate as a subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., working closely with Nissan’s sales strategy.
Office-K, a high-end aftermarket automotive store in Tokyo, Japan, organized an incredible Rolls-Royce meet along a swanky cobblestone street in the heart of Tokyo for its owners to celebrate their favorite luxury marque. A nod to Middle Eastern extravagance, Office K’s event was named “Dubai Street, Phantom Party.”
From standard Phantoms, to Extended Wheelbase models, Coupes, and Drophead Coupes, the wide ranging variety of custom tuned Rolls-Royce cars on display is surely a rare sight to behold. Check out the videos from the event below. Continue Reading…
At one point, Japan was among the world’s leading auto markets but the country has yet to regain its stride after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Japanese auto sales dropped to half the peak rate and a recovery has yet to take hold.
Global information company IHS Automotive conducted a study that shows sales in India will reach 4.88 million by 2016, taking the emerging nation ahead of Japan’s projected 4.51 million units in sales for that year. What’s more, IHS believes sales in Japan would taper off to 4.25 million by 2020.
At one point, Japan was ranked as one of the world’s top three largest regional markets, behind the United States and Europe. China has since rocketed past the rest of the world, claiming the global top ranking several years ago. Reports reveal that Chinese consumers have purchased 17.66 million vehicles for 2011. IHS predicts that China sales could even pass 30 million by the decade’s end.
The organization believes that India is positioned to be the next country to experience a big automotive boom, linking to a prediction that India’s population will sustain rapid growth in the coming decades.
That said, India’s economy is not as strong as China’s and it will also take a while for India to develop infrastructure that could handle a rapid spike in vehicles on the road. Some villages can only be reached by mules and donkeys and big cities suffer incredible traffic congestion due to the lack of major roadways.
Nonetheless, demand for automobiles in India is surging and may become the next focus market for global automakers.
[Source: Detroit Bureau]
About two months ago we reported a collection of luxurious and exotic machines that were involved in a bizarre accident in Japan that claimed at least eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini, a Nissan Skyline and a Toyota Prius.
The exotic car crash occurred on the Chugoku Expressway out in the Yamaguchi Prefecture and fortunately only ten people were hospitalized with just minor injuries.
Now a video of the aftermath from that accident has surfaced and it appears that Japan is now home to at least two parking lots full of fine machines just sitting and rotting. This accident is now being dubbed “the world’s most expensive car pileup” with an estimated combined cost of $4-million in damage.
Take a closer look at the Italian carnage after the break.
Honda’s high-revving 2.0L naturally aspirated engine found in the original S2000s is one of the world’s most potent and beloved engines and many enthusiasts have utilized it in other vehicles. But seeing it in a Toyota Pickup is totally awesome and totally novel. The Pickup was spotted out in Odaiba in Japan at a Truck Masters show, and along with its body dropped to the ground it features a nice set of Advan Model 5 wheels with big brakes peeking behind the classic wheels.
We’ll be the first to admit, we’re really curious on how it drives and performs.
GALLERY: S2000-Powered Toyota Pickup
[Source: Auto Otaku]
General Motors is taking steps to make carbon fiber a major component in their future production vehicles by working with Teijin Ltd. of Japan.
Carbon fiber is a labor-intensive product, meaning it is expensive to implement in production vehicles. That expense generally restricts its use to low-production models like the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. That will all change in the future thanks to a new process that allows Teijiin to make carbon fiber products much faster than previously possible.
“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber is used in the automotive industry,” GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in a statement. “This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to innovation.”
Teijin’s new technology uses thermoplastic material to allow carbon fiber parts to be molded in less than a minute instead of the traditional method, thermoset, that takes ten minutes or more per piece.
“It’s easier to handle and quicker to mold,” Jim Hentschel, GM’s executive director for body and exterior, said in an interview. “That’s what allows us to be able to introduce this technology into more mainstream, high-volume vehicles.”
Carbon fiber is stronger and ligher than aluminum and steel, making it a valuable asset for GM as it tries to increase fuel efficiency in new models.
The specifics behind the deal aren’t available yet, but neither company is exchanging equity in the process. Teijin will, however, be opening a U.S. techincal center to handle their business with GM.
[Source: Automotive News]
For nearly two decades, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (more commonly known as just the ‘Evo’) has been the benchmark sports sedan around the world. It might have arrived a bit late in the American market, only going on sale in 2003 with the Evo VIII model, but it has well-established itself as a giant killer in the industry and is currently the only Mitsubishi product with an enthusiasts following.
However, earlier in the year there were rumors that the Evo might get killed off. Thankfully, those are not true but according to company insiders, a plug-in hybrid Evo will be launched within three-years time.
It is believed that the hybrid Evo will make do with a diesel-electric combination to further cut down on its environmental footprint. But since diesel is not very popular in markets like Japan and America, it might also very well be available with a gasoline-electric system. So the next Evo might offer different mechanical specifications for different markets.
The new Evo will also get an updated version of Mitsubishi’s S-WAC all-wheel drive system for even better handling, and like the current model, will be the halo model for the company.