Aug 30, 2008

Automobile Portal expands with Consumer Electronic Store

Online Car and Bike Portal now launches its new and exclusive Consumer Portable Electronics store, which has a wide selection of gadgets like Video Players, MP3 Players, Voice Recorders and much more. Store include features like FM Radio, Photo Playback, Video Player, FM recorder, Voice Recorder and hold key to list a few. The display is more precise with the specific product names and price tags. The launch is bound to enhance the prospects for online shopping. allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Aug 20, 2008

Fiat plans to export right hand drive cars from India

Amongst its many plans, Fiat India is considering export of right hand drive cars from India in the Asia Oceania region. Further, in accordance with the CEO of the Fiat-TATA joint venture – Mr. Rajeev Kapoor, the company is also considering to introduce its line of latest models in India also.

Mr. Kapoor said that there are several important markets like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and United Kingdom can be serviced from their India production base. Some of the global brands that Fiat is working on are Fiat 500, Alfa Rome, Ferrari, Maserati, and so on.

However, Mr. Kapoor was unrevealing when asked if Fiat’s outfit in India could become the manufacturing hub for right hand cars for exports all around the globe. Additionally, Fiat is planning to launch its exciting model the Grand Punto at the end of the current year, and the much awaited C-segment car Fiat Linea by the end of next year.


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Skoda plans to introduce eight new models in India

Skoda, which made a first appearance in India with D segment car Skoda Octavia, is planning to introduce eight new models in the car market in the next 5 years. Currently, the automaker has placed the Fabia, Octavia, Laura, and Superb in the Indian markets.

The Fabia is popular in the small car segment. Among other plans, it intends to bring in one model every year. It also aims to introduce a small car below the Fabia’s price of Rs. 3 -5 lakh.

The new Superb, which is a successful model in Europe, may also be launched here in India. Currently, Skoda has 56 dealers all over India and it plans to increase this figure to 75 by the end of 2009.

It has already doubled its capacity at its Aurangabad plant, and plans up to use local resources of up to 50% in the next three years. The company will look forward to resource local partners for the same.


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Aug 18, 2008

New Honda City to be launched in September

Japanese car manufacturer Honda is all set with its plans to launch an updated version of the Honda City in the market.

The Honda City will debut the markets in mid-September. The new model will include a number of features that could make it costlier than the earlier version. This is Honda’s third upgraded model in India.

It is all set to include a new power train with a G-CON type structure, paddle shift gear option, multi airbags, and integrated music system with steering mounted controls, anti-lock system, temperature control, and electronically adjustable front seats.

Honda is looking forward to include some of these options as standard features in future cars. Honda Siel India President and CEO Masahiro Takedagawa announced that in addition, it was their commitment to provide world class products to the Indian Market.


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Mahindra & Mahindra locked in dispute with Chrysler

Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has got into a dispute with Chrysler, this time about the front grill design about the Scorpio. Chrysler has pointed out that M&M has copied the design from the Jeep.

Some sources speculate that Chrysler could initiate legal action against M&M. This could delay the plans to launch the Scorpio in the United States

Earlier this year, the South African arm of Chrysler resisted M&M’s use of the word Jeep in some of itsMahindra heritage advertising campaigns in South Africa.

It claims that it holds a trade mark to this name, but M&M says that it uses the word ‘jeep’ with a lower case ‘j’ to indicate the generic nature of this product. Currently, the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa is looking into the issue.


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Aug 14, 2008

Proton Cars UK begins new PDI facility

Proton Cars (UK) Ltd. have successfully launched a new in-house Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) facility at their head office and parts distribution centre in Avonmouth, Bristol.

The move is designed to support dealers and customers by improving the speed of delivery and quality. The new facility, which includes a full technical workshop and paint shop, will enable Proton to prepare and store vehicles ready for next-day despatch as well as producing Limited Edition vehicles and offering retail-prepared used cars to the highest standard.

These actions serve to enhance Proton’s reputation as one of the best value small franchises available. With exceptionally low start up costs, minimal running costs and good margins, the Proton franchise generates realistic achievable income for either an existing franchise or a small independent dealership.

Brian Machin, Sales Manager at Ryders of Warrington, is impressed with the new service; "We ordered three Proton GEN-2s last Friday and received them the following Tuesday, which is a superb delivery time. More importantly, the presentation and finish of the cars was excellent".

The 4.5 acre site comprises of 100,000 sq. feet of storage which can accommodate up to 250 vehicles under cover plus 14 acres of additional parking nearby. There is also an on-site training centre, which provides new and existing Proton dealers with technical, product and sales training. In addition, Proton Cars (UK) have awarded a new contract to CPR transporters, which so far has reduced the time from order to delivery by an average of 2-3 days.

According to Brian Collier, MD of Proton Cars (UK), the new PDI centre will significantly improve the quality of service to Proton dealers; "This is a huge investment designed to bring benefits to our network. The new facility will improve our already high dealer support operation by reducing delivery times and costs for dealers as well as supporting our sales plans for the coming year."


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Pontiac G8 ST on target for late 2009 launch

After sifting through more than 18,000 possibilities, Pontiac has chosen to keep it simple, naming the recently revealed G8 sport truck the “G8 ST.”

Thousands of fans submitted suggestions during a “Tame the Name” promotion, which delayed a final announcement until each possibility was considered and cleared for possible trademark use.

“Frankly, we were blown away by both the volume and quality of the names that were submitted,” said Craig Bierley, BPG product marketing director for cars and crossovers. “’ G8 ST’ was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names.”

“El Camino” was also a sentimental favorite, given the G8 ST’s resemblance to the classic Chevy.

“We actually thought very long about El Camino,” said Bierley. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac.”

Perhaps the ultimate reflection of the blurring line between cars and trucks, the G8 ST will create a unique niche segment in the marketplace: a sports car with truck-like cargo and towing capabilities. Sharing the basic architecture and 361 hp V8 engine as the G8 GT performance sedan, it will offer a 73.9-inch cargo bed that has 42.7 cubic feet of cargo space and can carry a payload of 1,000 pounds (453 kg) or tow a 3,500-pound (1,587 kg) trailer.

Thanks to its six-speed automatic transmission and Active Fuel Management system, the G8 ST should offer some of the best fuel economy numbers for V8-powered vehicles with similar cargo/towing ratings while still turning in zero-to-60 times of 5.4 seconds.

The G8 ST will be available in late 2009 as a 2010 model and will be backed by GM’s industry best 100,000 mile, 5-year powertrain warranty. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.


StumpleUpon DiggIt! Blinklist Yahoo Furl Technorati Simpy Spurl Reddit Google Twitter FaceBook Launches Apparel Accessories Store the online retail giant launches its online store for apparel accessories. The apparel store launched prior to this, offers an assortment of clothes which include ethnic, semi ethnic and casual wear. No apparel is complete without suitable accessories which balance the attire, for a well groomed look. With the launch of the new apparel accessory store, has enhanced the convenience factor for online shopping.

Speaking at its launch the CEO and Founder Mr. Vishal Mehta said “the launch of the store is a step towards increasing selection, to make a one stop shop for all apparel needs”

He also mentioned that “the visitors not only have a wide range of apparel to choose from but also accessories to complement them.” went online with online stores on various merchandises like automobiles, mobile phones, cameras, health equipment, gifts, apparel, festival specific stores and now apparel accessories.

The store includes belts, shawls, wallets, handbags, eye wear and mojris. The products come in varying styles and price tags. The previously launched apparel store was the first step towards launching assorted clothing and now with the launch of the accessories store the shopping experience is bound to be a pleasant one.

The process of procuring involves a series of clicks and few minutes of search, to place an order. has always promised free and timely delivery to customers within India and has the distinction of exceeding customer satisfaction. Now with the launch of the accessories store, only aspires to move forward in giving its customers the best, in quality and price.

About is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, bikes, mobile phones, watches, books and now apparels accessories. allows easy and fast selection and buying with its exclusive presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Aug 13, 2008

Audi Q7 earns IIHS top safety pick award for 2008

The Audi Q7, a luxury performance SUV, earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award for 2008. The 2008 Q7 received a "good" rating in all three crash tests: side impact, offset frontal and rear impact seat tests.

In addition to the Q7, three Audi car models -- the A3, A4 and A6 -- have also been recognized as Top Safety Picks in 2008, earning Audi the most Top Safety Pick designations for 2008 models of any luxury automaker this year. The Q7's 2008 rating applies to models built after December 2007 and willcarry over to the 2009 model year.
Audi Q7
"For Audi, safety and performance have always gone hand in hand: our cars are engineered to offer the best not just in crash protection, but in preventing traffic accidents altogether," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. "With the launch of the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel in 2009, American SUV buyers will have even more options from which to choose for safety as well as fuel economy, convenience and performance."

To qualify for the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in the Institute's front, side, and rear tests and be equipped with electronic stability control, which Audi has standard on every model it produces.

Audi's commitment to safety goes beyond crash test safety ratings to include a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features. Every Audi sold in the U.S. has standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS), an electronic stability program, daytime running lights (DRL) and a standard tire pressure monitoring system.

The Q7 also features Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel standard on all models, providing high levels of active safety and traction on virtually any surface. All of these features are designed to help reduce the chances of a collision.

In 2006, the Audi Q7 pioneered blind spot protection with Audi side assist. The Audi side assist system, currently standard on the Audi Q7 3.6 Prestige and 4.2 Prestige models, monitors up to 165 feet behind the vehicle and alerts the driver when someone is in their blind spot using a directional amber LED that appears in the inner housing of the exterior mirror. Should the driver attempt to merge into the lane occupied by a vehicle in their blind spot, the LED will flash brightly when the turn signal is pushed.

At the same time, Audi is enjoying industry recognition, strong consumer interest and growing market share in the U.S. In June, Audi posted the greatest ranking improvement in initial quality in the results from J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 industry-wide study. Audi has enjoyed increased dealer traffic and strong sales of the A4 and TT models, with robust sales in key markets. This confluence of positive news positions Audi well as the company gears up for several major U.S. product launches in Fall 2008.


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Ford aims best-in-class quality on upcoming small vehicles

After climbing to the upper ranks in vehicle quality in the past two years, Ford Motor Company said it has set an aggressive new target -- best-in-class initial quality for compact cars the company will launch in North America in 2010.

"We aim to launch our new compact vehicles at 800 things gone wrong per 1,000 vehicles," said Bennie Fowler, Ford's group vice president, Global Quality. "That's more than 500 TGWs less than the predicted industry average -- and we believe these levels will ensure our upcoming small cars will achieve industry-best initial quality."

As part of its product-led transformation, Ford has announced plans to convert three light truck plants to small vehicle production, paving the way to sell several European-designed small vehicles in North America.

Ford said today its Ford Focus compact car built off a global C-car platform will debut in North America in 2010 with best-in-class quality. In addition, Ford expects other small vehicles derived from Ford's global C-car to achieve similar initial quality levels.

Speaking Monday at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Fowler said the company will meet this aggressive quality target in the midst of its "One Ford" transformation that includes globalized product development and manufacturing operations.

"We're following a set of standardized processes around the world in product development, manufacturing and purchasing with a discipline this company has never seen," Fowler said. "We are leveraging these same disciplined, standardized processes to ensure world-class quality around the world."

In 2007, best-in-class initial quality in the small car segment was 1,058 things gone wrong, while the industry average was 1,512.

Ford's continuing quality push comes as the company shifts towards a more balanced portfolio of small cars and crossovers that will be sold alongside the company's lineup of trucks and SUVs.

Last year, passenger cars represented 49 percent of sales industry-wide. Trucks and large SUVs accounted for 32 percent. Crossovers were 19 percent. The product mix at Ford was nearly the opposite, with trucks and SUVs accounting for 52 percent while cars were at 30 percent. Crossovers were 18 percent.

Within the next five years, Ford's product mix will change dramatically. Trucks and SUVs is expected to account for 38 percent of the company's mix, cars will grow to about 38 percent. Crossovers will climb to 24 percent.

"By 2012, we'll be building 1 million cars around the world on our new B-car platform, and 2 million vehicles our global C-car platform," Fowler said. "Those vehicles will launch with the best quality ever."

Ford's commitment to the world-class quality extends beyond initial quality measured in the first 90 days of ownership. Customer-driven product features, such as fuel economy, craftsmanship, and quiet interiors are designed into the vehicle and checked for maximum quality and durability.

Using Ford's industry-leading virtual tools, up to 40,000 design standards are checked in the Virtual Engineer Lab. Virtual technology is also used to confirm that the product can be manufactured in the assembly plant for which it is slated - and without stress or injury to the operator.

"As a result of our virtual technology, we've cut time-to-market by eight to fourteen months, depending on the vehicle program," Fowler said. "We've reduced costly late engineering changes. We're building fewer - but better - physical prototypes. And we have the lowest work-related injury rate in our company's history."

Processes such as Early Claims Binning in manufacturing streamline communications about potential quality issues between plants and dealerships. Warranty claims are fed to the assembly plant every day where the issue is dissected and either traced back to the installation process or fed back to the design engineer.

Fowler also said the company has trained an "army of problem solvers among product designers, manufacturing engineers and hourly work force. Around the world, we have 60,000 Six Sigma green belts, over 7,000 black belts and 400 master black belts."

Additionally, Wayne State University of Detroit will offer a course this fall for UAW-represented Ford employees to become certified Six Sigma black belts.


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Aug 12, 2008

World’s most expensive production car to use volcanic rock

Barotex Technology Corporation (BARX), inventor and producer of the remarkable Barotex inorganic fiber, announced that it has become the newest Technology Partner to work with DiMora Motorcar to develop and produce the Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan.

Barotex materials have characteristics that make them superior to carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, and other advanced materials in a variety of applications. “Barotex enables our design team to create some of the strongest and most durable automotive components ever produced,” stated Alfred DiMora, Founder and CEO of DiMora Motorcar.Volcanicn Rock

DiMora further noted, “For the Natalia SLS 2, Barotex will be formed into various body panels and our revolutionary D-Tek chassis, where its high strength will add significantly to the automobile’s torsional rigidity. Yet our chassis will be more than a thousand pounds lighter than the conventional steel chassis found on other luxury automobiles of similar size.”

Barotex starts as volcanic rock, widely available throughout the world. “In contrast, carbon fiber products are petroleum-based, and we know about the challenges that involves,” said Lilo Beuzieron, CEO of Barotex Technology Corporation and inventor of Barotex. “Not only is lava rock more abundant, but our manufacturing process requires far less energy. It is friendly to the environment, and the automobiles built with Barotex are lighter, so they use less energy every mile traveled.”

“We recently received our patent for the proprietary process used to produce Barotex,” noted Beuzieron. “We are delighted that the first production automobile to integrate this technology will be DiMora’s Natalia SLS 2, which abounds with technological breakthroughs from bumper to bumper.”

The versatility of Barotex fiber materials brings exceptional uses to a wide variety of products for markets including automotive, aerospace, ballistics, industrial, and sporting goods. In fabric form, Barotex offers an excellent combination of properties, from high strength and impact resistance to fire resistance and design adaptability. The design potential and flexibility possible are almost unlimited, thanks to the wide range of yarn sizes and weaving patterns that are available. Barotex does not stretch or shrink after exposure to very high or low temperatures, making it extremely stable in the production of automobile bodies and related parts.

The high strength-to-weight ratio of Barotex fiber makes it a superior material in many automotive applications. Barotex fiber is an inorganic material that will not burn or support combustion, which also improves passenger safety.

DiMora added, “When we began designing our 16-cylinder engine that would erupt with 1200 horsepower, we decided to call it the Volcano V16. It’s only natural that we now surround the DiMora Volcano with volcanic rock from Barotex.”


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2009 Toyota Venza plans to go on sale later this year

The 2009 Toyota Venza, scheduled to go on sale later this year, is the first example of Toyota's new direction in passenger car design combining elegance, innovation, comfort and utility.

"We wanted to create something entirely different," said Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota's Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. "Not an SUV, not a wagon, not a coupe and not a sedan. We aimed for a more road-focused vehicle and sporty direction."2009 Toyota Venza

Venza is based on the FT-SX concept vehicle that debuted at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. With an overwhelmingly positive response to the show vehicle, Toyota decided to develop Venza with a distinctly American plan.

Toyota's U.S. design and engineering teams worked together to bring this bold design to production. It was one of the first times an American styling group created an overall design concept that engineers would follow for development. Venza will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Ky., home of the Camry, Solara and Avalon. More than 70 percent of its components will come from North American suppliers.

A new genre in personal transportation, Venza incorporates SUV utility and roominess, while maintaining passenger car essentials, such as ease of ingress/egress, performance, a lower, sleek side profile with aerodynamic lines, and unrivaled interior features to deliver optimal comfort.

"We used Toyota's design philosophy, 'Vibrant Clarity' to create a more exciting drive for the customer while still maintaining its high functionality," explained Hunter.

Exterior Design Features
The exterior styling was directed by Calty Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, in Newport Beach. From a design perspective, Venza achieves aerodynamic sculpted lines that not only look elegant, but help to increase fuel economy by reducing wind resistance. Freeform geometrics define the integration of fluid surfaces defined by smooth lines, which promote even airflow and reduce turbulence. Venza's 20-inch wheels, stylish backlight and integrated aero spoiler make a bold, sporty statement.

"The overall stance of the vehicle is very strong, with the wheels placed out to make it look sure-footed and glued to the ground," said Cartabiano.

Interior Design Features
Venza's impressive "look-at-me" exterior styling leads to a thoughtful interior with surprising roominess, comfort and utility. Integral to the vehicle's design was the idea to make the journey as rewarding as the destination. Interior features make the cabin seem spacious and comfortable

with plenty of storage. Calty Ann Arbor's Project Chief Designer, Ben Jimenez, integrated key design features such as a floating concept of the instrument cluster to create a 60/60 center dashboard.

"Most car interiors are like dual cockpits, where both driver and front passengers feel as if they only have access to 40 percent of the available space," Jimenez said.

"The flow of Venza's center console is a bit of an optical illusion," he continued. "Both driver and passenger will feel as if 60 percent of the space is in their personal zone."

2009 Venza Design 3-3-3
Available in front- and all-wheel drive, Venza will be powered by a choice of engines -- a V6 or an all-new four-cylinder. Both engines will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Twenty-inch wheels will only be available on V6 models.

With an innovative design direction and impressive driving features, Venza represents the future of Toyota design.

"We need to continue to develop products that are smart and practical," explains Hunter. "But, given the competitive landscape of today's marketplace, they must also evoke an emotional response."


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Aug 9, 2008

Volkswagen Jetta TDI makes red carpet debut at TEEN CHOICE 2008

Volkswagen of America, Inc. teamed up with FOX Television and TEEN CHOICE 2008 to support the initiative to “green” Teen Choice. Young Hollywood showed their support for the environment by arriving at the eco-friendlyVolkswagen Jetta TDI TEEN CHOICE 2008 in Volkswagen’s fleet of highly-anticipated 2009 Jetta TDIs - the newly released, clean diesel sedan. Over fifteen members of the elite Young Hollywood chose to be the first to ride in the new TDI’s including Chase Crawford, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, Drake Bell, Katharine McPhee, Brittany Snow, JoJo, James Marsden, Jerry O’Connell, Rachel Bilson and Sophia Bush among others.

“We are pleased to partner with FOX and TEEN CHOICE to support their eco-friendly efforts by providing talent transportation in our new clean diesel vehicles,” said Mya Walters, Manager Lifestyle Public Relations, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Who better to show the importance of environmental sustainability than teens – the future leaders in the movement to protect our environment and embrace alternative fuel solutions.”

TEEN CHOICE kicked off its green initiatives last year and continue using biodegradable fuels, recyclable set material and press credentials and signage printed on recycled paper. With the 2009 Jetta TDI, TEEN CHOICE 2008 continues to lead by example and promote sustainable practices amongst teens.

The hood of a Volkswagen Jetta TDI was autographed backstage at Teen Choice by attendees including Jerry O’Connell, Randy Jackson, Natasha Bedingfield, and Chris Brown, among others, and will be donated to City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

The newest edition to the Volkswagen family, the Jetta TDI runs on high-performance, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Its reduced emissions meet the most stringent fuel emissions standards in California and all 50 states. The “T” stands for turbocharged, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice power and performance to be environmentally-friendly.

TEEN CHOICE 2008 is executive-produced by Bob Bain (“Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards”) and Michael Burg. Paul Flattery serves as producer, Kelly Brock is co-producer and Greg Sills serves as supervising producer.


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2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid arrives in US

The launch of the world’s first hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, begins this month. Achieving a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving, Escalade Hybrid arrives at Cadillac dealerships in the United States with an MSRP of $71,685. That represents a premium of only $3,600 over a comparably-equipped Escalade.

“In a changing marketplace emphasizing fuel2009 Cadillac Escalade economy technology, Cadillac is proud to be the only luxury brand offering a hybrid in this segment,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager.

Escalade Hybrid features GM’s advanced Two-Mode Hybrid technology, enabling EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/21 miles per gallon (city/highway). The hybrid system can operate the vehicle entirely on battery-electric power during idling or low-speed driving situations. Escalade Hybrid also incorporates Active Fuel Management technology that enables the Vortec V-8 engine to operate on only four cylinders in certain driving conditions to save fuel. Escalade Hybrid is offered as a total package, including nearly all available luxury and technical features as standard. The two extra-cost options are four-wheel drive and power running boards.


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Aug 8, 2008

JD Power releases report on satellite radio & navigation systems

Growth in consumer demand for high-tech features supplied in new vehicles has led to a significant increase in market penetration for satellite radio and navigation systems according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study released.

The study finds that 55 percent of new-vehicle owners report having satellite radio capability in their audio system, up considerably from 39 percent in 2007. Additionally, market penetration for navigation systems has also increased -- up to 25 percent in 2008 from 20 percent in 2007.

"New-vehicle buyers are looking for the latest technologies in audio systems, and the presence of features such as satellite radio and navigation systems will only increase as manufacturers try to meet consumer demand," said Allison LaDuc, senior research manager of automotive product quality at J.D. Power and Associates. "For instance, nearly 60 percent of consumers say they want a navigation system on their next vehicle, and 66 percent of consumers want the ability to play MP3 files. To meet or exceed consumer expectations, manufacturers will need to focus on incorporating high-tech features in multimedia systems while avoiding increases in problem levels."

The study evaluates owner experiences with the quality, design satisfaction and features of automotive multimedia systems in their new vehicles. Problems are measured per 100 vehicles (PP100). A lower PP100 score indicates higher quality. Twenty-eight different multimedia permutations are evaluated, which include different combinations of the following systems: AM/FM radio; cassette player; single CD player; multiple CD changer; navigation system; and satellite radio. Multimedia system suppliers are ranked based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) in four segments: AM/FM/single CD player, AM/FM/multi-CD changer, AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio and AM/FM/multi-CD changer/satellite radio.

Alpine Electronics of America ranks highest in the AM/FM/single CD player segment with an overall PP100 score of 2.6, marking an improvement of 1.3 PP100 from 2007. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (4.4 PP100) follows Alpine in the rankings, while Clarion Corp. of America and Continental Corp. tie to rank third with 4.5 PP100.

In the AM/FM/multi-CD changer segment, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America ranks highest with an overall PP100 score of 4.3, followed by Pioneer (4.6 PP100). SANYO Automotive U.S.A. ranks third with 5.0 PP100.

Delphi Corp. ranks highest in the AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio segment with an overall PP100 score of 2.7. Visteon Corp. (3.6 PP100) and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (4.1 PP100) follow in the rankings.

Ranking highest in the AM/FM/multi-CD changer/satellite radio segment is Clarion Corp. with an overall PP100 score of 5.4, followed by Delphi Corp. (5.6 PP100) and Visteon Corp. (6.0 PP100).

The study also finds that, for a third consecutive year, the three most commonly reported multimedia problems are front audio/entertainment system controls difficult to understand/difficult to use/poor location; navigation system map/wrong directions/poor location; and AM/FM radio poor/no reception. These issues account for nearly 60 percent of the total reported multimedia problems.

The 2008 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 81,530 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2008 model-year vehicle. The study was fielded between February and April 2008.


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Jamie Lee Curtis gets Honda FCX Clarity car

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced that its second FCX Clarity customer, Jamie Lee Curtis, took delivery of the vehicle on July 31, 2008. Curtis and husband Christopher Guest are the second of approximately 200 customers who will begin leasing the vehicle in the United States and Japan over the next three years.

Honda FCX Clarity car"I really wasn't expecting it to be so luxurious," said Curtis. "It's luxurious, luxurious, luxurious! I love the interior layout, design and access to controls. It is user-friendly and very modern."

Actress and children's book author Curtis and her husband, filmmaker Guest, live in Santa Monica. They have owned other alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles and continue to seek out ways to live and advocate a greener lifestyle.

Ron Yerxa and Annette Ballester, Santa Monica residents, took delivery of the first FCX Clarity on July 25, 2008.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. Significant advances over Honda's previous generation FCX include a 25 percent increase in combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2 (74 mpg GGE <>) and a greater than 30 percent increase in driving range up to 280 miles. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in the fuel cell, the vehicle's only by-products are heat and water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern gasoline-powered automobile.


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Aug 7, 2008

Nissan unveils all-electric & original hybrid electric prototypes

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd unveiled all-electric and original hybrid electric prototype vehicles, both powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries. Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012.

Electric Vehicle (EV)
Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, the EV prototype is part of Nissan's substantial research and development program on zero emission vehicles. This latest generation vehicle features a front-wheel drive layout and uses a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space.

The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The Nissan original HEV delivers two breakthrough technologies – a high-performance rear-wheel drive hybrid system and parallel-powertrain hybrid system. The hybrid employs Nissan's own originally developed hybrid technology and its first rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.

The parallel-powertrain system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.

The parallel-powertrain hybrid system eliminates the need for conventional torque converters, contributing to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for improved driving feel.

The dynamic characteristics of the clutches are as follows:
- Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
- Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
- Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
- Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

Lithium-ion Battery
The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in both prototypes are sourced from the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). These advanced batteries offer superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness, compared to the conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries. Its compact laminated configuration delivers twice the electric power compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration. The compact batteries also allow for improved vehicle packaging and a wide range of applications.

Nissan has long experience in electric-powered vehicle development, commencing from the first EV "Tama Electric Vehicle" back in 1947. The company introduced the world's first application of lithium-ion batteries to the Prarie Joy EV in 1996, followed by the ultra-compact electric vehicle, Hypermini, released in 2000. Nissan also introduced its first original hybrid vehicle Tino Hybrid back in 1999 in Japan. In 2006, the Altima Hybrid was introduced in North America using licensed technology.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan, the company aims to develop new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO(2) emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources. Nissan continues to invest substantially in a wide range of technologies including CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), clean diesels, biofuels and fuel cell vehicles.


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Aug 6, 2008

Amerigon CCS System featured in New 2008 Nissan Maxima

Amerigon Incorporated, a leader in developing products based on advanced thermoelectric (TE) technologies, announced today that its proprietary Climate Control Seat (CCS) system is available as an optional feature in the front driver seat of the new 2008 Nissan Maxima, Nissan's flagship sedan.Nissan Maxima

CCS, the premier actively heated and cooled seat system in the global automotive seat market, allows the driver to heat and cool their seat individually for comfort in any weather condition at any time of the year.

Amerigon President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel R. Coker said the Maxima enjoys a long-standing heritage as the flagship of the Nissan line. The addition of CCS to the Maxima underscores Nissan's commitment to providing consumers value-enhancing features that add to the ownership experience and deliver year round driver and passenger comfort.

"The Nissan Maxima, one of America's most popular vehicle lines, has always been known for performance and luxury, and our seat comfort system will be an important addition to its well-deserved legacy," Coker said. "The selection of CCS to be included as an option in the Maxima increases the number of vehicles manufactured by Nissan to offer CCS and reflects the positive relationship we have established with Nissan over the past several years."

Other vehicles from Nissan that offer CCS include the Infiniti M45, Infiniti M35, Infiniti FX35, Infiniti FX50, Nissan Cima and Nissan Fuga. The Nissan Teana offers Amerigon's new heated and ventilated seat system.


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Rolls-Royce celebrates opening of new Hong Kong showroom

A new Rolls-Royce showroom was officially opened today in Hong Kong by Ms Jenny Zheng, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ General Manager for Greater China.

The new showroom is strategically located at the Bank of America Tower in Central Hong Kong. With a floor space of over 5,000 sq.ft, it can accommodate a three-car display area plus a sales and marketing office. Previously, the Rolls-Royce showroom was based at The Hong Kong Club Building in Central.

Speaking at the Showroom Grand Opening, Ms Zheng said, “We are very happy to open this excellent new showroom in Hong Kong. The facility signals our commitment to serve the customer better and caters to our expanding product range. Today’s milestone builds on the Rolls-Royce brand’s strong association with Hong Kong, a dynamic market for luxury cars.”

Rolls-Royce Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Mr Colin Kelly, who opened the first showroom in Hong Kong on July 30, 2003 said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to open this latest showroom in Hong Kong. Asia Pacific has been the fastest growing region in the world for sales of Rolls-Royce cars in recent years and Hong Kong, as a world-leading financial centre, with its discerning and sophisticated buyers, is undoubtedly a trend-setter for the region.”

A Rolls-Royce Service Centre in Chai Wan and Body & Paint Centre in Sha-Tin provide premium aftersales facilities to customers.

At the opening, Ms Zheng also unveiled the new Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé, the first time the two-door, four-seater Grand Tourer has been shown in Hong Kong. One of the world’s most exclusive cars, combining exquisite craftsmanship and advanced engineering, the Phantom Coupé’s production is already sold out until the end of 2008.

Also attending the ceremony was the General Manager of Goodwood Motors Limited, Mr Leon Roy; other senior executives of Sime Darby Hong Kong Limited; Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck CB.CBE, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce; Mr Andrew Seaton, Consul General of British Consulate-General and Mr Charles Ng, Associate Director General of Invest Hong Kong.

In 2008, Rolls-Royce has a four model line-up, the Phantom, the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, the Phantom Drophead Coupé and the Phantom Coupé. The Phantom remains the best-selling super luxury car in the world, with sales in 2008 breaking all previous records. A new Rolls-Royce model called the RR4, priced slightly below the Phantom, will be launched around the turn of the decade.


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Aug 2, 2008

Send Friendship Day Gifts to India -

The first Sunday of August is dedicated to friendship & friends and celebrated as friendship day. It signifies gratitude, allegiance and love between friends. It was conceptualized in the year 1935 in the United States and the noble idea of honoring Friendship caught on in other countries as well. It is only fitting that this day be celebrated with zeal.
Happy Friendship Day
Friendship bands, gifts, flowers, cakes, sweets are few of the most commonly gifted items. Online retail giant offers gifts especially for this unique occasion.

Speaking at its launch, the Founder and CEO Mr. Vishal Mehta said that " is honoring the festival which is celebrated the world over, by offering special gifts on Friendship day. It offers to its customers as well as visitors a wide array of gifts that include products like watches, cameras, mobile phones and much more"

Mr. Mehta added "the visitors can avail this facility of choosing from a wide range of gift items and purchasing online".

In addition to the gifts mentioned above, also has various gift items like cakes, chocolates, sweets, perfumes, jewellery and apparel. Watches of different brands and styling are also accessible at the store. Books all inclusive of fiction and non fiction are available and are an ideal friendship day gift.

The process of procuring is simple as it involves a series of simple few clicks to search and place the order.

Customers who order products online will obtain their orders normally within 72 hours of placing their order. However, will ship orders within India only for the time being. Celebrate camaraderie the Infibeam Way and avail the online shopping facility at to experience an unmatched shopping experience.


About is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, bikes, mobile phones, watches, books, apparel, beauty products jewelry and now friendship day gifts. allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Aug 1, 2008

Hyundai India export grows 59.7% in July

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country’s second largest car manufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter announced a cumulative sales growth of 28.2% for the month of July, 2008.

HMIL’s total sales for the month of July ‘08 stood at 36,152 units. While the domestic market accounted for 15, 066 units, exports totaled 21,086 units in July, 2008. The cumulative sales for July, 2007 had been 28,204 units with the domestic sales at 15,003 units and exports 13,201 units. As compared to July 2007 the domestic sales greHyundai i10w by 0.4% in July 2008 while as exports grew 59.7 % and the cumulative growth is 28.2%.

Commenting on the sales, Arvind Saxena, Sr VP, Marketing & Sales, HMIL said, “It has been a challenging month for the entire industry with the combined effects of increase in interest rates, hike in fuel prices and inflationary pressures affecting market sentiments.

But riding on its strong product portfolio, HMIL has still managed to maintain even sales in the domestic market and our exports continue to grow at fast pace. Overall the cumulative figures are positive for HMIL but a host of negative factors have created a situation in the market where the industry is certainly going to face a slow down in demand should the situation continue for long”.

The segment-wise cumulative sales in the month of July, 2008 are as follows: A2 Segment (Santro. I10, Getz Prime) 30,614 units; A3 Segment (Accent, Verna) 5,504 units; A4 Segment (Elantra) 1 units; A5 Segment ( Sonata Embera) 28 units; and SUV Segment (Tucson) 5 units.


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BMW India signs agreement with ORIX

BMW India signed a cooperation agreement with ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Limited (OAIS) for leasing services of BMW Cars in India. OAIS is an established leader in providing infrastructure service solutions in the Auto Sector. With this agreement; OAIS will offer innovative and competitive leasing solutions to support the sale of BMW group products in India. The leasing services will be offered to customers through the BMW dealership network across India. Additionally, OAIS will also support BMW through its existing business network.

Through this agreement, OAIS will offer unique services to BMW group customers. Further, the products will be customized to cater to the special requirements of BMW customers. With this agreement, BMW and OAIS aims to deliver hallmark quality of service through all BMW dealerships and BMW corporate customers across the country.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Mr. Peter Kroschnabi, President, BMW India said "Our association with OAIS, the leading lease services provider in India reflects our commitment to set new benchmarks in service quality and customer care in India. This agreement will help in facilitating our customers to lease BMW group products through the range of tailor-made leasing solutions that will be offered by OAIS."

BMW Financial Services is currently active in more than 50 countries worldwide offering competitive financial solutions for BMW and MINI customers. In 20 countries, BMW Financial Services are offered through leading local banking and insurance partners.

Mr. Neeraj Kumar, MD and CEO, OAIS said "Our focus has always been value creation and through this tie up, OAIS will be able to provide a value product for the Indian Market. Customers can experience superior products and avail the benefits under value added lease.

ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Limited is a joint venture between ORIX Corporation, Japan and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited, India (IL&FS). This lineage helps OAIS in devising solutions that are best in terms of auto infrastructure innovation and financial feasibility.


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