Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Infiniti QX56 Production

A new report issued by the Nikkei English News says Nissan will move production of the fullsize luxury SUV from its facility in Canton, Mississippi, to a plant in Kyushu, Japan. The same plant is also home to the Quest minivan, which was also once built in Japan.

The production shift is largely due to Nissan searching for space to build a new line-up of commercial vehicles. We haven't heard anything finite as of yet, but the automaker was planning a range of commercial vans (the largest like the NV2500 concept) for North America, and wanted to manufacture most of the offerings within the Canton facility.

According to Automotive News, the QX56 is slated for a redesign in 2011, and may possibly be downsized at that time.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Toyota 4Runner 2010

Fortunately, Toyota's all-new 2010 4Runner holds true to its roots, and remains an honest, tough midsize SUV. The new 4Runner may look familiar -- it still retains a muscular, boxy shape -- but designers worked a number of cues from recent Toyota trucks, notably the Tundra, into its appearance.

What the new figure may not convey however, is an increase in size. The 2010 4Runner is slightly longer, wider, and taller than the last model, and even has space for an optional third row of seating, giving it room for seven for the first time.

What doesn't carry over into 2010 is the 4.7-liter V-8. Instead, Toyota's increased the power of its 4.0-liter V-6 to 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, besting both the previous 4.0-liter V-6 and the eight-cylinder. Shoppers also have the option of buying a four-cylinder 4Runner (equipped with a new 157-hp 2.7-liter I-4), albeit only in rear-wheel-drive form. Four-cylinder models are mated to a four-speed automatic, while six-cylinder models are bolted to a five-speed auto. All six-cylinder models return an EPA estimated 19 mpg combined, while the four-cylinder, two-wheel-drive model is rated at 18/23 mpg city/highway.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Maier to step down

Mercedes-Benz's global head of sales and marketing, Klaus Maier, is stepping down for personal reasons, the carmaker said on Thursday. Joachim Schmidt, Maier's predecessor, will take up the post again.

Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche said he regretted the departure of Maier. The CEO said Maier "made his mark” in realigning Mercedes to appeal to a younger target group in addition to launching a reorganization of worldwide sales.

Schmidt, 61, was Mercedes' global sales and marketing boss from 1999 to 2005 until Maier replaced him.

Zetsche said it was largely due to Schmidt that the Mercedes brand in 2007 and 2008 grew at double-digit rates and extended its market leadership in the regions for which he was responsible.

Maier, 57, leaves Mercedes as the German premium brand is hard hit by the global economic crisis and collapse in luxury car sales.

Mercedes brand sales fell 17.5 percent to 632,700 cars in the first eight months compared with last year.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mercedes Benz McLaren MP4-12C at 2010

Ferrari and Mercedes will release new products next year. With 458 Ferrari F430 successor sebgai and roll forth the tantalizing SLS mainstay AMG Gullwing Mercedes-Benz products. The McLaren MP4-12C should Nudge leading economic indicators upward sometime in 2011. McLaren has granted only brief access to the MP4-12C mock-up as the appetizer for the technological feast it plans to serve in less than two years. Decoding the not-at-all evocative name hints at what's on the menu. The MP4 part comes from the chassis designation McLaren has used on all its Formula 1 cars since 1981. The 12 is an internal index related to the company's Dedication to power, weight, aerodynamics, and overall efficiency. And the C celebrates a commitment to carbon-fiber technology for future sports cars.

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