Nissan and Chrysler announce partnership on two vehicles
and Nissan last week announced an agreement that will see the
two companies building vehicles in partnership with promises for
a closer working relationship in the future.
Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Chrysler will produce a
full-size pickup for Nissan based on the Dodge Ram at its
facility in Saltillo, Mexico. For its part, Nissan will be
assembling a small Chrysler car in Oppama, Japan. Both vehicles
will be sold in North America with the Chrysler car to also be
placed in the European market.
Although the current deal involves only the truck and car,
industry analysts predict more partnership work by the two
companies in the future. In the past, Nissan has expressed
interest in finding a partner in North America to join the
alliance it holds with Renault. Chrysler, for its part, has made
it clear that it wants to have a bigger impact in the
marketplace outside of North America.
Thomas W. LaSorda, President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler said,
“Forging the right tactical partnerships is critical to the
long-term success of Chrysler. Nissan has a proven track record
in these win-win product exchanges with multiple manufacturers
around the world.”
Both vehicles will actually be designed by the companies that
will sell the products. The Chrysler car will be the company’s
first subcompact offering, one with great potential given the
rising demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.
BMW presents BMW M1 homage
To mark the 30th anniversary of the BMW M1 super
sports car, BMW Group Design is presenting homage to this
legendary model as part of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
2008. The BMW M1 designed by Giorgio Giugiaro was a car of
superlatives and a highly emotive vehicle that was
uncompromisingly primed for the race track.
Mazda wins award for
Corporation has announced that it will receive the ‘Outstanding
Technical Paper Award 2008’ at the prestigious 58th Annual
Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan (SAEJ) awards ceremony
to be held in May.
Mazda will be honoured for its in-depth analysis of the
combustion mechanism of catalysts in diesel particulate filters.
Mazda has been conducting research into combustion mechanisms to
eliminate particulate matter, mainly soot, from diesel engine
The Hiroshima-based company developed an original analytical
method, which demonstrated that the oxygen exchange
characteristics of catalysts play an important role in
accelerating the combustion of particulate matter. The 2008 SAEJ
award will be Mazda’s fourth honour from the society in recent
Mazda’s research work will aid development of highly-efficient
diesel particulate filters (DPF) in the future. Additionally,
the newly-developed analytical method can be applied not only to
automobile diesel engines, but also to general-purpose diesel
engines. The award recognises these achievements, which provide
tangible development guidelines for a wide range of future
diesel engine technologies.
Mazda will leverage its new analytical method to find ways of
accelerating particulate matter combustion in order to
significantly reduce exhaust processing times. By developing
this technology, Mazda intends to cut the fuel consumption of
future models and achieve cleaner exhaust emissions, together
with reduced CO2 output.
The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan has conducted its
Annual Awards programme since 1951, as a means of encouraging
the advancement of automotive engineering and associated
technologies. Its ‘Outstanding Technical Paper Award’ recognises
the contribution made by companies, individuals and their
collaborators for outstanding research in the field of
By Lal Alawatte M.I.M.I (UK), Dip.
As we go along the sections of a vehicle, the third most
important section is the brakes. I hope you haven’t forgotten
the first two sections we discussed for several weeks before I
responded to your queries last week.
When we talk about brakes, mainly there are two types as service
brakes and parking brakes. In colloquial terms we call the
service brakes as general brakes and parking brakes as hand
General brakes or service brakes can again be divided into three
main categories as 100 percent mechanical brakes, hydraulic
brakes and power assisted hydraulic brakes. Actually, these
categories can be looked at as the evolution of the brakes.
Mechanical brakes which were used nearly two decades ago were
replaced by hydraulic brakes and they were replaced by power
assisted hydraulic brakes. In the present day motor vehicles,
two kinds of power assisted brake technologies are being used.
For light vehicles, a vacuum pump is used to produce brake and
for heavy vehicles a different technology is employed using air
Now let us discuss the tyre construction in terms of the brakes
system of a vehicle. The rear wheels of any vehicle have brakes
with drums and linings (brake shoes) and the front wheels with
brake disks and pads.
Presently, the global motor industry is growing at a pace we
have never thought of and there are companies who are producing
the most advanced technologies for modern coupes. The use of the
state-of-the-art-technology has also contributed a lot to the
development of the brake systems. Anti Skid Brake (ABS) and EBD
(Electronic Break Force Distribution) are very good examples of
Maintenance of service brakes mainly lies with the keeping of
the prescribed brake oil levels and the replacement of exhausted
break linings and pads. Like all the other lubricants in a
vehicle, maintenance of the prescribed brake oil level is very
important. Non-maintenance of other lubricants in a vehicle will
only result in the deterioration of your vehicle. But you must
always remember lack of proper maintenance of your brake oil
levels might cost your life.
Replacement of brake oil at the correct mileage is also very
crucial. Automobile engineers prescribe that after every 40,000
kms brake oil should be changed. Or else, at least every 2
years, you are advised to change the brake oil of your vehicle
despite the mileage.
This is because brake oil is the only lube in a vehicle that is
subjected to very high temperature. The boiling point of any
brake oil is generally 220 Celsius. Due to the high temperatures
the brake oil is subjected to, usually contaminations get into
the oil. The chief contamination that can get into brake oil is
vapour. Once the oil gets contaminated, it could affect the
entire brake system and can cause dysfunctions.
At the same time, you must be mindful to check whether there are
brake oil leaks. If the oil level in the brake oil container is
going down unusually fast, you can come to the conclusion of a
possible oil leak. Once diagnosed, you are advised to take your
vehicle to your mechanic as soon as possible, because the size
of the leak can increase without your knowledge.
Since in several of the previous columns I have mentioned the
importance of replacing the exhausted brake pads and linings, I
am not going to dwell upon it in this column.
Another defect that can occur in the territory of the brake
system of a vehicle is the free play of the break paddle. This
can occur due to many reasons and therefore once you notice free
play in the paddle you should go to your mechanic and get it
The maintenance of parking brakes or the hand brakes normally
doesn’t give you much strain. The only major defect that can
occur is a broken cable. You can simply diagnose a defect in the
hand brake cable by lifting the hand brake lever. If it can be
lifted up way too much, it can be sign of a defect in the cable.
To be continued………..
launches new modular in-car entertainment (ice) kit
The chance to watch movies or play computer games while on the
move has helped banish back-seat boredom for millions of
motorists. With in-car DVD systems increasingly a top option –
particularly for families – Toyota has developed a new in-car
entertainment accessory pack that is versatile, portable and
great value for money.
The Modular ICE kit comprises two seven-inch screens that mount
easily and securely to the back of the front seat headrests. The
master screen has a side-loading DVD player and USB 1.1 slot and
both screens can be used for video playback or connecting games
consoles and cameras. Two sets of infra-red headphones and a
remote control are also provided.
A tilt and height adjustment function allows the monitors to be
easily adjusted so younger children can enjoy a good view and
the adjustable headphones provide a better fit for small heads.
A quick-release system means the screens are easy to remove, so
do not have to be left in the car and risk being stolen. With an
optional AC adapter they can also be used indoors, running off a
domestic power supply.
The screens operate independently, so a disc can be viewed on
both simultaneously or on one while the other is used for
gaming. For even more flexibility, two master screens can be
specified, as an extra-cost option. The system is compatible
with MP3, MP4 and DivX formats.
The Modular ICE system is available for Toyota Auris, Avensis,
Verso, RAV4 and Land Cruiser models. The price for the basic
pack is Ł830 (including VAT), plus fitting.
Muscle car lovers
snatching up 2008 Dodge Challenger
car lovers jumped on the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with
unbridled enthusiasm, snatching up 90% of the production run
before any of the cars were ever built. With demand remaining
high, the much sought after performance car looks to be a
sell-out for 2009 as well.
Original plans called for 5,000 of the SRT8s to be built for
2008, but in light of the volume of orders, Dodge upped that
number by 1,400 units. According to the brand marketing chief
for Dodge, Michael Accavitti, “We’ve got over 11,000 orders for
6,400 cars. We’re encouraging dealers to flip them into ‘09s.”
In just a few months, the company will formally introduce the
2009 Challenger in three models, each with a unique engine,
beginning with the SE outfitted with a six-cylinder engine. The
Challenger SRT8, opening at $37,995, will offer just three
options: navigation, sunroof, and Goodyear F1 Supercar
three-season performance tires. The preference for most
Challenger customers is to go fully loaded.
The 2008 Challenger sports 425 horsepower, vented Brembo brakes,
and five-link independent rear suspension. It comes standard
with the Chrysler MyGig system for ‘infotainment’ as well as
wireless communications via UConnect Bluetooth. While the
original 1970 Challenger was best known for drag racing, its
modern successor, outfitted with pluses like an Electronic
Stability Programme and supplemental side-curtain airbags, is
the ultimate modern expression of the muscle car legacy.
& Mahindra enters spares, used-car markets
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is expanding its presence in the
after-market sector. M&M has announced a complete after-market
vertical which will consolidate its three business units;
Mahindra First Choice services (multi-brand service chain),
Mahindra First Choice (for purchase and sale of pre-owned
vehicles) and Mahindra Spares Business (for both Mahindra and
We plan to invest almost Rs.250 crore in this segment, while
there will also be other investments made by the franchisees,
said Rajeev Dubey, President (HR, After-market & Corporate
services) and member of the group management board, M&M.
According to a media release issued by the company, the vertical
will be headed by Mr. Dubey. M&M plans to target almost 19
cities for its used car business and close to 30 cities for its
repairs business, said R Subramani, Mahindra First Choice