The Nissan Qashqai, the latest model of the Japaneese house, begins rolling off the production line at December 5th, 2006 at Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland. Qashqai is a compact crossover, combining the best attributes of a traditional family hatchback with the option of advanced 4×4 capability.
Around 130,000 units should be produced in Sunderland in 2007, alongside with Note, Primera, Micra and Micra C+C. This will potentially increase the Nissan UK total annual production volume to around 400,000 units - a year record for the Europe’s most efficient plant.
Nissan Qashqai represents a total investment of EUR322.8 M and will secure more than 3,000 jobs at the Sunderland plant as well as within the regional supply chain. It has also created around 300 temporary and trainee jobs at the plant.
About 80% of Nissan Qashqai units are planned for export, the majority certainly go for sale in Europe. Although the latest Nissan model will also be shipped to numerous overseas markets such as the Middle East, Australia, South Africa. Surprisingly Japan will join the list thus making it only the second British-built model to be exported to the Nissan’s home market after the Primera of 1996.
From early December 2006 the Qashqai will ramp up to full production volume in just 4 weeks to ensure dealers across Europe are fully stocked to start the car’s sales at the end of February 2007.
The Ceed is a crucial new model for the fast-growing Korean automaker. Designed specifically for Europe, it is built in a brand-new factory in Slovakia and will only be sold across Europe, at least initially. The lengthy seven-year/150,000-kilometre guarantee will give the car a ‘unique selling point’ when it takes on the dominant VW Golf, Opel Astra and Ford Focus in the hard-fought European C-segment where five-door hatchback body styles dominate.
The Kia warranty covers the entire car (‘bumper to bumper’ is the US term) and there is an additional two years’ cover for the powertrain. The warranty will be free and transferable to subsequent owners, provided the vehicle is regularly maintained in accordance with the servicing schedule, though not necessarily at Kia dealers.
Mitsubishi’s independent UK importer, the Colt Car Company, has decided to go ahead with imports of the tiny I A-class car currently on sale only in Japan. The latest Smart fortwo is based on the “i”.
With its stylish image and strong specification Mitsubishi Motors plan to position the “i” at the higher end of the A-segment with a provisional competitive price of £8,999. Created mainly for city based customers looking for a small, economical, yet hip car the “i” comes with a high level of standard equipment including 15″ alloy wheels, climate control, leather steering wheel and gear lever, radio/CD stereo and ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution).
The “i” features Mitsubishi’s new 660cc 3-cylinder 12-valve DOHC MIVEC intercooled turbocharged engine tuned to develop 64bhp @ 6,000 rpm and 93 Nm@3,000rpm. Exclusively mated to an INVECS-II 4-speed automatic gearbox, the “i” will achieve a 0-50mph time of 11.2 seconds with an estimated top speed of 90 mph.
Using a newly developed platform with rear-midship layout, mounting the engine under the floor just in front of the rear axle, the new “i” has exceptional interior space with a wheelbase of 2,550mm. With no engine at the front and the wheels at each corner of the bodyshell the cabin has moved forward giving an airy and roomy feel. The spacious interior is accentuated by the low-line dashboard and bowed windshield which gives panoramic views.
By Colt Car Company
Italian carmaker Fiat Auto and China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. announced Tuesday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to supply gasoline engines for Fiat cars produced both in and out of China.The two companies said they expect an annual supply exceeding 100,000 1.6 and 1.8 liter gasoline engines. Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the cooperation could be extended to powertrains and other automotive sectors.
“The agreement with Chery will give us the opportunity to further increase the competitiveness of our product range on the international markets,” Marchionne said in a statement. “Chery is a young and modern company with a solid technical background and I am glad to welcome this further step in our strategy of targeted alliances.”
By Associated Press