I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

USA - The 2016 Infiniti QX60 crossover, has received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.

The newly freshened 2016 Infiniti QX60 premium crossover, when equipped with Forward Emergency Braking, has received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after earning a "Superior" rating for front crash prevention.
Along with "Good" ratings in the IIHS's five crashworthiness tests, the Infiniti QX60's "Superior" rating for front crash prevention is a result of its performance in both the 12 mph and 25 mph front crash prevention tests. In the 25 mph test, the QX60's impact speed was reduced by an average of 10 mph. The QX60 also received credit for forward collision warning components in its front crash prevention system that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, the IIHS's highest award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, plus an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
"Infiniti is obviously pleased to receive the exclusive IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which reflects the organization's strictest testing standards, for the 2016 QX60," said Randy Parker, vice president, Infiniti Americas. "The enhancements to the QX60 for the new model year, especially in the expansion of its advanced technology features, once again raise the standard in the premium crossover segment."
The 2016 QX60 includes a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seat crossover's exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety.
The QX60 adds to its already strong suite of advanced safety technology with Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) with pedestrian detection – a first for Infiniti – and the brand's exclusive Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) system.
2016 Infiniti QX60 Safety, Security and Driving Aid Features
All 2016 Infiniti QX60 models come standard with a host of active and passive safety features, starting with an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for outboard occupant head protection for all three rows; and front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags. In addition, available technologies include:

  • Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) with pedestrian detection – FEB utilizes advanced technology to calculate the distance between QX60 and the vehicle in front, as well as the speed of both vehicles, to detect the possibility of a collision and help mitigate or prevent it. The additional functionality offered by the QX60 FEB with pedestrian detection system applies this technology to help avoid or mitigate collisions with pedestrians as well.
  • Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) – Alerts the driver to crossing vehicles and other large stationary objects to the rear when the transmission is in reverse. If necessary, the system is able to automatically to engage the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision.
  • Around View® Monitor (AVM) – Parking is made easy with the addition of the new Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection (MOD). The system uses four wide-angle lenses – one on each side of the vehicle – to create a "birds-eye" view on the center console and give drivers a clear picture of nearby hazards during low-speed maneuvers.
The 2016 QX60 is available now at Infiniti retailers nationwide.

The Vincentric Best Value in America awards the F-TYPE the Luxury Sports Car award for the third time.

Jaguar is proud to announce that the F-TYPE was awarded the 2016 Vincentric Best Value in America award for the Luxury Sports Car segment. This marks the third year the F-TYPE has received the honor.
The Vincentric Best Value in America awards, now in its 12th year, are model specific honors that determine the best value in each segment. Value is determined using a statistical analysis that incorporates the total cost of ownership of all vehicles for the 2016 model year along with the current market price of those vehicles.

Since its introduction in 2014, the Jaguar F-TYPE range has expanded from three models to six. The 2017 lineup will consist of the F-TYPE, F-TYPE S, and the recently announced range topping F-TYPE SVR. 
A new entry model F-TYPE will feature a supercharged 340-hp 3.0L V6 mated to the 6-speed manual transmission and come standard with a fixed metal roof in the coupe configuration and a new 6-way adjustable partially electric seat, as well as new standard features such as a valet mode and solar attenuating windshield glass. 
On an equipment adjusted basis, this new model represents an overall savings of about $1,700 over the previous model year F-TYPE and gives customers a new lower price point for getting into the vehicle.
With MSRP starting at $61,4001 for the Coupe and $65,4001 for the Convertible, the new entry price level for 2017 Jaguar F-TYPE builds upon the pricing realignment strategy as part of The Next Generation of Jaguar in which an improved competitive value position was brought to market through a combination of new entry priced models, increased standard equipment and lower MSRPs that all help the brand target the heart of the luxury market. In addition, every 2017 model year F-TYPE and all 2017 Jaguar models will come standard with Jaguar EliteCare2, the brand's new best-in-class warranty package.

USA SALES YEAR - Nissan Group tops 2 Million sales for the first time in a single year, led by Crossovers.

  • Nissan and Infiniti brands set combined all-time sales record of 2,009,119 units for fiscal year 2015
  • Nissan moves into second place among Asian nameplates
  • Wave of all-new or significantly freshened products – led by Murano, Rogue and QX60 crossovers and Altima, Sentra, Maxima and Q50 sedans – drives growth
  • Strong March 2016 Nissan and Infiniti sales push year-end total over the top
Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today announced that sales for fiscal year 2015 set an all-time record of 2,009,119, passing the two-million sales mark for the first time in company history. Each of NNA's three sales regions – the United States, Canada and Mexico – also set individual volume records for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.

Nissan has registered market share increases in eight of the past nine years, with fiscal year 2015 share reaching 9.6 percent. In addition, Nissan's investment of more than $18 billion in North America over the past 30 years has resulted in an annual manufacturing capacity of two million units. In 2015, 85 percent of vehicles sold in North America were produced here.
Nissan North America Sales and Share: FY14 vs. FY15

FY15 Sales
FY15 Share
FY14 Sales
FY14  Share
United States
NNA Totals:
"These positive results for past fiscal year show that our business plan, our new product introduction program and our investment in North America are working," said José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, Inc. "Credit also goes to our more than 37,000 employees and to our strong network of highly engaged Nissan and Infiniti retailers. Two million thanks to everyone."
Sales in the new NNA fiscal year, which begins today, are projected to remain strong – driven by additional new product introductions. Infiniti is launching the all-new QX30 active crossover and Q60 sports coupe, along with three new powerplants for its top-selling Q50 sports sedan. Nissan is continuing to roll out additional models of its all-new TITAN full-size pickup, along with a new generation Armada SUV.
"The last several years of capital investment in North America has positioned us, along with our Nissan and Infiniti retailers, for sustainable growth and profitability in the region, and gives us confidence in achieving our Power 88 business plan's mid-term goals," added Muñoz. "Now we have to go out and continue to earn every sale."

UK SALES MARCH - Renault grows by double digits in Q1 and by a higher margin in March.

  • Renault UK car sales up 16.3 per cent to 23,959 vehicles in Q1 2016
  • Renault’s volume grows by more than three times the UK car market in Q1
  • Renault represents 3.1 per cent of the car market in Q1
  • Groupe Renault UK records 38,057 sales in Q1 – up 13 per cent
Renault car sales in the UK were up 16.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 – more than three times the growth of the UK car market, which grew by 5.1 per cent – to 23,959 cars, according to official figures released today from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Market share for the first three months of the year was at 3.1 per cent – up 0.3 percentage points on the same period in 2015.

Car sales in the month of March hit 17,866 – up 12.6 per cent on 2015, more than twice the growth rate of the UK car market, which increased by 5.3 per cent. Renault car market share in March stood at 3.4 per cent – up 0.2 percentage points on March 2015. 
Renault’s B-segment range, comprising of the Clio hatchback, the Captur crossover and the 100% electric ZOE hit 15,028 vehicles in the first quarter of 2016. Appetite for Renault’s Z.E. range grew considerably in 2015, with sales of the all-electric ZOE hatchback doubling compared to 2014. Sales of the ZOE showed no signs of slowing in Q1 2016 either, more than doubling again compared to an electric vehicle car market up 20.2 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Darren Payne, Sales Director, Groupe Renault UK said: “This extraordinary growth has been fuelled by customer demand for our stunning range, especially with thanks to the addition of the striking new Renault Kadjar crossover, of which we look forward to the first full year of sales in 2016. We are on track to deliver our GO5+ mid-term plan objectives, leveraging a showroom-full of already-successful new products with Clio, Captur, Kadjar, ZOE and Twingo, adding the All-New Mégane this summer, and later in the year the All-New Scénic. The new additions will give us a completely refreshed C-segment line-up and the newest range of any manufacturer in Europe.”
Groupe Renault UK, which comprises Renault cars, vans and Dacia, has experienced an unprecedented period of ahead-of-the-market growth over the last three years. This growth has continued into 2016 with 38,057 group vehicles being sold in the first three months of the year for a market share of 4.4 per cent – up 0.3 percentage points.  Group sales in March stood at 28,049 vehicles for a 4.8 per cent market share – up 11.2 per cent on 2015.

The IIHS has upgraded the 2016 Nissan Sentra to its highest rating of "Top Safety Pick Plus"

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) upgraded the 2016 Nissan Sentra to its highest rating of  "Top Safety Pick Plus" when equipped with optional Forward Emergency Braking technology. The Sentra had previously held the agency's Top Safety Pick designation prior to IIHS confirmation of the required front crash prevention technology performance.

For this year, IIHS has tightened its standards by requiring a "Good" or better rating in all five of the crashworthiness categories to earn a "Top Safety Pick" and making an available front crash prevention system mandatory for all awards. To earn the IIHS "Top Safety Pick Plus" designation, a vehicle must earn a "Good" or better on all five crashworthiness categories and also receive an "Advanced" or "Superior" rating for front crash prevention.
"Nissan is proud to have another of our core vehicles recognized by IIHS for vehicle safety," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Strategy and Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has the safety and security of Nissan vehicle owners and their passengers as its top priority, so we are glad to see our long-term investment in safety showing results in these latest IIHS tests."
Sentra joins the 2016 Altima, Maxima and Murano in earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus rating. Forward Emergency Braking is available on 2016 Sentra SR and SL models equipped with the optional Technology Package.

SOUTH AFRICA - Ford invests $170 Million to expand production with the All-New Everest SUV & Ranger Pick-Up.

  • Ford invests R2.5 billion ($170 million U.S. dollars) in local production of the all-new Ford Everest seven-seat SUV and expansion of the new Ranger pickup program
  • Expansion will create 1,200 new jobs in South Africa
  • All-new Everest extended range to include 2.2 and 3.2 derivatives, production commences at Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria in third quarter 2016
  • Ford will export all-new Everest into Sub-Saharan Africa countries
Ford Motor Company is investing R2.5-billion ($170 million U.S. dollars) to expand operations in South Africa at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa, to produce the all-new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year.
This investment will create approximately 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within the South African supplier network.
“Our customers love the capability and utility offered by the all-new Ford Everest,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “By producing the Everest in South Africa, we will be able to make it more readily available, and in a greater variety of models, for customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The R2.5-billion investment reaffirms the importance of these markets as part of our growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa,” Farley added. “It further reinforces South Africa’s position as a strategic export base for Ford Motor Company.”
The Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong; Ford’s Chennai plant in India (where it is sold as the Endeavor) and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, as production hubs for the Everest. Initial production at Silverton of the Everest will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Part of this investment has been directed towards the production of the new Ranger, which is already running at maximum capacity at the Silverton Assembly Plant – with domestic sales and export demand at an all-time high.
The Silverton Assembly Plant features state-of-the-art automation utilising Ford's global manufacturing processes, and will be equipped to produce 10,000 Everests annually.
“The all-new Everest has been extremely well received since it was launched in September last year, with demand far outstripping supply,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
“This crucial investment will enable us to increase volumes and expand the Everest range to eight derivatives across a broader price range. It will allow customers across Sub-Saharan Africa to choose from two powerful engines mated to robust six-speed automatic or manual transmissions for exceptional capability.”
Currently, the all-new Everest is imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2-liter five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine. It is only available in South Africa in 3.2 Automatic guise in two specification levels – XLT and the range-topping Limited. With the commencement of local production, a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the range, along with a wider spread of specification levels.
Built at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, the latest-generation Duratorq TDCi diesel engines – which are also used in the new Ranger – offer maximum fuel economy along with exceptional performance.
The all-new Ford Everest is a rugged seven-seat SUV featuring body-on-frame construction, intelligent four-wheel drive and an Advanced Terrain Management System to help navigate challenging terrain with ease.
In recent years, Africa has emerged as an increasingly important region for Ford, with continued investment and growth.
In 2008, Ford announced plans to build the Ford Ranger at its Silverton Assembly Plant with an investment of R3.4 billion. The investment allowed Ford to transform both of its South African plants into world class facilities to produce the Ford Ranger and Duratorq TDCi engines for local consumption and export.
The Ford Ranger is exported to 148 countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe, while engines and machined components are supplied to Argentina, Thailand, North America, India and China.
In 2014, Ford formed its newest business unit, Middle East and Africa comprising 67 markets to support the region with a dedicated focus and clear understanding of the unique conditions and customer needs.
The African growth story continued in 2015, when Ford confirmed that it would assemble the Ford Ranger in Nigeria, using semi knock-down (SKD) kits and components imported from South Africa.
Ford Motor Company’s growth story goes beyond its manufacturing expansion in South Africa. In 2015, Ford sold 78,471 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in South Africa, the highest number on record. The South African-built Ranger pickup performed particularly well, with an 18.1 percent year-on-year increase in sales and a total of 33,920 Rangers sold in 2015.
“As we continue to grow our business here in South Africa we are committed to improving the skills of our employees and creating new opportunities within the company and the broader supply chain. It is only through the dedication and commitment of our work force, suppliers, dealers, union and government partners that we have been able to secure this investment and expand our operations, broadening our footprint in Africa even further,” Nemeth concluded. 

USA - New Ford Fusion offers adaptive cruise control with stop/go tech to help take the edge off stressful traffic

  • Study shows average U.S. driver spends up to 1.5 stressful hours a week stuck in traffic
  • New Ford Fusion offers adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology to help take the edge off stressful traffic
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go is one of 20 driver-assist features available on the new 2017 Ford Fusion arriving at dealers this spring
Ford can’t prevent aggravating traffic congestion, but it’s adding something new to help make traffic less stressful.
A new stop-and-go technology available for the 2017 Fusion, which piggybacks on the existing adaptive cruise control feature, can help drivers experience less stress on the road. 
When activated stop-and-go automatically accelerates and brakes for the driver while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard released by Texas A&M Transportation Institute, America’s drivers spent 6.9 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2014, an average of nearly an hour a week wasted. Drivers fighting traffic in the most gridlocked cities – New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – found it significantly worse, losing nearly an hour and a half, sometimes more.
Now, whether on a long-distance trip or the daily commute, customers of the 2017 Fusion equipped with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology can drive with less stress.
Using dedicated steering wheel buttons, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go allows drivers to set cruise control speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead. 
The semi-autonomous technology can automatically adjust the set speed for comfortable travel – much like a human driver would – bringing the car to a full stop when traffic halts. If the car has to stop for more than three seconds, the driver can tap the resume button or accelerator and the car returns to its preset speed. This assures the driver is paying attention in the event of a long pause in traffic.
Adaptive cruise control employs a combination of sensors and software. When activated, the technology uses an advanced radar-and-camera based system, which reads the road every 50 milliseconds – tracking traffic and adjusting Fusion’s cruise control according to traffic flow. In slow traffic, with minimal driver input, the car can automatically brake itself to a stop, then resume travel up to set speed and following distance.
“When testing this system, we traveled to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, heading straight for the worst possible congestion,” says Scott Lindstrom, Ford driver-assist technologies manager. “It was important for us to test this system under conditions the average driver encounters every workday.”
Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go is a great tool for dealing with traffic, but for unpredictable moments Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, part of the overall technology, employs the same sensors and camera to watch the road ahead for potential collisions with a vehicle or pedestrian. 
When a situation is detected, the system provides a visual and audible warning to the driver, pre-charges the brakes and, if necessary, can then automatically apply up to full braking force. This can help reduce the severity of, or even eliminate, some frontal collisions.
The 2017 Fusion is the first Ford vehicle in North America to offer adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – among 20 driver-assist technologies available across the entire Fusion lineup, including Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi. Stop-and-go will be added to three new Ford products within the next two years.
The new Fusion arrives at Ford dealers this spring.