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Toyota May Lose Big

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  • On 11, Jun 2011

“Toyota has announced that the company’s net income for the fiscal year ending in March may decrease by as much as 31 per cent compared to one year earlier. According to Automotive News, the Japanese automaker expects to earn around 280 billion yen, which is about $3.5 billion Cdn. Last year, the company raked in 408 billion yen, or around $5.1 billion Cdn. The projected earnings are a far cry from what analysts had predicted. Bloomberg recently averaged the forecasts of 13 analyst estimates at 421.8 billion yen, or $5.3 million Cdn.

Toyota is facing a number of hurdles related to the shortfall. Chief among those are production delays tied to the earthquake and tsunami disasters that struck Japan in March of this year. Toyota has a higher level of Japanese production than rivals like Honda or Nissan, and it may take longer for the manufacturing giant to get back on its feet. As a result, Toyota is bracing for a sales decline tied to fewer available vehicles.

In addition, the yen is currently at its highest level since the end of World War II, which is making the company’s exports less and less profitable.”

Source: www.autoblog.com

Racing Legend Calls it a Career

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  • On 11, Jun 2011

“Racing titan Stirling Moss has officially announced his retirement from racing at the tender young age of 81 years old. Moss was originally scheduled to race his 1961 Porsche RS61 in a Le Mans Legends race this weekend, but announced that he was leaving racing after an incident on track. That same car was damaged at Laguna Seca when Moss spun and was struck by a competing Lotus.

The four-time F1 runner up said that he scared himself while behind the wheel during practice. Since he had always promised that he would give up the game if he felt that he wasn’t up to competition or that he was holding up the other competitors, that’s exactly what he did. He made the decision in the pit lane at Le Mans.

Moss got his start behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper 500 in 1948 at 18 years old, and would later go on to pilot the infamous Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR to victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia.”

Source: www.autoblog.com

New NHL Team in Winnipeg

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  • On 31, May 2011

We have all heard the rumors about the Jets possibly making a comeback to the NHL. I know I heard about it. One thing I didn’t know was that it is in large part due to a car dealer.

“If Winnipeg does indeed get an NHL team, it will be (at least in part) because of Marc Chipman, a local businessman who owns a string of car dealerships.

Chipman is working with True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd CEO David Thompson – who rings in at number 17 on Forbes’ list of billionaires – to bring the Atlanta Thrashers to the prairie province.

According to Reuters, Chipman would be the public face of the organization. He would have quite a job on his hands though, trying to run a profitable NHL team in a city of just 635,000 people. But, Winnipeg might just be hockey-crazed enough to make it work.”

Source: www.autos.sympatico.ca

Next Gen UPS Trucks

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  • On 31, May 2011

“UPS is currently testing trucks made of advanced plastic in an effort to reduce the weight of the fleet, thereby saving gas.

The lighter the car, the less energy it takes to move it, which in turn translates into less gas and smaller fuel bills. The big courier service says it plans to improve fuel efficiency of its fleet by 20 per cent by 2020.

As part of that effort, the new trucks are 1,000 pounds lighter than the standard ones, thanks to the use of ABS plastics. This translates into 40 per cent less fuel consumption compared to the standard, metal trucks.”

Source: www.autos.sympatico.ca

Manitoba Government Turns Over New Leaf

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  • On 31, May 2011

“In a major move to reduce carbon emissions, the Manitoba Government and Manitoba Hydro have inked an agreement with Nissan Canada to provide the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines a path to build a charging network system that will allow for the roll-out of the new all-electric Nissan LEAF to be smooth and seamless.

“Manitoba has a roadmap for a fossil fuel-free future and this agreement is another milestone along that pathway,” said the Honourable David Chomiak, Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines with the Province of Manitoba. “Electric vehicles could present a significant opportunity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Manitoba and benefit our economy by allowing us to replace imported fossil fuel with our own clean, renewable hydroelectricity as an affordable energy source for our cars.”

“We continue to work closely with the public and private sector to form partnerships to promote electric vehicle use in Manitoba,” said Bob Brennan, Manitoba Hydro President and CEO. “Understanding the grid requirements needed to support EVs will ensure Manitoba Hydro can reliably meet these requirements and provide for the future of electric mobility in our province.”

The Nissan LEAF will be one of the first affordable all-electric vehicles on the market, which will immediately appeal to over 13,000 Canadians who have indicated they will consider purchasing one. The 5-door hatchback has a range of 160 kilometres on a full charge and will be available for $38,395 this fall to select markets that have the proper charging network. With 95 commitments already in place from governments around the world, the latest move by the Manitoba Government shows the Canadian drive to go green.”

Source: www.autoblog.com

Volvo’s New Flywheel KERS System

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  • On 31, May 2011

“Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Powertrain and SKF want to re-capture the energy that’s normally lost as heat during braking and use it to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. Need a quick shot of muscle? Volvo’s Flywheel Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is hooked up to the rear axle to augment the conventionally driven front wheels with up to 80 horsepower to the back tires. This technology isn’t new, but this consortium’s implementation is the first time a system like this has been fitted to a car’s rear axle while a conventional power unit drives the front wheels.

The KERS system’s quick buildup and dissipation makes it most effective in urban driving, which, conveniently, is highly inefficient. The flywheel is made out of carbon fiber and spins in a vacuum at speeds up to 60,000 rpm. That stored energy allows a four-cylinder-powered car to step off the line with more authority, and since it’s a through-the-road style system, a complex and expensive torque-split device isn’t needed to reap the fuel economy benefits of supplementing (or even shutting off) the gasoline engine at opportune moments.

Derek Crabb, Vice Preident of Powertrain Engineering for Volvo Car Coroporation says the relatively inexpensive and highly adaptable flywheel system could be in showrooms within a few years if tests and technical development don’t hit any major snags. “

Source: www.autoblog.com

Mustang Dragger Spotted

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  • On 28, May 2011

“Our spy photographers have trained their expensive camera lenses on something very interesting. Caught running around one of Ford’s private test tracks, this Mustang is clearly set to live life a quarter mile at a time. Out back sits a pair of massive Hoosier slicks, while up front, a set of skinny Hoosiers are tucked under the fenders. Oh right, we’re not sure if you noticed, but there’s a massive hood scoop planted on the front of this pony car.

What’s going on under the hood? We don’t know. The front-end (minus the scoop) is from a GT500, while the rear end is standard Mustang GT attire. That scoop, however, looks like it was pulled off a Donzi 22 Shelby GT speedboat. Actually, scratch that… it looks even bigger.”

Source: www.autoblog.com

How to Dyno

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  • On 28, May 2011

“Tuning an engine can be a delicate procedure. There is a lot of time and patience required to dial things in just right. You can spend hours and big dollars adjusting parameters on an expensive professional dynamometer –or you can be a crafty Scandinavian and homebrew a dyno right in your yard.

Apparently, all it takes is the rear end from a heavy-duty truck, some straps and a quick skaal to Odin. The result is a snowed-in dyno that can tune all the V8-engine-swapped drift machines in the neighborhood.”

Source: www.autoblog.com

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