2016 Nissan LEAF offers 107 mile range

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 10, 2015) – Nissan today introduced the 2016 all-electric LEAF with an available 30 kWh battery that provides an EPA-estimated best-in-class* range of 107** miles – a 27-percent increase over the previous 24 kWH battery. The new battery is standard for LEAF SV and LEAF SL models. The 2016 model also offers an enhanced IT system that is more user-friendly and gives drivers greater vehicle connectivity.

“Since Nissan LEAF launched in December 2010, we’ve become the global leaders in electric vehicle (EV) sales with an all-electric car specifically designed for the mass market,” said Andrew Speaker, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales & Marketing. “We know that to maintain that leadership, we must continue developing battery technology that strikes that ideal balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability.”

The 2016 Nissan LEAF has a starting price of $26,700*** after the federal tax credit of $7,500 for the SV model and $29,290*** for LEAF SL after the federal tax credit. LEAF S models continue to be equipped with a 24 kWh battery with an EPA-estimated range of 84* miles. Starting price for 2016 Nissan LEAF S grade remains $21,510** after the federal tax incentive.

All LEAF models feature an 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque, providing a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that consumers often expect from traditional, gasoline-powered vehicles. Unlike internal combustion engine-equipped vehicles, LEAF has no tailpipe, which means there is no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

“The new battery is just one of several enhancements for the 2016 LEAF,” said Speaker.

“We’re also bringing audio and connectivity upgrades by adding NissanConnect with Mobile Apps with 5.0-inch color display as standard features for LEAF S models, and for SV and SL grades we are offering NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps–featuring a 7.0-inch color display with multi-touch control and Nissan Voice Recognition as standard features.”

The NissanConnect with Mobile Apps system for 2016 LEAF S includes Bluetooth® Handsfree Phone System, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices.

NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps for SV and SL grades include a 7.0-inch color display with multi-touch control, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, HD radio, and SiriusXM Travel Link™ for weather, fuel prices, movie listings, stock info and sports (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).

The menu screen graphics and customization process have been improved and charging screen information is now automatically updated every time the ignition is turned on and with every 12 miles of driving.

The NissanConnect EV system (no-charge subscription required), also standard on SV and SL grades, allows remote connection to the vehicle, providing monitoring of battery stateof-charge, start charging event control and turning on the heating and air conditioning system prior to entering the vehicle.

Nissan LEAF continues to offer the space and range to meet every day needs, while also providing an exceptional value proposition due to zero spending on gas, lower maintenance costs and a starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car. The 2016 model offers three new premium-look exterior colors: Forged Bronze, Coulis Red and Deep Blue Pearl.

Nissan LEAF and its battery are assembled in the United States at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant.

51% of car shoppers use mobile device in vehicle research

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: — More than half (51%) of new-vehicle Internet shoppers use a mobile device—tablet or smartphone—to digitally conduct automotive research on the Internet to help them find the right vehicle, at the right dealer for the right price, according to the J.D. Power 2015 New Autoshopper StudySM released today.

The study analyzes how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices— tablets, smartphones and computers—to gather information prior to purchase, as well as which websites and apps they use during the shopping process. The study also examines what content new-vehicle buyers access during their shopping process and which content they find most useful.

For more information about the 2015 New Autoshopper Study visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-new-autoshopper-study

The proliferation of digital information accessible through mobile devices continues to change the way new vehicles are shopped for by consumers. Since 2012, the use of tablets for automotive shopping has increased by 83 percent and smartphone automotive shopping has increased by 70 percent. More than half (51%) of new-vehicle shoppers use a mobile device to gather automotive information prior to purchase. In particular, 34 percent of new-vehicle shoppers use a smartphone for automotive research and 33 percent use a tablet.

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“Outside of the home, the location where new-vehicle shoppers most frequently use their  smartphone to conduct auto research prior to purchase is at a dealership,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “Nearly half (48%) of new-vehicle buyers that shop on a mobile device use their smartphone and 13 percent use a tablet for information gathering while at the dealership primarily to access vehicle pricing as well as model information, inventory searches and special offers and incentives.”

The manner in which new-vehicle shoppers locate the actual vehicle they seek is also going digital. Nearly one-third (30%) of new-vehicle shoppers find the vehicle they purchase on either a manufacturer website, a third-party website or their dealer’s website.
In addition, new-vehicle shoppers are initially contacting their dealer digitally. While a majority of shoppers make their initial contact by simply walking into a dealership, nearly one-fourth (24%) do so digitally by email, the dealer website, request an online quote, text, online forum or Facebook.

More of these new-vehicle shoppers are entering the process with a specific make or model in mind. Nearly half (49%) of new-vehicle shoppers know either the exact make or model they initially want and purchase it. This has increased dramatically from 2013 when just 43 percent bought the exact make or model they had in mind. This shift translates into a decrease in the number of vehicles these digital shoppers consider when they first began visiting dealerships to an industry average of 2.4 vehicles in 2015 from 2.6 vehicles in 2013.

Top Websites Used for Automotive Shopping

  • More than 9 in 10 of new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit at least one manufacturer brand website when shopping for a vehicle. Site visitors find manufacturer brand websites to be most useful for their model information and vehicle configurators.
  • While 83 percent of new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit at least one dealership website, 75 percent visit their selling dealership’s website.
  • Eight in 10 new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit a third-party site for automotive information.

o   The three most frequently visited third-party sites have remained consistent since 2012 (listed in alphabetical order): Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book.

o   Among the 35 third-party sites measured in the study, TrueCar has experienced the largest increase in site visitation.

o   Compared with other automotive sites, third-party sites are found to be especially useful for vehicle comparisons and vehicle ratings/reviews.

The 2015 New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from more than 18,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 to 2015 model-year vehicles who used information gathered digitally during the shopping process. The study was fielded between February 6, 2015, and July 7, 2015.

 

Consumer Reports backs forward collision warning in all cars

Automotive safety has made dramatic improvements over the past decades, with seatbelts, airbags, electronic stability control, and sophisticated body structures all demonstrably reducing injuries and deaths. Consumer Reports feels the next critical advance involves forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. This proven, life-saving technology would have such a positive impact on safety that Consumer Reports has called for it to be standard on all new cars.

That’s why the organization is pleased with today’s announcement by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). At the dedication of IIHS’ expanded Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Va., the safety organization and NHTSA jointly announced that 10 automakers have committed to making automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard: Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Automatic emergency braking systems could drastically reduce rear-end crashes—either in avoiding them altogether, or at least reducing the velocity of the collision. The price-per-car for a frontal-collision warning system is $250 to $400—a fraction of the typical charge for an ambulance ride.

“Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking is the biggest safety advancement since the introduction of stability control over two decades ago,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. “This is such an important safety feature that all other manufacturers should bring it to their vehicles as soon as possible.”

Petrolicious wins Jalopnik film fest award

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Los Angeles, CA — The Jalopnik Film Festival is pleased to announce the audience award winner of this year’s short film competition: “Building Your Dream Ferrari is a Beautiful Thing” by Petrolicious. The film was one of 11 finalists that was selected by an elite panel of judges that included comedian and radio personality Adam Carolla, L.A. Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson, filmmaker Jeff Zwart and TV personality Spike Feresten.

Petrolicious is a site dedicated to producing written and video editorial about classic cars. According to a piece published by the Los Angeles Times earlier this year , Afshin Behnia and his wife, Kika Vigo-Behnia (the site’s creative director) have posted more than 120 original videos on YouTube and acquired a quarter-of-a-million subscribers since posting their first video in 2013.

“There’s a reason why this is the second year in a row a Petrolicious video was featured at the festival, and it’s that they’ve elevated the short car feature in such a way that they’ve set the standard for everyone else,” said Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Matt Hardigree. “The Petrolicious style of video is so popular that it even inspired a parody film that was also a jury selection.”

“Building Your Dream Ferrari is a Beautiful Thing” is currently available to watch on the Petrolicious YouTube channel.

Sponsored by Mazda, the 2015 edition of the Jalopnik Film Festival kicked off on Friday, September 25th at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA with an exclusive Ride & Drive experience, followed by a screening of “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman,” a Q&A with director Adam Carolla and an after-party. The following day, Saturday, September 26th, consisted of a full day of screenings at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The program included classic films such as the original “Mad Max” and “Ronin,” as well as documentaries like “Being Evel,” “Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans” and “Havana Motor Club,” which have been making their rounds on the festival circuit.

The Jalopnik Film Festival takes its name from one of the most popular automative enthusiast blogs on the web, which averages over nine million global uniques and is part of the Gawker Media Group family.

Ignoring maintenance cause of car breakdowns: AAA

BY GERRY MILES

While it may be common to think of placing a piece of black tape over an idiot light on the dash, ignoring that light and seeking advice from a repair shop is the major cause of car breakdowns a new AAA report stated.

A recent AAA survey found that 35 percent of Americans have skipped or delayed service or repairs that were recommended by a mechanic or specified by the factory maintenance schedule.

“According to a survey of AAA’s certified Approved Auto Repair shops, consumers that forget or ignore recommended maintenance ultimately pay higher repair costs,” cautioned John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “These repair facilities estimate drivers can save an average of one hundred dollars per visit simply by properly maintaining their vehicle.”

In 2014, AAA responded to over 29 million calls for roadside assistance, with the majority (17 million) due to battery failure, flat tires and keys locked inside the vehicle. To prevent these common roadside problems, AAA offers the following recommendations:

  • Batteries:  Automotive batteries typically last between three and five years, with reduced battery life in hotter climates. To avoid an unexpected battery failure, AAA recommends that drivers have their vehicle’s battery tested when it reaches three years of age and on an annual basis thereafter.  According to a recent survey, two thirds of Americans have never had their car battery tested prior to their vehicle failing to start. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing to AAA members.
  • Tires: Keeping tires properly inflated and routinely checking tread depth is critical to safety, yet AAA found that 60 percent of Americans do not check tire pressures regularly. Tire pressures, including the spare tire, should be checked at least once a month, and when tread depth reaches 4/32” AAA recommends replacing tires. Additionally, while locking lug nuts are helpful in preventing tire theft, missing keys prevented roadside assistance technicians from changing 21,000 tires in 2014. AAA recommends storing the locking lug nut key with the spare tire or in the glove box.
  • Keys: Despite the rising popularity of Passive Keyless Entry systems, AAA has not seen a significant reduction in the number of calls related to drivers being locked out of their vehicle in the last decade, proving that it is difficult to prevent this common mistake.

“While problems with batteries, tires and keys are the most common reasons that members call AAA for help, there are more than 12 million calls each year related to engine trouble, fuel issues and other mechanical mishaps,” warned Nielsen. “AAA will always be there to save the day, but this study reveals drivers can save time and money by investing in routine maintenance.”

Other key findings from 2014 roadside assistance data include:

  • AAA towed more than two million vehicles for engine-related issues and an additional 600,000 vehicles for transmission failure.
  • More than 235,000 vehicles were towed due to brake system failures.
  • While most modern vehicles are equipped with low-fuel lights, AAA provided gasoline fuel delivery to more than half a million vehicles in 2014.
  • Due to members incorrectly fueling their gasoline-powered vehicle with diesel fuel, or vice-versa, AAA towed more than 13,000 vehicles to repair facilities.

“While today’s vehicle technology incorporates maintenance reminders and dashboard alerts designed to prevent roadside trouble, drivers still must take action,” cautioned Josh VanWynsberghe, AAA’s automotive technical engineer. “Finding a mechanic you trust and allowing that shop to perform all of your vehicle’s maintenance will result in improved reliability, higher resale values and increased safety.”

BMW, Toyota in top 10 of brand loyalty survey

 

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NEW YORK — Top ranked intimate brands outperform major financial indices in profit growth and revenue growth over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines ultimate brand relationships.

From 2005 to 2014, intimate brands enjoy an average of five percent more revenue growth and 11 percent profit growth over the S&P 500. That translates to an average of $33 billion per year in average revenue for the top brands and more than $9 billion in average annual profit. Brand Intimacy delivers comparable performance to the Fortune 500 as well.

Examining this performance a little deeper, brands that achieve the highest levels of intimacy also enjoy greater price resilience. Consumers of these brands are five times more willing to pay 20 percent more.

This year’s report contains one of the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations across nine industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

“Brand intimacy is a new benchmark for our times and the marketing challenges of today. This year’s findings confirm that the way to think about, build and measure brands can lead to untapped business potential,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner.

The report revealed that in the U.S., Apple took first place followed by BMW and Toyota placing second and third, respectively. The top 10 is rounded out by: Amazon, Harley-Davidson, Disney, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, GMC and Samsung.

Other notable findings include:

  • Apple ranked #1 in the U.S., Mexico and the UAE
  • The automotive industry is the strongest performing of the nine industries analyzed in the U.S., Mexico and the UAE

In the U.S.:

  • Retail came in second and health & beauty came in third; travel & leisure is the poorest performing category
  • Twenty-five percent of people surveyed have intimate brand relationships
  • Those under 35 tend to have emotional relationships with technology, entertainment and retail brands, while those over 35 have stronger connections with consumer packaged goods
  • Harley Davidson was the #1 brand among men
  • Toyota ranked highest for fulfillment, which centers on exceeding expectations and performance
  • Lego ranked highest for its associations with nostalgia
  • Google ranked #1 for enhancement, enabling improvement through use of the brand. Google also ranked 16th  overall
  • Ben and Jerry’s was seen as strongest on indulgence
  • Mercedes Benz is the top brand related to the identity archetype, meaning it reflects an aspirational image or admired values
  • Startup Uber ranked 14th among automotive brands