Tidbits – Leaf, Marchionne, Volt, Politics, Rust, Electronics

Nissan has re-opened “reservations” for the 2012 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle in Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Deliveries will begin next spring. Nissan LEAF is now available for order in 30 states, including Washington, D.C. National 50-state ordering will be available by March 2012. After one year and 20,000 global deliveries, the Nissan Leaf is meeting moderate success by an electric car for the “mass market,” but the company – after a $4.5 billion investment – is far from the sales rate needed for EVs to comprise 20% of U.S. sales by 2020 as Nissan once boasted.

The Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has elected Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat S.p.A. as well as Chairman and CEO of Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., as the association’s President for 2012. The automobile industry in Europe provides direct employment to more than 2.3 million people and supports another 10 million jobs in related sectors.

Chevrolet Volt will become the most desired vehicle by future car collectors.  That is the prediction of the Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC). Members of the organization, which supports the world-famous automotive collection at the Detroit Public Library, vote annually to predict the “Collectible Vehicle of the Future” from each year’s new North American-built cars and trucks.  The Volt was selected from 23 all-new vehicles launched in 2011.

A U.S. House regulatory subcommittee will hold hearings into reports of Chevrolet Volt fires, a spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa leaked. The subcommittee, led by Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, will schedule a hearing for late January. Not a single Volt fire has been reported on the road. This is election year politicking and posturing.

General Motors has reduced warranty claims caused by rusty brake rotors by 70% since 2008 when it started using a Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing process that heats rotors at 560 degrees Celsius for a day in an oven. Potentially this will save consumers money in the aftermarket since more than 80% of U.S. vehicles are exposed to one or more environmental corrosion creators, such as acid rain, intense sunlight, snow and ice, and road salt.

Robert Bosch has made its 250 millionth electronic engine control unit in Salzgitter. In current diesel and gasoline engines, the digital control or Motronic system governs fuel injection timing. Bosch launched the first generation of this engine management system in 1979, in the six-cylinder BMW 732i.

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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