30th September 2011

Kenmeri & S30Z + VR38DETT

So there’s a little shop in Aichi-ken called Garage OMR and they got their hands on a couple Nissan R35 GTR VR38DETT motorsets.

Now what to do these engines?

How about dropping one them into a fully restored Kenmeri Skyline?

And then maybe slide another into the engine bay of an S30Z?

That’s what there plans are. Not an easy task I imagine, but should be something to see when finished.

Photos found on Studio Sato’s blog.

 

 

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30th September 2011

Quote Of The Day: Car Dealer Cliche Edition

Nobody in the auto retail business can possibly be unaware of the horrible reputation that car dealers have earned over decades of shady dealing. Heck, the internet has even created a pseudo-meme for the entire business, in the form of the passed-around image you see at the top of this post. But one industry’s horrendous reputation can be another another industry’s opportunity, and Kevin Hurst thought he had come up with a goldmine. By creating software that guides dealers through compliance with a number of federal regulations, he figured he could leverage the stereotype of the sleazy car dealer to get potential clients interested in demonstrating their commitment to walking the straight and narrow path. It’s a brilliant idea, and the kind of move that would show that market self-regulation and government regulation can work together to serve consumers. Unfortunately, Hurst made a fatal error of calculation: he assumed car dealers care about fixing their reputation and living up to national standards.

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30th September 2011

BMW Owners Finally Admit Nazi Past

The Quandt family, major shareholder of BMW, and one of the richest in Germany, is finally and belatedly confessing to its Nazi-past. Patriarch Günther Quandt was an early member of the Nazi party, he joined 1933, after Hitler’s election. During the Third Reich, Quandt company empire was kept running by more than 50,000 slave laborers. Many businesses that were taken away from Jewish owners ended up in the hands of Quandt. He even had odd family ties with the Nazi elite. His second wife Magda, which he had married when she was half his age, divorced him eight years later, only to marry propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, with Adolf Hitler as a witness. While other German carmakers, first and foremost Volkswagen, came to terms with their past, the owners of BMW denied it until recently. When the German Forced Labor Compensation Program was established, the family declined to make a contribution, claiming they had no reason to do so.

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30th September 2011

Brain Machine Interface (BMI)



Okay, you may be well aware of the HMI acronym (stands for Human-Machine Interface) that gets wheeled out by the designers when talking about car interiors, especially instrumentation and dashboards.

But how about Brain-Machine Interface (BMI)? It’s the clever stuff that enables people to control things like wheelchairs via their thoughts. Nissan is working with Swiss scientists on something similar for cars. It could be a future safety innovation, the car being aware of you thinking ‘I will make a right turn’ and the car’s set-up being automatically fine tuned to help you make the turn. The mind, er, boggles. 

Interesting video clip:

 

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30th September 2011

Manufacturing Troubles Remain a Drag on Recovery, Trade & Jobs


via The Seattle Times

by Jon Talton

Top of the News: The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index seems consistent with recovery, coming in at 53.6 for November; any number above 50 signifies expansion in the sector. Unfortunately, the reading sagged from 55.7 the month before, tripping up what economists had hoped would be a steady climb out of recession.

A deeper look shows that the index provides no relief for the biggest immediate problem facing Americans, unemployment. Only six of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in employment. Only 11.7 million Americans worked manufacturing as of October. That compares with 17.3 million in October 1999.

Not only do manufacturing jobs pay better than their counterparts in service industries, they tend to add real value to economic activity (as opposed to selling mortgage swindles). They are also twined with our trade issues. Even fewer manufacturing jobs are now in industries that export, a key part of our huge manufacturing trade deficit.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon was happening even before the Great Recession. A report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that manufacturing employment between 1965 and 2000 never dipped below 16.5 million. This even as manufacturing shrank as a share of the economy (take out Boeing and it would be much smaller). This changed as imports surged after China joined the WTO and other Asian factory centers upped their game. By 2004, the number was lower than any time since 1950.

“It is often claimed that declines in manufacturing employment stem entirely from productivity growth,” according to EPI economist L. Josh Bivens. “However, rapid productivity growth is the norm, not the exception, in manufacturing. What is new about the manufacturing job crisis of the last four years is the sharp downturn in the ratio of domestic production to demand.”

Indeed, American steelmakers are shrinking yet again.

The Back Story: The official unemployment rate including discouraged workers and part-timers seeking full-time work is 17.5 percent. But Shadow Government Statistics, a provocative and reliable site, argues even this underestimates the problem. Try…22 percent.

Complete Article



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29th September 2011

Jennifer Lopez Commercial Drives Interest in Fiat

According to an analysis of Web traffic at Edmunds.com, consideration for the Fiat 500 has climbed 31 percent since the JLo ad for the 500 debuted on September 12 during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Since then, the most notable one-day spike for the vehicle came on September 18, when the ad aired throughout the day on NFL telecasts.

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