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Best Performanze Award Winner

Readers of Auto Express have crowned the Nissan 350Z as their favourite performance car in the 2006 Driver Power Survey. It beat 100 other vehicles to take the honour as it was voted overall winner in the ‘Best Performance’ category.

Auto Express commented: ‘Impressive is the fact that the 350Z has finished higher up the chart than several more costly rivals.’ The 350Z scored 97.78% which is over 5% ahead of the Porsche Boxster (92.77%) and 7.69% ahead of the Audi TT (90.09%). Prices for the new 2006 model year 350Z start at £25,300.

With more than 46,000 readers giving their votes, the survey is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK and the results are published in the March 22nd edition of the magazine as well as on its website.

Auto Express also commented: ‘Owners can’t get enough of the V6 powered models’ 276 bhp 3.5 litre engine, which pulls hard in every one of its six gears. Throttle response is razor-sharp and the rear wheel drive chassis means there is ample traction when accelerating.’

The revised 350Z for 2006 should satisfy owners even further with the engine power up by 20bhp to give a total of 296bhp (300PS). This not only reduces the 0-62mph time for the coupe to 5.8 seconds but also allows the engine to rev higher at 6400rpm, while maintaining a flatter torque curve.

These are not the only changes made to the latest Z. LED rear lights, Bi-xenon headlamps, standard RAYS alloys, a revised interior and the availability of the latest generation DVD satellite navigation system add to the overall impression. And, it’s available to order now at Platinum Nissan in Trowbridge and Bath.


Nissan Design Supports the Next Generation of Designers

London, UK (23 March, 2006) — Nine design students from Pforzheim University in Germany, who produced winning entries in a design challenge set by Nissan as part of its global sponsorship activities, today attended the company’s European design headquarters to present their concepts.

The students are all participants in the University’s Transportation Design course and had been challenged by London-based Nissan Design Europe (NDE) to create vehicle concepts that would meet customer expectations in 2015.

As part of the four-month project, 5th semester students were asked to develop scale exterior clay model proposals, while those from the 7th semester were asked to develop interior design proposals.

The brief asked the students to consider what the Nissan brand should express in the future and what should be its position in a context of global competition. They were challenged to define future lifestyles and needs and how they would impact on the product. The two key guiding words behind the brief were ‘Bold’ and ‘Thoughtful’.

In early February, a team including Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Nissan Motor Company Limited, Tokyo and Satoru Tai, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, London, assessed each of the student’s entries and those behind the most highly rated projects were invited to attend the official presentation and sample life inside Nissan’s European design headquarters.

It is important to support and encourage the next generation of designers, explained Shiro Nakamura. I am very pleased that Nissan Design has organised this excellent programme to give students a real taste of the type of brief that we give to designers in Nissan. They will have gained real-world experience by creating a design in demanding circumstances.

Such programmes serve to motivate and challenge tomorrow’s car designers and the key to success for the students in this project is understanding customer needs, trends and tastes 10 years from now.

Nissan Design Europe opened its headquarters in Paddington, London on 22 January, 2003. The facility is responsible for leading the development of the next generation of Nissan cars in Europe and beyond and is home to a large team of international designers, modellers and support staff. It plays a strategically important role in Nissan’s creative network comprising six design studios worldwide.

In Europe, Nissan employs approximately 12,000 people in its design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. Last year, the company produced a total of 508,901 vehicles in its British and Spanish plants and sold 540,954 vehicles in Europe. Nissan Europe’s headquarters is based in Trappes (Paris), France.


Nissan Celebrates 3 Million Cars Exported from UK

Tony Blair and Carlos Ghosn congratulate Sunderland workforce on latest model

Sunderland, UK (March 17, 2006) the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, Britain’s prime minister, and Nissan President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, visited the North East of England to celebrate the Nissan Sunderland plant producing more than 3 million cars for export.

Since production began in 1986, more than 4.1 million cars have rolled off the line. Around 75% of the plant’s production has been exported to more than 45 markets around the world. Nissan has been the biggest exporter of cars from the UK for the last six consecutive years.

Tony Blair paid tribute to the Nissan workforce for demonstrating that the UK manufacturing industry can compete on the global stage. He also congratulated staff on the successful launch of their newest model, the NOTE.

The NOTE compact family car began production in January, with already more than 18,000 units produced. Nissan is targeting annual sales of around 90,000 units, 80% of which will be for export.

Tony Blair said: Last time I visited this plant, it was to witness the successful launch of the Nissan Micra. I’m delighted to be here again today to see yet another new model coming off the production line.

The global car market is extremely challenging, and I applaud everyone here for proving that the UK manufacturing sector has the ability to compete at the very highest level.

The NOTE joins the Micra, Micra C+C (launched in November 2005), Almera and Primera as the fifth model being built at Sunderland. From December 2006, an all-new crossover vehicle based on the Qashqai concept, will also be produced at the factory.

The introduction of the new crossover will complete one of the busiest periods in the Sunderland plant’s 22-year history. By December, the 4,400-strong workforce will have achieved three new product launches in just 16 months.

In addition to creating 400 new jobs, these three new models safeguard a further 2,000 jobs at the plant, as well as many more working for Nissan’s supply base.

Representing over £221 million of direct investment at the plant, the new models will give Sunderland the potential — depending on market conditions — to produce around 400,000 units a year by 2007. In 2005, the plant produced 315,000 units.

I am very proud of the achievements of the Sunderland workforce, which time and again has demonstrated its commitment to hard work, quality and productivity, said Carlos Ghosn. The workforce at Sunderland has fully justified the £2.3 billion that has been invested in the plant since 1984, but the challenge to everyone in the car industry is continuous, continued Ghosn.

In Europe, Nissan employs approximately 12,000 people in its design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. Last year, the company produced a total of 508,901 vehicles in its British and Spanish plants and sold 540,954 vehicles in Europe. Nissan Europe’s headquarters is based in Trappes (Paris), France.


Nissan Develops Distance Control Assist System

Helps drivers control following distances

TOKYO (15 March, 2006) — In its ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. today announced the development of Distance Control Assist System, an electronic system that helps drivers control the distance between themselves and the vehicle in front.

The new system is especially useful in heavy traffic when frequent braking is required.

The system is able to determine the following distance of the driver, as well as the relative speed of both cars, using a radar sensor installed in the front bumper. If the driver releases the accelerator pedal or is not pressing the accelerator pedal, the system automatically applies the brakes. If the system determines that braking is required, an indicator will appear on the instrument panel and a buzzer will sound simultaneously.

The accelerator pedal will then automatically move upwards to assist the driver in switching to the brakes.

The Distance Control Assist System is the latest innovation developed under Nissan’s Safety Shield2 concept, and accident prevention and management approach based on the idea of vehicles that help protect people.


Nissan Shows Pink Chic

Pink is the new black — according to Nissan. Following the success of the recent C+C TLC Tour in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer when Nissan covered its latest model in the charity’s colours, the company is launching a limited edition Micra C+C in, yes, you’ve guessed it PINK.

During the tour which visited 13 cities between November 2005 and January 2006, Nissan was inundated with requests from fun loving motorists wanting to add a bit of colour to their drives. Please make a pink C+C for real, they said. So Nissan has.

On sale now and priced at £14,495, just 100 will be available making it rarer than a Chloe Paddington handbag. And arguably more useful.

Based on the 1.6 Sport, the C+C Pink features 16 graphite coloured alloys, manual air conditioning and alloy look interior trim in addition to Nissan’s unique-in-class C-VIEW® electrically folding glass roof. The Karmann designed two-piece roof, christened Auto-Open Roof , takes just 22 seconds to fold neatly away in the boot leaving you to enjoy the sunshine. Try asking that trick of a handbag. The icing on the cake is of course the oh-so-fashionable pink paint.

A colour that’s so exclusive you’ll never have to worry about arriving in the car park to find someone wearing the same car.


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Renrod Ltd Appoints New Board Member

Renrod Ltd (owner of the Platinum group of dealerships) is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Pulsford to their Board of Directors.

Mr Pulsford, who lives in Bath with his family, was invited to join the Renrod board in recognition of his achievements since joining the company. Mr Pulsford joined Renrod Ltd at their Platinum Nissan dealership near box in 1999 and worked his way up to Director, directly responsible for the Platinum Nissan operations.

Mr Pulsford said, It was an honour to be asked to join the Board of Directors in recognition of my hard work and see my appointment as an exciting challenge. My main focus is to ensure the successful running of the Platinum Nissan dealerships in Bath and Trowbridge by delivering on customer satisfaction and managing a well run operation.

Richard spent 15 years in the motor trade locally where he was a Sales Executive before joining Renrod Ltd as a Sales Executive at the Box (Nr. Bath) based Platinum Nissan dealership. Richard rose to Sales Manager and then to General Manager / Dealer Principal of the dealership.

Richard’s responsibilities have included overseeing the successful start up of the new Platinum Nissan dealership in Trowbridge at the Platinum Motor Park at North Bradley.

His new role as a Director involves overseeing the day to day running of the two Platinum Nissan dealerships, in Box and Trowbridge. He is responsible for the smooth running of the operations, from working with the Nissan GB field team to managing staff and overseeing stock, to customer satisfaction, health and safety and coordinating all aspects of the business to ensure continual improvement and success.

Rodney Cuff, Managing Director of Renrod Ltd said, We’re delighted to appoint Richard to our Board of Directors and have done so in recognition of his contribution to the success of the company. We look forward to working with Richard on developing the businesses further, and achieving continued success.

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Revized Z-Line Figures

Prices for the 2006 350Z which is orderable now will start at £26,300. That’s £800 more than the sell out 2005 version but new Z fans will be getting £1700 worth of extra spec including 18-inch RAYS lightweight alloy wheels (previously a £1000 option), bi-xenon headlights, and another 20PS of heart stirring power.

From the outside, the changes are intentionally hard to spot unless the car’s lights are on. On main beam, the headlights are now xenon fuelled and the side lights distinctive LEDs. And nobody will miss the LED tail-lights particularly when the Z’s Brembo brakes are on.

Inside Nissan has listened to customer comments and repositioned some switchgear, improved comfort without sacrificing the Z’s sports car feel, and changed some materials to give the interior even higher perceived quality to match its inherent strength. All Coupes also gain standard Bluetooth phone connectivity and there’s now the option of factory fitted DVD Europe-wide satnav. But best of all, there’s more under bonnet power — up from 280PS to a serious 300PS giving more bite to match the Z’s characteristic exhaust howl.

With prices starting at £26,300 for standard coupe and £1500 more for the Roadster with electric folding roof, the 350Z remains fantastic value for money compared to its rivals. As with the original 350Z, the 2006 version is available with a GT Pack for £2500 — it adds electric, heated leather seats, 240W Bose stereo system with 6-CD in-dash changer, and cruise control. So price-wise the ultimate 2006 is the Roadster GT Pack at £30,300. Supply will be no less limited meaning residual values will stay impressively high.

And because the exterior changes are so subtle, current owners’ investments should remain strong.

Other options available on the revised range include a new factory fitted DVD satellite navigation system first seen on the all-new Pathfinder and more recently on the 2006 X-TRAIL. Priced at £1200, the new system features improved processor graphics, while the wide screen display can be split to show map settings and realistic visual representations of the road ahead. The Birdview satellite navigation system also includes Traffic Message Channel (TMC) offering alternative routes to beat the jams.

GT Pack customers can choose to brighten up their interior by adding Alezan Orange leather interior for £350. If your GT Pack is a Roadster, the Alezan option also brings netted seat centres. And also for the Roadster, there’s the option of a blue roof at no extra cost.

At a glance:

o More power from higher revving engine (300PS and 6400rpm max)

o Refreshed exterior with:

o Restyled front end

o New look headlamps and LED tail-lamps

o Improved interior with:

o Repositioned switchgear

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Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)
Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)
Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)
Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)
Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)
Volkswagen E Up! Electric Car 60kW Auto 5dr / Electric (av UK mix)

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