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HYUNDAI'S BRIAN SMITH: Riding the crossover wave

U.S. News & World Report 2019 Hyundai Kona Named Best Subcompact SUV for the Money

The 2019 Hyundai Kona has been named 2019 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money by U.S. News & World Report. What does this mean for consumers? You are getting more than a new Hyundai model in the Kona; you're getting one with critical acclaim.

Mike O'Brien, Vice President of Product for Hyundai Motor America's Corporate and Digital Planning spoke of how honored the company was to receive this award after the first year of production.

The Hyundai Kona is designed to defy standards in its segment, especially with its cutting-edge technology. It's no wonder that this stylish and functional vehicle is landing honors. This a compact CUV that has been engineered for a multitude of terrains. Drivers with active lifestyles are sure to see the same value in the Kona as U.S. News & World Report.

So what does the U.S. News Best Car for the Money Award entail? The awards cover 14 varying automotive classes, with each winner offering the best blend of quality and value in its segment.

Rankings are also concluded by measuring quality, transaction data from sources such as TrueCar, and the cost of ownership from Vincentric. Various factors such as repairs, fuel, and insurance will play a role in how much the vehicle will cost the driver.

The new Hyundai Kona provides extraordinary value through convenience and protective features. Systems like Lane Keeping Assist and the Driver Attention Warning ensure that drivers can enjoy standard safety on the go.

All Kona models come with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise controls, and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. The 7" Display Audio touch screen features access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even the 2.0L Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine and optional 1.6L Turbo GDI engines offer unique capabilities.

Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America offers dynamic engineering that focuses on optimizing the customer experience. It is no wonder that this brand leads the industry in both design excellence and engineering ingenuity. Not only is every Hyundai vehicle expertly crafted, but it offers exceptional value.

Thanks to Hyundai's technology-rich lineup of vehicles and alternative-powered electric and fuel-cell models all come back by Hyundai Assurance. Hyundai Assurance is a promise to deliver true safety to our consumers.

Hyundai models are serviced and sold at over 80 dealerships across the country. Most Hyundai vehicles that are created in the U.S. are also sold here, including at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility. Hyundai Motor America is located in Fountain Valley, California, and is a secondary sector of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.

Reference: Hyundai News

Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric CUV Win Prestigious 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year

Hyundai Kona

DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2019 – The 2019 Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric CUV models were together named the winner of the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year automotive media jury. This is the first time that a Hyundai CUV model has won the Utility Vehicle of the Year category. The winner of the CUV category is announced every year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our innovative new Kona and Kona Electric crossover winning the prestigious North American Utility Vehicle of the Year,” said Brian Smith, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. “Kona is an affordable, stylish and functional compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue active lifestyles of all kinds. It’s setting new standards for its segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features. We know our customers are going to agree with the top media confirming this impressive award.”

The 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year jury is made up of an independent panel of top journalists and analysts based in the United States and Canada. Since 1994, the organization has recognized top cars, trucks, and utility vehicles. This year's jury of 54 media outlets includes legacy newspapers, magazine experts, broadcast veterans, digital columnists and freelance media.

The 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year jury is made up of an independent panel of top journalists and analysts based in the United States and Canada. Since 1994, the organization has recognized top cars, trucks, and utility vehicles. This year's jury of 54 media outlets includes legacy newspapers, magazine experts, broadcast veterans, digital columnists and freelance media. Both the Kona and Kona Electric are built on all-new CUV platforms, offering versatility to consumers with active lifestyles of all kinds. Kona was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a variety of urban and multi-surface driving conditions. Kona Electric’s estimated range is an impressive 258 miles and offers standard fast-charging capability, a feature for which many competitors charge extra. The Kona Electric platform has been developed to give customers CUV-like ground clearance and an elevated, command seating position to provide better visibility and comfort on long journeys, as well as easy ingress and egress.

Introducing the All-New 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty

Higher trailering capability and confidence are driven by new hardware and technologies

DETROIT, 2019-01-22 – Bigger, stronger and smarter, the all-new 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty combines greater trailering capability with technologies designed to provide customers with a world-class towing experience.

“The all-new 2020 Sierra HD is the most capable heavy-duty truck that we’ve ever offered,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “For customers who demand a premium, innovative heavy-duty truck that supports their passions, the next-generation Sierra HD can pull like a pro.”

Form and function come together in the new Sierra Heavy Duty, with features that include:

  • An enhanced ProGrade Trailering system featuring class-leading available 15 camera views, including a segment-first transparent trailer view to virtually see through a trailer in tow.1
  • An available smart trailer designed to integrate the iN∙Command® control system from ASA Electronics2 provides the ability to monitor and control select functions of compatibly equipped trailers through the myGMC mobile app3.
  • A segment-exclusive available 15-inch-diagonal head-up display that offers useful trailering information, including vehicle speed, navigation information and an inclinometer display for the road grade.
  • An available segment-first Rear Camera Mirror.
  • MultiPro, the world’s first six-function tailgate, allows easier loading, unloading and bed access and is available on all trim levels.
  • A larger, commanding design that provides more room for cargo and occupants.
  • Best-in-class Crew Cab front headroom and legroom for the driver and other front-row occupants.
  • An all-new, segment-first, Allison 10-speed automatic transmission mated to the legendary 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel.
  • For those looking to take refined capability off-road, GMC fortifies the new AT4 brand with an all-new Sierra AT4 Heavy Duty available for Crew Cab configurations as both a 2500 and 3500 single rear wheel offering.

With more than half of Sierra HD customers choosing Denali, it continues to offer the ultimate expression of professional grade materials and refinement. The all-new model delivers power, intelligence and segment advancements to meet the needs of heavy-duty customers with discerning taste.

ProGrade Trailering Technology

First introduced with the 2019 Sierra light duty, the ProGrade Trailering System leverages technology advancements to offer additional features and functionality for the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty.

“Trailering is the most important consideration for Sierra Heavy Duty customers, and the new features and technologies in the 2020 Sierra HD make it easier than ever to hitch a trailer and tow it confidently,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, vehicle chief engineer, Heavy Duty Trucks. “We’ve developed this new truck to offer the greatest trailering experience ever offered by GMC.”

An available class-leading 15 unique camera views1, including an industry-first transparent trailer view, help optimize the driver’s view around the truck and compatible trailers to provide added confidence when towing. The revolutionary transparent trailer feature uses the tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera mounted on the rear of the trailer. The resulting display helps the driver to virtually see through the trailer4, a benefit when navigating parking lots, merging into traffic or making tight turns.

Owners of the 2020 Sierra HD will have access to available smart trailer technology designed to allow access to select features of the iN∙Command® control system from ASA Electronics2 through the myGMC mobile app, either on compatible Android and iOS smartphones or on the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay5 or Android Auto6. Similar to the features of a smart home, the iN∙Command® control system acts as the central hub of operations to monitor and control an array of systems in trailers equipped with the next-generation technology. Depending on how a compatibly equipped trailer is configured, owners of the 2020 Sierra HD may be able to turn on the trailer’s air conditioning or water heater, check water and holding tank levels, or monitor fuel levels on trailers equipped with generators — all before arriving at their destination.

The ProGrade Trailering System also includes an in-vehicle Trailering App7 with Trailer Light Test, Trailer Electrical Diagnostics, Trailer Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring, Pre- Maintenance Reminders and Departure Checklist. Many of the Trailering app’s functions, including the lighting test and pre-departure checklist, are also available with the myGMC mobile app, a feature that offers great convenience when outside the truck or trailer.

Additional available technologies and hardware to aid trailering include:

  • Auto Electric Park Brake to automatically apply the parking brake to help maintain truck position when hitching.
  • All-new Park Grade Hold Assist enhances hill hold by using braking effort at each wheel for an extended period of time.
  • All-new larger, door-mounted trailering mirrors with a four-bar link providing power extend and retract for the driver and passenger sides.
  • Integrated trailer brake controller that works with the trailer profile in the Trailering App to recall a specified trailer’s most recent gain setting.
  • Tow/Haul mode that remains engaged on the next key-on cycle, for up to four hours; includes a reminder the feature is engaged.
  • Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
  • Trailer Sway Control.
  • Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking.
  • Digital Variable Steering Assist that dynamically optimizes power steering according to driving scenarios, including trailering, and enables features like road pull compensation.
  • Trailering Info Label placed on the driver’s door jamb that clearly calls out the truck’s specific trailering information, including curb weight, GVWR, GCWR, maximum payload, maximum tongue weight and rear GAWR.8
Bigger and bolder

The 2020 Sierra HD has a commanding, powerful design rooted in a new architecture with larger proportions. It is taller and longer, with a more confident stance defined by a bold design that epitomizes GMC’s signature refinement and technologically driven attention to detail.

“We took every opportunity to visually express the strength and capability that lies beneath the surface,” says Matt Noone, director of GMC exterior design. “The elevated hood line, the strong shoulders, the striking front grille — these cues communicate the strength and performance that have been engineered and built into each and every Sierra Heavy Duty.”

The all-new Sierra HD is highlighted by new signature lighting, including prominent “light blades” that deliver LED illumination for the daytime running lamps. LEDs are also used for the headlamps, taillamps, available fog lamps and other illuminative elements, including the available roof marker lights standard on all dual-rear-wheel HDs and all Sierra HD Denalis except where prohibited by law.

Inside, the Sierra HD’s new interior has best-in-class front head- and legroom (maximum), with Crew Cab models. A higher seating position complements the truck’s taller profile to offer a confident view from behind the wheel. Additional optimized ergonomics emphasize easy, intuitive interaction with the vehicle’s available technologies, such as a heavy-duty segment-first head-up display and GMC’s latest touchscreen infotainment systems.9

Denali-exclusive materials — including premium leather-appointed seating, authentic open-pore wood trim and dark-finish aluminum decor — raise the interior’s refinement. The leather appointments have a distinctive, large-pebbled grain with a contrasting stitch pattern that is premium in appearance and touch without sacrificing durability, and the wood trim features an open-pore texture evocative of hand-planed furniture.

Compared to the current model, the new Sierra Heavy Duty has:

  • A longer wheelbase, a taller, more dominant hood line and taller overall height.
  • A larger grille and complementing functional hood scoop to feed an advanced cooling system for the Duramax turbo diesel.
  • Class-leading heavy-duty cargo bed volume10 and 12 corner tie-downs with a new, available 120-volt power outlet.
  • One-inch-lower bed lift-in height compared to the 2019 Sierra Heavy Duty, providing easier loading and fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailer hitching10.
  • New, segment-exclusive cargo bed side steps on all box styles, located in front of the rear wheel openings, that complement integrated CornerSteps in the rear bumper to improve access to the cargo area.
  • World’s first six-function MultiPro tailgate available on all trim levels and standard on SLT, AT4 and Denali.
All-new Sierra AT4 HD: Refined HD Capability Off-Road

The all-new 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty AT4 continues the AT4 brand’s growth with a distinctive off-road identity to complement its robust HD capability. Driven by dark chrome exterior finishes and contemporary detailing, Sierra HD AT4 features front and rear bumpers and a grille surround finished in body color. The bold grille design, with its rugged texture, is finished in black chrome and set off by the AT4’s distinctive red vertical recovery hooks.

The athletic interior also carries AT4-specific darkened trim, including dark-tinted and textured aluminum finishes on the steering wheel, center stack and sill plates, as well as a unique Jet Black interior with Kalahari color accents in the seats and live stitching. Leather-appointed seating, with mini-perforated inserts and embroidered AT4 badging on the headrests, along with all-weather floor liners, is standard delivering durability with uncompromising comfort.

The new Sierra AT4 Heavy Duty’s off-road capabilities are rooted in a unique suspension and supporting technologies that include:

  • Off-road suspension, Rancho Shocks, skid plates, Eaton locking rear differential.
  • Eighteen-inch wheels wrapped with Michelin all-terrain tires, with 20-inch wheels available.
  • Traction Select System with specific Off-Road mode.
  • Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist.
  • Segment-exclusive 15-inch diagonal Head-Up Display with Off-Road Inclinometer.
  • HD Surround Vision1 for low-speed views of vehicle surroundings.
Confident trailering power

GMC’s legendary Duramax turbo diesel and Allison Transmission pairing continues to offer the ultimate in towing confidence.

The proven Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine offers high torque, high power, low noise and exceptional durability. For the 2020 Sierra HD, the Duramax offers an SAE-certified 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. This already powerful engine performs more efficiently thanks to increased cooling capacity delivered in part by improved air induction. A dual-path intake system draws dense, cool air through both the prominent hood scoop and the larger front grille.

The new Sierra HD marks the introduction of an all-new 10-speed Allison automatic transmission — the first-ever offered in the heavy-duty pickup segment. The all-new 10-speed transmission with closer gear spacing allows the engine to operate in an optimal range at all times with varying load and terrain conditions.

The bigger frame, stronger propulsion and smarter technologies are expected to deliver dramatically greater towing capacity than previous models, well in excess of 30,000 pounds. More details regarding an all-new gas engine and trailering capabilities will be announced shortly.

Coming late summer 2019

The 2020 Sierra HD goes on sale later this year in 2500HD and 3500HD dual rear wheel and single rear wheel configurations. Pricing and complete specifications will be announced later.

With a $1.5 billion investment to support the next-generation Heavy Duty truck launch, Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan, will proudly build the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty.

  1. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather, and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle's owner's manual for more important feature limitations and information.
  2. iNˑCommand® is provided by ASA Electronics and is designed to operate within 30 feet of the trailer. Works with trailers equipped with iNˑCommand® Control Systems with Global Connect TM via Bluetooth connection. Control and monitoring functionality varies by trailer manufacturer, model, and installed options. Use of the iNˑCommand® Control Systems feature through the myGMC mobile app requires an active service plan. User terms apply. See onstar.com for details and limitations.
  3. Available on select Apple and Android devices. Service availability, features and functionality vary by vehicle, device and the plan you are enrolled in. User terms apply. Device data connection required. See onstar.com for details and limitations.
  4. Compatible with conventionally hitched box or camping trailers up to 32 feet in length.
  5. Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone, and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  6. Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.
  7. App functionality and features vary with vehicle equipment and trim level. Data connection may be required. Some features require active service plan and working electrical system.
  8. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.
  9. GMC Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.
  10. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of the passengers, cargo and options may reduce the amount you can tow.

Nissan Legend Kyoko Shimada: Hailed as a "Pioneer"

2019 Nissan 370Z

Kyoko Shimada grew up in Tokyo. She joined Nissan Motor as a designer in 1967 after graduating from the Japan Women's University with a major in architecture. She worked in various fields, including product planning, a corporate identity project, sales planning, public relations, corporate citizenship activities, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

After she retired in 2005, she served as a director, secretary general, and part-time lecturer at the Japan Women's University. Since September 2010, she has been the representative director, director general of the Yokohama Arts Foundation. She has also held various other positions in society, including serving as a member of the Central Council for Education of the Ministry of Education, the chairperson of the CSR Committee at Keidanren, and a director of a nonprofit organization, among others. As a pioneer of female participation not only inside Nissan but also in Japanese society, Kyoko Shimada continues to be very active and to attract attention for her influence on society.


During its 80-year history of progress and development, Nissan has undergone a number of major transformations, including among others the hiring of female designers ahead of the demands of the times so as to utilize their unique capabilities, the execution of a global brand strategy based on corporate identity initiatives, and the transformation of sales activities from door-to-door sales to sales at dealer showrooms.

Kyoko Shimada was one of the key players taking on the challenges involved in these far-from-minor reforms and often she served as the leader of these efforts. Having read this far, many readers may be surprised by this and surprise can be considered a natural response.

After all, the stage was an automaker, and even though Nissan has always been characterized by a relatively liberal and pliable corporate culture, it was undisputedly a male-dominated company, as was the case with other automakers around the world. It is fair to say that Kyoko Shimada's career overlaps with the history of challenges at Nissan and with the history of the advance of women in the automobile industry.

"To tell you the truth, when I joined Nissan, I thought I'd only work there for two or three years. I meant for it to be a temporary job," she confessed.

Since we are very familiar with her role as a pioneer in subsequent years, these words of hers are quite surprising. But her determination to be true to herself was the driving force behind her outstanding career, which in turn contributed greatly to the development of Nissan into a global company.

She was born in northern China six months before the end of World War II and grew up in Tokyo, where she studied architecture at the Japan Women's University. Despite her major, she decided to work at Nissan as she thought: "It wouldn't be a bad idea to experience a different world before becoming an architect." She was employed as a designer.

This was in 1967, which was still 19 years before the Equal Employment Opportunity Act for Men and Women took effect in Japan and a time when women's active participation in all areas of society had yet to take root in Japan. Shimada recalls: "There wasn't a single female designer at any of the automakers in Japan at that time, but Nissan recognized ahead of other car companies that it was necessary to get a woman's input into car design because every household was about to own a car."


It was a time when the car was a symbol of Japan's post-war reconstruction and high economic growth, as well as an object of desire among the public. Most of her co-workers, including engineers and peers in other departments, not to mention a staff of around 50 designers, were men who were well versed in automobiles. Despite finding herself in this environment, Shimada was not particularly interested in cars as advanced machinery operated by drivers.

Instead – or rather, because of that – she had unique strengths that her male colleagues lacked. "Living space" is how she saw a car. It was a living space that also had a function of mobility, a space for not only the driver but also the passengers in the front and rear seats, as well as other elements, such as contrast and harmonization with the outside world. Shimada also considered a car to be a space where the users themselves could express their own lifestyles and identities.

Shimada was assigned to work on colors and interior designs for passenger cars. Trying to get some inspiration, she browsed around department stores to get a feel for what was in for not only women's but also men's fashion and colors and visited various places to see sophisticated and bijou buildings and furniture.

She proposed chic blues, browns and whites at a time when the exteriors of official luxury vehicles were all black, casually challenging stereotypes that nobody had ever before thought of questioning.

Looking back on that time, Shimada said, "I often hear people saying ‘because there's no precedent.' But having no precedent can't be an excuse of not doing something differently. If there is no precedent, why not make one? Once there is a case, others will follow in a natural way."

She feels that her way of approaching things might have been influenced by her training in the creative field of architecture, as well as her own experiences at Nissan. But that's not all. She added: "Ever since I was a little girl, I was never obsessed with winning competitions. Instead, I always thought that I would do something that only I could do, even while always being aware of the role that was expected of me."

As she devoted herself to her various assignments, she formulated the idea of "getting more involved in car development from a broader perspective." In time she was transferred to the Design and Development Division. For her, who had no expertise in this area, it was a major career change that amounted to starting over from scratch. It was indeed challenging. By then, seven years has passed since she had joined Nissan, which she had considered a temporary arrangement.


In 1974, her eighth year at Nissan, Shimada was transferred to the Design and Development Division, where she devised new products based on the findings of market research.

There was one thing in particular that she had noticed while watching generations of Nissan products roll by as part of her work. The logos and badges were all different from one model to the next and the colors and typographies of dealer signboards, product leaflets, and product brochures were all different. She began to ask herself: "What is Nissan-ness? Perhaps it's time to consider a global brand strategy for a new era?"

In 1980, she was given an opportunity to go overseas to learn more about this issue. Soon after, in 1981, she was named one of five members of a corporate identity (CI) project team that would report directly to the president of the company. The project's mission was to complete the development and preparation of a plan and manual to promote the CI initiative in two years. She was selected to be in the vanguard of this major transformation. After the project team was disbanded, Shimada was transferred to the Communication Department to continue working on the global deployment and execution of the CI plan.

"To me, a unique feature of Nissan-ness is a willingness to take on challenges. Because of that, Nissan encourages freewheeling thinking and can build forward-looking cars that respond to the needs of a new era. The CI initiative provided a great opportunity to embody this challenging spirit."

In later years, under the leadership of CEO Carlos Ghosn, her experience took her to the mission of developing VI (Visual Identity) as part of the company's global brand strategy.

During her time in the Communication Department, Shimada was involved in image creation strategy, and in 1984 she was named the first female manager at Nissan. Moving to the Business Planning Department in 1988, also as a manager, she took charge of the renewal of dealer showrooms nationwide. This signaled a major shift in sales style from traditional door-to-door sales to new showroom-based sales activities.

"Conventional dealers that mainly sold cars through door-to-door visits were just displaying cars and as such were far from generating a welcoming atmosphere for customers to simply drop in. I thought that dealers should be transformed to accommodate the needs of family users and to welcome female drivers, whose numbers were rising sharply from the early 1980s. My ideas were translated into the establishment of casual café-like spaces and children's play areas, as well as the renovation of bathrooms into clean, comfortable spaces. Feminine wisdom and a designer's perspective helped me greatly."

In 1991, Shimada was put in charge of corporate citizenship activities. Realizing the importance of such activities, many companies today conduct related programs constantly and systematically as an essential part of their business strategies. Back then, however, few businesses in Japan considered such social programs a valuable part of their social roles and promoted them accordingly.

Nissan was the leader among automakers in this field. Some argued the necessity of such programs because the Japanese economy was then facing extreme difficulties and the business environment was quite daunting. But Yutaka Kume, Nissan's president at the time, strongly believed that corporate citizenship activities were critical business issues for every company and intimately connected with a company's raison d'être in society. Under his leadership, a dedicated section was established at Nissan and Shimada was put in charge of it to ensure its success.

"In a world where global society and Japanese society are constantly changing, we can see that societies based on monolithic value systems are fragile. I believe that a society that accepts different value systems and a society where the interaction of diverse values takes place can serve as an incubator for powerful forces that will lead to the building of new societies."


A society encompasses too many problems for a single company to cope with. In order to define a clear direction and translate it into a business strategy, Shimada developed a course of action and adopted criteria for choosing an area of activities and groups to support.

One of the company's unique corporate citizenship activities is the Nissan-NPO Learning Scholarship Program, under which Nissan recruits and selects students to work at NPOs and provides them with scholarships commensurate with their internship activities.

"This program was launched in 1998 in the hope of providing young people with an opportunity to engage in intellectual labor." Referring to it as "investing in the young," CEO Ghosn himself handed out certificates to the participants each year.

Another initiative called the Nissan Children's Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix has entered its 29th consecutive year, serving as a gateway to success for young authors.

Among other examples of Shimada's work and expansion of corporate initiatives, she promoted taking diverse ideas from society into the company and encouraged various volunteer activities among employees by providing corporate support.

In 2003, when the CSR concept was not yet widely recognized in Japan, Shimada was ordered by the CEO to establish a project team to compile and issue a sustainability report. As the project leader, she set up the Sustainability Group within the Public Relations Department and it became the foundation of today's CSR initiatives at Nissan.

"In fact, during the course of compiling the report, I came to believe that CSR could be a means of corporate governance. I see sustainability as a broader concept. Sustainability can help us review and re-evaluate all corporate activities from the viewpoints of all stakeholders and help us encourage employees to develop a social perspective. Compiling the report led to the identification of common ground shared by the company and society, which can secure sustainable growth. I think that a constant dialogue with society can make the company an organization that is always learning."

The key words for the corporate citizenship activities and CSR initiatives to which Shimada devoted herself were "diversity" and "a learning organization." They are key words that reflect the present times, that symbolize Nissan constantly taking on new challenges, and that mirror the personality of Kyoko Shimada.

"Because I myself do not have particularly high competencies, I cannot move forward without support from experts around me. From the time that I joined Nissan until I retired, I kept learning from others. My days at Nissan made me realize that I like to work with people. When different personalities get together, they teach me things that I was not aware of, and I often have ideas I could not have come up with on my own. I am also impressed quite often by the different thinking and feelings of others."

She spent 38 years at the company that she joined with the idea that it would only be a temporary arrangement, staying until she reached retirement age. She pursued her assignments quietly and steadily and along the way. She established a record of achievements that invariably are qualified with such words as "the first woman" or "the only woman."

"Of course I got frustrated. But when I think about it now, I know that I gained more than I lost. For instance, I was given a chance to try something new because they thought a woman might bring a different sense and different abilities from a man. Creating a precedent by myself was an exciting experience."

Kyoko Shimada was always a pioneer, not only at Nissan but also in the Japanese automobile industry. Since retiring from Nissan, she has remained active as a person who is fond of working with people, assuming the posts of executive director of the Japan Women's University and representative director of the Yokohama Arts Foundation, which operates 13 art-related facilities.


2020 Kia Telluride
Kia’s Longest-Ever Super Bowl Ad Showcases the “Give It Everything” Spirit of the Brand and its West Point, GA Manufacturing Facility, Home of the All-New 2020 Telluride SUV
  • Multi-faceted campaign reintroduces the Kia brand to America with a new, all-encompassing brand positioning – “Give It Everything” – highlighting the brand’s focus on quality craftsmanship.
  • A key component of the non-celebrity Super Bowl effort is the establishment of “The Great Unknowns” Scholarship Fund to support education

IRVINE, Calif., February 3, 2019 – The 2019 Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric CUV models were together named the winner of the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year automotive media jury. This is the first time that a Hyundai CUV model has won the Utility Vehicle of the Year category. The winner of the CUV category is announced every year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

For its 10th consecutive year advertising during the Super Bowl, Kia Motors America took an unconventional approach. Instead of the usual celebrity glitz and glamour, Kia used its 90-second spot to honor the working-class spirit of Americans nationwide and reintroduce the brand through its upcoming all-new flagship SUV, the 2020 Kia Telluride1.

Kia’s 360-degree “Give It Everything” marketing campaign kicked off with the Super Bowl spot of the same name. The ad opened on a young boy who hails from West Point, Georgia, and who stated, “We are not famous. There are no stars in a sidewalk for us. No statues in our honor. We’re just a small Georgia town of complete unknowns.” He continued, “Because we are not known for who we are, we hope to be known for what we do. What we build.” The viewer then saw the first glimpse of the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride SUV, as the voiceover continued, “No, we are not famous. But we are incredible. And we make incredible things.” The spot, which aired during the third quarter, ended with the tagline: “Give It Everything.”

Designed with the U.S. market in mind at Kia’s design studio in California, and assembled in Georgia*, the big, bold and boxy Telluride will travel down the same manufacturing line as the award-winning Sorento*, the highest-ranked Midsize SUV in the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study and proof positive that high-quality American-built vehicles are not just from Detroit.

New Brand Positioning: Give It Everything

For years, Kia remained humble and somewhat unnoticed as it honed and perfected each vehicle in the brand’s world-class lineup. The tagline, “Give It Everything” highlights Kia’s unstoppable spirit to try harder, work smarter, build better and sweat every detail, and will be part of all Kia advertising and marketing campaigns moving forward.

“Today marks a new direction for Kia and one that has been a long time in the making,” said Saad Chehab, vice president, marketing communications, Kia Motors America. “We’ve spent the last 10-plus years quietly improving our vehicles by hiring the best designers, engineers and assembly line workers. In other words, ‘Giving It Everything.’ And instead of using a celebrity in our Super Bowl ad, we chose to honor the hard-working people of America, starting with the thousands of men and women at our U.S.-based manufacturing plant. At Kia, we are fueled by an unstoppable spirit to try harder, work smarter and sweat every detail, and this year our spotlight shines on people who have defied odds and exceeded expectations. People like us.”

Highlighting the spirit of the brand’s team members, the campaign also unveils Just a Small Georgia Town, a short form documentary that uncovers the story of West Point, GA., the small town that rose from the ashes of a collapsed textile industry, relying on only its courage to see it through to the other side, before finally finding new life when Kia opened its new plant there in 2009. This documentary is available on the web at www.thegreatunknowns.org.

“This is an open invitation to Americans to consider the Kia brand when looking for a new vehicle,” continued Chehab. “All of us that work at Kia are just like the hard-working folks in that small town of West Point and small towns throughout the country. We work hard and want more from the companies we engage with. That’s why Kia vehicles include more features and options, more warranty and more quality than the competition. As the number one mainstream brand in initial quality for the past four years according to J.D. Power, Kia is the brand that does, in fact, “Give It Everything.”

The Great Unknowns Scholarship

In an unusual move, the money saved by not paying a celebrity for this year’s Super Bowl ad will be used to create The Great Unknowns Scholarship, to assist eligible students who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. The goal is to discover and reward young Americans who embody the spirit of “Give It Everything,” and help them pursue their academic dreams. For more information on the “The Great Unknowns Scholarship”, including eligibility requirements and application process, visit www.thegreatunknowns.org.

“The Great Unknowns Scholarship is Kia’s way of fostering the next generation of amazing professionals, the ones that will keep America profitable, grow the economy and give back to their communities. These are the ones that Give It Everything and we look forward to their contributions to America,” continued Chehab.

Other elements of the integrated campaign include print, digital, social and outdoor. Post-Super Bowl, a sustain phase will follow with 30 and 15 second cutdowns of “Give It Everything” along with heavy-duty features-led spots for the Telluride, including a Presidents’ Day spot. The digital rollout includes static and HTML5 banners across Lifestyle and Shopping websites and four feature-focused videos that will run in pre-roll. Social assets include social skins, GIFs, Instagram stories, Facebook Carousel and Canvas units through the remainder of the campaign.

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (S, EX, SX and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

1 Expected Spring 2019 with limited availability.

Hyundai Wins Three 2018 GOOD DESIGN® Awards

Kona, Santa Fe and Le Fil Rouge Concept Take Home the Prestigious Design Honor

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 20, 2018 – Hyundai’s 2018 Kona, 2019 Santa Fe, and Le Fil Rouge Concept Car have earned 2018 GOOD DESIGN® Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The prestigious award honors the worlds of industrial, product and graphic design for immense creativity and attention to form, function and aesthetics. This marks the eighth consecutive year that Hyundai’s vehicles have received this honor, continuing its commitment to bold and distinctive styling.

“Hyundai is honored to be recognized by one of the world’s most preeminent programs for design excellence worldwide,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design Center. “The Kona, Santa Fe, and Le Fil Rouge Concept Car all meet a youthful expectation our customers have come to expect from Hyundai, each having their own unique character, and avoiding a “family look” of similar designs where the only difference is size. Winning this award for the eighth consecutive year demonstrates our commitment to designing better vehicles in this dynamic automotive landscape.”

The 2018 Kona employs refined aesthetics with sculpted body forms and sporty contours for an athletic, bold, and striking appearance. Its distinctive design is reinforced by the car’s voluminous, aggressive body styling that emphasizes its well-proportioned, dynamic silhouette. A low and wide stance complements its profile, with a long wheelbase and short overhangs, ensuring sporty, nimble handling, in addition to delivering superior driving stability at highway speeds. Its masculine, protective ‘armor’ combines powerfully with the futuristic LED lighting to create a high-tech look. The unique features of the exterior continue inside with a strong horizontal character line creating a wide and spacious feel. The Kona’s fluid details contribute to a sensuous experience and enhance the comfort-focused environment.

The 2019 Santa Fe has a bold look that is enhanced by refined lines that reinforce the vehicle’s status in Hyundai’s SUV lineup. The face of the new Santa Fe is highlighted by Hyundai’s signature Cascading Grille and a Composite Light design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the LED headlights. The exterior design is characterized by a powerful wide stance and an athletic body that makes a statement from 100 feet away. The Santa Fe interior design combines premium quality with a roomy layout featuring a strong horizontal design theme and enhanced visibility. Premium touches such as the layered, three-dimensional instrument panel and contrasting seat stitching ensures a high level of luxury within the cabin.

The Le Fil Rouge Concept Car is a reinterpretation of Hyundai’s 1974 Coupe Concept and marks the beginning of the Sensuous Sportiness era for Hyundai design. The Sensuous Sportiness design language will bring instinctive beauty, emotional value and desirability to Hyundai vehicles. Sensuous Sportiness is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements in car design: proportion, architecture, styling, and technology.


Founded in Chicago in 1950, the GOOD DESIGN® Awards honor the yearly achievements of the best industrial and graphic designers and world manufacturers for their pursuit of extraordinary design excellence. GOOD DESIGN is the oldest and the most prestigious architecture and design awards program organized worldwide and strives to create a revived awareness about contemporary design. The awards honor both products and industry leaders in design and manufacturing that have charted new directions and pushed the envelope for competitive products in the world marketplace. In November, juries met in New York and San Francisco and selected over 900 product designs and graphics from over 38 nations worthy of the GOOD DESIGN Award for their design excellence.

Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America is focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience grounded in design leadership, engineering excellence and exceptional value in every vehicle we sell. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to deliver peace of mind to our customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and the majority sold in the U.S. are built at U.S. manufacturing facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.

Testing paint samples to prevent sun damage without the sun - a bright idea from Nissan

  • Even on the day with the shortest period of daylight - winter solstice - the sun still shines at Nissan's engineering center near Detroit, Mich. with the help of the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) testing tool
  • In addition to real-world tests, Nissan engineers use the XWO machine to test paint, interior materials and plastics for durability and quality – a tanning bed of sorts
  • Nearly 100 different colored samples can be tested at once, reducing excess waste and saving time

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – On the darkest day of the year Nissan engineers in Michigan are still performing sunlight UV exposure tests thanks to the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool that evaluates material durability in different climate conditions.

To evaluate the effects of solar energy on paint and other materials, a 4,000-watt Xenon bulb bakes nearly 100 samples at the same wavelengths as the sun. Samples rotate around the Xenon bulb to imitate earth's orbit – and because the "sun can shine" 24 hours a day, it takes half the time to test paint samples. Engineers observe the material samples through a series of cycles to investigate changes and ensure top durability and quality for Nissan customers.

"In addition to rigorous real-world tests, this tool allows us to create harsh environments," said Doug Prytula, technician, body and chassis testing, Nissan North America. "It is one more step we take to ensure Nissan's quality standards are second-to-none."

Nissan uses test environments like the XWO accelerated weather chamber to replicate conditions that occur in a natural environment, right inside the lab. These test cells expose various types of material samples to a wide range of conditions that a vehicle may face throughout its lifecycle.

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the U.S. media sites nissannews.com and infinitinews.com.


A Total of Eight 2019 Kia Models Meet More Stringent Requirements

  • All-new 2019 Forte is among five Kia models to receive 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus designation when equipped with front crash prevention and specific headlights
  • Three other Kia models with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights earn 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick status

IRVINE, Calif., December 21, 2018 — Kia Motors America (KMA) is proud to announce that a total of eight Kia models were included in the 2019 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Awards, making it one of the top three brands to rack up the most safety awards following tougher IIHS requirements for 2019. The all-new 2019 Forte, which just went on-sale this past summer, is one of the five models to earn a Top Safety Pick Plus award – the IIHS’s highest designation possible – when equipped with front crash prevention and specific headlights.

“We are honored to receive so many IIHS safety awards across our lineup, especially considering these designations are much harder to achieve in 2019,” said Orth Hedrick, Director of Car Planning and Telematics, KMA. “The IIHS safety awards are highly regarded by today’s consumers, and we see these latest accolades as validation of Kia’s dedication to its customers and to the continuous efforts to build better and safer vehicles.”

The number of awards is especially impressive in light of the new testing standards implemented by IIHS this year. In order to achieve the TSP+ rating, vehicles now require a “Good” rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test versus an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating for the 2018 award. The IIHS testing parameters also require a vehicle earn “Good” ratings in all other crashworthiness tests and an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash prevention, as well as a “Good” rating in headlight testing. Kia IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus models when equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights include:

  1. 2019 Forte1
  2. 2019 Niro2
  3. 2019 Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)3
  4. 2019 Optima4
  5. 2019 Sorento5

An “Acceptable” or “Good” rating in the passenger-side test is also new criterion to earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick. To further qualify, a vehicle must earn “Good” ratings in all other crashworthiness tests, plus an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash prevention, and a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating in headlight testing. Kia Top Safety Pick models when equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights include:

  1. 2019 Rio (sedan only)6
  2. 2019 Soul7
  3. 2019 Cadenza8

“Safety is a top priority for our vehicles,” said Andy Freels, President of Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI), the research and development center for Kia. “Having earned eight of these prestigious safety awards reflects our commitment to consistently striving to improve the safety and integrity of our products.”

For more information on the safety accolades, please refer to iihs.org for more information.

About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly built in West Point, Georgia.*

For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (S, EX, SX and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

  1. 2019 Forte sedan models when equipped with optional LED headlights (available on S and EX trims)
  2. 2019 Niro models with optional autonomous emergency braking and HID headlights (HIDs and AEB standard on Touring trim, AEB optional on LX and EX trims)
  3. 2019 Niro PHEV models with HID headlights (standard on EX trim)
  4. 2019 Optima gasoline models with LED headlights (standard on SX trims)
  5. 2019 Sorento models with optional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and LED headlights (FCA-A standard on EX trims and higher. LEDs available on SX V6 trims and standard on SX-Limited V6 trims).
  6. 2019 Rio models with optional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and LED headlights; applies to sedans only. (FCA-A and LED headlights available on S trim).
  7. 2019 Soul gasoline models with optional Autonomous Emergency Braking and HID headlights (AEB available on Plus trims. HID available on Plus and Exclaim trims).
  8. 2019 Cadenza models with optional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and LED headlights. (FCA-A and LED headlights standard on Limited and Technology trims).

Press Release Information Notice

Kia makes reasonable efforts to ensure that information contained in its press releases is accurate at the time of posting. However, Kia makes no guarantees or warranties, either expressed or implied, with respect to the accuracy of the content presented. Kia may, from time to time, update its press releases, issue new releases, or publish other information to reflect new information.

Sierra AT4 Powers Up With New Off-Road Performance Package

DETROIT — Defining the premium off-road segment, the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 is now available with the all-new Off-Road Performance Package. The Off-Road Performance Package adds factory-installed performance upgrades that bring additional power and purpose to the Sierra AT4.

“The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 debuted all-new, purposeful technologies for the premium truck segment and the new Off-Road Performance Package takes it a step farther,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “It offers optimized performance, both on- and off-road.”

The Sierra AT4 Off-Road Performance Package includes:

  • 6.2L V-8 engine mated to 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires.
  • Cat-Back Performance Exhaust System.
  • Performance Air Intake.

Thanks to these additions, the AT4 Off-Road Performance Package delivers up to 435 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque — increases of 15 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque over a Sierra equipped with a conventional 6.2L V-8 engine. The 6.2L is manufactured at GM’s Tonawanda engine plant in New York and was recently named a Wards 10 Best Engine for 2019.

For 25 years WardsAuto editors have evaluated every all-new or significantly improved engine or electric propulsion system available in production vehicles in the U.S. Vehicles must have a starting MSRP less than $64,000. The editors score eligible vehicles on horsepower, torque, technology, observed fuel economy, relative competitiveness and noise characteristics.

The Off-Road Performance Package’s upgrades build on the Sierra AT4’s distinctive formula of authentic off-road capability, innovative technology and bold design, along with GMC’s premium refinement.

The Sierra AT4 was introduced earlier this year, and content includes:

  • Standard 2-inch factory-installed suspension lift.
  • Standard 4WD with a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential and skid plates.
  • Standard off-road-tuned Rancho monotube shock absorbers.
  • Standard Hill Descent Control.
  • Standard Traction Select System.
  • Standard GMC exclusive, industry-first MultiPro Tailgate.
  • Standard black chrome finish on the fog lamp bezels, fender surround and grille insert.
  • Standard body-color grille surround, door handles and bumper.
  • Standard exclusive athletic interior trim elements.
  • Standard red vertical recovery hooks.
  • Available segment-first Multi-Color Head-Up Display.
  • Available segment-first Rear Camera Mirror.1
  • Available GMC-exclusive, industry-first Carbon Fiber Pickup Box.2
  • A full suite of advanced available safety features including Surround Vision, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking and Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking.1
  • The Sierra AT4 Off-Road Performance Package has an MSRP (excludes tax) of $4,940 and is on sale now.

    About GMC

    With a strong foundation of manufacturing trucks since 1902 and now selling in a dozen countries across the world, GMC offers purpose-built vehicles designed and engineered to the highest standard. From the all-new compact SUV Terrain to the Sierra HD, our trucks and crossovers deliver GMC’s signature combination of intuitive technologies and premium execution, with the popular Denali sub-brand representing the pinnacle of GMC design, performance and amenities. Details on all GMC models are available at www.gmc.com, on Twitter at @gmc or at www.facebook.com/gmc.

    1Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather, and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle's owner's manual for more important feature limitations and information

    2Late availability in limited quantity.

    G70 review: Genesis is for real and BMW, Audi better take notice

    After the third drive in the excellent all-new 2019 Genesis G70 compact sedan, a memory from the 2016 Chicago Auto Show floor returned. Overheard was one dude saying to another dude, “There’s Hyundai.” And the other dude scoffed and said, “Why bother,” as if it were 30 years earlier when the South Korean automaker broke into the American market with the low-quality, budget Excel. I wanted to tell Dude how much Hyundai had evolved, but Dude was confident in his ignorant opinion.

    And he must not have made the connection when, later on the show floor, he and almost everyone else was gawking at the automaker’s stunning concept: the Genesis Vision G luxury coupe.

    There was a lot of skepticism then about Hyundai launching a distinct luxury brand, as Honda had done with Acura, Nissan with Infiniti and Toyota with Lexus. It takes a long time to correct that skepticism. Roughly three years in with a third model out, the Genesis G70 compact sedan announces without a doubt that the Genesis brand makes very good cars.

    Unfortunately, for now, Hyundai doesn’t make a crossover, but another one of those is the last thing the market needs. Yet the market doesn’t really want cars, either, so the G90 full-size sedan and G80 midsize sedan probably didn’t worry the established premium and luxury automakers.

    But the G70 should.

    As long as there is a 3-Series, there will be a market for sporty compact sedans that crossovers can’t touch. The G70 hits all the right marks, with handling that makes you smile, and acceleration that makes you forget any worries you may be escaping or approaching. And, in a direct shot at the Germans and all the other luxury players, the options are streamlined into simple, loaded packages.

    Genesis knows everything has to be well-executed to turn consumers away from the established luxury players, so the little things matter.

    Take this particular small thing that charmed every passenger, from retiree to grade-schooler. On the inside part of the passenger’s seat, above and across the center console, are two buttons to slide the seat forward, or fold the seatback. The driver or the rear seat passenger can press it without much effort. It gets people — and especially kids — in and out of the rear seat easier without scuffing that beautiful white quilted interior trim. But it also lets the driver move the seat back when picking up larger passengers. It’s such a small thing, but such a lovely convenience.

    COMPARE IT TO: 2018 BMW 340i »

    COMPARE IT TO: 2018 Kia Stinger »

    COMPARE IT TO: Jaguar XE »

    The G70 looks sharp without trying too hard to stand out. A broad honeycomb grille complements the long hood and short overhangs for a low, muscular profile. The high beltline and coupelike roofline nip some headroom in the rear seats for the sake of dynamic design. In short, the car looks good, and you’ll look good getting in and out of it.

    Genesis carries what it calls “athletic elegance” into the inside. Quilted nappa leather seats and door panels blend with the brushed aluminum trim pieces to create a sophisticated cabin that isn’t ostentatious. The only Hyundai family resemblance is the infotainment system, which is simple to use and not overburdened with submenus. This easy-to-use effectiveness applies to high-fidelity voice commands and advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.

    The real charm is behind the wheel. The 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin turbo V-6 with a smooth, eight-speed automatic (six-speed manual is optional on four-cylinder rear-wheel drive) in all-wheel drive packs a potent and efficient punch. The various drive modes from eco to sport adjust throttle response, so it doesn’t take much to floor it in sport mode and hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, according to Genesis. It’s essentially the same powertrain as the larger, heavier Kia Stinger.

    Turbo lag is minimal, steering is direct and the G70 soaks up the road while still staying close to it. There’s no lean but plenty of mean in the G70 with Prestige trim.

    The question is whether it exceeds the class benchmark, the BMW 3-Series. The new M340i is a tad quicker but expected to be about $10,000 more. But whatever the case, if you’re in the market for a luxury sport sedan, checking out the G70 is worth your while. Don’t be that dude hung up on dated misconceptions.

    2019 Genesis G70 AWD Prestige at a glance

    Vehicle type: compact luxury sedan

    Base price: $45,750

    As tested: $50,000 (excluding $995 destination)

    Mpg: 18 city, 25 highway, 20 combined

    Engine: 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6

    Transmission: 8-speed automatic in AWD

    Competitive rank: Alfa Romeo Giulia, G70, BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Kia Stinger

    Nissan GT-R Track Edition set for U.S. debut at 2017 New York International Auto Show

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Among Nissan GT-R enthusiasts, 2017 is turning out to be a milestone year. The model year started with a major makeover for both the GT-R Premium and GT-R NISMO – and caps off with the North American debut of the limited production GT-R Track Edition at the New York International Auto Show. The show runs April 14 - 23 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

    As the third model in the GT-R lineup, the Track Edition occupies a unique position between the “T” (touring) and “R” (racing) sides of the GT-R equation. Designed to deliver a higher level of performance than the GT-R Premium, the Track Edition features elements of the flagship GT-R NISMO, though retaining the GT-R Premium model’s 565-horsepower engine rating (versus the GT-R NISMO’s 600-horsepower version). The new GT-R Track Edition has a starting MSRP1 of $127,990 and will be available late summer 2017 by order only at GT-R certified Nissan dealers nationwide.

    “The new GT-R Track Edition gives buyers a specialized model, one true to GT-R heritage and available only by special order,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “Building on the major upgrade to every GT-R for 2017, the Track Edition is an amazing package inside, outside and under the skin.”

    The new GT-R Track Edition’s performance-oriented features start with the body’s additional adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding), which helps increase body shell rigidity versus the GT-R Premium model. Next, the advanced 4-wheel independent suspension receives unique NISMO tuning, with reduced weight and additional roll stiffness (versus GT-R Premium), as well as NISMO-spec tires.

    Other standard equipment includes GT-R NISMO front fenders, 20-inch NISMO forged aluminum-alloy wheels and a special dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler2. Inside, the Track Edition interior includes a unique red and black color treatment with high-grip, motorsports-inspired Recaro® seats.

    About the 2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition
The 2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition’s dynamic styling is both attractive and functional. The aggressive front end is dominated by the large Nissan signature “V-motion” grille, which provides enhanced engine cooling (versus the previous GT-R design) and features a matte chrome finish and an updated mesh pattern. The reinforced hood helps enhance stability during high speed driving. The use of adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding) helps increase body shell rigidity for mounting of the NISMO-tuned suspension.

    The GT-R Track Edition’s sporty red and black interior features standard leather-appointed Recaro® front bucket seats. The simplified switch layout includes just 11 switches, along with an 8-inch capacitive touch panel monitor. The standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow drivers to make mid-turn gear changes without taking their hands off the wheel.

    The GT-R Track Edition also includes standard NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services, which allows users to use a smartphone to remotely lock or unlock the car doors, activate the alarm, summon emergency services or track the car if it is stolen (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately). Also standard is a RearView Monitor.

    Like the 2017 GT-R Premium, the GT-R Track Edition offers a 565 horsepower hand-assembled twin-turbo VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 engine. Torque is rated at 467 lb-ft. A Titanium exhaust system is standard. All GT-R engines are hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by specially trained technicians known as Takumi, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. An aluminum plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the Takumi engine craftsman.

    The standard Bose® audio sound system includes Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement technologies to filter out unwanted noise and retain excitement during spirited driving. Acoustic glass and targeted sound dampening help reduce the intrusion of wind and road noise into the GT-R Track Edition cabin.

    The 2017 GT-R Track Edition’s refined powerplant is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.

    All 2017 Nissan GT-Rs are built on an exclusive Premium Midship platform, which enables the use of the unique independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. This system places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, optimizing weight distribution and maximizing handling capability.

    For more information on the 2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition and the complete line of 2017 Nissan sedans, sports cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs, please visit NissanNews.com.

    Hyundai Achieves Industry-Leading Improvement in Vehicle Dependability

    It’s well known that Hyundai has been one of the top nameplates in initial quality for several years now. Today’s customers demand long term reliability as well—and that’s why it’s big news that Hyundai rose to sixth overall in the 2017 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), moving up 13 rank positions, for the brand’s best ranking ever.

    The Vehicle Dependability Study measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles of three-year-old vehicles. For the 2017 study, the number of problems per 100 forHyundai vehicles declined by 25 points, a 16 percent improvement. By comparison, the industry average increased by four problems per 100 vehicles.

    In addition, the Sonata was recognized by J.D. Power as it was awarded second place in the highly competitive Midsize Car category.

    2018 Elantra GT: Sport Sedan Meets CUV!

    What does “GT” mean to you? It stands for “Grand Touring” (or gran turismo, if you prefer a European flair). For you, GT can translate into “good times” because the all-new 2018 Elantra GT is a hot hatchback that delivers a unique mix of European style and sporty driving dynamics, combined with a spacious interior and advanced driver features, that make it appealing to customers shopping everything from a sport sedan to a small CUV.


    When the Elantra GT arrives, this spring, your customers will have a choice, as there are now two models: the smooth-running 2.0-liter, 162-horsepower GT; and the more powerful and even more fun-to-drive GT Sport, which is a true hot hatch with its 1.6-liter turbo engine that delivers 201 peak horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and comes teamed with a six-speed manual or seven-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Versatility has always been a strength of the Elantra GT, and this 2018 model continues that trend thanks to its clever ergonomics and spacious cargo area. With the rear seats folded, there’s 55.1 cubic feet of space—that’s 25.5% more than Ford Focus, 19.3% more than Honda Civic and 16.7% more than Chevy Cruze. With the rear seats up there’s nearly 25 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats. Now you understand why the Elantra GT is truly a viable alternative to a CUV. MORE FUN PER MILE!

    One thing most CUVs do not offer—they’re not as much fun to drive as the Elantra GT. It features a stiff and strong body structure, and the handling characteristics were refined on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. And if your customers opt for the GT Sport,

    the rear torsion-beam suspension is switched for a fully independent multi-link setup teamed with 18-in. alloy wheels and larger front and rear brake rotors.


    The 2018 Elantra GT is available with a wide range of features that were previously not available in this class (and are still not available on all its competitors), such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, High Beam Assist and Attention Assist—plus, all Elantra GT models have seven standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Other highlights for the 2018 Elantra GT include: • Standard vertical LED daytime running lights • Standard 8-in. display audio with Apple® CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration • Available wireless smartphone charging • Available dual-zone climate control • Available high and low beam LED headlights • Remote starting with climate control • Blue Link® skill for Amazon Alexa The all-new 2018 Elantra GT —it’s not only Hyundai’s most versatile hatchback; it’s also designed to keep pace with the most active of lifestyles, making it the ideal vehicle for a wide range of your customers who are shopping sport sedans and CUVs.

    GMC Introduces Modern, Bold Design on 2018 Terrain - Confident appearance, accommodating interior and turbo engines elevate new premium compact SUV!

    DETROIT — GMC introduced the all-new 2018 Terrain and unveiled the next chapter of GMC design via a boldly styled and intelligently engineered successor to the brand’s popular compact SUV. The Terrain offers greater refinement and versatility to adapt to customers’ unique needs, and it’s packed with more available advanced safety technologies than ever before.

    GMC offers customers the widest range of choices yet, with three all-new available turbocharged propulsion systems, including a new turbo-diesel. Two new efficiency-enhancing nine-speed automatic transmissions are matched with the gas engines — a first application for the GMC lineup.

    Continuing the momentum of owning 25 percent of GMC’s overall retail sales, Denali returns to the Terrain with greater exclusivity than ever, offering a distinctive range-topping design and uniquely refined features.

    “GMC’s strong growth over the past decade is due in large part to Terrain,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Terrain builds on that success, leveraging GMC’s proven premium SUV experience to shake up the largest vehicle segment, with a strong blend of design, functionality and engineering excellence.” 

    The 2018 Terrain goes on sale this summer in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models, maintaining the momentum created by the first-generation model, of which more than 700,000 have been sold in North America since it went on sale in 2009.  

    Bold, modern design
    The new Terrain’s bold exterior signals the next chapter of GMC’s design language, evolving the brand’s signature cues with stronger, sharper and more sculpted elements such as the grille and lighting features. Its shape was refined in the wind tunnel to help ensure the distinctive profile cuts through the air with optimal efficiency and quietness.

    “It is a striking design with functional beauty,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “There’s confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC’s rise as a premium brand.”

    Elevating GMC’s new design, the all-new Terrain Denali will feature its signature chrome grille along with Denali-specific accents including body-color fascia’s and lower trim, plus chrome roof rails, door handles, side mirror caps and body-side molding. Additionally, LED headlamps and 19-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels are standard on Denali.

    All other models feature signature LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps. Bi-functional HID headlamps are standard on SL, SLE and SLT. Additionally, 17-inch wheels are standard on SL and SLE, with 18-inch wheels available on SL and SLE, and standard on SLT.

    Turbocharged propulsion choices A range of three all-new turbocharged engines, including an all-new 1.6L turbo-diesel, provides more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability in the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain. New 1.5L and 2.0L turbocharged gas engines are matched with two unique new nine-speed automatic transmissions, with the 2.0L turbo engine offering stronger acceleration and a higher degree of performance than its 1.5L counterpart.

    GMC’s new Electronic Precision Shift enables more storage room in the center console by replacing the conventional transmission shifter with electronically controlled gear selection consisting of intuitive push buttons and pull triggers.

    The Terrain comes standard with GMC’s driver-controllable Traction Select system, which has choices for different driving conditions. Elements such as the throttle responses are optimized for the selected driving mode. AWD models include a FWD mode that disconnects the AWD system to minimize drag and optimize fuel economy, while the AWD mode offers all the benefits of an active AWD system.

    Refined, versatile and purposeful interior
    Like the exterior, the new Terrain’s interior makes a statement and serves as a fundamental component of the vehicle’s heightened emphasis on refinement and functionality. Elements such as authentic aluminum trim, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and doors and standard active noise cancellation are premium features seamlessly integrated into the interior design for a luxurious customer experience.

    The Terrain Denali heightens the GMC experience throughout the new interior with a unique trim tint color and Denali-specific logos and piping on the front seats. Denali customers will benefit from additional standard features including a heated steering wheel, navigation, Bose premium 7-speaker sound system and a hands-free programmable power liftgate.

    An expanded center console with pass-through storage underneath and side-by-side cupholders adds to the Terrain’s functionality. A new fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear seat help Terrain offer greater versatility for stowing longer items and make it easier to load cargo. There are also new under-floor compartments in the cargo area for more secure storage.

    GMC keeps passengers connected with 7- and available 8-inch-diagonal infotainment systems, featuring compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and a standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (data plan purchase required after limited trial period) that can accommodate up to seven mobile devices. Owners can also manage their vehicles remotely with the industry-leading myGMC mobile app via their compatible smartphones. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, and require a compatible smartphone.

    Every new Terrain comes standard with five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[1] at no additional cost. Among other benefits, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help GMC owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance, reduce wear and tear, monitor fuel efficiency and become better drivers — all factors that add to the overall ownership experience.

    Expanded range of safety features
    An expanded range of available active safety technologies is designed to enhance driver awareness and even help make it easier to park and maneuver in low-speed situations. The features include radar- and camera-based adaptive technologies that can provide alerts to potential crash threats, allowing the driver to react and make changes to potentially avoid them, including:

    ♣ New Surround Vision
    ♣ New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
    ♣ New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking
    ♣ New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
    ♣ Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert 
    ♣ Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    ♣ New Safety Alert Seat

    The new Terrain also features GMC’s new Rear Seat Reminder[2] and Teen Driver[3]. Rear Seat Reminder alerts drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances, while Teen Driver allows parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to help encourage better driving habits, even when adults are not in the vehicle.

    GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year

    [1] OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years from the delivery date of eligible 2015 model year and newer vehicles and is transferable. Basic Plan does not include Emergency, Security or Navigation services; these and other services require a paid plan. Visit OnStar.com for details.

    [2] Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

    [3] Safety features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.  The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times.  Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for important feature limitations and information.


    Challenge Rival Friends with Your Facebook Profile Picture to Earn the Ultimate Bragging Rights and a Chance to Attend Super Bowl LI

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Sept. 28, 2016 – The NFL features some of the best rivalries in all of sports. Hyundai is harnessing fan passion for those rivalries with its new digital and social promotion called Put Your Profile On The Line. Through the platform, fans have an exciting opportunity to challenge one another on the outcome of their favorite games, with the stakes being their Facebook profile picture.

    Fans select their favorite team, then identify Facebook friends that they’d like to challenge that week. Once this is chosen and the challenge has been accepted, friends put their Facebook profile picture “on the line.” Based on the outcome of the game, both fans will receive a link to the losing fan’s Facebook profile picture with an overlay featuring the logo of the winning team. Both fans will be encouraged to share the picture to their Facebook profiles. Every time fans compete in a challenge, they will automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win tickets to Super Bowl LI.

    As the season progresses, so do the stakes -- from opposing team overlays to entertaining GIFs and other challenges. On the Hyundai site, fans can keep tabs on different friends' challenges, see how many Super Bowl entries they’ve earned and view past outcomes. The Super Bowl tickets grand prize will be awarded following the conclusion of the regular season.

    Read More

    Nissan Murano named “Best Midsize SUV of 2016” by Cars.com and MotorWeek

    Challenge Rival Friends with Your Facebook Profile Picture to Earn the Ultimate Bragging Rights and a Chance to Attend Super Bowl LI

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After putting five leading midsize sport utility vehicles through a demanding testing process, Cars.com and MotorWeek have selected the 2016 Nissan Murano as the "Best Midsize SUV of 2016." The award follows the naming of the Nissan TITAN XD and Nissan Rogue last January asCars.com's "Best Pickup Truck of 2016" and "Family Car of the Year" respectively.

    "The Murano is the closest option to a luxury SUV in this group, with a level of cabin materials and styling flair that's largely missing among the others," said Cars.com Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen. "The Murano's high points extend beyond its quality interior. The SUV is packed with technology and family-friendly features, and thanks to its V-6 power, the Murano is a blast to drive."

    The contenders selected for the "Midsize SUV Challenge," in addition to Murano, were the 2016 Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Sorento and the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Testing combined editors' evaluations on a set course, documentation of real world fuel economy and testing by an in-market family. Detailed test results are available at cars.com/news.

    "Murano has become a favorite of awards juries and consumers alike since the introduction of the totally redesigned third-generation Murano for the 2015 model year," said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations. "The Cars.com award is another great honor, adding to the 2015-2016 Murano crossover's streak of winning more awards over the last two years than any other SUV in its class1." Sales of Murano are up 35 percent this year to date.

    Read More

    All-new Nissan Titan XD full-size pickup production begins at Canton, Mississippi assembly facility -

    Nissan today officially launched production of its all- Nissan TITAN XD full-size pickup with Job One ceremonies at its Canton, Mississippi assembly facility.

    GMC Introduces 2017 Canyon Denali -

    Denali is the ultimate expression of GMC’s professional grade style, luxury and capability – and it is coming to the Canyon midsize truck.


    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 29, 2015 – Hyundai’s continued dedication to exceeding customers’ expectations earned them the No. 1 spot in the automotive category in the 2015 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders List. Brand Keys, a New York-based customer loyalty and engagement consultancy, publishes this annually-syndicated study that examines customers’ relationships with 753 different brands in 68 categories. 2015 marks the sixth year in a row that Hyundai took the top spot in the automotive category.


    – Sonata Mid-Size Sedan First Launched Globally in 1985

    More than 7.3 Million Units in Global Sales

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., May 5, 2015 – Hyundai is celebrating the 30th anniversary for the iconic Sonata mid-size sedan. The Sonata made its debut in 1985 in Korea, playing a pivotal role in Hyundai’s growth and reputation. With more than 7.3 million Sonata models sold since its introduction, Sonata has become a family sedan loved by customers all around the world.

    "The Sonata has been a huge factor in Hyundai’s growth not only in the U.S., but around the world,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "During its 30-year history, we have been able to craft and evolve Sonata to the ever-changing needs of our customers. And, with the Sonata family growing this summer to include the all-new Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, we’re expanding an already diverse lineup with something for everyone.”

    In the U.S., Sonata was introduced in 1988 and helped Hyundai grow into one of the country’s top automakers. Since then, Hyundai Motor America has sold more than 2.3 million units in the U.S., including nearly 80,000 Sonata Hybrid models since its 2011 U.S. introduction.


    1st Generation Sonata (1985)

    The 1st Generation Sonata was one of Hyundai’s first models designed exclusively by Hyundai’s in-house design teams. The 1st Generation started the Sonata legacy by exceeding 1 million unit sales in Korea for a single model line for the first time.

    2nd Generation Sonata (1988)

    Unlike the 1st Generation model, which was rear-drive, the 2nd Generation Sonata employed a front-wheel drive system for enhanced interior packaging efficiency. As Korea’s first independently-designed model, it departed from angular design language and adopted a more organic, aerodynamic design. The facelift of this generation, launched in 1991, was the first model to be badged with the newly revised Hyundai logo.

    3rd Generation Sonata (1993)

    The 1990s marked the acceleration of digital technologies replacing traditional analog technologies. The 3rd Generation Sonata leveraged this consumer trend, enjoying robust sales due to many advanced features, including automatic side mirrors and anti-lock braking system (ABS) technologies.

    4th Generation Sonata (1998)

    The 4th Generation Sonata, launched in 1998, was the best-selling model in Korea from February 1999 to August 2000. This generation was sold in Europe and was equipped with an in-house developed engine and a Hyundai Intelligent Vehicle Electronic Control (HIVEC) transmission. It was also the highest scoring mid-size sedan in the 2004 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the U.S.

    5th Generation Sonata (2004)

    The 5th Generation Sonata was designed to be a world-class mid-size sedan as a fundamental development target. This generation of Sonata adopted a European design theme, offering premium character and road presence. Equipped with significantly advanced features and a top-ranked safety rating, the 5th Generation Sonata received near universal praise from automotive media and customers alike.

    6th Generation Sonata (2009)

    The 6th Generation Sonata was one of the first Hyundai models to employ the industry-leading Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. Its bold and compelling design, powerful, efficient engine and solid performance created a new sensation in mid-size sedan markets throughout the world with record sales, solidifying Sonata in the minds of consumers as one of the Hyundai’s most recognizable models. In addition, the Sonata Hybrid model was introduced globally on the Sonata platform in 2010.

    7th Generation Sonata (2014)

    The latest 7th Generation Sonata has further refined and balanced the convention-shattering version of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, raising the bar for the mid-size sedan segment in both design and performance. Further, the all-new Sonata expanded its powertrain offerings with two additional eco-friendly models, including the Sonata Hybrid unveiled in 2014, and the first Sonata Plug-In Hybrid model, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2015.


    Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Blue Link Connected Care provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for one year with enrollment. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

    2015 Nissan Murano earns "Top Safety Pick Plus” rating from the IIHS

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today awarded the completely redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano a "Top Safety Pick Plus" vehicle safety rating, which is the group's highest available ranking. The 2015 Murano scored "Good" in all five "Top Safety Pick" categories and earned "Top Safety Pick Plus" status with a "Superior" rating for front crash prevention for models equipped with optional Forward Emergency Braking.

    Two years ago IIHS introduced more stringent criteria and requirements for the "Top Safety Pick Plus" designation. The established "Top Safety Pick" award recognizes passenger vehicles that excel in protecting passengers in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and also achieve a "good" or "acceptable" rating in the small overlap frontal test. For a "Top Safety Pick Plus," the vehicle must meet "Top Safety Pick" criteria, as well as earn an "advanced" or "superior" rating for front crash prevention.

    "The designation of the IIHS 'Top Safety Pick Plus' for the all-new 2015 Murano is exactly what Nissan expected for a vehicle that has always set the trends in its segment," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "This Murano has once again raised the bar for Midsize Crossovers in terms of modern styling, levels of interior refinement, luxury and technology in its class. At Nissan, we are happy to add the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus rating to the list."

    Standard safety and security features on all 2015 Murano trim levels include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; driver supplemental knee air bag; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).

    Every Murano also offers child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and Nissan's innovative Easy Fill Tire Alert, which sounds the car horn to notify a person filling a tire with air when the recommended tire pressure has been reached. Also standard on Murano are a suite of confidence-inspiring dynamic technologies, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).

    Murano offers Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD) system that features four small superwide-angle cameras mounted on the front, side and rear of the vehicle that provide a "bird's eye" virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle. It provides additional selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear and curb views, helping the driver maneuver the car in or out of tight spots.

    Moving Object Detection builds on the capabilities of the AVM system, helping enhance the driver's situational awareness by providing visual and audible warnings (front, side or back range object detection) if the system detects moving objects (such as another vehicle) within the displayed image in situations such as pulling out of a parking space.

    Using sophisticated image processing technology, the system detects moving objects within the virtual "bird's eye view" (when the vehicle is in Park). When starting off or backing up, it detects moving objects crossing within the front or rear views, respectively.

    Other available* Murano "Safety Shield" technologies include Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Also available on certain models is a Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system**, which alerts the driver when drowsy or inattentive driving is detected.

    Please click HERE for the IIHS report.

    About Nissan North America
    In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and INFINITINews.com.

    About Nissan Motor Co.
    Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold almost 5.2 million vehicles and generated revenue of 10.5 trillion yen (USD 105 billion) in fiscal 2013. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

    2015 GMC Canyon Earns Ward’s 10 Best Interiors Trophy

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From soft-touch materials on the instrument panel to the latest OnStar 4G LTE capabilities, GMC Canyon impressed the editors at WardsAuto with its spacious and well-appointed interior. The automotive trade publication named the premium midsize truck one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2015.

    "It’s important that great interiors be available in every class of vehicle, not just luxury models that most consumers will never be able to afford,” says WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. "The Canyon demonstrates that shoppers need not buy a loaded full-size pickup to get lots of soft surfaces, a Bose audio system, supple and durable leather, an easily navigated touchscreen and advanced safety features.”

    The award is based on WardsAuto staff’s evaluation of 42 new U.S.-market vehicle interiors and their rankings of elements such as design harmony, ergonomics, materials, driver information, safety, comfort, fit-and-finish and value. Aesthetics and design harmony was the most heavily weighted category.

    "There’s an elevation of design and materials in the Canyon’s interior that reflects GMC’s precision in craftsmanship,” says Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. "Details such as authentic aluminum trim and high-quality stitching reinforce Canyon’s position as the segment’s only premium offering, while features such as multiple USB ports and seats designed for long-haul comfort are thoughtful elements that are essential for active-lifestyle customers.”

    Whether drivers are navigating their daily routines or finding recreational adventure, the interior was carefully considered to suit their needs. SLE and SLT models bring connectivity and entertainment with two additional USB ports for charging, an eight-inch diagonal color touch screen radio with Intellilink, and a multicolor driver information center display. SLT models include leather-appointed, heated front bucket seats with power passenger seat.

    Technology and connectivity are further enhanced in the Canyon with OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows drivers to stay connected at any time, in any place.

    Safety and convenience are also highlighted in Canyon with segment-first available forward collision alert, lane departure warning and standard rear-vision camera.

    In addition to Ward’s 10 Best Interiors, Canyon was recognized as Autoweek’s Best of the Best Truck for 2015 and won a midsize pickup comparison by Cars.com.

    GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

    Nissan Rogue named one of the "10 Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $25,000" by Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com has named the 2015 Nissan Rogue one of the "10 Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $25,000." KBB.com editors selected the Rogue due to its available third row seat and "attractive feature set," including the "very helpful" Around View Monitor, heated seats and NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps. "In what has been a brutal 2014 to 2015 winter for many across the country, the importance of having a reliable all-wheel drive vehicle is as high as ever," said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations. "Featuring Advanced Ride Control, Active Trace Control* and Active Engine Braking among many other features, with a premium look and feel, Rogue is a solid entry in the marketplace. We are ecstatic that the Rogue has been recognized by Kelley Blue Book."

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the world of automotive advertising, Super Bowl Sunday is the one day of the year where pretty much anything goes. Nissan exemplified that strategy in its return to the Super Bowl ad ranks for the first time since 1997, scoring big today with a dramatic 90-second commercial titled "With Dad." The commercial combined a touching storyline with the debut of future Nissan race and production vehicles.

    The story, which follows an up-and-coming race driver through his journey to the highest levels of motorsports competition, uses a narrative soundtrack provided by Harry Chapin's iconic "Cat's In the Cradle." It depicts the struggles of a father and mother to balance work and family while they raise their son. In the end, the cycle, so well known in Chapin's song, is broken.

    "The spot depicts a journey that moms, dads and children face in trying to make family a priority while striving to balance work demands. Like many women and men in America, our dad cherishes the time he spends with his family, but the requirements of his job continually call him away," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations U.S., Nissan North America. "But as we see, both parents share equally in the courage, hard work and sacrifice required to keep the family strong as they raise their son."

    In connection with the "With Dad" commercial Nissan will donate $1 million to help people build a better future for themselves and their families through a contribution in support of Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).

    Nissan launches U.S. Murano production making Canton, Mississippi global export hub.
    Nissan's Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant has gone global as the company rolls the first all-new 2015 Nissan Murano off the line today, marking the first time the model has been produced in the U.S. Nissan Canton is now the company's worldwide hub for Murano production, expanding export opportunities from the plant to more than 100 markets.

    Bringing Murano production to the United States is part of Nissan's broader strategy to build where it sells, and it moves Nissan closer to achieving its goal of having 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in the United States produced in North America by 2015. Nissan added 1,300 jobs- including nearly 400 supplier jobs- in Canton to support Murano production.  Since its opening in 2003, Nissan has grown the Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant from a regional manufacturing facility to a global one, investing nearly $2.8 billion in the plant.  With the addition of these jobs, the plant has grown to support more than 6,000 manufacturing jobs for the first time in its 11-year history.

    December 5, 2014

    2015 Yukon Denali Gains Eight Gears, Updated model also includes wireless device charging, 4G connectivity
    The 2015 Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali continue to blend unique design elements with upscale amebities, including premium interior materials. Convenience and connectivity improvements include:
    A new hands-free power liftgate, which can be opened and closed by simply passing a foot beneath the rear bumper.
    A wireless charging surface for WPC or PMA compatible mobile devices is located at gmtotalconnect.com.
    OnStar with 4G LTE, which provides in-car data connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot capable of connecting up to seven devices at one time.
    Owners of the 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL models can receive a tutorial on these new features through a new Yukon-specific application for tablet devices, which supplements the owner's manual.  The new Yukon app will be available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
    November 21, 2014

    2015 Hyundai Santa Fe offers new standard features, revised steering and suspension tuning.
    Innovative Power Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open Now Available on Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport
    The award-winning Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport offer more standard comfort and convenience equipment for 2015, including refinements to the steering and suspension systems. 
    The electric power steering system now uses a 32-bit microprocessor that delivers a refined steering feel.  The revised steering system retains Hyundai's Driver Selectable Steering Mode, which features a returned "Sport" setting that takes advantage of the updated microprocessor and offers firmer steering.  Front wheel bushings have also been returned for 2015, which also enhances steering feel
    New standard features include daytime running lights, a driver's blind spot mirror and an auto up/down front passenger power window.  Sparkling Silver and Platinum Graphite paint colors are new for 2015.  Hyundai's innovative new power Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open is now available, which makes it easy for owners to gain access to the cargo area when their hands are full.  The system makes it easy for the driver to keep both feet on the ground, simply waiting for the liftgate to open after standing within a few feet of the rear bumper with the key fob in a purse or pocket.
    November 5, 2014

    2015 Nissan LEAF- Affordable, Sustainable Mobility
    Nissan LEAF was introduced in December 2010, as the world's first affordable, zero emission car for the mass market.  With that formula, consumer adoption has taken off, making LEAF the world's best-selling, 100-percent electric vehicle.
    For 2015, Nissan LEAF continues to make it "easy to be green", offering the space and range to meet everyday needs, while also providing an exceptional value proposition due to zero spending on gas, lower operating and maintenance costs and starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car.
    Along with saving money, Nissan LEAF buyers are discovering its value as a primary everyday vehicle- with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) access (check local regulations), range that is more than twice the average driver's daily need and LEAF's fun-to-drive instant, smooth acceleration and handling.
    In addition to zero tailpipe emissions and convenience of charging at home, LEAF drivers enjoy a smooth, quite ride with its running noise of just 21 decibels measuring less than a typical ceiling fan (26dB).
    October 30, 2014

    What to Wear: Accessories for the 2015 GMC Canyon
    Cargo management, exterior, interior items tailored for variety of lifestyles.
    Accessories can be an afterthought with many new vehicles, but they were part of the development plan for the 2015 GMC Canyon from the very outset.  The result is a wide range of work and activity products designed to match the truck's capabilities with integrated functionality and designs that complement its distinctive styling.
    "The Canyon is a lifestyle enabler, and accessories that support lifestyles of all types are an important of part of tailoring the truck to a customer's exact needs", said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing.  "Therefore, the accessories take their inspiration from how customers use their vehicle-and they are crafted by the same team of engineers that created the Canyon, for exceptional integration. In fact, customers can have them installed when they purchase their new truck, so they are ready at the time of the vehicle delivery-making many of them eligible for inclusion in the new-vehicle warranty.
    GearOn cargo management system: Designed to fit perfectly within the pickup box, this innovative, patent-pending accessory delivers significant storage and hauling flexibility.
    Pick box accessories: Drop-in bedliner, Cargo divider, Cargo net, Tonneau cover, Removable cargo rings, Rubber mat, Tailgate liner, Tiered storage bar, and Tool box.
    Exterior accessories: Chrome package, Exhaust tip, Grilles and grille inserts, Molded hood protector, Molded splash guards, Tubular assist steps, Off-road-style rocker steps and Wheel locks.
    Trailering accessories: Ball-mount trailer hitch, Receiver cover and Trailer harness.
    Interior accessories: Carpeted floor mats, All-weather floor mats and Heated cloth seats. October 24, 2014

     ARK Performance Injects Extra Performance and Luxury into All-New Hyundai Genesis
    ARK Performance Inc. has released details for its Genesis AR550 sedan for the SEMA auto show, taking the 2015 Genesis V8's already stellar performance to a whole new level.  For the tuner's sixth Hyundai vehicle built for SEMA, ARK injected the Genesis with performance characteristics on par with German super-sedan rivals like Mercedes-Benz AMG® and BMW M. 
    To build an executive sedan capable of going head-to-head with the world's best competition, ARK focused on fusing supercharged power with head-turning design, setting a new standard for Hyundai performance.  The exterior has been modified to accommodate larger wheels resulting in a wider stance, coupled with a lowered suspension setup that results in an overall more aggressive appearance.  The interior has also been revised to provide the opulence of a private business jet.
    "The AR550 concept focuses on refined performance that integrates directly with Hyundai's 'Design to Empower' vision for the Genesis Sedan," said Lerry Liu, Marketing Director, ARK Performance, Inc.  "This year we are focused on two core elements all under the new line, we focused on the power, handling, and most importantly the sound of the Hyundai power plant.  Second, we intergrated our high-performance racing technology to introduce a very unique and bold Hyundai vehicle." October 17, 2014

    Nissan announces U.P. pricing for Nissan NV200
    Nissan announced U.S. pricing for the 2015 Nissan NV200 compact van, which id on sale now at more than 350 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide.
    Now inits third year, the popular Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo van continues to set the standard for compact cargo van design, combining a small exterior footprint and excellent fuel efficiency with a large cargo capacity and outstanding versatility.
    The Nissan NV200 also offers America's best commercial van warranty, increasing basic limited warranty from 3 years/36,000 miles to 5 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first.  The powertrain limited warranty has also been extended from 5 years/60,000 miles to 5 year/100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Enhancements to the nV200 for the 2015 model year include the addition of new Rear Sonar and Sliding Door Glass Package options; updated Nissan connect with Navigation and Mobile Apps; a 1-mpg increase for highway and combined fuel economy- now 24/26/25 mpg city/highway/combined; and two new exterior colors, Cayenne Red and Graphite Blue.
    The Manufacture's Suggested Retail Prices for the 2015 Nissan NV200 S $20,720.00- NV200 SV $21,2700.  October 6, 2014

     GMC introduced the 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition
    The 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition, a new entry to the sports pickup truck market.  The Elevation Edition, which goes on sale later this year, offers a combination of style and content unavailable from competitors in the sport truck segment.
    "Much in the same way the Sierra Denali and Sierra HD Denali models raised the standard for premium pickup trucks, the Sieill surprise and excite customers shopping for a sport pickup," said Ducan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick and GMC.  "With is striking looks, sophisticated connectivity features and legendary capability, the Elevation Edition raises the standard of what a sport pickup truck can be."
    Built on the strong foundation of the standard 2015 Sierra 1500 double-cab pickup, the 2015 Sierra Elevation Edition incorporates a body-colored grille surround, color-keyed door handles, mirror caps, side moldings and front and rear bumpers designed to give Elevation a sporty monochromatic appearance.
    Elevation models also feature premium headlamps with distinctive light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting, fog lamps, and black-painted 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
    All Sierra Elevation Edition models are equipped with remote keyless entry, power mirrors, a 110-volt AC power outlet, and LED cargo box lighting.  Advanced connectivity is included with every Elevation Edition, as a 4.2-inch Intellilink color audio system and Bluetooth® phone connectivity are standard.  Elevation Edition models also feature OnStar with 4G LTE Connectivity, which provides in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.  Pricing for the Elevation Edition will be announced later.

    2015 Canyon offers Segment-Leading Fuel Economy
    EPA estimated 26 mpg highway for V-6 2wd models.
    The 2015 Canyon will offer segment-leading fuel economy for V-6 midsize pickups, based on EPA fuel economy estimates released.
    For V-6 pickups with automatic transmissions, which make up the majority of midsized truck sales, Canyon offers fuel economy 3 to 5 mpg better than competitors
    "The all new 2015 GMC Canyon adds segment-leading fuel economy to its winning resume," said Kenn Bakowski, Canyon marketing manager.  "Innovations such as available active grille shutters combine with an aerodynamic design in a smaller, more maneuverable package to set new standards for fuel economy in midsize trucks."

     Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K Run/Walk held in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
    In honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will hold its annual 5K Run/Walk to benefit prdiatice cancer research at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children's in September.
    Runners and walkers of all ages and levels are invited to participate by either registering for the race or making a donation at www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org/5K.  A Family Fun Festival, including food, vendor booths and giveaways, will immediately follow the race.  The event will also feature Hope On Wheels'' signature Handprint Ceremony and check presentation with doctors, patients and families from CHOC Children's.
    "September is an important time for all of us at Hyundai because it is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month," said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America.  "We are committed to supporting childhood cancer research at children's hospitals nationwide and are especially proud to support the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children's through this special annual 5K in our own backyard."
    Additionally, Hope On Wheels will launch a new awareness program, Every Handprint Tells A Story.  The public is invited to shoe its support for pediatric cancer by visiting www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org/September.  On the website, visitors can watch video stories of courageous child cancer survivors, learn about the work of several Hyundai scholar researchers, post and their messages of hope, and join an online community of supporters via social media.

     Nissan "Project Titan" truck ready for Alaskan adventure
    With help from the passionate Nissan Trucks Facebook fan base, the crowd-sourced, custom-made Project Titan is complete.  The ruggedly tailored 2014 Nissan Titan, piloted by two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni, is now primed with all the necessary equipment to take on the rigorous Alaskan wilderness in an adventure.  Fans can follow along at Facebook.com/nissantrucks.
    Starting with a solid foundation- a rugged 2014 Titan Crew Cab PRO-4X- fans voted on 10 different areas of customization to help the Titan conquer Alaska's challenging terrain- some of the most treacherous in the world.  Fans voted at each stage along the way, giving Nissan direction for almost every inch of the truck.
    Outside, a "Recon Titan" wrap with a digital-camouflage design pays homage to some of the most capable vehicles in the military.  A NISMO cold-air intake and Borla cat-black exhaust system open up aitflow on both ends of the Titan's Endurance 5.6-liter V-8 engine, the hazardous Alaskan landscape is handled by 18-inch Fuel Revolver D525 wheels wrapped in 35-inch Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires.  Come nightfall, Bulldog LED Lighting illuminates the way, while an ARB Deluxe Bull Bar provides high-quality protection to help conquer the unknown.
    Inside, a streamlined interior gives the truck a more customized feel, while a freshened shifter and steering wheel lead to a more comfortable drive.  New, rugged Katzkin leather-wrapped seats feature Project Titan and Wounded Warrior Project embroidery.  Coordinated tan stiching is found on the seats, steering wheel and door panels. 
    With the truck fully prepared, the action begins when Iraqi war veterans and Wounded Warrior Project Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.  The two will trek over mountains and through valleys in the ultimate Titan, braving the muddy, rocky terrain and encountering an occasional wild animal.  With the brisk onset of fall invading the Last Frontier, it's likely the WWP Alumni can expect some of the first snowflakes of the season.

    The 2014 Altima named one the "10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000"
    A consumer favorite and Nissan's top-selling model in the U.S., the Nissan Altima continues to impress with its premium exterior and interior design and functionality.  This week, the 2014 Nissan Altima was named one of the "10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000: by Kelly Blue Book's KBB.com.  The Altima finished sixth on the list, with KBB.com editors specifically citing its "notably comfortable" NASA-inspired "Zero Gravity" front seats as a selling-point.
    To create the "10 Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000" list KBB.com editors selected cars offering comfort-oriented features that "debuted upmarket just a few years ago".  Each of the 10 vehicles start below $30,000 according to Kelly Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price (FPP), a tool designed to show shoppers what others are paying for a specific new car.  The 2014 Altima is among the top three most affordable on the list.
    "In addition to its advanced "Zero Gravity" front seats, the 2014 Altima features soft-touch armrests as well as noise absorption materials to help reduce cabin noise and improve the overall experience inside the vehicle", said Fred Diaz, senior ice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations.  "Coupled with its innovative, stylish design and wide range of available technology features, the Altima is the perfect home-away-from-home.  This honor from Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com further reaffirms our commitment to comfortable, quality products and the needs of our customers." -August 26.2014

    2015 Sonata Awarded and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+
    The all-new 2015 Sonata is rated as one of the safest cars on the road today.  The 2015 Sonata was named a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+, when equipped with optional forward collision warning, by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).  Available with a host of active safety features such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a Lane Departure Warning System and rear parking sensors, the 2015 Sonata brings a new level of safety and refinement to the midsize sedan category.  Sonata joins the 2015 Genesis in earning the highest honor from IIHS.
    "The TOP SAFETY PICK + designation recognizes state-of-the-art safety" said IIHS president Adrian Lund.  "The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is not only engineered to protect people when crashes happen, but with its optional forward collision warning system rated basic in our tests, this can help drivers avoid some of the most common kinds of collisions altogether."Occupant safety is at the forefront of Hyundai design and engineering," said Mike O'Brien, vice-president, Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America.  "Sonata's TOP SDAFETY PICK+ recognition reinforces our dedication to occupant safety, and integrating our accident prevention technologies makes the 2015 Sonata one of the safest midsize sedans on the market today."-August 26.2014

    GMC Wins AutoPacific Top Popular Brand Award

    GMC was named Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand and the Sierra and Acadia took top honors in the light-duty pickup and large crossover SUV categories in AutoPacific's 18th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

    "Vehicle that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. "The winners perform well in 50 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience."

    The vehicle satisfaction awards measure owner satisfaction in areas ranging from interior comfort and convenience to fuel economy and performance. The awards are based on the firm's survey of more than 92,000 vehicle owners.

     Yukon Ranks Highest in Segment in APEAL:

    Detroit- The 2014 GMC Yukon ranked highest in its segment in the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study released this month.  Yukon was also recently recognized by J.D. Power in both Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability Studies.

    "Recognizing the Yukon demonstrates the effort and attentionon to detail given by our engineers and designers", said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC.  "These awards reinforce our focus on putting the customer at the center of everything we do from the first visit to the dealership, to the drive home, or 10 years down the road."

    The 2014 APEAL is based on more than 83,000 responses to questions about how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive in the first 90 days after purchase. ~August 5, 2014

     Nissan brings the family out for a day with media:

    Nashville, Tenn. - Nearly every vehicle in the current Nissan lineup, plus a few eye catching vintage and test vehicles, was on display in Nashville for an expansive media drive program this week.  It was held at a mansion in Belle Meade, Tennessee, at what was the set for the pilot of the "Nashville" TV series.  ~August 5, 2014

     Making History with the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

    Hyundai has been developing and testing its proprietary fuel cell technologies for over 15 years. Now ready for select customers in Southern California, Tucson Fuel Cell is the first mass-produced, federally certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle available in the U.S. market. ~August 5, 2014

    Good things come in small packages
    The growing popularity of smaller vehicles applies to pickups as well, and customers say maneuverability is a top reason for choosing a midsize pickup. The 2015 GMC Canyon delivers the right size vehicle for consumers who are looking for a more agile pickup.

    "An increasing number of customers don't need the full capability of a full-size pickup, yet desire the functionality a pickup offers," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. "These customers appreciate the smaller size of mid-sized pickups, with their ability to easily fit in a garage, travel downtown areas of big cities, and navigate crowded parking lots. The all-new 2015 GMC Canyon represents the best of both worlds in this sense." ~July 31, 2014

    Nissan will launch a new marketing campaign this week, staring iconic American rock and reality star Bret Michaels, for its line of rugged commercial vans. The comprehensive "Tough Love" digital and print effort breaks July 31st across a variety of social media and digital platforms.
    Carrying the theme line "The tougher we test them, the more you love them," the campaign is directed at small business owners looking for durable, efficient cargo and passenger vans. Nissan commercial vehicles endure more than 6,600 tests during the development process, including being put through a 140-degree heat chamber, salt spray tunnel, frame twister, shaker machine, pothole-ridden roads and grueling brake tests. The various testing procedures, which compress 13 years of real-world use into about 3 months, are shown in a series of individual product videos. ~July 31, 2014

    Accent Ranks Highest in Small Car Segment
    cution and Layout (APEAL) Study released this month. Hyundai is also the highest-ranked non-premium brand in the J.D. Power 2014 Initial Quality Study (IQS), marking the first time a nameplate has ranked highest among non-premium brands in both APEAL and IQS in the same year. Int its 19th year, the APEAL study examines owners' assessments of the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicle. Vehicles and their brands ar scored on a 1,000 point scale.

    Just one month ago, in the acclaimed J.D. Power Initial Quality (IQS) study, Hyundai was the highest ranked non-premium brand and the Geneses, Elantra and Accent all received awards in their respective segments. In this year's APEAL study, Hyundai again claimed top spot among non-premium brands while improving five spots among all brands to rank 13th overall.

    "We are so pleased to see the recognition that Accent has received in this year's J.D. Power APEAL study," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. "And it's especially gratifying coming on the heels of our best-ever IQS showing just one month ago."

    Additionally, in the tightest race in the study, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata finished third by just 2 point - 819 V. 821 - in the midsize car segment. The Hyundai Veloster finished second in the Compact Sporty Car segment. "We expect the all-new 2014 Sonata to do even better next year," O/Brien added. This is the highest Hyundai has ever ranked in the APEAL study. ~July 31, 2014

    Comparison: 2012 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2012 Hyundai Azera vs. 2013 Lexus ES 350

    Elimination Round: By Kim Reynolds
    This is the comparison of the Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Azera, and Lexus ES 350 as an elimination round.  Very soon, the soup bowl of contenders in the full-sized, near-luxury sedan category will be joined by two new ingredients -- the profoundly revamped Toyota Avalon and Lincoln MKZ -- and both of them will spice things up.  Hold on, an Avalon and an MKZ...spicing things up?  No, we don't mean in-car bingo on their entertainment screens.  They're the revamped real deals.  Toyota, after contemplating nixing the Avalon nameplate entirely, has pulled out the stops to build a serious player instead.  And Lincoln? It's betting its entire brand on the MKZ re-establishing its relevance. Be as we await these two, let's winnow down the existing challengers.

    Of the current crop, out top trio hails from three different countries.  The Buick LaCrosse is a familiar face that trumpeted Buick's return to the living three years ago. In 2010, we compared the LaCrosse to the previous-gen ES 350 and found the new Buick an unexpectedly good driver.  It was dramatic-looking, wit

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