While many people bemoan the impersonal nature of the modern world, where some humans know others more by their obscure internet forum handles than their birth names, it can be argued that trade shows are even more relevant. While it can be difficult to justify time spent away from the workshop, the face-to-face contact is worthwhile to not only catch-up with industry contacts but also to examine the latest developments in technology, parts and tools that will help you plan for the future and make today’s tasks more profitable. While the Autotechnician team cannot be accused of being luddites, we see the value in old-fashioned personal communication and look forward to meeting our readers and partners at Automechanika Birmingham, held at the NEC between 4th and 6th of June.
With growth in the suspension and steering markets remaining unabated, a variety of parts manufacturers will be showcasing their latest product ranges, technical developments, tips and diagnostics tools at Automechanika Birmingham, to help you effect longer-lasting and more profitable repairs. Aside from offering advice for technicians, a variety of workshops will take place that will aid communication with your customers – such examples are covered in this issue’s DPF upselling feature, such as encouraging them to respect fuel additive dosage instructions. With summer just around the corner, our air conditioning special provides a glimpse of how new refrigerants are affecting service and maintenance procedures, as well as detailing our usual practical top tips, parts and new equipment news. Continuing into our examination of new car technology, we look at showy stuff from JLR, Peugeot and Vauxhall as well as contemplating at how Morgan has reinvented the wheel – by taking one away.
Despite trying to put on a show and make an impact, luxury Nissan brand, Infiniti, is to pull out of not only the UK but also Western Europe from next year. 2008 was not the best time to launch any expensive brand, especially one with zero heritage and zero cachet in the premium volume sector of the British car market, where the expectations are far different than those of North America and Asia. Its failure is demonstrated by its new car registrations, which struggled to hit 750 cars throughout 2018.
In technical terms, Infinitis were not bad but they were not good enough to shake established German premium brands, unlike Toyota with Lexus, which started its onslaught with the LS400 of 30 years ago.
Infiniti will be focussing on SUVs for China and North America. Meanwhile, the Q30 and QX30 models will cease production at Sunderland in July, risking around 250 jobs. Reports state that dealerships will remain open until 2020 and parts and technical information will remain available. We shall keep you updated.
The Infiniti range was unremarkable mechanically, with a few exceptions. Its productionised steer-by-wire system was especially interesting. A mechanical back-up mechanism was fitted, which consisted of a steering column-mounted solenoid that connected with a conventional rack and pinion.
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