- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2007

Kena Shrine plans show for Fairfax

The Kena Shrine Car Club is planning its 18th annual car, truck and motorcycle show for Sunday in Fairfax. The rain date is July 29.

The event, beginning at 10 a.m., is open to all years of vehicles. Trophies will be awarded at 3 p.m. for first and second places in all classes.

Four additional awards, including best of show and people’s choice, will be presented.

Registration costs $12. Spectator admission is by donation.

In addition to the judging, there will be a car corral, door prizes and a 50-50 drawing. Food and beverages as well as music will be available. Vendors are welcome.

For more information, call Mike Huhn at 703/683-0794 or Burt Zwibel at 703/280-5222 or send e-mail to [email protected]

Times show slated for Sept. 2 this year

The Out of the Past Revue, hosted by The Washington Times, will be held this year on Sept. 2 at the Spring Hill Recreation Center in McLean.

The annual free show is open only to vehicles that have appeared in Vern Parker’s “Out of the Past” column in the AutoWeekend section. Spectators can view the antique vehicles on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with winners chosen by popular vote of those attending.

Nanjing Auto planning to revive Austin Healey

China’s Nanjing Auto says it will bring back the Austin Healey and Healey brands as part of the deal that saw the company buy part of Britain’s defunct MG Rover Group, Agence France-Presse reported.

Nanjing Auto signed agreements last week with Healey Automobile Consultants, which had been responsible for the brands, to formally take control of them, said Nanjing MG Automotive Co. spokesman Lu Qiang.

Nanjing Auto, China’s oldest car maker, in July 2005 bought the rights to develop the historic cars from the bankrupt MG Rover Group, once makers of the iconic Mini and Jaguar.

It acquired MG Rover’s assembly lines, engine technology and many of the company’s models, including the MGZR, MGZS and MGZT, for $103 million after the collapse of Britain’s last independent car maker.

The first Chinese-made MGs came off the assembly line in March, and Nanjing Auto received a $260 million loan from a Chinese policy bank that month to help it expand and push ahead with its export ambitions.

Honda mulls making hybrid cars in China

Japan’s Honda Motor is considering making hybrid cars in China, where regulators want more energy-efficient vehicles to help relieve the nation’s choking pollution problem, according to state press outlets.

Honda plans to test demand in China for its Civic hybrid cars within three months, the Shanghai Daily reported, citing a deputy manager of Honda’s China joint venture, Dongfeng Honda Automobile.

“It would be a trial operation to test the market response before localized production begins,” the official was quoted as saying.

Toyota, which is Honda’s biggest rival in Japan, became the first foreign car maker to produce hybrid autos in China with its Prius model in late 2005.

The make is sold for $37,400 to $39,200. Annual sales are expected to reach 3,000 this year.

“Our hybrid Civic will have a price advantage against Toyota’s Prius,” the Dongfeng official said, although he could not provide a specific price.

Nissan, NEC will offer batteries to Renault

Nissan Motor Co. and NEC Corp. have agreed to provide lithium ion batteries for use in hybrid and electric cars to Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Renault SA, sources told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Tokyo.

Nissan decided to provide lithium batteries not only to its parent company Renault but also to Fuji Heavy Industries, which is in a capital alliance with Toyota Motor Corp., in an effort to improve its competitiveness through mass production.

Nissan and NEC also are negotiating with Ford Motor Co. about a supply of the batteries, the sources said.

Nissan and NEC, which have established a separate company to produce lithium ion batteries, aim to increase their share in the international lithium ion battery market to 30 percent to lead the business.

Lithium ion batteries can accept longer-lasting charges than nickel hydride batteries, which are currently used in hybrid cars.

With lithium ion batteries, it will be possible to minimize the size and weight of automobile batteries.

At present, lithium ion batteries are used in cell phones and personal computers.

The highly efficient batteries are expected to solve the technical difficulties hindering the wider use of electric cars as miles per charge increase dramatically.

Honda gets nod from J.D. Power

Honda is a winner in the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Initial Quality Study.

Honda Civic and the all-new Honda CR-V ranked as top vehicles in the compact car and compact segments, allowing Honda to rise in the rankings by two positions to become the fourth overall vehicle brand, the Detroit News reported.

IQS serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership.

It logs problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories — quality of design and quantity of production defects and malfunctions, according to J.D. Power.

c Mail items of interest to Auto Notes, care of Bill O’Brien, The Washington Times Copy Desk, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C., 20002, or e-mail to bobrien@washingtontimes.com. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before the date of publication.

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