How to correctly pronounce the names of Japanese car brands

Although the names of European car brands seem to be purposely designed to trip people up, it is understandable that people may have difficulty too with Japanese car brands, despite their ubiquity around the world. Here to clarify things for us is this video from Mighty Car Mods, featuring a native Japanese speaker who clarifies their correct Japanese pronunciation for us.

After watching the short video above, you can rest assured that you are now properly equipped to expertly maneuver car talk without fear of embarrassment in front of your motorhead friends.


10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community


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RocketNews 24:


Advertising agency Dentsu recently released the results of its annual Japan Brand Survey, in which it asks people from around the world for their opinion on the country. This year’s study involved 3,600 men and women living in 17 different countries, whose responses were used to compile a list of 10 things they feel Japan does better than anywhere else in the world.

In carrying out the survey, Dentsu spoke with people living in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, the U.S., Brazil, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Russia. All participants were between the ages of 20 and 59, with middle or upper-class incomes.

Roughly 80 percent of those questioned said they had either plans or a desire to visit Japan, a jump of more than seven percent from last year’s survey. When asked what intrigued them about Japan, the most common response was the country’s cuisine. Its numerous travel destinations, both urban and rural, came in second, and Japanese fashion rounded out the top three.

Being an advertising firm, though, Dentsu’s primary concern is with the perception of Japanese goods and services. To get a better grip on how people abroad feel about things stamped “made in Japan,” researchers asked participants what they felt Japan does better than anywhere else, resulting in the list below.

10. Video games

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It’s a sign of the times that Japan’s video game makers, who created and for years dominated the modern industry, only barely managed to crack the top 10. Still, even as overseas companies continue to make strides in the arenas of smartphone and social gaming, for some fans there’s just no substitute for a Japanese-made game.


9. Transportation infrastructure

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It’s telling that the list was compiled from responses from people who live outside Japan, and not in it. Residents have a number of valid complaints about the country’s narrow roads, expensive expressways, and difficult to find parking. If you’re a traveler though, or anyone else using public transportation in Japan, there’s a lot to be thankful for, as it’s hard to imagine the train and subway network being much more efficient or punctual than it already is (quibbles about service ending shortly after midnight notwithstanding).


8. Environmental engineering

7. Food

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No arguments here. While sushi was the dish most respondents reported eating, wanting to try, or just simply knowing about, Japanese food has a wealth of delicious dishes, ranging from subtle delicacies like tofu and lotus root to heartier fare such as ramen and the cabbage-and-pork-filled crepes called okonomiyaki.


6. 3D technology

5. Precision engineering

4. Cars/motorcycles

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Japan still may not be able to match Germany’s cachet in the luxury segment, and it’s facing ever-increasing pressure in the economy class from American and Korean manufacturers. That said, Japanese marques are still the go-to choice for many looking for reliably-made transportation, eco-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles, or a lightweight rear-wheel drive sports car.


3. Robotics

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Build a dancing robot like Honda’s ASIMO, earn a rep for robotics. Simple as that.


2. Anime/manga

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This one might be a bit of a linguistic technicality here. While in Japanese, the words anime and manga refer to cartoons and comics respectively, regardless of country of origin, among the international community, the terms generally refer to works made in Japan. For a lot of people, saying that Japan makes the best anime and manga is like saying Alaska produces the best Alaskan king crab.

Also, some fans are looking for completely different things from Japanese and non-Japanese animation. This makes the question of whether Japan produces “better” cartoons a tricky one to answer, sort of like asking, “Which is superior, a bicycle or an ocean freighter?” Sure, they’re both vehicles, but designed with completely different things in mind, and one isn’t really a substitute for the other.

Setting all that aside, though, if you want to see robots fighting, giant-eyed characters slowly falling in love, or some combination of the two, odds are the Japanese anime industry’s got you covered.


1. Audio/video electronics

Once again, Japan doesn’t have the same iron grip on this segment that it used to. Even as manufacturers from other countries offer alternatives with lower prices and passable quality, though, Japan still has the image of making some of the best-performing consumer electronics money can buy.

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Source: Niconico News


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10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community


Nissan has made a self-cleaning car


nissanRocketNews 24:

Now that Nissan has revolutionized the rearview mirror, it has moved on to another problem: It is developing a self-cleaning car.

The European arm of the automaker isn’t changing anything about the car itself, just the paint job. It’s using super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint that repels water and oils, so dirty water that hits the car never sticks and never needs to be cleaned off.

Nissan is testing the paint, sold by UltraTech International Inc, on a Note to see how it performs in various conditions, including rain, frost, and sleet.

This isn’t a brand new idea — you can buy similar coating without spending a fortune — but we haven’t seen an automaker try it before. Nissan says it doesn’t plan to make the technology standard, but it “will continue to consider the coating technology as a future aftermarket option.”

You can see what a difference the special paint, applied to the right half of the car, makes.  The mud and dirt rolls right off:



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Nissan has made a self-cleaning car


Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius hybrids to fix flawed software



Toyota has shipped over 3.5 million Prii since the first models hit streets in 1997, and now it wants more than half of them back. The company announced today that it’s recalling 1.9 million hybrids (713,000 of which are in North America) thanks to a nasty software issue that could affect cars made between March 2009 and February 2014.

The glitch may cause parts of the car’s hybrid system to overheat and malfunction. That would normally put the car into a failsafe mode where it can still be driven with reduced engine power, though it’s possible it could shut down entirely. The bug was first reported back in 2011 but, miraculously, it doesn’t appear to have caused any accidents yet. You can check to see if your Prius is one of the afflicted on Toyota’s recall site and schedule an appointment at your local dealership. Thankfully, you wont waste your whole day in the waiting room: a spokesperson told Automotive News the update process only takes about 40 minutes.

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Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius hybrids to fix flawed software


Infiniti Reveals First Images of Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

Infiniti has revealed the first images of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept which will have its world premiere at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13. A high-performance design concept based on Infiniti’s Q50 premium sports sedan, the Q50 Eau Rouge draws inspiration for aerodynamic design from the technical collaboration between Infiniti and four-time Formula One World Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

The Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider, with only the roof and door profiles remaining unchanged from the production Q50. Additional highlights include a deep and detailed carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and side sill skirts, carbon fiber roof and door mirror casings, 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels and a dual-exit exhaust sports system below a large integrated rear spoiler.

More information about the Q50 Eau Rouge will be revealed during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show at 9:20 a.m. EST on January 14.

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Infiniti Reveals First Images of Q50 Eau Rouge Concept


Kia’s NBA Partnership Paying Off


Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin jumped over a Kia Optima and won the coveted 2011 NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest. Just a year later, Kia posted a record sales of 557,559 as its brand topped 500,000 units in the U.S. market for the very first time.

In 2008, Kia signed a multi-year marketing partnership deal with the NBA, becoming the basketball league’s official automotive partner. Kia’s unit sales, which only stood at 113,369 then, have soared by a staggering 200 percent en route to becoming the eighth largest car brand today in the U.S. as measured by sales volume.

After struggling mightily in 2008 with a U.S. market share of 1.9 percent, Kia’s landmark partnership agreement with the NBA was the catalyst that successfully remade its brand image. The NBA rakes in approximately $5 billion every year in total revenue and has over six million television viewers across the country, a strong foundation Kia sought to tap into to broaden its U.S. market share.

Kia’s growing roster of sports initiatives includes basketball, women’s professional golf and motorsports and is designed to increase brand awareness among a new and more affluent group of consumers,” Kia Motors America said in a statement.

Kia logos are visible all over the arenas of 30 teams in the NBA night in, night out. And pre-game shows titled “the Kia NBA Countdown” on ESPN helped Kia raise visibility of its brand within the younger, hipper demographic of the NBA, compared with the older fan bases of the MLB and the NFL.

Next year, Kia will also sponsor the Super Bowl to further expand its brand.

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Kia’s NBA Partnership Paying Off