The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that happened in Japan on 11 March 2011 caused extensive damage to a lot of things. Not only properties and infrastructures were damaged, a significant number of human lives were lost as well. It was further made worse by a tsunami which was triggered by the earthquake.
Video footage and images of people running to save their lives were broadcast on the news and it was a painful moment for everyone in the country. The earthquake also damaged a nuclear power plant which emitted harmful levels of radiation after that.
On the business side, many automakers suffered huge losses when the earthquake and tsunami destroyed their manufacturing plants and new cars. Several of them had to shutdown their manufacturing operations and it took them months to get back at the same level before the disasters occurred.
Being a JDM fan, I was disappointed when news of Japanese automakers ending the production of their sports models and also news of them not continuing development of new sports cars. One of the main reasons why this had happened was due to the global economic crisis that occurred in 2008.
When Toyota released their 86 model, I was filled with excitement, just like a young child in a toy store. Firstly, I was fed-up with the type of cars Toyota gave consumers after ending their sports models around 5 years ago. Even when rumours or news surfaced about the FT-86 (which eventually was named 86), I was still sceptical that Toyota would release a new sports model.
Eventually the 86 was released and there were some more news or rumours that Toyota and Lexus are developing and testing new sports models. Looks like Toyota is heading towards a new direction.
Headlights are an important feature of the car. Headlights not only guide the driver on a dark road but it also notifies oncoming drivers that another vehicle is approaching. Nowadays many automakers fix high intensity discharge (HID) headlights. It has several advantages over normal headlights, mainly the improved night time visibility but many disliked the glare.
BMW has invented a laser application that can be used for vehicle headlights. BMW claims that their laser lights (when compared with HIDs) are smaller in size, cast its light much farther and have an exceptional life span.
Laser lights emitting out from your car will look really cool but I hope that these laser lights don’t cause too much glare as some of HID headlights does.
Japanese cars are known to be reliable and efficient. Many people have mentioned that their Japanese cars have reached two or three hundred thousand miles on their odometer. But to reach over a million miles is rather amazing and an American man has proven that it is possible.
The owner is a vehicle mechanic and that is probably why he is able to achieve such a mileage. He documented every single change on his car and according to him; the secret to this achievement is to follow the car’s service guide. And he was awarded with a new Accord by a local Honda dealer and a small parade after that.
Looks like every single thing about Japanese reliability and efficiency is not just hearsay and this is the proof.
The recent Saab’s bankruptcy is something that was inevitable. Over the past few months before Saab filed for bankruptcy, many signs indicated that the company could come to an end. Firstly, when several Chinese auto companies offered to takeover the Swedish marque, General Motors vetoed those actions. And next, even with cash assistance from Youngman, I just feel that Saab is fighting a losing battle.
Saab’s CEO; Victor Muller, was not only disappointed when Saab went bankrupt but he was utterly upset with the events that led towards the company’s demise. Some felt that General Motors did not try to help Saab and instead “killing” it.
There are many other major events that happened in 2011 and if I were to include every single one then it would be a very long article. I chose the abovementioned is due to that they were either my favourite or they simply moved me.
Many of the comments left on the blog articles that I wrote were rather encouraging and I will work harder to share more interesting news and articles with everyone here.
If you have any other favourite incidents or news from 2011, please comment below. I wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you.
Photo credit: Motor Authority, Net Car Show, Wikipedia, Left Lane News and Auto Blog