year's SAE Detroit Section meeting during the 2012 SAE World Congress
was once again held at the Riverview Ballroom at Cobo Center in
downtown Detroit. Brian Sangeorzan, Oakland University, 2012 Chair
of the SAE Detroit Section Board, began and thanked all the companies
whose creativity and innovation influenced the auto industry.
Sump, General Chair, Vice President of Nissan Technical Center
North America was the first speaker.
Altima is Nissan's best selling vehicle," Sump said. "I
am the Chief Assistant Engineer on the Altima. This is the best
Nissan ever made. The theme of this year's event is 'get connected.'
We need to get connected with various people outside of the organization
that need to be a part of it. The Nissan Altima is the first of
five new models due in the next 15 months."
Curl, Nissan's Senior Manager Product Planning, worked on the
Altima since 1997. This is the fourth generation Altima and the
number two selling U.S. passenger car.
2012 is the best sales month in history," Curl explained.
"The mid-size segment has never been more competitive with
value and innovation. The Altima has premium style targeted to
the professional, confident customer, however our number one priority
Altima offers the best fuel economy in its class with NASA-inspired
"zero gravity" seats. The vehicle integrates next-generation
technology with auto headlights, blind spot and lane departure
warning system and blue tooth technology. Its starting price is
$21,500 and it tops off at $30,000.
Arroba, Senior Manager of Nissan Design America, says the Altima
has new features such as classic styling and appeal, offers a
premium driving experience, chrome window surround and door handles,
a sweeping accent line which enhances its dramatic exterior.
headlights capped with large LED taillights, a newly-designed
door mirror for aerodynamics and an interior that is NASA designed
for continued support, which decreases blood flow and lowers fatigue
are some of the other features," Arrobo said.
Bailo, Nissan's Senior Vice President of Research and Development,
says the Altima sets new targets to improve fuel efficiency. Our
suspension response delivers a confident, stable ride. The suspension
utilizes a new shock absorber to reduce vibrations delivering
a plush comfortable ride.
and comfort is our target," Bailo explained. "The 2.5-liter
cylinder has been redesigned to save weight and improve efficiency.
Altima has the strongest selling V6 models in the segment. Seventy
percent of the parts are re-designed on the CVT transmission,
with 40 percent friction reduction. The results are expanded gear
looked for every opportunity to reduce weight. Nissan has reduced
the weight by 79 pounds and has the lowest weight in the segment.
Nissan made an 18 percent improvement over the 2012 model in mpg
at 38 mpg, which means you can save $333 per year in gas.
Brennan, Nissan's Vice President of Manufacturing, says the 2013
Nissan Altima will be built in Smyrna, Tenn.
will celebrate start of production next month," Brennan said.
"It will be exported to more than 45 countries. The Infiniti
JX, will also be built in Smyrna. In the Fall, the Pathfinder,
and in late 2012, the Leaf and in 2013 the Rogue Crossover will
be built in Smyrna."
is a 6,800 member on-site team in Smyrna expanding production
to three shifts in 2012. The ion battery plant is right next door.
"We have a great relationship with our technicians,"
she added. "Our engineers are moved to the shop floor for
improved cross-functional communication."
next SAE Detroit Section meeting will feature the 2013 Ford Escape.
It will take place inside the Ford Conference & Event Center
in Dearborn, Mich. on May 22 at 5:30 p.m. Click
here for more information or to purchase your tickets online.
America' is now on display at The Henry Ford in Dearborn