>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
Engineers at Nissan Motors are scurrying to eke another mile or two per gallon out of their vehicles to win customers who come looking for federal cash-for-guzzlers money.
"We want as many of our products as possible to pop up on the shopping list," Nissan North America spokesman Brian Brockman says.
Dealer enthusiasm and ad hype already are making cash-for-guzzlers the auto marketing event of the season. Nissan's actions show how automakers are enlisting engineers and others in their eagerness to take part.
Realistically, there is little Nissan's vehicle engineers can do to improve fuel economy dramatically in the short amount of time the federal program is scheduled to run, concedes Robert Sump, vice president of Nissan Technical Center North America in suburban Detroit. The usual ways to cut fuel consumption, such as eliminating engine friction or switching to lighter materials, often take years.