Major automotive suppliers are displaying fuel economy technology to assist automakers make the steep climb into federal fuel economy standards and to reach consumers with growing interest in fuel efficient vehicles. Suppliers such as Southfield, Mich.-based Denso International America Inc., Plymouth, Mich.-based ZF North America Inc., Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., and Fort Mill, S.C.-based Schaeffler Group USA Inc. are displaying several fuel-saving technology systems at the Cobo Center. Schaeffler Group has been working closely with Ford Motor Co., and is displaying a Ford Escape loaded with nine technologies to save gasoline. These include a stop-start system, an all-wheel drive disconnect system, and friction-reduction technologies.
One significant announcement came from Nissan – it will be dropping the price of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle. The price will drop by 18%, or about $6,000, now starting at $28,800 for the S trim level. With the federal tax credit at $7,500 and with various state incentives, some consumers will be able to purchase the Leaf for as little as $18,000.