In a Bold Move To Prolong Death, Nissan Could Be Killing Off The Only Models Anyone Cares About
Nissan is in dire straits, and the Japanese automaker could be making some tough decisions that could spell the end of some of its most popular models. Like most automakers that have been affected by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Nissan is scrambling to keep itself above water in the wake of tanking car sales all over the world.
If You Have the Lockdown Blues, Why Not Build a Paper Nissan Skyline or 370Z?
We really didn’t give a lot of attention to the Toyota 86 paper models or the Mazda MX-5 Miata papercraft, but now that we’ve discovered that Nissan has put up its entire lineup in papercraft form, we’re kind of intrigued. We don’t know about you, but folding a piece of paper into a 3D model of a car seems a hell of a lot funner than just coloring on paper.
Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
I have some bad news for those of you who think that the 2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO’s $175,000 starting price is already steep. Pricing for the new 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has been announced, and, as expected, it’s more expensive than its predecessor. Actually, it’s not just more expensive by a fraction; it’s more expensive by a lot. And by “a lot,” I mean $210,740. That’s $35,000 more expensive than the 2019 GT-R NISMO It’s ridiculous on every level. Or is it?
Take a deep dive on what the 2020 GT-R NISMO has to offer, and by the time you’re ready to go back up the surface, you’ll realize that Nissan’s asking price for the new and improved Japanese supercar is worth every penny. Say what you will about the GT-R’s classification as a performance model. One thing rings true above all of it. It’s a supercar now, and it’s certainly priced like one.
Nissan Goes to Crazy Lengths to Test Paint Durability
A lot of people assume that you paint a car, let it dry, and you are done. But if you have watched Megafactories, you would probably know that it is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, this is one area that no one even talks about. Nissan, however, shared a little information on the same and it even involves a fake sun. How crazy is that?
Nissan’s Own Carlos Ghosn Accused of Misconduct, Arrested
Nissan Chairman and Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn has been arrested by prosecutors in Japan for "significant acts of misconduct." Nissan said Ghosn and another board member had been under investigation for months following a whistleblower report. As one of the auto industry’s most important executives, Ghosn will be "promptly removed" from his positions, according to Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.
Are Crossovers and SUVs Becoming Daddy’s Car? Nissan Thinks So and Hopes It’ll Boost Sedan Sales
Just as almost every automaker is stirring into the SUV skid, Nissan is stirring against it with the launch of the sixth-generation Altima. The Japanese auto brand is pulling out all the stops with the new version of the midsize sedan that, according to the company, represents “one of the highest investments in the history of Nissan.” The new Altima sits on a new platform, a new engine, and a new all-wheel-drive system.
The Rules are Set in Stone - Electric Cars Must Make Noise at Low Speeds by 2020
Electric cars are known for being quiet on the road. But, is there such a thing as being too quiet? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thinks so, and after years of developing rules to address the issue, the NHTSA has finally come out with specific guidelines regarding this particular predicament. Beginning in 2020, all electric cars are required to create a minimum amount of sound at low speeds for the specific purpose of alerting pedestrians and cyclists of their presence.
Keeping up with the Jones’: Nissan to Increase its Interior Design Budget
Nissan is preparing a new wave of high-end, high-tech interiors for is future autonomous vehicles due out by 2020. With customers spending less time driving, they’ll have more time to notice the design details and quality of their vehicle. They’ll also expect more entertainment options to consume their commute time.
In an interview with Auto Express, Nissan of Europe’s design center’s new boss, Mamoru Aoki, said, “From 2020 it will be the real autonomous and electric vehicle era, so at that time I think we will not continue the current [interior] design direction.” He continued by saying, “Before, EV competition was small, but now it is much greater, so appearance is more important. Tesla is here already, so we have to compete.”
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Honda, Toyota, and Nissan Threaten to Leave the U.K. if Brexit Kills Profits
The uncertainty of the U.K.’s “Brexit” away from the European Union looms as one of the world’s biggest storylines since the shock vote that happened in 2016. There’s still a year away before the U.K. formally leaves the European bloc, but there are already concerns from other countries all over the world about the kind of trade agreements that will arise from the country’s departure from the EU. One of the concerned nations is Japan and, in an unusual move for the normally docile Japanese people, the country said that its companies would leave Britain if trade barriers made them unprofitable. Among the Japanese companies that could exit Britain include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.
Are You Prepared For a World With Self-Moving Slippers?
In case there aren’t enough things in this world that are becoming autonomous these days, Nissan is taking it a step further by giving everyday items the ability to move by themselves. We’re not talking about cars; we’re talking about things like tables, floor cushions, remote controls, and household slippers.
The unusual amenities can be found in the ProPILOT Park Ryokan, a Japanese inn located in Hakone, Japan that Nissan is using to showcase its ProPilot Park technology.Instead of the usual dog and pony show of watching a Nissan Leaf EV demonstrate the new self-parking technology, Nissan instead turned its attention to household items in order to showcase what the tech is capable of. The results are incredible, if not a little freaky. Have you ever seen a floor pillow move by itself in a non-supernatural way? How about a pair of slippers that arranges itself neatly with others of its kind? It’s going to take some getting used to.
Nissan doesn’t really say how the technology works on these items, but the video above cuts to a scene where a group of smart people are working on developing the tech, complete with renderings and mockups of the actual slippers. There’s nothing ghoulish at work here; it’s all about Nissan’s new ProPilot Park technology, and the potential applications it can have beyond its ability to park a Nissan by itself.
Maybe Nissan’t on to something here. In my case, I wouldn’t mind living in a world where my dog isn’t the only one that comes greeting me when I enter my house. I’d like to see a future where slippers could do that too. Live in Nissan’s world, or in this case, the ProPilot Park Ryokan, and that future is there, waiting to welcome us with open arms and a comfortable pair of autonomous slippers.
And in case you’re wondering about the authenticity of the hotel, Nissan’s actually offering a free night at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan for a lucky pair of travelers. If you’re interested in joining, all you need to do is post on Twitter using the hashtags #PPPRyokan and #wanttostay from January 25 to February 10, 2018. In the event you do get picked to spend a night in the inn, be sure to let us know all about that experience.
Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi All Want a Piece of the Robo-Taxi Business
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has big plans for its future, and among those plans include hopping aboard the fledgling robo-taxi business. The auto conglomerate has announced plans to pursue shared driverless vehicles, and it’s already in the market for potential tech partners that can come in and help in its development. The alliance has yet to unveil its future partners in the field, but an announcement is expected to come in the near future, signaling the start of a push to become a bigger player in the world of autonomous driving.
Where is the Nissan Titan’s V-6 Option?
When the second-generation Nissan Titan half-ton pickup began rolling off its Canton, Mississippi assembly line in late 2016 for the 2017 model year, it was powered by a heavily revised 5.6-liter V-8, but Nissan promised an all-new V-6 on some unknown future date. Most industry experts figured the Nissan would wait until its fleet-minded single cab models started production, but that time has come and gone. Recently Nissan released its detailed information on the 2018 Titan, and while pricing has increased by $200 across the trim lines, no V-6 was announced.
That’s got us asking questions. After all, a V-6 Titan with a lower base price and higher fuel economy would be very attractive for fleet operators needing to spend as little money as possible. As it stands, the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500 all come standard with V-6 engines. Only the Toyota Tundra comes standard with a V-8. Toyota, however, completely dropped the ultra-slow selling single cab Tundra for 2017, showing just how little Toyota cares about reaching fleet customers.
In a recent interview with Wards Auto, Nissan’s senior VP of product planning for Nissan North America, Michael Bunce, said, a V-6 Titan is still “in the plan.” Bunce did not comment on Nissan’s timeline, however. One theory is Nissan is waiting on the next-generation Frontier pickup to debut in 2018, and with it, an all-new V-6. Since the Frontier and Titan are built in the same plant, the engine could easily be shared between the trucks. When Wards Auto asked Bunce about it, he said, “I can’t give you any specific details on that, but we will be moving in that direction.”
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Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility
Nissan has been on such a roll in the U.S. that if it keeps it up, it may be forced to build a new production facility in the country. It’s a tremendous problem to have, one that could be born out of necessity as the automaker’s current facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi are maxed to capacity. Given the situation, the Japanese automaker may have no choice but to take the dive on building a new plant if it wants to meet its long-term goal of helping the mothership, Renault-Nissan, achieve its own goal of selling 14 million vehicles per year by the end of 2022.
Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World
Determining the value of a car brand can be a tricky exercise. There are so many variables to consider that ultimately, the results may differ from one study or another. What we do know is that, at the very least, the cream always rises to the top. The standings may be different depending on who the author of the study is, but it’s pretty much the same automakers making up a majority of the list.
In this exercise, we’re taking a look at the ten most valuable car brands, at least through the eyes of Interbrand, an independent agency that specializes in determining the world’s most valuable brands. Obviously, such a task involves creating a specific set of formulas and calculations using a variety of available information, including a company’s financial forecast and then using it with its own in-house-developed “role of brand” and “brand strength” calculations. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is, especially in the current automotive climate where buzz words like “electrification,” “ride-sharing,” and “autonomous driving technology” have staked bigger pieces of influence among automakers of all shapes and sizes.
Even then, there are also certain requirements that each automaker has to meet to be eligible to be included in the list. These requirements include having a sales presence on at least three continents and having a third of a company’s revenue coming from its home market. Ultimately, it all boils down to a lot of tech jargon that’s a little above my head. What I can tell you, though, is that the final list that Interbrand came up with is both expected and revealing. A few notable names made it in predictable spots while a few surprise inclusions definitely raised our eyebrows.
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Nissan Removed the Fender Badge From 2018 Titan And Nobody Noticed
It looks like Nissan snuck a cosmetic change onto the 2018 Titan half-ton pickup without anybody noticing – even two months after the automaker released photos of the 2018 Titan Midnight Edition. Gone is the large fender badge that denoted the V-8 engine was under the hood. The badge was styled like a heat vent designed to keep engine bay temperatures down but offered no such functionality.
So, how did the change get noticed?
Well, it was a commenter who noticed the missing badge on Nissan’s new No Lazy Horses commercial – at least that’s the first mention I had seen. Digging deeper shows Nissan made zero mention of the missing badge in its press release on the 2018 Titan Midnight Edition back in August, nor has Nissan released info on changes for the standard 2018 Titan. Reading the commercial’s on-screen fine print does confirm the truck is a 2018 half-ton model. How about that?
The heavier-duty Titan XD will keep the fender badge, however, since it has two engine options – the 5.6-liter V-8 and the 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel. Originally, the half-ton Titan was slated to get a V-6 as standard equipment soon after it launched, making the fender badge necessary for distinguishing between the engine choices. That begs the question: does the missing fender badge mean the Titan isn’t getting a V-6 option?
On the other hand, you’ll notice the door badge now reads “Titan V8” on the No Lazy Horses truck. That’s new. The 2017 Titan doors didn’t have the V8 designation and only said “Titan.” Maybe this is Nissan’s way of better separating the Titan from the Titan XD? I reached out to Nissan for answers. Kevin Raftery of Nissan’s Truck and SUV Communications team said, “[There is] nothing new to report at this point other than what has already been communicated – a new V-6 engine will follow at a later date.” Still, we’ve got to wonder how late that “later date” will be.
What do you think? When will Nissan bring a V-6 to the Titan? Did you notice the badge was missing before I did? Let me know in the comments below.
Automakers Celebrate Lifting Of Ban On Women Drivers In Saudi Arabia
We knew it was coming sooner than later. Now that the women of Saudi Arabia are all set to be allowed to drive, automakers from all over the world have been quick to react to the ground-breaking news, celebrating the development on the social media with hashtags #SaudiWomenMove and #SaudiWomenCanDrive.
Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were the first automakers to post their congratulations and promote themselves to the women of Saudi Arabia, getting the word out early that they’re ready to welcome women drivers into the driver’s seat for the first time in the history of the Middle Eastern country. The quick response to the living of the driving ban was a smart move, particularly because of the business potential that it offers for a lot of these companies. Data gathered by The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association revealed that Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of vehicles and parts in the entire Middle East region. At the same time, data from LMC Automotive pointed to Saudi Arabia as the 21st biggest automotive market in the world, a figure that could go up with the potential of having more customers by virtue of lifting the ban. In total, Merrill Lynch estimates that as many as nine million potential new drivers could be in the hunt for new cars in Saudi Arabia, including 2.7 million resident non-Saudi women. With all these numbers being thrown out, it’s no wonder that companies like Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were quick to roll out the carpet for Saudi women. It’s going to be great for business!
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The 370Z Continues to Show its Age, Yet Nissan Refuses to Kill it
As excited as it was to hear rumors that Nissan was bringing thesuccessor to the 370Z sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show, it appears that the hype has fizzled out even before it had a chance to be worth anything. The latest word coming from former Nissan Australia Managing Director, Richard Emery, who has come out saying there are unlikely to be any plans for a new Z concept anytime soon.
Speaking with Motoring, Emery said that there are no plans to introduce a replacement study for the 370Z. His comments also came a few days after the automaker unveiled the 2018 370Z in Europe, packing some aesthetic improvements in the exterior and interior. Considering these recent developments on the front of Nissan’s Z sports car family, it does look like all those talks of a successor were premature. It doesn’t mean that they were unwarranted, though. The fact remains that the 370Z is eight years old and (should be) at the end of its lifecycle. It’s certainly possible that Nissan is giving the sports car one final facelift before officially launching the successor. Whether that’s a couple of years from now or not, it’s going to be a while.
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Nissan GT-R Driven From Singapore To The Base Camp Of Mt. Everest
Kah Chuan Hoong thinks he just went on an adventure of a lifetime, but for the rest of us, the man is worthy of a standing ovation. So what exactly did he do? Well, he drove his modified Nissan GT-R from Singapore to Mount Everest’s base camp in Nepal, a distance of more than 2,175 miles. Oh, and did we mention that the base camp is around 17,650 feet above sea level?
You can call him an ambitious explorer, a crazy person, or maybe even both. But you can’t deny that what he accomplished is truly spectacular, especially when you consider that the GT-R, apart from modifications to increase its ride height and the front bumper to increase ground clearance, doesn’t appear to have any performance upgrades. Hoong didn’t dive into the details of how he got to the base camp of Mt. Everest, but he did write a post when he arrived on October 24. He also has a pretty extensive photo album, documenting his entire journey, right up to the moment he accomplished the seemingly insurmountable task.
Better yet, the GT-R appears to be in good condition, despite some harrowing ordeals along the way, including all the difficult roads and water crossings that Hoong had to get through to reach his destination. The fact that the GT-R is still in good enough condition to make the trip back home to Singapore despite being exposed to the sheer height of the base camp makes this story all the more remarkable.
And to top it all off, Hoong says that according to his Tibetan guide Lhakpa Tenzin, his GT-R is the first supercar to ever reach Mount Everest’s base camp. How’s that for making history?
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Nissan Acquires Controlling Stake in Mitsubishi; Names Carlos Ghosn as Chairman
After struggling through years of lackluster sales and countless setbacks, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) just announced that Nissan has plunked down 237 billion yen (or $2.28 billion at current exchange rates, 10/20/16) to purchase 34 percent of its stock, handing Nissan a controlling stake in MMC. The deal will allow both companies to synergize across multiple departments and significantly reduce annual costs, while also promoting the sharing of vehicle platforms and new technology.
The deal is also expected to bring Mitsubishi some much-needed resources as it scrambles to address revelations that the automaker cheated on fuel economy data.
The acquisition was first announced back in May, following Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal story that broke in April. The deal was finalized only recently.
Taking the position of chairman-elect is Carlos Ghosn, the current CEO at Renault and Nissan, a role that should suit him well considering his experience with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Mitsubishi’s CEO and President, Osamu Masuko, will stay on board at his current position, despite some calling for his resignation in the wake of Mitsubishi’s mileage scandal.
“As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance,” Masuko said in a press release.
Ghosn justified Masuko staying on in a joint briefing, stating, “This sends a strong message that it’s not Nissan that’s going to transform Mitsubishi, it’s Mitsubishi that’s going to transform Mitsubishi.”
Mitsubishi’s press release on the deal states, “Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies.”
Synergies identified include purchasing cost-reduction, joint plant utilization, shared vehicle platforms, and technology sharing, which should encompass both autonomous driving and hybrid powertrains.
Joint cost reductions are estimated to save Mitsubishi around 25 billion yen annually, with Nissan saving roughly 24 billion yen in 2017.
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Did Hurricane Matthew Eat Your Car? If So, Nissan Will Give You Employee Pricing on a New Ride
Hurricane Matthew devastated Florida’s eastern coastline during the first week in October before continuing north as it brought damage to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia before sweeping out to sea. Cities ranging from Miami to Norfolk felt the winds from the late-season storm. Millions were without power, thousands lost homes, and many more lost vehicles. That’s why Nissan is offering to help hurricane victims with heavy discounts on new Nissan vehicles.
Nissan is giving customers and businesses in the affected states access to employee pricing discounts so long as they can show proof of residency and proof their vehicle was damaged or destroyed during the storm. The program has no limits within households, meaning if a family had three vehicles affected by the storm, they could get employee pricing on three new Nissan vehicles.
Those who choose to finance through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation can qualify for a deferred payment plan that allows a three-month grace period before payments begin. Existing customers who reside in FEMA disaster areas can alloy for payment extensions, both for lease and retail vehicles.
The program is open though October 31, 2016 and includes most Nissan North American’s products.
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Mitsubishi to Become Part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance
Rumors of Mitsubishi being absorbed into the Renault-Nissan Alliance have been swirling around for a quite a few months, but a deal could could be struck by the end of 2016. That’s the word from Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who said that a "massive" business plan will be announced as soon as the group acquires a 34-percent ownership of the Japanese automaker.
The announcement was made at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where Ghosn also said he is confident that legal and government authorities will approve the $2.2 billion transaction. According to him, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is already working on a thorough business plan that will be unveiled by the end of the year.
“This is not a deal where we say, ‘OK, we made the deal, now let’s think what we can do together,” he told reporters. “No. The day we announce the deal, we’re going to tell you exactly what we’re going to do together. And it’s massive. It’s massive between Mitsubishi and Nissan. And also, it may be very significant between Renault and Mitsubishi.”
The new Alliance will also impact how Nissan and Mitsubishi work in the U.S., but Ghosn didn’t reveal specific details. "We will have to dig more in the U.S.,” he said. “But when you talk about purchasing, engineering, platforms, engines, plug-in hybrids — it’s massive."
The Renault-Nissan Alliance was founded in 1999 and it has since linked the two companies in vehicle development and management, bringing significant savings through platform and drivetrain sharing, among another shared strategies. It’s not yet clear how Mitsubishi will function in this equation, but the Japanese company already has a cooperation agreement with Nissan in markets such as Japan and India.