Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Nissan’ Category

Automakers Still Looking for Top Price on Full-Size Pickups

Trucks continue growing bottom line for automakers.

by on May.21, 2019

The Sierra HD 3500 makes an audacious debut pulling 225,000 pounds of yacht and trailer. It also gets an audacious price tag.

Truck sales are booming, which is good news for automakers since they result in big profits. Only adding to their bottom-line delight is that the fastest growing area are the highly profitable “luxury” trucks with price tags zipping past $60,000.

New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive, according to CarGurus.com. In fact, the top end of the market has trucks passed the $80,000 mark, and the good news is that there is probably room for even more expensive pickups, according to one truck executive.

Product News!

“I think there’s still an opportunity (in vehicles) for traditional luxury items, like more materials, audio systems, things like that,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC, recently during a meeting with journalists. (more…)

Nissan Earnings Plunge on Lower Sales, Rising Warranty Costs

Ghosn problems force company to take $83 million charge.

by on May.14, 2019

Nissan Motor Corp. CEO Hiroto Saikawa delivered somber earnings news to the media and investors.

Nissan Motor Corp. officials earlier predicted that 2018 would be a difficult year for the company, and the final numbers show they were right to be worried as operating profit for the automaker dropped 57.3%.

The Japanese automaker was plagued with a variety of problems all at once, including a costly plan to improve “quality of sales” in the U.S. and the costs related to the implementation of a warranty extension effort for selected vehicles.

News Now!

Some of the issues the company faced it could have sold its way past, global unit sales fell by 4.4% to 5.516 million units. Sales in the U.S. fell 9.3% to 1.44 million units. The company is predicting a slight increase for 2019 to 5.54 million units worldwide. (more…)

China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

Global News!

With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

(more…)

Barely One in Six Americans “Likely” to Buy an EV Next Time They’re in the Market

New AAA study finds millions more might enter market – if gas prices top $5/gallon.

by on May.09, 2019

The Jaguar I-Pace is one of the winners of AAA's annual Top Green Vehicle Award.

Less than one in six Americans say they’d give serious consideration to buying an all-electric vehicle next time they’re in the market for a new car, truck or crossover, according to a new AAA study, a finding that could spell trouble for the automakers ready to launch dozens of new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, over the next several years.

The good news for the industry is that as many as 40 million Americans say they’d at least consider the merits of an all-electric model. But, according to the study released today, U.S. motorists remain confused about both the benefits and limitations of battery-cars.

Green Car News!

“Today, more than 200,000 electric cars can be found on roads across the country as almost every manufacturer sells them,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “But, like other new vehicle technologies, Americans don’t have the full story and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”

(more…)

Fiat Chrysler Tabs Infiniti’s Meunier to Head Jeep

Manley reaches outside company for top brand's new leader.

by on May.08, 2019

Former Infiniti Chief Christian Meunier is taking charge of Fiat Chrysler's top brand: Jeep.

In a surprise move, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has gone outside the company to recruit a new chief to head up its most important brand: Jeep.

FCA announced it has tapped Christian Meunier to serve as Global President of the Jeep brand.

News Now!

Meunier joins FCA with broad background in the global automotive experience. In his most recent post before joining FCA, he was Chairman and Global President for Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd. at Nissan. (more…)

Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

Product News!

The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.

(more…)

Nissan Shoots Down Renault Merger Proposal

Companies enduring tension-filled time.

by on Apr.29, 2019

New Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Thierry Bollore proposed a merger between Renault and Nissan that was shot down.

After months of dancing around the possibility of Nissan Motor and Renault SA merging in some form, Nissan rejected Renault’s offer enter in to merger talks.

Renault’s proposal is that the two companies would form a holding company, and each company would own about a 50% stake. Each company would have equal board representation, according to Bloomberg News. The new company would be headquartered on neutral ground outside France or Japan, potentially Singapore.

Global News!

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told Renault CEO Thierry Bollore and Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, Nissan wasn’t interested in a full merger at this point, the Financial Times reported. Saikawa has been beating the drum for Nissan to gain more control in the current partnership. (more…)

Mitsubishi Could Be Next to Reenter U.S. Pickup Market

As sales surge, more manufacturers look for an opening.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Mitsubishi could be back in the U.S. pickup market with an Americanized version of the Triton.

Mitsubishi could be one of the next manufacturers to target the booming U.S. pickup market, according to the company’s North American chief operating officer.

With truck sales, in general, booming, and pickups, in particular, generating a disproportionate share of industry earnings in the region, an assortment of manufacturers have either gotten back into the game or are looking for ways to join established brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Ram and Toyota.

Product News!

The Japanese automaker would “have to have one that’s the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that’s really competitive in the market,” Mitsubishi North America COO Mark Chaffin told trade publication Ward’s.

(more…)

Ghosn Released on $4.5M Bail; Court Limits Contact with Wife

Appeal of bail by prosecutors fails.

by on Apr.25, 2019

Carlos Ghosn's been released after posting $4.5 million bail. Aside from his previous bail conditions, he can only speak with his wife, Carole, with court permission.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been released from a Japanese detention center – again – after posting $4.5 million bail. His release, which was appealed by prosecutors, came with conditions, the most noteworthy being he must limit contact with his wife, Carole.

Ghosn was arrested the first time last November and released more than three months later on $9 million bail and some conditions. Prosecutors brought new charges against the former Nissan chief and he was jailed again.

Global News!

He maintains he is innocent of all charges, including producing a video reiterating his innocence, blaming his arrest on Nissan executives. He also blamed the current executive team, led by CEO Hiroto Saikawa, on the falling profits the company is experiencing. He called the current leadership “sickening.” (more…)

Nissan Slashes Profit Predictions — Again

Falling sales in wake of Ghosn arrests drive down profits.

by on Apr.24, 2019

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has had to revised full-year profit forecasts — twice.

With its ongoing battle with former Chairman Carlos Ghosn as a backdrop, Nissan’s executive team had to add to the difficulties by announcing it was tracking to miss its full-year profit goals — and even worse, it will make less than its Alliance partner, Renault.

The Japanese automaker cut its forecast for its preliminary operating profit for the second time to 318 billion yen, or $2.8 billion, for the year ended March, from 450 billion yen.

News Now!

Nissan officials cited higher costs related to U.S. warranties, an “adverse operating environment” and the “impact of recent corporate issues on sales,” i.e. fallout from the problems related to Ghosn. (more…)