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Archive for the ‘Nissan’ Category

Infiniti Inspired: But What to Make of the New Q Inspiration Concept

Is this the long-awaited successor to the Q45?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The Q45 Inspiration Concept may not show up in the Infiniti line-up but will influence future product design, officials said.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit?

Have we finally gotten a glimpse of the long-awaited successor to the brand’s original halo car, the 1990 Q45? Or is the new Inspiration just there to tease us with hints of the direction Infiniti will take after a recent shake-up in corporate design management?

What a Concept!

“Our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of Infiniti,” is all we’re getting from Alfonso Albaisa, the long-time Infiniti stylist who recently was named global design director for parent Nissan Motor Co. The Q Inspiration, he added, it meant to demonstrate Infiniti’s approach to “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains.”

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China Posts Meager Auto Sales Gain in 2017

Sport-ute led the way to small 1.4% increase last year.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Auto sales in China increased marginally for 2017, but they were led by sport-utilites.

China’s auto sales stalled in December and ended 2017 up a meager 1.4% compared with a year ago results as the popularity of SUVs helped to offset falling demand for sedans, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

With global car makers such as General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Nissan all reporting solid, but not spectacular, gains during 2017, smaller local brands common to almost every province and international brands such Ford and Hyundai, appeared to suffer the most for the slowdown, which was due in part to the end of special tax credits.

Global Auto News!

The growth rate was barely one-tenth the previous year’s 15% rate, which was boosted by a temporary tax cut. (more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Creates $1 Bil Venture Fund

“We can’t everything ourselves,” says Ghosn.

by on Jan.10, 2018

The new fund is expected to invest about $200 million annually in new technology and services.

The Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to help it fund start-ups and other small tech companies that can help it bring to market electrified, connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn announced Tuesday.

The corporate venture capital, or CVC, fund is intended not only to give the Franco-Japanese alliance access to potentially breakthrough technology but to help it make decisions more quickly than is normally the case for a big corporation, Ghosn said during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Tech News!

“We can do everything ourselves,” explained the Brazilian-born executive. “We have to get access to people who think about things in different ways.”

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VW Topples Toyota, Likely Led Global Sales Chart for 2017

But Volkswagen’s top U.S. sales exec resigns over weak N.A. performance.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Volkswagen captured the top global sales slot by replacing its lost diesel sales with new SUVs.

Volkswagen appears to have narrowly retained its sales crown for 2017, fending off assaults by both Toyota and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, based on preliminary sales numbers.

The German automaker sold 10.7 million vehicles worldwide, according to in-house estimates, ahead of Toyota’s 10.35 million. If the VW numbers hold up when a final tally is reported it would mark the second year in a row that it nudged past its Japanese rival. But the Renault-Nissan Alliance also closed the gap last year and could be poised to challenge both VW and Toyota in 2018.

Global Auto News!

Despite VW’s strong global performance, a senior U.S. sales executive has tendered his resignation due to weak demand in that critical market last month. (more…)

Buh-Bye Camry; Pickups, SUVs Now Own Top Sales Spots

Toyota's mainstay sedan didn't even crack the Top 5.

by on Jan.05, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose momentum last year.

If anyone still questions the way light trucks have come to dominate the U.S. automotive market you only need look at the 2017 sales charts to see how passenger cars are on virtual life support these days.

Perhaps the most significant development finds that the Toyota RAV4 last year outsold the Camry for the first time ever. And so did the Nissan Rogue.

The Last Word!

The overall numbers for 2017 weren’t good, the U.S. market posting its first decline since the end of the Great Recession. And demand likely would have dipped more than the modest 5% if it weren’t for the strong, late-year surge as motorists in Florida and Texas raced to replace vehicles destroyed during the summer’s devastating hurricanes.

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Nissan to Demonstrate Brain-to-Vehicle Technology at CES

System can anticipate what a driver is going to do.

by on Jan.03, 2018

A volunteer uses the Nissan B2V technology to test how it works will driving on a simulator.

I think, therefore I drive? So, classical philosopher Rene Descartes might have opined after checking out the new Brain-to-Vehicle technology that Nissan Motor Co. will unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of voice control. But Nissan’s system is designed to decode what a driver is thinking and use that to help control how a vehicle steers, accelerates or brakes. In an emergency, for example, it could allow a car to begin slowing down as much as a half-second before the driver’s foot actually hits the brake pedal.

Brain Power!

“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.

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Toyota Poised to Slip to Third in Global Sales for 2017

Volkswagen and Nissan Renault Alliance expected to be first and second.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Toyota is expected to fall to third place in global sales for 2017 behind Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault.

Toyota Motor Corp is headed for a fall of sorts.

The Japanese auto giant is expected to slip to third in worldwide sales of new vehicles, according to an analysis by Japan Times. General Motors, long the world’s largest automaker, is expected to slip into fourth place when all the sales numbers are available later this month.

News You Can Trust!

Toyota surrendered its position as the as the world’s largest automaker in 2016 as Volkswagen AG, thanks to the German automaker’s strong sales in China and economic recovery in Europe, moved into first place. (more…)

Nissan Hints a Revival of Xterra May Be in the Works

Could it be based off the same platform as next-gen Frontier pickup?

by on Dec.29, 2017

The Nissan Xterra drove off into the sunset in 2015.

All things go in cycles, even when it comes to booming demand for utility vehicles. Make that CUVs, or crossover-utility vehicle, which have all but bumped traditional sport-utes off the market.

But there are signs a revival of classic, body-on-frame SUVs just might be a-coming, with Ford readying a reborn Bronco, Toyota promising to follow the FT-AC Concept with a production model, and Jeep betting big on the all-new remake of the classic Wrangler – currently one of the few true SUVs left on the market.

Market Trends!

Could Nissan be ready to toss its own hat back in the ring, however, with an all-new version of the Xterra, which it pulled from the U.S. market in 2015? Apparently yes, according to a senior Nissan executive.

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Nissan Set to Debut Leaf Grand Touring Concept

GT will share Tokyo stage with Leaf NISMO concept next month.

by on Dec.29, 2017

The two-tone Nissan Leaf Grand Touring Concept will debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

Much as Toyota has done with its Prius hybrid, Nissan appears ready to create an entire “family” of Leaf battery-electric vehicles.

The second-largest Japanese automaker plans to pulls the wraps off the Leaf Grand Touring Concept during the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon next month – where it will share the stage with the Nissan Leaf NISMO Concept that was first unveiled at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.

Electrifying News!

Nissan isn’t saying what it might have in mind for the GT show car, but it has been hinting that it wants to offer more than a single variant of the newly redesigned, generation-two Leaf. Among other things, it plans to introduce an optional battery pack later in 2018 that will boost the EVs range from 150 to “200-plus miles.”

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Nissan, Honda Join Race for Next-Gen Solid State Batteries

Automakers chase "the Holy Grail" of a more powerful, lighter, cheaper battery that charges as quickly as motorists can fill up a gas tank.

by on Dec.21, 2017

BMW's Klaus Froehlich with the new i8 Roadster, Next Vision concept and i3s, which may all use solid state batteries in the future.

(Note: The name of Solid Power’s CEO has been corrected to Josh Buettner-Garrett.)

The race to develop next-generation batteries that could substantially increase range plus reduce costs – and dramatically improve the appeal of tomorrow’s electrified vehicles – is rapidly heating up.

Just days after BMW announced a new joint venture aimed at developing promising new solid state batteries, Japanese automakers Nissan and Honda have confirmed they are working on the technology, as well.

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“Solid state technology is finally taking off,” Josh Buettner-Garrett, CEO of Colorado-based Solid Power, a start-up focusing on the new technology, told TheDetroitBureau.com. “What’s spurring all the recent activity has been (breakthroughs) that enable competition with lithium-ion for applications like automobiles.” (more…)