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Nissan Wants to Get “Hyper-Personal”

Tech like 3D printing will permit new levels of vehicle customization.

by on Nov.29, 2016

Nissan wants to go to the next level of customization with its "hyper-personalization" strategy.

Using technologies as diverse as 3D printing and connected car services, Nissan hopes to soon let buyers extensively customize their vehicles – both new ones and those they already own.

The new approach could put Japan’s second-largest carmaker at the forefront of the rapidly growing automotive aftermarket, a business that generates almost $40 billion a year in the U.S. alone, according to the Specialty Equipment Marketers Association, or SEMA.

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This new effort, which Nissan is calling “hyper-personalization” could soon allow motorists to add customized body panels and fabric designs, as well as bring new levels of high-tech infotainment services and safety gear into their vehicles, according to Kent O’Hara, the Nissan Motor Co. vice president who manages global aftermarket sales.

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Nissan Going Rogue with Star Wars-themed SUV

Maker hopes "The Force" is with them on limited edition sport-ute.

by on Nov.16, 2016

Nissan is part of the Dark Side ... and the light side with its new Star Wars-themed Rogue SUVs.

For those Star Wars fans who are looking to make sure “The Force” is with them all the time – or at least when they’re behind the wheel – Nissan is making that possible with the new Star Wars Edition Nissan Rogue.

Tying into the soon-to-be-released movie, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Nissan is offering the limited edition SUV on a run of just 5,000 units in the U.S. and another 400 in Canada. The automaker’s Rogue is the first-ever Star Wars-branded full-size production vehicle and warns it stands ready to “take on any battle.”

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Named “Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition,” it is designed to build awareness and familiarity of the extensively redesigned 2017 Rogue and come sixth an authentic numbered Death Trooper helmet. The movie debuts during the Christmas holiday. (more…)

Nissan Blows Cover off New 2017 Sentra Nismo

Japanese maker expands performance family.

by on Nov.15, 2016

Nissan expanded its Nismo performance line-up for 2017 with the new Sentra Nismo.

The popularity of small, powerful cars continues to drive automakers to produce new models with the latest being the 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo: The maker’s first-ever Nismo-branded Sentra.

“With the addition of the new Sentra NISMO, the enthusiasts behind NISMO production sports vehicles like the GT-R NISMO and 370Z NISMO sought to widen the reach of the NISMO brand,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America Inc.

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“But they wanted to do it without diluting the NISMO brand – which meant Sentra NISMO going deeper than just visual changes to an enhanced, visceral driving experience.” (more…)

Ghosn to Add New Duties as Chairman of Mitsubishi

“It is going to be difficult.”

by on Oct.20, 2016

Saving Mitsubishi "will require tough decisions," said new Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Already serving as the CEO of both French automaker Renault, as well as its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Carlos Ghosn will now become chairman of embattled automaker Mitsubishi.

It will put the Brazilian-born executive in a familiar role. He became chief operating officer at Nissan in 1999, following a $6 billion investment by Renault, and helped turned the then-struggling Japanese company around. Following a series of scandals, Mitsubishi now needs similar help.

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And it could also help boost give a big boost to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, adding just enough volume for the Franco-Japanese partnership to brush aside rival Toyota to become the world’s best-selling auto company.

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Infiniti Drives into Paris with Pair of Updated Models and Potentially Groundbreaking New Engine

New Q50 and Revised QX Inspiration models make debut alongside Variable-Compression turbo.

by on Sep.29, 2016

The shape of things to come? Infiniti tweaks its design concept, the QX Inspiration.

At a Paris Motor Show marked by the absence of a number of key brands, Infiniti seems determined to fill in the gaps. The Japanese luxury brand rolled into the City of Lights with a pair of updated models, as well as the debut of a radical new engine design that could give gasoline propulsion some new life in the face of a quickening assault by battery power and other alternative technologies.

From a product standpoint, the big news is the world debut of the updated Infiniti Q50, the midsize sedan receiving some styling tweaks and a number of technology upgrades for the 2017 model-year. Also on hand, the “design evolution” of the QX Inspiration that first grabbed the spotlight last April and hints at the future styling language for the Infiniti brand.

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Arguably, the most dramatic news centers around the debut of the VC-Turbo, the world’s first production engine that can automatically alter its own compression ratio to find the sweet spot, at any moment, for performance, fuel economy and emissions.

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Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

by on Sep.26, 2016

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft are teaming up to develop next-generation connected car technology.

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft just inked a global, multiyear deal to partner on next-generation technologies that will advance connected driving experiences like navigation, mobile services and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

The new venture is only the latest in a series of alliances that have sprung up in recent years between old-line automobile manufacturers with their expertise in bending metal and mass production and tech companies with their roots in the digital economy.

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Microsoft, however, is something of a veteran at partnering with car companies having entered into a venture with the Ford Motor Co. nearly a decade ago when connected cars were a novelty and self-driving cars still belonged in science fiction movies as far as the general public was concerned. One of the fruits of the Ford-Microsoft alliance with the oft-criticized Sync system. (more…)

Nissan Goes Rogue: Adds Hybrid, New Features to Compact CUV

Compact CUV expected to gain sales momentum in ute-crazy market.

by on Sep.12, 2016

The 2017 Nissan Rogue is ready to step up and compete with the rest of the little guys.

It may be a compact crossover, but there are some big changes in store for the 2017 Nissan Rogue, starting with an all-new hybrid powertrain option.

Riding high as sales of compact CUVs surge to record levels, Nissan wants to build on momentum and gain more ground against key domestic and import rivals. Its plans include not only that new hybrid, but also additional safety features and a variety of interior and exterior design updates.

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“For 2017, we’re turning up the heat on the competition with enhancements designed to keep Rogue at the top of compact SUV buyers’ wish lists,” Jose Munoz, the CEO of Nissan North America, said during a preview of the Rogue at the Miami Auto Show. (more…)

Your Next Car Could Be Updated Just Like a Smartphone

Technology could speed up repairs, save time and money for motorists and makers alike.

by on Sep.06, 2016

Some vehicles are already being updated the same way as that smartphone - over the air.

Stung by a fatal crash that has raised serious concerns about its semi-autonomous Autopilot system, Tesla plans to announce a major update for the technology in the coming weeks.

But unlike a traditional upgrade, Tesla owners won’t be required to visit one of the battery-carmaker’s showrooms. Instead, they’ll have the revised software beamed to their vehicles, much as smartphone makers like Apple use so-called over-the-air, or OTA, technology when it’s time to update their operating systems.

“Tesla is changing the game,” said Roger Ordman, the marketing director at RedBend, and Israeli subsidiary of Harman International,  that has become a leader in the development of over-the-air update technology. “The need for OTA is as big as the need for advanced driver technologies.”

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Wireless updates are commonplace in the computer and smartphone world. It’s the method of choice for distributing everything from anti-virus updates to the latest operating system revisions. But the technology is just beginning to be accepted by automotive manufacturers.

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Japanese Government Raids Mitsubishi Headquarters

Maker's internal investigation prompted action, officials say.

by on Sep.02, 2016

Japanese officials raided Mitsubishi's headquarters and a plant in Nagoya, Japan, as part of an ongoing investigation about the company's mileage scandal.

Not long after announcing it lied about the fuel economy ratings of even more vehicles, Mitsubishi Motor Corp.’s nightmare continued as Japanese authorities raided the company’s headquarters to seize documents and information for an ongoing investigation.

Government officials also raided the company’s plant in Nagoya as part of the effort.

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“We want to thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to this situation,” said Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii, according to Reuters. (more…)

Nissan Going Rogue with New Star Wars Film

Maker follows FCA lead on Star Wars deals.

by on Aug.22, 2016

Nissan is one of five companies partnering with Lucasfilm's new Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars story.

It would appear Nissan is a part of the rebellion now: it has gone Rogue.

Nissan is one of five companies partnering with Lucasfilm’s new promotional campaign for the first Star Wars spinoff: Rogue One: A Star Wars story. Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon are part of the campaign.

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“We are extremely pleased to be working with such a remarkable group of promotional partners for ‘Rogue One,’” said Lynwen Brennan, general manager of Lucasfilm. “This first in a series of Star Wars standalone films represents an exciting new era for both Star Wars and Lucasfilm, and the partners joining us on this exciting journey have each designed a stellar campaign capturing the spirit and camaraderie of ‘Rogue One.’” (more…)