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Nissan Recalls 640,000 Altimas

Faulty hood latch cause for action which is a growing problem.

by on Mar.06, 2015

Nissan recalled 640,000 Altimas in the U.S. and Canada from 2013 to 2015 model years.

Nissan is facing a growing problem with faulty hood latches. The automaker recalled 640,000 Altimas in the U.S. and Canada, bringing the total number of vehicles with the problem to nearly 1.1 million.

The newest recall is for 2013-2015 Altimas, which have secondary latches that may not hold properly. In the event the main latch fails, the hood could fly open while a car is in motion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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The automaker has already recalled 238,000 Altimas from the 2013 model year for the same problem. Those were built from March 6, 2012 to Feb. 28, 2013, which is a different run of vehicles from the current recall. In January, Nissan recalled 216,000 Nissan Pathfinder SUVs from 2013 and 2014, Infiniti JX35s from 2013 and QX60s from 2014 for the same problem. (more…)

Nissan Hopes to Sway Small Car Buyers with New Concept

Nissan Sway concept expected to reappear as the next Nissan Micra.

by on Feb.25, 2015

The Nissan Sway concept is believed to be a close-to-production design tease for the next Micra.

Nissan is out to prove that big things really can come in small packages, the maker offering up a first teaser image of the new Sway concept vehicle it plans to unveil at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

The small hatchback is expected to be a thinly disguised version of the next-generation Micra, according to several sources spoke with. The Nissan Sway concept underscores the increasingly competitive nature of the minicar market, particularly in Europe, where buyers expect many of the same features, and much the same level of creature comfort, as they’d get in larger products.

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“Sway is a glimpse at how a future generation of small Nissan models could look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback,” Nissan said in a short release accompanying the teaser image.


“Father of the Z” Car, Nissan’s Mr. K Dies at 105

“I want to drive a thoroughbred.”

by on Feb.23, 2015

Yutaka Katayama helped build Nissan's U.S. presence "from scratch," the company noted.

Known as “the father of the Z,” the original Nissan 240Z sports car, Yutaka Katayama was both a passionate brand ambassador and a serious business executive who continued to play a role at the Japanese automaker long after his official retirement in 1977.

Katayama, who first joined Nissan in 1935, handling publicity and advertising, died last Thursday, his family announced, at the age of 105.

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Known more widely as Mr. K, Katayama was one of the first American executives for what was then known as Datsun — at a time when Japanese brands had little appeal to U.S. motorists. He helped inspire some desperately needed passion by pushing for a small, stylish and affordable sports car that came to be known as the 240Z.


Infiniti Undergoing Another Management Shake-Up

Maker replaces head of critical U.S. operations.

by on Feb.19, 2015

One of Bartsch's last public duties was handling the debut of the Infiniti Q60 Concept.

Infiniti’s new global CEO is a man who clearly wants his own team in place. And, apparently, Michael Bartsch wasn’t on his list.

The Australian-born Bartsch has been given his walking papers as head of the luxury brand’s U.S. operations, and will be replaced by Randy Parker. The move comes as Infiniti makes some aggressive moves to position itself as a major global luxury brand.

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But while worldwide sales hit a record last year, the brand’s performance in the U.S. lagged behind the rest of the market, apparently leading to the latest shake-up. (more…)

Britain Launches Four Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Programs

UK wants to take a lead in self-driving technology.

by on Feb.16, 2015

Backed by nearly $30 million in government funding, Great Britain will test out four different types of self-driving vehicles, including this pod-like microcar.

The U.K. has launched an ambitious autonomous vehicle test program in four cities across the country, a project that could put Britain in a leadership position in what many believe will be one of the most important automotive technologies to emerge since the invention of the internal combustion engine.

The project, backed by nearly $30 million in government funding, will test out four different types of self-driving vehicles, including a pod-like microcar and another that looks like an oversize golf cart.

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While “still in the early days,” British Transport Minister Claire Perry called the project “an important step. The trials present a fantastic opportunity for this country to take a lead internationally in the development of this new technology.” (more…)

Nissan Wants 10 Percent US Marketshare by End of 2017

Maker looking for additional capacity to meet the goal.

by on Feb.13, 2015

Jose Munoz, the CEO of Nissan North America, said the automaker wants to increase its U.S. marketshare to 10% by 2017.

Nissan is looking at plans to add more production capacity in North America as part of its efforts to raise its marketshare in the U.S. to 10% by the end of 2017.

Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, told the Economic Club of Chicago, that the Japanese automakers remains committed to its goal of capturing additional marketshare in the U.S.

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“I’m very confident were going to steady growth in the years, he said. “We are shifting into the quality growth plan in order to maximize the quality of the service we provide our customers through our dealers. I worry about every single one. We also see it as a huge opportunity.” (more…)

Nissan Has Big Plans for Fast-Growing NISMO Line-Up

Sentra, Maxima may be next to get the high-performance badge.

by on Feb.13, 2015

Nissan's 370Z Roadster NISMO Concept is the latest to display the maker's high-horsepower badge, but not likely the last.

“Welcome to NISMO World,” proclaimed Nissan’s Darren Cox, as he stood on stage at the Chicago Auto Show surrounded by new models from the Japanese maker’s high-performance brand.

On one side sat the low and menacing GT-R LM P1 race car Nissan plans to campaign on the Le Mans endurance circuit this year. Off Cox’s other shoulder, the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept that is all but certain to join the performance unit’s growing line-up in the next year or two.


That would bring to five the number of models sold by Nissan’s ultimate performance unit, but the party is likely to get even bigger in the near future, NISMO’s global marketing manager told in an exclusive interview. (more…)

Nissan Reveals Le Mans Racer

GT-R LM NISMO will mark return to LM P1 class.

by on Feb.12, 2015

Nissan plans to campaign the GT-R LM NISMO in the premier LM P1 endurance series.

Nissan gave everyone a real-world look at its GT-R LM NISMO racer it previewed during the Super Bowl and plans to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race later this year.

“This is one of Nissan’s biggest motorsports projects in its 80-year history,” said Darren Cox, NISMO marketing manager.

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The racer officially shown to the public today for the first time “is basically Le Mans-spec.” But they will tweak the design before the big race at Le Mans, and it will undergo other aerodynamic revisions for each track during the endurance series.  (more…)

Nissan Goes Topless with 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept

What you see is likely to be what you’ll get.

by on Feb.12, 2015

Nissan is giving strong consideration to building the convertible version of the NISMO 370Z.

There was a time when concept cars were little more than fantasies in chrome, having little more to do with reality than the speeder Luke Skywalker manned in the original Star Wars film.

Well, the new Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept looks like it would be nearly as much fun, but if recent trends hold true, there’s a good shot you’ll be able to park one in your driveway sooner, rather than later. These days, automakers have a habit of testing customer response and teasing what they’re already planning to bring to market, few more effectively than Nissan.”

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That said, as “the ultimate expression of the brand,” Nissan wants to make sure the 370Z Roadster Concept is the right fit for its performance division, NISMO, stressed Pierre Loing, vice president of product planning.


Earnings Up, Nissan Raises Forecast

Strong North American sales, weak yen provide “positive momentum.”

by on Feb.09, 2015

CEO Ghosn raises Nissan's full-year earnings forecast.

Crediting improved sales, cost-cutting and a weak yen, Nissan is reporting a 21% jump in its quarterly profits, while also increasing its earnings estimate for the full fiscal year.

The second-largest of the Japanese makers earned 101.8 billion yen for the October to December quarter, or $856 million. That was significantly better than the 83 billion yen, or 697 million consensus forecast, according to FactSet.

“Nissan delivered solid financial results in the first nine months of the fiscal year, reflecting rising U.S. sales of our latest models and a normalizing yen-dollar exchange rate,” said the maker’s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, in a statement.

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Crediting “positive momentum” in sales, as well as a weak yen, Ghosn upped the full-year forecast for Nissan to 420 billion yen, or $3.5 billion, which would be an 8% annual increase. Nissan had originally expected to earn 405 billion yen, or $3.4 billion, for the fiscal year which ends on March 31.