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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…)

Infiniti Promises Breakthrough with New Variable Compression Engine

Powertrain promises diesel mileage and gas performance.

by on Aug.15, 2016

Nissan's new VC-T engine will debut on an Infiniti model but then find wider use.

Automakers around the world are struggling to cope with increasingly tough mileage and emissions standards, many experts warning that the only solution is to adopt electrified powertrain technology. But an all-new design Nissan and its luxury arm Infiniti plan to debut at the Paris Auto Show next month could keep the time-tested internal combustion in the hunt.

A concept many manufacturers have toyed with over the decades, Nissan’s new engine can adjust its compression ratio to deliver the optimum balance, at any particular moment, between power and fuel efficiency.

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Dubbed the VC-T, short for Variable Compression-Turbo, the new engine is expected to make its debut in a new Infiniti model set to debut next year. But it will likely then find application across both the luxury marque and mainstream Nissan brand.

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Nissan Looking to Sell Battery Manufacturing Operations

Panasonic reportedly one possible buyer.

by on Aug.08, 2016

The Nissan Leaf has been the world's best-selling battery car since its late 2009 launch.

Nissan Motor Co. is reportedly looking to sell its battery manufacturing operations, with Panasonic Corp. considered the most likely buyer.

Japan’s second-largest automaker has made a major bet on electric vehicles, but, with the market for battery cars running slower than expected, it is seeking to unload its 51% stake in the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, or AESC, joint venture. The likely buyer, according to a report by the Reuter’s news service is Panasonic, which is the partner in Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant in Reno, Nevada.

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“The report on Nissan and its battery business is speculation and is not based on any announcement by us,” David Reuter, a senior company spokesman, told TheDetroitBureau.com. But he also noted that the maker will “continuously evaluate our business strategy in pursuit of optimal products and business structure.”

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Ghosn Putting Great Britain Investments on Hold

Nissan Renault Chief awaits Brexit outcome.

by on Aug.08, 2016

Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn is putting the company's investments in Great Britain on hold pending Brexit negotiations.

The top executive at Nissan Renault, Carlos Ghosn, has warned that decisions on the company’s future investments in Great Britain are on hold pending the outcome of the United Kingdom “Brexit” negotiations regarding future market access to the countries within the European Union.

Ghosn, however, told the BBC that he was “reasonably confident” that the company will not have to shut down its plant in Great Britain even though the factory in Sunderland now exports most of production to Europe and North America.

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But like other major companies, Renault-Nissan is now waiting to find out exactly what “Brexit” means and what kind of trading relationship the UK will have with the rest of Europe when negotiations are complete. (more…)

Nissan Trying to Redefine Mobility for the Future

Maker using two-pronged approach for future scenarios.

by on Aug.04, 2016

Nissan is in the midst of several experimental scenarios about the future of mobility at the Nissan Future Lab.

Automakers around the world are scrambling to make sure they have their fingers in the next great transportation shift. Electric vehicles, fuel cells, ride-sharing, autonomous cars … most makers are invested in some way.

Nissan is no different than the rest; however, its approach to finding – and capitalizing on – the next great thing is a little different. The Japanese maker is using a two-pronged approach.

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First, the company is developing three “mobility” scenarios to see if the promise can meet the reality. Second, Nissan is using a more traditional method of employing cutting edge technologies in prototypes placed in real-world environments. (more…)

Mitsubishi Panel: Corp. Culture Ruled Out Saying “No”

Maker faulted for “not having manufacturing philosophy of an automaker.”

by on Aug.02, 2016

Nissan CEO Ghosn (l), and MMC Chairman Masuko.

Despite being faced with impossible goals and a shortage of resources, engineers at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. were caught up in a corporate culture that wouldn’t allow them to say, “No,” according to an internal investigation of the maker’s fuel economy cheating scandal.

The report, compiled by a team of outside investigators, had harsh words for the scandal-plagued automaker, which admitted in April it had rigged mileage numbers on vehicles sold in Japan for as much as a quarter century.

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“There was utterly no consciousness that the company must work as one to make and sell cars,” according to the 37-page report. Mitsubishi, it concluded, is a company “not having the manufacturing philosophy of an automaker.”

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