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EPA Reportedly Wants 25% Cut in Fuel Economy

Revised Trump plan would freeze CAFE at 2020 level.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The EPA's mileage rollback is coming just as gas prices start to surge. Critics warn automakers of a backlash if the numbers reach previous highs.

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to propose cutting the current federal fuel economy mandate by nearly 25% while also revoking the State of California’s ability to set its own tougher standards.

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly signaled a desire to roll back the rules set under the Obama Administration that current target a fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Reports based on sources at the environmental agency indicate that would drop to 41.7 mpg, the figure that the phase-in of the Obama rules would have reached by 2020. There would be no further increase, under the proposal, until 2026.

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That has triggered an outcry from consumer and environmental groups, but an even more controversial piece of the EPA draft memo would forbid California from taking steps on its own to effectively neuter the rollback. Under current law the state can set tougher tailpipe rules than the EPA and other states can adopt California’s guideline, something that could effectively require automakers to stick with the current CAFE rules.


Nissan Holding Course on Autonomous, Electric Vehicles, Says CEO Ghosn

Chief exec warns of “disruptors” that could transform the auto industry.

by on Sep.15, 2015

Autonomous vehicle technology will reach the market in "waves," says Nissan CEO Ghosn.

Japanese automaker Nissan has no intention of backing down on either its plans to sell electric vehicles or its push to be one of, if not the, first automaker to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the market, CEO Carlos Ghosn said during a Frankfurt Motor Show meeting with reporters.

Nissan was the first automaker to go mainstream with a pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, the Leaf. And it is pushing to have a fully autonomous vehicle in production by 2020, with a series of less advanced technologies coming out in “waves,” said Ghosn, over the next five years.

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Autonomous technology “won’t come all of a sudden,” stressed the Brazilian-born executive. “We will have waves” of more and more capable systems starting next year.


Toyota, Nissan and GM Take Top Honors in Motorist Choice Awards

Balancing customer satisfaction and cost of ownership.

by on Sep.24, 2014

Toyota's FJ Cruiser is the favorite SUV, according to IntelliChoice and AutoPacific's Motorist Choice Awards.

When it comes to the brands that best fit their lifestyle needs, U.S. drivers are pointing to Toyota, Nissan and General Motors, the three topping the charts in the new Motorist Choice Awards.

Compiled by data tracking service Intellichoice and automotive research firm AutoPacific, Inc., the awards are meant to reveal the vehicles that deliver the best combination of customer satisfaction and lower-than-expected operating costs.

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“Buyers look for a vehicle based on their usage needs and emotional desires” said Daniel Hall, vice president of AutoPacific. “By paying attention to these buying patterns, and incorporating our satisfaction data and IntelliChoice’s cost of ownership insights, we can offer sound advice to consumers across all vehicle segments.” (more…)

Automakers Report Robust Results for July Sales

Despite impressive results, makers fall short of predictions.

by on Aug.01, 2014

Ford sales were led, once again, by the F-150, but supported by the Fusion and Escape. The maker reported a 10% increase in July.

U.S. automakers enjoyed a strong sales month in July, but fell short of lofty analyst expectations. Toyota and Ford were the only makers to surpass predictions with increases of 11.6% and 10% respectively.

New car sales got a lift during July thanks to an improving economy, ample financing and the appeal of new products. Several companies posted double-digit sales increases, including Chrysler (20%), Nissan (11.4%), Subaru (27%), Mazda (17.1%), Audi (11.9%), Porsche (12.6%), Mitsubishi (21.4%), Land Rover (15%) and last, but not least, Maserati, which was up 315%.

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“Incentive spending in July was above this year’s average, taking transaction prices down about one percent,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “Other than GM and Nissan, every full-line automaker increased incentive spending over last year. With growing discounts and low-interest financing readily available, it’s a great time to buy a car.” (more…)

Buyers Looking for Safety Help on Future Vehicles

Lane drift warning among most desired new options, survey says.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Auto Pacific's new FADS survey shows an increase in drivers wanting advanced safety systems on vehicles.

While a self-driving car may be in our future, for now drivers just want for some additional safety help as they’re motoring along America’s highways and byways, according to a new study.

The top desired features showing the largest growth are lane drift warning systems and backup collision intervention, backup cameras and drowsy driver monitoring systems.

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The lane drift warning was the biggest riser in Auto Pacific’s annual Future Attribute Demand Study (FADS). The demand jumped 26% from 2013 to 2014, the company said. (more…)

Nissan Crowdsources Truck Options for Project Titan

Polling gives maker insight into next-gen pickup.

by on Jun.10, 2014

Nissan is crowdsourcing a 2014 Titan to be driven by two Wounded Warrior project alumni in Alaska this summer.

It seems there is nothing that can’t be crowdsourced these days, cable channels do it for houses and Nissan is doing it for Project Titan: a customized 2014 Titan that will be modified by popular vote and driven by two Wounded Warriors this summer.

In fact, the project has already begun with the first round of voting on Nissan’s Facebook page. The maker is offering up three different suspension systems to be installed on the truck: Access-Oriented, Balanced Capability and High Articulation suspensions.

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The early voting shows the High Articulation option with the early lead. (more…)

Nissan Changes “Golden” Rule with New GT-R

New Ziebart film helps preserve vehicle paint colors.

by on May.21, 2014

Nissan's 2015 GT-R sports car has real gold flecks in its "regal red" paint.

The world’s most memorable cars are often just that because of their exterior appearance or more precisely, the paint. It’s the first thing that catches the eye whether of a prospective buyer or a simple admirer.

Nissan seems to get it. It’s added a special tweak to the paint on its 2015 GT-R sports car and it caught the eye of many at its recent event for the new racer: gold…real gold. The Japanese maker added gold flecks to its “regal red” giving it a golden sparkle in bright sunlight.

What a Concept!

It’s not an inexpensive option, adding about $3,000 to the price, but given the GT-R comes in at $107,650, including delivery charges, it may not be a big deal. (more…)

Nissan Profits Jump 5%, Sales Outpace Industry

“Satisfactory” earnings and an optimistic forecast.

by on May.12, 2014

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announcing earnings.

Its sales outpacing the rest of the global industry, Nissan Motor Co. earnings increased 5% for the January to March quarter – though favorable exchange rates also helped drive up earnings.

Nissan’s numbers came out ahead of the predictions by a group of analysts surveyed by FactSet. The automaker also signaled that it expects further growth during the fiscal year that began on April 1, countering arch-rival Toyota which issued a more cautious forecast for the coming year.

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For the most recent three-month period, sales jumped 20%, to 3.2 trillion yen, or $31 billion, but the quarterly profit of 114.9 billion yen, or $1.1 billion, but a more modest 5%, from 109.7 billion yen, something described only as “satisfactory” by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who said the company must work harder in “pursuing profitable growth opportunities, focusing relentlessly on quality and enhancing our sales power.” (more…)

Nissan Targets Sagging Russian Market with Datsun Brand

Russia expected to be the largest market in Europe.

by on Apr.07, 2014

The Datsun on-DO is the brand's first offering in Russia. It is a four-door, five-seat family sedan.

Despite a slowdown and sales, cuts in production and the political crisis in the Ukraine, global automakers are still moving ahead with plans to expand in Russia, which could become Europe’s largest single market before the end of the decade.

Russian sales dropped 5% last year and are expected to shrink further this year despite the pent up demand for new vehicles in European Russia. At the same, though, Nissan has moved forward with sales in Russia of its Datsun brand, which is aimed at the lower range of the market.

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Global automakers appear to be willing to look beyond Russia’s role in the messy political upheaval in the Ukraine as they continue to expand in Russia, which is expected to emerge as the largest automotive market in Europe well before the end of the decade. (more…)

Nissan Recalls 1 Million Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Maker plans software update to solve sensor problem.

by on Mar.26, 2014

Nissan's extremely popular Altima is being recalled for a problem with airbags. The airbags may not deploy on the passenger side.

Nissan just issued a second recall for more than 1 million cars, SUVs and vans to fix a problem with the airbags in those vehicles.

Due to a faulty sensor, passenger-side airbags on the vehicles may not inflate. The sensor does not detect an adult sitting in the passenger seat, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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The recall affects the Altima, Leaf, Sentra, Pathfinder models from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Also impacted are the NV200 Taxi van and Infiniti JX35 SUV from 2013 as well as the Infiniti QX60 and Q50 SUVs from 2014. (more…)