By on August 28, 2013
YouTube Preview Image

The big news this past week from Nissan: lots of old iron at Pebble Beach, concept car test drives for sympathetic journalists and a pledge to have autonomous cars ready (but not on sale) for 2020. More interesting than that is news of Nissan’s booming exports from America. Some say that this is the “new normal” – Japanese OEMs expanding their manufacturing base in America as they leave Japan en masse to both insulate themselves from a volatile yen, take advantage of America’s welcoming manufacturing climate and shed a reliance on Japan’s aging and declining population. And even more interesting than that is how it was presented.

The clip above, which is packaged like a broadcast news report, actually comes from Nissan’s internal communications team in Tokyo. Rather than just issuing a press release, Nissan is looking to have an even greater role in influencing the conversation (awful word I know, but it’s apt). They aren’t just disseminating information to journalists: they are cutting them out entirely. Whatever discussions we may have at TTAC over the efficacy of automotive media or the competency of its press corps, this is a significant development. I don’t think it’s inconceivable that one day, brands will have a stranglehold on the automotive discourse.

Press cars and press trip invites are one way that brands currently manage who has access to product and people, and these are used as both carrots and sticks. In a way, it’s hard to fault PR people for this practice. PR staff, by definition, are committed to disseminating their client’s story, even if it runs counter to the findings of a journalist. Not caring about these perks is one way to subvert the established order, as former EIC Ed Niedermeyer successfully did during his tenure. Even when doing so, it’s possible to get information from internal sources and third-party outlets. But Nissan appears to be going a step further.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

4 Comments on “Editorial: The Future Is Here At Nissan – Just Not In The Way You’re Expecting...”


  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    Brands will never have a “stranglehold on the automotive discourse.” – for that to happen, people (i.e. me sitting here reading your post) would have to stop caring about the source of the information. A thriving TTAC readership demonstrates otherwise, by its very existence.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “I don’t think it’s inconceivable that one day, brands will have a stranglehold on the automotive discourse.”

    I’ll love reading press fluff as my only auto news source. It’ll be like MotorWeek every day. -sadface-

    Nah, I think blogs will keep it from happening. They can still dissect the information presented in PR videos, and dig deeper through documents and etc to find TTAC.

  • avatar

    “I don’t think it’s inconceivable that one day, brands will have a stranglehold on the automotive discourse.”

    Perhaps, from an automotive media perspective, in which case I’ll be quietly cheering for the en masse starvation of shills more interested in serving advertisers than subscribers.

    That said, so long as there are owner/enthusiasts out there who love their machines, no corporation will ever truly own the message. OEMs would be well advised to reallocate some of their huckster sycophant budget to sourcing content from people who actually bought and live with the vehicles on a daily basis.

    If you want something done right…

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think this great for honest automotive reporting. Once auto makers think they have a “stranglehold” on the output of information they’ll cut out the perks to journalist and they can report on cars without the memory of some wonderful golf outing supplied by the company who’s car he’s reporting on distracting him from clear objectivity.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Review: 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Eco LS

    PonchoIndian - If any of you guys who are so quick to run your mouth (or type your undeveloped thoughts) so quickly bothered to remain open minded you’d know...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1959 DeSoto

    CoreyDL - You summed up my console feelings very very accurately. Save a couple hundred bucks and get a next gen when you have something to PLAY on it. There tend to be QC...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    wolfinator - Good luck, Jack. I will just echo others in saying – you saved this site. I’m a daily reader since the early Ed N. days, and I was about to write...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    VoGo - This is the point in the conversation when someone from VerticalScope pens an article informing us of the change, and reassuring us that TTAC will continue. Perhaps...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    ScottE5 - Thanks for making this place a destination. You’ve got me hooked with your R&T gig. I shall follow wherever you go.
  • Re: BMW Unveils $6,500 Suitcase-Size EV Charger

    FormerFF - I don’t think you do. The BMW suitcase charger is an SAE spec rapid DC charger. The equivalent in the Tesla world is the on the groumd hardware...
  • Re: Versatile 2015 Mercedes Vito Van Puts Power To Front, Rear Or All

    PrincipalDan - Good lord, guys, it was a simple mistake. I did take notice when the guys at American Pickers picked up a Transit (local...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    schmitt trigger - As a longtime fan of Fleetwood Mac, I fully understand your Lindsey Bucks analogy. And indeed, you were the LB for this site. And….. you also have...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

    CJinSD - I doubt that was the response th009 was looking for. Reality bites people that reject common sense.
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    APaGttH - Thank you for all you’ve done Jack. You did an admirable job of restoring TTAC from the Bertel days, and bringing it further forward than I think a lot of...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India