The Truth About Cars » Andy Palmer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 23:33:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Andy Palmer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Nissan Shuffles Executive Deck, Changes Global Organizaton. Ghosn Going Nowhere http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/nissan-shuffles-executive-deck-changes-global-organizaton-ghosn-going-nowhere/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/nissan-shuffles-executive-deck-changes-global-organizaton-ghosn-going-nowhere/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 12:30:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=641065 IMG_4402

Carlos Ghosn has shuffled Nissan Motor Co.’s top management, elevating Jose Munoz to head the company in North America, while eliminating the Chief Operating Officer position in the home office. COO Toshiyuki Shiga is becoming vice chairman and the responsibilities of his former job will be split between Hiroto Saikawa, Andy Palmer and Trevor Mann.

 

Saikawa remains chief competitive officer but will take the reins of the operations committee as well as oversee Nissan’s operations in China. The moves effectively make Saikawa the number 2 executive at the company. Palmer, who currently heads global product planning and marketing will become the chief planning officer and be in charge of global sales, product planning, communications,marketing as well as supervising Nissan’s electric vehicle and battery operations. Mann, currently executive VP in charge of Africa, Europe, Middle East and India, will become chief performance officer and be responsible for all regional units as well as run the low cost Datsun brand globally.

Munoz replaces Colin Dodge, who remains on Nissan’s board of directors and will handle special projects reporting directly to Ghosn.

Nissan is also changing its global organization.  Currently there are three regions: the Americas, Europe-Africa-India-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Going forward, there will be six: North America, Latin America, Japan-Southeast Asia, China, Europe and an Africa-India-Middle East unit. Munoz will be in charge of North America. Jose Valls, currently president of Nissan in Mexico, will head Latin America. Saikawa will be in charge of China. Takao Katagiri, now the head of global sales, will be in charge of Japan and Southeast Asia.

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Infiniti Considers Four Door Coupe Flagship to Take On Porsche Panamera, Hybrid Midengine Supercar to Follow http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/infiniti-considers-four-door-coupe-flagship-to-take-on-porsche-panamera-hybrid-midengine-supercar-to-follow/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/infiniti-considers-four-door-coupe-flagship-to-take-on-porsche-panamera-hybrid-midengine-supercar-to-follow/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:01:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=630154 AR-310219853

Infiniti Essence concept

Andy Palmer, who is in charge of global future product planning for Nissan, says that the company’s Infiniti luxury brand is considering a sporty four door flagship to compete in the segment defined by the Porsche Panamera. A likely candidate would be Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura’s Infiniti Essence concept first shown at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. However, an Infiniti flagship would not reach the market before 2017. It would be part of Nissan’s goal to grow Infiniti into a global luxury brand by the end of the decade.

Infiniti has not competed head to head with European luxury marques in the S Class or 7 Series segment since the early days of Nissan’s luxury brand and the original Q45. Instead Infiniti has built its brand around a lineup of sporty sedans, coupes and crossovers. “We can’t just take on the opposition directly,” said Infiniti chief Johann de Nysschen while speaking to Automotive News. “We have to bring our own unique flavor to the global market.”

“We won’t do a Merc S class or that type of car,” said Palmer. “We have had that before. We want a flagship car that’s appealing and different.”

While they say they don’t want to make a S Class clone, because of contractual agreements between Nissan and Daimler the Infiniti flagship could be based on Mercedes-Benz’s latest modular MRA rear-wheel-drive architecture.

Sources say that Nakamura and his team are working with the Essence’s proportions and roofline so the basic shape will be retained while adding two more doors and more interior space.

The new flagship is not a given, a business case still has to be made for it. ”We have the halo car in the plan, but it is not signed off yet,” said Palmer. “The sales of [sedans] like the Q50 and SUVs like the QX60 will have to be going well and then I can go to our approval committee.” The new 4 door coupe would possibly be named the Q100, the same moniker given to Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull F1 car, which Infiniti sponsors.

Infiniti Emerg E concept

Infiniti Emerg E concept

The new flagship would be part of a $6.46 billion plan to make Infiniti a significant player in the global luxury market, with a target of earning a 10% share of that market by 2020, about half a million cars annually. The current lineup is being updated and rebranded and another five models will be added to Infiniti showrooms.

Should it be greenlighted for production, the flagship will possibly be joined by a mid-engined hybrid supercar based on the Emerg-E concept, to serve as a halo for the brand’s sportier cars.

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New York 2012: Infiniti Shows The First Plug-In Which You Don’t Have To Plug In Anymore http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/new-york-2012-infiniti-shows-the-first-plug-in-which-you-dont-have-to-plug-in-anymore/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/new-york-2012-infiniti-shows-the-first-plug-in-which-you-dont-have-to-plug-in-anymore/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 15:35:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438459 Nissan waited until the second press day of the New York Auto Show. They did not want their all-electric Infiniti sedan to drown in the floods of other reveals. They should not have worried.

When the wraps came off what is still called an “LE Concept,” a stunningly styled sedan emerged. It has sexy curves similar to those of the Emerg-e range extender that was shown in Geneva. A car like this, backed by the production prowess of Japan’s second-largest automaker, should worry prospective producers of all-electric luxury sedans.

Nissan’s Leaf provides the electric Infiniti with the all-important economies of scale. However, Nissan’s “Division General Manager of Exploratory and Advanced Product,” Francois Bancon, denies hackneyed intimations that the LE will just be a rebodied Leaf:

The LE Concept is designed from the ground up as an Infiniti, not a re-badged Nissan. There will potentially be some shared components, but they will be configured specifically for use in the Infiniti EV.”

Range and performance are still kept under wraps.  “It will drive, feel and perform like an Infiniti,” says a sibylline Andy Palmer, who just recently was put in charge of the Nissan’s Global Infiniti unit. Name, production details, price are likewise kept secret.

Good looking as it is, this is not a show car. They call it a ‘production intent’ concept, a car they actually want to produce. Folks at Infiniti are positive that the yet unnamed electric Infiniti will be launched in 2014. Palmer says it is a global car that first “will be available in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.” He did not want to comment on China, understandable, given the in-flux state of Chinese production for Nissan’s luxury marque.

The LE will most likely be the first plug-in which you don’t have to plug in. In addition to a regular corded charger and a DC fast charge option, the LE can be charged without wires. Infiniti’s  U.S. VP Ben Poore explains:

“The LE Concept includes a built-in wireless charging system, we expect it to be the first home-based wireless charging system. All you have to do is park your vehicle over the charging pad with no need to connect cables.”

This is a truly exciting system: Through a coil in the garage floor, a magnetic field is created. This excites an electric current in a second coil in the LE, which then charges the batteries. Infiniti promises that the high-frequency charging is safe for children and pets, and can be installed easily in a home garage. The batteries will sit under the passenger compartment floor, delivering a low center of gravity, a lot of trunk space, and room for the high net-worth legs.

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