Last time I opened my mouth, we travelled to Norway, the new land of the Nissan Leaf, and before that we religiously went through our monthly worldwide Roundup, spending time praising the ever-impressive performance of the Nissan Qashqai. Now it’s time to look at the 200 best-selling models worldwide. And there is a big (Chinese) surprise on the podium…
“Gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon nationwide and consumers are getting reluctant to pay any additional money at the pump when buying a new vehicle,” said Jesse Toprak of TrueCar. This changes buying pattern, and it might influence election results. Important as the topic may be, foreign carmakers continue to give you the most mileage. American carmakers lag. (Read More…)
This coming Monday, new car sales for March will be announced. Forecasters increasingly are of the opinion that March will look like carmageddon never happened. Real-time data equipped TrueCar has released its opinions. Here are the highlights:
Brazil is touted to soon eclipse Japan as the world’s third largest auto market, and there is at least one Japanese company that wants to make hay of this: Nissan. The Nikkei [sub] heard that Nissan plans a Brazilian factory which “will have an annual production capacity of roughly 200,000 units and will begin churning out strategic small cars in 2014.” (Read More…)
When the high Yen drove Nissan out of Japan to Thailand, and to importing their Nissan March (elsewhere known as the Micra) from the Land of Smiles back to the Land of the Rising Sun, many thought this a daring, maybe even suicidal experiment. Will the notoriously nitpicky Nipponese buyer buy it? Or will “the first move by a Japanese carmaker to export a mainstay model to the home market,” as The Nikkei [sub] called it, be a resounding dud? Either the Japanese are changing, or Nissan pulled-off the impossible. (Read More…)
Nissan wants to invest “the Americas” with three new low-cost subcompacts, made in Mexico by their Aguascalientes factory that can crank out 300,000 units a year. The cars are based on the Nissan’s V-platform. The Nissan March (known outside Asia as the Nissan Micra) is currently being made in Thailand and re-imported to Japan. It sells there for around $10,000. (Read More…)
You think Japan is import-adverse? Have a look at that chart that follows, and you will see a wondrous trend: Japanese automakers are importing more and more foreign owned cars to Japan. Some of them even from the U.S. Now, the imports will increase. Not from the US, but from …. (Read More…)
Ever since a debt crisis toppled the already-precarious auto sector into undeniable crisis there’s been a running debate about when US car sales would “return to normal.” By now though, even the most ardent bulls seem to have accepted that 2007′s 16m number will be out of reach for at least several more years. So, how will we know when we’ve hit the new normal? According to Edmunds, at least one statistic roared back to 2006 levels last month: the percentage of sales financed at zero percent.
In March, more than 22 percent of financed new cars were purchased with zero-percent finance deals. Last March the total was just 13 percent. The prior high was 21 percent in July 2006.