Confession time: I used to be really into Import Cars and the tuning scene. My high school years coincided with the rise of The Fast and the Furious franchise, and having already been pre-disposed to loving Japanese cars, it was natural that I’d gravitate towards this niche.
The Department of Homeland Security may have the Land Rover Defender on their radar, but one Houston truck enthusiast has another pretty cool off-roader for sale, one that’s apparently legally imported too.
TTAC finally found the holy grail of the auto-blogosphere: We busted a stringent embargo that won’t lift for more than two weeks. We did that on cars that are unobtainable for most. We blew the tarps not off one, but two makes. We didn’t find a dealer brochure, we caught the cars while they were made.
Last time I spoke with you, we went to our traditional monthly worldwide Roundup, spending time praising the ever-impressive performance of the Nissan Qashqai. This week I take you to Norway, the new land of the Nissan Leaf…
Of course, Carlos Ghosn did not miss this opportunity to talk about his most favorite topic: The value of the yen. As last Friday, the CEO of Renault and Nissan still does not want to hear talk of a low yen. Ghosn says the Japanese currency “is coming back to normal levels,” and as far as Ghosn is concerned, the yen still has some ways to go. Even if this freaks-out the CEO of Ford. (Read More…)
Starting in late 2014, you’ll be able to buy a Nissan NV with a Chevrolet badge.
Weaker than expected growth in the United States has led Carlos Ghosn to issue an even more ambitious goal; double Nissan’s sales by 2017.
Then, finally, a reporter asks Ghosn when he intends to pack up and leave. Of course, this is Japan, and the question is asked in a circuitous way. The reporter argues that Nissan now makes solid profits, hence Ghosn could perhaps put the company into the hands of someone else, such allowing Ghosn to focus fully on Renault, which needs all the help it can get. This suggestion earns the reporter a likewise polite rebuke. Ghosn thanks him “for taking care of my own organization.” Pierced by Ghosn’s trademark laser eyes, the reporter deflates into his seat. (Read More…)
Finally, a chance for Ghosn to speak about his favorite topic: The value of the yen. Two years ago in Kyushu, Ghosn said that its valuation against the dollar and other major currencies was a crime against nature, a perversion. Back then, you got 77 yen to the dollar, and I assure you that 76 yen buy next to nothing. Ghosn called a high. The rise of the deviant was arrested. In the following year, the yen turned around, fainthearted first, then, with honest Abe getting behind the wheel in Japan, a dollar now buys 100 yen.
Ghosn does not want to hear talk of a “low “ yen. (Read More…)
Asked today at the annual results conference in Yokohama whether he wants to back off from his old target of putting 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2016, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn displayed an astounding degree of determination. He still believes in the 1.5 million. Maybe a little later than 2016.
Nissan closed the year in America with U.S. sales up by 10 percent, but that wasn’t enough to please Ghosn. Said the CEO today in Yokohama:
“China was not our biggest disappointment last year. It was mainly the United States. We were expecting a strong year. It did not happen. We postponed it to 2013.” (Read More…)
Nissan is the largest of all Japanese automakers in China, and therefore has the most to lose. With about a quarter of its global sales in China, Nissan has the highest exposure to the ups and downs of the Middle Kingdom. When Chinese rioted in the streets, overturned Japanese cars and torched their dealerships , Nissan was beaten hard. At one point, sales of Nissan cars were cut in half.
If any carmaker is hoping for an imminent turn-around in Europe, or is telling shareholders (I am looking at you, GM) that better times will be here again real soon now, then Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has a bucket of ice-cold water for them.
“Europe is going to be bad,” Ghosn predicted today in Yokohama. Ghosn also serves as CEO of Renault, a company that is taking major lumps in a market that has been careening south for five years in a row now. One would assume that a man in his position paints a rosier picture. Instead, Ghosn’s pallet is all gloom.
Ghosn knows what is on the mind of the European customer: (Read More…)
If you wanted to have a ten minute advantage (for placing those jumbo derivatives order into the mainframe of your hedge fund) before Nissan’s annual results for the last fiscal were announced in the newly redecorated meeting room on the 8th floor of their Yokohama headquarters, all you had to do was read the smiling faces of Nissan’s top lieutenants. Executive VP Andy Palmer was all grins. (Read More…)
One of the bigger stories of 2013 has so far managed to escape the news cycle. I’m not exactly sure why Nissan’s announcement of significant reductions on the MSRP of new cars hasn’t gotten more coverage, but I’m also not 100 percent sure of Nissan’s motives either.