At a recent Nissan truck and SUV event in Carmel, a senior Nissan rep indicated there is zero chance the Smyrna, Tennessee based operation will alter its winning mid-size pickup formula.
When asked about the prospects of a unibody Frontier, Dan Passe, Senior Manager of Nissan Brand Communications, laughingly responded, “We don’t normally comment on future product, but a unibody Frontier is not happening.”
Honda is encountering strong demand for its recently launched, second-generation unibody Ridgeline, but Nissan will not follow Honda down the dedicated lifestyle truck path.
Forget the American displacement wars of the 1960s (and to a lesser degree, the 1990s). On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s all about who has the biggest all-electric lineup.
Volkswagen, hoping to wash its hands of diesel residue, announced three modular vehicle platforms that could spawn 30 electric vehicles across the company’s brand portfolio. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz wants a whole new sub-brand for its looming crop of EVs. (Read More…)
The venerable rear-drive LX platform will soldier on underneath the Dodge Charger into the next decade, according to sources close to the company.
A platform swap planned for late 2018 won’t come until after 2020, with a styling refresh serving to stretch the lifespan of the current generation, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles insider told Automotive News. (Read More…)
Yesterday’s news that Nissan will buy a 34-percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.2 billion was the latest win for Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance of 1999 and possessor of many fingers in many pies.
Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, inked the agreement with Mitsubishi as the other automaker battles a misleading gas-mileage scandal. At a price of 468.52 yen/share, Ghosn’s purchase of new shares was a smoking deal. Mitsubishi shares traded for 1,100 yen just last December.
What becomes of the two companies now? And how will Ghosn’s world-straddling empire benefit by snapping up beleaguered Mitsubishi? (Read More…)
A top Ram executive is heading to Brazil next week as the truck maker increasingly cozies up to the idea of adding a smaller pickup to its lineup.
The trip comes after Mike Manley, global head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep and Ram brands, told The Detroit News that an “opportunity” exists in the U.S. midsize pickup market.
“I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” Manley said at last week’s New York Auto Show, referring to the recently-announced Wrangler pickup and a hypothetical Ram model.
Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed.
Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, told the Automotive News that the companies will jointly develop two vehicle platforms that, shared between the two companies, will each provide the basis for more than 3 million vehicles by 2016.
Most large automakers are working on a modular architecture of some sort. Farthest ahead appears to be Volkswagen, which already is rolling out new car after new car on one of four related kit architectures, and which is rumored to be working on one master kit. The other day, Toyota showed me glimpses of its new kit architecture, first cars to be expected in 2015. Today, GM showed us this chart. And there are no kits on it. (Read More…)
After a lot of he loves me, he loves me not, GM and Peugeot PSA finally took their fledgling 7 percent relationship a few concrete steps forward. At least on paper. GM and PSA will not just buy new parts together. They will share platforms, the key to make joint purchasing work. The timing of this announcement, coinciding with a bailout by the French government, however is a bit unfortunate. (Read More…)
Carmakers all over the world strive to make more with less. All car companies that want to be around in a few years are on some kind of a standardization drive. GM wants to cut its 30 platforms down to 14. Volkswagen wants to get rid of platforms altogether .
Mercedes will halve its vehicle architectures to two by 2015, and will double its number of model variants to 30, Automotive News [sub] reports. (Read More…)