Weekend News Roundup: Leaf Sprouted? Volkswagen and North Korea; Fancy Fiskers
Here’s some of the news you may have missed if you were out fighting the holiday crowds and spreading some of that Yuletide cheer by burning the hell out of some cookies you were planning on giving the neighbors.
Nissan May Bring a Range Extended-EV to Market in 2016
A la BMW i3, Nissan is prepping for another electric vehicle, but it’s not going to be called a Leaf.
Via Australia’s Motoring, Nissan Deputy General Manager Yoshi Shimoida said there will be an all-new car in 2016 that worked as a “series hybrid” and provides a longer range than the Leaf’s 107-mile, 30 kWh li-ion battery. Unlike EV and range-extended versions of the i3, the new model won’t share the Leaf’s body.
“But in the future Nissan will add to the line-up of EV systems an engine that is only for generating energy,” Shimoida told Motoring.
Like North Korea, But Only With More Cars
The New York Times has an interesting story from the fallout of Volkswagen’s interim report on its internal investigation.
The company’s aggressive management, lofty goals and cutthroat engineering practices led to the widespread cheating that engulfed 11 million cars worldwide (we knew that already) but also created an prevailing suspicion that may have actually insulated executives.
“VW had this special culture. It was like North Korea without labor camps … You have to obey,” Arndt Ellinghorst, a former Volkswagen management trainee, told the New York Times. Apparently, you even had to park in the same direction.
FCA Cuts Back Dealer Incentives on Chrysler 200
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles quietly ended its stair-step program that highly incentivized its Chrysler 200 so much that dealers were often buying the cars themselves to make monthly sales goals. Automotive News reported the program helped bolster the sedan’s market share from 4.5 percent last year to 7.6 percent this year. Sales of the mid-size sedan were up 67 percent through November, Automotive News reported. But that may not be enough to shift opinion for the flagging brand; Chrysler said it would be re-evaluating the brand’s lineup this year “given reduction of volumes in sedan segments.”
GMC Granite in the Works?
GMC chief Duncan Aldred told Automotive News that having a subcompact crossover — oh, say Buick Encore-sized — makes a lot of sense to him.
“That segment has grown so fast,” Aldred told Automotive News. “I keep telling everyone, ‘How can General Motors’ truck brand not be in the fastest-growing segment in the industry, an SUV segment?'” Good question.
Buick is selling Encores at an incredible clip (Aldred is also head of Buick) so it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a Granite sooner rather than later. It’s not like they’ll have to walk far to convince the boss.
Fisker Has Some Expensive Ideas For Detroit
Henrik Fisker — of Aston Martin DB9, BMW Z8 and Fisker Karma fame — says his company will show off two concepts at the North American International Auto Show next month. One of his cars will sport a $300,000 price tag, according to CNET, and be all the supercar you could ever ask for: mid-engined, naturally aspirated, 800-ish horsepower and made completely of unobtainium. Ah, these are the silly days.
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"Flogging brand" - of Chrysler or is the 200 a brand on its own?
FCA might have stopped the dealer incentives but they've slapped on a huge customer rebate to replace it. The 200 Limited has a $4500 rebate here...