Report Points to Product Turmoil in the Nissan-Daimler Partnership

A report in a Japanese business publication claims the partnership that gave us the Infiniti QX30 crossover — built on the same MFA platform as the Mercedes-Benz GLA — won’t yield a compact Infiniti luxury car, as was planned.

This isn’t a case of bad blood between the two automakers, however. The United States just isn’t a ripe target for such a vehicle anymore, apparently, and the vastly uncertain trade situation doesn’t help.

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Ghosn Desperately Wants All This Renault-Nissan Merger Talk to Stop

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn is busy trying to convince shareholders of Nissan and Mitsubishi stock that Renault isn’t aiming to take over its Japanese partners. It’s proving to be no easy task.

While Ghosn has been clear of late that a merger isn’t in the works, he’s simultaneously adamant that the relationship between the companies must become “irreversible” before he retires from the industry in 2022.

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FIA Sanctioning Virtual Racing League, Nissan Training Gamers Into Real Drivers

Three decades ago, video games could only offer the vaguest approximation of driving. Things are very different today. While a lot of modern software still forgoes realism for the sake a fun, simulators have grown in popularity and are becoming incredibly realistic. Real tracks are built to scale, weather effects have meaning, and automobiles behave in a faithful manner. Gamers can even swap their gamepads for honest-to-god cockpits.

Racing simulators have become so effective that Nissan’s PlayStation GT Academy program is now in its eighth year. The event pits thousands of gamers against each other in order to find some they can put behind the wheel of an actual race car. Players then receive additional simulator and on-road training before being allowed to compete in legitimate races.

While we could endlessly debate how well video game skills translate to actual racing, they do provide gamers with an opportunity to learn the tracks and sharpen reaction times. They’ve certainly proven competitive enough for the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile to sanction virtual racing leagues.

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Before E-Power Makes It Here, Nissan First Has to Send It to the Gym

Whether the buying public likes it or not, there’s a tsunami of electrified powertrains headed for U.S. shores. Automakers the world over hope to beat their rivals in the race to a “fully electrified” lineup, which just means there’ll be — at a minimum — a hybrid variant in each model line.

It’s far less sexy than headlines make it sound. Still, if you’re into technology and saving money at the pumps (not necessarily at the dealer), it’s hot stuff. Nissan’s taking an unconventional route in this race, forgoing a conventional hybrid setup for an inexpensive stopgap solution all its own.

The system, called e-Power, is already a hit in Japan. But before it makes its way into high-end Nissan products (read: Infiniti), it first needs to upsize the system for American-sized vehicles travelling at American-sized speeds. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

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Ghosn to Step Down As Renault CEO Before End of Term

It appears as if Carlos Ghosn will step down as chief executive of Renault prior to the end of his term. While he’ll likely continue serving as chairman of Renault and CEO and chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, he’s planning to lighten his load with the French automaker.

Despite having renewed his contract with Renault, which runs until 2022, the 64-year-old executive previously said he’s wearing too many hats. Ghosn stated at the time that he hoped to scale back his workload before retiring. Apparently, the next step in that process involves ditching his day-to-day duties as a chief executive.

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QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VIII: Convertibles)

Over the past seven weeks, we’ve spent time filling the various sections of our Crapwagon Garage with the sort of vehicles only a true connoisseur of cheap can appreciate. This eighth edition in the series is the last we have planned, unless one of you enterprising members of the commentary can think of some style of vehicle the series missed.

Otherwise, we wrap up the series with some convertibles. Many of you have been holding onto your convertible selections for about three weeks, as when we covered coupes all drop-tops were specifically off-limits. Now’s your chance to let loose and [s]take off your top[/s] talk about convertibles.

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2018 Nissan Maxima Rental Review - Lowered Expectations

Has it really been five years since I rented and tested the previous Nissan Maxima? Well, as Natalie Merchant once said about children, “At your age / in a string of days / the year is gone.” That less-than-maximum Max was, in my opinion anyway, the worst Maxima ever.

Is there anybody out there who expected anything more than mediocrity from the current Maxima, despite the in-your-face styling, despite that hugely evocative Super Bowl ad? I doubt it. The five-year gap between my last go-round with a big Nissan sedan shrinks to insignificance when compared to the three-decade gap that separates today and the introduction of the first (and last) first-rate automobile to bear this particular nameplate.

Here’s the good news: The new one’s better than the old one, and the one before that. It counts as a pleasant surprise in a business which is increasingly bereft of such consolations. All you need to appreciate this car is the proper perspective, which we’ll triangulate based on two historical points: the first-generation Datsun 810 “Maxima”, and the Renault Laguna.

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2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive - Commuting With Value

The subcompact crossover class may possibly offer more varieties of flavor than most. Not in terms of available models, but in types of mission for each model.

You have rugged off-roaders (Jeep Renegade), quirky runabouts (Toyota CH-R, Kia Soul), jack-of-all-trades (Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona), urban scooters (Chevy Trax/Buick Encore, Ford EcoSport), tall wagons (Subaru Crosstrek), and now the Nissan Kicks.

Nissan employees will quickly correct you if you assert the Kicks is a replacement for the company’s previous entry in this segment, the Juke, which is no longer on sale in North America (but remains available in other markets across the globe). They’ll tell you the Juke was/is aimed at a different customer than the Kicks.

That may or may not be true, but if it is, it also evades at least two other truths about the Juke – it was too weird and too pricey for our market.

Enter the Kicks. Although it still has plenty of quirky details and styling, the overall look and feel is much more conventional. And the price tag is much, much lower than not just the Juke, but some of the key competitors.

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$17,990: One Hell of a Price for You to Get Your Kicks

Managing Editor Tim Healey is currently behind the wheel of a new, subcompact 2018 Nissan Kicks in the unlikely and extravagant first drive locale of Southern California, but you aren’t allowed to know how it drives until Friday. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, you’re allowed to know exactly how much Nissan’s entry-level crossover costs, and guess what? There’s a value proposition at work. Mind you, there’s no all-wheel drive availability with this little model, which could take it right off many buyers’ must-have list, but Nissan clearly wants to appeal to the cost-conscious consumer who shuns steep and muddy terrain and doesn’t live in the depths of the snow belt.

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Nissan Updates the 370Z in Lieu of Delivering a Successor

Less than a year away from its 10th birthday, Nissan’s 370Z is getting a modest refresh in the hopes of maintaining some kind of relevance. Despite being the better car, the present model failed to outsell the 350Z in the United States in all but its introductory year, and annual deliveries have continue to tumble ever since. Nissan only managed to move 4,614 examples in 2017, which is less than half the volume seen in 2010.

The Z car represents the last gasp of Japanese muscle and it’s been gradually wheezing its way out of prominence. Most of the famous alphanumeric nameplates from the island nation were buried over a decade ago. But the Nissan lived on, almost as if it was saving a seat for the Toyota Supra’s return.

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2018 Nissan Altima SV Rental Review - Farewell, Thine Faithful Full-size

It seems like lately I’ve developed a habit of reviewing vehicles on the verge of being replaced by a brand new generation. And by habit, I mean one review. But it seemed fitting when the local Enterprise location handed me keys to a “Full Size” and it turned out to be the soon-to-depart, current-generation Nissan Altima.

With a new Altima already unveiled, promising more/better/faster everything, is there anything to miss about the outgoing model? After a week living with one, I can definitely say there might be.

Probably.

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Nissan Turning Down the Flow From North American Assembly Plants

A larger-than-average new vehicle inventory, compounded by a change in strategy and dismal April sales figures, means fewer vehicles leaving Nissan assembly plants in the United States and Mexico in the foreseeable future.

The automaker plans to cut production by as much as 20 percent in the hopes of firming up its bottom line.

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Operation 'Get Noticed': Nissan Offering a Launch Edition 2019 Altima

Desperate times in the passenger car segment call for desperate publicity measures, so Nissan’s trying to make a splash ahead of the release of its next-generation 2019 Altima.

Among the brand’s conventional cars, the Altima’s 2018 sales slide (down 21.7 percent over the first four months of the year) is only topped by that of the larger Maxima (down 25.1 percent). Not altogether surprising, given the market and the older model’s age. However, now that there’s a fairly edgy replacement waiting in the wings, Nissan’s doing what it can to generate buzz ahead of the launch.

Enter the “Altima Edition ONE.”

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Ghosn Says Slow Your Roll on the Renault-Nissan Merger, Then Confirms the Possibility

As Renault and Nissan discuss ways to strengthen their bond, Carlos Ghosn is asking everyone to slow their roll on the prospect of a merger. Despite continuously nudging the alliance in that direction, the CEO and chairman is often hesitant to discuss unification as anything more than a hypothetical. So this is par for the course.

“I don’t think you’re going to see it this year or next,” Ghosn said on Wednesday. “Lots of mergers collapse and destroy value — the strength of any company is the ability to motivate people, and how how are you going to do that if some of these people consider themselves second-class citizens.”

The second-class citizens he’s referencing are, presumably, Nissan employees seeking more influence within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. A large part of the group’s current strategy is to find ways to give the Japanese automaker more of a say in product development and operations.

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Baby Steps: Nissan Seeks Stronger Ties With Renault, Merger Remains Possible

Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has made it clear that his ideal solution for all three automakers is to stop pussyfooting around and enter into a full-on merger. Officially, there’s no deal in the works. “Any discussion about a share transaction involving Renault, Nissan or the French state is pure speculation,” explained alliance spokesman Jonathan Adashek earlier this month.

Unofficially, things are quite different. Renault and Nissan are both committed to maintaining a healthy and strong relationship, but the French government is hesitant to even suggest the possibility of abandoning its stake in Renault. For political reasons, it can’t seem as if the company is being relinquished to Japanese interests vis-à-vis a corporate takeover. Therefore, an accord has to be reached to provide Renault with some level of autonomy — or a lie has to be crafted to make it look that way.

While Ghosn previously denied any possibility of a merger, he began claiming it was a very real possibility this year. Having already developed a structure that would see management of Renault, Nissan, and eventually Mitsubishi Motors overseen by a Dutch foundation based in Amsterdam, the chairman suggested it (or something like it) could also serve as a mediator for their integration as a singular global automotive group. But the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance said that wouldn’t be a possibility. So what’s the solution?

Baby steps.

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Nissan Finds the 2018 Rogue Hybrid, Gives It a Sticker Price

The crossover Rogue Hybrid appeared last year, teaming a 2.0-liter engine and 30kW electric motor that made 176 net horsepower and worked in concert to achieve the magical 35 mpg figure. For what it’s worth, the regular Rogue makes 170 horses out of its 2.5-liter inline-four. We feel confident your day has been enriched with this critical information.

Nissan has now announced pricing for the 2018 model, along with a few tech updates. The sticker jumps northward a few dollars and is similar to its chief rival, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid — but with one significant difference.

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Value Menu: Nissan Slaps a Low Price on 2018 Kicks

Replacing the toenails-for-turn-signals Juke, Nissan created the Kicks and has been showing it off for some time now. Scheduled to appear on dealer lots later this spring, the company has been mum on pricing, no doubt in an effort to not show its hand in the murderously competitive subcompact crossover segment.

The Canadian arm of the company apparently has no such concerns, releasing pricing details this morning for that market. Safe to say, Nissan is angling for the budget crown, as its base price of $17,995 undercuts its competitors in the land of maple syrup and hockey sticks.

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The Nissan Rogue Hybrid Has Not Disappeared

Nissan’s a big fan of mid-year updates to its vehicles, and last week we told you of the changes coming to the 2018.5 Nissan Rogue Sport. Mainly, more standard safety features and a corresponding uptick in the small crossover’s entry price.

That piece led to the discovery that the model’s larger sibling, the fast-selling Rogue, seemed to have lost its hybrid variant — a model quietly introduced for the 2017 model year. Nissan’s consumer website shows no trace of the gas-electric compact CUV. Meanwhile, a search of Cars.com shows only 11 new Nissan Rogue Hybrids on lots across America, all of them 2017 models.

What’s the deal?

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Binning the Bland: Nissan Planning a Great Dealership Makeover

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a typical Nissan dealership, no one’s going to mistake one for the Taj Mahal. They’re functional structures, designed to hold salespeople that can walk you through the terms of a loan. Do they really need to be anything more?

Nissan says no, but it would still like its stores to undergo an ambitious renovation program that would alter the majority for the better. Executives in Japan said the brand intends to update 9,000 of its dealerships around the globe over the next five years. Changes include more prominent signage, updated customer-handling procedures, and more open concept showrooms and service departments.

However, just how much pressure HQ is exerting on North American shops to adhere to the changes is unclear. In the United States, dealerships are already subject to the Nissan Retail Environment Design Initiative (NREDI 2.0), which encourages tons of daylight via glass-fronted showrooms and wide open spaces. The overall look is extremely modern and inviting without feeling showy. Think really nice community college, rather than the hotel lounge experience some premium auto brands attempt to provide.

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Crossover With Two Names Grows Pricier In Mid-year Update

The Nissan Rogue Sport, introduced partway into the 2017 model year, carries the Qashqai moniker north of the border, and for some reason I’ve taken to saying its name with an invisible exclamation mark. It’s like saying Seattle! — it just seems appropriate.

In a bid to boost the sub-Rogue’s safety, Nissan has unveiled a mid-year update to the little crossover, and with it a new price. Peace of mind comes with a cost.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: The 2018 Mid-size Import Sedan Showdown

This will be our third Sedan Showdown in a row. Kicking us off were some basic full-size models, and through the “Not nice enough!” complaints, the Charger took home the win. Giving the people what they want, we turned the budget up to $45,000 and presented some luxury full-size sedans instead. Again, FCA took home a win; the Chrysler 300 easily overpowered the base Lincoln Continental, and pipped the top-trim Buick LaCrosse.

All the while, this third commenter-sourced trio waited in the wings, ready to pounce. Smaller than our previous two sets of cars, Bumpy ii wants to see you squirm and set fires. You ready? This couple is.

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2019 Nissan Altima: Midsize Bag of Tricks

In a flurry of robots and futuristic music, Nissan introduced the 2019 Altima today at the New York Auto Show. With available all-wheel drive and a variable compression engine, the sixth-gen Altima has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to take on the Accord and Camry.

Writers in different corners of the internet have been, rightly or wrongly, sounding a death knell for the traditional three-box sedan, citing sales declines for most models in the segment. For certain, Altima sales are off by about 100,000 units since its 2014 peak, but over a quarter-million buyers did drive off in a new Altima last year. That is not a number at which to sneeze.

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Eight Is Enough: Nissan Leans on Familiar Future Strategy for Growth

Automakers perpetually talk about the future. They have to. As manufacturers, their entire business model revolves around bringing newer, better, and more desirable products to the market. Over the past few years, that has meant championing electric and autonomous vehicles — regardless of whether their consumer base (or the technology) is ready or not.

Nissan is no different in this regard, though it does appear to be taking a comparatively measured approach. Mercedes-Benz says it’ll have an electrified version of all of its models by 2022, Volvo promises to start doing the same by 2019, and Volkswagen Group wants 80 new electric vehicles across all of its brands by 2025. Meanwhile, Nissan is only shooting for eight new EVs by 2022.

That’s not to suggest the company won’t still blaze a trail for new powertrains, though. The strategy may just be a simple matter of not wanting to over-promise. As the company behind the the Leaf, Nissan is well aware of the benefits and pitfalls of a globally marketed electric car. However, its overall sales goal of 1 million electrified vehicles per year by 2022 remains ambitious and hinges on a market more eager for plug-in vehicles than it is today.

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Rare Rides: The 1979 Nissan President, an Executive Luxury Brougham

This week has unintentionally been all about brougham here on the Rare Rides pages. Kicking things off was the Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia, followed by a Nissan Gloria in Brougham VIP guise. Broughams from America and Japan, displaying that brougham effect across the globe and across decades.

So let’s try another configuration: a 1970s top-tier brougham from Japan — the Nissan President.

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Nissan Fixes a Problem: Salespeople Who Aren't So Hot at Moving Trucks

To think of the Nissan brand is to think of nameplates like “Sentra,” Rogue,” and, just maybe, “Pathfinder.” That’s traditionally as truck-like as a non-gearhead’s thoughts get after hearing the automaker’s name. As it continues to position itself as a serious truck maker and Detroit Three competitor, Nissan knows this needs to change.

While the little Frontier has graced our landscape for two decades, the process of purchasing one usually comes down to looking at the window sticker, asking if it comes in a cheaper version, then perusing a very basic list of features. Little different than buying (or selling) a car or crossover. That works for the simple Frontier, which sells great despite its advanced age, but it doesn’t work for would-be Titan buyers who stop in at a Nissan dealer after kicking the tires over at the Ford shop.

With this in mind, Nissan’s now moving its Titan-boosting efforts into the showroom.

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PredictionZ: Nissan Could Be Working on a New Z

Taking all of this with a huge grain of salt, as future plans at many manufacturers are often more fluid than the salty Atlantic Ocean, reports are surfacing of Nissan forging ahead with a new Z. And it’s not a crossover.

According to the UK outlet Autocar, Nissan will display a concept Z at this year’s Tokyo show in October*, with a production version showing up a year later in L.A.

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Will Dr. Z Help Build a New Z? Nissan/Mercedes-Benz Rumor Points To a New Nissan Sports Car

The Nissan Z-car has died once before — in 1996, only to return in 2003 as the 350Z. It’s been suggested that the Z will go the way of the Mitsubishi Eclipse and become yet another crossover. But a rumor out of Japan links Nissan with Mercedes-Benz for a new Z, possibly in time for the model’s 50th Anniversary in 2019/2020.

The Japanese site response.jp (thanks, Google Translate) has posted a rendering of the potential new sports car, showing the company’s corporate V-motion grille lined with LED strips, and a long hood that harkens back to the traditional proportions of the original 240Z.

Any news of the Z returning as a proper sports car instead of a crossover that trades heritage for blandness ( Eclipse Cross, Ford Mach 1) is welcome news indeed.

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Rare Rides: The Glorious 1988 Nissan Pulsar Sportbak, Where EXA Meets Canopy

A special day has finally arrived. It’s the day where we present a Rare Rides that checks the boxes of coupe, convertible, t-top, targa, and wagon all at the same time. There can be only one car in the world that meets all these criteria, and it is, of course, the Nissan Pulsar EXA Canopy.

But you’d know it as the Sportbak. Come check it out.

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Nissan's Next-gen Altima Is Just Weeks Away, So Here's a Preview

The early-to-mid 2000s wasn’t an era of great automobile design. Frankly, most automakers should be ashamed of themselves. However, among all of the Tauruses and Malibus and bloated Accords, one midsize, low-priced sedan stood out from its peers: the Nissan Altima of 2002, which propelled the former also-ran from visual dud to eye candy stud.

The Altima’s clean, dignified design made buyers stop and look, propelling sales to new heights. Even a decade-and-a-half later, it’s still a good-looking car that — rust aside — aged well. Unfortunately, rounded, forgettable styling later drained some of the model’s appeal.

As sales of all midsize cars fall, the Altima included, Nissan hopes a radical redesign can slow the descent.

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Rare Rides: 1991 Nissan Gloria Brougham - Formal, Turbocharged, Pillarless Motoring Awaits

Today in Rare Rides, we’re keeping it brougham. Last time, we examined a grey Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia (as 1970s America addressed brougham).

Now, we check out a grey Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP, as 1990s Japan addressed brougham.

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Frame Games: Nissan Rolls Out Body-on-frame SUV

Longsufferingtime readers of this author’s natterings know my preference for all things of the body-on-frame variety. That’s why I’m going to take every opportunity I can to trumpet the kinda sorta maybe possibility that Nissan will reintroduce the Xterra.

The old Xterra only hung around for two generations, offering righteous options such as a stick-shift manual, supercharged power, and a locking rear diff. It’s the polar opposite of a Qashqai Rogue Sport. Given today’s market tastes, I totally understand why Nissan offers a phalanx of unibody crossovers – like any smart company, its giving the people what they want.

It still doesn’t stop me from pining for a small, butch SUV from Nissan, though. With an introduction yesterday in China, that future is one step closer to reality. Maybe.

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Overseas, Nissan Mulls Ranger Raptor Rival - Is It Time to Explore a New Frontier?

The other day, we learned of Ford’s new Ranger Raptor, a machine unveiled in Thailand with only the slightest of indications it may be sold in America. To not do so would be asinine in this author’s opinion, given the F-150 Raptor’s halo and the fact that folks can stroll into a Chevy or Toyota dealer and easily pick up a Colorado ZR2 or Tacoma TRD Pro.

Adding fuel to the midsized fire are comments garnered by Motoring in Australia, alluding to Nissan’s interest in developing a Raptor fighter of its own. T’would be based on the Navara, of course, a truck not available here.

Is it time for Nissan USA to take the plunge and bring the Navara here? Or is it better off continuing to pump out examples of the proven but older-than-Methuselah midsize Frontier?

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Seeking Global Domination, Nissan Hunts New Markets for the Leaf

After becoming something close to a joke over the past couple of years, the once-groundbreaking Nissan Leaf enters 2018 with a new skin, larger battery, and enhanced range. Next year brings an optional battery upgrade, finally giving the five-door EV a range capable of challenging Tesla and General Motors.

Now that it has a competitive vehicle positioned as a value pick in a growing segment, Nissan wants everyone to get a chance to buy one, no matter where they live. It may have shied away from sales targets in the U.S., but Nissan’s not dialing back its global ambitions.

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Ghosn Promises to Make Nissan-Renault Alliance 'Irreversible'

Carlos Ghosn is pledging to solidify the alliance between Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi Motors after agreeing to stay on as the French automaker’s chairman and CEO for the next four years. He also announced the companies will take the next few weeks to develop a plan to “make the alliance irreversible.”

While we’d love to hear about an automotive blood pact or — better still — a strategy to clone Ghosn for the next hundred years, the final plan will probably be a little more mundane. But, according to the chairman’s Friday announcement, it will not include a merger — at least not until the French government gets out of the way.

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Rare Rides: The Extra Rare 1991 Alfa Romeo SZ, by Zagato

Italian design firm Zagato has a way with making things red and black — and extra angular. Why, just look at what they did to a standard Nissan Leopard in turning it into the Stelvio. And while the Stelvio’s integrated fender mirrors and overall level of crazy isn’t to everyone’s taste, general favor has always fallen upon Alfa Romeo’s ’90s Zagato model, the SZ.

Come and have a look.

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Eager to Belong, Nissan Gives Titan and Titan XD Owners a Lift

Until now, every time a rolling wall of steel pulled up alongside you at a stoplight, blocking out nearly half of your peripheral vision, the culprit was almost always behind the wheel of a Detroit Three truck — one hoisted aloft by an aftermarket lift kit. Such kits allow pickups to mount the curb outside the 7-Eleven without endangering their fragile underbellies, while affording drivers a bird’s-eye view of surrounding environs (just not the vehicles immediately adjacent.)

Given the popularity of the Ford F-Series, General Motors’ Silverado and Sierra, and Ram’s brawny lineup, suspension lifts are generally the domain of American models. Well, Nissan wants to change this perception. In its bid to make the Titan and Titan XD pickups “one of the guys,” the Japanese automaker will offer a hands-off, bolt-on factory lift kit, ideally paired with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 for the purposes of rolling coal.*

*Neither Nissan nor TTAC endorses this obnoxious practice. Local laws may apply.

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Nissan's New Strategy: Build Brand Value, Not Fleet Sales or Incentives

Nissan has long-standing tradition in North America of being a bargain brand. While the automaker fields plenty of affordable options with a base MSRP undercutting that of its rivals, it has also leaned on aggressive incentivizing and heavy fleet sales. This helped Nissan chase volume in the U.S., but CEO Hiroto Saikawa is no longer convinced it’s a winning strategy.

He’s tasking Denis Le Vot, Nissan’s new North American boss, to improve profitability and brand value after the company’s operating profit dipped 50 percent in the region in the last quarter of 2017.

It’s a tall order for Le Vot, who has only had a little over one month to settle into being the regional chairman for the brand, and Saikawa is only giving him another two to figure out how to pull it off. However, he’s hinting at a strategy that eases off dealers, offers fewer market incentives, and ditches a reliance on fleet sales.

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Nissan Hasn't Forgotten About a V6 Titan - It Just Looks That Way

(In the interest of providing readers with all the news they can use, we sometimes tap sister publications when an article attracts our interest. In this piece by Matthew Guy, published by Off-Road.com, our in-house truck lover tries to find out when Nissan’s promised six-cylinder Titan will finally make its appearance.

Nissan has been doing a good job getting back into the full-sized truck game, rolling out various cab and bed configurations for the Titan along with an array of trim levels. There’s still one thing missing, though – a V6 engine.

Right now, truck customers walking into a Nissan showroom are limited to a single engine in the half-ton Titan. The 5.6-liter Endurance V8 is a great motor, cranking out nearly 400 horsepower and an equal amount of torque and allowing drivers to tow nearly 10,000 lbs, but not everyone needs that hauling capability.

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EPA Says the 2018 Nissan Leaf Goes the Extra Mile - Literally

What a difference a mile makes. Or does it? In the case of the 2018 Nissan Leaf, the second-generation model’s newly enlarged driving range might not sway a single buyer or suddenly place the model ahead of a close challenger, but any improvement in an EV’s travel radius is worthy of a celebration at the company’s HQ.

If you haven’t heard the news, the 2018 Leaf’s range now stands at 151 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s just-released official rating. What was it before? Well, Nissan estimated 150 miles. Hardly shocking, but it’s nonetheless good news as the automaker waits for next year’s arrival of a longer-ranged, more competitive model.

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'Z' Won't Disappear From Nissan's Dictionary Just Yet: Report

As we told you on Sunday, Nissan’s chief planning officer, Philippe Klein, desperately wants to hold on to the sporty heritage of the Z name, but doesn’t know how it can fit into the brand’s future lineup. The horizon’s hazy for this athletic occupant of the Nissan stable.

Besides a refresh for the 2013 model year, the existing 370Z is an ancient thing, having first appeared on North American shores in early 2009. The elimination of the manual transmission in 2018 Roadster models doesn’t help its performance image, though segment rivals can take most of the blame for the model’s declining fortunes.

We’re now hearing more information on something Klein alluded to. There’s more Z to come, but it will apparently be more of the same, not some altogether new creation.

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Nissan Goes on About Inspiration: I'm Skeptical, but Kyoto Craftsmen Are Still Great Artisans

Nissan introduced the Xmotion (pronounced Cross Motion) CUV concept at the NAIAS in Detroit the other day. The company says the Xmotion is inspired by the Yokahama-based automaker’s Japanese heritage, particularly the practice of traditional Japanese crafts. The crossover is said to connect “traditional and modern Japanese craftsmanship and technologies.” Artisanal techniques such as weaving, metalsmithing, and woodworking were used to craft the interior of the Xmotion.

To emphasize that connection, master shokunins from Kyoto’s GO ON consortium of traditional Japanese artisans were brought to Detroit to demonstrate their skills to assembled media and the general public after the big auto show officially opened later in the week.

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Ghosn Says Nissan's Alliance Makes It the Biggest Dog in the Auto Yard

Despite Volkswagen delivering an impressive 10.74 million vehicles in 2017, Nissan-Renault Alliance head Carlos Ghosn says his automotive group was actually the top sales dog. VW managed a 4.3-percent increase over last year’s volume and set a new record for itself, but Ghosn argues that doesn’t matter if it’s counting heavy truck sales in its total sum.

“The [Renault-Nissan] alliance, with more than 10.6 million light private and commercial vehicles sold in 2017, is the premier global automobile group,” the CEO told a parliamentary committee hearing in Paris.

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Nissan Xmotion: A Concept Vehicle, Because One Was Needed

For a long time I thought a concept vehicle’s purpose was to showcase new ideas as the automaker bends over backward to bring them to fruition. However, after becoming an automotive journalist, I learned that a great many exist only to take up floor space at various trade shows. Nissan’s Xmotion Concept may be one of these — a model seemingly created in response to an executive’s request to bring something novel to the North American International Auto Show.

Outfitted with seven touchscreens, the Xmotion (pronounced “Cross Motion”) is a mishmash of advanced tech and “traditional Japanese architectural wood joinery technique” called kanawa tsugi. Basically, it’s an autonomous six-passenger SUV entirely dependent upon touch controls with a wooden beam running down its middle. I’m sure Nissan presumed the opposite pairing of old and new would achieve some kind of synergy, like sweet and sour chicken, but the balance wasn’t met and we ended up with a cat food jello mold.

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Rare Rides: A Preserved 1983 Nissan-Datsun 720 King Cab

Recently, Rare Rides honed in on the little Dodge Rampage. A front-drive alternative compact pickup, it was based on the sporty Dodge Charger. Today we have a look at a well-preserved example of what most buyers of compact pickups chose in the early 1980s. It’s a Nissan-Datsun 720 King Cab, from when all Datsuns were Nissans.

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At Nissan, Defunct Models Never Die - Their Webpages Live on Forever

Like most people, you’re probably thinking of sliding into a brand spankin’ new two-door SUV convertible in the new year. Who isn’t? But the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet is just too nouveau riche for your discerning tastes; you’re thinking of something less snooty, something more relatable to the common man.

Hey, doesn’t Nissan sell a Murano CrossCabriolet? That sounds more up your street. Grabbing your cup of Swiss Water decaf, you head over to the interwebs to take a gander at the CrossCabriolet. Hopefully there’s still one available in light teal. Well, what do you know? Here’s the webpage, just as you hoped.

Hold on a minute — all of this juicy CrossCabriolet info is written in past tense!

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Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi Hunting for Robo-taxi Deals With Tech Companies

The alliance consisting of Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi Motors is currently searching for partners for a plunge into the robo-taxi business. While chairman Carlos Ghosn claims mobility will never replace traditional ownership, he acknowledges the need to explore other avenues to remain competitive.

“A lot of people think this is substitution. It’s not — it’s addition,” Ghosn said in November. “The traditional business of building cars and selling cars and owning cars is going to continue.”

However, the supplemental businesses aren’t going off half-cocked. Ogi Redzic, Alliance senior vice president, has said he’s personally overseeing about 1,000 employees tasked with developing connectivity services for the automotive group and intends to announce the partners for the new autonomous cab service in the coming months.

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No Thanks: Nissan Wants to Input Your Brainwaves on Tomorrow's Cars

Certain automotive technologies are getting borderline out of hand. But nothing stops the march toward progress. Keen to show off its developmental might, Nissan plans to unveil something called “brain-to-vehicle” (B2V) technology at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show.

While the system borders on the fantastical, Nissan claims it can interpret signals from a driver’s brain to help a semi-autonomous vehicle understand how to best respond.

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Nissan to Unveil Leaf GT at Tokyo Auto Salon

We drove the new 2018 Nissan Leaf in California earlier this month, finding it to be an effective foil to the Prius Primes and Chevy Bolts of the world. With far more mainstream styling than its predecessor, the Leaf stands a good chance of hooking customers who would have never considered the old model.

Now, we’ve learned the company will bring a Leaf GT concept to the Tokyo Auto Salon in early January, a Japanese event most easily described as a fantastic mashup of CES and SEMA.

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Don't Be Gentle, It's a Rental: Nissan Boosts U.S. Sales Numbers by Flooding America's Fleets

What was the last car you rented? If numbers reported by The Wall Street Journal are accurate (and we have no reason to believe they are not), chances are it was probably a Nissan.

Why’s that? Well, flying in the face of everything that’s ever been taught in the popular How Not to Scupper Resale Values 101 class, Nissan has been pumping the rental market full of Rogues and Altimas, to the tune of nearly 300,000 units in 2017. That’s the most of any automaker and 10 percent more than the traditional offender in this field: General Motors.

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My $1.6 Million Fleet in 2017 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In a year of great political transition, there was also much change afoot at The Truth About Cars and more than a few alterations made in the way my life intersects with the automotive industry.

2017 was crazy. Yet midst all of the external upheaval (Trump, TTAC, Apple skipping the iPhone 9, the launch of a new Honda Odyssey) and an array of internal disorder (GoodCarBadCar’s acquisition, a move to rural Prince Edward Island, Miata purchase, new job) there was at least one constant.

I drove a ton of cars. Many tons of cars, to be more accurate.

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Crossing the Pond: Renault Executive to Head Nissan North America

Nissan Motor Company is moving senior vice president and chairman of Renault Eurasia, Denis Le Vot, westward to succeed Jose Munoz as president and chairman of Nissan North America. While Munoz will persist as the brand’s global chief performance officer, Le Vot will take over his regional duties.

A french native, Le Vot joined Renault in 1990 and soon moved up the ranks — eventually being appointed to the brand’s management committee in 2015 and AvtoVAZ’s board of directors the following year. The Nissan executive board in Yokohama, Japan, approved his new appointment in a meeting on Tuesday. However, the title doesn’t become official until January 16th.

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Rare Rides: The 1988 Nissan Sunny Is Nearly a Sentra and Definitely All-wheel Drive

Today’s Rare Ride comes to us — for the first time — from the nation’s capital. As we ponder what the owner was thinking, we’ll pore over a tidy Nissan Sunny imported from Japan. It’s rare, square, and almost exactly the same as the Nissan Sentra your aunt had in 1991. I’m really not sure.

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Topical: Nissan's Okay With a Front-drive Crossover, but Toyota Has Regrets

This morning’s Question of the Day was all about all-wheel drive and which models could stand a dose of four-wheel traction. So far, no one’s talking about the Nissan Versa Note.

Nissan, however, is more than happy to talk about the fact that its upcoming Kicks subcompact crossover will arrive with power relegated only to the front wheels. Hardly a brawny setup for a high-riding vehicle, but the automaker doesn’t seem to care much about the buyers it might be leaving behind. Toyota, on the other hand, harbors lingering regrets over its entry in the B-segment class, the C-HR.

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2018 Nissan Leaf SL First Drive - Powering Back From Obsolescence

The previous-generation all-electric Nissan Leaf (technically “LEAF,” but that acronym sends my MacBook Air into a snit befitting Peter Frampton), with toenail clippings for headlights and a face only a mother could slug, has historically done very well for itself, selling well over 100,000 units in America since its introduction eight long model years ago.

For 2018, the Japanese automaker set out to prove an all-electric car doesn’t have to look like a science experiment. In the past, new models were denoted by the holy trinity of longer, lower, and wider. In the EV sphere, that trio takes the form of longer (range), lower (charge times), and wider (infotainment screens).

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Still Hot After All These Years: Not Every Passenger Car Model Has One Foot In the Grave

I often joke that not only are we all destined to buy a crossover in the near future, we’ll one day become crossovers. Oh, how the TTAC guys laugh…

Still, it’s hard to avoid the crossovers-are-replacing-cars narrative, as it isn’t some far-out theory — it’s a cold, hard reality. Crossover and SUV market share grows each year as buyers abandon traditional passenger cars in favor of a vehicle that does everything at least marginally.

That said, not every model faces the same rate of abandonment. Certain cars — through a hazy combination of performance, value, nameplate recognition, and other, more nebulous factors — haven’t yet been dropped off on the front steps of the orphanage by their once-loving guardians.

Let’s take a look at some surprisingly healthy performers in the non-premium, non-sports car class. Cars that aren’t declining in popularity, as this analysis isn’t about overall volume. Guess what? None of these vehicles are the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, two models currently locked in a battle for midsize sedan supremacy (and worthy of their own singular coverage).

Hard to believe, we know, but there’s loyalty and desire to be found elsewhere.

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Flush With 2017 Models, Nissan Throws Incentives at Sales Staff

Expect your local Nissan salesman to work extra hard for that pre-Christmas sale. That’s because Nissan, which can still boast a year-to-date sales increase in the United States, isn’t exactly overflowing with 2018 models.

Inventory of 2017s remains higher than the automaker would prefer, meaning it needs to do something to move old stock out before the end of the year. But rather than heap more factory bonuses on its vehicles (the company’s incentive spending is second only to Kia in the industry), Nissan figures it’s a better deal to throw incentives at the salesperson.

“Happy holidays. Can I interest you in a new Rogue? Seriously, how ’bout that Rogue?”

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Get Yer Kicks: Nissan's Latest Utility Vehicle Will Soon Be Its Tiniest

The dubious long-term sales potential of the subcompact crossover segment isn’t swaying Nissan from introducing a B-segment vehicle in the United States. The automaker’s seventh utility vehicle, carrying the youthful name Kicks, debuted at the L.A. Auto Show today.

The Kicks is the only way Americans can take home any part of a Nissan Micra, as the diminutive crossover rides atop a second-generation version of that vehicle’s platform. The first-generation platform, you’ll recall, underpinned the funky Nissan Juke. That model, known for its polarizing styling, isn’t long for this world.

In its place, the Kicks offers slightly larger dimensions and — most importantly — safe and modern styling.

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QOTD: Variable Displacement - New Hotness or Inevitable Blowout?

At this week’s L.A. Auto Show and Traffic Negotiation Event, Infiniti will reveal the next generation QX50 — an overdue replacement for the aged model formerly known as the EX35. While the introduction of a crossover that’s losing its V6 and rear-wheel-drive platform wouldn’t normally interest me, the model’s new engine does.

Today we’re going to discuss variable displacement and the future of internal combustion engines. Fly or flop, what say you?

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NISMOFest Turns 20: Nissan's Big Bash Celebrates All Things GT-R

Not long after promising to build new spare parts for the GT-R as part of its NISMO heritage program, the company threw a big bash at the Fuji Speedway circuit in its honor. More than 150 of its cousins showed up.

This is the 20th year for the NISMO Festival, which showcases the Nissan GT-R and the NISMO brand. It’s as if someone sprinkled fairy dust on an old Gran Turismo game and it sprang to life.

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Eternal Life: NISMO Heritage Program Building New Spare Parts for the GT-R

Nissan R32 GT-R owners in Japan will be able to enjoy wheeling their treasured rides around a lot longer, thanks to a program making new replacement parts available.

The parts will go on sale in Japan the first week of December as part of the new NISMO Heritage program, meaning that poorly modified R32 Godzillas hacked together in the wake of each Fast & Furious movie can now be properly restored.

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  • MelanieRichardson GOOD
  • El scotto @jwee; Sir, a great many of us believe that Musk is somewhere (pretty high) on the spectrum and move on.I work on the fringes of IT. Most of my presentations get picked over extensively and intensely at meetings. I'm smart enough to know I'm not that smart and willingly take advice from the IT crew. I bring them Duck Doughnuts too. We also keep a box of Crayolas in the meeting room.At one meeting an IT guy got way into the details of my presentation, the meeting went long as we discussed my target audience. Same IT guy insisted it was a disaster and would fail miserable and that I was stupid. Yeah, F-boms get dropped at our meetings. I finally had enough and asked if he was such an expert, did he want to stand up in front of 30 senior executives and give the presentation? His response was a flat "NO". He got the box of Crayolas. For you non-military types that means shut up and color. Musk is the same as that IT guy, lots of gyrations but not much on follow-through. Someone just needs to hand him a box of Crayolas.
  • FreedMike The FJ Cruiser would be a better comeback candidate. The gang back at Toyota HQ must be looking at all those Broncos flying off Ford lots and kicking themselves.
  • Tassos 2015 was only 7 years ago. $58k is still a whole lot of $ to pay for a vehicle. FOrtunately one can buy a flagship vehicle with great active and passive safety for half this amount, if one does the SMART thing and buys a pre-owned luxury flagship vehicle. they have historically been SCREAMING BARGAINS. A breadvan on stilts SUV, wether the more compact Macan or the more bloated Cayenne will never pass as a Flagship Vehicle. No matter how well it drives or how reliable it suprisingly is. It still is a breadvan on stilts.
  • Sean Ohsee Bring back the 100 series and its I6 diesel.