Nissan Leaf Sales Faceplant; Chevy Volt Laughs and Points

Nissan Leaf sales have all the buoyancy of a cinder block, meaning buyers clearly weren’t impressed with the extra miles of range added for 2016.

The venerable electric vehicle recorded 979 U.S. sales in May, up from the previous month’s 787 units, but down a whopping 53.5 percent from a year earlier. If the model’s perpetually smiling face could frown, it would.

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New Mitsubishi R&D Chief to Tackle 'Secretive' Tech Department

A top Nissan executive is packing his bags and getting ready to take on Mitsubishi’s shadowy and scandal-prone technology arm.

Yesterday’s reports proved true, with Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan’s chief technology adviser, announced today as Mitsubishi’s new head of research and development. He will take on the position starting June 24.

There’s a tough job waiting for Yamashita.

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Paging Dr. Yamashita: Nissan Wants Its Former Tech Head to Cure a Sick Misubishi

In this play, Nissan is President Jimmy Carter and Mitsubishi is a bankrupt New York City.

Now that it has control of Mitsubishi, Nissan wants the scandal-plagued automaker to “heal thyself,” but it’s sending a guy over to make sure it happens, sources tell Reuters.

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Nissan Gets a Diesel Emissions Scandal of Its Very Own

It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.

That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports.

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Nissan to Spend $2.2 Billion for Controlling Stake in Mitsubishi

Yesterday’s vague Japanese media reports proved right this morning, as Nissan Motor Co. announced it will purchase a 34 percent controlling stake in scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors.

Taking advantage of Mitsubishi’s reduced market value following the company’s admission of cheating on Japanese fuel economy tests, Nissan’s 237 billion yen ($2.2 billion) bulk buy of shares makes it the automaker’s largest shareholder.

It’s a big win for Nissan, which can take credit for exposing the gas mileage scandal less than a month ago.

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2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD Review - Contemporary Personal Luxury

Upon its introduction in 2003, the Murano possessed a unique combination of traits that, in retrospect, make its La Jolla, California design studio and Design Chief Taiji Toyota look genius.

The Murano was built on the Altima platform, making it relatively inexpensive to build. It had a segment-first four-wheel independent suspension, imparting a genuine car-like driving experience. It featured generous proportions, yet eschewed three-rows in favor of spacious seating for five. Combined with its catchy anti-establishment styling, snappy 245-horsepower V6, and total lack of off-road pretension, it was the 21st century spiritual successor to the personal luxury car.

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Meow, Nissan: Automaker Slaps Tesla in New Leaf Ad

Nissan is trying to play Tesla’s lengthy Model 3 waiting list to its advantage.

A print ad that landed in the country’s most-read newspapers this morning is playing up the Model 3’s wait times, according to Automotive News, and encouraging EV buyers to go the faster route by buying a Leaf.

There’s nothing subtle about the ad, which would have been green-lit by Nissan’s intimidating sales and marketing head Christian Meunier. Since taking on the role in January, Meunier has laid out an aggressive marketing strategy, meaning the Leaf spot could be the first of many cheeky ads.

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Nissan-Renault CEO is Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone From AvtoVAZ Board

The Russian automaker that manufactures Lada vehicles won’t see Carlos Ghosn at its board meetings after this June.

The Renault-Nissan CEO and chairman is expected to be replaced as chairman of AvtoVAZ at the company’s June 23 shareholders meeting, the automaker has stated, with Dr. Serguey Skvortsov taking his place.

Ghosn remains the chairman of Alliance Rostec Auto BV, the holding company that controls AvtoVAZ. Renault-Nissan bought a majority stake in the company, which is a joint venture with Russian Technologies, in 2012.

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Nissan Wants More EVs, Might Produce an Electric Sports Car

Is there a Nissan competitor to the BMW i8 in the works? A senior executive has hinted there might be.

Speaking to Auto Express, senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura said an electric sports car is one option the automaker is considering for its upcoming modular vehicle platform.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Nissan Sentra Coupe

The first-generation Nissan Sentra first appeared on American roads in 1982, early in the very costly Datsun-to-Nissan rebranding process. The lightweight, fuel-efficient Sentra was a big sales hit, because drivers in the early 1980s (with vivid memories of the gas lines of a few years earlier) were willing to put up with double-digit horsepower and lots of NVH in a car that promised decent reliability and cheap point-A-to-point-B costs. Now, of course, nearly all of the early Sentras are gone, so this well-worn example in a San Francisco Bay Area yard gives us an interesting history lesson.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Towing With the 5/8-Ton Truck

Japanese car companies have been trying to break into the American full-sized pickup market for decades. Despite Japanese trucks having a sterling reputation for dependability and reliability internationally, ‘Muricans are a different bunch. Not even Ford’s switch to “European-style” twin-turbo engines and aluminum bodies could stop the freight train that is the F-Series sales chart.

On the opposite end of that sales chart is the last-place Titan. Nissan sold just 12,140 Titans last year, 1/10th of Toyota’s own meager volume and 1/65th of Ford’s truck sales.

Rather than picking up its marbles and going home, Nissan thought outside the box and came up with a novel idea. Why not “right-size” a 3/4 ton truck and sell it for a little more than your average 1/2 ton? With the Detroit Three engaged in serious towing and payload wars, the heavy-duty pickup segment looks more like a Freightliner convention.

That’s where the diesel Titan XD comes in.

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Nissan, Please

Last fall, we had a typical-for-TTAC slap fight between Bark and Mark, centered around Nissan. I’ve been ruminating on this argument for months, but my conversation last week with NISMO chief Hiroshi Tamura — and seeing what Nissan chose to feature in New York — finally pushed me over the edge.

As I walked through the glass doors in the Jacob Javits Center last Wednesday morning, preparing for my first auto show as a member of the press, the automaker that’s defined much of my motoring life was front and center.

Somewhat inexplicably, Nissan had rented possibly the best, highest-traffic space in the entire hall and filled it with a tribute to a six-figure supercar, complete with a bunch of old cars the U.S. never saw when new.

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Nissan to Ad Agencies: "It Takes Brass Balls to Sell Cars!"

Nissan’s U.S. sales boss delivered some Glengarry Glen Ross-style “motivation” to its ad agencies in order to pump up the brand’s weak messaging via a new campaign.

Christian Meunier, who took control of Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing in January, dressed down a roomful of agency reps a week into his new job, according to Automotive News (via Ad Age).

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Spied: Next-Generation Nissan Micra

Spy shots of the next-generation Nissan Micra undergoing road testing have rolled in from southern Europe.

Despite the camoflage, it’s the clear the next sub-subcompact Micra will be a departure from the bulbous current model, no doubt influenced by the Nissan Sway concept car unveiled at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show.

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NYIAS: The Evolution of GT-R Shown Within One Thousand Square Feet

The newly refreshed 2017 Nissan GT-R on the rostrum drew the focus of many, but it was the five historic vehicles Nissan decided to bring to the New York International Auto Show that shouted for my attention in the crowd.

These five Skylines represent the race-bred heritage of the GT-R, while simultaneously taunting American enthusiasts who could never buy these iconic sports cars when they arrived new to dealerships.

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NYIAS: 2017 Nissan GT-R - Slightly Spicier

The R35 Nissan GT-R is getting another facelift to keep the eight year old chassis going for 2017. The changes include a corporate “V-Motion” grille along with updated bodywork and a small boost in power.

The grille change is accompanied by an updated reinforced hood and a new front bumper treatment that is slated to give better downforce and stability. The sides and rear have also received updates to give a wider stance while the signature taillights have been kept.

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Foreign Affairs: Nissan Tsuru, Mexico

As wonderful as the American marketplace is, there’s an entire world — literally — of cars out there that we just can’t get our hands on. In TTAC’s new series, “Foreign Affairs,” we look at forbidden fruit that you can buy brand new around the world.

The Mexican new car market is remarkable. While plenty of good new cars come across the border, inciting at least one presidential candidate to threaten penalty taxes, its domestic market still continues to sell older gems, some of which are built to older safety standards. Even the Beetle was built there long after its sell-by date.

The car that fascinates me, naturally, is one I’ve previously owned: the Nissan B13-chassis Tsuru, known here in the U.S. as the 1991-94 Nissan Sentra.

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Is This a Second-Generation Nissan NV200 Compact Passenger Van? [UPDATE: It's a Serena!]

It’s Spy Shot Weekend at TTAC. In addition to the Chinese metal driving around Ann Arbor we published yesterday, here are images of what could be a next-generation Nissan NV200 Compact Passenger van plying the highways of California by way of eagle-eyed TTAC reader Felix.

The current NV200 van is only available in cargo van or Taxi of Tomorrow guises. The latter landed the City of New York in a lengthy legal battle.

The van in the photos has all the hallmarks of being a Nissan prototype, including similar camo to that used on other Nissan models, explained spy photographer Brian Williams in an email.

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Last Rides Premium Selects: "Naru"

I wonder how many of the Best and Brightest have been watching, waiting for this column to descend once again upon a subject automobile that has had a truly mystical device bestowed upon it by its creator. I’m talking about the equipment that blew the expression right off your neighbor’s face when showing off your new purchase in the driveway. A true novelty lost to time. Something that probably should be capitalized on currently by automakers in an updated form in this age of “let’s fill this humorless pod full of unusable gadgetry so it doesn’t look like a rolling flip-phone.”

I’m talking, of course, about a little thing called voice warning.

You see kids, something magical happens when that speaker chimes in to apprise you of things you probably already knew about. And while we’re on the subject of cars so equipped, why not focus on something with … soul?

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Electric Cars Aren't So Dirty, Coal Power at 35-year Low

Electric vehicles aren’t rollin’ coal anymore — or, at least, not nearly as much as they used to.

Reuters reports coal-fired electricity generation is now at a 35-year low in the U.S., and November 2015 was the fifth month in a row more natural gas than coal was used to produce electricity.

That’s not all. From Reuters:

With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history.

Oh, and guess what’s dirtier than natural gas when burned? You bet: gasoline.

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2016 Nissan Sentra Review - Nissan's Compact Goes Premium

Traditional car shoppers are moving away from small sedans and toward compact crossovers. That’s the conventional wisdom used to explain the slowing sales we see in some models. But could there be another reason? Could it simply be a lack of focus and attention to the compact segment?

There is one model that’s seen a meteoric rise in sales since 2013: the Sentra. Nissan’s complete overhaul three years ago and aggressive pricing doubled Sentra sales since then, moving it from a “top 15” player in sales to number five in 2015.

In an effort to maintain the trajectory, Nissan opted for a major refresh after just three years on sale. (Sounds like the Honda plan with the Civic, doesn’t it?) Perhaps the key to compact success is a combination of frequent updates and more gadgets for shoppers to choose from. That sums up the 2016 Sentra perfectly.

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Nissan Recalling 870,000 Altimas for Faulty Hood Latches, Again

Nissan announced Friday that it would recall about 870,000 Altimas for faulty hood latches, the third time the automaker has recalled the cars since 2014, according to Reuters.

The affected models are 2013-2015 Altimas, whose secondary hood latches could rust and be ineffective at keeping 20-some square feet of sheet metal from blocking your view of the road.

The automaker attempted to fix the issue in February 2015 and September 2014, but like any good owner of a General Motors 3800 engine will tell you, anything worth doing is worth doing over and over and over again.

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2016 Nissan Maxima SR Review - The Impurist's Sports Sedan

Like cockroaches scattering in the light, Americans are fleeing sedans for the upright comfort and wagon-like space of crossovers.

The full-size sedan segment has recently been hit hard, Maxima included. Since 2012, the auto market has expanded 20 percent, while full-size sedan sales have contracted 14 percent. Based on an aging design and the entrance of Korean rivals, the Maxima’s 12-percent market share in 2012 dwindled to eight percent in 2015.

There is a fair chance no more than six people will read this review, and five of those readers will be future doctoral students deconstructing the final days of the sedan. Does that mean no matter how good the Maxima is — or could be — it’s doomed to fail?

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Datsun 510 Sedan

The badging on US-market Datsuns and Nissans got very confusing thanks to the Datsun-to-Nissan changeover that stretched from 1981 through 1984. It resulted in vehicles with awkward names such as “Datsun 810 Maxima By Nissan” showing up in showrooms with all the Datsun logos about to be chiseled off the walls. There was an ever-shifting cast of Bluebirds and Cherrys and Violets and Sunnys sold with American-market designations ending in “-1o” that sometimes corresponded with their corporate identifiers and sometimes didn’t. And then there was the Stanza-based 510 that wasn’t related to its beloved Bluebird-based 1968-73 namesake.

Here is such a car, spotted in a Denver self-serve yard a few weeks ago.

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Cheap Car Wars Canada: 2016 Chevrolet Spark Gets $9,995 CAD Price Tag, and Americans Should Be Seriously Pissed Off

Chevrolet might be trying to sell its newest Spark in the United States for $12,660 ($13,535 with freight), but the automaker is bringing its game to other low-priced subcompacts in Canada with a starting price of $9,995 CAD ($11,595 CAD with freight/PDI).

That means the Spark costs $6,880 USD on the Canadian side of the border after adjusting for current exchange rates. Either GM Canada is taking a massive financial hit on the Spark, or Americans are getting hosed — by $5,780 USD, to be exact — for the Korean-made hatchback.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD First Drive - A Cat Looks at The Kings

Ask people in the know which full-size pickup is arguably the worst new purchase you can make today and you’ll receive a resounding answer: the Titan.

Nissan’s foray into full-size pickups was a breath of fresh air when it debuted for the 2004 model year. But like all merchandise that sits stagnant on retail shelves, it quickly went out of style, became unrefined in comparison to ever-improving competitors, and could only be had with a thirsty V8 during the doldrums of the Great Recession.

It’s this languishing at the low end of the totem pole that must have cajoled Nissan engineers to seriously analyze its truck strategy going forward. Surely, if Nissan was to compete in the pickup game, it would need to update its model at the same pace as everyone else — or, the very least, at the same pace as Toyota. That’s an expensive undertaking considering an all-new model’s development is now priced well into the billions of dollars. And it’s a risky bet to invest that much cash in a segment known for ownership loyalty and domestic domination.

So, Nissan had an idea: hit ’em where they ain’t, and steal a seasoned truck guy to push the new-“class” pickup.

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NAIAS 2016: Nissan Titan Warrior Concept is Probably Not What You Expected

After revealing the kinda, sorta heavy-duty, kinda, sorta light-duty Titan XD at the North American International Auto Show last year, Nissan is looking to continue its pickup truck momentum with a concept that builds upon the new XD’s strengths.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the light-duty Titan we thought would bow in Detroit. Instead, the Titan Warrior Concept is a modified Titan XD that takes the truck to its next logical conclusion — an off-road capable, well-appointed RAM Power Wagon competitor.

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Nissan Greenlights Kicks for Latin America, Why Not Sell It In The US?

Nissan said it will produce a vehicle based on the Kicks Concept car shown at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in 2014. It will be sold globally, beginning in Latin America this year.

CEO Carlos Ghosn said the car appeals to Latin American markets that prefer compact crossovers. You know who else buys compact crossovers? You, and everyone else you know, apparently.

According to several reports, the Kicks would fit into the automaker’s lineup between the smaller Juke and larger Qashqai. Is there a hole for crossover sales between our Juke and Rogue? There’s only one way to find out.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD Starts At $41,485; Is It Your Goldilocks?

Nissan announced Tuesday that its 2016 Titan XD would start at $41,485 (including $1,195 destination) for the S Crew Cab 4×2 model. The top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4×4 will start at $61,715.

The pricing places the diesel-powered Titan XD firmly in the middle between the Big Three’s light-duty and heavy-duty trucks. For example, Ram’s 1500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×2 with its 3-liter diesel engine costs $36,940, according to Ram. A heavy-duty 2500 Ram Limited 4×4 with a 6.7-liter diesel engine starts at $64,215.

The Nissan Titan XD is a heat-seeking missile aimed in between truckmakers’ light- and heavy-duty offerings, apparently.

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Nissan/BMW Team Up on Fast Charging; Sorry, North Dakota

Nissan and BMW announced Monday that they would add 120 public fast-charging stations in 19 states to significantly expand electric vehicle infrastructure for cars not called Tesla.

The 120 stations would supplement to Tesla’s network of more than 200 Supercharger sites around the U.S. and Canada, placed throughout the countries that serve as a backbone for long-distance EV travel. (Coast to coast records are already a thing.)

Sorry, North Dakota, still no love for you. It’s a shame. Fargo is such a super town.

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Nissan Wants A Cheaper Z, So The Kids Can Buy Them

The next-generation Nissan Z (which may or may not be: 1. A crossover; 2. Real; 3. Inspired by a bicycle; 4. FWD; 5. All of the above) may be less expensive than the current car, Nissan design chief Mamori Aoki told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

A lower price would appeal to a younger generation who can’t afford the Z’s current $30,000 price tag, Aoki said. Well, yeah.

Interestingly, the report notes that a less-expensive Z could make room for a more powerful Nissan sports car that isn’t called a GT-R. Aoki told the newspaper that the GT-R would remain a flagship performance car that wouldn’t compromise speed for something as silly as price. Wonderful.

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New 2016 Infiniti Q50 Gets Trio of Turbocharged Engines, Coupe Coming Too

Like any after-school special will tell us, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Infiniti revealed Monday its refreshed Q50, complete with three turbocharged engines in varying levels of potency. The new VR-series engine, which will be replacing Nissan’s everlasting VQ-series engine first in the Q50, will be a twin-turbocharged 3-liter V-6 that produces 300 horsepower and 400 horsepower in two different tunes.

The base mill in the Q50 will be Mercedes’ turbo four, lifted from the Q30, which makes 208 horsepower. Oh yeah, and there’s a refresh for the QX60 too.

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Nissan Announces New 5.6-liter V-8 for Titan, Titan XD

Nissan announced Tuesday that its new Titan and Titan XD pickups will be powered by an all-new 5.6-liter V-8 that makes 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The new V-8 replaces the aging mill that produced 317 hp and 385 pound-feet of torque.

According to Nissan, the new V-8 — dubbed Endurance — will be built at the automaker’s Decherd, Tennessee powertrain assembly that produces all powertrains for vehicles assembled in the U.S.

(Apparently, Nissan’s announcement broke the automaker’s press site. The site went down shortly after the announcement.)

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Report: Nissan, French Government Strike Deal in Renault Spat

Nissan and the French government struck a deal Friday to end a dispute over how much influence the state has over the carmaking alliance between the Japanese automaker and Renault, according to Renault.

The French government will cap its voting rights between 17.9 percent and 20 percent in non-strategic shareholder decisions, and will preclude “interference” by the government in Nissan by Renault. Renault, which is partially state-owned, is Nissan’s largest shareholder.

Earlier this year, France passed a law that would have given the government increased voting rights in the alliance, perhaps in an attempt to forge a stronger partnership between the two automakers.

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Digestible Collectible: 1988 Nissan Pulsar NX SE

Various companies and trade groups have discovered that focusing marketing effort on a short period of time can generate significant buzz, and thus potential increased sales. Discovery Channel has “Shark Week.” Restaurants in various cities have Local Dining weeks. New York hookers have Fleet Week.

TTAC, in the same clickbaity manner, has “Sorta Obscure Twentyish-Year-Old Japanese Hatchback Week.” I’m not sure if I can repeat this next year, but this week has brought very rough examples of oddball Isuzu and Mazda hatches. Today, however, I have a personal favorite that isn’t one busted balljoint from the scrapyard.

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Nissan Moves Diaz To Trucks Only, Promotes Canadian Chief to Takeover North American Sales

Nissan announced Tuesday that it would move current U.S. chief Fred Diaz to focus on truck sales for North America and promote Nissan’s chief in Canada, Christian Meunier, to lead the group in North America.

“We are now poised to capitalize on the significant investments we have made in our trucks with the launch of the all-new Nissan Titan, and these changes will support our ability to do so,” Nissan North America chairman Jose Munoz said in a statement announcing the changes.

In his new role, Diaz will oversee truck sales — Titan and Frontier — for all of North America to help jumpstart that brand from a minor player to a more serious contender. He was previously head of Ram brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles before joining Nissan in 2013.

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Nissan's Mississippi Plant Latest Battleground for UAW in Southern Plants

The National Labor Relations Board accused Nissan of violating workers’ rights by creating a uniform policy for its workers at its Canton, Mississippi plant.

According to the charges, Nissan introduced a policy in 2014 that barred workers from wearing pro- or anti-union clothing at its Canton facility and at its plants in Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee. Employees were expected to wear company-issued pants and shirts, and visible writing underneath those clothes was prohibited.

The United Auto Workers made the complaints leading to the charges, according to the Associated Press. The union has long sought to unionize workers at Southern U.S. manufacturing facilities with limited success. Last week, skilled trades workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted to join the UAW, the first victory for the union in decades.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Your Questions, Nissan's Answers With Brent Hagan

You have questions. Brent Hagan has answers. Here is what you wanted to know about the next-generation Nissan Titan, now in XD flavor.

Hit the jump and keep refreshing until we’re done. We are going to pick off the questions one at a time, updating the post as we go.

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Nissan Titan Q&A Tomorrow at 9:30 AM ET With Brent Hagan - Submit Your Questions Now!
Tomorrow morning we will have Nissan Titan product planning manager Brent Hagan here on TTAC to answer any questions you send our way.
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2016 Nissan Altima First Drive - Baby Steps

Most midsize sedans don’t have a happy ending.

Many get passed down as second-hand family cars, looking for their second wind from being a daily commuter only to find themselves as daily bangers in high school parking lots. Or worse.

Mid-sized sedans can be sold at used car lots as forgettable appliances; used like washing machines and put away wet like skinny jeans.

The Altima lives such a life.

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LA 2015: New 2016 Nissan Sentra Finishes What Maxima Started

(The Sentra still really needs an SE-R model.)

Nissan unleashed its heavily refreshed 2016 Nissan Sentra on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show completing the overhaul to the automaker’s line of sedans. The compact sedan, which still uses the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as the last model, sports a few of the Maxima’s designs and even fewer of the new Altima’s curves (we’ll have our first drive for that soon).

The company’s V-shaped grille and boomerang headlights are present, but some of the more unique features will have to wait for the Sentra’s complete overhaul a few years from now.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD Tow Ratings Compared, Apples to Apples, to Light-Duty Pickups

Update: Classification of Titan XD added along with light-duty comparison explanation.

Nissan has released official towing numbers for its soon-to-hit-dealer-lots Titan XD pickup tweener that splits the difference between the light-duty 1500s and heavy-duty 2500s of the world.

We’ve dug into the Titan XD’s numbers, and that of its light-duty competitors, to see just how much more capability you get with the Cummins-sourced 5-liter turbodiesel V-8.

Conclusion: the ratings are a lot closer than you’d think.

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Nissan Preparing Autonomous Tech for Luxury Market

Nissan may soon be the next guest to arrive with its own take on semi- and fully autonomous driving, but the Leaf won’t be the one to carry the torch.

Though Nissan’s Intelligent Driving autonomous concept from this year’s Tokyo Auto Show resembles a future-forward Leaf, and while the automaker is using Leafs to test its form of semi- and fully autonomous driving, Green Car Reports says the first version of Nissan’s Piloted Driving will appear in a luxury model when the rollout begins next year in Japan.

For markets such as China and the United States, an Infiniti may be the first to bring the tech over to each country’s respective shores.

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This is How the Nissan Micra Cup Racecar is Built for $20,000

When the Nissan Micra Cup series was announced in late 2014, there was one main goal: be the most affordable, semi-professional racing series in Canada.

In order to achieve that goal, everything about the series needed to be cost-effective. All races were scheduled in Quebec, where the majority of competitors reside, and tires and brakes had to wear in a predictable manner so as not to “fall off” during race weekends. However, the difficult part was building a racing car to a price — $20,000 CAD, or $15,225 USD at today’s exchange rates, to be exact — so that racers could either pony up the personal funds to buy it themselves or more easily woo sponsors to make their racing dreams come true.

During the planning phase of the series, Nissan Canada and series promoter JD Motorsport tapped racing car builder Motorsports In Action of St-Eustache, Quebec to build the pint-sized racers. MIA, which is located in an indescript row of commercial units racing at Autodrome St-Eustache about 40 minutes northwest of Montreal, fabricates and preps vehicles for varying types of racing series and prides itself on build quality. However, as they say, “Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick Two,” it’s much easier to build a racing car with a high-dollar budget than it is to put together an economical package like the one requested for Micra Cup.

Thankfully, due to MIA’s combined knowledge and ingenuity, racers get a decent chunk of all three. And MIA’s Carl Hermez gave us a tour to show us exactly how they do it.

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Mark Bites Back: In Defense of Nissan

Bark and I, either by fate or consequence, were presented with very similar automotive options lately. While his choice was made on the Emerald Aisle, mine was made over the phone before a planned trip to watch the final round of the Nissan Micra Cup in Quebec.

And while he was less than impressed with the 370Z — and, on the surface, I can’t disagree — his view extended to the rest of the Nissan lineup.

From an enthusiast’s perch, Bark may not be able to see the forest for the trees.

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Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Nissan's IDS Concept Will Show You The Best Cornering Lines, Then Drive Them For You (Video)

Nissan unveiled its [s]next Leaf[/s] IDS Concept, a semi-autonomous EV complete with a glimpse of Nissan’s coming “Intelligent Drive” features that may be equipped on some of its cars by the end of the decade.

The IDS Concept boasts an autonomous piloted driving mode for conversationalists (the seats rotate inward to invite dialogue!) a movable dash with “Minority Report” pre-cog abilities (probably) and a submarine-style style steering wheel.

But those aren’t the best concept-ish features.

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Nissan Confirms $23,325 Price For Altima; We Can Be Right - Once

Nissan announced Tuesday that its refreshed Altima would start at $23,325 (including $825 destination) when that car goes on sale later next month ( you read it here first!) and outlined pricing for its seven different trims.

The newly introduced SR trim, with smoked headlights, rear spoiler (probably adds 10 percent fast or so), 18-inch wheels and other unique features, will start at $25,295 for the 2.5-liter four, or $28,215 for the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine.

The base S trim is $200 more than the current model; the top-trimmed 2016 3.6 SL is priced $260 lower than the 2015 model.

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Is This Concept the Next-generation Nissan Leaf?

“The future vision of car intelligence and electrification.”

That was the entire press release provided by Nissan along with the above photo. That’s it. That’s all.

So, let the wild speculation begin. Is this the next-generation Nissan Leaf? Or is it a life orb that will ship us off to fight to the death in some futuristic panopticon? Who knows?!?! It could be at least one of those things.

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Here's The Renault Twizy in the US, Hassle-free. No, Really.

Nissan is sending 10 [s]Renault Twizys[/s] Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles to San Francisco as part its citywide ride sharing service Scoot.

The small, all-electric [s]Renault Twizy[/s] Scoot Quad will seat two people, have a range of roughly 40 miles and a top speed of 25 mph. The cars will cost $8 per ride or $80 per day to rent.

According to Nissan, the cars are being sent to the ride-sharing service to study transportation in urban areas — and to see if they can sell them anywhere else, probably.

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Everything Is Bigger In Texas, Including Its Automotive Press Awards

The Texas Auto Writers Association said Tuesday that the new, diesel-powered Nissan Titan XD was the 2015 Texas Truck of the Year and the Ford F-Series won Truck Line of Texas, alongside 22 other awards in a bi-annual affair held on non-consecutive Sundays until an eventual winner is crowned after a round-robin, double-elimination playoff.

The award for the Titan XD is the first for the truck, which will go on sale in December. Texas auto writers awarded the Ram 2500 with best heavy-duty pickup, Ram 1500 Rebel as the best full-size pickup and the new Toyota Tacoma as the best mid-size pickup.

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Nissan Exec: Uber, Not Tesla, a Bigger Threat

John Martin, Nissan North America’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management, had some harsh words for Tesla on Friday. According to him, Uber — not Tesla — is the real disruptor, and what Tesla is doing now is relatively easy, Automotive News reported.

“Lot’s of people are calling Tesla a disrupter. They are not,” he said while arguing that building a performance vehicle that’s priced over $100,000 is much easier than manufacturing an electric car for under $30,000.

And what about Apple and Google? Martin doesn’t foresee either of them getting into the auto manufacturing business anytime soon.

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Did Nissan Cover Up the Next Cube in a Bunch of Tech?

Nissan announced Monday that it would show in Tokyo a concept car that would be electric, charge devices and make all the kids search for it on TheInternet.web when they get home from school.

The Teatro for Dayz appears to be a Cube-ish subcompact, powered by electrons for some humans that Nissan’s marketing team are calling “share natives.” Nissan didn’t detail the car’s specifications, other than some pie-in-the-sky functions such as web cameras, LED displays on the outside and illuminated displays for something.

Interestingly, the car sports a steering wheel, pedals and won’t be autonomous, which suggests that some of the car could be rooted in reality. The EV boasts a “short range,” according to the automaker, and could actually be something that makes it on to the roads some day — hopefully without that name.

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EXCLUSIVE: Nissan's New Altima Features Updated Face, Starting at $22,500

Nissan unveiled its newest Altima in New York on Tuesday, complete with Maxima-like headlights and hood lines.

The newest Altima will sport the same engine options as the last model, a 2.5-liter I-4 and 3.5-liter V-6. The former produces 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, with the latter making 270 hp and 251 lb.-ft. of torque. Both are paired to a continuously variable transmission with “7-step manumatic” paddle shift.

The Altima also adds a sporty SR trim, which can have both four- and six-cylinder engines, stiffened suspension and a rear decklid spoiler.

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Incentives Put Nissan Leaf and Ford C-Max At Nearly Level Pegging

Our coverage of the sweet, sweet, sweet deal that is the Nissan Leaf ( in Colorado, at least) won’t be overlooked by one blue-oval automaker.

At least for this month, Ford is leasing its 2015 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid for $159 a month for 36 months with $2,689 down at signing (after $2,750 cash back). The lease covers 10,500 miles a year. That may not be the screaming deal that the Leaf is, especially considering its term, but really — how long would you keep a 2015 electric-ish car anyway?

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How I Bought A Ridiculously Cheap Brand-new Nissan Leaf

Aaron Cole’s articles about the ridiculous incentives available for purchasing a Leaf in Colorado piqued my interest, mostly because: I live in Colorado; and, I like the idea of paying way less than half of MSRP for a new car.

We moved to an inner-ring suburb of Denver about a year ago with a family of six and the requisite three-row crossover: a leased Mazda CX-9. Yet, ever since I bought my Volvo V70R with the way-back seat, we use the Volvo almost exclusively for hauling the family around town. We also bought an RV for long road trips. For the last year or so, the CX-9 has just been a really thirsty, oversized runabout.

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The First Seven Generations of Maxima, Ranked

A couple of months ago, our own Mark Stevenson drove the eighth-generation Maxima. He was neither particularly enthusiastic nor needlessly cruel when discussing Nissan’s big sedan. I have yet to drive the Max myself so I have, as of yet, no opinion. However, I have driven all of the previous cars at one point or another between 1988 and 2013. I also have something to say about the Maxima’s true relevance to Nissan, and I’ll be saying that in my next “No Fixed Abode” column. As a warmup for that, then, I thought I’d reacquaint you, and myself, with the history of the Maxima. And since this is the Internet, we might as well rank them, right?

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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is, Vol. 1

My enthusiasm for Nissan’s dirt-cheap Leaf in Colorado is well documented. Here in the Centennial State, we have 100 ways to make a 2015 Nissan Leaf affordable for poor journalists like me — thank you, Beer Baron Governor.

For me, the specter of a brand-new car for less than $10,000 is too good to pass up — and even good enough to delay my quest for the best Alfa Romeo Milano in the U.S. That even felt weird to type.

So on Thursday afternoon, I packed up the girlfriend, my expectations for a rock-bottom priced Nissan Leaf and hit the local dealership for a rendezvous with the least-expensive new car in America.

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At This Point, Nissan Is Just Daring Me Not To Buy A Leaf

Nissan announced Thursday that the 2016 Leaf would run more than 100 miles on a single charge in SV and SL trim, increasing its range by 25 percent over last year. The base S model will keep the 24 kWh battery that manages more than 80 miles on a charge.

For the dozens and dozens of 2015 Leafs wilting on lots around the Denver metro area — where a combination of tax credits and cash back from the manufacturer makes the Leaf the least-expensive new car in America — I can hear them calling. And after Nissan sweetened its own deal this month with no interest for 72 months, it’s getting louder.

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Nissan Teases 'Concept Crossover' Ahead of Frankfurt Debut

Nissan on Monday released a teaser of a new crossover concept car that will be unveiled this month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The crossover, which Autocar suggested could be the next Z, could also be its next-generation Juke, which should be updated by 2017.

According to the automaker, the concept could be a “new way to feel driving excitement” (Nissan left it open to the reader) because some of us get hot and bothered when we see a crossover.

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At This Price, Nissan Just May As Well Pay You For a New Leaf

I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby.

Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan Leaf one of the least expensive new cars in America is fascinating.

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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.