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Old 05-22-2003, 04:39 PM
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Nissan: Sales, Marketing, and Financial News

Great! Cos Ford was doing so well...

------------------------------------------------------------


By Gail Kachadourian
Automotive News / May 22, 2003

Simon Sproule has left his vice president position with Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover North America to take on a similar role at Nissan North America Inc.

Sproule, 34, becomes Nissan North America's VP for corporate communications on June 9. He replaces Debra Sanchez Fair, who resigned in February. Sproule will report to Jim Morton, senior vice president, administration and finance.

Sproule became vice president, communications and corporate affairs for the Ford luxury brands in August 2001. He resigned on Wednesday. Prior to that, he held positions with Ford in the United States and Europe since 1990
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Old 05-22-2003, 09:57 PM
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Well, there goes Nissan down the crapper...

Yeah, he'll do all the same wonderful things to Nissan as he did to Jaquar...

Remember the Stype...a watered down Jaguar built off the LS platform...
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Old 09-16-2003, 04:53 PM
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Forbes Ranks Nissan's Ghosn Top Earner Among CEOs in Japan

News: Forbes Ranks Nissan's Ghosn Top Earner Among CEOs in Japan

Kyodo News - August 27, 2003

NEW YORK, Aug 27, 2003 (Kyodo via COMTEX) -- Nissan Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carlos Ghosn ranked highest among Japanese firms' top executives in terms of annual compensation, according to Forbes magazine.

Ghosn, who turned the Japanese automaker around, placed 23rd, with $2.33 million, on the magazine's list of ranking of "CEO compensation at the top 50 companies" outside the United States.

Jorma Ollila of Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia Corp. topped the list with $15.60 million.

Peter Wuffli of Swiss financial group UBS came second with $9.80 million and BP's John Browne was third with $8.44 million.

The list in the Sept. 1 issue included five other presidents at Japanese firms, including Toyota Motor Corp.'s Fujio Cho at 38th with

$1.1 million, Honda Motor Co.'s Takeo Fukui at 41st with $562,000 and Canon Inc.'s Fujio Mitarai at 42nd with $523,000.

Norio Wada of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and Kunio Takada of Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd. followed at 47th and 50th, respectively.

Forbes used estimated figures for the Japanese companies and other Asian firms on the list as they disclose no details of compensation for their executives.
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Old 09-16-2003, 07:12 PM
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so i guess all of the real moneymakers are in the US... i mean sheesh, i SEE people everyday that make more money than that (Purchase NY owns man)
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Old 09-16-2003, 08:19 PM
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yea, that is mad low
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:12 PM
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I could not believe how little money Nissan's Ghosn made in the past year. Compare that to the NYSE's Grasso at $50K per DAY! While everyone else was losing their shirt. That a$$.
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Old 09-19-2003, 05:19 AM
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Article on Nissan/Infiniti quality ( or lack there off)

Despite spate of new models, quality issues haunt Nissan


By Paul Lienert / Autos Insider

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The automotive success story of the past three years is Carlos Ghosn's remarkable turnaround of once-beleaguered Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co.

Or is it?

On a purely financial basis, the turnaround looks pretty convincing. Ghosn and his team of "cost killers" appear to have done a remarkable job of pruning waste, selling off noncore operations, pursuing joint development efforts with French parent Renault SA, and convincing suppliers to slash prices if they want to keep doing business with Nissan.

The result has been fat profits in the past two years -- a dramatic reversal from the steep losses suffered in the late 1990s.

I give full credit to Ghosn and his chief lieutenants, among them Patrick Pelata, the canny French product planning chief, and Shiro Nakamura, the iconoclastic Japanese design boss, for repositioning the company as an edgy, creative, and fast-moving player on the world stage.

Indeed, on its home turf, Nissan has rocketed past Honda Motor Co. to reclaim second place behind Toyota Motor Co.p., and it has been widening the margin month by month.

In Europe, Nissan outsells Honda by more than two to one. In China, Ghosn has announced a broad-based partnership with Dongfeng Motor coupled with an aggressive investment strategy that is aimed at catapulting Nissan past its Japanese competitors into a leadership position in that rapidly emerging market.

What the executive team at Nissan has managed to do, then, is to leverage the company's manufacturing efficiency, engineering prowess, and design creativity to revive a tarnished brand that appeared to be in a death spiral less than five years ago.

Underlying the eye-popping changes in products and plants, of course, is relentless cost-cutting of the sort that made Ghosn practically a household name in the auto industry.

Before we canonize Carlos, however, let's take a closer look at Nissan's track record in North America.

In the past two years, the company has unleashed an absolute onslaught of new products in this market, under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, beginning with the redesigned 2002 Altima in fall 2001.

The Nissan brand has since introduced the all-new Murano crossover vehicle, resurrected the 350Z sports car, and redesigned the Maxima sport sedan. The Infiniti brand has unveiled three new models in that time: the G35 coupe and sedan, the M45 sedan, and the FX crossover vehicle.

All the new products share some common elements, among them bold, edge-of-the-envelope designs and world-class power plants.

This year, the company has continued its product flood, backed by the opening in May of its sprawling $2.4 billion manufacturing complex in Canton, Miss.

The first vehicle off the line in Canton was the paradigm-busting 2004 Quest minivan, which will be followed in October by the equally unsettling Pathfinder Armada -- Nissan's first full-size SUV -- and in December by a companion full-size truck, the Titan. A fourth model, the 2005 Infiniti QX56, arrives next spring as a head-to-head competitor to the Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade.

So what's the impact of this product deluge on Nissan's U.S. sales?

Through July, the company's combined tally is up a modest 1.7 percent, a bit of a surprise compared with Honda's 12.8 percent increase in the same period.

In fact, Nissan brand sales were down 2.7 percent in the first seven months, despite the constant cadence of new-model launches. Things are considerably brighter at Infiniti, where seven-month sales jumped 36.7 percent, but the entire increase can be attributed to the strength of the new G35 and the FX.

The debut this fall of the new trucks will help improve the company's sales total for the year, but Nissan has a long way to go to even catch sight of Honda in the United States, let alone have a prayer of overtaking it.

In the meantime, it must still fend off a surging Hyundai Motor Co./Kia Motor Co., which now commands nearly four percent of the U.S. market, compared with Nissan's modest 4.6 percent.

Is Nissan's performance in the Western Hemisphere an anomaly? I don't think so.

The company has been getting great press, thanks in no small part to an outstanding public relations effort in recent years, not to mention Ghosn's own personal charisma and rapport with the media.

Somehow, that goodwill has yet to fully trickle down to the public, where the widespread perception is that Nissan is still a second-tier player -- a perception, I might add, that a close inspection of the products fails to dispel.

I've driven production or prototype versions of every new model from both brands except the QX56. Almost without exception, they have been entertaining to look at and to drive. And almost without exception, the assembly and material quality has fallen short of expectations.

If Nissans look great on the outside, they still tend to fall short on the inside.

The nagging quality concerns are directly related to the issues of supplier costs and manufacturing efficiency, and will not be resolved quickly or easily, as General Motors Corp. discovered to its dismay after the departure of purchasing hatchet man Inaki Lopez.

Quality, then, remains a tightrope that Nissan has to negotiate with extreme care. It especially needs to pump more money into the cabins of its new models, which on the surface seem stylish enough, yet lack the substance of more mundane competitors like Toyota and Honda.

Only then will Nissan and Infiniti products be perceived, by public and press alike, as truly world class -- a perception that should translate into higher sales for both brands.
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Old 09-19-2003, 05:30 AM
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Re: Article on Nissan/Infiniti quality ( or lack there off)

Originally posted by 1SICKLEX
If Nissans look great on the outside, they still tend to fall short on the inside.
Personally I think the new Nissans are horrible looking. That new Maxima is just plain nasty. The Murano/FX is edgy but still, not too bad. Although the G35 sedan isn't all that good looking, the coupe looks sporty, which matches the car. The new Q45 is vomit inducing.
However, ALL of them have interiors that scream cheap funk nastyness for cars that cost so much.
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Old 09-19-2003, 05:53 AM
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Hopefully, they had a plan in mind...

Make money to get out of BK first, then tighten up the ship(quality) after BK isn't an issue...Hopefully..
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:03 AM
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I cant see how this article is mainly...negative for Nissan/Infiniti. The article has described 100 good things and 1 bad thing. That bad thing is "cheap interior components". Thanks for the one year old news. We all know that.

So Nissan became number 2 in Japan from being ready to go bankrupt only 2 years ago and the quality of the interior is a reason to bitch? Give me a break Paul Lienert!

The biggest surprise to me from Nissan is Infiniti's place in the reliability reports (Initial or not) by JD Power. It's just unbelievable. And the main reason is, when you introduce SO MANY new offerings, most designed from the ground up, it's extremely hard to stay reliable. Even if your name is Lexus. I hear they had a terrible year with the intro of the GX. And it's totally justifiable. Even for them
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Old 09-19-2003, 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by gavriil
I cant see how this article is mainly...negative for Nissan/Infiniti. The article has described 100 good things and 1 bad thing. That bad thing is "cheap interior components". Thanks for the one year old news. We all know that.

So Nissan became number 2 in Japan from being ready to go bankrupt only 2 years ago and the quality of the interior is a reason to bitch? Give me a break Paul Lienert!

The biggest surprise to me from Nissan is Infiniti's place in the reliability reports (Initial or not) by JD Power. It's just unbelievable. And the main reason is, when you introduce SO MANY new offerings, most designed from the ground up, it's extremely hard to stay reliable. Even if your name is Lexus. I hear they had a terrible year with the intro of the GX. And it's totally justifiable. Even for them
I think they are going to address the materials issue. It's pretty easy to spend $100 extra dollars or so to upgrade materials cost. For example, the 05 Altima, everyone's favorite whipping boy for cheap interiors, is getting an entirely new interior for 2005 (even the 2003 version is noticably better than the 2002 version that everyone reviewed and got their impressions from).

What worries me more is the reliability as a result of rapid expansion. Two brand new assembly lines at Smyrna, plus a brand new plant in Canton, Mississippi. It takes time for a plant to get into a manufacturing rhythym, even Japanese plants. In many cases the Japanese manufacturers hold back new models from export during the first few months of manufacture. That's not to imply that American plants produce cars with the same # of defects as their Japanese counterparts, a touchy subject I don't have the onhand data to comment on.

I think a company that has recently had far bigger reliability problems is Mercedes, who's had to buy back some 2000 S500 from US customers due to ongoing reliability issues:

http://www.detnews.com/2003/autosins...c01-213054.htm

Additionally, I think it's valuable to distinguish between design decisions vs. number of defects. Nissan and to a lesser degree Infiniti has made an obvious choice to spend their money on performance.

Infiniti's rival from birth, Lexus, decided from beginning to spend their money on luxury. It's fair then to point out how "slow" the IS300 is compared to the G35 when pointing out how "bad" the G35's interior is when compared to the IS300. Both companies made a set of design/engineering/cost tradeoffs. Some will be acceptable to one set of buyers, others will be acceptable to another set of buyers.
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:39 AM
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think it takes time to rebuild a car company, either you put all your money into one vehicle to make it world class or you spread it out so you have a lineup to compete with the big companies and in this case nissan/infiniti spreading the money out has paid off in huge profits. eventually there will come a point when they won't need huge sums of money to expand and instead it will be recycled back into the quality of the cars.
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by Aquineas
[B]For example, the 05 Altima, everyone's favorite whipping boy for cheap interiors, is getting an entirely new interior for 2005 (even the 2003 version is noticably better than the 2002 version that everyone reviewed and got their impressions from).
I have driven both 2002 and 2003 Altimas as rentals and I was blown away by the quality difference of the 2. In all respects. Inside and out. The 2003 model was A LOT better put together than the 2002 model. Totally agree.
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Aquineas
[B]

What worries me more is the reliability as a result of rapid expansion. Two brand new assembly lines at Smyrna, plus a brand new plant in Canton, Mississippi. It takes time for a plant to get into a manufacturing rhythym, even Japanese plants.
Totally agree as I wrote above. We will know in a couple of years though.
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by Aquineas
[B]

I think a company that has recently had far bigger reliability problems is Mercedes, who's had to buy back some 2000 S500 from US customers due to ongoing reliability issues:

http://www.detnews.com/2003/autosins...c01-213054.htm
Mercedes even admited it themselves that they have huge issues with reliability in recent years and vowed to correct that.
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:59 AM
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I hope that this will be a trend then...

I'd love to go back to them.
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Old 09-19-2003, 05:54 PM
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I've had my Z for 9.5 months so far and no problems save a rattle that I fixed quickly after it started. My CLS was on its second tranny by this time and that was a second model year car.

As for the interior, well all I get is compliments on mine from people who see it in person. Looking at the plastics, they could have used better materials on the center console, but it still looks good. I am one VERY satisfied Nissan customer.
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by zeroday
As for the interior, well all I get is compliments on mine from people who see it in person. Looking at the plastics, they could have used better materials on the center console, but it still looks good. I am one VERY satisfied Nissan customer.
The interior is nice from what I've seen...the ol lady wants to buy a Z vert next spring, we saw 2 in person & they looked super nice.

I'd love to own another Nissan.
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:48 PM
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I don't get why you titled this article about the lack of quality for Nissan. As Gavriil mentioned, the article listed 100 positive things and 1 or 2 negatives, yet you don't highlight the positive. Yes, the interiors are not outstanding, but it's getting better. I also have to agree with Zeroday. My Z with the supposedly "cheap" interior is pretty much rattle free and well built - Much quieter than my old CL. Nissan is a great success story so far the past few years
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by cusdaddy
I don't get why you titled this article about the lack of quality for Nissan. As Gavriil mentioned, the article listed 100 positive things and 1 or 2 negatives, yet you don't highlight the positive. Yes, the interiors are not outstanding, but it's getting better. I also have to agree with Zeroday. My Z with the supposedly "cheap" interior is pretty much rattle free and well built - Much quieter than my old CL. Nissan is a great success story so far the past few years
That's how I felt after reading the article. The title was misleading.
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Old 09-21-2003, 12:40 PM
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I traded my 2001 CL-S for a Murano SL w/ AWD. To date I love the Murano and have had no issues. I still love Honda/ Acura, but the Honda designs are so stodgy compared to Nissan. I was in between the Murano and the MDX. The decision came down to styling and bang for the buck.
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Old 09-22-2003, 06:08 AM
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Paul Lienert has traditionally been very supportive of domestics (he does write for Detroit News) and will nickpick foreign makers. Having a G35, I find the quality of the car to be sufficient -- not the highest, but far from cheap. I have no doubt it will last for the life of the car -- something I couldn't say about a Ford I owned.
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Old 09-22-2003, 01:38 PM
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i have a maxima iam selling but only to get a 2004 tl. not because i have any problems i have had the car for 5 years.
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Old 10-20-2003, 09:08 PM
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Eye On Infiniti At Nissan

Car Connection

There could be some dramatic changes in the works at Nissan's high-line Infiniti division, hints a senior executive. After a decade stuck in the middle tier of the luxury market, the automaker is promising to move Infiniti into the upper tier, alongside rivals like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Toyota's Infiniti brand. But don't look for Infiniti to take a safe, me-too approach, stresses Patrick Pelata, the executive vice president and Nissan Board member overseeing product. There is a lot of discussion going on as Infiniti sets out to redefine its flagship product, Pelata hints. "The flagship has to reflect the brand," but exactly where that will lead has yet to be decided. In fact, it's not clear whether the current top-line model, the Q45, the sporty M45, or some new product will become what the executive calls "the dream car for all our customers." A hint of what might come can be seen in the striking Fugu concept vehicle. But as with all product programs, Nissan will not do a top-line Infiniti that cannot turn a profit, in contrast to the early days of the top-line marque. So it appears reluctant to simply echo its competitors with vehicles that would compete in the extremes above $100,000. "Our strategy may be slow, but it is working," said Pelata, who stressed that while Nissan wants to keep Infiniti's momentum building, it can't afford to rush. "A luxury brand is not something that moves very quickly. Customer expectations are high, and they do not accept mistakes." -Paul A. Eisenstein
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Old 10-20-2003, 09:49 PM
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When I saw the Fuga concept for the first time, that was my first thought. Infiniti is moving way upmarket and it's evident with this car here. Good for them. I'd like to see them succeed.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by gavriil
When I saw the Fuga concept for the first time, that was my first thought. Infiniti is moving way upmarket and it's evident with this car here. Good for them. I'd like to see them succeed.
I agree. But on the downside some people will hate them even more than they do now. There are a lot of people out there that do not want to see Nissan/Infiniti prospe due to all of the press, awards, and record profits that they've been getting. This will only make it worse.
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by Habiib
But on the downside some people will hate them even more than they do now. There are a lot of people out there that do not want to see Nissan/Infiniti prospe due to all of the press, awards, and record profits that they've been getting. This will only make it worse.
Yeah...but 'these people' you speak of are called 'competitors'...

They are supposed to be pissd when Nissan succeeds...means they have to raise their game to compete...either way the consumers win.

Good for Nissan!!! I'm almost out of my lease anyhow...
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:43 AM
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Re: Eye On Infiniti At Nissan

Originally posted by heyitsme
....alongside rivals like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Toyota's Infiniti brand.
Was that a misprint in the article or did u do that?

Either way interesting news.

Infiniti is gonna have a fleet of cars soon.
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Old 10-21-2003, 05:56 AM
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damn, just when i could almost afford an Infiniti...
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Old 11-03-2003, 09:05 AM
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Nissan revival has roots in Japan's culture

Nissan revival has roots in Japan's culture

Styling chief Nakamura says 'Japanese legacy' will win younger buyers

By David Sedgwick
Automotive News / November 03, 2003
Nissan chief designer Shiro Nakamura has shown good instincts for American tastes. Now he thinks they're ready for something more radical.


TOKYO -- Shiro Nakamura is feeling playful.

In the lobby of Nissan Motor Co.'s world headquarters in central Tokyo, the company's chief designer gestures toward the Cube, a boxlike vehicle on display at a reception for automotive journalists.

Early this year, Nissan shipped a Cube to Southern California to gauge its appeal to young consumers. Nakamura chuckles as he mimics teenagers who spotted the car in a parking lot.

"They'd run up to it and look inside," he says. "They liked it."

Nissan won't sell the current Cube in the U.S. market, but it might design a next-generation version suitable for American consumption, Nakamura says. "We need something for young buyers," he explains.

While Nissan is not ready to make a decision, industry observers should pay close attention to Nakamura's comments. In four years as Nissan's chief pen, Nakamura already has demonstrated remarkably good instincts for American tastes.

Nissan's rebound in the American market has been fueled by stylish vehicles such as the Maxima, the Z car and the Infiniti G35, all influenced by Nakamura. Now Nakamura believes young American consumers are ready for more radical designs - vehicles such as the Cube that are more distinctively Japanese.

Nakamura says he wants to recapture the automaker's "Japanese legacy or DNA" for future vehicles.

"It's a very delicate quality," Nakamura told an audience at an industry conference during the Tokyo Motor Show last month. "We'd like to nurture the Japanese character."

Examples were displayed at the show. For example, the Nissan Serenity minivan concept featured external lines inspired by a Japanese Kabuki character.

Nissan's production vehicles also boast Japanese design cues. For example, the Nissan Primera features an unconventional instrument panel with press-down control buttons on a horizontal surface. They call to mind the fingering of the koto, a musical instrument with strings on a board.

Even a traditional American vehicle such as the pickup can absorb Japanese themes. The Nissan Titan's U.S. design team traveled to Japan to consider Japanese design cues to distinguish it from its Big 3 competitors.

In a cue suggestive of a small Japanese home design, the Titan's rear doors swing open nearly 180 degrees. "Space is well-utilized," Nakamura explained. "That is what we're good at."

The wide-swinging door probably will be applied to Nissan's upcoming cars, Nakamura added.

Key player

Nakamura earned a bacelor's degree in science at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., where he studied transportation design. He joined Nissan from Isuzu Motors Ltd., where he was chief designer. He was known for the futuristic styling of the VehiCross SUV.

His Nissan hiring was announced Oct. 18, 1999 - the same day that Nissan President Carlos Ghosn released his stunning Nissan Revival Plan.

Since then, the 52-year-old designer has emerged as a key figure in Ghosn's celebrated turnaround of the troubled automaker. When Ghosn made Nakamura a senior vice president, it was the first time a Nissan design director had held such a senior position.

At Nissan, Nakamura has demonstrated that he is no fan of overt retro styling. But he revealed an instinct for automotive tradition when he styled Nissan's Z car, a vehicle that captures the spirit of the original 240Z.

And Nakamura does appreciate cars from bygone eras. Favorites include the 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro, the 1966 DeTomaso Mangusta and Pininfarina's 1964 Ferrari 275GTB Berlinetta.

Nakamura has encouraged his staff to explore design themes from nonautomotive disciplines. For his own inspiration, Nakamura enjoys Bauhaus architecture and studies the work of Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect. Nakamura once said that he detected a "mixture of Japanese tradition and modern" in Ando's work.

He also derives inspiration and relaxation from music. When he has spare time, Nakamura plays bass in jazz sessions at Ami's Bar, a small club in Tokyo's fashionable Ginza district. Favorite jazz composers include Ron Carter and Bill Evans. He also plays classical cello.

This mix of classical and modern influences - plus his appreciation of Japanese culture - is the key to Nakamura's automotive design work. "There are so many good things about Japan," he says. "We should explore them."

Staff Reporters Lindsay Chappell and Kathy Jackson contributed to this report
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:55 AM
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Nissan CEO in accident driving a Porsche

Nissan CEO in accident driving a Porsche - - Reuters / February 09, 2004

TOKYO -- Carlos Ghosn, the celebrity CEO of Nissan Motor Co., was involved in a minor accident on Sunday when the Porsche he was test-driving was in a collision with a motorcycle as he was making a turn.

"It's not uncommon for executives to test-drive competitors' cars on weekends to evaluate them," he said, adding the Porsche belonged to Nissan.

Source: Auto News
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:55 AM
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Testing a Porsche, or owning a Porsche? Hmm...
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Old 02-09-2004, 10:49 AM
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He was looking for more ideas to steal from the 911. Hell the 350Z looks like a Japanese version of one, to me, from some angles.......

Hope he's okay.
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Old 02-09-2004, 11:13 AM
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I hope the motorcycle rider is OK.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:23 PM
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lol
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:37 PM
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Can you blame him? If I was the CEO of Nissan I would have been test driving a Ferrari not a Porsche.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:03 PM
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He probably has to keep it a little bit realistic since he said hes benchmarking a porsche for the gtr, that way he can drive one and have nissan pay for it.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:33 PM
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He should only be driving a Z.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:46 PM
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Nissan Being Sued over stolen Headlamps

Nissan sued over stolen headlights

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) New Jersey authorities sued Nissan North America on Monday, alleging the automaker failed to warn customers that the super-bright headlights on its Maximas were hot targets for thieves.
The suit, filed in Superior Court in Somerset County, also alleges Nissan profited by having customers purchase anti-theft kits that should have been free. The company's dealerships also profited by repairing cars victimized by thieves, state Attorney General Peter Harvey said.

"We allege the company sold cars with these fancy lights, but kept consumers in the dark about how attractive the headlamps were to thieves," said Reni Erdos, director of the state Division of Consumer Affairs, which filed the suit. "Nissan's actions, or lack thereof, rendered consumers vulnerable to the criminals who targeted their vehicles."

Authorities surveyed police departments in 19 New Jersey municipalities over the past two years and documented 756 thefts or attempted thefts of the moon-blue lights from 2002 or 2003 Maximas.

"Nissan knew since at least September 2002 that thieves were targeting the xenon headlamps in Maximas," Harvey said. "However, it wasn't until more than a year later that Nissan finally began notifying 2002 and 2003 Maxima owners of the risk of theft and the availability of anti-theft devices.

"Meanwhile, numerous victims were hit with huge repair bills. We're seeking restitution for those consumers."

The lights cost about $1,800 to replace not counting repair costs for other damage done by thieves, which can bring the total to $4,000 or more.

In a statement, Nissan said it does more than any other manufacturer to help reduce xenon headlight theft, which also plagues other vehicles.

"While nothing can completely eliminate the thefts of parts from vehicles, we believe the proactive steps taken by Nissan will help deter criminals from stealing headlights from our customers' Maximas," the company's statement read.

Nissan said it began an anti-theft initiative last fall, sending letters to consumers informing them they can bring their Maximas to a dealer where a bracket would be installed, free of charge, to make the headlights more difficult to steal.

But the lawsuit alleges that on Sept. 26, 2002, the company issued a bulletin to its service technicians stating that a replacement connector kit was available for the headlights damaged by theft.

Two months later, the complaint alleges, Nissan sent out another bulletin to service reps informing them that a $175 theft deterrent kit was available "if a customer requests" and "for customer pay only."

It was not until November 2003 that Nissan sent letters to consumers offering "securing devices" for the lights. But Harvey said these kits were different from the anti-theft kit.

"The customer would only have found out about the anti-theft kit if he had asked about it, which obviously he couldn't have," Harvey said.

Nissan spokesman John Schilling said he could not comment beyond the prepared statement, which did not address allegations that the company knew about problems with the lights being stolen long before it warned customers and that the free securing kit it offered provided less protection than the anti-theft kit customers had to purchase.

The lawsuit does not name other automakers whose lights are also frequently stolen by thieves, including Acura.

Sandra Feeley of Morris Township witnessed the theft of headlights from her Maxima on a Manhattan street corner last May.

Feeley, who spoke at Monday's news conference, took the vehicle to a dealership to have the lights replaced and $4,000 worth of damage repaired.

"Everyone there said, 'Oh, this is an issue here," she said. "I was like, 'Why wasn't I told about this?'"

She said she would not have bought a Nissan Maxima had she known its headlights were so popular with thieves.


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Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:57 PM
  #40  
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Probly just a matter of time before other auto makers are named in the same suit, including Acura. The old TL's had the same problem.

Anyone hear of light theft on the TSX or new TL's?
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