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Nissan sales show no improvement

The latest figures show that Nissan’s passenger car sales have nearly halved in Japan for the second month in a row as the car maker still struggles with a damaging inspection scandal. (more…)

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Subaru boosts SUV production

Subaru announced on Friday that they plan to increase SUV production at their Indiana factory. Subaru will be investing NZ$200 million into the venture, which will also provide an additional 200 jobs.

Subaru debuts the all-new 2019 Ascent SUV at the L.A. Auto Show.


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China to reach one million units

Production of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in China could reach one million units by next year and three million by 2020.

Chairman of carmaker BAIC group, Xu Heyi said the production is likely to exceed a target set by the Chinese government.

“Rather than the time when gasoline-fuelled cars are withdrawn, it is more important to consider the extent to which new energy vehicles are popularized, or their market share,” Xu told reporters at the Communist Party Congress.

Wang Chuanfu, chairman of leading EV producer BYD, said in September that all of China’s vehicles could be “electrified” by as early as 2030.

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150 million Nissans to date

The Nissan Motor Company has produced its 150 millionth vehicle.

Established in 1933, Nissan is based in Yokohama Japan and sells vehicles world-wide. The US, China, Mexico and the UK lead Nissan’s sales, and Australia has contributed to producing over 1.6 million of these vehicles, including 806,432 of the 50 million cars sold since the start of 2005.

Nissan held about 6 per cent market share of passenger and commercial new vehicle sales in New Zealand in 2016, selling 11,219 that year.

The Nissan Motor Company has its origins in the pre-war Japanese Empire, being one of the members of the “zaubatsu”, a group of business that dominated the Japanese economy from the late 1800s to the end of World War Two.

In 1914, the company produced its first car. Named DAT, the car’s name was an an acronym of the first letter of each of its investor’s surnames. The DAT was followed by the smaller DATSON (son of DAT) Type 11.

The 1933 Datsun 12 Phaeton.

Nissan were the first manufacturer to produce cars in New Zealand, when they sold under the Datsun brand.

They built cars in Mount Wellington from March 1963, and until the company built its own permanent plant in South Auckland in the late 1970s, Nissans were assembled all over New Zealand.

Nissans were manufactured by NZ Motor Bodies in Mt Wellington, Campbell Industries in Thames, Motor Holdings, Waitara and Todd Motors Porirua. Nissan also owned a plant in Mt Roskill, Auckland and commercial vehicle plants in Glen Innes and Mangere.

Nissan closed its last plant in New Zealand in 1998, but retains plants in North America and Mexico, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Latin America & Caribbean, the Middle East and Gulf States, and Africa.

Today, Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands.

Nissan produces the all electric Leaf, which has become a best-selling electric vehicle both globally and in New Zealand. The Leaf’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to 1947, when the Japanese government encouraged auto makers to produce electric powered cars, due to oil shortages caused by World War Two.

The 1947 Tama Electric Car and the 2017 Nissan Leaf.

This resulted in the Tama Electric Car, which went on to succeeded in bettering its catalog specifications in government performance tests, with a cruising range of 96.3km, and a top speed of 35.2kmh. It was widely used as a taxi and a cargo vehicle.

Nissan is currently operating in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America, and has a global workforce of 247,500.

In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, and generated revenue of ¥12.19 trillion, about $160 million NZD.

The company has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault under the Renault-Nissan Alliance since March 1999.

The 1980 Nissan Violet, four time winner of the infamous Safari Rally.





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Mitubishi and Nissan may share ute production

The Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Motors and its new parent company Nissan are investigating joint production of its utes in Southeast Asia as part of a broader plan to cut costs within the alliance.

Nissan bought a 34 per cent controlling stage in the ailing car maker last October for $3.3 billion, and have been aggressively seeking ways to cut costs and maximise profits.

Mitsubishi COO Trevor Mann told Reuters that the two car makers may pool technical resources and production of future replacements for the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton.

Future models are likely to be based on the Thai-produced Mitsubishi models, Mann said. “Our four-by-four technology, our cost base on pickups is better than Nissan’s.”

Nissan and Mitsubishi currently produce their utes on separate lines in their Thai factories, and moving to a common design could allow Mitsubishi to specialise in utes and for Nissan to build more cars and SUVs, which would increase productivity at both plants.

The current Navara and Triton models, which both launched in 2014, are not due for a replacement until 2022, which means changes to production is still some time away. Mann stressed to Reuters that nothing is yet confirmed, and decisions still had to be made.

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