Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., usually on competing ends in Japan’s automaking industry, announced on Monday that they have started manufacturing a mini-vehicle jointly developed by both companies set to hit the Japanese market on June 6. The two carmakers currently take up around 10 percent of Japan’s minivehicle market. This joint venture is part of an effort to double that market-share total to around 20 percent.
Japanese automakers Nissan announced quarter profits that jumped 46 percent from last year’s numbers on the back of stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate. The ideal trade environment offset a sales decline in the Chinese market due to a continuing territorial dispute.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are electric cars that are fueled by hydrogen – and the oxygen in the air – to power their electric motors and are much more efficient than hybrids or battery electric vehicles, and they also emit almost no pollutants at all. Currently, there are very few, if any at all, FCEVs available commercially. But that will change soon, as major carmakers – specifically in Japan – are targeting to make FCEVs available to the public by 2015.
In a bid to get a big slice of the world's biggest auto-market, Toyota launched re-designed versions of its two entry-level compact cars - the Yaris hatchback and the Vios sedan - at the Shanghai international auto show in China. The world's biggest auto-maker hopes that these models, specifically launched for the Chinese market, will help them regain a solid footing, after failing to reach its sales target for 2012.
Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda have been having a tough past years due to the recession and slower domestic consumption. Now that China is the new emerging car market with a growth forecast of 40% over the next two years, the need for them to compete in that is stronger than ever. And to compete with local brands like Geely, they are turning to Chinese suppliers to manufacture some of their parts.
Almost 3 million vehicles from Japan's top manufacturers were issued recall notices around the world on Thursday. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. have released statements saying that a number of their cars may be affected by a malfunction with airbags made by Takata Corp., in which they could deploy inadvertently.
Nissan's Sunderland factory in England has started production of its all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf, last week, marking the first time that the cars are produced in Europe. The car manufacturer has invested almost $640 million in the 30-year-old plant, as well as for the construction of a battery plant, for the production of the car's lithium-ion batteries.
Figures released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association show that domestic sales of cars declined for the seventh straight month. Only 420,069 new cars, trucks and buses were sold during the month, down 15.6% from the same period a year earlier. The discontinuation of subsidies for purchases of low-emission vehicles has led industry insiders to believe that this has contributed to a weakened demand for new cars.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has stated that the Japanese automaker will return to the Le Mans 23 Hours race in 2014 with a new car that continues on the development of the DeltaWing, and award-wining experimental race car. Ghosn made the pledge in Yokohama today at the unveiling of the new worldwide headquarters for Nismo, Nissan's motorsport and performance brand.