A study commissioned by the United Auto Workers says Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss., may end up getting subsidies and incentives worth $1.3 billion over 30 years, some four times the original estimate. The plant, which will soon produce eight models, opened its doors a decade ago and now employs about 5,000 people. UAW officials have been pushing hard in recent years to organize some of those workers.
Both the original public accounting of Nissan's incentive package and the latest calculations by the UAW are open to some interpretation. The actual dollar figures are determined by the plant's employment levels, investment outlays by Nissan, vehicle production, property values, worker training needs and supplier activity -- all of which change over time.
Nissan has donated six of its Leaf electric cars to New York for a pilot taxi program. One big question the city and the Leaf drivers will look to answer: How do you accommodate an electric car's charging needs related to a taxicab's full day of work?
Nissan executives say they will hike the pay for production employees and maintenance technicians at the company's plants in Smyrna, Decherd and Canton, Miss. The bump, which will come this October, will add 55 cents per hour for line workers and 65 cents per hour for maintenance techs. It's the first hike for them since 2006.
Talking to reporters last week, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said many consumers still don't have enough trust in electric-car technology to buy a Leaf or one of its competitors. But he says the auto maker's $5 billion bet on electric cars is still the way to go and that the Leaf's slow ramp "isn't going to shake the foundation of Nissan."
Nissan is recalling five 2013 models in the United States due to a faulty sensor that can permanently de-power the front-seat passenger air bag. The recall covers the Altima, the Infiniti JX35 SUV, the Leaf electric car, the Pathfinder SUV and the Sentra. Read more here.
Nissan sold a shade under 100,000 vehicles last month, down more than 6 percent from its record-setting number of a year ago. There were bright spots in the form of the subcompact Versa (pictured) and the Pathfinder SUV, but Nissan lost market share to General Motors and Ford, among others, as total U.S. sales rose 3.7 percent from last February.
SEE ALSO: Nissan sales start 2013 in lower gear
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has expanded its Silicon Valley presence following the unveiling of an advanced research center to initially specialize in autonomous driving and connected cars.
Today marks the official opening of the Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley (NRC-SV), which will enhance Nissan's global research capability through collaborative partnerships with companies and research institutions in this global technology hub.
The opening of NRC-SV is part of Nissan's global strategy to expand and localize its R&D function in strategic markets. The new Silicon Valley research center will take responsibility for selected roles in collaboration with Nissan Research Center in Japan.
The initial projects that Nissan researchers will pursue include:
- Research of autonomous vehicles to realize a future with safe, stress-free mobility;
- Research of connected vehicles that can tap into infrastructure and the Internet to maximize energy and time efficiency; and
- Research in the area of Human Machine Interface to enhance the experience of autonomous and connected vehicles.
January sales of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles rose 2 percent from a year ago, a big drop from the 2012 pace. The company's top-selling Altima sedan saw sales drop 4 percent from early 2012, but the Versa and Sentra compact posted strong gains. Sales of the electric Leaf were down as the company exhausted its 2012 inventory.
Nissan officials at the Washington (D.C.) Auto Show held Thursday outlined the Franklin-based company’s strategy for tripling the current electric vehicle quick-charging infrastructure in the United States.
Nissan plans the addition of at least 500 quick-charging stations in the next 18 months, including the greater Washington D.C. area's first fast-charge network.
Nissan and its charging infrastructure partners estimate that about 160 fast chargers are currently available for public use across the United States, and no fast chargers are available for public use in Washington D.C. Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers now rely on home charging, and having additional charging options can significantly increase their rate of EV driving.
"We envision a quick-charging network that links communities and neighborhoods where people live, work, shop and socialize," Brendan Jones, Nissan's director of electric vehicle marketing and sales strategy, said in a release. "Having a robust charging infrastructure helps build range confidence, which boosts interest in and use of electric vehicles. By improving the charging infrastructure, Nissan furthers its commitment to bringing electric vehicles to markets throughout the United States."