Franklin-based Nissan Group said its dealers sold a little more than 103,000 cars in November, a drop of 3 percent from the year before but comfortably above Edmunds analysts' forecast of less than 98,000. The Nissan brand saw sales dip 2 percent, with the top-selling model Altima slipping 7 percent while sales of the Rogue SUV and smaller Sentra models more than offset drops in the number of Maxima and Juke cars shipped to consumers.
"Through November, Nissan has set an all-time yearly sales record in 2014, with a month still to go," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president of Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations in a statement. "Over the next three months, we will look to keep our foot on the accelerator through high-visibility, big marketing moments, including Nissan's return to Super Bowl advertising for the first time in almost two decades."
During a marathon event held Tuesday afternoon announcing Bridgestone Americas' planned relocation of its headquarters into a skyscraper Highwoods Properties will develop in SoBro, multiple officials thanked seemingly hundreds of folks, noted how great our state and city are and gave the history of Bridgestone. All the while, they failed to mention multiple key elements of the project itself. But I was fortunate enough afterwards to locate two men who could fill in some of the blanks.
Mike Harris, Highwoods' Raleigh-based chief operating officer, and Brian Reames, senior vice president for the company's local office, provided the following information:
• The deal to land Bridgestone was about one year in the making.
• The future tower does not yet have a name.
• Highwoods and Bridgestone officials respect the work of architect Perkins + Will, the Chicago-based firm that previously designed for Giarratana Nashville office tower Sheet Music (which was to have risen on the site). Bridgestone and Highwoods had P+W take the previous iteration and modify it, eliminating its original curvature.
• On the design theme, Highwoods expects the tower to offer a retail space on its northeast corner (across from Etch) but will ensure that Bridgestone officials are comfortable with that component before finalizing.
• The building’s exterior will feature glass and metal. At 460 feet, the building would be Nashville’s third tallest (behind the AT&T Tower and the Fifth Third Center) if standing today.
• Recently, Highwoods acquired for $4.84 million a segment of the property from the aforementioned Giarratana Development. Company founder Tony Giarratana has ownership in Premier Parking, which is expected to serve as a parking consultant to Highwoods.
• Various Metro and state approvals are still needed but the process will not have to be fast-tracked. If all goes well, Highwoods can secure permits by late December and start on-site work by year’s end or in early January.
See various images of the tower and read more here.
(Image courtesy of Highwoods and Perkins + Will)
Nissan executives want to crank up production at their Canton, Mississippi, plant to 507,000 in 2017 from about 300,000 today. The plans call for extra lines and shifts as well as expansion investments and could involve hiring another 1,000 workers in central Mississippi.
“To build to 507, we do a couple of crazy tricks,” Martin said. “We have lunch breaks but we work through them. We have special squads of people that keep the lines moving.”
Central Glass, the Japan-based parent of Nashville-based Carlex, has wrapped up its acquisition of two Guardian Industries Corp. subsidiaries. The deal brings three factories — two of them in Indiana, one in Luxembourg — under the umbrella of Carlex, which is based in the storied former Ford Glass Plant in West Nashville.
"We are excited about the synergies between the newly formed Carlex businesses that will expand the global footprint of Central Glass," said Jim Shepherd, president of Carlex. "The customer crossover between the companies was minimal, so we’re realizing a maximum impact of new audiences."
In addition to new OEM customers, the Guardian deal adds infrared reflective coatings on automotive glass, heated windshields and heads-up display windshields to Carlex's product portfolio.
Franklin-based Nissan has announced U.S. sales for October of 103,117 vehicles, an increase of 13.3 percent over the mark of the prior year and an October record. The company's Nissan division set an October record with 94,072 sales in the month, a year-over-year increase of 14.9 percent. This marks a monthly sales record for Nissan in 13 consecutive months, according to a release.
Rogue sales set an October record at 14,685, an increase of 13.7 percent. The all-electric LEAF also set an October record with 2,589 sales, an increase of 29.3 percent. LEAF has set the record for most U.S. sales in a year by an electric car at 24,411 in 2014 with two months remaining.
In contrast, Pathfinder sales were down 4.3 percent from October 2013 to October 2014. Likewise, sales dropped for the Cube and the Juke, among other Nissan brands.
“High consumer confidence and low gas prices helped Nissan set our 13th consecutive monthly sales record in October. We expect that these factors will continue to boost auto sales for the last two months of 2014,” Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president, U.S. sales and marketing and aftersales, said in the release. “Crossover sales are booming, and the all-new 2015 Murano, which goes into production this week in Canton, Mississippi, will bring additional excitement to Nissan’s crossover lineup that already includes the red-hot Rogue.”
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