Nissan North America Chairmam José Muñoz is now also leading — at least on an interim basis — the operations of the company's Infiniti brand after the departure of Nissan Motor Co. Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer for Aston Martin. Palmer had been filling in for Johan de Nysschen, who in July left Infiniti for Cadillac. Hans Greimel at Automotive News has the rundown and addresses chatter about a larger brain drain at Nissan's mothership.
CarCharging has taken over the operations and maintenance of 27 Blink electric vehicle charging stations in Davidson County. The stations had been installed and owned by Ecotality, which filed for bankruptcy almost a year ago and then sold its Blink assets to Florida-based CarCharging.
Helped by a record month for the all-electric Leaf and strong numbers from its popular Versa and Sentra models, Nissan saw July U.S. sales clock in at 121,452 units. That was an increase of 11.4 percent from the number from the same month the year before and a July record. But it was short of the 14 percent analysts had expected.
Nissan executives have decided to end production of their Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet at the end of this model year. Lindsay Chappell at Automotive News has the info.
Nissan believed it had a chance to stimulate young consumers with a boxy subcompact that made up for reduced power with the promise of highway fuel economy topping 30 mpg. But the import never caught on, especially as Nissan in 2012 began rolling out redesigned traditional models with higher fuel economy, including the Versa, Sentra, Altima and Rogue. The Cube's peak annual volume came in 2010, with sales of 22,968.
After all the hemming and hawing, Volkswagen executives have indeed chosen Chattanooga as the manufacturing center for their planned sport utility vehicle. The company will invest $900 million — $600 million in Tennessee — and hire 2,000 people as part of the project. The first models are expected to roll of the line in early 2016. VW also will set up its National Research & Development and Planning Center in Chattanooga.
Michael Horn, head of Volkswagen of America, said the new, seven-passenger sport-utility vehicle will be "specifically designed for the American market," and become one of four core models for the VW brand in the U.S. along with the Passat and Jetta sedans, and the Tiguan compact SUV.
"Our dealers need those cars," Mr. Horn said in an interview.
SEE ALSO: The state's official announcement
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