The Nissan Group reported August sales of more than 134,000 vehicles, with 15 percent growth at Nissan and a more than 20 percent drop at Infiniti producing an overall growth rate of 11.5 percent. Still, that number was more than double the pace of the industry as a whole. Sales of the top-selling Altima rose only slightly, but the company's Sentra, Versa and Rogue models all drew at least 24 percent more buyers versus a year earlier. Also worth noting: TrueCar says Nissan was one of the few large auto makers that didn't grow its discounts versus August 2013.
Global auto parts manufacturer Magna International will spend $16 million to build its fifth Tennessee factory just north of General Motors' Spring Hill complex — which is getting two new models in the coming years — where it will build seat assemblies. The company, which also runs a plant in Columbia, plans to hire 357 people for Spring Hill over the next two years, with 75 workers to start. And it is moving quickly to get ready for GM: Its new 122,500-square-foot facility is expected to be up and running by January.
"This new facility demonstrates our commitment to GM in delivering high-quality products through our world-class manufacturing initiatives," said Mike Bisson, president of Magna Seating. "We are pleased to support our customer and look forward to potential growth opportunities."
Magna is one of the bigger names in the auto supplier sector. The company runs more than 60 manufacturing or assembly plants across the United States and employes more than 23,000 people.
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.
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