Reader Mail


Dear Ed and Bertel, I have noticed that The Daily Kanban (TDK) has no space for comments on it at all. Knowing this is a WP-based site, I would like to know why TDK doesn’t have room for readers/commenters to share their opinions about your articles and provide insights into a situation you two might be writing about. If possible, please amend this situation. Thanks, Edward Mann

I understand your frustration, but we have decided against having a comment section at TDK for now. My experience tells me that tending to a comment section rapidly becomes as much work as writing and research, and both Bertel and I would rather keep focused on our work than chase spam or slay trolls.

The good news is that we will regularly be posting reader feedback from our contact form, so please feel free to send us your thoughts on anything you read here. Hopefully this way we will have something more akin to a curated conversation, where the best comments become the jumping-off point for further research or debate. Please clearly identify any confidential feedback, and the name you wish to be identified with.

You can also share your thoughts with Bertel and myself on Twitter: our handles are @BertelTTAC and @Tweetermeyer respectively.

Thank you Bertel for coming back to life on the internet. Your comments are the most informative, fact-based, and interesting of all the pablum we wade through on TTAC and other sites. I am thrilled that you continue with your reports, history and points of view. I welcome them and promise to be a loyal reader. I may have comments in the future but for now: Yay! you’re back! Greg Lewis

Bertel is taking a well-deserved vacation, but on his behalf, thank you.

Bertel – Back in the days when Nissan USA was headquartered in Gardena, CA they seemed to be doing pretty well here. Prior to the move to Tennessee both Nissan and Infiniti had introduced a number of vehicles that were well received and things seemed to be going well for them. Then they announced they were moving from Gardena to Tennessee. I remember reading that Nissan expected about 60 percent of their staff to make the move, losing 40 percent. In the end I heard that only 40 percent moved with them and half of those people had bailed within the first 24 months. That HAS to have an adverse impact on an organization when you lose 80 percent of your employees in less than 2 years. It seems to me that Nissan sort of lost their mojo in the USA after the move. Is that your perception too? Or is their lack of mojo more of a Carlos Ghosn and Nissan of Japan issue? Peter Los Angeles

I’m sure Bertel has some perspective on the role of Nissan’s US operations within the global company, but just in terms of the sales data I’m not sure there’s a case here. There was definitely a “hiccup”in Nissan’s sales performance  in 2006 (anyone can tell you, moving is a distraction), but the brand’s performance has been consistently strong ever since, with only relatively minor disruption from the 2008 crisis. Go have a look for yourself, over at the always-helpful Good Car Bad Car.

I’ve been to Nissan’s Nashville digs, and I can’t say I saw anything there that would make me worry. Meanwhile Nissan Design America is still based in sunny San Diego, and apparently now has an outpost in the fabled Silicon Valley as well; if California does have a distinct automotive mojo effect it can’t all have been lost. For what it’s worth, I also generally think regionalist/nationalist analysis of the auto industry is becoming increasingly outmoded.