World’s Largest Automakers May 2018: VW extending its lead – slightly

The battle for World’s Largest Automaker 2018 turns more and more into a bitter fight between Volkswagen Group and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Five months into the year, VW managed to extend its lead ever so slightly, with only 45,000 units separating the Germans from the French-Japanese nipping at their heels.

Former ichi ban Toyota apparently has decided to sit back and relax. Toyota Group’s worldwide production basically is the same it was January to May 2017. [Continue Reading]

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance develops new car platform for emerging markets

Peyman Kargar in Yokohama (c) Bertel Schmitt

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is developing a new platform at its Chennai, India, engineering center, a Nissan senior executive disclosed today in Yokohama Japan. In presenting his mid-term plan for the region, Peyman Kargar, responsible for Nissan’s Africa Middle East and India region, said “what’s  under development now is a little higher than the current platform we are using for Redi Go and Kwid.” Kargar refused  to “disclose more at the moment,”  and Nissan spokespeople likewise maintained cover.

Renault’s very successful $4,000 Kwid, and its Datsun cousin Redi-Go, are built upon the Alliance’s CMF-A common modular family architecture. (See here for an article I wrote years ago about the platform.)

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Nissan says no to Trump’s indecent fuel efficiency proposal

Kawaguchi and McLain

“We are not going to relax,” said Nissan’s Chief Sustainability Officer Hitoshi Kawaguchi, when Wall Street Journal’s Tokyo reporter Sean McLain asked him today in Yokohama whether Trump’s fuel efficiency rollback would impact Nissan’s plans to reduce consumption and hence emissions of its cars by 40% until 2022. [Continue Reading]

World’s Largest Automakers April 2018: VW back in the lead

The race for World’s Largest Automaker 2018 is getting more exciting than F1. Four months into the year Volkswagen Group edged-out last month’s front-runner Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and it took the first place with a razor-thin 22,000 unit lead.

Buoyed by a nearly 13% growth in its largest country-market China, Volkswagen shows no signs of a post-dieselgate traumatic disorder predicted in a few corners of the media. Among the Top 3, Volkswagen leads with an impressive 8.1% growth for the year.

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The truth about BEV sales: Legacy and Chinese automakers outrank Tesla

Who is selling the most battery electric vehicles in the world? If we think Tesla, then we have been misled by the huge noise surrounding the Californian carmaker. In the first two months of the year, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance still was number one in total worldwide BEV registrations. This according to data JATO Dynamics shared with Dailykanban. The Alliance might soon lose the title, but it is not Tesla that is on an exponential trajectory. It is the Chinese. [Continue Reading]

Trading places: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance leads World’s Largest Automakers in Q1/18

Did I mention that World’s Largest Automakers 2018 will be a tight race? The first quarter ended with the  Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in the lead, followed by Volkswagen, and Toyota. Last month had Toyota in the top spot, now it is in place 3. Expect the trading of places to continue throughout the year – the distances between the world’s top 3 automakers are extremely tight.

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In a search for untapped car markets, Nissan is back in Pakistan.

1976 Datsun 120y, for sale near Islamabad, $1,500 ask

Nissan is entering Pakistan’s car market – again.  The company assembled cars in the country until the middle of the past decade. Nissan withdrew when carmageddon sent Pakistan’s auto business into a tailspin. Now, Nissan is back.

Nissan reactivated its old Pakistan partner Ghandhara Nissan Ltd, and it will start assembling Datsun-branded cars within the 2019 fiscal, Nissan said today. [Continue Reading]

Japan unites industry in push for fuel cell cars, enthusiasm varies

United for hydrogen. (c) Bertel Schmitt

To allow for millions of new cars to be added without suffocating the globe, we need to switch to zero emissions in a hurry. Electric appears to be the way to go, and there are two ways to power the electric motors: Battery, and fuel cell. Batteries are easy, limited in range, and take long to charge. Fuel cells are technically involved, can give the car a long range, and take only minutes to refuel. They have a big drawback: The lack of hydrogen fuel stations. Yesterday, Japan made the first serious attempt to break that deadlock. [Continue Reading]