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    William Maley

    Diamler, Ford, and Nissan Announce A Collaboration On Fuel Cells

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    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    January 28, 2013

    Today Diamler, Ford, and Nissan announced a new partnership to jointly develop a common fuel cell system for vehicle to be ready as early as 2017. The three companies will work together on a common fuel-cell stack and fuel-cell system. Also, the partnership will participate in the adoption of global specifications and component standards, and studying the joint development of other FCEV components.

    "We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. Thanks to the high commitment of all three partners we can put fuel cell e-mobility on a broader basis. This means with this cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe," said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

    Source: Nissan

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    The Strategic Cooperation Between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance Forms Agreement with Ford to Accelerate Commercialization of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Technology

    • Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a unique three-way agreement for the joint development of common fuel cell system to speed up availability of zero-emission technology and significantly reduce investment costs
    • Collaboration expected to lead to launch of world's first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicles as early as 2017
    • Unique collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards
    • Sends clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage the further development of hydrogen infrastructure worldwide

    YOKOHAMA, Japan - Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a unique three-way agreement to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology.

    The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. The strategy to maximize design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale will help to launch the world's first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.

    Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs. Their FCEVs have logged more than 10 million km in test drives around the world in customers' hands and as part of demonstration projects in diverse conditions. The partners plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can be used by each company in the launch of highly differentiated, separately branded FCEVs, which produce no CO2 emissions while driving.

    The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed.

    Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, FCEVs emit only water while driving. FCEVs are considered complementary to today's battery-electric vehicles and will help expand the range of zero-emission transportation options available to consumers.

    "Fuel cell electric vehicles are the obvious next step to complement today's battery electric vehicles as our industry embraces more sustainable transportation," said Mitsuhiko Yama$h!a, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., supervising Research and Development. "We look forward to a future where we can answer many customer needs by adding FCEVs on top of battery EVs within the zero-emission lineup."

    "We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. Thanks to the high commitment of all three partners we can put fuel cell e-mobility on a broader basis. This means with this cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe," said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

    "Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. "We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone."

    Engineering work on both the fuel cell stack and the fuel cell system will be done jointly by the three companies at several locations around the world. The partners are also studying the joint development of other FCEV components to generate even further synergies.

    The unique collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards, an important prerequisite for achieving higher economies of scale.

    How a fuel cell electric vehicle works

    Like today's battery-electric vehicles, FCEVs are more efficient than conventional cars and diversify energy sources beyond petroleum.

    The electricity for an FCEV is produced on board the vehicle in the fuel cell stack where it is generated following an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen - stored in a purpose-designed, high-pressure tank in the car - and oxygen from the air. The only by-products are water vapor and heat.

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    Fuel Cell's have great potential, but I do not believe it will be the turn key solution to Zero Green House Gas. I really doubt they will have infastructure and mass choice of auto's ready by 2017. These are the same type of comments made in the 80's about Natural Gas and Propane and today we are only just now starting to get larger adoption. While I love the idea of going zero emissions, reality is it cannot happen in a short time nor can the world just flip like this due to the profits companies will still want to get.

    End result this is just a way to get Gov's to fund the R&D and get them to back off the auto companies as they continue to sell petrol and current alternative energy auto's like Natural Gas.

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      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2
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      ᶧProjected EPA calculated range. Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available later in the 2020 calendar year.
      Previous Page Next Page
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page You might not be able to tell that the 2021 Ford F-150 is all new. The shape, basic dimensions, and ladder-frame chassis are the same as the outgoing F-150. But you need to look a bit deeper to find the changes and new features that the blue oval hopes keeps their truck on top.
      PowerBoost? PowerBoost.
      What PowerStroke is for diesels, PowerBoost is Ford's brand name for the new hybrid system available on the F-150. The system is comprised of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, 35kW (47 hp) electric motor mounted in the transmission, and a 1.5-kwh lithium-ion battery pack. No details were given on power output or fuel economy, but Ford is targeting 700 miles on a single tank of gas and max towing of 12,000 pounds.
      Generator? I Have My Truck.
      Pro Power Onboard turns the F-150 into a generator to power various electrical devices no matter where you are. It comes standard on the Hybrid providing 2.4kW, or 7.2kW via an option. All engines except the base 3.3L V6 get it as a option that provides 2.0kW. There are two 120-volt, 20-amp outlets for the 2.0 and 2.4kW systems, and 7.2kW system boasts four 12-volt outlets and a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet for higher draw equipment.
      You Want Tech!? We Have It and A Kitchen Sink as Well
      Ford is going all-in on offering all sorts of tech on the 2021 F-150. It begins up front with the introduction of Sync 4 that brings forth faster processing power, better voice recognition, and over-the-air updates. An eight-inch screen will be standard on lower-end models, while a 12-inch screen is available on XLT and higher-trims. The larger screen also brings forth wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. 
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      Other Details to Know
      All engines carry over from the previous generation, which includes the 3.3L V6, 2.7L EcoBoost, 3.5L EcoBoost, 5.0L V8, and 3.0L PowerStroke Diesel. No more six-speed automatic, all engines now come paired with an ten-speed automatic. Ford will be offering eleven different grille designs, and fourteen wheel choices - ranging in size from 17 to 22-inches. The front seats can recline up to 180-degrees. Center console can transform into a work-area for a 15-inch laptop by opening and folding the lid. The transmission selector on floor console models folds down flat to make room. We'll likely get more details dripped out before the 2021 F-150 arrives at dealers this fall.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2
      BUILT FOR GETTING THINGS DONE, FORD REVEALS THE TOUGHEST, MOST PRODUCTIVE F-150 EVER AND MOST POWERFUL IN ITS CLASS
      All-new Ford F-150 takes America’s truck of choice for work and recreation to the next level, targeting to deliver the most maximum towing, payload, torque and horsepower of any full-size light-duty pickup, with ingenious features that make customers even more productive and new technology like over-the-air updates and SYNC® 4 New exterior design has a bolder and even tougher look, and an all-new interior provides more comfort, technology and functionality for truck customers, along with enhanced materials, new color choices and more storage New available Tailgate Work Surface boosts productivity at the back of the truck, while new optional Interior Work Surface makes using a laptop or eating a meal more comfortable; available Max Recline Seats with nearly 180 degrees of recline help customers rest between jobs Available Pro Power Onboard™ means customers can leave the generator at home and free up cargo space; there’s enough energy to power 28 average refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes or run an entire job site worth of tools Class-exclusive 3.5-liter PowerBoost™ Full hybrid engine delivers Built Ford Tough capability – it is targeted to have the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup, at least 12,000 pounds of maximum available towing capacityᶧ and a targeted EPA-estimated range of approximately 700 miles on a single tank of gasᶧ DEARBORN, Mich., June 25, 2020 – As America returns to work, Ford reveals its all-new F-150 – part of the F-Series lineup that’s been America’s choice for getting the job done for 43 consecutive years. The all-new F-150 is purpose-built to be the toughest, most productive F-150 ever and targeted to be the most powerful light-duty full-size pickup truck on the market.
      “Since 1948, our hardworking F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer. “F-150 is our flagship, it’s 100 percent assembled in America, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities.”
      The all-new F-150 raises the standard for all light-duty trucks. It targets the most towing, payload, torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup, introduces all-new features to increase customer productivity, has new connected vehicle innovations such as over-the-air updates that help keep F-150 at the forefront of purposeful technology, and an available all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost™ hybrid powertrain with Pro Power Onboard™ – an integrated power generator.
      “We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-150 chief engineer. “The F-150 will be tougher than ever, and with fully connected over-the-air updates, it opens up a much wider range of potential enhancements – from system upgrades to feature offerings.”
      Toughest F-150 ever
      The all-new F-150 starts with a durable, proven foundation – a fully boxed high-strength steel frame with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body. Every panel of the distinctive, rugged exterior is redesigned while maintaining its bold and tough signature look, including an updated headlamp design, new power dome hood and wrap-around bumpers. Higher front fenders, a tucked-in midsection and larger-diameter tires pulled out three-quarters of an inch create a stronger, more powerful stance on and off the road.
      There are 11 grille options available across the series lineup, all differentiated in their design and all unmistakably F-150, plus new tailgate appliqués. Functional upgrades throughout include available LED headlamps and taillamps, and available full-length extended power running boards with kick switch that provide better truck-side cargo box accessibility.
      The all-new F-150 is also the most aerodynamic ever. New active grille shutters, a new automatically deploying active air dam, and new cab and tailgate geometry all work together to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption on every truck.
      The interior is completely redesigned to elevate truck owners’ experience with style, comfort, utility and technology. Featuring enhanced materials, new color choices and more storage, it is built around the functional needs of truck customers. Every surface has been thoughtfully designed, such as more soil-resistant two-tone seats for XL or the new standard dual glovebox.
      F-150 introduces an all-new 12-inch center screen – standard on XLT high series and above – that allows customers to split the screen and control multiple functions simultaneously, including navigation, music or truck features. The landscape design strikes a balance between demands for technology accessibility and the greater convenience of physical buttons. An 8-inch touch screen, standard on XL and XLT standard and mid-series trucks, means every customer gets touch screen functionality and better rearview camera vision. Both screens feature access to the new digital owner’s manual, which can help all customers find the information they need more easily, including how-to videos for additional explanation.
      An available new 12-inch digital gauge cluster features a large information-on-demand area, along with truck-specific graphics and animations that respond to the all-new F-150’s selectable drive modes and can display off-roading data and turn-by-turn navigation.
      Most productive F-150 ever
      Ford’s deep understanding of truck customers informs new features on the all-new F-150 that help take productivity to the next level.
      Creating the ultimate durable, anywhere office, F-150’s new optional Interior Work Surface is ideal for signing documents, working on a 15-inch laptop or enjoying a meal when parked. It is available in both bench and captain’s chair seating configurations on XL to Limited. Knowing many customers prefer a console shifter, Ford has created a stowable unit for F-150, which easily folds into the center console with the push of a button and allows full access to the large work surface when in park.
      Class-exclusive Max Recline Seats available on King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models provide ultimate comfort during downtime. Max Recline Seats fold flat to nearly 180 degrees, with the bottom cushion rising to meet the back cushion and the upper back support rotating forward up to 10 degrees for maximum comfort.
      Available lockable, fold-flat rear storage adds a vault to the F-150 that extends the width of the rear seats. It’s as easy as lifting the bottom cushion of the rear seat, dropping valuables in and locking them away for safe keeping. Great for storing long items like fishing rods or blueprints, it even has a divider to keep gear organized.
      Every all-new F-150 comes standard with new cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate to act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed. New clamp pockets are built in to the tailgate of every truck, so customers can hold materials down for precision work. An available flat Tailgate Work Surface also includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder and pencil holder.
      Customers can keep going into the night with exclusive available Zone Lighting. This allows occupants to turn on and off individual sections of exterior lights through the SYNC® 4 screen or remotely with the FordPass app on their phone, so they never have to work, camp or do anything in the dark.
      The all-new F-150 is the only light-duty full-size pickup to offer available Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Trailer Reverse Guidance, made popular on Super Duty, uses the truck’s high-resolution cameras to provide multiple views along with helpful graphics that tell drivers which way to turn the steering wheel while backing up. Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a dial, continues on F-150.
      Most powerful in its class
      The all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full hybrid V6 powertrain is targeted to deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. Available on every trim level from F-150 XL to Limited, the no-compromise PowerBoost system – the only light-duty full-size pickup to offer a full hybrid – adds instant electric torque to Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6. It is targeting an EPA-estimated range of approximately 700 miles on a single tank of gasᶧ and will deliver at least 12,000 pounds of available maximum towing – equivalent to the average weight of 43 NFL linemen.
      PowerBoost combines Ford’s proven EcoBoost engine and 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the transmission, as well as software calibrated specially for truck use, including drive modes like tow/haul mode to help customers better manage towing heavy trailers.
      The electric motor applies regenerative braking energy capture to help recharge the 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The battery is efficiently packaged underneath the truck, leaving the cab and cargo box of PowerBoost F-150 as spacious for passengers and cargo as other comparably equipped F-150 models. The system is capable of sustained battery usage at extreme outside temperatures or under heavy loads.
      Power isn’t only important under the hood. Available Pro Power Onboard expands F-150’s capability by bringing generator levels of exportable power to work sites, camp sites and everyday life. Pro Power Onboard is available with a 2.0-kilowatt output on optional gas engines, while PowerBoost-equipped F-150 comes standard with 2.4 kilowatts of output or an optional 7.2 kilowatts of output. Power is accessible through in-cabin outlets and up to four cargo bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets, with a 240-volt 30-amp outlet on the 7.2-kilowatt version. The system even provides power on the move to charge tool batteries in between jobs.
      Most connected F-150 ever
      F-150 represents Ford’s next big step in bringing connected vehicles to customers. The all-new F-150 is North America’s first full-size pickup with standard over-the-air updates, helping customers’ trucks stay at the forefront of purposeful technology. These updates are bumper-to-bumper, and can include all-new functions and additional features throughout the life of the truck. They can support preventative maintenance, reduce repair trips, provide improved performance and ultimately result in more vehicle up-time. The majority of updates will be completed in under two minutes and can be performed at times customers choose, so they won’t have to put their lives on hold.
      All-new SYNC 4 is standard, helping keep owners connected and make their days more productive with more natural voice control available as well as real-time mapping and customizable information on demand. The technology builds on more than 10 years of SYNC innovation by helping minimize distractions with hands-free voice control as well as core features such as making phone calls and selecting music. With twice the computing power of the previous-generation system, new SYNC 4 can wirelessly connect smartphones without the USB cord for seamless integration of Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ compatibility as well as SYNC AppLink® apps like Waze and Ford+Alexa.
      Customers can access more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, live channels, ad-free music, sports, entertainment, news and personalized recommendations, and they can search for related content with available SiriusXM with 360L satellite and streaming service. The new eight-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen is available starting on F-150 XLT, while the optional 18-speaker B&O Unleashed system with speakers in the headliner and front headrests is available on F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, and standard on Limited.
      Ford offers complimentary technology including 911 Assist® that automatically alerts emergency responders in the event of an accident, and FordPass, a mobile device app that allows Ford drivers to start or unlock their vehicle from a distance, as well as control new truck-focused features like Zone Lighting, Trailer Theft Alert, Trailer Light Check and Pro Power Onboard.
      Driver-assist technologies
      All-new F-150 offers the latest driver-assist features as part of Ford Co-Pilot360™ 2.0. More features are now standard on XL, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection to help avoid a possible collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, auto high-beam headlamps and auto on/off headlamps.
      F-150 also adds 10 new driver-assist features and is the only pickup to offer Active Drive Assist, which allows for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in all 50 states and Canada. Its advanced driver-facing camera tracks head position and driver eye gaze to enable hands-free driving when available. It allows owners on certain sections of pre-mapped, divided highways to drive with their hands off the steering wheel – if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead – granting them an additional level of comfort during long drives. The Active Drive Assist prep kit contains the hardware required for this feature, while the software to enable functionality, expected in the third quarter of the 2021 calendar year, will be delivered by over-the-air update or dealer visit. Separate payment will be required to activate full functionality at that time.
      Other new available features include Intersection Assist, which detects oncoming traffic while the driver is attempting a left turn. If there is risk of a collision with an oncoming vehicle, F-150 will apply the brakes to mitigate or avoid it. F-150 is the only light-duty full-size pickup with available Active Park Assist 2.0, which handles all steering, shifting, braking and accelerator controls during a parallel or perpendicular parking maneuver while the driver holds down a button.
      Every F-150 is proudly assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The all-new F-150 will be available this fall.
      ᶧProjected EPA calculated range. Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available later in the 2020 calendar year.
      Previous Page Next Page
    • By William Maley
      Nearly a decade ago, Nissan launched an ambitious assault on the U.S. commercial van market with the launch of their NV vans. It started with the Titan-dervived, body-on-frame NV1500/2500/3500 vans. This was followed by the unibody NV200 van, which was for a time the "Taxi of Tommorow" in New York City. But Nissan is reportedly throwing in the towel.
      Automotive News has learned from a source that it will end production of their commercial vans. No time frame was given.
      "We don't want to go more in the business of vans in the U.S. We will exit," said the source.
      Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman declined to comment about the future of the commercial vans, only saying in a statement that the automaker " is considering a number of opportunities to streamline the product portfolio and drive efficiencies within our manufacturing operations."
      When the NV lineup was launched in 2009, Nissan was hoping to steal away sales from the Detroit Three. At the time, Ford and GM had 97 percent of the large van segment. The NV was positioned as being a more modern option compared to the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana. It was more comfortable with adjustable seats, taller ceiling for easier access to the cargo area, and pre-drilled holes in the body to allow owners to add interior racks easily. But Nissan wasn't able to make decent inroads into this market, only achieving around an eight percent share in the marketplace.
      What was the NV's downfall?
      Brand Loyalty to the American brands Using a modified Titan platform for the larger vans comprised them in urban areas with their extended front nose, and cargo capacity. "A third of the vehicle is dedicated to the engine and passenger compartment instead of cargo. The van takes up more real estate for the same amount of cargo space," explained Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. NV200 Taxis were dinged by taxi companies poor ride quality, difficulty entering/exiting the van for elderly passengers, and increasing maintenance costs. Proved to a be a difficult sale to fleet buyers due to the automaker lacking the numerous combinations of light-trucks that the Detroit three can offer. Trucks and vans work hand in hand to attract sales in the commercial market. "Chevrolet and Ford can be everything to everybody," said Tyler Slade, operating partner at Tim Dahle Nissan Southtowne in Salt Lake City. "When we went to some of these fleet companies, it didn't make sense for them to have trucks from Ford and vans from Nissan." Add in $2.8 billion in cuts that the company is planning to stay afloat and COVID-19, and the death knell was coming sooner than later for the NV family.
      If Nissan does go forward with dropping the NV family, this will be a major blow to about a forth of Nissan dealers in the U.S. They made various investments such as installing heavy-duty lifts capable of lifting fully-loaded vans and having a dedicated sales staff to handle specific fleet issues.
      "Dealers now have serious concerns about their investments in commercial vehicles," said Slade.
      There is also the question as to whether Nissan may try again. Automotive News notes that in the new business strategy outlined last month, Nissan is wanting more global cooperation with its alliance partner Renault. The French automaker already has a number of vans in its lineup and is quite successful in various markets. Nissan already sells a version of the Renault Traffic, called the NV300 in Europe.
      But getting a Renault van into the U.S. as a Nissan will be difficult and costly in terms of homologation. Also, Nissan would still need to figure out how to appeal to larger fleet buyers that go with Ford or GM.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Drive
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Nearly a decade ago, Nissan launched an ambitious assault on the U.S. commercial van market with the launch of their NV vans. It started with the Titan-dervived, body-on-frame NV1500/2500/3500 vans. This was followed by the unibody NV200 van, which was for a time the "Taxi of Tommorow" in New York City. But Nissan is reportedly throwing in the towel.
      Automotive News has learned from a source that it will end production of their commercial vans. No time frame was given.
      "We don't want to go more in the business of vans in the U.S. We will exit," said the source.
      Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman declined to comment about the future of the commercial vans, only saying in a statement that the automaker " is considering a number of opportunities to streamline the product portfolio and drive efficiencies within our manufacturing operations."
      When the NV lineup was launched in 2009, Nissan was hoping to steal away sales from the Detroit Three. At the time, Ford and GM had 97 percent of the large van segment. The NV was positioned as being a more modern option compared to the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana. It was more comfortable with adjustable seats, taller ceiling for easier access to the cargo area, and pre-drilled holes in the body to allow owners to add interior racks easily. But Nissan wasn't able to make decent inroads into this market, only achieving around an eight percent share in the marketplace.
      What was the NV's downfall?
      Brand Loyalty to the American brands Using a modified Titan platform for the larger vans comprised them in urban areas with their extended front nose, and cargo capacity. "A third of the vehicle is dedicated to the engine and passenger compartment instead of cargo. The van takes up more real estate for the same amount of cargo space," explained Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. NV200 Taxis were dinged by taxi companies poor ride quality, difficulty entering/exiting the van for elderly passengers, and increasing maintenance costs. Proved to a be a difficult sale to fleet buyers due to the automaker lacking the numerous combinations of light-trucks that the Detroit three can offer. Trucks and vans work hand in hand to attract sales in the commercial market. "Chevrolet and Ford can be everything to everybody," said Tyler Slade, operating partner at Tim Dahle Nissan Southtowne in Salt Lake City. "When we went to some of these fleet companies, it didn't make sense for them to have trucks from Ford and vans from Nissan." Add in $2.8 billion in cuts that the company is planning to stay afloat and COVID-19, and the death knell was coming sooner than later for the NV family.
      If Nissan does go forward with dropping the NV family, this will be a major blow to about a forth of Nissan dealers in the U.S. They made various investments such as installing heavy-duty lifts capable of lifting fully-loaded vans and having a dedicated sales staff to handle specific fleet issues.
      "Dealers now have serious concerns about their investments in commercial vehicles," said Slade.
      There is also the question as to whether Nissan may try again. Automotive News notes that in the new business strategy outlined last month, Nissan is wanting more global cooperation with its alliance partner Renault. The French automaker already has a number of vans in its lineup and is quite successful in various markets. Nissan already sells a version of the Renault Traffic, called the NV300 in Europe.
      But getting a Renault van into the U.S. as a Nissan will be difficult and costly in terms of homologation. Also, Nissan would still need to figure out how to appeal to larger fleet buyers that go with Ford or GM.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Drive
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has basically brought most of the world to halt. Orders to stay at home, businesses either having workers to their work from home or closing down, and unemployment skyrocketing is causing the economy to crater. There are efforts to try and jump-start the economy such as $1,200 stimulus checks. But an executive at Ford wants to see a return of a "cash for clunkers" like program.
      “We think some level of stimulus somewhere on the other side of this would help not only the auto industry and our dealers, which are a huge part of our overall economy, but will help the customers as well,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service to Bloomberg.
      “Cash for clunkers was very effective at that time. It would be nice to think we could have something equally as effective for 2020 when we get out of this because it was a great program.”
      According to LaNeve, internal discussions are taking place at Ford about doing a similar program and there are plans to bring the Government in to these talks.
      When asked by Automotive News about this, Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said, "The auto industry is America’s economic engine.We are encouraging Congress to look at a variety of ways to drive job creation, increase demand, support customers and provide long-term stability for the entire auto ecosystem."
      A brief refresher on the Cash for Clunkers program. In 2009, the U.S. Government introduced a billion initiative called the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gave a voucher worth between $2,900 and $4,500 to anyone replacing a vehicle newer than 1984. Their old vehicle would be taken away and disposed of. The program was nicknamed Cash for Clunkers.
      On the surface, the program was a success. Within first month, all of the funds were exhausted. This prompted the U.S. congress infuse an addition two billion into the program, which would be all gone within 17 days. But begin to look deeper and the results are mixed. In 2012, a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics described the program as being a bit of a wash,
      "...the effect of the program on auto purchases is almost completely reversed by as early as March 2010 — only seven months after the program ended.”
      Other studies have come to the same conclusion.
      There's also the question of how many perfectly good used cars were taken off the road due to the program.
      Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Drive, The Truth About Cars

      View full article
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