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    William Maley

    Ghosn Makes His First Appearance In Court

      His first appearance since being arrested back in November

    Today in a Tokyo courtroom, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn arrived for a hearing to have an explanation of why he is being detained. The hearing also allowed Ghosn and his team of lawyers to make their case against the various charges brought against him.

    Since November 19th, Ghosn has been in detention on violating various financial rules including failing to report 5 billion yen (about $44 million) from the 2010-2014 fiscal years.

    Ghosn's lawyers got their day in court via a "rarely used Japanese legal maneuver in which suspects are allowed to petition the court to hear a justification of their detention." According to Automotive News, Ghosn entered the courtroom "in handcuffs, wearing a dark suit with no tie and green plastic slippers. The usually immaculately coiffed businessman looked thinner than usual, courtesy of his rice-heavy diet in detention. The gray roots of his trademark raven black hair were beginning to show." Presiding judge Yuichi Tada read out the charges and explained to Ghosn that he is being detained due to being "a flight risk and might tamper with evidence."

    After this, Ghosn and his lawyers made their defense against the charges brought by Japanese prosecutors. 

    “Contrary to the accusations made by the prosecutors, I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed. The test is the ‘death test’: If I died today, could my heirs require Nissan to pay anything other than my retirement allowance?  The answer is an unequivocal ‘No,'” Ghosn said at the hearing on the first indictment on not reporting compensation.

    Ghosn also addressed his most recent arrest on "allegedly transferring personal losses" to Nissan. He admitted in court "to leveraging Nissan as collateral against his swap losses but said that the loss-making swap contracts were transferred back to him at no cost to Nissan."

    “I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan. I have acted honorably, legally, and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company -- with the sole purpose of supporting and strengthening Nissan, and helping to restore its place as one of Japan’s finest and most respected companies,” Ghosn said towards the end of the hearing.

    Whether this helps remains to be seen. Ghosn's lawyers are planning to petition the court to immediately end his detention later this week, but they are doubtful. At a press conference, lead defense attorney Motonari Otsuru said his cilent "would likely be indicted for a second time on Friday and be denied bail, keeping him locked up." Otsuru also predicted that Ghosn's case may not be brought to trial for another six months, allowing prosecutors to gather more evidence.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg



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    Ghosn is done in the auto industry, done in Japan, Pretty much done everywhere and I wonder if he will ever leave Japan once they sentence him. His family better move and hid away his wealth as anything tide to his name my gut tells me will be confiscated. Bye Bye Ghosn.

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      Powerful performance for a wide range of needs
      Nissan was the first automaker to introduce a mass market electric vehicle with the Nissan LEAF in 2010, which has resulted in nearly 500,000 sales to date. Building on Nissan's strength as an EV pioneer, the Ariya takes the powerful performance and capabilities of zero-emission vehicles to the heart of the electric vehicle market.
      The car's all-electric drivetrain combines excellent power delivery, charging capabilities and range. Customers can choose from multiple configurations to meet their individual needs. These include two-wheel-drive and new "e-4ORCE" all-wheel drive versions, as well as two different battery sizes. The e-4ORCE all-wheel control system balances the powerful performance with a smooth, comfortable ride and all-weather capability. The system's twin electric motors provide balanced, assured handling with sports car-level power.
      Advanced design and technology for stress-free driving
      Ariya is also the most advanced embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility in a car to date.
      Drivers will feel more confident and less stressed thanks to the available, next-generation ProPILOT Assist 2.0 advanced driver assistance system that uses driver attention monitoring to enable hands-off single-lane highway operation. Ariya will also offer e-Pedal, which allows the driver to start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.
      Standard across the Ariya lineup is Nissan Safety Shield® 360, a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies. This includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist. Ariya will also feature Nissan's Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and other technologies aimed at making the drive easier and more enjoyable.
      A human-machine interface lets customers use natural speech to adjust car settings. Over-the-air firmware updates keep the Ariya feeling fresh and exciting. The Ariya also includes Amazon's Alexa to help customers simplify and organize their lives.
      Ariya will also feature wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ standard to help drivers seamlessly integrate their smartphone into their vehicle experience.
      Spacious, flat-floor cabin
      The Ariya's striking looks represent Nissan's new design language, Timeless Japanese Futurism. It is characterized by a distinctive Japanese approach, conveyed in a simple yet powerfully modern way.
      Nissan's designers took advantage of the car's new EV platform, which allows for a flat floor, and its compact climate control components to give the Ariya a very spacious cabin. The lounge-like interior, featuring thin profile Zero Gravity seats, provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for driver and passengers alike.
      "Nissan was a pioneer in the world of mass-market electric vehicles a decade ago with LEAF, setting the standard for affordable, mass-market electric vehicles. We expect nothing less for the new Nissan Ariya," said Gupta. "While the driving exhilaration of its acceleration and torque levels is undeniable, the Ariya offers balanced, customer-centric technology that is perfect for everyday use."
      Nissan Ariya Key Specifications
      Passenger configuration
      2-row, 5-passenger
      Drive configuration
      Front-wheel drive or e-4ORCE all-wheel drive
      Platform
      Newly developed Alliance CMF-EV
      Powertrain
      Single (FWD) / dual (e-4ORCE AWD) electric motor, Externally Excited Synchronous Motor (EESM)
      Battery capacity
      63 kWh / 87 kWh usable (total 65 kWh / 90 kWh)
      Thermal management
      Active battery management system
      Estimated range
      Up to approximately 300 miles (preliminary Nissan estimate)
      Level 2 charging
      Up to 7.2 kW
      DC charging type
      CCS standard up to 130 kW
      Output
      160 kW – 290 kW
      Torque
      221 lb-ft – 443 lb-ft
      Wheelbase
      109.3 in.
      Overall length
      182.9 in.
      Overall width
      74.8 in.
      Overall height
      65.4 in. – 65.7 (depending on roof rack)
      Cargo volume
      16.5 cu ft (FWD)
      14.6 (e-4ORCE)
      Wheel size
      19-inch or 20-inch
      Tire size
      235/55R19 or 255/45R20
      Available interior features
      Lounge-like space created by flat, open floor and slim-profile Zero Gravity seats; large, minimalist instrument panel with integrated capacitive haptic switches; innovative center storage box with fold-out tray, adjustable center console
      Available Advanced Driver Assist (ADAS) Technology
      ProPILOT Assist 2.0 featuring hands-off highway operation with Driver Monitoring System
      Available safety technology
      Nissan Safety Shield® 360 with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking
      Model configurations
      Ariya standard and long range (FWD)
      Ariya standard range e-4ORCE and long range e-4ORCE (AWD)
      * NOTE: All specifications are as of July 2020 and are subject to homologation. Model names, features and specifications may vary by market. Subject to final validation.
    • 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
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