Nissan Unveils Taxi of Tomorrow in NYC – The city’s new yellow cab

New York Citys next generation of yellow cabs will be minivans featuring sliding doors, antibacterial seats, air bags in the back and outlets to charge mobile phones.

City officials unveiled the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” manufactured by Nissan Motor Co., at the New York International Auto Show on Tuesday. The vehicle, on display to the public from Friday to April 15, was engineered to be durable enough to handle the citys 10,000 km of pothole-riddled streets, according to Nissan officials.

Priced at $29,700, the vehicle will include a transparent roof, fuel-efficient engine, no-hump floors, 25 cm more legroom than a Crown Victoria and more luggage space than most current cabs, according to the citys Taxi and Limousine Commission. Theyre scheduled to hit New York Citys streets by fall 2013.

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Japan’s Automakers May Flee Strong Yen

The strong yen is forcing Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor to consider changes in production plans and alliance strategies, the top executives of both Japanese automakers said Thursday.

The yen, which hit a record high against the dollar in late October, has undercut profits for Toyota and Nissan, which both build vehicles in Japan for overseas markets.

To offset the strong yen, Toyota may “deepen alliances” with suppliers and dealers, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, said during the opening of a Toyota plant in Mississippi that will build Corolla cars now being manufactured in Japan.

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Breakthrough Tech: Nissan developing a 10-minute battery charger for electric vehicles

With the fear of losing power during a trip holding back many consumers from purchasing an electric vehicle, Nissan has discovered a new charging method that could get drivers back on the road in minutes.

Announced earlier this week, Nissan has designed new battery technology for electric vehicles that cuts charging time from eight hours down to just ten minutes to fully recharge the battery. Assuming electric vehicle charging stations become more widespread across the United States, a driver could potentially take a long-distance trip from New York City to Los Angeles only having to stop for ten minutes at a time to recharge the vehicle. Researchers at at Kansai University in Japan claim that the breakthrough in this charging method comes from swapping out the electrode utilizing carbon inside a capacitor to an electrode using tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide. 

The downside to the announcement is that perfecting and commercializing the technology is likely going to take up to a decade to reach consumers. While Nissan waits for the 10-minute battery charger, the company is aggressively supporting quick-charging stations that can recharge a battery to 80 percent capacity in approximately 30 minutes.

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Ghosn Says Japan Failing to Curb Yen Shows Jobs Not Top Priority

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., said Japan faces a “hollowing out” of its industrial base should the government fail to take steps to counter the yen’s rise.

“I have spoken to the prime minister about this directly,” Ghosn said in an interview from Rio de Janeiro yesterday after Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan announced a new $1.4 billion auto plant in Brazil. “If Japan wants employment, you’re going to have to do something about establishing a normal exchange rate.”

Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s three largest automakers, are shifting production overseas as the yen’s surge erodes the profitability of building cars in their home market. The nation’s currency has risen 5.7 percent this year against the dollar and touched a postwar high of 75.95. The government, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, last intervened to weaken the yen in August.

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Japan auto sales rise for first time in 13 months

Japan’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses saw their first rise in 13 months in September, reflecting the industry’s rebound from the huge disruption sparked by Japan’s quake and tsunami.

Sales in September grew 1.7 percent from a year earlier to 313,790 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

The figures do not include sales of mini vehicles — which have an engine capacity of 660 cc or less — and reflect a low basis of comparison from the same period a year earlier, when state subsidies for the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles ended.

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Japans yen policy puts output at risk says Nissan’s Cheif Ghosn

Nissan Motor Co 7201.T Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said the Japanese governments efforts to rein in the rise of the yen had failed, forcing manufacturers to reduce investment in Japan and shift output elsewhere.

"If the Japanese government wants to really safeguard and develop employment, then something has to be done," Ghosn told Reuters in an interview in New York. "We have been talking about this as an industry for a while. Unfortunately, it keeps happening. It looks like whatever effort has been done so far has not delivered results."

"We have to have some vision of what is going to be the exchange rate landscape," he added.

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Japan’s economy slows less than expected

Japans economy contracted less than expected in the last quarter, showing stronger signs of recovery from the deadly tsunami.

The economy shrank by an annualised rate of 1.3% in the three months to the end of June, the Cabinet Office said. It shrank 0.3% from the previous quarter.Most forecasters were expecting drops of about 2.6% and 0.9%.

The figures should boost optimism that Japan will emerge from recession.

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Nissan leading the way to recovery in Japan

Japanese automakers’ global vehicle production was weaker overall in May due to the lingering impact from the March 11 earthquake, but Nissan showed resilience with an increase in output.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Monday that Japan production in May fell 54.4 percent to 107,437 vehicles while its global production declined 49.3 percent to 287,811 vehicles.

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Japan quake delays production of Nissan Leaf in US

Nissan Motor Co 7201.T may have to delay U.S. production of its Leaf electric car as a result of the March 11 earthquake that rocked northern Japan, an executive said on Monday.

After the earthquake, "every operation stopped," said Hideaki Watanabe, Nissan vice president for zero-emission vehicles. "All the resources were put in place to restore Japan.

"As a result, the Japanese automaker halted its efforts to plan for the U.S. production of the Leaf, he said. He declined to say how long the delay could last.

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New York City taxis to be Nissan NV200s

It looks like something you’d see on a suburban cul-de-sac, not inching through Times Square.

A boxy minivan made by Nissan will be the next iconic yellow cab in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

The model, selected from among three finalists in a city competition, is designed so that it could eventually be updated with an electric engine. The city is exploring the possibility of ultimately replacing the city’s entire fleet of more than 13,000 taxis with vehicles powered by electricity.

Read the rest of the story: New York City taxis to get suburban look, Japanese nameplate as Nissan NV200 wins competition.