Tag Archives: Andy Palmer

Nissan Delays Infiniti’s Electric Car to Add New Features

By Clifford Atiyeh

Infiniti LE concept

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn always looks like he’s smirking, but with Infiniti delaying a second critical product in a week’s time, we’re sure he’s frowning hard. On Wednesday, Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told The Wall Street Journal that the company would “push back the timing” of its Infiniti LE, a luxury electric car based on the Nissan Leaf that was scheduled to go on sale by next spring. A week earlier, Infiniti delayed the launch of its new 2014 Q50 by another month to make engineering tweaks. The LE, first shown at the 2012 New York auto show, may need much more time, although Palmer didn’t specify a ballpark date.

“Certain technologies that we see now, which we didn’t see two years ago, are going to be available in a time frame that was relatively close to where we were going to introduce the Infiniti,” Palmer told the Journal. Our attempts to reach Nissan went unanswered.

An outspoken advocate for electric cars, Ghosn made Nissan the first major automaker to sell a mass-produced EV since the GM EV1. His insistence on pure electric power using an entirely new platform—as opposed to developing EVs and plug-in hybrids from existing models, as Ford has done—means the company needs to sell more EV variants to recoup costs. The Infiniti LE, along with the e-NV200 commercial van, is essential to that plan. But with plug-ins accounting for a half-percent of all market share, no one is betting Nissan—which built a new battery plant in Smyrna, Tennesse, using $1.4 billion in federal loans—will be generating EV profits any time soon. Nor will any automaker, for that matter.

Likely, those “certain technologies”  Palmer refers to involve the SAE fast-charging combo plug, which the company (along with Mitsubishi) continues to oppose despite approval from eight other U.S. and European automakers. Nissan has supported the Japanese CHAdeMO standard for the Leaf, which requires a separate connection as opposed to the SAE’s all-in-one design.

Nissan also may be considering liquid cooling for its lithium-ion battery pack, another feature the company has strongly resisted to cut costs. In September of last year, dozens of Leaf owners in Phoenix told Nissan that the area’s desert heat had prematurely cut their range, with some owners reportedly losing up to 30 percent of battery capacity in less than two years. In April, Nissan responded with a new battery warranty that would offer replacements, although Palmer said at the time that the Leaf’s air-cooled pack did not require further improvements.

Or, Nissan engineers simply could be too busy. They’re preparing a hybrid powertrain for the next-gen GT-R, a car we’d gladly take first over the LE.

In any case, Infiniti’s delay is good news for General Motors, which would prefer its upcoming 2014 Cadillac ELR to have all the electric attention.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

New York Auto Show: Brace For More Nissan And Infiniti Ads, As Nissan Chases Honda

By Jim Henry, Contributor

He also said he doesn’t want to see the U.S. company gain share simply by cutting prices or upping incentives. “What’s important is that we will not do this based on sales tactics we cannot sustain. Ten percent, we think we can reach before the end of our midterm plan in 2016. But we want to do it in a way so we can go from 10 percent to the next milestone, and not at the maximum of our capacity and then fall back,” Ghosn said.At a press conference, he shot frequent looks and referred some questions to a couple of the executives who need to make all that happen, Andy Palmer, executive vice president, and Jose Munoz, senior vice president, sales & marketing and customer quality & dealer development, Nissan Americas. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Nissan Plans New, Smaller “Love It or Hate It” Sports Car Below Z [2013 Detroit Auto Show]

By Jeff Sabatini

 Nissan ESFLOW concept from 2011 Geneva auto show

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Ferocious animals, forces of nature, mythology, and women. These are the building blocks of sports-car analogies. But yeast?

“It’s like Marmite,” Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told us today at the Detroit auto show, describing a third sports car for the Nissan brand by comparing the new model to a British food spread created from yeast extract. “You’ll love it or hate it.”

While Palmer wouldn’t divulge much in the way of details, he told us Nissan will be showing a concept for the new model within a year. It won’t be a Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S fighter, but a youth-oriented design more akin in spirit to the Juke. It would sit beneath the GT-R and the Z in the product lineup, and likely involve some sort of electrified powertrain, as Palmer described the car as “guilt-free.”

This isn’t the first time Nissan has floated the idea of a sports car for the video-game generation. Its Urge concept from the 2006 New York Auto show promised to double as a life-size driving controller, and the more recent 2011 ESFLOW concept packed an electric Leaf powertrain in a sports-car body.

2013 Detroit Auto Show full coverage

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver