AD #1760 – Dow & DuPont May Merge, NHTSA to Change 5-Star Safety Rating, Nissan’s Truck Problems

December 9th, 2015 at 11:51am

Runtime: 6:57

- Dow & DuPont May Merge
- NHTSA to Change 5-Star Safety Rating
- Samsung Boosts Automotive Business
- 2016 Car & Truck/Utility of the Year Finalists
- Ferrari Blocks Former Mercedes Racing Engineer
- Nissan Shakes Up Truck Management

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46 Comments to “AD #1760 – Dow & DuPont May Merge, NHTSA to Change 5-Star Safety Rating, Nissan’s Truck Problems”

  1. Albemarle Says:

    I pick the Nissan Titan XD. It looks different and exciting. I am intrigued by Nissan’s idea of sizing. From the armchair, it looks workable but the market will decide.

    I am sorry but I can’t get too wound up on the car side. Nothing really interesting here, but I will guess Honda Civic. No reasons, just a dartboard.

  2. HtG Says:


    I look at those car finalists and have no idea how to choose a winner.

    So we’re to believe that this top engineer from Mercedes served notice in 2014, was moved over to DTM, and HE DIDN’T HAVE A CONTRACT WITH FERRARI? As Colonel Potter would say, ‘HORSE HOCKEY!!!’ Precious Ferrari and their over cologned attorneys are full of it.
    Questions for the Mazda guest on AAH.
    1. I pushed the MX5 on the autocross at the Meadowlands, but failed to get it to understeer. How did you guys to that?
    2. The interiors of the MX5 and CX3 are so sharp I wonder what Mazda is thinking.
    3. Why no telescoping steering wheel in the MX5. I don’t fit because my short legs mean my carrying case for a head is being driven into the roof.

  3. RS Says:

    At last count, my family has owned about 70 Hondas over the last 30 years or so. That gives you a bit of a feel for a “slight” bias coming to this vote for NACTOY. Currently have an Acura, a Ford and a Mazda.

    The new Civic is getting great reviews and it has always been a reliable beast – even if some models have been a little below my own expectations. So, my COTY would go to the Civic.

    Before switching to Honda as my first checkpoint for a new car, I owned several Volvos. The company refused to deal with quality and warranty issues so I have never returned. That said, I understand they are starting to produce some desirable vehicles. Again, we all have biases

    I have a small emotional tug from the Volvo, so the TOTY is a little tighter for me but I still think I would trust the Honda. It is rated well by CR and other reviews have recommended it as better than the previous model. So this vote again goes to Honda – the Pilot

  4. Rob Says:

    Considering two of the cars are essentially 2 seaters the Chevy Malibu would be my choice for pass car. I’m not sure about truck, Gut tells me the Volvo but the Nissan is getting a lot of press.

  5. David Sprowl Says:

    My household buys new cars more frequently than the average US household. Here is my “insight” to Nissan’s sales problem – support your customers, there are way too many other options today. Had a 2011 that lost it’s AC compressor just outside of warranty. Yes I get that it was no longer covered, but AC compressors are not new technology I would have been happy to have split the cost with me paying the labor. Nope got the whole bill. My 2014 the HVAC system does not work correctly. No trouble codes, but there is a TSB and NHSTA complaints for the issue. No dealership will fix the issue. Looking at replacing 1 or 2 vehicles next year – guess who is not on the shopping list?

  6. Doug Watson Says:

    NACTOY Prediction
    Mazda MX5
    Volvo XC90

    Nissan’s truck business troubles is due to the fact that their vehicles miss the mark when it comes to appearance. Style may not be a primary consideration, but when all things are equal, style carries the day. In my opinion, Ford and GM vehicles have functionality and look good and have for quite some time.

  7. Brett Says:

    Tough call for COTY. All really good vehicles. My guess would be the bread-and-butter Malibu simply because it has a much broader market and is so good in that market. For truck/utility? Volvo.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s no wonder that Nissan has a “truck problem” in North America. When all of the products are, by most accounts, worst in class, you are not likely to have a big market share. We’ll see if the new Titan does better.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d say Malibu and Titan.

    Most of what I’ve heard, so far, is that the new Malibu fixed the biggest thing wrong with the outgoing one, lack of rear seat space, while keeping the strong points, quietness, ride, and intuitive controls. Also, the new one will be available as a serious hybrid.

    For trucks, probably Titan, if for no other reason than it is replacing a very long-of-tooth outgoing one. Also, its offering the Cummins diesel V8 might go in its favor.

  10. Lex Says:

    Honda all the way! Honda Pilot for Truck of the Year and Honda Civic for car of the Year.

    It amazes me that the 2016 Chevy Volt looks so much like the Honda Civic. The Volt needs to be the size of the Malibu to increase sales at that price point.

    Carlos Ghosn is a very smart businessman, however the pickup truck business does not need another large or XL variant. Mr. Ghosn should concentrate his efforts on a global small to mid size pickup truck which meets or exceeds all safety and fuel economy standards around the world with very little variation between market regions. This I believe would be a more profitable game plan for Nissan.

    Also what about test marketing some of those five door Renault Hatchbacks in North America as rebadged Nissans. These would be great vehicle targeted at Millennials or Car Share Companies.

    I have ridden in those Nissan NV200 Taxi Cabs in NYC and found them to be a bit too narrow for my taste. What about plumping them up in the shoulder room area for us big guys in a suit and tie running from meeting to meeting in Mid-Town.

  11. Lisk Says:

    I look for a Honda sweep at the Car & Truck of the Year. The Malibu looks to be a great car but without many on the streets yet, it’s hard to pick it as a winner. The Civic had had pretty good sales numbers.

    As for trucks, the Pilot is the only one that will have any real impact. The Volvo is a niche player and the Titan is pretty much a yawn; another attempt to break the Dodge/Ford/GM stranglehold.

    I know this isn’t a sales contest but I think the judges are less influenced by hype than the actual product.

    As for NHTSA moving the 5-star goalposts, this move will continue to save more lives and lessen injuries.

  12. GM Veteran Says:

    For me, the Truck choice is very simple. Volvo. Why? Because the other two entries don’t break any new ground, and the Volvo brings great styling and true technical innovation with its line of 4 cylinder powerplants and the Hybrid model that yields segment-busting fuel economy for this size vehicle.

    The car choice is not as clear, but I would give a slight nod to the Malibu because of its model variations and how GM pushed hard for this one to be segment leading as opposed to mid-pack like the last one. Of course, one could say the same about the Civic, so its kind of a tossup between those two. Love the Miata, but its really just a nice improvement on the same formula we have seen. Great little sports car, but no breakthroughs here.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Since the Civic looks kind of like the Volt, they should make a hatchback version, like the Volt. That would make it much more appealing to some people, like myself.

    Yes, I know. Americans don’t like hatchbacks, except for tall, boxy ones.

  14. RumNCoke Says:

    I’m going with the Nissan Titan XD for Truck of the Year. Not just because splitting the light and heavy duty segments is pretty smart, but just for sheer determination. Nissan makes some very good product but the commercial marketing guys are totally clueless. D’oh!

  15. Joe Engelhardt Says:

    Hands down truck, Titan XD. Auto, Miata.

  16. Bob Roach Says:

    Question about the Mazda CX-3, for Autoline After Hours: Why wasn’t the car built on the Mazda 3 platform instead of the Mazda 2?

  17. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Kit – The new Civic will be offered as a 5-door hatchback in the American market.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I’ve read that it will be the European one, and will be coming later, like in the spring. Is that correct? I look forward to seeing it.

  19. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Kit – That’s my understanding. I look forward to it as well.

  20. R Jones Says:

    There is only one truck the titan the others are station wagons .I don’t care what they say !

  21. GM Veteran Says:

    Nissan is not the first to try the “tween” approach in the pickup market. Both GM and Ford have done this in the past, just not with a diesel powertrain. Nissan is offering something that no one else is currently. Though with no real groundbreaking innovations, I don’t see the Titan winning this one.

  22. Fstfwrd Says:

    Being a Honda fan, I’ll go with the Civic and the Pilot.
    Nissan is pissing against the wind with their Titan. Way too much great competition in that segment. They should have brought out a new “mini truck”, a size greatly needed in this market.

  23. C-Tech Says:

    Nissan truck concerns are deeper than a management change can fix. The large NV vans look outdated compared to Ford, Ram, and Mercedes. The full-sized pickup just doesn’t capture the attention of the truck buyers like the big 3. More patience (and money ) will be needed to capture market share.

  24. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Now wth did nissan expect Diaz to do,with ancient trucks?? The frontier suffered as bad as the taco did with only mild refreshes,and the same tired inefficient power trains…..for the better part of 10 years.

    Although the titan is a very good truck,it was a total gas hog.Back to the ancient frontier,they still don’t have an all new model yet.Sure,there’s supposed to be one due out in 17,or 18,but they are still selling 10+ year old new trucks.

    I like nissan,but I wouldn’t buy any of their trucks/commercial line.Thier nv200/chevy city express is just plain nasty.Thier larger nv’s are built like a battleship,look like a battleship,and STILL suffer the same old powertrains.

    They hired Diaz to turn things around,but it’s impossible without the right tools and backing.It can’t happen in a span of a few short years,they need NEW product.

  25. G.A.Branigan Says:

    TOTY: Nissan Titan,hands down.Although,I wonder why GM’s diesel midsize twins aren’t in the running.The diesel versions have a TON of innovations in a new midsize truck.I just don’t get it.

  26. HtG Says:

    Ferrari should grab their equine ankles and thank Lord Toto the Wolf that Mercedes didn’t wait until engineer Hoyle actually started working at the Scuderia before they let loose their lawsuit. (Oh, and stop promoting cigarettes in Asia while you’re maintaining face.)

    nope, I’m not a big fan of the current Ferrari. oth this…

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m going to go with the Malibu and the Pilot; I’d like to go with the Colorado diesel but that’s not a choice (of course the Volvo isn’t a truck IMO), but what-ever.

    I’m not buying the ‘tweener’ description that Nissan is trying to allocate to their Titan because I don’t think there is enough distinction between a full-blown 1/2 ton from Chevy, Ford, or Ram and their X-D. Half tons have grown so much in the last ten years that the nomenclature ‘tweener’ probably describes all the 1/2 tons compared to the 1/2 tons of not so long ago.

  28. Kenneth Wood Says:

    Honda and Volvo

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s crazy to me, how these terms “half ton,” “three quarter ton,” etc. hang on. I just looked up the payload of a Silverado 1500, and it is 1800 pounds. The F150 and Ram 1500 would be similar. I guess old nomenclature dies hard, at least among pickup truck fans.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Great video, and great, fast driving, but without abusing the machinery.

  31. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Chuck G: The innovation with the new Titan diesel isn’t just with the engine.It’s mostly all the underpinnings.They are top shelf heavy duty stuff.All new frame,diffs,suspension et al.It really is an all new truck,and much more capable than any of the 1/2 ton offerings.But you bring up a good point about the size,they are all huge compared to what I was buying through the 80′s and 90′s,and even the early part of the 2k’s.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If anyone wants to take a significant number of pickup sales from Ford, Chevy, or Ram, they need to sell a basic S-10/Ranger size truck, for a reasonable price. Even Chery or Great Wall could sell the heck out of a basic truck for $14K. There are plenty of idled assembly plants in the U.S. that they could buy, to skirt the “chicken tax.”

    As far as the new Titan, I don’t think Ford and Chevy are worrying too much about it, even if it is really good. Buyers of big pickup trucks are, for the most part, a brand loyal bunch, at least the ones I know, and I know quite a few pickup drivers in Indiana. Also, none of the pickup drivers I know need a “slightly heavier duty” truck. None of these people haul anything heavy in them, and the biggest thing they tow is about 3500 pounds of boat/trailer.

  33. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Oh yeah,an s10/ranger sized all new truck would be the ticket,for many people.Not many seemed to care about buying datsons the chevy luv etc back in the 70′s.Those trucks were everywhere.

    As far as the new Titan goes,I’m at a loss for understanding a ‘tweener’.A diesel 1/2 ton for towing,yes,absolutely,but a big V8 Cummins diesel,I just don’t know about that one.

    IMHO,a good beefy V6 diesel would do the job,and keep expenses down somewhat.

  34. Mike Dearborn Says:

    Regarding the car and truck of the year, I believe that the Honda Civic will win in the car category, primarily because if the many improvements made fro the last model. It should retain top selling auto in Canada. As far as the truck category I am picking the Nissan Titan. Looks like a decent truck, not a 3/4 ton and more like a 1/2 ton, but with an extremely powerful engine in the Cummins. I do think it looks very much like the last version of the F150.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The V6 diesel in the Ram apparently works pretty well, but it ain’t cheap, and wouldn’t be cost effective for many people.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just checked the NACOTY “eligible” list, and saw multiple cars I’d put above any that made the final three, Camaro, Prius, and Volt. It looks like the jury is anti-hybrid. You can’t say they are anti-GM, since the Malibu is on the list, but the new Camaro is a much bigger step forward than the Malibu.

  37. Dave Perkins Says:

    IMO the Volvo XC90 is the clear choice in its category.

  38. Stuart Says:

    I bought a new Titan several years ago. No problems so far. It is a tweeter too. The g.v.w. Is 7100 lbs, a thousand pounds heavier than the completion and rides much smoother than a 2500 series truck. The biggest problem I had was trying to buy one. The dealers don’t stock them and the sales people have little to no product knowledge. I live in Connecticut and I could only find three for sale in the entire state!

  39. Rob Says:

    The biggest problem with introducing a mini pickup is it growing with each refresh. Its like buying a camper or boat. Once you have one, people want a bigger one. So even if they introduce a mini pick up after two updates it becomes a mid-level sized truck.

  40. MJB Says:

    Nothing short of a redesign is going to boost the sales of that butt-ugly Nissan NV.

  41. Enn Norak Says:

    I vote for the new Titan XD, mostly because of the Cummins engine. Like comment #1 above, I refuse to consider any Nissan car until Nissan gets a top executive who hates CVTs as much as I do.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that everyone hates CVT’s, except people who actually drive them on a regular basis.

  43. Rob Says:

    #32 I think CVTs are an acquired taste. It takes some getting used to driving something that sounds like the transmission is slipping. Having grown up around snowmobiles I was fine with it but it does take some getting used to.. Biggest downside I see to them is putting them in the CUV’s leaves little to no towing capacity. Which puts into question their robustness.

  44. Rob Says:

    Opps that was to you kit #42 uhhg hate not being able to edit.

  45. Thomas Bailey Says:

    Honda wins…although I think the Volvo is better. But what me matter…I’m from Cleveland!

  46. Steve Ashley Says:

    Nissan gets my vote, since it is the only “TRUCK” on the list.