AD #1764 – Russian Car Sales Get Worse, EU Gets Testy with OEMs, Renault-Nissan Alliance Starting to Fray

December 15th, 2015 at 11:46am

Runtime: 8:00

- Russian Car Sales Get Worse
- Big Rigs Keep on Rolling
- Emission Testing Starts Fight in Europe
- Motor City Chorale to Join Us on AAH
- Renault-Nissan Alliance Starting to Fray
- Why the Rotary Engine is Important to Mazda

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16 Comments to “AD #1764 – Russian Car Sales Get Worse, EU Gets Testy with OEMs, Renault-Nissan Alliance Starting to Fray”

  1. Lisk Says:

    As big a fan as I am of the rotary; light weight, power, and lack of moving parts, I just don’t see it going anywhere. They are still too thirsty, are harder to regulate the emissions, and have suspect reliability. My guess is that most of that in part to Mazda being the only proponent of the rotary, therefore the only one developing it.

  2. RS Says:

    The Nissan/Renault alliance has always been a curious cultural blend. Each of these two nations has a home-grown cultural independence that is both relentless and pervasive.

    For example, it is impossible for anyone who does not have Japanese parents to become a citizen of Japan. Only the Japanese ARE Japanese. A close friend who has spent considerable time in Japan explains that the Japanese are very appreciative when a foreign born person is able to accomplish rudimentary Japanese customs – like language and greetings. But, if that person continues to develop additional skills, the critical evaluation of progress in Japanese cultural norms grows to a level of literal hostility. Again, no one can BE Japanese if you are NOT Japanese.

    My relatives in Paris explain that country’s view like this…New Yorkers think they are the center of the universe; Parisians KNOW it! You cannot buy any wine in France that was not produced there. Why would you want anything inferior when you can buy French wine?

    So, if there are cracks beginning to appear in the marriage, I can foresee that they will get larger very quickly.

    It is beginning to appear that we may be seeing the demise of diesel power. With big guns like the five largest OEMs increasingly promoting research into hydrogen power, that may be the technology of the future. Fuel cell research is already available to produce hydrogen from water, store it easily and power a vehicle very economically. Perhaps we will not need a distribution grid for hydrogen at all. Just an economical home unit to produce what you need.

  3. HtG Says:

    2. I think it was Jason Vines in his recent book who wrote that from the start of the alliance Carlos Ghosn was very sensitive to Japanese culture. Vines was working for Nissan at the time.

    RS, a friend of mine was teaching english in Japan years ago. In one class the adult students were giving him a hard time about the way African Americans were treated in the States, and he just turned to the blackboard to spell out, B-U-R-A-K-U in Katakana letters. The business men understood.

  4. Lex Says:

    I think the apposed piston engine has a brighter future than the rotary engine. I still think integrated automotive roof solar panels will be part of the electrification of most vehicles in the next decade.

  5. Rob Says:

    I wonder how much of the sales of Med&HD trucks is more due to the economic struggles from 2008-10 and not as much a false indicator of where the economy is heading. Lots of shipping was cut back and businesses went under freeing up fairly new trucks to take the place of buying new ones. Now that things are picking back up the demand is there as well as old used trucks have deminished.
    Also Plug in electric truck sales have gone from 2000 in 2011 to 16,000 in 2015. http://www.plugincars.com/plugging-electric-drivetrains-trucks-106998.html

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ RS: I don’t see the demise of diesels at all,except maybe for VW.Fuel cells would be awesome,but the infrastructure just isn’t here yet.Also the possible range anxiety.Not sure how much the tank(s) could hold between fillups.Others on here are better versed in this then I am.But diesels are not dead,or will they be anytime soon.I’m still considering a diesel in my future as my wife and I continue to plan ahead.

  7. RS Says:

    @GA: The attraction of diesel as a power unit are legendary – torque, durability, economy…
    All these characteristics make it fairly easy to justify choosing diesel.

    But the base for diesels has been Europe. If, as AD suggested today, Europe starts to enact stringent emission regulations, will the production volume decrease to a point where these engines are no longer economically viable? Or, will the OEMs just not be able to clean up the emissions to comply with the regs? And if Europe implements those regs now, can North America be far behind?

    Long live Rudolf Diesel!

  8. Ziggy Says:

    Anyone else tired of hearing VW management blaming its engineers for all their emissions woes? Anyone who has ever worked at an auto company knows that management calls the shots and the engineers respond. Nice try VW, but you’re not fooling me, the engineers were only doing what they were told to do or probably lose their jobs. Bad enough you got caught and aren’t owning up to it but to blame the engineers is just down right slimy. No VW vehicles in my future.

  9. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ RS: You’re right in that europe is diesel country,for decades.But,and I could be wrong on this,the EU diesel emission regs are substandard to what we have presently here.Where I’m going here is simple,the EU can adopt the standards we have,and even go for the standards that are planned in our future fore diesels.That’s where I think that in the end,they will move back to diesels once they are assured that they will indeed,be much cleaner then what they have now,even new ones.Same for france.Maybe even do a ‘cash for diesel clunkers’ throughout the EU,and then the people could buy new clean diesels,that are certified by the better standards we have,or even go for more.

  10. C-Tech Says:

    There was a report on a mechanic, Ernie Brink, who had ideas for several improvements in the Wankel engine that made sense. Was he able to work with Mazda (or anyone else) to produce an improved prototype?

    Given the good things which have come out of the Renault-Nissan joint venture, it would be a shame if these 2 went their separate ways. Who gets Carlos Ghosen in the break up?

  11. C-Tech Says:

    There may be still some life left in the Diesel even with tightening pollution regulations. Several times in the past the piston engine was written off in the 70′s.

  12. Rob Says:

    #8 I am totally with you Ziggy. Engineers solve problems but are directed by management and to think that the engineers went rouge and put this cheat in there without any knowledge or management approval is pure bologna. The sad part is the paper trail to management has probably already been destroyed and heads will roll that were just doing what they were told.. Always remember CYA

  13. M360 Says:

    #8 and #12- I totally agree with both of you. The engineers were just doing what they were told and now management doesn’t want to own up to the mess they’ve made. Just imagine working in that culture and what could possibly happen to you in future.

  14. geelongvic Says:

    Re #3. Thank you for the insight of BARAKU. I did some follow-up reading because of your comment. The obvious and profound conclusion is that ALL groupings of people (Asians, Blacks, and Whites, etc) have cultural, and likely, learned prejudices and discriminatory patterns of thinking. For any group of people and/or ethnicity to think that they are immune from having their own prejudices is a self-serving falsehood when they criticize others for prejudice.

  15. stiophan Says:

    From what I heard on the Mazda discussion, they have the ideas but not the money to use it as a Hydrogen/Electric powerplant. The Rotary is one of the signature powerplants from Mazda and they need something to stick out. Ferrari have their V8/12, Porsche the Boxer. Honda -vtec/high rev etc. Mazda cut the rotary due to emissions so if it can solve that.
    As to VW, Mercedes had this problem- massive overengineering by the engineers who were allowed to do whatever they thought. This meant high production costs not always needed – appreciated by the customers. VW Engineers were too afraid to tell management that clean diesel tech to meet US regs without SCR. Since the EU regs were easily tricked, nobody asked the awkward questions (Bosch wondered though) why this software fix was being used. VW deserve all the grief they get.

  16. Dale Hock Says:

    The Alliance will fall apart. That was proven decades ago.