AD #2688 – Nissan Develops Manufacturing Breakthrough, Volvo Teases Electric XC40, U.S. Vehicle Sales Drop

October 2nd, 2019 at 11:43am

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Runtime: 6:34

0:07 U.S. Vehicle Sales Drop
0:57 UAW Rejects Latest GM Proposal
2:06 Volvo Teases Electric XC40
2:50 Toyota C-HR Updated For 2020
3:41 Nissan Develops Manufacturing Breakthrough
4:32 Suzuki Shows Off Tokyo Concepts
5:09 Amazing BMW Isetta Cold War Story

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50 Comments to “AD #2688 – Nissan Develops Manufacturing Breakthrough, Volvo Teases Electric XC40, U.S. Vehicle Sales Drop”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Nissan’s dual-sided dieless forming is one of the cleverest idea that I’ve heard of in a long time; two thumbs up for that one.

  2. Phred Says:

    With this new steel panel manuf. process…any old auto panel could be 3 D scanned and the coordinates fed into this machine to produce a “legacy sheet metal part. A truly business opportunity for a small start up!!!

  3. Larry D. Says:

    That Toyota C-HR tiny crossover looks very sleek, a rare design hit by Toyota. It looks great in red here, and it also looked good in dark gray from the 2nd floor window of my office last week. esp the back. Exact opposite, the hideous, enormous spindle grille on a Lexus ES parked in front of the library yesterday. Had to look at the trunk to make sure it was not an LS.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    I got the September detailed sales data in an XLK sheet in an email by Ward’s an hour ago or so.

    Despite the strike, GM has retained its modest 16.65% market share. However, FCA surpassed both Ford and Toyota! The RAM is closing in on the F 150, which sold 61,000 vs 51,000 for the no 2 best seller Ram. Ford sales must have melted in September, thanks to Humpty Dumpty Hackett’s decision to kill all his sedans, probably.

    As usual, the well-built, reliable sedans did just fine, (Camry, Civic, Corolla, Accord), and in fact if you exclude Fleet sales the Honda cars sold many more units than the Toyotas. Esp the Civic, which is red hot.

    Tesla’s market share was 1.85%, compared to Mazda (all models) 1.48%, Jag+Land Rover 0.73% and VOlvo’s (also all models) 0.74%.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Nissan’s sheet metal forming looks like a great way to eliminate storing of expensive dies. I would assume it has thickness limitations and probably cannot make class A surface parts like a fender or door. It also looked to be very time consuming so I’m guessing it would be for very small quantities. However for the many small stampings that are hidden this would make for a great option.

    Volvo XC40 I think it makes sense to offer a vehicle with the option of an ICE or EV powertrain so the tooling of the whole vehicle can be shared. However traditional designs seem to be a big waste of space when altered for electric. I guess the tiny frunk would be a good place to keep the charging cord.

    Toyota CRH looks like it would have a huge blind spot with the super wide C-pillar but I’ve never been in one and if Sean has any insight it would be good to hear what you have to say about it.

  6. Buzzerd Says:

    I really like the CHR’s looks but Toyota’s decision to skip the AWD seems kind of dumb to me. Might have thought of buying one had it been.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 That’s interesting that you like the looks of the strangely styled C-HR, given how much you hate the looks of the Bolt. Yeah, aesthetics are quite subjective. FWIW, I’m not enthralled by the looks of either one.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 Geely and Tata must have deep pockets, to keep going with JLR and Volvo in the U.S. Between Jaguar and Land Rover, there must be 20 different models, and Volvo must have 10.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Do you know what dies are used for all of the reproduction body parts, probably mostly from China, for ’55 Chevy, old Mustangs, and others? Would the producers have somehow gotten original dies, did they make new ones, maybe from plastic, or ?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3,7 Speaking of opinions on car styling, I just received a new Car and Driver, and they did a comparison test of a Mustang GT350, Porsche Cayman, Toyota Supra, and BMW M2. They rated both the Cayman and Supra 8 out of 10 for “exterior styling.” If they were serious, their writers seem to have very strange ideas of aesthetics in car design, compared to most of us.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    7 You have no clue what you are talking about. The Small TOyota crossover is SLEEK, not a FAT PIG like the Bolt. No wonder I appreciate the ONE elegant Toyota design.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    7 you REALLY dont have clue one. The small toyota SUV is ELEGANT, even in the pix here, but especially when I viewed it up close. AND views are NOT subjective here.

    You should think, being such a Bolt Lover, WHY in the world did it fail so UTTERLY to grab even ONE of the 500,000 Model 3 Deposit buyers who did not get delivery of their car for YEARS. THINK about it. The bolt is an UTTER LOSER< and worse, Lutz openly admitted it is losing a TON of $ which they steal from their SUV profits.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Whatever. I’ve seen them in parking lots, and they look kind of strange to me. As I stated in 7 and 10, aesthetics are highly subjective.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    13 NO, NOT “whatever”. Ugly is not subjective, the spindle grille is ugly, the Bolt is ugly, the small crossover is ELEGANT, and I repeat, especially how it is in the sides and back of it. VERY elegant design.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 You are so full of it about some things. I am not a Bolt lover, or I would have bought one. FYI, the C-HR isn’t such a hot seller either. The Honda HR-V outsells it almost 2 to 1.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:


  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 Ugly must be subjective. From what you’ve posted, I think we agree that the new Supra is ugly, but the writers at C and C like it.

    See #10

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 I don’t know for sure but the scanning tools that are available now make it very easy to take a production part and create a math/CAD file. So duplicating a fender in China they would most likely buy an OE part, scan it and then cut a set of dies from something like Kirksite alloy which is good for a small run of parts before deforming too much. They might even use tool steel for something like Mustang parts that could see some decent volume.
    I don’t know of any dies being made from plastic to form steel though. The reason they are not always a proper fit like OE is because the loss of tolerance through scanning and using a part not the original CAD file.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Tnx for info. I’ve heard people mention the parts not fitting as well as they might, but it’s great that they are available, even if not “perfect.”

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    15 Kit to me the C-HR looks like it could be the modern version of the AMC Gremlin if they wanted to resurrect that two door hatch. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder otherwise not one Aztec would have ever sold. :-)

  21. Larry D. Says:

    17 NO they did not, they did not like its looks, but its performance and overall value. anyway, after Czere left as editor, C&D has gone to the dogs.

    Speaking of C&D, I saw their latest issue in the public library, they had a RIDICULOUS comparison test where all four vehicles got scores from 192 to 197, or something like that, essentially a four way tie, and given the way they grade some things, their ranking could easily have been the exact opposite of what they printed.

    The vehicles were totally mismatched, from a Bentley Bentyaga at $300k to a cheapo Jag at less than $90k, and the so-called winner, by a hair, was that Lambo Urus that looks like it hit a deer up front.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 Even more clueless than Kit. Or more likely, joking. Unlike both of you, I have seen it up close. It did not even look like a crossover at first I thought it was one of these silly sporty hatches like the failed Hyundai Veloster (but much better looking).

  23. Larry D. Says:

    I also saw a new Jetta in the parking lot, cool blue color like the special blue the BMW Alpinas have, and the exterior styling was excellent, far better than older Jettas, clean sharp lines everywhere, no nonsense like in most Japanese designs.

    The Germans got it in design. Both in luxury cars and in mass market VWs. Too bad the interior of the Passat made in TN is really third-rate, cheap feeling materials everywhere. Hopefully the Jetta’s is better.

  24. Bob Wilson Says:

    What is the tradeoff point between the Nissan sheet metal forming versus a 3d metal printer?

    My understanding is some rocket makers are 3d printing rocket engines and those are subject to severe thermal and mechanical stresses.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Can you READ? They rated both the Cayman and Supra 8 out of 10 for “exterior styling.” To rate it 8 of 10 means they liked it pretty well.

    I agree that with their comparisons, they might pre-determine how they want the rankings to come out, or as you say, they might want a near-tie. With the test I referenced in #10, they had four quite different performance cars, that were pretty close in price. Maybe they wanted the Supra to finish second, so they inflated the “exterior styling” score. Who knows, unless you work there.

    I guess I missed the test of $300K SUVs, or maybe I just ignored it.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    25 I did not say they WANTED a near-tie, I said their own grades was a virtual tie, yet they insisted, instead of a 4 way tie, to list them as if there was a no 1, a no 2, a no 3 and a no 4, when the diff were so tiny, and their judgement so poor, it could well have been the exact OPPOSITE. That would be fun, to rank the Jag at $90k above the $300k Bentyaga.

    I ALSO did not say it was a test of “300k suvs”. Only the Bentyaga was $300 as tested, even the Urus was much less than that, and the Cayenne was half the 300.

    PS Obviously the staff at C&D need new glasses, if they claim, with a straight face, that the new Supra is not ugly.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 The test you are talking about is Motor Trend, not C & D, which is why I don’t remember. I subscribe to C & D but not MT.

    Yeah, the Urus was only $255,803, and the Cayenne and Jaguar much less yet.

  28. Autoline Staff Says:

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  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This is the test I just read in the print magazine:

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and these are the charts of results:

  31. Larry D. Says:

    27 right, sorry, it was MT.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 There’s a new VW, called Arteon, that is getting pretty good reviews. It replaced the CC “four door coupe. It’s a sedan-looking hatchback, along the lines of the A5 sportback, 4 series gran coupe, etc. It costs less than its “premium brand” rivals, but is not cheap, with a base price of ~$36K, and I’m sure it’s easy to option it up to over $40K.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    32 Yes, I am familiar with that one. I always viewed the CC as a ripoff vs the Passat, even more than the Scirocco vs GOlf. All automakers do this, they offer a chopped coupe version of a sedan with much less room and they ask.. much more for it. Merc S coupes vs S sedans, same with BMWs. and worst of all, that supposedly beautiful CLS. Way overpriced.

    as far as the comparo of the 4 sporty cars, the Cayman (or preferably the Boxster version) would be the only one I would care to test drive, much less buy.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    33 I did see that test in the print C&D sometime ago too, speedread it, and when I saw that the m2 was dead last and the.. Mustang was no. 1, I could not take it seriously and spend more time reading it.

  35. Lambo2015 Says:

    Yea speaking of amazing German designs did ya see that BMW Isetta. Actually it was an Italian design that BMW took over and re-engineered with something like a 12HP engine for like 7 or 8 years but geez is that ugly.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 I’ve test driven a Cayman, and really liked it. If I wanted to replace my Mini and Corvette with one car, a manual transmission base Cayman would probably be it. I’d get the Cayman over the Boxster, because I would rarely put the top down if I had the Boxster, and the hardtop car would be quieter at highway speed. Quietness is not a strong point of either, though.

    There is a CC at my condo. The interior is quite a bit nicer than a same-year Chattanooga Passat, but the CC would have cost considerately more.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Those cars would certainly appeal to different people. The BMW is a relatively old design, which might be showing its age, as with the steering they complained about.

    The must really drive with lead feet, to get only 16 mpg with the Cayman, and 15 with the M2 and Supra, and 12 for the Mustang on their 600 mile trip. You’d probably get close to twice those numbers with all of them, in normal highway driving. Maybe they really liked the noise of the Mustang.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 When I was a kid, probably in around 1955, someone had an Isetta in my home town in Indiana. The door in front swung out to get in and out, and the steering wheel swung out, attached to the door. It would not be very good in a crash. The engines were based on the BMW single cylinder motorcycle engines, but would have had fan cooling in the car.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    Rumors of Tesla Killer Nio’s death have been slightly exaggerated? Especially with the sugardaddy the PRC government injecting in NIO a billion or two whenever necessary?

    You can watch the entire video segment in yesterday’s PBS Newshour or read it and also see additional material.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    39 It is interesting to see how the PRC Comissars have forced the taxi drivers to go BEV, even though the capabilities of what they drive are far below their needs, and they waste hours recharging and losing income.

    My own taxi driver and friend in the old country, the one who did 4,000,000 with her E-class diesel before buying a new one this summer, could never do this in any BEV, too many miles daily.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 I haven’t heard much about quick change batteries lately. Maybe that’s what they need.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    I don’t think they use a battery exchange system, they had to recharge. But in general, this may be the way to go if they want BEV taxis, IF it is a big taxi company. However many taxi drivers there seem to be individual proprietors, not working for a taxi company.

  43. Lambo2015 Says:

    41 If they want to force BEV for taxis then someone needs to design a BEV that has a quick change battery in mind. Similar to whats been done in factories for years with forklifts and tow carts. They are built with quick disconnect power cords and a easily accessible battery.
    A smart company would design a specific taxi with an automated exchange system that would be like driving through a car wash but swap the battery automatically. Then the cab company could place a few throughout the city and the drivers wouldn’t even need to get out of the car. Take a few minutes to pull through and drive out with a fully charged battery.
    But hey if someone does do this, feel free to send me a check for the idea.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    Bobs posting from Tuesday about affordable EVs.
    “Our Model 3 remains quite affordable in large part because of the $18,300 trade-in of our Prius Prime”.
    Seriously Bob your going to say your model 3 is affordable when you had a $18,300 trade in. That’s like saying I payed cash for a car so it cost me nothing.

  45. cwolf Says:

    The Wall Street Journal, in the report “New Cars’ Pedestrian-Safety Features Fail in Deadliest Situations”, printed a study by the AAA. AAA compared safety-features in a Malibu, Accord, Camry and Tesla 3. Tests were conducted at night going 20 and 30 mph. They ALL failed miserably! At 30 mph, the systems were completely ineffective at night.
    Fatalities have increased 35% since 2008, yet occupant fatalities decreased 7%.
    This should tell you that drivers have to be in control all the times.

  46. cwolf Says:

    43) Sorry Lambo, the Asians (japan?) already thought of and attempted to use your idea. Believe AL had a report on this a year or so ago. Day late/ dollar short

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 The pedestrian fatalities have probably increased mainly because of people texting while walking.

  48. JWH Says:

    #38 – Besides the Isetta which came in 250 & 300 cc versions, BMW also made a 600 which in addition to the front swinging door, had a side door for the rear seat. Vehicle utilized the 600 cc boxer twin. We (my father) purchased one when we were in Berlin from 1956 to 1959 & we brought it back to the states in 1959. While it was before I got to drive, it was a good vehicle at the time. We drove it from New York to Milwaukee followed by the rest of the family in the 1955 Dodge wagon we had taken to Berlin.

  49. cwolf Says:

    47) Regardless of reason, these pedestrian safety systems don’t work at night. These systems were given accolades by good marketing to sell buyers, but did the auto companies know just how limited they were? Maybe this is why Ford and Honda manuals note that these systems are only a drivers aid and that the driver should not place more confidence in the system than in themselves.

  50. Lambo2015 Says:

    49 That’s exactly the problem! They can put whatever disclaimer they want on these systems but we all know that drivers will become passengers and rely on AV when they shouldn’t.
    If you have been driving for more than 25 years you probably know what its like to drive without ABS. You can probably parallel park and may have driven a manual stick shift.
    The point is as the cars do more the skill set declines.
    In fact I was just listening to Bob & Tom on the radio the other day when Tom said he had shut off the side blind-zone detection on his car and just about side-swiped someone on the highway because the little light didn’t tell him the lane was occupied. There are still mirrors for a reason. But people start to rely on the technology and forget those things are to help but not replace the task. Similarly people that totally back up using their camera and not check mirrors. One person was backing out of their garage and took off a side mirror because they were watching the screen. Probably just as well since they don’t use them anyway but seriously there will be a lot more accidents as these AV systems are implemented. The consumer will assume the car is capable and kill someone then blame the manufacturer who will refer them to the disclaimer but the lawsuits always target where the big money is so manufacturers beware.