Carlos Ghosn Arrested Over Allegations Of Financial Misconduct

Carlos Ghosn, chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, was arrested Monday in Japan over concerns he had underreported his income and misused company funds.

In a statement, Nissan said it had been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly based on a whistleblower report.

According to the company, the investigation discovered that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly had been reporting their compensation in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report as less than what they actually received, the aim being to reduce Ghosn’s disclosed compensation.

Nissan also discovered “numerous other significant acts of misconduct, such as personal use of company assets” related to Ghosn, with “Kelly’s deep involvement  also confirmed”, according to a statement.

The company says it has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and is fully cooperating with their investigation.

In a dramatic move, the company said CEO Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the company board to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director, as well as removing Kelly from his own Representative Director position. The company cited the misconduct’s violation of its board of directors’ duty of care as the reason for the move.

The development heavily tarnishes what was a distinguished career for Ghosn, who helped restore Renault’s profitability in the late 1990s and executed the recovery of Nissan in just one year in the early 2000s.

Global-First Alliance Distribution Warehouse Opens In Australia

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi announced the opening of a state-of-the-art National Distribution Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

The shared parts and accessories warehouse is a first for Alliance member companies, which globally sold more than 10.6 million vehicles in 2017. It is designed to maximise productivity, efficiency and accuracy in order fulfillment, allowing manufacturers to enhance service to their national dealership networks.

The facility will become the new master warehouse for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors’ national distribution network and will also service the INFINITI brand, which falls under the Alliance.

Based in the Melbourne suburb of Truganina, the purpose-built facility is strategically located between Melbourne’s sea container terminal and the airport. The facility has direct access to all interstate roads, is over 37,000 square metres in size, and is part of a CEVA super site that is the largest logistics facility in the southern hemisphere.

Housing more than 90,000 different parts, the Alliance National Distribution Centre manages 11 inbound sea containers daily, as well as airfreight and other local shipments. It brings in 2500 parts each day, while eight B-double transporters – as part of a same day service – deliver 8500 parts direct to dealerships.

Operating 24 hours a day and transporting parts across the entire country, the warehouse has space for approximately 100,000 parts and accessories. It includes a 677-square metre wet room with space for 700 pallets and employs over 90 staff.

One of the first six-star Green Star built and accredited buildings in Australia, it has a roof-mounted solar system to provide renewable energy, high bay LED lighting with daylight and motion sensors, early suppression fast response sprinkler systems and a rain water system for bathroom and garden irrigation.

It also incorporates industry-leading technologies and processes for the fast and efficient movement of automotive parts and accessories. These include a dedicated area for the storage of hazardous liquids such as oils, transmission and break fluids, and the 10 container docks allow for high volume inbound and outbound shipments.

Nissan To Use Ultra-Strong, High-Formability Steel In More Vehicles

Nissan will expand the use of a new type of steel that enhances fuel efficiency and driving performance by lowering vehicle weight.

First seen in the Infiniti QX50 midsize SUV, the new material combines high tensile strength with a previously unachievable degree of formability, resulting in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions.

Featuring a tensile strength of 980MPa, the material was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. While maintaining the ability to absorb energy in a collision, the steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form complex shapes that are thinner and lighter than those made of conventional high tensile strength steel. The ability for the steel to be cold pressed makes it suitable for mass production which will help contain increases in vehicle costs.

According to Nissan, the Infiniti QX50, which went on sale in the US in March, is the world’s first vehicle with front and rear side members made from 980MPa ultra-high tensile strength steel. The material is also used in a range of other body frame parts.

Nissan launched a sustainability plan in June that calls for lowering CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 40 per cent by 2022, compared with 2000. The company is aggressively developing technologies to expand the use of ultra-high tensile strength steel, aiming for it to make up 25 per cent of the company’s ‘vehicle parts by weight’. The material makes up 27 per cent of the new QX50.

Nissan Confirms Withdrawal From The Supercars

Nissan Australia has confirmed that the 2018 Supercars Championship will be its last, exiting the series at season’s end.

Joining V8 Supercars with Kelly Racing at the start of 2013, the current contract with the team finishes at the end of 2018.

During its time in the series, Nissan has enjoyed a strong relationship with Kelly Racing and invested considerably to the motorsport programme both on and off the track.

“Nissan has decided to exit the Supercars Championship in order to concentrate on the interests and needs of our current and future customers,” said Stephen Lester, Nissan Australia’s managing director.

“We have obviously been talking to the Kellys for some time and making the announcement now suits both parties.

Maintaining its commitment to the team this year, Nissan Australia hopes to celebrate some strong results over the remainder of the 2018 Supercars Championship.

Nissan’s Miniature Car Wash Means Better Paint, Worry-Free Washing

A miniature car wash, about the size and shape of a popcorn machine, plays an important role at the Nissan Technical Centre North America in Michigan.

Equipped with a spinning brush that has vibrant blue bristles, this highly specialised machine allows engineers to test paint samples to make sure Nissan’s exterior paints hold up to the tough environment of automatic car washes.

Long before a Nissan ends up on dealer lots, engineers have made sure that every shade of exterior paint will stay looking great, even if customer frequently takes their Nissans through the rigours of an automatic car wash.

To mimic an automatic wash cycle, Nissan’s miniature car wash spins the brush at around 180 rpm, causing the bristles to harshly slap the paint sample as water jets spray and “Arizona dirt” replicates the harsh and abrasive real world.

In the pictures below, the red 1:16 scale model of the 370Z is for illustrative purposes only. In actual testing, Nissan paint is applied to rectangular plates which are placed into the miniature car wash and tested multiple times to ensure a top-quality finish that lasts.