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Brexit: Nissan 'confident' car production will continue in UK

Brexit: Nissan bosses ‘confident’ after Theresa May meeting

Brexit: Nissan 'confident' car production will continue in UK

Nissan’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn has said he feels confident that the firm will continue to do business in the UK after meeting prime minister Theresa May to discuss post-Brexit Britain.

The firm’s Sunderland factory employs around 7,000 people and churns out 500,000 cars a year – with 80% being exported to more than 130 countries around the world. This means it could be a huge blow to the UK car industry if the Japanese carmaker moved production elsewhere.

“Since Mrs May’s appointment, we have maintained a clear dialogue with the UK Government during this challenging time,” Ghosn told reporters this afternoon. “It was my pleasure to be here today for a positive meeting with the Prime Minister and key members of her Government and I welcome their commitment to the development of an industrial strategy for Britain.”

At this month’s Paris Motor Show, the Nissan boss said he needed ‘a commitment’ from the Government if he was to continue investing in the UK. Along with the Sunderland plant, Nissan operates a design centre in London, a research and development centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and a sales and marketing HQ in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

“Following our productive meeting, I am confident the government will continue to ensure the UK remains a competitive place to do business,” added Ghosn, not hinting whether a firm tariffs had been made with the prime minister.

“I look forward to continued positive collaboration between Nissan and the UK Government.”

Following the discussions, May spoke out in praise of the UK’s automotive industry, describing it as a “great British success story [with] Nissan at the heart of it”.

“Over the past 30 years [Nissan has] had an excellent relationship with the UK Government,” she added, “a track record of investment and innovation, and their Sunderland plant is one of the most productive anywhere in the world – a testament both to their company and the skill of our workforce.

“We are now at the start of the complex negotiating process as Britain exits the EU and I have been clear that there will be challenges ahead. But I am confident we will achieve the best deal for Britain and the Government will engage closely with employers and investors as part of our work to create a global Britain.

“This government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry to go from strength to strength in the UK, now and into the future.”

May added that she was pleased to meet with Ghosn today and said she’d continue to work closely with Nissan.

The 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo is more expensive than a Porsche 911 Turbo S

The 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo is more expensive than a Porsche 911 Turbo S

The 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo is more expensive than a Porsche 911 Turbo S

Nissan has revealed the latest version of its super-hot GT-R Nismo will cost an incredible £149,995 when it goes on sale next month – making it more expensive than a Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8 Plus, and even a McLaren 570S.

That’s a price hike of £25,000 over the outgoing range-topper, and a mighty £58,000 more than the Nismo-engineered GT-R Track Edition.

The pinnacle of the GT-R range, the Nismo is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 producing 600hp. The engine uses a pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers used in GT3 competition, while power is distributed to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch paddleshift gearbox.

Performance figures haven’t been confirmed, but with the same powertrain as its predecessor, expect it to hit 62mph in around 2.5 seconds and a 200mph top speed.

Changes to the 2017 Nismo GT-R are minimal. Like the regular model, it gets a new front bumper – made entirely from carbonfibre on the Nismo version.

It also gets a bigger front grille to help cool the engine, while the Nismo’s springs and dampers have been tweaked to increase downforce.

The firm says this results in cornering performance that is almost 2% better than the outgoing model, meaning your £150,000 could buy you the best-handling Nissan ever.

Enhancements inside include a revamped dash, steering wheel and centre armrest all covered in Alcantara. Unique to the GT-R Nismo are leather-covered Recaro carbon bucket seats with red Alcantara inserts.

Order books open on November 1 in the UK.

Nissan's automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Watch: Nissan's automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Nissan's automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Standing in line too much effort for you? Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has revealed a new autonomous chair which takes the hassle out of negotiating queues.

A publicity stunt for the firm’s ProPilot system for cars, the ProPilot chair detects and follows the chair ahead of it, maintaining a fixed distance and travelling along a set path.

The system, already fitted to the Serena MPV in Japan and set to be fitted to more Nissans in the future, takes over from the driver in stop/start situations, maintaining a safe distance from the car ahead and keeping the vehicle in the centre of its lane.

“The ProPilot Chair appeals to anyone who has queued for hours outside a crowded restaurant,” Nissan explains in a statement released this morning. “It eliminates the tedium and physical strain of standing in line.

“The same user-friendly philosophy underpins Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology, which was designed to ease driver workload by assisting with the most tiring and repetitive aspects of driving in heavy highway traffic. The unifying concept behind both is Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s vision for how cars will be driven, powered, and integrated into society.”

Nissan is looking for restaurants across Japan to trial the chairs in 2017. Until then, they’ll be exhibited at Nissan’s global HQ in Yokohama.

Nissan's automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Watch: Nissan’s automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Nissan's automated queuing system is the most British thing ever

Standing in line too much effort for you? Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has revealed a new autonomous chair which takes the hassle out of negotiating queues.

A publicity stunt for the firm’s ProPilot system for cars, the ProPilot chair detects and follows the chair ahead of it, maintaining a fixed distance and travelling along a set path.

The system, already fitted to the Serena MPV in Japan and set to be fitted to more Nissans in the future, takes over from the driver in stop/start situations, maintaining a safe distance from the car ahead and keeping the vehicle in the centre of its lane.

“The ProPilot Chair appeals to anyone who has queued for hours outside a crowded restaurant,” Nissan explains in a statement released this morning. “It eliminates the tedium and physical strain of standing in line.

“The same user-friendly philosophy underpins Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology, which was designed to ease driver workload by assisting with the most tiring and repetitive aspects of driving in heavy highway traffic. The unifying concept behind both is Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s vision for how cars will be driven, powered, and integrated into society.”

Nissan is looking for restaurants across Japan to trial the chairs in 2017. Until then, they’ll be exhibited at Nissan’s global HQ in Yokohama.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan sells 15,000th Leaf EV in UK, gives £500 off

Nissan LeafNissan is marking the sale of 15,000 Leaf electric cars in the UK with a £500 bonus saving for customers in September.

The deal is on top of Nissan’s finance deal, which offers a 24kWh Leaf Acenta for £249 a month on a three-year PCP. Nissan contributes a hefty £5,000 towards the deposit and the APR is a reasonable 5.9%.

If that’s not enough, Nissan includes a free home charging kit as well, worth another £390. No wonder it’s clocked up 15,000 sales…

The buyer of the 15,000th Leaf was Jenny Craik, who swapped her regular-fuel 14-plate Ford Fiesta for a Leaf EV. Her husband already drives a plug-in hybrid and she says his positive words, combined with the environmental and running-cost savings, encouraged her to switch.

Nissan hit 15,000 UK Leaf sales just 12 months after reaching the 10,000 mark. The firm says demand for the Leaf in the UK is higher now than at any point in the three years since its launch.

The news of the 15,000th UK Leaf comes as Renault reveals it has now sold 100,000 electric cars, and the Renault-Nissan Alliance announces its 350,000th sale.

However, the Leaf now won’t now be getting an impressive-sounding new rival from Vauxhall here in the UK. Vauxhall’s parent firm, General Motors, has regrettably decided not to engineer the new Ampera-e – which boasts an official NEDC electric driving range of more than 250 miles – for right-hand drive.

Nissan-Leaf-Uber

Uber trials fleet of all-electric Nissan Leafs in London

Nissan-Leaf-Uber

Car-hailing service Uber and Nissan are to embark on a ‘new, major electric vehicle project’ that involves a fleet of Nissan Leaf EVs in the nation’s capital.

Nissan has supplied 20 all-electric Nissan Leafs to Uber for use as part of an extensive EV trial. It’s the first time pure EVs have been available for hire through the Uber app in London. To-date, the greenest cars on the Uber fleet have been hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius.

Run in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust (EST), the study will look at the feasibility of running large numbers of electric private hire cars in the UK, with one eye on the introduction of the capital’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone in 2020. Around 60% of Uber journeys are made in hybrid vehicles, but the company is keen to go further.

Jo Bertram, regional general manager of Uber in the UK, said: “People already associate Uber with hybrid cars, but we now want to go a big step further with fully electric cars on the road from today.

“We are determined to use technology to help tackle the challenge of air pollution in London and across the UK. Our car-sharing service has already saved 1.2 million miles and 211 metric tonnes of CO2. With electric vehicles – and more people sharing their journey and leaving their own cars at home – there’s even more we can do.”

Nissan recently introduced a new 30 kWh battery for the Leaf that delivers 26% more range versus the previous-generation model: up to 155 miles of driving on a single charge. The average London commute is 7.9 miles, which means a 30 kWh Leaf could tackle a number of journeys before it would need to be recharged.

Gareth Dunsmore, head of electric vehicles at Nissan Europe, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Uber on what is a very exciting project that could ultimately lead to major improvements in air quality in London and across the UK.

“With the impact of poor air quality remaining a cause for concern, the trial could prove to be a pivotal moment for tackling the challenges in London.”

This isn’t the first time a cab firm has taken a drive down electric avenue. Earlier this year, Nissan supplied a fleet of 110 Nissan Leafs to La Ciudad del Taxi, a Madrid-based taxi company. At the time, Nissan claimed it was “the world’s largest 100% electric taxi fleet deal”, going on to say it has sold almost 800 EVs to taxi operators across Europe.

Qash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

Qash converter: Nissan creates world’s largest 3D pen sculpture

Qash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen scultureWe quite like the Qashqai, but we’d never call Nissan’s high-riding hatchback a work of art… until now.

Artists have created the world’s largest 3D pen sculpture: a full-size replica of the new Qashqai Black Edition. The car was ‘drawn’ using advanced 3Doodler pens and consists of more than 8.6 miles of plastic strands.

Pens are the latest tech from the 3D printing industry – expected to be worth £13 billion by 2020. They work by heating plastic to 230°C, then squeezing it through a 0.7mm nozzle as it cools. As such, they allow three-dimensional shapes to be drawn in the air.

Definitely not mass-producedQash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

Led by artist Grace Du Prez, the Qashqai sculpture took more than 800 man-hours to create. Compare that to the 58 Qashqais that emerge from Nissan’s Sunderland factory every hour.

Grace Du Prez said: “I’ve been drawing with 3Doodler’s pens for a few years now, but this is by far and away my most ambitious commission to date. It demonstrates how far 3D printing technology has come and how it can be used by anyone.”

Koji Nagano, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, commented: “At Nissan we always encourage initiatives where design can be expressed through new and innovative technologies. This artistic team have certainly pushed the boundaries of 3D pen technology in creating an impressive sculpture of our premium Qashqai Black Edition.”

Paint it blackQash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

As for the real Nissan Qashqai Black Edition, that’s on sale now. Based on flagship Tekna model, it gets 19-inch alloys, a few subtle styling tweaks and the option of a panoramic glass sunroof. Can we have ours with a 3D-printed spoiler on the back? No, thought not…

Qash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

Qash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculpture

Qash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen scultureWe quite like the Qashqai, but we’d never call Nissan’s high-riding hatchback a work of art… until now.

Artists have created the world’s largest 3D pen sculpture: a full-size replica of the new Qashqai Black Edition. The car was ‘drawn’ using advanced 3Doodler pens and consists of more than 8.6 miles of plastic strands.

Pens are the latest tech from the 3D printing industry – expected to be worth £13 billion by 2020. They work by heating plastic to 230°C, then squeezing it through a 0.7mm nozzle as it cools. As such, they allow three-dimensional shapes to be drawn in the air.

Definitely not mass-producedQash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

Led by artist Grace Du Prez, the Qashqai sculpture took more than 800 man-hours to create. Compare that to the 58 Qashqais that emerge from Nissan’s Sunderland factory every hour.

Grace Du Prez said: “I’ve been drawing with 3Doodler’s pens for a few years now, but this is by far and away my most ambitious commission to date. It demonstrates how far 3D printing technology has come and how it can be used by anyone.”

Koji Nagano, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, commented: “At Nissan we always encourage initiatives where design can be expressed through new and innovative technologies. This artistic team have certainly pushed the boundaries of 3D pen technology in creating an impressive sculpture of our premium Qashqai Black Edition.”

Paint it blackQash converter: Nissan creates world's largest 3D pen sculture

As for the real Nissan Qashqai Black Edition, that’s on sale now. Based on flagship Tekna model, it gets 19-inch alloys, a few subtle styling tweaks and the option of a panoramic glass sunroof. Can we have ours with a 3D-printed spoiler on the back? No, thought not…

Nissan joins Star Wars Rogue One promotional campaign

Nissan joins Star Wars Rogue One promotional campaign

Nissan joins Star Wars Rogue One promotional campaign

Disney’s first Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is due out in December – and the marketing machine is in full force, announcing that Nissan will be joining the promotional campaign on the run-up to its release.

Nissan USA joins four other companies, consisting of Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon in promoting the film, which is the first standalone Star Wars story from George Lucas’ production company, Lucasfilm.

It’s not exactly clear how Nissan will be part of the promotional campaign but the Japanese manufacturer does sell a crossover called the Rogue in the States: it is a version of Nissan X-Trail adapted to North American market

Although the Rogue name isn’t used in Europe, Lucasfilms has said the promotional campaign will be used globally. Could we see Darth Vader in a Nissan X-Trail?

Lucasfilm general manager, Lynwen Brennan, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with such a remarkable group of promotional partners for ‘Rogue One’.

“This first in a series of Star Wars standalone films represents an exciting new era for both Star Wars and Lucasfilm, and the partners joining us on this exciting journey have each designed a stellar campaign capturing the spirit and camaraderie of ‘Rogue One.'”

The production company says the five companies are “poised to complement the tempo and tone of the overall marketing campaign” of Rogue One.

Nissan BladeGlider

The BladeGlider is the ‘electric vehicle for car-lovers’

Nissan BladeGliderThe BladeGlider is Nissan’s vision of an electric future with a name that sounds like it’s ready to do battle in the new series of Robot Wars. It’s being unveiled in Rio de Janeiro, which just happens to be hosting a major sporting tournament, of which Nissan is a key sponsor. We cut to the chase to bring you more on the Nissan BladeGlider.

A working prototypeNissan BladeGlider

If the BladeGlider looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on the concept cars first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show. This new 2016 version looks a whole lot closer to production reality, although for the time being Nissan is keen to stress it’s a “working prototype”.

An electric vehicle for car-loversNissan BladeGlider

Note the narrow front leading to a wider rear track, which is said to improve aerodynamics and handling stability. According to Nissan supremo, Carlos Ghosn, the BladeGlider is an “electric vehicle for car-lovers”, which could be dismissed as a throwaway statement. That is until you take a look at the key specifications…

A massive 521 lb ft of torqueNissan BladeGlider

How does a top speed of 115 mph and a 0-62 mph time of sub five seconds grab you? And because the BladeGlider is 100% electric, the entire 268 hp and 521 lb ft of torque is available from the moment you hit the ‘go’ pedal. Well you can’t call it the ‘gas’ pedal. Or the ‘loud’ pedal, for that matter.

With a little help from WilliamsNissan BladeGlider

The rear wheels are powered by two electric motors – one for each wheel – with British-based Williams Advanced Engineering lending a hand with the development of the powertrain. The motors are fed by a five-module lithium-ion 220 kW battery, with a bespoke cooling system developed to, well, keep things cool.

Drift mode, yoNissan BladeGlider

That things about ‘car-lovers’ – the BladeGlider features a drift mode. Yes, you heard that right: somebody has taken a look at the Ford Focus RS and thought, anything you can do, we can do silently. Aside from the tyre screeches. And the inevitable screams from your two passengers.

An electric McLaren F1?Nissan BladeGlider

Oh yes, about that. Nissan has taken a look at another car with performance pedigree to design a three-seat cockpit. Bringing to mind images of the McLaren F1, the driver sits at the front of the BladeGlider, with each passenger sat behind in an off-set position, well placed to enjoy that drift mode.

Torque vectoringNissan BladeGlider

The drift mode is part of a torque vectoring system, which automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to correct any brown-trouser moments. There are three settings: Off, Agile and Drift. Last time we checked, drift mode wasn’t available on the Nissan Leaf.

Look-at-me doorsNissan BladeGlider

Once you’ve climbed aboard, having opened those ‘look at me’ rear-hinged dihedral doors, you’ll look up to discover an open roof with integrated roll-over protection, designed to provide “the exhilaration of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupe”.

Doors mirrors removed to improve aerodynamicsNissan BladeGlider

The seats themselves feature four-point safety harnesses, while the central display is flanked by a pair of screens, showing the view from the rear-view cameras mounted just behind the front wheels. Because door mirrors are like so last century.

Fabric and epoxy resinNissan BladeGlider

To make sure your bottom stays in place when hurtling toward the horizon, or indeed doing a great impression of an electric RS, the seats are trimmed in a blend of fabric and epoxy resin, resulting in a tough and grippy surface. The more you look at the BladeGlider, the closer it looks to reality.

Cyber Green and Stealth OrangeNissan BladeGlider

There are two colours available – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange, and we’d like to say you can place an order at your local Nissan dealer. But you can’t, not now at least.

A zero-emission futureNissan BladeGlider

According to Carlos Ghosn, “These prototypes epitomise Nissan’s drive to expand its intelligent mobility philosophy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero-emission future.” We’ll all raise a glass of water to that.

Two BladeGliders in RioNissan BladeGlider

Two BladeGliders will be on display in Rio de Janeiro, one of which will be offering dynamic rides to media and VIPs. Can we look forward to the sight of Gabby Logan drifting in a BladeGlider, with Dan Walker and Hazel Irvine sat in the back? Here’s hoping.

Badger your local dealerNissan BladeGlider

If you like the look of the car that has the appearance of something an eco-conscious Pink Panther would drive, start badgering your Nissan dealer. Or tweet one of the Olympic athletes and ask them to take a test drive for you. On your marks…