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Meet Nissan's new CEO, who hopefully will not be charged with financial misconduct

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Nissan has another new boss, General Motors vs.. United Auto Workers Showdown continues to march, America joins China and more for The Morning Shift on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. [19659007] 1st gear: Meet the new Nissan boss

Makoto Uchida was named the new CEO and President of Nissan today.

Sales are declining sharply, profits are also declining, the identity of the brand is unclear, the luxury division is kicking its ass from left to right and it's the third to have the top job in just a few years. Former Nissan Renault mega boss Carlos Ghosn was ousted in Japan for financial misdemeanors, and his successor Hiroto Saikawa also had to resign after he admitted that he and other executives had been overpaid under a stock-based payment plan.

things are great. Who would not want this job.

Who is Makoto Uchida? I would say he is a safe bet. As Automotive News announces, the 55-year-old Nissan veteran maintains good relationships with Renault's partners, is a leader in the important Chinese market and is considered a "younger" manager who could potentially help stabilize the situation.

From This Story:

His selection was announced by Chairman Yasushi Kimura and Masakazu Toyoda, the Nissan Nominating Committee Director, at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday night.

"The board came to the conclusion that this Uchida is the right leader to drive the business forward," Kimura said. "We expect Uchida to lead the company as a team, to focus immediately on restoring business and revitalizing the business."

Uchida will take the helm of Yasuhiro Yamauchi, who has served as interim president since Saikawa's resignation 16. Yamauchi will remain in office until the handover.

The company also announced that Ashwani Gupta, 49, a former boss of Nissan and Renault, is now COO of third-party alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is Nissan's new COO.

Jun Seki, 58, current engineer The Senior Vice President of Performance Recovery has been appointed Vice COO and reports to Gupta. It was unclear what will happen to current Vice-COO Christian Vandenhende, who moved from Renault to Nissan in 2018.

Kimura and Toyoda said the three men were selected because they had international experience, prioritized quick decisions, and made a fresh start to the business.

"It's very important to demonstrate a new Nissan," Kimura said. "We have selected people who could represent a new Nissan in a strong way."

So what's at stake?

To get there, Nissan will brush up on all of the core models and introduce more than 20 new, expanding sales of electrified vehicles and threefold sales of automated-drive vehicles. Nissan also wants to optimize its global production capacity by 10 percent and reduce some 12,500 jobs worldwide.

More cars, more electrification, more autonomy, more downsizing. Sounds about right.

. 2 Gear: No Duties for Japanese Cars, for the Moment

A small ray of hope for Nissan and others is that the US will not use any of President Donald Trump's favorite weapons for the time being: tariffs on imported cars. An agreement with Japan on agriculture does not impose additional duties on imported cars from that country. From Bloomberg:

The agreements on agriculture and digital commerce cover $ 55 billion in trade between the world's largest and third largest economies, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Trump at an Oval Office ceremony.

"Accord is a game changer for our farmers and ranchers," Trump said at the event.

The goal is for the agreement to enter into force on 1 January.

Trump, to be re-elected next year, was anxious to sign an agreement with Japan to appease US farmers, who were largely excluded from the Chinese market as a result of his trade war with Beijing. American agricultural producers, who are also plagued by bad weather and low commodity prices, are a core component of Trump's political base.

Under the agreement, Japan will lower or lower tariffs for about $ 7.2 billion of US-grown agricultural products, including beef and beef.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's priority was to win the pledge that the US would not impose tariffs on Japanese auto exports, a sector worth about $ 50 billion a year and a cornerstone of the country's economy.

Good news for consumers too, as we end up eating up the cost of tariffs.

. 3 Gang: A History of Two Cities

Here's a good reading from Bloomberg about two GM cities, Orion Township and Hamtramck in Michigan, which are hired to make the Chevrolet bolt (including driverless variants) and may soon be gone ,

Every ten years, GM undergoes transformation to ensure its long-term survival. These transformations always make some communities winners and others losers. Hamtramck was one of five North American factories scheduled to close last November, with GM pushing ahead with the production of 20 electric vehicle lines – of which one or two could potentially be driverless – by 2023. The Orion Township plant was initially spared and then handed over money and jobs.

GM endeavors to classify these decisions as purely commercial, and their bravery indeed reflects a simple calculation: in order to make a small profit, an automaker generally needs to sell at least 80% of what a plant can produce , If a company maintains multiple factories at about half its capacity, as GM did last year, it loses money for real estate, equipment, and personnel.

But as the twin stories of Orion and Hamtramck show, the decisions also reflect history, politics, labor contracts, and geography. And all these factors, especially the raw numbers, are being evaluated on an ongoing basis. Poletown and Orion both produce money-losing cars. If the revolution of the electric and driverless does not go as GM expects it, Orion could pay a bill.

That's because:

Or maybe the utopia of electric and driverless cars will not materialize as fast as Barra expected. Currently, GM sells less than 20,000 of its $ 37,500 per year bolt – less than one-tenth of the company's full-size pickup sales. According to a recent AAA survey, 71% of Americans are afraid of autonomous vehicles. Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Co., told the Detroit Economic Club in April that the industry "overestimated" the arrival of self-driving cars. Barra has rejected GM's goal of offering robotic taxi rides to the public by the end of this year, declaring instead that the company's autonomy unit will run a service if the technology is secure enough.

And as mentioned above, electric vehicles generally mean fewer parts and less labor for manufacturing, making it not an enviable choice for workers who want to secure their future.

. 4 Gang: In this sense

Speaking of which, the GM-UAW strike continues as follows Negotiations are proceeding at a snail's pace. And with GM waiting for the union's latest response this evening, one of the key questions is how the two companies disagree about the future. About the Detroit Free Press:

The company was waiting for the union's response by early evening, two people were close to negotiating. Details of the proposal are confidential.

Crucial to the union's demands, however, is a stronger guarantee that GM is building traditional vehicles in US plants instead of electric cars or autonomous cars, according to one respondent. GM CEO Mary Barra said GM is looking for a fully electric future and more self-driving cars. She said GM will primarily turn into a technology company that makes cars.

This vision contradicts the desire of the UAW to ensure job security for its members.

"GM is not interested in cars in the future," said one person near the negotiations. "We are still a long way from electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, and when you go to electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, they no longer have to assemble so many parts and less labor."

That means fewer union jobs in the future.

Yes, maybe? I do not think the EV revolution is avoidable at this point, but it's still a long way off. Hopefully there will be a balance there.

5th gear: Audi boss looks optimistically into the electric future

Audi has announced that there will be 20 fully electric models by 2025, and CEO Bram Schot told Automotive News that this too the market wishes, since 40 percent of its sales are expected to be electric by then. This is true even if we still have a long way to go in terms of infrastructure.

Via Auto News:

What is your biggest challenge on the investment side?

Find the right balance where we use our money to get the maximum effect. How do we split our investments in all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids? How do we deal with autonomous driving and shared mobility on the investment side? This is a real challenge, as all these business models are interrelated and we have to consider different external factors like the infrastructure.

What's the hardest thing about getting customers to consider electric vehicles?

The feedback we receive from customers who drive electric vehicles every day is extremely positive. The majority of them say that they are now addicted to electro. That's why we need to create more opportunities for them to test electric cars.

Is the charging infrastructure in Europe still a problem?

Yes. Electromobility must be suitable for everyday use. That's why we offer our e-tron customers the e-tron charging service. You have access to more than 110,000 charging stations in 20 European countries. At the same time, it is crucial that the total availability of the charging points must be scaled. Only then does electromobility expand.

Back: The cow was later relieved.

The big Chicago fire begins.

On October 8, 1871, in the barn of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary in Chicago, flames ignite …

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Neutral: How does Nissan turn it around?

Imagine that you were Uchida. What do you do?

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