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Auto blogWed, 26 Mar 2014 09:59:00 EST
Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for 989,701 vehicles in the US due to an issue with their passenger-side airbag systems. Affected Nissan models include the Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder and Sentra from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and 2013 NV200 taxis. Affected Infiniti models include the 2013 JX35 and 2014 Q50 and QX60 utility vehicles.
Reuters is reporting that a total of 1,053,479 vehicles are included in the recall globally, with about 60,000 of the affected vehicles having been sold in Canada.
The fault apparently lies in something called the occupant classification system, which may, in the recalled vehicles, incorrectly classify the passenger seat as empty when it is in fact occupied by an adult. When the system fails to recognize the passenger, the passenger-side airbag may deactivate, and could therefore fail to deploy in the event of a crash.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is on track to be the highest-paid executive in Japan for the fourth time in five years. Ghosn's salary and bonuses last year rang the register to the tune of $9.8 million (995 million yen), and when stock dividends are added to the equation, the exec's total pay crested a billion yen. That represents a 0.7-percent increase over his pay from the previous year. Ghosn earned an additional $3.1 million as CEO of Renault.
According to Bloomberg, Ghosn's compensation was announced at a shareholder's meeting in Japan, prompting an explanation from the CEO. "I understand the sensitivity of the issue," Ghosn said. "Being in Japan should not be a handicap to attract talent. We need the best minds, we need the best talents."
Few would argue with that assessment, we'd guess, but it doesn't answer the question of whether Ghosn is the most talented CEO in Japan. Akio Toyoda, head of Toyota in Japan, earned 230 yen (though, as a large shareholder in Toyota, Toyoda's dividend payments bring him closer to Ghosn) in compensation while steering his automaker to a profit that was five times higher than Nissan's. Honda President Takanobu Ito was paid the comparatively small sum of 150 million yen last year.
Nissan thinks it has found a better way to sell cars, and it involves stripping showrooms of everything but the cars and sales team. The brand calls the experiment the Nissan New Retail Concept, and it might get tested in the US in a few years.
The concept is relatively simple. Showrooms ditch offices, reception counters, cubicles and desks. Instead salespeople walk around inside and outside the dealer with mobile devices to assist customers and even complete sales. Associates are trained to take immediate responsibility for each visitor they encounter. For example, if owners comes inside with a problem with their vehicle, the employee escorts them to the service department and introduces them.
A dealer in London has been testing the new layout for the last nine months, and so far it reports better customer satisfaction, loyalty and most importantly higher sales. Nissan next plans to launch test stores in Moscow and Stuttgart. Then it will broaden out to more of Western Europe and finally will be tested in the Japan, the US and the Middle East, according to Automotive News.