• Apr 1, 2006

Shiro Nakamura, a senior vice president for Nissan Motor Co. and design chief for the automaker, believes that General Motors has been suffering from a lack of awareness when it comes to consumers' needs:  "there was a lack of customer-orientation." And arguably, he should know: Nakamura previously worked for Isuzu Motors Ltd. during the Eighties before joining Nissan. GM and Isuzu had formed their alliance a decade earlier and Nakamura met and worked with many GM designers at that time.

But despite GM's current problems, Nakamura remembers the company fondly, saying he had worked with some of the world's best designers. It will be interesting to see if he applies any of that experience as he assumes chief creative officer in Nissan this month.

Is Nakamura correct? Take a crack at the issue in 'comments.'

[Source: Associated Press via The Star]




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  • 41 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Nissan did nothing since changing name from Datsun."

      You consider Altima, 7th best selling vehicle in the US in 2005, nothing? How about Murano, Skyline GT-R, Cube, Q45, M35/45, 265 hp Maxima, G35 coupe/sedan, Xterra, X-Trail....etc, etc...all award winners.

      I'd say GM is the one that should explain what its been doing since 1983.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not too many SUVs can say they're doing well at all, but Xterra and Pathfinder are doing better than most.

      Brian W. show me where Nissan even shows up on the radar with fleet sales. When was the last time you rented a Nissan at the airport? What companies in your town rent dozens of Titans?

      Why do you bother with all that irrational bullcrap? I'm waiting for you to grace us all with your wisdom and produce a link that shows me any significant level of fleet activity. Until then your just a Nissan hater without a clue.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "What has GM done since 1983?"

      Well, in '83 GM like everyone else tried to meet emissions standards by adding strange vacuum-electric bits to the same old carburetor everyone used since the dawn of the mass-produced automobile.

      By 1985, GM and Chrysler had cars with electronically-controlled fuel injection while Nissan, Toyota, and Honda still had
      crappy carburetors with leaky vacuum bits.
      Their marketing departments couldn't sell technology, so they sold standard-equipment trunk releases and seat recliners.

      I have owned a 1987 Pontiac 6000 and a 1987
      Nissan. I acquired the Nissan for free--the owner tried giving it away to others before I said I'd take it off his hands.

      The Nissan flooded and stalled all the time. Its vacuum bits weren't available separately from the ridiculously-overpriced carburetor.

      The Pontiac started in all weather--on the first try--and never stalled. The underhood area was very clean and free of the plethora of tiny brittle plastic vacuum lines found on the Nissan.

      Japan let the research departments of U.S. auto makers do the heavy lifting and then just stole the technology.

      The cars that made Japan's reputation were putrid. The traitorous U.S.-based PR people Japan hired were devastatingly good.

      Too bad we can't seize those bastards' assets and give them to the laid-off auto workers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You mean "considered" original. And add:
      7. G35 Sedan
      8. M35/45
      9. FX35/45
      10. Versa
      11. Titan
      12. Frontier

      Plus the new G coupe/sedan, the new Altima, the redesigned Maxima, the GT-R, the small SUV...
      • 8 Years Ago
      "I have owned a 1987 Pontiac 6000"

      Our condolences. My wife had a J6000 that is the one and only car my family has ever returned under the Lemon Law. A co-worker had a J6000 that caught fire in our parking garage at work and caused serious damage to other cars. A couple of Mexican guys building the new house next door have a silver one with all the paint bubbled off of it. It smells like raw gas all the time.

      On the other hand, my 1979 Honda Accord occassionally had hot start problems (I just held the gas to the floorlike it was flooded and it started every time) until I sold it to a college kid with 220,000 miles on it. The A/C still worked and it ran like a champ. I used my 1987 Nissan Maxima frequently to go pick up my wife when her J6000 would leave her stranded by the side of the road. I can remember wanting to hurry home after renting crappy GM products when travelling on business. My Maxima at over 200K drove better than anything GM made in the early 90s did new.

      Keep drinking the Kool Aid, NEBTEK. It's brain dead fools like you who could stall GM's collapse by a year or two. LOL
      • 8 Years Ago
      Come on now, GM wouldn't know an orignal idea if it hit them upside the head. All they can do is redesign the same old boring stuff. Retro cars have been overwith for about 5 years now but GM just keeps building them. They did come out with a few nicer looking cars recently but it was the same only crap underneath with some new wrapping paper. And then they is that bow tie emblem for Chevy. Don't they know that is just about the ugliest logo anyone has EVER designed. The
      • 8 Years Ago
      Richard - Which car are you talking about. Give me some models.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Herbie, there's no such thing as a Pontiac J6000. The car was simply the 6000.

      The Sunbird, later renamed Sunfire, was for
      a time called a J2000.
      Early J-bodies did have problems with a GM Brazil-sourced 4-cylinder engine, which the 6000 never used.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Except Nissan pretty much ripped the new Sentra Design off of GM's Saturn Ion. Look at that back end! Exact dup!

      Who is out of touch? The B15 Sentra was a standout design and its SE and Spec-V appealed to both enthusiasts and ordinary folks who wanted a sporty sedan. It sold exceptionally well! Now Nissan will give that up to Subaru's WRX, Mazda's 3 and Mitsu's Lancer. Who's not looking at the customers?

      --*Rob
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM has some nice low volume vehicles (Corvette, Solstice, etc.). What about high volume? You can joke about the Sentra, but is the Cobalt a better offering? Would you buy a Pontiac G6 over an Altima? The Impala? GM seems to try and play it too safe with high volume, bread and butter cars, and they end up with vehicles that no one gets exctied about except for rental car companies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What has Nissan produced recently that can remotely be contrived as "original"?

      1. 350Z
      2. Murano
      3. G35 Coupe
      4. Xterra
      5. Quest (people say they want original minivans, but they lie)
      6. a profit
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nissan did nothing since changing name from Datsun. Now run by Renault they started using Euro designs. Ford, GM are you listening.
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