Monthly Archives: February 2018

Ford North America President Raj Nair Fired Over Inappropriate Behavior

In a period defined by massive corporate upheaval at Ford Motor Company in the wake of the firing of Ford CEO Mark Fields last year. More shock-waves emanated out of Dearborn, MI earlier today with Ford’s announcement that it has fired President of Ford North America Raj Nair over allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”

It’s not clear what Nair did that led to his sudden departure from the company, but Ford’s statement does reveal that Nair was under investigation for “inappropriate behavior” after allegations were made by an anonymous filer. The investigation uncovered behavior that was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” Nair’s firing comes after the departures of several high profile business leaders either by voluntary acts or firings for sexual misconduct, though it is too early to determine if that indeed occur with Nair.

‘We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” stated Ford CEO Jim Hackett in a separate statement. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair for his part apologized, though he did not elaborate on the events that led up to this decision.

‘I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused” Nair said in Ford’s official statement.

No formal replacement has been announced, but prior to today’s events, Nair had been at the helm of Ford’s U.S. operations since June of 2017 when he assumed the role a short time after the firing of Ford CEO Mark Fields in May of 2017. Prior to this he was the head of global product development as well as a chief technical officer in Ford’s ranks.

Nissan Confirms Next Gen Altima For New York

In a brief statement released earlier today, Nissan has confirmed that the next generation Altima will make its long awaited debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show in March.

The current generation Altima has held its own in the mid-size sedan segment, but its no secret that it is in dire need of replacement, with rivals such as the Chevrolet Malibu eclipsing it in both performance and technology. Nissan did not offer any teaser images this time, but instead posted a generic photo of the New York skyline with the #NissanNYIAS hashtag super imposed into it.

So what can we expect from the new Altima? For starters, it will most likely pitch the current car’s bland styling elements in lieu of more athletic lines especially for the head and tailights. Look for the engine lineup to also see improvements including a turbocharged option to keep it in line with other mainstream offerings. There could be more Maxima cues here as well as subtle touches of design from NIssan’s current design language.

At this time, there is still alot of mystery surrounding the upcoming Altima, but look for the Japanese auto giant to reveal more teasers in the next few weeks before the car’s grand unveiling in March. We look forward to seeing it ourselves, and perhaps finding out whether it can indeed bring the fight to its rivals anew.

Hyundai To Offer N Sport Models In Near Future

When the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N made its first appearance alongside its revamped mainstream cousins at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, it sent shock waves through Cobo Center, and the entire world thanks to its 275 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine, as well as its suite of performance upgrades. However, it appears that the hot hatch was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with a massive brand extension in the wings.
In a recent interview with Car & Driver magazine, Albert Biermann chief of the N brand revealed that the N moniker could trickle its way throughout Hyundai’s vehicle lineup in a manner similar to Mercedes and its AMG sub brand. Dubbed “N Sport” these models would not be all out offerings like the Veloster N, but each one would feature distinctive sporty styling and features to help them stand out on dealer lots.
“Each model will be tuned for a more sporty driving experience” stated Biermann. “They will also feature a few visual updates inside and out. What they won’t get, though, will be things like a different engine, bigger brakes, or a whole new suspension and axles.”
It’s unknown how many models will get the N Sport package, but while crossovers like the Kona and the Santa Fe will likely receive half baked “performance styling” packages. Our attention is focused on the Elantra and Elantra GT models, which could see a much more extensive upgrade. Designed to challenge rivals such as the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, the duo could receive slightly stiffened suspensions, unique interior accents, as well as tweaked versions of their turbocharged 1.6 liter four cylinder engines to draw in younger buyers. We also hold out hope that the Elantra GT will eventually get its time to shine, and have an N package of its own, especially since its European twin (the i30) has such an option and it would be cool alongside the Veloster N.

Look for more information on the N Sport range to be revealed once the Veloster N has had some time to formally enter the marketplace. Speaking of that model, pricing still has not been revealed as of this writing, but Hyundai promises that it will be a “compelling affordability option.”