STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Scandal-tarnished Nissan shows off production innovation with high-tech auto parts

The hurdles have been cost, which is often about 10 times that of steel, and the long time it takes to mold the parts.

Published: 05th September 2020 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2020 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

The Nissan logo is displayed at its global headquarters in Yokohama near Tokyo

The Nissan logo is displayed at its global headquarters in Yokohama near Tokyo. (File photo| AP)

By Associated Press

TOKYO: Nissan says it has developed a new way to produce high-tech auto parts that highlights the Japanese automaker's engineering finesse, even as it faces a criminal trial in an ongoing scandal involving former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan Motor Co said it has achieved a "breakthrough" in molding carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, components, now used in racing cars and jets because of their light weight and strength. All of the world's top automakers are working to boost CFRP use.

The hurdles have been cost, which is often about 10 times that of steel, and the long time it takes to mold the parts. Executive Vice-President Hideyuki Sakamoto said that the CFRP parts will be used in mass-produced sport-utility vehicles in four or five years, thanks to a new casting procedure for the poured resin.

Sakamoto said that the cost savings come from shortening the production time from about three or four hours to just two minutes. A vehicle rolls off a Nissan assembly line every two minutes. Vehicle weight is crucial in making models ecological when emissions standards are growing tighter around the world, he said.

Nissan's efforts are important because much of the cost of a car comes from its production, not raw materials, said Junya Inoue, associate professor at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo.

"But automakers have struggled with the cost and shaping of CFRP parts, as well as with creating a recycling system for them, which is more challenging than with metals. Production innovation tends to remain hidden. But Nissan boasts great engineering technology," Inoue said on Friday. Nissan's troubles aren't over, as its bottom line has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Global credit rating agency DBRS Morning Star said this week that Nissan's lineup is aging, its new models tend to be in passenger cars where profit margins are low, and sales are suffering in the key North American market.

It downgraded Nissan to "negative", following downgrades last year and earlier this year. Nissan also faces financial misconduct charges related to under-reporting Ghosn's compensation, in a Tokyo trial that opens September 15.

Greg Kelly, an American former senior executive, is also on trial. Nissan has acknowledged guilt, while Kelly says he is innocent. In brighter news, Nissan is planning to unveil a new version of its flagship Z sports car at about the same time.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp