Usually, The Morning Shift is reporting on labor actions at major automakers or suppliers but I’m happy to say that we at Jalopnik are back from the picket line and reporting the news. Today we’re talking about Nissan’s response to Ukraine, Rivian raising prices, and the absolute shitshow that is renting a car right now. All that and more in The Morning Shift for March 7, 2022.
1st Gear: Nissan To Suspend Production In Russia After Cutting Off Exports
Nissan dropped this news at the end of a longer press release discussion humanitarian aid is sending to Ukraine:
Regarding our Russian operations, Nissan has suspended export of vehicles to Russia, and anticipates that production will stop soon at our plant in St. Petersburg.
Nissan is just the latest in a longer string of car companies leaning on Russiaas everyone struggles to figure out what kind of meaningful pressure they can put on Putin.
2nd Gear: Rivian Raises Prices
Rivian is upping its prices and cutting options on its wonderful electric pickup trucks that are very fast at going from 0-60 but somewhat slow at getting into people’s driveways. From Automotive News:
The electric vehicle startup announced price hikes last week of $12,000 and up on its R1T pickup and R1S SUV. Initially, those increases applied to current reservation holders, but that was later walked back by CEO RJ Scaringe.[…]Before the price hikes, the quad-motor R1T with the Large battery pack and 314 miles of estimated range started at $67,500 before shipping. Now that’s up 18 percent to $79,500. Higher trims with additional options saw bigger price increases. But for buyers willing to wait for a 2024 delivery, at the earliest, the R1T can be downgraded to a dual-motor setup for a savings of $6,000. Likewise, choosing the Standard battery pack with an estimated 260 miles of range saves another $6,000, putting the base configuration back at $67,500.
We do like Rivian’s product quite a bit but we didn’t start blogging about car startups under the tag “Making Cars Is Hard” for nothing.
3rd Gear: Polestar 3 Coming In 2023
The big-ish crossover from not-Volvo should get here next year, according to the company that is not Volvo, even though the cars look like Volvos and use tech from Volvo and are part of the same ownership structure as Volvo. From Automotive News:
The Volvo affiliate will bring the Polestar 3, a Porsche Cayenne-sized crossover, to the US in the first quarter of 2023. The midsize vehicle is key for the young brand’s ambitions to grow its global sales ten-fold to 290,000 units by 2025.
For this launch, Polestar is keen to avoid the delays it suffered with the US rollout of its first volume vehicle — the Polestar 2 sedan.
Unlike the China-made sedan, the new crossover will be built at Volvo’s US-factory near Charleston, SC Hembrough expects Polestar 3 pre-orders to be fulfilled within “seven to eight months.”
4th Gear: Hertz Is Filing Stolen Car Reports At A Rate Of 10 Cars Per Day
The hundreds of people suing Hertz for accusing them of stealing rental cars Hertz couldn’t find is continuing to get great PR, with a big report in USA Today detailing their woes. This article is paidwalled, but summarized in The Sun:
In recent court documents, Hertz reportedly acknowledged that it files 3,365 police reports about stolen cars involving its customers on average every year.
For context, that would mean more than 23,000 of the car rental firm’s customers have had theft charges levied against them over the past seven years, reports USA Today.
A total of 230 customers are now suing Hertz for false arrest – with some claiming false prosecution.
As we have noted in February, we have absolutely no idea what is going on at Hertz. If you work for Hertz or have inside information on what it is like to work for a rental car company in the midst of what is surely the most chaotic time to work for a rental car company in American history, please email us at tips at jalopnik dot com.
5th Gear: Ex-Nissan Exec Greg Kelly Back In US After Ghosn Drama
Carlos Ghosn has been in Lebanon for some time, but only now is American ex-Nissan exec back in America, as Automotive News reports:
Form Nissan manager Greg Kellycleared on most counts and handed a suspended sentence in the long-running Tokyo trial over alleged financial misconduct by Carlos Ghosn, has left to return to the United States after more than three years of prosecution in Japan.
Kelly, accompanied by his wife Dee, were escorted to Tokyo’s Haneda international airport by the US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, and checked onto a flight for home.
I forgot that Rahm Emanuel is still kicking around in major politics. I thought the charges of police killing coverup stuff would have given him the boot.
Reverse: Janet Guthrie Born
If the first thing about you listed in the history books is not “was an aerospace engineer,” you have probably done something very cool. In the case of Janet Guthrie, born on this day in 1938, this entails becoming the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500, among other racing firsts.
Read more on her in our profile here and look forward to the biopic!
Neutral: It’s Good To See You Again!
We were on the picket line last week, but we’re back with a stronger contract than before! Now seems like a good moment for introspection. What would you like to see more of in these daily TMS reports? What would you like to see more of at Jalopnik as a site?