Nissan Sponsors National Drive Electric Week

To celebrate National Drive Electric Week (September 15-21), Nissan has announced its involvement as the exclusive automotive sponsor for more than 130 green events nationwide. More than 60,000 US consumers drive the electric Nissan LEAF, making this sponsorship a natural fit for the automaker.

“With more than 60,000 US sales and 50 percent market share among pure EVs this year, Nissan is the natural sponsor of National Drive Electric Week,” said Toby Perry, Nissan’s director of Electric Vehicle Marketing. “At events across the country, drivers of Nissan LEAF and other electric cars will get together to spread the word about the benefits of driving electric – lower operating costs, zero tailpipe emissions, and they are just fun to drive.”

National Drive Electric Week first began in 2011, at which time it was a series of local events meant to spread awareness about plug-in vehicles. The event, then called National Plug In Day, was organized by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, and has since been celebrated annually. In 2013, more than 35,000 people participated at 100 gatherings across the country.

Nissan LEAF sales continue to skyrocket, up 34 percent this year, mostly due to customer advocacy. “LEAF owners have become our most effective marketers. Their enthusiasm for their LEAF and its benefits drives family, friends and co-workers to consider and purchase one for themselves,” said Perry. “This has a viral effect, where one LEAF sale in a neighborhood or office often triggers several additional sales.”

Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles and test drive a LEAF for yourself!

Major Sedan Discounts are the Result of Skyrocketing Crossover Sales

There is a major shift happening among American car-buyers. We are a society moving away from the traditionally best-selling four-door sedans, and instead choosing crossovers and SUVs. The shift has been ongoing for more than a year, and has had such a negative impact on sedan sales that automakers are pushing big incentives to move cars off dealership lots nation-wide.

While prices for trucks, crossovers, and SUVs are on the rise, car prices are either falling, maintaining, or rising just slightly, making it an ideal time to get in a new car.

“It’s definitely a good time to buy a midsize car,” says Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. Almost every midsize sedan is comfortable, looks good and performs well, so price is nearly the only differentiator, she says.

Nissan reports record sales for its Altima in August this year – up four percent, which was reached in part due to special offers, deals, and incentives. Edmunds estimates that Altima sedan discounts were $2,293, up five percent from last year.

The shift to crossovers and utility vehicles will likely continue well into the future, but may slow down next year. Jeff Schuster, executive vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, says while the shift will continue, eventually crossover SUV buyers will find the deals on cars too good to pass up.

Whether you’re looking for a great deal on an Altima, or prefer a crossover or SUV, Nissan of Lake Charles has the right fit for you. Stop by today!

Nissan Heisman House is back for its Fourth Year

In case you haven’t seen any of the Nissan Heisman House vignettes before, the campaign takes Heisman winners from past years (Roger Staubach, Billy Sims, Marcus Allen, Doug Flutie) and places them in various situations with recent Heisman winners (Manziel, Robert Griffin III, Ricky Williams, and Charles Woodson). The idea is that fans will watch the videos then place their bets for this year’s Heisman favorite.

Because Nissan is the sponsor, the GT-R, Altima, Titan, Pathfinder, Murano, Rogue and Juke vehicles find their way into the short videos, but placement is in no way obnoxious. In fact, mediapost.com reports that 77% of fans accurately recall the Nissan brand as the sponsor of the Heisman Trophy and that about half feel more favorable toward the brand.

“Nissan’s Heisman House brings to life a fantasy for most college football fans – just hanging out with some of the best college football players that ever played the game,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, Inc. “Not only is it great to join ESPN in bringing a little more fun and excitement to games this fall, Nissan is particularly proud to play a role in some of the rewarding work of the Heisman Trust.”

Nissan is a long-time supporter of the Heisman Trust and its community outreach efforts. Nissan recently partnered with six former Heisman winners to build a Habitat for Humanity home, and also ran a youth football camp for underprivileged children.

Not only are the vignettes good for a laugh, but they help support a good cause. Check them out, vote for your favorite, then stop by Nissan of Lake Charles to learn more, and to check out our exciting lineup of cars!

Nissan Altima Makes List of Most Comfortable Cars Under $30,000

Whether it’s for cross-country road-trips, commuting across town, or performance driving, your car’s comfort should be a top priority. Not all cars are created equal when it comes to comfortable and supportive seating, especially a practical interior designed with comfort in mind. To help us break down which affordable cars offer premium comfort, AOL Autos has created a list of the most comfortable cars under $30,000.

It’s no surprise to us that the 2014 Nissan Altima makes the cut. The roomy Altima is quiet, spacious, and features high-quality, supportive seats. In addition, an array of features add security, connectivity, and efficiency, making it a front-runner in its class.

2014 Nissan Altima Specifications

Features include Bluetooth streaming audio, passive entry with push button ignition, a rearview camera, Advanced Drive-Assist Display, Xenon headlights, LED taillights, BOSE audio, navigation, and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. Yep, Nissan even kept your cold hands in mind when designing the Altima.

The Altima isn’t just packed with useful features; it’s also incredibly efficient. Powered by either a 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6, you can choose the Altima that best fits your lifestyle. Now, your wallet can also stay comfortable.

Next time you get in your car, get cozy, settle in, and enjoy your trip (without your bottom falling asleep). Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles to put the Altima to the test!

Brett Michaels and Nissan Manage to Create Viral Videos for Commercial Vans

We’ll be honest. We thought after “Rock of Love” Brett Michaels was pretty much a done deal. Possibly a has-been? Apparently we were wrong. Brett Michaels and Nissan teamed up to create some videos for Nissan’s commercial vans, and they have gone viral. No really.

The B-to-B ads may actually be Nissan’s response to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s epic split-between-trucks stunt, and it’s working. Nissan hired Michael to star in a series of videos for their new “Tough Love” ad campaign, which promotes Nissan commercial vans with the slogan “The tougher we test them, the more you love them.”

A four-minute tongue-in-cheek music video features Michaels singing “Endless Love” to a commercial van as it endures the rigorous tests set at the Nissan Testing Facility in Stanfield, Arizona. A series of six other videos feature Michaels telling tales of his past that relate to some of the tests Nissan conducts on the commercial van.

Nissan claims that they subject their commercial vans to “6,600 brutal tests” in order to make sure the vans are built to withstand just about everything. The campaign focuses on the van line’s toughness and resilience – traits that Brett Michaels obviously knows something about. Just when we thought we’d seen the last of him… here he is again.

Enjoy the videos here.

When you’re done watching the videos (we know you can’t help it), stop by Nissan of Lake Charles to learn more about Nissan’s tough commercial vans!

Instant Retail Feedback Should Improve Customer Satisfaction at Nissan Dealerships

Nissan has a new goal, and that’s to obtain customer feedback on their retail experiences right away. Ideally, the automaker would like to get feedback as soon as the transaction is over, while the experience is still fresh. Even feedback within hours would be better than the current standard of weeks or even months post-purchase.

Usually, the dealership or a third party data company will send surveys to customers shortly after their shopping, buying, or servicing experience – but the responses are processed and shared with the dealership weeks or even months after the customer has come and gone.

Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president for U.S. sales and marketing and operations said to autonews.com, “We’re working to move away from that because we believe that the industry has fallen into this trap of customer satisfaction that is managed by surveys, where OEMs and dealers alike are doing nothing more than chasing the score instead of optimizing the customer experience.”

Nissan is working with dealers to create a system of obtaining feedback while the customers are still at the store, or at worst, within a few days of their transaction in an effort to immediately improve customer satisfaction at Nissan dealerships across the country.

“This allows a Nissan dealer to address the customers’ issues immediately and fix the processes within their store so that it doesn’t happen again,” Diaz said. “The weeks or months that traditional customer satisfaction processes have typically taken — we all know it’s far too late.”

If you’ve recently been in our store and would like to let us know how we can better serve you (or how impressed you were!) please stop by Nissan of Lake Charles today. We’ll make sure you leave our store a happy camper.

Nissan Will Introduce Two New Self-Driving Technologies

Fully autonomous cars are a work-in-process. Google has an autonomous car out and about, being tested on the same roads you and I drive daily. Plenty of other automakers have jumped on the bandwagon, testing their own systems and developing new technologies. Before we can run though, we must crawl, as such, Nissan is proud to introduce two self-driving technologies that will change the way we drive.

Nissan has announced that fully automated parking systems will be available by the end of 2016. Yep, that’s right. That means you can say goodbye to the days of parallel parking and adjusting the position of your car several times before getting it just right.

In addition, Nissan has announces the “traffic-jam pilot”, which will drive your car for you in congested traffic scenarios. By 2018, we can also expect to see a “multiple lane controls” system, which will allow cars to autonomously navigate road hazards and change lanes.

“Before the end of the decade, we will introduce intersection autonomy, enabling vehicles to negotiate city crossroads without driver intervention,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., according to an edmunds.com article.

We don’t yet know which vehicles will feature these driving technologies first, but by 2020 we can expect Nissan’s autonomous drive systems commercially available.

Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles to learn more and to test drive a Nissan for yourself!

Could Your Car Color get you Pulled Over?

We know that certain car colors simply stand out more and earn more attention. It wouldn’t be a far cry to assume that a red or yellow car is more likely to get pulled over than a white or black car, purely because they are more likely to grab a cop’s attention as they zoom by.

Usually though, once the cop’s attention is directed at that particular car, they then notice that the car is speeding, has a broken tail light, is swerving, or another legitimate concern for which they then pull over the car. But could your car color get you pulled over?

It might sound crazy, but according to autos.yahoo.com, “In 2010, a deputy in Florida’s Escambia County saw one Kendrick Van Teamer drive by in a bright green Chevrolet. The deputy ran his plates, and found the registration matched a blue Chevrolet. There were no warrants out for Teamer, no reports of stolen vehicles and no pending crimes that involved either a blue or green Chevy. Teamer also wasn’t violating any traffic laws.”

The cop went ahead and pulled the car over, despite the driver not breaking any laws. As it turned out, the car hadn’t only been repainted – it contained small amounts of cocaine, marijuana and $1,100 in cash.

Despite this, the court recently ordered Teamer free on the basis that the deputy was wrong to stop Teamer simply because the color of his car didn’t match its registration. While this ruling was made by the Florida Supreme Court, we shouldn’t be surprised if we see a case like this eventually work its way up to the Supreme Court. States across the country have dealt with similar cases, with rulings falling on both sides.

What do you think? Should law enforcement be able to pull a car over on the basis of its color?

Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles today and let us know what you think!

Are We Entitled to Free Parking?

Let’s face it. Parking is a pain. Just knowing you’ve got to drive into the city center probably induces some sort of anxiety. In many cases you’ve either got to pay ridiculous rates for your parking spot, or spend half your day driving around looking for a free (or close to free) spot – and then you’ll end up having to walk four miles anyway. The parking issue has got some activist groups up in arms, battling for parking that makes sense.

According to an interesting article by TheWeek.com, one group in L.A. has dubbed itself “The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”, which begs the question – is free parking a right? The U.S. is a driving-centric country, with more than 250 million registered cars, but just like driving is not a right, parking cannot be considered a right either.

It is important that each city has a parking infrastructure that will provide its residents with ample and affordable parking while still supporting the needs of its government. Each city is so different that it doesn’t make much sense to have a blanket policy across the entire country. For example, Detroit spends more money each year issuing parking tickets than it does from collecting on them. It’s actually costing Detroit money to charge for parking.

One study shows that if Manhattan provided free parking, more than 19,200 additional cars would enter the city each day. Other studies have pointed out that limited spots incentivizes people to carpool. Despite different parking dynamics across the country, it’s easy to agree that parking can be a major annoyance, and probably likely one we’ll have to suck up and deal with.

We’d say it’s a small price to pay for the freedom and independence of getting your car and getting where you’re going.

Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles if you’re looking for a car for yourself. We can at least guarantee free parking during your visit.

What do you think? Should parking be free for everyone in your city?

Nissan Expanding Network of Leaf Fast-Charging Stations across US

The Nissan Leaf immediately bolted to the top of the electric vehicle (EV) market upon its release a few years ago, toppling established EV giants like the Prius on its way to the top-selling spot in the United States. And, with 2,347 Leaf sales recorded last month alone, it doesn’t look like Nissan’s EV momentum will be slowing down anytime soon. Nissan remains gleeful with the Leaf’s success, and hopes to see that success continue, as evidenced by the growing number of fast-charging stations across the United States.

You see, the Leaf isn’t only available in California anymore. For example, Toby Perry, Nissan’s director of EV sales and marketing, said that the brand has “seen a big jump in Leaf sales in the Austin, Dallas, and Houston markets” thanks to a Texas state incentive. To accommodate the growing interest in the Leaf nationwide, Nissan has built many more CHAdeMO stations. In fact, there are now 633 stations between the coasts.

As the Leaf continues to sell, Nissan will continue to build more CHAdeMO stations: Brian Brockman, a Nissan spokesman, said the brand plans to “aggressively add fast-charging stations through next March,” as summed up by Autoblog. Over in Europe, Nissan already has over 1,000 Leaf fast-charging stations in operation, and here at Nissan of Lake Charles, we’re hoping the brand hits that milestone here in the States sometime in the next year.