If you have watched the news or read a paper over the weekend then the chances are you read an article about Nissan inspecting vehicles being shipped out of Japan for radiation. I have to admit I am a little confused by some of the reports and blogs. I see numerous blogs/articles saying that Nissan is inspecting cars imported simply to build/ensure consumer confidence in their product. One thing that seems to be reported differently is if the vehicles are inspected before they leave Japan or after they arrive in the United States. I have watched video of the inspections taking place and it clearly shows they are inspecting cars PRIOR to them being put on the ship and the 10 vehicles tested out of the 5000 per ship are giving a radiation clear sticker. In addition some models like the Nissan Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Frontier, Pathfinder, Titan, and Infinity QX56 are built at Nissan’s factory in America.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhaFQFn9rsw&feature=player_detailpage

So my question is if Nissan was truly just trying to accomplish a consumer confidence campaign why can’t I find anything on their Facebook page, TV ads or radio related to this? Has anyone seen an executive from Nissan discussing this or a press release?

I recall the first flight that landed in Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport from Japan after the tragedy and that flight set off the radiation detectors at the airport. When you combine the continued radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant with radiation being detected outside of Japan just after the earthquake it would make sense that Nissan is testing these vehicles for more than just consumer confidence. Frankly it is hard to believe not all of the Japanese manufacturers are not doing the same thing.

So what is the real reason for the testing? I think it is a combination of things including consumer confidence and a ship that returned to Japan after 3.5 microsieverts per hour were detected but to me the primary reason has to do with the increasing restrictions on imports of Japanese products. 29 countries and regions have suspended or tightened controls on agricultural and dairy products and the last thing Nissan wants or needs is restrictions on cars. Currently Nissan has reported a 50 day stock of vehicles which is down from the normal 60 day stock and keeping these vehicles shipping and sold may just put a tiny bit of good in a horrific situation.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association has already declared there are no dangerous levels of radiation on cars being exported and many are calling for Nissan to stop testing as they consider it to be an over reaction but Nissan is committed to the radiation testing until they believe all the potential for radiation contamination has disappeared entirely from their products. Hats off to Nissan for doing what they feel is right and with their engine plant 37 miles and other plants inside 100 miles, I say for good reason! Could you imaging the damage to a manufacturer if a vehicle was found to have radiation on a dealerships lot inside the US? Over reaction, not in my book!

Great companies always show how truly great they are in times like this and going the extra mile to protect your company, customer loyalty and your dealer’s ability to get vehicles and parts is just plain smart business. Keep up the great work Nissan and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your country.

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