Monday, February 22, 2016

chester giles writes

dry from the sun 

there is a tree in the scrub land
opposite the apartment block
        over the chain link fence,
underneath the sound of single propeller aeroplanes

i walked over to it in the morning heat
so that i could sit on the branches felled and left in the shade there

                                             cactus grow by the road side
and the arid gold red soil is littered with pebbles and sea shells
in amongst the dry pine needles
and sharp blades of grass
in between the black patches like char
  and the general scrub

it excited all the dogs in the yards so they started to yelp and bark and yowl
while an old red nissan drove up the track

and everything was gold and green
  brilliant white
or dusty grey browns with silver blue behind them
and everything was dry from the sun


  1. Nissan Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha is the corporate desdcendant of Hashimoto Masujiro's Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works founded in 1911, which began producing the DAT in 1914, an acronym of the company's investors' family names (Den Kenjirō, Aoyama Rokurō, and Takeuchi Meitarō). It was renamed Kwaishinsha Motorcar in 1918, but became DAT Jidosha in 1925. Jitsuyo Jidosha (established 1919 as a Kubota subsidiary) produced small trucks using parts and materials imported from the United States. The two firms merged in 1926 as DAT Jidosha Seizo and began producing the Datson ("son of DAT") in 1931 when it affiliated with Tobata Casting. Meanwhile, in 1928, Aikawa Yoshisuke founded the Nihon Sangyo holding company (i.e, Japan Industries or Nihon Industries), which became better known as "Nissan," an abbreviation used in the Tokyo stock market. The holding company controlled foundries and auto parts businesses but did not enter automobile manufacturing until 1933, when its Tobata Casting merged with DAT Jidosha Seizo and renamed the car it manufactured the Datsun (because "son" also means "loss"). The following year Aikawa separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, Nissan Jidōsha. DAT had inherited Kubota's chief designer, American engineer William R. Gorham, who was responsible for carrying out Aikawa's project to build Japanese cars using American cutting-edge technology, beginning in 1935. David Halberstam called Gorham "the founder of the Nissan Motor Company" in technological terms and claimed that later "Nissan engineers who had never met him spoke of him as a god and could describe in detail his years at the company and his many inventions." In 1934 Datsun began its international success when it started to build Austin 7's under license. In 1952, Nissan began making Austins from partially assembled imported sets, for sale in Japan, and from 1955 it produced all the parts locally. The firm began presenting its models to the US market at the 1958 Los Angeles Auto Show and formed a U.S. subsidiary in 1960. In 1966, it opened its first North American factory, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Meanwhile, it leveraged the Austin patents it had acquired to develop its own engine designs, leading, in 1967, to its four-cylinder overhead cam (OHC) Nissan L engine, designed entirely by Nissan for the Datsun 510. Two years later it brought out the Datsun 240Z sports car, which used a six-cylinder variation of the L series engine, gaining international status as a car maker. By 1970, it was one of the world's largest exporters of automobiles. In 1980 it established Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation USA and began producing vehicles in Smyrna, Tennessee.

  2. Carlos Ghosn was the grandson of a Lebanese immigrant to Brazil and the son of a man who married a Lebanese woman who had been born in Nigeria; when he was six he went with his mother to Beirut to live with his grandmother, but he received engineering degrees in France, from the École Polytechnique in 1974 and the École des Mines de Paris in 1978, and then joined Michelin, Europe's largest tire maker, becoming at 30 Chief Operating Officer (COO) of its South American operations in Brazil in 1985 and restoring its profitability, then heading Michelin North America. In 1996 Renault S. A. recruited him as Executive Vice President in charge of purchasing, advanced research, engineering and development, powertrain operations, and manufacturing, and his radical restructuring returned the car maker to profitability in 1997. (The Société Renault Frères had been formed by the Renault brothers Louis, Marcel, and Fernand in 1899.) In 1998 Nissan and Renault entered a unique alliance, with each company maintaining its own distinct corporate culture and brand identity (the alliance incorporated under Dutch law in 2002 as Renault-Nissan B.V.) Retaining his position at Renault, Ghosn also joined Nissan as COO in 1999, became its President in 2000, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2001. Nissan was more than $20 billion in debt, and only three of its 46 models sold in Japan were generating a profit. The new boss called for at least 4.5% in profits and a 50% debt reduction by 2002. The firm cut 14% of its workforce (21,000 jobs, mostly in Japan, thus ending the promise of lifetime employment), closed five Japanese plants, reduced the number of suppliers and shareholdings, thus dismantling the keiretsu system (the interwoven web of parts suppliers with cross-holdings in Nissan), and sold off various assets such as its prestigious aerospace unit. He also changed the company's official language to English, eliminated seniority- and age-based promotion, and brought in for the first time executives from Europe and North America to participate in key global strategy sessions. Twelve months into his three-year turnaround plan, Nissan had returned to profitability, and within three years its operating margins were consistently above 9% -— more than twice the industry average. The announced goals of the Nissan Revival Plan were all reached before the end of March 2002; the operating profit margin climbed to 11.1% in fiscal year 2003; in 2005 Nissan sold more than 3.67 million vehicles. In that year Ghosn was named President and CEO of Renault, the first person in history to run two Fortune Global 500 companies at the same time. (In 2008, he became Chairman, President, and CEO of Nissan, and in 2009 Chairman and CEO of Renault.) In 2007 he committed €4 billion (more than $5 billion) to the development of mass-market zero-emission electric cars, leading to the introduction of the Leaf in December 2010. In that year Daimler AG exchanged a 3.9% share of its holdings for 3.9% from both Nissan and Renault; this triple alliance allowed for increased sharing of technology and development costs, encouraging global cooperation and mutual development. The French firm had already begun, in 2008, a strategic partnership with Russia's largest automobile maker, AvtoVAZ, by acquiring a 25% stake in the company; in 2012 the Renault–Nissan Alliance formed a joint venture with Russian Technologies (Alliance Rostec Auto BV), and Ghosn became Deputy Chairman of the AvtoVAZ Board of Directors (and in 2013 its Chairman). In 2014, Renault and Nissan Alliance took a combined 67.1% stake of Alliance Rostec, which acquired a 74.5% of AvtoVAZ, thereby giving Renault and Nissan indirect control over the Russian car maker. Together, the three firms comprise one of the world's four largest automobile groups, with about 10% of the global market.


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