Here’s the One Model Nissan Dealers Are Mad They Can’t Get
As electric vehicle popularity is quickly growing, automakers are finding many to be their fastest-selling models. And we already know they represent the most important models from now on. In some cases, as with the Nissan Ariya EV, buyers can’t find enough of them. That’s because dealers can’t get enough of them, and that’s why they are so mad.
How many Ariya EVs will Nissan make in 2023?
This news came to a head at the 2023 National Automobile Dealer Association pow-wow earlier this week. Dealers complained about Ariya’s allocations and are more than disappointed in Nissan’s response. Nissan is building 6,000 in fiscal 2022, which ends the last day in March. As of this week, it made just 4,500.
“Every dealer was saying how many customers they have waiting or wanting to order one,” Nissan Dealer Advisory Board Chairman Tyler Slade told Automotive News. Built at Nissan’s Tochigi plant in Tokyo, it is tasked with building 30,000 in fiscal 2023.
Why such a slow rollout for the Ariya?
Will that be enough? Already, Nissan is backtracking on its 2023 goal. Nissan’s vice president of U.S. operations, Judy Wheeler, says difficulty getting battery components may make 2023 difficult for Ariya production. Price increases are another problem. “That’ll be the part that I think will make it difficult for all U.S. manufacturers,” she said.
Of course, Nissan is anxious to compete in the EV segment. But another important reason is it wants to build upon its reputation as the maker of the first mass-produced EV, the Leaf. It debuted in 2010.
“Why can’t we produce the Ariya in any acceptable volume?” many dealers asked. “Customers are walking in saying, ‘I’m sold, let me buy one,’ ” another dealer said. “But we can’t tell them when it’s coming.”
How important is the Ariya to Nissan?
Some analysts say the Ariya is strategically Nissan’s top priority in the U.S. But expecting under 30,000 to be sold brings that into question. “We are just in the launch phase of this vehicle,” Wheeler said. “As inventory increases, we will reevaluate our position as to where we’re at in the marketplace and the dynamic.”
Nissan expects EV sales will make up 40 % of its sales by the end of the decade. In that light, it is releasing a gang of new models, some being EVs, this year. But its flagship is the Ariya, which has received lots of praise so far.
With two different batteries available, the Ariya has a range of over 300 miles. It also has an all-wheel drive option. At a base price of $44,485, Nissan is hoping that priced below a Tesla Model 3 will help it in the marketplace. Of course, that marketplace is seeing a shift after Tesla’s announcement it was cutting prices across the board.
If any automaker knows what it takes to execute and sell EVs, it is Nissan. Since its debut in 2010, it has consistently sold between 10,000 and 20,000 every year, hitting 30,000 in 2014. But the EV was in its infancy. With the robust interest and sales, Nissan expects far better rewards with its Ariya.