After being one of the protagonists in the first part of this modern era of the electric car, from one day to the next nissan disappeared from the sales charts. A situation that the new Ariya was destined to reverse. But an accumulation of problems is driving the Japanese automaker’s electric car sales numbers into irrelevance, trending rather negatively.
presented in its final design in 2019, the journey of the Ariya did not start well, and its launch in 2021 was postponed until 2022 due to the lack of components that impacted the entire industry. Is or are three years from its presentation to its arrival on the market. A much longer period than usual that somewhat wore down its image even before the start of its sales.
In addition, Nissan’s dire policies with customers of the first generations of the LEAF also affected the image of a company that has recently seen S&P Global Ratings lower its credit rating to junk bond. Something that plummeted their shares.
The challenge of producing the Ariya
But despite all this, Nissan finally released an Ariya that has achieved a fairly complete set. A proposal that has launched the joint platform CMF-EV of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which has made it possible to design a competitive SUV.
This led Nissan to set a production target of 100,000 units per year, or 440 Ariyas a day. But the reality is being much harsher, and the figures remain below half.
It indicates so Reuterswhich citing internal sources has indicated that currently the production rate of Nissan’s electric SUV is less than 6,900 units in March, which is expected to drop to 5,200 in April and 5,400 units in May.
Among the reasons, in addition to the lack of components such as semiconductors, is added in this case the problems with the production lines that shape the Ariya. Some lines that have been slowed down by problems in the so-called “smart factory” that the Japanese brand built at the Tochigi plant, north of Tokyo.
Nissan’s idea is not new, since it designed a flexible line capable of producing vehicles with different propulsion systems, both electric cars, hybrids or those equipped with an internal combustion engine.
But this has proven to be not as easy as it seems, and Nissan is having a very difficult time getting the plant to accelerate its estimated production pace.
Now, Nissan has to add another unforeseen event due to the fire in one of the factories that supply an electronic component for the Ariya. An unforeseen event at the Chinese Wuxi Welnew Micro-Electronic facilities last January, which forced production to be transferred to a second plant and which was «working to recover production as soon as possible«.
This has caused some markets to have to freeze orders waiting for the production rate to recover. Bad news at a key moment when its competitors have stepped on the accelerator, achieving an increasingly high production rate, and an economy of scale strong enough to start lowering prices.
Something that will mean that when Nissan manages to recover its capacity, it will find a scenario where the competition will be brutal.