Nissan Taking Zero Chances With New Model Y Fighter

Electric Vehicles / 17 Comments

This is where the Ariya will be built.

The Nissan Ariya is a big deal for the Japanese automaker. As its second-ever all-electric model, this Tesla Model Y competitor is expected to quickly outsell the far less stylish Nissan Leaf hatchback. Nissan has also been experiencing significant financial issues for the past two years, making it all the more vital for the Ariya launch to go off without a hitch.

But before that can even happen, a decision had to be made where it'll be built. Nissan reportedly considered its Sunderland plant in the UK for Ariya manufacturing, but the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the increasingly high chance of a no-deal situation has forced the automaker to make other plans.

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Nikkei Asia reports Nissan has decided that Japan will be the home of Ariya production from where it will export them to Europe and North America. Production will take place at the automaker's plant in the Tochigi Prefecture north of Tokyo. Ariya manufacturing will also take place in China though solely for that market. This decision wasn't entirely unexpected.

For starters, the Sunderland plant's future remains in doubt and around 7,000 jobs are at stake. Both the Leaf and now overseas-only Juke are currently built there. If there's a no-deal Brexit, then British exports would suddenly be slapped with a 10 percent tariff by the EU.

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Japanese exports, by comparison, have a 7.5 percent tariff and will be eliminated entirely in 2026. The Ariya is slated to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021 and will reach American shores by the end of next year, though preorders were rumored to begin this month. Base models will feature rear-wheel-drive and a 65-kWh battery for a total of 215 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.

The mid-range model will also have RWD but a more powerful 90-kWh battery. A pair of AWD versions are planned as well and despite having the same battery pack options, output will be increased to 335 hp and 416 lb-ft, and 389 hp and 443 lb-ft. Although Nissan's UK manufacturing future might be in doubt, the Ariya will not be affected.

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Source Credits: Nikkei Asia

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