You would be forgiven for believing that Nissan has lost a little hope for its future in the American market given that it has withdrawn several models from its lineup in the USA. Furthermore, several of its upcoming projects, such as the new 2021 Nissan Kicks, are still well under wrapped in the US. In particular, of the seven EVs planned for the near future, only two are confirmed for local sales. Instead, the Japanese company seems to be investing a large chunk of time and money in China.
The reasoning behind this is uncertain, but some have speculated that it could be due to the lack of interest in electric vehicles by Americans. Many still cling to the mistaken belief that our supply of fossil fuels will never run out. However, the relatively lax laws regarding emissions are, no doubt, another significant factor. Automakers are currently not losing out by sticking with the tried and tested gasoline powertrains that have been so popular in the past. Meanwhile, Asia and Europe are clamping down harder, and rightfully so, forcing car companies to rethink their policies and approach to releasing new models.
Out of sight, but not out of mind
However, just because the company’s attention seems to be focused on other markets, that doesn’t mean it plans to give up on us entirely. Nameplates that have proven to be popular will no doubt continue on with production. A quick list of Nissan vehicles planned for continuation in the USA include:
The last entry is the only other EV besides the Leaf planned for release in the local market. It will make use of the crossover body style that is shared by other top-sellers. Based on sales figures, though, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a few more models dropped, such as the Nissan Pathfinder, which hasn’t seen a significant update in close to a decade.
What is the Nissan Ariya?
The compact crossover coupe may serve as Nissan’s Hail Mary to remain competitive in the EV segment. Sure, the Leaf has been a decent seller in the past, but with more and more automakers teasing us with tantalizing future concepts, new blood is definitely needed. In its most competent guise, the Ariya will develop up to 389 horsepower, which will be directed via the automatic transmission to all four wheels.
The exact fuel economy figures have not yet been released, but the Japanese automaker plans to compete with the likes of Tesla, so we should be expecting some of the best mileage figures in the segment. So far, the maximum range is set at around 300 miles, but battery technology is constantly being improved upon, so this may change by the time of release.
Tech features will be abundant inside the cabin, which will offer ample passenger space in both rows of seats, and a practical cargo hold. Styling, both inside and out, will be unlike any Nissan before, though similar design cues will no doubt shine through. For those among us who are already willing to embrace the electrical automotive revolution, the Ariya represents an excellent step forward for Nissan, and we can only hope to see more of its like in the coming years.
A triumphant return could be in the cards
No business would be foolish enough to turn its back on the American market, so the fact that Nissan is investing so heavily in China and other foreign markets could be a prelude to a much stronger showing in the future. This will likely only come after some changes to local policies regarding gasoline and carbon emissions. The shift in the political climate will undoubtedly lead to the overturning of several bills that favor the petroleum giants. This will allow more freedom to focus on alternative propulsion systems such as electric motors or hydrogen fuel cells.
Perhaps once it has reinforced its financial foundations with success abroad, Nissan will be able to bring what it learns in the Chinese market back to the USA to reinvigorate its sales and compete with local giants like Chevrolet, and Tesla.