Nissan delays two EV sedans, reworks EV plans for Mississippi plant

It’s clear by now that all but a tiny number of automakers are heavily revising their plans for and investments in battery-electric product. Nissan’s in league with the majority, drawing up new ideas for products going to its Canton, Miss., plant and their launch cadence. Automotive News reports the automaker sent a memo to suppliers in the ecosystem around the plant to “Please stop all development activities related to [the electric sedans] until further notice” as it reassesses how best to manage the next few years. Originally, the automaker planned to start production a Nissan-branded battery-electric sedan in 2025, followed by an Infiniti version. These two vehicles were going to part of seven new EVs to go on sale in the U.S. by 2026.

This new delay marks the second such, Nissan pushing the timeline back in July of last year to June 2026, and now again to November 2026. The manufacturing delay also postpones a promised $500 million investment in the facility that would begin turning it into Nissan’s hub for EV production in the States.

Right now, the Canton plant builds three vehicles, the Altima, Frontier, and Titan. Capable of assembling 410,000 units per year, the projection for Nissan’s current financial year ending March 2025 is for Canton workers to put together about 210,000 units, in part thanks to the Titan pickup ending production this summer.  

Instead of rolling out the sedan first, the reorganization is suspected to push sedan production back and move up production of two or three crossovers. Two midsize crossovers weren’t meant to begin rolling down lines until 2028. The plan would also add a fifth model to the two crossovers and two sedans already on the menu, thought to be a third electric crossover codenamed PZ1L and comparable to the old Rogue Sport. The new range will emphasize shared parts, and modularity in components and manufacturing processes. A company spokesperson told Reuters, “We are adjusting the timeline for the introduction of these five new models to ensure we bring the vehicles to the market at the right time.”

As has been noted regularly, EV sales are still increasing, just not nearly as much as they were a year ago, and not enough to justify the enormous sums automakers had committed to them. Cox Automotive data showed a 2.6% bump in Q1 EV sales this year, compared to 46% leap in Q1 2023. Nissan did better in Q1 as well, its sales up 7% over Q1 2023.

If all goes to Nissan’s current plan, the carmaker will begin assembling its electric sedan in November 2026, the Infiniti version following in April 2027. The automaker says it expects to inform suppliers next month about the new direction. One supplier isn’t buying it, telling AN, “I think it’s going to be at least six or eight more months before [Nissan] returns with a new plan.” The supplier could be closer to the truth, AN writing that Nissan might want to know who win’s this year’s presidential election before committing to long-term plans. 

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