If the pandemic hadn't hit in March 2020, Nissan would already have the Ariya electric SUV in its lineup. The all-electric crossover was originally planned for a 2020 presentation and a summer 2021 market debut.
We know what happened next. Worse, the health crisis has had some hand in the development of another crisis, a shortage of electronic chips, which further undermined plans to launch the Ariya. In fact, Nissan can’t not be blamed here, as many manufacturers have been seriously affected by supply chain problems. Right now, considering the current situation, any timeline given regarding a model launch should be taken with a grain of salt.
Earlier this year, Nissan invited us to Toronto to get a close look at the Ariya, which would normally have made its Canadian debut at the Montreal Auto Show this past January. That event was eventually cancelled due to the Omicron wave.
Seeing the vehicle up close did create a hope that a launch was – is - finally imminent. The automaker has announced a fall debut in Canada, and a media launch should take place in the next few weeks, perhaps months.
At least, that's what everyone wants, but these are uncertain times. Today Nissan said it has to push back the domestic Japanese release date of its electric SUV again, this time due to semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions. The news was announced late yesterday and affects only the Japanese market for now.
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The new release date for Japan is May 12, whereas the vehicle was supposed to be launched at the end of March. We're talking about a month and a half delay, which is not dramatic in the current context. It also should in principle not affect plans for our market, though the current situation calls for close monitoring.
The Ariya is obviously an important model for Nissan and the first reactions to it have been very positive, which bodes well for the brand. That's if the delays are over.
If the Ariya does indeed make its debut in May in Japan and hits the European market this summer as planned, then we can expect to see it arrive in the fall of 2022.