New Nissan Ariya EV delayed by production teething issues

Lionel Kong
2023 Nissan Ariya EV

Singapore not yet affected as the new electric car from Nissan is only expected to go on sale here in 2024


The Nissan Ariya, which was previewed in Singapore at the 2023 Motorshow here, is having its deliveries worldwide delayed as Nissan’s high-tech production line for its new EV is working through its growing pains. 

It has been revealed that production is running approximately one-third below expected capacity, in a report that was first published by Reuters. The Ariya is being assembled in a highly automated production facility in Tochigi, north of Tokyo. 

2023 Nissan Ariya EV

Built with an initial investment of 33 billion yen (US$243 million) as part of the “intelligent factory” initiative, Nissan states that the system represents a completely new production methodology with robotics and a zero-emission pledge.

The system has been designed to allow it to produce cars with different powertrains, that is, EVs, hybrids and internal combustion engines, on the same line by using an automated pallet to mount a pre-assembled powertrain to each vehicle.

However, implementation of the system has proven to be “an extremely, extremely high challenge” and the advanced paint line has become a persistent headache, a person familiar with the system was quoted as mentioning. 

The Nissan Ariya EV on display at the 2023 Singapore Motorshow

The result is that Nissan’s supposed targeted production of 400 Ariyas a day or nearly 9,000 cars a month, according to two of the people, cannot be met at the present time. Production figures for March was forecast at under 6,900 vehicles, down further to around 5,200 in April and 5,400 in May, according to earlier planning notes. The target has been lowered further, one of the people familiar with the issue was quoted as saying.

Dealerships in the U.S.A have stopped taking customer reservations last year, while Japanese dealers stopped taking orders in August, and are set to resume only after production ramps back up. In an official statement, Nissan admitted that Ariya production had faced challenges including supply of semiconductors, and disruptions in shipping of parts. “Nissan is making a full and diligent effort to fully regain production capacity at the plant,” the company said.

While this will very unlikely do damage to the brand in the long term, the short term result is that the Nissan Ariya EV will not be able to properly capitalise on the media buzz of its first in a series of 19 EVs that it aims to design and manufacture by 2030. The car originally had a launch date in 2021, but Covid-19 shutdown and the worldwide semiconductor chip shortage put a damper on that date.

2023 Nissan Ariya EV
The Nissan Ariya is the brand’s first series production electric crossover SUV

There are high hopes for the Nissan Ariya as it is only the brand’s second series production EV after the small Nissan Leaf, and its first family-sized electric SUV as well.  Projected production capacity is set to be back on track in the latter half of 2023, once the factory’s early hiccups are resolved.

Singapore was tentatively supposed to see the launch of the Ariya here sometime in 2023, but local dealership Tan Chong Motors has since revised the date to early 2024 in the wake of the global supply delay. 


ariya car production crossover SUV EV nissan

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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