“Ariya is the next physical chapter of Nissan,” said Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta at a virtual roundtable. “It is a catalyst for change in the way we think about products. ”
The restructuring, which continues in early 2024, includes the reduction of billions of fixed costs, the removal of several vehicle nameplates and the closure or realignment of production plants following the ouster of Carlos Ghosn, long-time leader of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance, now an international fugitive.
The plan was announced as the company posted its first annual loss in 11 years. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation, with the company still trying to recover from the ongoing scandal surrounding its former chief.
Gupta described the global pandemic as an “unprecedented” crisis for Nissan, however, he said, the company has also learned new, more efficient ways of working, including online sales in the United States.
“We think Covid-19 on the one hand was a big challenge for us, but on the other hand, it taught us a new way of working and a new way of selling,” he said.
Nissan expects the crossover to be able to travel up to 300 miles per charge. It’s in line with some all-electric vehicles currently on the market, but less than the likes more expensive Tesla vehicles and future models promised by General Motors in the coming years.
Nissan, according to Gupta, believes that the range is more than enough for drivers. He said that a majority of his all-electric vehicle owners charge at home every night. He compared it to charging a cell phone at night.
“We think the EV is now used more like a cell phone,” said Gupta, who joined Nissan last year from Mitsubishi Motors. “When 80% of customers charge their cars at home, autonomy is no longer a concern for them. ”
Nissan’s current 100% electric Leaf can travel up to 226 miles, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Ariya will be the first in the United States with Nissan’s “ProPilot Assist 2.0” driver assistance system. Technology allows drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel on designated highways. He monitors the driver to ensure that he continues to pay attention in the event that it is necessary to take back the vehicle.
The interior of the Nissan Ariya 2021 for right-hand drive markets like Japan.
Nissan’s system is similar to GM’s Super Cruise or Tesla’s autopilot assist technologies, however, Tesla allows drivers to “check in” by touching the steering wheel.
The system uses a combination of on-board sensors and radars as well as the navigation system and high definition mapping to control the direction, speed, acceleration and braking of the vehicle.
Ariya, said Gupta, will be capable of remote or live updates.
The crossover is based on a concept vehicle of the same name presented at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and discussed for the first time with the IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.