Nissan introduced a new Frontier pickup for the 2022 model year, but automotive product development timelines span years, meaning the automaker’s already planning for the next-generation truck. That said, a recent report from Automotive News suggests Nissan is shuffling its plans to make room for EV production, which could impact the next-gen Frontier.
The publication obtained an internal memo showing that Nissan plans to extend the current-generation truck by two years at its Canton, Miss., factory. That leaves the truck in production until 2029, which is far short of the 17 years it took for Nissan to update it before, but still a long time in automotive terms.
Though the memo didn’t outline a reason for Nissan’s shift, a supplier told Automotive News that the move is meant to accommodate the changeover to EV production at the facility. The source said Nissan doesn’t want to execute a significant product launch while also managing a boost in EV manufacturing.
This shift could drive Nissan to electrify the truck, which may help it regain a foothold in the industry, but challenges are ahead. Sam Fiorani, VP at AutoForecast Solutions, told Automotive News that the automaker must get new products out to dealers quickly while maintaining quality.
Nissan has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its Mississippi factory for EV production, but the automaker isn’t on the level of many rivals, who’ve been on the electrification train for years. The automaker currently sells two EVs in the U.S., including the Ariya and Leaf, and has plans to roll out several new models in the coming years.
Two electric Infiniti sedans are expected in 2026, and Nissan will begin production of a new electric SUV in 2027. If Nissan electrified the Frontier, it would have to land at a much more affordable price point than other electric trucks, with analysts pointing to a $40,000 price tag as a good starting point.