“The devoted staff right here in Canton stay up for constructing
the following technology of probably the greatest pickup vans in America.”
– Steve Marsh, VP Manufacturing, Nissan Canton Automobile Meeting Plant
Nissan has introduced next-generation Nissan Frontier shall be in-built Canton, Mississippi, the identical plant that’s been constructing the almost 13-year-old second-gen Frontier since 2012.
However the platform on which the following Frontier shall be based mostly? And the exact timing of the revealing and on-sale date?
The 2018 Nissan Frontier continues as the identical F-Alpha midsize pickup truck that’s been on sale in America for the reason that 2005 mannequin yr. That truck’s international substitute — recognized in lots of markets because the Navara — was unveiled three years in the past as a truck that has not been offered north of Mexico.
Might the following Mississippi-built Nissan Frontier merely be the Navara-come-to-America? Is Nissan merely going to totally revamp the Frontier to modestly modernize the truck whereas protecting it reasonably priced? As Ford launches the worldwide Ranger in North America in 2019 and pickups as diverse because the GMC Canyon Denali and Honda Ridgeline develop ever extra expensive, an reasonably priced Nissan would absolutely have a spot out there.
These questions weren’t answered by Nissan’s September 12th announcement. The announcement revealed Nissan’s determination to stay in Mississippi with the previous Tennessee-built truck, pleasure voiced by Mississippi’s governor, and the beforehand quoted Mississippi plant boss, who referred to as the Frontier “a frontrunner in its class.”Nissan employs 6,400 individuals at its Mississippi facility. The Frontier isn’t the one body-on-frame Nissan in-built Canton. The Titan, Titan XD, and NV vans are constructed there, as properly, together with the Murano crossover. Nissan’s Canton manufacturing is down 15 p.c thus far this yr, a decline largely traced again to decrease Frontier quantity, in line with Automotive Information Information Heart.
As Nissan chased a bit of the truck market that couldn’t purchase a Titan in the midst of 2016 — the full-size Titan was in between fashions — Frontier gross sales shot as much as a 15-year annual excessive of 86,926 gross sales final yr.
However Frontier gross sales are sliding quick in 2017. By way of the primary two-thirds of this yr, Frontier gross sales are down 19 p.c, and its share of America’s small/midsize pickup truck market has fallen from 21 p.c at this stage of 2016 to 17 p.c this yr.
It’s affordable to surmise, if not firmly conclude, that Nissan now sees sufficient midsize pickup demand to justify the home manufacturing of the Navara because the next-gen Frontier. That would have an effect on the potential arrival of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in America, as properly. The X-Class is basically an altered twin of the Navara. But with no American pickup truck manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz could be pressured to pay a 25-percent rooster tax tariff on each imported X-Class.
Nissan final revealed a brand new Frontier on the 2004 North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit. Is January 2018 to quickly to count on the revealing of the primary new Frontier since George W. Bush’s first time period?
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Vehicles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.