Is Pricing to Blame for Nissan Ariya EV’s Slow Sales?

Jackson Wheeler
8 Min Read


  • The Nissan Ariya finished 2023 with 13,464 deliveries, well behind many EV rivals, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet Bolt, Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.
  • In launching the Ariya, Nissan set up a new delivery process to give customers the support they want where they want it.
  • Despite the market for battery-electric vehicles developing industrywide for more than a decade, Nissan’s Trisha Jung notes that familiarity with EVs remains surprisingly low.

The Nissan Ariya is still fresh in the market, going on sale in the US with front-wheel drive in late 2022 before the all-wheel-drive e-4ORCE variant arrived in March 2023.

It finished the year with 13,464 deliveries—about 10 times the sales rate for the smaller (and aged) Nissan Leaf but well behind higher-volume EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E (40,771), Chevrolet Bolt EUV (38,881), Volkswagen ID.4 (34,786), Hyundai Ioniq 5 (25,306), Kia EV6 (18,879), and BMW iX (17,301), as well as all the Teslas (except Cybertruck).

Trailing after its first full year of sales, the all-electric crossover—billed as a “small station wagon” on Nissan’s spec sheet—was supposed to launch in 2021, but US deliveries were delayed due to COVID-related chip shortages.

Nissan executives decline to say whether the Ariya is meeting its US sales target “in this very competitive environment,” but the 13,464-unit tally for 2023 fell well short of the 30,000 vehicles reportedly allocated for Nissan dealers in fiscal 2023, according to Automotive News.

Changes for the model-year 2024 Ariya will be announced soon, but until then the base-model 2023 Ariya Engage with front-wheel drive and up to 216 miles of range starts at $45,920 with destination, making it more expensive than the rivals cited. Two batteries are offered, one with 63 kWh and the other with 87 kWh of usable capacity.

Ariya is assembled in Tochigi, Japan, which makes it ineligible for IRA federal tax credits. The Nissan Leaf, assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, is no longer eligible for tax credits as of this year (due to battery sourcing), but Nissan says it is working with authorities to requalify the Leaf for IRA credits once again.

2023 nissan ariya

Looking forward, Nissan is retooling its Canton, Mississippi, plant to produce battery-electric vehicles for both the Nissan and Infiniti brands, while continuing to build internal-combustion Frontier pickups as well.

Although the Ariya represents a key part of its long-term strategy, the Japanese brand retains a showroom portfolio thick with internal-combustion models, from the Altima, Sentra, and Z cars to the Kicks, Pathfinder, and Rogue crossovers and Frontier pickup trucks.

Whether the needle moves significantly toward EVs by 2030 remains anyone’s guess, but for now the automaker is cementing it relationship customers who have taken delivery of their Ariya EVs.

Find a Local Electrician Right Here

For instance, Nissan set up a new delivery process to give customers the support they want where they want it.

“They can have someone come to their home, work, or office, or wherever they like, and basically help explain the vehicle, take them through features, answer questions, and help personalize the vehicle,” Trisha Jung, Nissan’s senior director of electric vehicle strategy and transformation, tells Autoweek on the sidelines of the recent Chicago Auto Show.

“We’ve seen the data—we’ve talked to consumers afterward, and it’s very clear that it’s having a very positive impact on customer satisfaction,” she says.

Jung points to another positive impact for Nissan shoppers using the Nissan USA website to configure the Ariya.

Nissan has partnered with charging station supplier Wallbox, so customers can connect directly with Wallbox through the Nissan site to purchase a home charger and arrange for Wallbox to come install it. Rebates are also available through Wallbox.

“This is provided through Nissan, so you don’t have to go out and find your local electrician,” Jung says. “We’re trying to make that a fairly effortless process for consumers. I think there is a lot of value in having a national provider who understands all of the elements around home chargers, and is going to try to make sure that you get an installation that meets all of your code requirements, and is professionally done.”

nissan’s trisha jung seated inside the ariya ev

Tom Murphy

Nissan’s Trisha Jung inside the Ariya.

The cost of that installation depends on the age of the home and how much updating is necessary for additional capacity of the existing electrical service panel.

“It can be highly variable—anywhere from just a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand, depending on the home,” Jung says.

Likewise, she says Nissan is also partnering with companies on public charging “to make sure that experience is as effortless as possible.”

Women Think EV Charging Will Be Hard

Nissan’s consumer research is also finding that, despite the initial “overwhelming” cost at first associated with charger installation, customers are realizing they are saving money over time compared to the cost of gasoline. Of course, the more miles driven, the sooner an EV owner will pay down those initial costs.

EV ownership is a series of tradeoffs related to things such as range anxiety, the cost of gasoline, the higher sticker price for an EV, and the reliability of public chargers and the electrical grid overall. For instance, customers may appreciate never having to stop at gas stations anymore—until that anxious day when they wished EV charging stations were just as ubiquitous.

Despite the market for battery-electric vehicles developing industrywide for more than a decade, Jung notes that familiarity with EVs remains surprisingly low.

A Nissan survey of 1000 EV buyers found that almost half of women think charging an EV is going to be difficult.

“There’s still a lot of people that don’t really have as much information and don’t feel as confident about EVs,” Jung says. “And over half of them had never been inside an electric vehicle.”

That’s why Nissan used its Chicago Auto Show presence as a chance to connect with interested consumers and answer their questions in a stress-free environment, while even taking an indoor test drive, perhaps.

Is the Nissan Ariya high on your consideration list as you shop for an EV? Please comment below.

Headshot of Tom Murphy

Tom joined Autoweek in 2022 after nearly 25 years as an editor at WardsAuto, and 10 years as a daily newspaper reporter before that. He’s been in metro Detroit all his life. His personal cars have been downright practical, and he’s happy paying them off and enjoying several years of debt-free motoring. The craziness of COVID drove him to buy a 1953 Packard Patrician, in honor of his grandfather, who worked at the Packard plant until production ceased in the mid-1950s.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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