The current model is in desperate need of an upgrade, particularly its safety systems.
Nissan officially confirms that a new Frontier mid-size pickup truck (existing model above) is on the way, and like the current model, the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi is handling its assembly. The company doesn’t hint at when production might begin, but this is at least a sign that change is on the way.
"The dedicated employees here in Canton look forward to building the next generation of one of the best pickup trucks in America," Steve Marsh, Vice President of Manufacturing at the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant, said.
Details are slim about the next-gen Frontier. In 2014, the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept teased the possibility of a diesel engine in the lineup, though, by using a Cummins-sourced 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with an estimated 200 horsepower (149 kiloeatts) and over 350 pound-feet (474 Newton-meters) of torque.
Gallery: Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner concept bows in Chicago
The mid-size pickup segment is currently a booming market in the United States, including competitive entries like Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and forthcoming Ford Ranger. Meanwhile the current Frontier isn’t competitive the modern challengers because the Nissan’s current underpinnings date back to the 2005 model year.
The aging platform is also potentially detrimental to driver safety. In a recent round of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Frontier performed the worst in the agency’s small-overlap crash test by getting a Marginal score – one grade above the lowest Poor grade. The truck also lacked a front crash prevention system, and all of the models evaluated at Poor-rated headlights.
Buyers don’t see much attractive about the Frontier, either. Sales from January through August 2017 are down 18.9 percent year over year to 50,097 units versus 61,792 last year. For comparison, Chevrolet has moved 71,763 examples of the Colorado in the same period, and Toyota has delivered 129,362 units of the Tacoma.
Gallery: 2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X: Review
Nissan announces Canton Plant to build next-generation Nissan Frontier
CANTON, Miss. – Nissan today affirmed its commitment to manufacturing high-quality vehicles in Mississippi by announcing the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant will build the next-generation Nissan Frontier.
"Nissan is proud to call Mississippi home, and the Canton plant is a crucial element in our company's global production chain," said José Muñoz, chief performance officer, Nissan Motor Co., and chairman, Nissan North America. "Today's announcement underscores this facility and our local employees are extraordinarily important to Nissan. The Canton workforce's dedication and commitment to excellence have helped Nissan thrive in the U.S., our most important market."
The Nissan Canton plant currently produces six models: Frontier, Murano, TITAN, TITAN XD, NV Cargo and NV Passenger. The facility has an annual production capacity of 450,000 vehicles, and Nissan's Canton workforce has assembled more than three million vehicles since opening in 2003.
"Since 2003, Nissan has made a significant impact on the state by creating jobs, investing in our communities and being a great corporate citizen," said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. "Today's announcement confirms that Nissan is committed to Mississippi, and because of that our state's future is bright."
The Nissan Frontier was named J.D. Power and Associates' Highest Ranked Midsize Pickup in Initial Quality in 2016 and 2017.
"The Canton team is extremely proud to be the home of Nissan's trucks. Since moving to Mississippi in 2012, Nissan Frontier has been a leader in its class and received some of the highest honors in the industry for vehicle quality," said Steve Marsh, vice president, Manufacturing, Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant. "The dedicated employees here in Canton look forward to building the next generation of one of the best pickup trucks in America."
The Canton plant employs more than 6,400 workers. According to a 2016 study by Mississippi State University, the facility has generated 25,000 direct and indirect jobs statewide. For every job created at Nissan Canton, an average of 2.9 additional jobs are created at other businesses throughout Mississippi.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the U.S. media sites nissannews.com and infinitinews.com.
About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2016, the company sold 5.63 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 11.72 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: Asia & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America; and North America. Nissan has a global workforce of 247,500 and has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault under the Renault-Nissan Alliance since 1999. In 2016, Nissan acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors, which became the third member of the Alliance – a grouping with combined annual sales of almost 10 million units a year.
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