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Next-Generation Nissan Leaf Could Enter Production As Soon As March 2025

Key Takeaways

  • Nissan’s Sunderland plant is preparing to build the new Leaf starting in March 2025.
  • Production trials begin in August, with the first units expected to roll out in 2025.
  • The automaker faces challenges in UK manufacturing; US-based plant may also produce electric crossovers.

Nissan is readying its Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom to build the all-new Leaf, which could be pressed into production as soon as March 2025, reports Autocar. The Sunderland facility, which builds the new Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport) and Nissan Juke, is undergoing an electrification process, including a new battery installation station on the assembly line.

Production trials will reportedly kick off in August and run for half a year. That means that the first production-ready variants of the new Leaf could drive off the line in March 2025, suggesting a reveal is imminent. Nissan has been very quiet about the next-generation Leaf, but reports suggest the latest model will arrive in mid-2025, reborn as an appealing compact crossover. The automaker says the Chill-Out concept, revealed in 2021, previews the design of the new Leaf.

2024 Nissan Leaf

Base MSRP

$28,140

Engine

Electric

Horsepower

147 hp

Fuel Economy

123/99 MPG

Leaf Will Be Built Exclusively In Sunderland… Or Will It?

The Sunderland factory is one of Nissan’s most important. Established in the ’80s, the plant has built some of the brand’s most popular models, such as the Bluebird, Micra, Primera, Qashqai, and Leaf. But it hasn’t been easy. Senior Vice President for Manufacturing Alan Johnson told the publication that building cars in the UK comes with challenges: “We can just about justify continuing operations here, but it is not easy. It’s a real challenge.”

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This affects electric vehicles, too. Johnson said producing battery-electric cars in the United Kingdom “can work” but “only if all the stars align,” adding that there are several challenges facing auto manufacturers in the UK compared to other countries. In December 2023, CarBuzz reported that Leaf production would move exclusively to Sunderland, with local manufacturing coming to an end at the Smyrna, Tennessee plant. However, that may have changed yet again.

Nissan Chill-Out 3/4 rear view
Nissan 

Electric Nissan Juke Coming In 2027

Although unconfirmed, a memo from Nissan to its US suppliers indicates that a small electric crossover will be built in the USA, at the Canton, Mississippi plant. This could suggest that Nissan may produce the Leaf locally, albeit later than March 2025. Getting back to the Sunderland plans, Nissan also intends to erect a factory that will produce batteries for the new Leaf. Interestingly, this and a planned gigafactory will be run by Envision, Nissan’s Chinese partner.

Related

Nissan Wants Dealers To Sell New Cars At 15% Below Invoice To Shift Inventory

It’s certainly an attractive way to drum up sales, but Nissan dealers aren’t too pleased with the strategy.

The existing Leaf production line will be rejigged to accommodate the electric Juke, which is expected to arrive in 2027. Interestingly, the automaker will have to upgrade the existing car carriers on its production lines, as the current ones aren’t strong enough to support the weight of hefty EVs. “Significant changes are needed to open up a line that has been building ICE cars for over 30 years,” said Guy Reid, engineering manager at Nissan Sunderland. It will be interesting to see if Nissan USA plans to offer the UK-built Leaf locally. It certainly wouldn’t qualify for any incentives, requiring a low price to be competitive. We would not be surprised if the unnamed compact electric crossover turns out to be the Leaf, but this is yet to be confirmed.

2024 Nissan Leaf 3/4 front view
Nissan

Source: Autocar

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