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Nissan introduces first fully remodeled frontier truck in 16 years

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Nissan Corporate Vice President Michael Colleran tells Yahoo Finance the latest on Nissan from the motor company's plant in Mississippi.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Nissan's beginning production on its all new 2022 Frontier production, getting underway at its planned down in Mississippi. We want to bring in Mike Colleran. He's a senior vice president and corporate officer of Nissan North America. Mike, it's good to see you. I know it's a very big day for you and for Nissan. So congratulations on getting the first vehicles rolling off the plant there down in Mississippi. But talk to us just about what this means, what we could expect from the new Frontier, and also what this means for us in terms of Nissan's turnaround strategy going forward.

MICHAEL COLLERAN: OK. First of all, Seana and Adam, thanks for having me on the show and having Nissan on the show. It's a big day for Nissan. One, we're starting production of the all new model year '22 Frontier. It's an iconic brand here in America. And we're excited to put it back on the road again. It's also a day where we're recommitting to the state of Mississippi and its people and the 5,000 men and women who work here today. So the new Frontier, very exciting to come back into the marketplace. It's a rugged truck. You can see from the design right back here it's beautiful, big tall stance, rugged, durable, connected. Has all the technology you could ever want in a brand new vehicle.

I just drove one the other day. It's an amazing off-road vehicle. The scent control, all the things that an off road buyer would want. But also all the things that a fleet buyer or a commercial buyer would want as well. So durable, capable, and a great new truck for the market.

- Michael, loved your products. My first big boy car was a four door Nissan Altima many, many years ago. But I've got to ask you about the truck. While still gasoline powered? Are there plans to take this to an EV? Because we're seeing a lot of manufacturers head in that direction. Ford's having great success with the F-150 All Electric.

MICHAEL COLLERAN: So, Nissan's all in on EV. There's no question about that. We just announced EV 360 last week, which is a triumvirate partnership out of Europe between us, our battery supplier, AESC, and Sunderland, and the UK government. And that's going to involve a brand new electric, all electric vehicle, an SUV, a 100% renewable microgrid. So sustainable energy for the future. And 6,200 new jobs.

But also, we're bringing the brand new Aria in just next spring. It's a battery electric SUV. Refined, fast, 300 miles of range, everything that the American consumer wants in an EV. So that's the right thing to do for the market. And so we're going to bring a whole host and raft of EVs into the future. But in this particular segment, internal combustion is the norm and will be for a number of years. So it makes a lot of sense to launch with a best in class 310 horsepower V6.

SEANA SMITH: Mike, let's talk about the global chip shortage. Because it's not only impacting your company, it's obviously impacting the industry at large. How is Nissan dealing with this headwind? And I guess how do you plan to navigate this massive challenge that not only your company is facing over the next several months?

MICHAEL COLLERAN: It's a great question. And it's one that's very relevant in the industry today, Seana. The first thing you have to do is really work hand in glove with your supply chain. And we're doing that every day. We've got great partners on that end. And it's a bit of a Rubik's cube getting the right ship into the right module, the right assembly at the right time, and getting it to the plant on time to build the unit. We've done I think a better job than average. Certainly our day supply is a little bit better than most. So it really comes down to a lot of hard work.

As we move forward into the fall, this situation will start to abate. And supply and demand will normalize. And as we enter the latter part of the year, we'll start to see the shortage fall away.

- I realize the past is no indicator of exactly what will happen in the future. But who used to be the principal demo for the Frontier? And will that individual be the new demo do you think?

MICHAEL COLLERAN: Well, I think when you talk about pickups in America, it really comes down to everybody. Our old buyer for the old truck was a commercial buyer in some cases. It was a fleet buyer in some cases. And in some cases, it was just the person that needed a little bit extra utility in their daily transportation. That really doesn't change here whatsoever. We'll still have a great commercial offering, a great fleet offering. And of course for that buyer that needs everyday utility, this truck is about as good as it's going to come.

SEANA SMITH: Mike Colleran, congratulations. Again, a big day for Nissan. We appreciate you taking the time to join us. Senior vice president and corporate officer of Nissan North America.