Nissan Sells Out Electric Leaf Before it Hits U.S. Showrooms

Nov. 1, 2010
Dealers have collected more than 20,000 orders -- the majority from wealthy 'early adapters' on the west coast

U.S. consumers looking to get Nissan's all-electric Leaf will have to wait another year, after dealers sold this year's entire shipment before the zippy sedan even hit showrooms, the company said on Nov. 1.

Nissan dealers have collected more than 20,000 orders for the Leaf, and the bulk are wealthy "early adapters" on the west coast of the United States, said Carlos Tavares, chairman of Nissan's management committee for the Americas.

The next step will be to convince "pragmatists" that an electric vehicle will save them money, he said.

The Leaf will be introduced later this month and Nissan is in the midst of installing charging stations at more than 40 US dealers.

More than 90% of the customers who reserved the Leaf -- which has a suggested retail price of $32,780 -- live within 10 miles of one of those dealers, Tavares said.

By January 2011, more than 150 dealers will have chargers installed in the targeted launch markets of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee.

The next Leaf shipment is not scheduled to arrive, however, until October 2011.

Nissan's production capacity is currently limited to a single Japanese plant, but is set to expand dramatically in 2012 when a Tennessee plant capable of building 125,000 units comes online.

Nissan also plans to introduce an all-electric commercial van in 2014, Tavares told the Detroit Automotive Press Association. The vehicles will help shape Nissan's image with U.S. consumers, which Tavares said had become blurred in recent years.

"It's a flag demonstrating how innovative we are," Tavares said.

One drawback has been the appreciation of the Japanese yen, which is driving up the price of vehicles and batteries imported from Japan. "We are very, very concerned," he said.

"This is actually going to increase the pressure for localization."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

What Does Agility Look Like for Today's Auto Industry?

Dec. 4, 2023
Without modern technologies, enterprises aren't able to fully analyze the risks and respond to ongoing supply chain issues and semiconductor shortages.

Goodridge Boosts Productivity & Saves Costs by Moving to the Cloud!

Dec. 4, 2023
With Infor's cloud solutions, Goodridge has been able to greatly increase overall productivity, cost savings, data visibility, and automation. This case study discusses the many...

Electric Vehicles Spark New Opportunities in the Automotive Industry

Dec. 4, 2023
Automakers have increased plans to produce Electric Vehicles to meet customer demand for low emissions. With this radical shift, new opportunities and challenges for the auto ...

Lean Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Internet

Oct. 24, 2023
Read how advanced MES capabilities can help you improve your labor utilization, reduce WIP, and optimize your production. Download the white paper today.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!