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Nissan To Accelerate Leaf Production, Fill Pre-Orders By Summer

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On: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 9:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan To Accelerate Leaf Production, Fill Pre-Orders By Summer

It looks like Chevy won't be the only manufacturer upping its green vehicle production. Nissan representatives said this week that the company plans on increasing Leaf production at its Japanese plant to get pre-ordered deliveries out as quickly as possible. Nissan intends to get all pre-ordered Leafs delivered to all customers by September.

Brian Carolin, Nissan's senior vice president for sales and marketing, explained the new plans to Nissan dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention. He stated: "We're going to make sure that customers get their cars well before the end of summer. I'm confident during April, May you're going to see a significant number of deliveries."
In order to guarantee these deliveries, Nissan will be increasing production to "thousands per month" beginning next month. The Leaf is currently built at Nissan's Oppama plant in Japan.

Last year, Nissan met its goal of reserving 20,000 Leaf electric vehicles. But those reservations required a mere $99, fully refundable deposit. Nissan's numbers indicate that less than half of those reservees—about 40 percent—have pulled the trigger on an actual purchase. Carolin does not expect to sell 20,000 Leaf models this year.

Nissan will fill its existing orders before opening the books for new orders. So far, the Leaf has been handily outpaced by its main rival, the Chevy Volt. GM has sold more than six times the number of Leafs that Nissan has sold since the vehicles went on sale late last year. While the Leaf is the cleaner of the two vehicles, according to official EPA numbers, the Volt is a much more versatile car in terms of range. The Leaf is limited by its 100-mile, all-electric range, while the Volt offers up to 40 miles of electric driving and an additional 300 + miles of gas-generated mileage.

GM announced last month that due to early demand it would increase both production and availability of the Volt. The Volt will now be available in all 50 states by the end of the year.


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