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Nissan To Ramp Up Leaf Distribution

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On: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 9:47AM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan To Ramp Up Leaf Distribution

The Nissan Leaf has gotten off to quite a sluggish start since hitting the market late last year. Nissan has sold only about 500 Leafs through March in the United States, and despite easily meeting its goal of 20,000 reservations last year, Nissan has found actual sales more difficult to fulfill, with roughly 40 percent of reservees moving forward with purchase.

Nissan indicated this week that it doesn't plan to sit idly by and let the story change from "world's first mass-produced electric vehicle" to "limited-range electric that no one wants to buy." The company plans to ramp up distribution and sales throughout the rest of 2011.

Nissan made the announcement at the 2011 New York Auto Show. Nissan plans to push Leaf deliveries from the hundreds into the thousands within the next few months, and will reopen the reservation books beginning on May 1. After reaching its 20,000 goal, Nissan stopped taking reservations for the Leaf last September.

In May, Nissan will start taking reservations again in the launch markets of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington; in the fall, it will open up to additional markets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia. Nationwide launch is scheduled for next year.

Meanwhile, those who already made reservations during the first wave can expect to receive their Leaf(s) by the summer.

Nissan summed it up in a statement: "Nissan Leaf deliveries are about to grow from the few hundreds, to the many thousands, and all current customer orders will be fulfilled by the end of this summer."

Last week, Nissan announced plans to reprogram over 5,000 Leaf models around the globe, including 500 in the United States. Prior to agreeing to the fix, Nissan commissioned a probe of the Leaf after receiving a number of complaints about the model failing to start. Though Nissan stressed that the problem existed in only a small number of Leaf models, it decided to reprogram 5,300 in Japan, Europe, and North America.




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