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Published on April 23rd, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

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6,635 Nissan LEAF Reservations in Just Over Two Days

And just like that, we have proof that the upcoming Nissan LEAF will be a big seller. Today I got a quick note from Nissan spokesperson, Katherine Zachary, who wrote to tell me that as of this morning 6,635 people have plunked down the $99 refundable deposit to get in line for the first truly affordable, mass market electric car ever available… myself included.

By way of comparison, Ford only had 1,000 reservations for the 2011 Ford Fiesta during its first week available for pre-order back in December. And, arguably, Ford spent way more time on social marketing with their “Fiesta Movement” than Nissan has. Plus, Ford didn’t even ask for a deposit. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to me that bodes very well about how successful the LEAF will be its first year out.

According to Zachary, “People were primed and ready.” In the first 3 hours alone they had about 2,700 reservations come in. As she also said, there were “no surprises” on where these first reservations have come from, with fully 75% of all reservations representing the initial LEAF markets and a huge amount coming from California and other West Coast states. Makes me feel a lot of pride for my West Coast compadres. Based on the initial numbers, it starts to be understandable why the reservation system had a few initial hiccups.

The reservation system will only be open to the 115,000 “interest list” subscribers until May 15th, at which point it will open up to general reservations. It’s a first-come, first-serve list based on geography, so if you want to be one of the people to get a LEAF first (or maybe even in the first year) you should get on that list now… because with these numbers Nissan will likely sell out all of their 50,000 vehicle target for 2011.




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Not your traditional car guy.



  • Milou

    I am not sure celebration is the “call of the day”? It shows more the insult to an “advanced, intelligent” society. We can make excessive, gross, discussing SUVs models very quickly for the masses at low prices, but all we have is one, lousy 100 mile range, mini car, priced fairly high, not yet available that we desperately need. “Hello”, is anybody listening?????????????…

    • Nick Chambers

      Milou,

      Some of us are optimists and some are pessimists I guess…

  • Milou

    I am not sure celebration is the “call of the day”? It shows more the insult to an “advanced, intelligent” society. We can make excessive, gross, discussing SUVs models very quickly for the masses at low prices, but all we have is one, lousy 100 mile range, mini car, priced fairly high, not yet available that we desperately need. “Hello”, is anybody listening?????????????…

    • Nick Chambers

      Milou,

      Some of us are optimists and some are pessimists I guess…

  • http://www.biodiversivist.com Russ Finley

    Did you see the footnote about “Dealers get to set the price of the car.” The prices we have been seeing are for the recommended price for dealers. No dealer in his right mind will sell a car with this much demand for recommended prices. Expect to pay several thousand above recommended as many Prius drivers did who bought when they were in short supply.

    All in all, very encouraging though.

    • Nick Chambers

      Russ and Blake,

      This has been a topic of discussion and much analysis recently. My own personal feeling is that, even though the dealers can set their own prices they will get external pressure from multiple sources to not sell the cars that much above sticker price… if at all. Firstly, although Nissan is taking an “hands-off” public stance to their dealers, I can assure you that behind the scenes Nissan has much leverage to convince their dealer to not gouge customers. Secondly, the way Nissan is setting this up, the first year of Nissan sales will be conducted in such a way that the buyer has buttoned up the sale well in advance of the actual delivery and knows exactly what the price is beforehand. During this process the customer will be able to choose which dealer they want to work with. If one dealer quotes them a ridiculous price they will be able to go to another dealer and say “Hey, dealer X wants a ridiculous amount of money I’ll come to you if you stay at the sticker price.” Also, the amount of press coverage the Nissan sales will get is huge, so dealers would have to have a VERY good reason to risk bad press coverage. I don’t think an extra 2-3000K on a relative handful of vehicle sale will be a good enough reason.

  • http://www.biodiversivist.com Russ Finley

    Did you see the footnote about “Dealers get to set the price of the car.” The prices we have been seeing are for the recommended price for dealers. No dealer in his right mind will sell a car with this much demand for recommended prices. Expect to pay several thousand above recommended as many Prius drivers did who bought when they were in short supply.

    All in all, very encouraging though.

    • Nick Chambers

      Russ and Blake,

      This has been a topic of discussion and much analysis recently. My own personal feeling is that, even though the dealers can set their own prices they will get external pressure from multiple sources to not sell the cars that much above sticker price… if at all. Firstly, although Nissan is taking an “hands-off” public stance to their dealers, I can assure you that behind the scenes Nissan has much leverage to convince their dealer to not gouge customers. Secondly, the way Nissan is setting this up, the first year of Nissan sales will be conducted in such a way that the buyer has buttoned up the sale well in advance of the actual delivery and knows exactly what the price is beforehand. During this process the customer will be able to choose which dealer they want to work with. If one dealer quotes them a ridiculous price they will be able to go to another dealer and say “Hey, dealer X wants a ridiculous amount of money I’ll come to you if you stay at the sticker price.” Also, the amount of press coverage the Nissan sales will get is huge, so dealers would have to have a VERY good reason to risk bad press coverage. I don’t think an extra 2-3000K on a relative handful of vehicle sale will be a good enough reason.

  • Blake

    That’s what worries me most about this deal – the car is liable to end up costing $35k+ *after* the tax credits, once the local dealership gets their hands on it, which means I will give up my place in line and Nissan USA forfeits every last bit of my good will. I don’t want to sound anti-capitalist, but they really need to do something to control price-gouging, or there’s going to be a backlash.

  • Blake

    That’s what worries me most about this deal – the car is liable to end up costing $35k+ *after* the tax credits, once the local dealership gets their hands on it, which means I will give up my place in line and Nissan USA forfeits every last bit of my good will. I don’t want to sound anti-capitalist, but they really need to do something to control price-gouging, or there’s going to be a backlash.

  • Alex

    My negotiation skills aren’t nearly as ‘honed’ as some, but if they increase the price above MSRP, i will firmly tell them to sell the car to someone else. fuck dealerships and their blood sucking salesman.

  • Alex

    My negotiation skills aren’t nearly as ‘honed’ as some, but if they increase the price above MSRP, i will firmly tell them to sell the car to someone else. fuck dealerships and their blood sucking salesman.

  • Bill

    I can’t speak for other dealers, but mine said that because they were NOT an independent dealer, they HAVE to sell the car at the MSRP. So I was happy to hear that! :)

  • Bill

    I can’t speak for other dealers, but mine said that because they were NOT an independent dealer, they HAVE to sell the car at the MSRP. So I was happy to hear that! :)

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/ Neil Blanchard

    Saturn & Scion have the right business model on pricing: price everything à la carte, price it reasonably, and there are no negotiations.

    I think it is quite hopeful that the Leaf seems to be so enthusiastically received. But I will rest easier, when the Th!nk City, iMiEV, Focus EV, Leaf, Coda, Fiat 500EV, etc. are selling like hotcakes, and GM has announced the restart if production on a refreshed EV-1, and Toyota and Honda are scrambling to (finish?) development on their EV entries…

    Sincerely, Neil

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/ Neil Blanchard

    Saturn & Scion have the right business model on pricing: price everything à la carte, price it reasonably, and there are no negotiations.

    I think it is quite hopeful that the Leaf seems to be so enthusiastically received. But I will rest easier, when the Th!nk City, iMiEV, Focus EV, Leaf, Coda, Fiat 500EV, etc. are selling like hotcakes, and GM has announced the restart if production on a refreshed EV-1, and Toyota and Honda are scrambling to (finish?) development on their EV entries…

    Sincerely, Neil

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