Having garnered more than 20,000 global reservations for the LEAF so far — 14,000+ of which are in the U.S. — Nissan’s senior vice president for sales and marketing in North America, Brian Carolin, is now saying that more than 90% of those 14,000 $99 reservations are from people who’ve never considered buying a Nissan before.
Although the number is impressive, it’s really not that surprising, considering that the LEAF is unlike any car that Nissan has built before, and targeted at a completely different demographic than the typical Nissan buyer.
In preparation for the car’s onsale date in December of this year, Nissan will be taking the LEAF on tour in October to give potential buyers the chance to kick its tires before committing to a sale. Although Nissan will begin advertising the LEAF in September, Nissan’s approach to advertising won’t use the traditional methods such as TV and print advertising.
In fact, given the groundswell of interest in the car, Nissan will likely not have to advertise much at all during the first year to year and a half of onsale, instead depending on the initial owners of the vehicle to act as ambassadors. When production volumes reach more than 100,000 vehicles per year in 2012, more traditional advertising will then come into play.
Source: Automotive News (subs. req’d)