The Nissan LEAF is one hot ticket. From hand-raisers to pre-orderers, just about everybody wants to get their hands on a Nissan LEAF. Who can blame them? It will be the first mass-market electric vehicle with an affordable price and practicality to boot. Nissan wants to sell these things en masse too, but at least at launch, numbers will be extremely limited… especially in the U.S.
That is because Nissan has decided on a January launch for the LEAF in Japan. To keep up with orders over there, Nissan is cutting the expected U.S. shipment by 2/3, from 10,000 cars to just 3,300.
The General Manager of Mossy Nissan, Leon Kamins, posted the following to the MyNissanLeaf web forum:
By the end of March of 2011, there will have been roughly only 3,300 LEAFs delivered nationwide. Nissan initially wanted a lot more (10,000), but decided to launch in Japan in January, which diverted two thirds of the cars. So, of the 3,300, Nissan is parsing them out at a few hundred a month over the 4 months (December through the end of March). They are launching the car first in San Diego, Portand, Nashville, Houston, Tuson-Phoenix corridor because this is where the infrastructure will be.
Leon had just attended a dealers meeting with Nissan, where he learned this little nugget of wisdom. If true, that means there are going to be at least 6,700 upset would-be buyers waiting impatiently for their LEAF. Since Nissan has yet to weigh in on this issue, but that might put a damper on their plans to be first out of the gate. The 6,700 pilfered cars will be sold in Japan instead of the U.S. at the LEAF’s launch, and those 3,300 cars will have to last at least through March of 2011.
I wonder if all those generous incentives Nissan dealerships had planned will still be around when demand surges?
Update: Nissan has told AutoblogGreen that the numbers are “purely speculative” and that production allocation will be based on orders. That said, do you really think someone would just make up something like this?