As the first mass-market, affordable aelectric car to hit the market, the Nissan Leaf has garnered a lot of popularity already. So much so, that Nissan has to cut the number of dealer demo cars in half to free up supplies.
Nissan had initially signaled that it would provide dealerships in select launch areas with two demo cars. These cars are used to get people in and driving the Leaf, not for general retail. However, a surge in demand in the homeland has meant that Nissan is already cutting the initial delivery of Leafs in America, from 10,000 to just 3,300. Nissan has about 1,000 dealerships in America, and initial reports suggested that just five Leafs, one per state it is being sold in, will actually make it to their owners by December. Maybe by freeing up these dealer demo cars, Nissan can get these electric cars into the hands of their anxious soon-to-be-owners.
Alas, supplies of the in-demand Leaf will be scare all the way through 2011, or at least until Nissan gets its new Tennessee battery plant up and running. When that happens, Nissan will be able to crank these cars out to the tune of 150,000 a year. With demand what it is already, Nissan will probably be playing catch-up with demand for while. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.