According to BusinessWeek, Renault-Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn said recently that his company has 56,000 orders for the Leaf in the United States. The car will be available late this year, and Ghosn said that real mass production will start in 2012, when the alliance plans to have capacity to 500,000 electronic vehicles in Japan, Europe and the United States. Ghosn, who is totally bullish on electric vehicles, told BW that:
We know that Nissan is pushing hard to get electric vehicles onto the road and that people are excited for the Leaf, but we can't help but wonder if something got lost in translation somewhere with that 56,000 pre-order number. Just a month ago, Nissan announced that 50,000 people had signed up to be on the reservation list and that pre-orders would not start until April. That list allows people to move to the head of the line when it comes time to order the Leaf, but it's not an official intent form.Frankly, I mean so far there is no competition. Let's be serious. It's not because someone is coming with a prototype and one car that this is competition. The question is how much capacity are you building.