Nissan may have underestimated the level of demand for its battery-powered 2011 Leaf. With reports of dealer demo units slashed by half and pushed back until April and U.S. deliveries delayed until January, it was not entirely shocking to stumble upon another report detailing additional shortages and potential delays for Nissan's electric hatch. The latest Leaf-related info, originally posted by Green Beat and slowly trickling across the interwebs, claims that only five of the battery-powered hatches will arrive in the U.S. by year's end.
Green Beat spoke with Ray Ishak, fleet sales manager at the Campbell Nelson Nissan dealership in Seattle, and questioned him regarding December deliveries of the Leaf, which he responded to like this:
Additionally, Green Beat contacted Nissan spokeswoman Katherine Zachary for comment on Ishak's claims and she responded with this:Nissan is saying there will only be one car per state for December delivery so they can just keep face and (live up to) their original statement of December delivery. If you want ... your customers to get car a sooner [rather] than later, don't order silver. Evidently there's a big backlog on that color.
Katherine Zachary responded to our inquiry and, although she did not provide specific numbers, her words seems to suggest that more than five Leafs will hit U.S. soil by year's end. Here's what Zachary told AutoblogGreen:The reports regarding December deliveries to consumers are speculative. In order to prioritize our first consumers, we have shifted back the delivery of our dealer demos. Consumers in all of our launch markets instead are getting the opportunity to test drive the Nissan Leaf on the Drive Electric Tour.
Without numbers, it's impossible to conclude exactly how many Leafs will arrive before the New Year, but it's hard to imagine that Nissan would make two shipments in December equaling a total of five units. We'll go out on a limb here and say that 2010 deliveries may be lower than expected, but they are going to number higher than just five units.We are expecting two shipments of Nissan Leafs in December, one in the beginning part of the month and one in late December. The first customer deliveries across each launch market will occur from the first shipment while the second shipment will be larger and allow us to ramp up more quickly.
We expect that many of those vehicles will be delivered in December, while some probably will be delivered in early January. This is very much a typical vehicle ramp-up in terms of production, allocation/deliveries, etc.