2011 Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery
Right now, saying that the individuals who pre-ordered Nissan Leaf EVs are a little disappointed about the slow rate of deliveries would easily catapult you to the reigning monarch of the nation of understaters. After the Japanese automaker happily snapped up over 20,000 pre-orders for the electric hatch, the company managed to deliver a paltry 19 units in December. No, not 19,000 or 1,900 – nineteen. Not surprisingly, the Internet has erupted into a rousing chorus of conspiracy theories about the holdup, with everything from cars being held at the docks for wiring repairs to Nissan holding vehicles so that the Japanese market can be satiated first. According to Nissan, however, none of that is true.
The hangup boils down to a good old-fashioned corporate slip-up. Instead of parceling out the allotment of Leaf EVs to dealers like manufacturers typically do, Nissan decided to go with a more democratic but experimental online pre-ordering program. As a result, those who were first in line got the first cars. Everyone else has been left out in the cold.
According to PlugInCars.com, Nissan admits that in hindsight, it could have handled the vehicle's launch better. Moving forward, as production ramps up, the company says that it will likely return to a more traditional dealer model for the Leaf, and that in six months time, few people will remember the delay. Nissan says that while there have been some cancellations as a result of the delays, the company believes that it's been a relatively small number compared to overall reservations.