Nissan: 600 U.S.-bound Leafs left port before quake hit Japan

2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

The massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that rattled Japan have had a disastrous effect on the entire nation. The catastrophe even abruptly halted production at automotive facilities across the country.

However, Nissan says that a boatload of 600 U.S.-bound Leafs left port on March 10th, a day before the quake. The electric hatches should hit U.S. turf soon and head off to dealerships in early April. This single shipment is nearly ten times the amount of total Leaf deliveries in the U.S. in the month of February alone, so we'll see more on the road before any manufacturing problems caused by the quake are felt here.

Nissan said in a statement that the future impact, if any, of the devastating quake and tsunami on the automaker's electric Leaf, "continues to be assessed." As of right now, we know that some of the company's plants in Japan were damaged and others will remain closed at least through the end of this week. You can see Nissan Americas' latest statement on the situation after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (March 14, 2011) – Following the earthquake in Japan on March 11 Nissan Americas has been working around-the-clock with its teams in Japan and abroad to assess the status of its employees and the impact on its operations. The following will serve as an update on Nissan Americas operations and is complementary to an update provided by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. earlier today:


* All Nissan Americas employees and their families are safe and accounted for, including those on assignment in Japan and those traveling in the country on business. Some Nissan Americas employees who were traveling in country on business have already returned to their home countries while others are in the process of returning.


* All Nissan Americas manufacturing facilities remain operational and will continue normal production schedules until further notice.
* In total six of Nissan's facilities in Japan have reported some damage to their buildings or equipment, including Iwaki Plant (Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture), Tochigi Plant (Kawachi County, Tochigi Prefecture), Yokohama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Oppama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Zama Operations Center (Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) and Honmoku Wharf (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture).
* Nissan's Tochigi and Iwaki plants will suspend operations until Friday, March 18.
* Nissan's Oppama, Kyushu, Shatai and Yokohama plants will suspend operations until Wednesday, March 16.

Vehicle Stock / Sales Impact

* Nearly 70 percent of the vehicles Nissan Americas sells in the region are produced in the region and manufacturing operations are continuing to operate on a normal schedule.
* In general Nissan Americas is operating with a sufficient days' supply of vehicle stock on the ground in the region or already in transit from Japanese ports.
* Some U.S. and Canada-bound vehicles at the Port of Hitachi , Ibaraki Prefecture and other vehicles stored at the Miyagi Service Center ( Tagajo City , Miyagi Prefecture ) were damaged due to the earthquake and/or tsunami.
* Some Infiniti models and Nissan GTR and 370Z may experience delays in shipment to the U.S. and Canada with full impact still being assessed.
* A shipment of more than 600 Nissan LEAF's destined for the U.S. left port in Japan on March 10, just prior to the earthquake, and will arrive as scheduled. Future impact, if any, on Nissan LEAF supply continues to being assessed.

As the situation continues to develop Nissan Americas will provide routine updates as appropriate.

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