Nissan Motor Co 7201.T may have to delay U.S. production of its Leaf electric car as a result of the March 11 earthquake that rocked northern Japan, an executive said on Monday.
After the earthquake, "every operation stopped," said Hideaki Watanabe, Nissan vice president for zero-emission vehicles. "All the resources were put in place to restore Japan.
"As a result, the Japanese automaker halted its efforts to plan for the U.S. production of the Leaf, he said. He declined to say how long the delay could last.
Read the rest of the story: Japan quake may delay U.S. output of Nissan Leaf.
Nissan showed off its Leaf electric car Friday, trumpeting its zero-emission technology and practicality with video of the hatchback zipping through snow and water.
The car, among the world’s first mass-market electric vehicles, is already sold out until March 2011 because of limited production capacity.
There have been 6,000 orders in Japan and 20,000 in the US. It arrives in Europe next year.
"This day has finally arrived,” a grinning Nissan Motor Co. Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said, before posing for photographs with Japanese customers who had placed orders for the Leaf. "The curtains are about to rise for a new era in the auto industry.”
Shiga said the Leaf will sell in Japan for 3.76 million yen ($45,000) but with a 780,000 yen ($9,000) government green incentive the price will come down to 2.98 million yen ($35,000).
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price in the US is $33,600.
Read the rest of the story: Nissan rolls out Leaf electric car in Japan.