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.
The Nissan Leaf is the first mass-market electric vehicle available for purchase. The only problem is that so far, delivery is taking a lot longer than expected, and it isn’t expected to get better any time soon.
Through January, Nissan managed to deliver just over 1,100 cars, and 981 of those were to customers in Japan. With 27,000 pre-orders to fill worldwide, Nissan hopes to increase production of the Leaf to 4,000 vehicles per-month and deliver 10,000 Leaf electric vehicles by the end of their fiscal year, March 31st.
Read the rest of the story: Nissan Unable to Meet Leaf Demand; Delays to Continues.
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.