Local Dealer: Only 3,300 LEAFs to US by March/Special Cities First. Nissan: News to Us

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When you are follow the automotive world, at least the ‘electric’ portion of the automotive world, you get used to disappointment. So I confess when I first read the news Nissan would only be producing 10,000 LEAFs by March, and because they planned to also release in Japan in January, a full 2/3 of those would be staying at home, leaving only a lonely 3,300 for the US, it didn’t seem that far fetched.

Here is the quote exactly from Leon Kamins, general manager of Mossy Nissan of Kearny Mesa and Poway that has been making the rounds around the internet:

  • “By the end of march 2011 there will have been roughly only 3300 leafs delivered nationwide. They initially wanted a lot more 10k, but they decided to launch in japan in january which diverted 2/3 of the cars. So of the 3300 they are parsing them out at a few hundred a month over the 4 months dec-end of march. There is also an order to the markets. They are launching the car first in the etec markets. San Diego, Portand, Nashville, Houston, Tuson-Phoenix corridor because this is where the infrastrucxture will be first, and they need that up in order for the car to be successful. So for anyone who is in an etec market who wants to join a dogpile and get into the non-etc ready dealer line they can, but they won’t be getting their Leaf as quickly. I’m not saying you won’t get it, you will, but you will cost yourself some time. Not trying to disuade you or anything like that, but I know that information is really scarce out there and I think it’s only fair that you know all sides of the story. I have the second most highest Leaf reservations in the country, I’m not hurting as far as customers, but I’m trying to be the dealer that really communicates with you guys and tells you whats going on from the backside. I think theres value in that, and based on the massive response I have received many of you agree.”

Now I fully understand how information gets passed around and sometimes misrepresented. One person hears something, then repeats it, another person hears that version and repeats it, etc. So Mr. Kamins probably has a very accurate account of what was told to him, or what he understands to have been told to him, but the end product just didn’t feel like it could be accurate. In this case, there was just too much information…and fresh information is hard come by in this business.

Look what we have here: Exact production numbers that differ from Nissan’s own estimates…long before Nissan ships/produces car #1. Exact number of US cars by March. And most strange of all, a plan to deliver virtually all Japanese orders as priority over the US. Now, Nissan could very well do something like this, but to admit it so candidly at a dealer convention in Las Vegas? Seems pretty unlikely. Why would they do that?

Then you also have to consider the source. Mr. Kamin’s dealership has found itself in a bit of a price war. As far as we know, Mossy Nissan was the first to ‘break’ the MSRP price tag, offering the LEAF at $500 off. Which then prompted Fontana Nissan to ‘one up’ Mossy by offering $1,000 off.

I’m guessing Mossy has drawn a line in the sand and is holding to $500 off. And as part of the justification for sticking with and/or ordering from Mossy, Mr. Kamins has put out this very logical reason to stick with his dealership over others, namely to ‘avoid the dogpile’ of ordering from outside of this ‘special’ region that Nissan will be delivering to first, ie) San Diego where he is, and not Fontana Nissan, which is in…Fontana. This statement further insinuates that Nissan will not be delivering the cars in the ‘early states’ by reservation priority like they said, but rather directly into cities inside those states who are part of special programs.

Still, a story is a story, you have to report the bad with the good, but given all of these things, we figured we should find out first if Nissan had a comment on this news, because if true, it would mean it was going to be a real bad day in the PR department.

Thankfully, the only news I have to report is good…specifically that according to Nissan, Mr. Kamins projections on worldwide production, and more importantly to us, deliveries in the US are not backed up by Nissan themselves, and are “purely speculative on Mossy’s part.” While adding that “Production allocation is based on number of customer orders. Our order window opens in a few weeks. The general manager has no special insight.”

I’m not sure if it was some corporate humor to clarify the original rollout areas, but they also took the time to reiterate, “5 states (not cities) start deliveries in Dec. We add Texas and Hawaii in January. The SE (south east) from DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, south to Florida and Georgia,” summing the whole thing up, by once again assuring the ‘rest’ of the US by adding, “then balance of the country by Fall 2011.”

So move along…nothing to see here. The story is that there is no story.

22 Responses

  1. Herm says:

    I am surprised Nissan is doing a world wide simultaneous release on a new car, they must be really sure there wont be too many recalls.

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  2. RB says:

    So the whole numbers flap is a mirage, and it could be a wrap around for some dealers undercutting each other? Wow.

    I have the second most highest Leaf reservations in the country,… Wonder which dealer has the “first most highest”?

    And, how can Mossy have the “second most highest” reservations when reservations are not assigned to a dealer, and Nissan says Our order window opens in a few weeks. that is, not yet. So how can Mossy have the second most of whatever it is? And when will there be actual orders?

    All very puzzling. I understand the auto business less and less. :)

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  3. statik says:

    So the whole numbers flap is a mirage, and it could be a wrap around for some dealers undercutting each other? Wow.–I have the second most highest Leaf reservations in the country,… Wonder which dealer has the “first most highest”?–And, how can Mossy have the “second most highest” reservations when reservations are not assigned to a dealer, and Nissan says Our order window opens in a few weeks. that is, not yet. So how can Mossy have the second most of whatever it is? And when will there be actual orders?–All very puzzling. I understand the auto business less and less.   (Quote)

    It i widely assumed that August 27th is the first day for actual orders, that is when the dealers are to get the ‘full package,’ whatever that entails.
    .
    (Hopefully ends the pesky, ‘what is the weight’ debate that doesn’t seem to want to go away)

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  4. Jimza Skeptic says:

    I will concede that one thing that did not add up in the original “autoblog” story, is the fact you can’t just build a bunch of cars for the U.S. and then suddenly decide to keep them in Japan. The whole right side drive versus left side is first. Then all the instrument panels in American English versus Japanese along with several other nuances specific to each market. Even though they have not started building yet, they are in the staging process. An efficient Japanese manufacturing system cannot plan for one type of car and switch to another that quickly. Just in time inventory has reduced that flexibility to a point.

    That said, there has to be a some truth. The dealer did not just make that up. Nissan may not be happy with him releasing that information and are trying to apply spin control. Time will tell. In another year we will know where everybody stands on their technology. (oh and I am not talking an EEStor year either) LOL ;-)

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  5. RB says:

    Skeptic: “oh and I am not talking an EEStor year either”

    .
    I found this shopping center in Texas where I can get you one out the back door…. :)

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  6. evnow says:

    Only the 3,300 number is somewhat beleivable. Rest seems to be a combination of wishful thinking and confusion – like “they decided to launch in japan in january which diverted 2/3 of the cars”, where as the fact is Japan was always going in first along with US.

    BTW, as a followup on this, Mossy requested us to do a poll on who have got the August ordering emails. He was thinking it was only the EV Project areas. Turns out there a lot of non-EVP area people with August orders.

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  7. TimeHorse says:

    [quote]“…The SE (south east) from DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, south to Florida and Georgia,” summing the whole thing up, by once again assuring the ’rest’ of the US by adding, “then balance of the country by Fall 2011.”[/quote]

    The heck!? As I said on mynissanleaf.com, is that a dodge or what? We’re told the big 5 in December, the true 2 in January and then… there exists some south eastern region but the balance gets it in Fall, 2011. So, what, does that mean the SE get is “some time between March and October”? Surely they can be more specific than that! :(

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  8. DonC says:

    I dunno, worrying about how many cars are going to show up when is like worrying when it’s going to rain — important perhaps but there’s nothing you can do about it. The more important point would be that they are coming. Even if Mr. Leon is right this shouldn’t effect the number delivered by the end of 2011. Personally it may be advantageous to get a unit later is you’re interested in the lease. The lease is for three years, so starting a few months later just means you’ll have a few more months on the back end to evaluate alternatives that will be coming.

    In any event, Nissan is driving for a production level of 500,000 units a year (worldwide), so it’s not going to be forever until the usual situation occurs and there are more cars than buyers.

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  9. stuart22 says:

    Why not ask Mossy directly and have them justify their claim? Of course Nissan will deny it as speculation – but that still doesn’t shut the door on whether or not that ‘speculation’ is in fact true.

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  10. DonC says:

    (Hopefully ends the pesky, ‘what is the weight’ debate that doesn’t seem to want to go away)

    And here I thought that “weight fixation” was the province of teenage girls who weighed 110 pounds and were always dieting. My personal remedy for the Leaf’s weight is simple — go on a diet, keep the junk out of the trunk, and find skinny friends and different relatives!

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  11. GeorgeS says:

    And here I thought that “weight fixation” was the province of teenage girls who weighed 110 pounds and were always dieting. My personal remedy for the Leaf’s weight is simple — go on a diet, keep the junk out of the trunk, and find skinny friends and different relatives!  

    Don’t forget DonC every 1% in wt you shave off cuts fuel consumption by 0.6%. If you lost 35 lbs you could drive another 0.6 miles!!!!
    Is that a payoff or what!!(Pun intended) grin :)

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  12. Tall Pete says:

    Nissan SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS,

    Anonymous1 : Now we know you can use the Copy/Paste function of your computer. Other than that, what have you accomplished with your posting ?

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  13. vanuck says:

    it seems that we can already see the advantages of the ordering system used by Nissan.

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  14. RB says:

    it seems that we can already see the advantages of the ordering system used by Nissan.  

    .
    Yes. Nice. :)

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  15. DonC says:

    If you lost 35 lbs you could drive another 0.6 miles!!!!

    Man you are timely with the insights: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/08/17/overweight-and-overfueled-fat-america-uses-more-gas/

    If ten of us riding in the Leaf all lost 35 pounds each we could drive another 5 miles, probably just far enough to the next Burger King.

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  16. GeorgeS says:

    Man you are timely with the insights: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/08/17/overweight-and-overfueled-fat-america-uses-more-gas/If ten of us riding in the Leaf all lost 35 pounds each we could drive another 5 miles, probably just far enough to the next Burger King.  

    F’n LOL
    Excellent
    Good night!!

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  17. GeorgeS says:

    PS
    I got the head of the ME dept at Brammo to call me back!
    Awesome!!

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  18. Stan Stein says:

    Leave a Reply

    GeorgeS, uable to get through on you home E mail so I left you a private message on this site stanley

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