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Author Topic: Nissan dropping customers from Leaf waiting list  (Read 1962 times)

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June 19, 2011, 11:17:28 AM


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Nissan Motor Co. is aggravating the customers it needs most.

Nissan, which wants to become the top seller of electric cars, repeatedly delayed deliveries to some U.S. buyers who reserved the first 20,000 Leaf plug-in hatchbacks, according to interviews with customers. They said Nissan unexpectedly dropped some from the waiting list temporarily, asking that they reapply if they couldn’t prove they’d arranged installation of home- charging units that can cost more than $2,000.

“My delivery date kept jumping around, from April to ‘pending’ to May to June to July,” said Marc Fishman, a 42- year-old movie sound editor from Burbank, California. He said Nissan canceled the first order he placed, in September 2010, without explanation and gave him conflicting information after he reordered the next month.

For Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, the hitches show that the first mass-market electric car for the U.S. is a long way from being sold and delivered as smoothly as the company’s Altima sedans. Ironing out the Leaf process is a priority for the Yokohama-based carmaker to meet its goal of selling hundreds of thousands of the hatchbacks annually within the next few years to recoup an investment of more than $1 billion.

“What it demonstrates is reality -- electric vehicles are niche products that can’t be mass-produced yet and can’t yet be sold like regular vehicles,” said Eric Noble, president of the Car Lab, an industry research company in Orange, California.

Nissan shares declined 1.1 percent to 784 yen today in Tokyo trading, compared with a 0.7 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei-225 Stock Average.

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A 'Veteran'is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made
payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and
including his life.'


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