Report: Nissan Delaying Deliveries of Leaf Electric Cars to Customers

Some customers who have signed up to buy a Nissan Leaf electric car have reported getting the run-around from Nissan. According to Bloomberg, customers have reported being removed from the car’s waiting list and having their estimated delivery dates change wildly.

Bloomberg reports that Nissan is delaying some orders because potential buyers don’t yet have a 220-volt charger installed. Another buyer claimed his delivery date changed from April to May, and then to July -- with no apparent explanation from Nissan. One wealthy Leaf customer was reportedly so sick of waiting for his car that he hired a helicopter to fly over Californian ports to see how many cars were there.

The problem may be due in part to the Leaf’s complicated sales process. Potential buyers must register online, pay a $99 deposit, and have a 220-volt charging station installed in their home. Nissan will then contact the buyer when a Leaf electric car is available. Given the slow rate of production for the car, that could take some time.

Other orders were initially delayed or lost due to technical problems with the new ordering system. In April, Nissan began revamping the ordering process and retraining its sales staff, according to Bloomberg.

Nissan previously told us that only 46 percent of Leaf pre-orders were converting into actual sales: sometimes because the potential customers lived outside the Leaf’s launch markets, sometimes because they changed their minds about the cars, and sometimes because the customer had yet to install a home charging station.

Sales of the Nissan Leaf have gotten off to a slow start; the company now expects to sell between 10,000 and 12,000 copies in the U.S. this year, versus an original prediction of 20,000 cars. As of April 21, just 500 Leafs had been delivered to American customers, partially because production was delayed by Japan’s March 11 natural disaster. Nissan plans to ramp up production for the rest of the year in order to meet its sales targets here, and is even preparing to build the Leaf in Smyrna, Tennessee from 2013.

Source: Bloomberg

Anthony Cinquini
Well, despite very discouraging news earlier today, I just got a phone call that, in fact, the car arrived!. Disregard my previous post. It looks like a Leaf is in my future...and the future is now.
Anthony Cinquini
I ordered mine in November 2010. Was told March, then April, then May then June 14 (today). Last night I checked again and it said "June 14". This morning I checked the website and it said June 29. I am holding off getting the charger for two reasons: 1) my commute is short and 2) the stations are about $900 and the Nissan electricians want $1,200 to install. I was told on Friday (last week) that the California rebate was still available, but running out. If it is actually gone, perhaps I'll pass at this time. Very frustrating.
"One wealthy Leaf customer was reportedly so sick of waiting for his car that he hired a helicopter to fly over Californian ports to see how many cars were there." Let me get this straight - this person is so concerned about the environment that they hired a HELICOPTER to look for Leafs at the port? How many trips to the post office do you have to make in your Leaf to make up for that helicopter trip?
Nikki Tobrero
I'll wait as long as it takes. My charging station is installed and I'll be very happy to drive past the gas station. I'll be charging off hours, and driving 12,000 miles a year, the Leaf should cost me about $250-300 a year in electricity to drive that. Compared to the $500 it cost me per month with my big SUV, I can pay for the Leaf in gas savings along during the next 5 years. Yippee!
John Simon
Nissan doesn't delay shipping because of 220V charger installation. As long as you either have had your assessment or asked to waive the install there is no delay in order. The reason for the current delays are the result of the earthquake and tsunami coupled with the software update. That being said I did finally receive my Leaf in early June and absolutely love the car. I live in Texas and there are no special state rebates just the Federal tax credit. Even without the Federal tax credit I still would buy a Leaf.
Doug Marker
I ordered a nissan LEAF expecting to get it in December. The date keeps slipping a month at a time. They occasionally email and say they will let me know if the delivery date changes. They don’t. This is annoying for two reasons. Every time I see another cute commercial I think they should spend their money on production, not marketing. And the delivery date has slipped so far (now JULY!) that the $5,000 California rebate is gone. Last year I was really excited about finally getting an electric car. Today, I am canceling my order, and hoping it is not another time-consuming ordeal to get my $99 deposit back.

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