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[EVDL] Leaf quality-control delivery-delays protect EV-cause but create customer cons

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Customers who ordered all-electric Nissan Leafs growing impatient
By Dana Hull Twit/danahull 01/09/2011 =

Nissan's carefully orchestrated rollout of its all-electric Leaf has =

been much slower than many consumers expected, angering a growing =

number of passionate early adopters and threatening the automaker's =

ambitions of making the Leaf the dominant mass-market electric car.

The Bay Area is considered the Leaf's top market. But the cars are =

just now beginning to trickle in to local dealerships ... Some who =

ordered a Leaf months ago have seen their delivery dates pushed back =

... "They want their car, and when people started getting e-mails from
Nissan saying it would be four to seven months, my phone blew up."

... Nissan says 20,000 people have reserved Leafs, and that =

reservation holders will receive e-mails when they can take the next =

step and place a firm order. But the automaker refuses to say how many
cars it plans to deliver in 2011. That's created consternation among =

many customers, who want assurances that their cars are in the =


"The Leaf is a hot car" ... Trisha Jung, chief marketing manager for =

the Leaf, denied in an interview that deliveries have fallen behind =

schedule. "There's no delay," ... Our goal is to continue the dialogue
with customers, and set expectations carefully." Nissan executives =

stress that buying a Leaf is different from making a traditional car =

purchase ...

Many of those customers are tech-savvy and they are tracking Nissan's
words -- and actions -- with diligence. On the My Nissan Leaf =

discussion forum and the Leaf's Facebook page, they share information,
vent frustrations and swap stories of delivery dates mysteriously =

changed from "January" to "pending." One person created a detailed =

spreadsheet of all known orders, complete with vehicle identification
numbers. Another posted a photograph of a transporter truck loaded =

with Leafs spotted in Southern California.

... Some auto industry analysts say Nissan is keenly aware that the =

Leaf's rollout, perceived by some as agonizingly slow, must be =

flawless. The last thing Nissan wants is any performance glitch or =

recall. "This is a controlled rollout," ... If something went wrong, =

it would sour people on EVs for years. They are smart to do it slowly.
"You've heard the term 'range anxiety,' ... Now there's delivery =

anxiety. It's common when you roll out a brand-new car to go slow =

initially" ... [=A9 2011 - San Jose Mercury News]



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