90 Percent of Nissan Leaf Reservations are Conquest Orders

The pre-order numbers for the new all-electric Nissan Volt suggest that the next-generation vehicle is exciting people who aren’t normally Nissan buyers. Automotive News reports that Nissan has received more than 14,000 reservations from individual customers for the Leaf, and that 90 percent of these orders were so-called “conquest” orders from people who weren’t already Nissan owners.

Of course, that might not translate to 14,000 sales for the car. In order to “reserve” their Leaf, people simply needed to pay a $99 fee and register online. The fee is refundable for any reason, including if the charging station can’t be installed in a person’s home or if they simply decide that they don’t want it. Part of the challenge that Nissan will face when the car launches in select markets in December is making sure that customers who paid their $99 decide to go through with a sale.

Nissan also stated that a key element of the advertising campaign for the Leaf will revolve around the car’s lack of an exhaust pipe – highlight how environmentally friendly the car is.

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Nissan Leaf Cheaper in the U.S. Than Europe, Japan

When the Nissan Leaf debuts in America this year, its MSRP will be comparatively less than the same model selling in Japan in Europe. Automotive News says that Nissan officials are explaining this by stating that differences in local taxes and additional incentives will make up the difference in cost within the U.S. market.

Trisha Jung, chief marketing manager for Nissan’s U.S. electric vehicle sales, said that analysts who are suggesting that the Nissan Leaf is priced to low “don’t have all the information” such as the long-term impact of incentives received to build the electric car at its plant in Symrna, Tennessee.

“We are the first affordable, mass-market electric vehicle,” Jung said. “We’re pricing appropriately to ensure that.”

However, analysts like John Kluza, a battery analyst at Lux Research, claim that the estimated MSRP in the U.S. market of $32,780 is too low when considering the costs of the battery pack, electronic components and production.

“It seems the goal was to price Leaf to get sales volume even if there’s some initial loss,” Kluza said. “In the first year or so, perhaps they’ll take a hit of $2,000 on each car, maybe more. Over time, as battery production scales up, that price will start to look more appropriate.”

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