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Nissan Gives Waiting UK Buyers Loaner Cars, But Not For Leaf

 
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2011 Nissan Juke in New York's Catskill Mountains, January 2011

2011 Nissan Juke in New York's Catskill Mountains, January 2011

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If you’re one of the many expectant 2011 Nissan Leaf owners around the world what we’re about to tell you may make you feel a little sick. 

While Nissan obviously struggles to meet consumer demand for its all-electric hatchback, company executives in Europe are offering those waiting for three of its most popular gasoline powered cars a free loaner vehicle while they wait.  

In an effort to placate those who have a predicted wait of over 3 months for their new 2011 Nissan Juke, 2011 Nissan Qashqai and 2011 Nissan Qashqai +2 models, Nissan Motor GB will offer a free loan car to any customer with a predicted delivery time larger than 3 months. 

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

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Along with a free Nissan Micra or Nissan Note loan vehicle, Nissan Europe has committed to paying all insurance costs associated with the loaner. The scheme will start on February 24.

The 2011 Nissan Juke, reviewed by our own John Voelcker earlier this week has proven so popular across Europe that Nissan’s Sunderland plant is struggling to keep up with demand. 

Those waiting for a Leaf however, won’t be getting a free car. 

Why? 

Nissan doesn’t view the Leaf as one of its leading sales vehicles. In the U.K. alone, 95,904 Nissans were sold in 2010. This year, only 500 Leafs will be sold. 

From talking to Nissan Europe its obvious it doesn’t see a similar scheme for Leaf customers as financially viable or practical.

Is it unfair? Should Nissan use a similar scheme for waiting customers worldwide, regarding of the model?

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

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Absolutely. But then again, how many leaf customers do you know who would accept a free loaner gasoline car to pass the time? 

But as your mother probably told you, life is rarely fair. As for a similar scheme worldwide? It would undoubtedly cause Nissan immeasurable financial harm. 

What we would like to see however, is loan vehicles given to customers including potential Leaf owners who may not get their new car before their current one expires any road safety tests or licence. 

All of this postulation is  little comfort to the many thousands of leaf customers now facing an ever-increasing wait for their Nissan Leaf. With two Nissan Leaf reservations in the pipeline for the team here at HighGearMedia, we feel your pain.

Will Nissan North America eventually offer a similar scheme for those Leaf customers it can’t supply vehicles to in a 3 month window? 

It’s highly unlikely, but we live in hope. 



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Comments (3)
  1. I know it's going to cause trouble saying this, but do you think that Nissan has realized that the thermal battery control scheme that they selected is not working in the cold weather so they are waiting until the weather warms up to release the leafs (leaves?) into the wild? I've read alot about the Volt and owners are saying that the engine starts sometimes just to warm up the battery. Could cold performance problems be the issue? I mean it seems that a company as big as Nissan could produce cars fairly quickly if they wanted to. What do you think?
     
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  2. I am sure Nissan is scrambling to figure out what to do with cold weather. In Wisconsin/Minnesota we have had several weeks of -10 to -25 deg(F). With no thermal management of the battery, it would be DOA in the morning. We have to fire up the car for defrosting and keep defrosting the windows for the entire drive. So it is not as simple as saying put on a extra heavy coat and gloves.
     
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  3. I disagree with Nikki's assertion that it is unfair to waiting Leaf owners loan cars. As much as I want to see lots of Leafs (Leaves? Who knows?) on the road, it's likely to remain a niche product in the UK for the next few years at least.
    Were I on the waiting list for a Qashqai or Juke, I probably wouldn't want a Micra or Note but I can understand why Nissan is doing this. They are in the mass-market where long waiting lists are not as desirable as they are for prestige manufacturers.
    The Leaf is a ground-breaking product in the UK. It's probably going to undo a lot of the damage that the G-Wiz did to the image of the electric car. It's throughly engineered and properly built. It even looks more or less like a 'normal' car.
    I hope to see some on the roads soon, even if you're not being offered a Micra while you're waiting.
     
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