Oh dear, Nissan. You’re struggling to fulfil worldwide demand for your first ever production electric vehicle, and then you go and put the price of your revolutionary car up.
At least, that’s what buyers in Europe are faced with from March 1. Even before the first Nissan Leaf has been delivered to a U.K. customer, sources within Nissan confirms that the price of the 2011 Nissan Leaf in the U.K. is days away from a 6.9% price rise.
The already-expensive car starts at a massive $47,060 before an $8,117 purchase rebate is applied, leaving the consumer with a bill of at least $38,943 before any extras are applied.
But after Tuesday next week, those who have yet to reserve a Nissan Leaf online will find their pockets straining under as prices soar to $50,310, or approximately $42,190 after rebates.
Those who have already put down the $1200 deposit required to confirm the order in the U.K. will be sold their car at the pre-increase price, even if they don’t get their car until Q3, 2011.
2011 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
Before you get worried we should make it clear that these prices are only for European customers. They represent the new MSRP for the 2011 Leaf, not inflated dealer-marked-up prices similar to the ones we’ve heard being asked for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
Why the hike in price? Nissan Europe blames the increase in the Leaf’s sticker price on a number of factors: the poor economy, the weak pound sterling, the increase in raw material cost and soaring inflation.
To be fair, the firm is also raising the price of all of its other models in Europe, but none quite as much as the Leaf.
2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010Enlarge Photo
Another blunder on the part of Nissan, or an inevitable hike in price for a vehicle already heavily subsidized by both governments and the company who makes it.
In the end it really doesn’t matter.
While sources within Nissan North America say that there are “no plans to revise the 2011 Leaf Pricing at this time” we should point out that price rises normally occur at the change of model year.
Does this mean a price hike for the 2012 Nissan Leaf? At the moment it’s tough to tell. But if you’re one of the many hundreds waiting for your U.S. spec Leaf you can at least rest easy knowing your Leaf won’t cost you half a 2011 Tesla Roadster.