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Nissan Tweets, Then Deletes, Electric-Car Sales Slap At Tesla

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Image tweeted (and then removed) by @NissanLeaf Twitter account, March 2014

Image tweeted (and then removed) by @NissanLeaf Twitter account, March 2014

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Oh, Nissan, you just shouldn't have gone there.

As captured by Autoblog Green writer Domenick Yoney last Friday, the @NissanLeaf Twitter account posted the following message:

It's okay #NewJersey, you can still #GoElectric with the #NissanLEAF #EV

Sloppy punctuation aside, the tweet was a clear dig at the travails of Tesla Motors, which had just lost a battle in New Jersey against a state rule change aimed at requiring it to sell its electric cars through franchised third-party businesses, which is to say traditional car dealers.

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Enlarge Photo

Hilarity ensued.

Or, rather, a few electric-car advocates became somewhat irritated at what they perceived to be a lack of support by one electric-car maker for another.

Never mind that Nissan is, in fact, required to sell all its vehicles through traditional dealers--which for electric cars has been, let's say, somewhat challenging.

The old adage about glass houses and throwing stones springs to mind.

The tweet was deleted shortly thereafter.

Nissan told Autoblog Green that the @NissanLeaf Twitter account is "run by an agency" and that the tweet hadn't actually been reviewed before it was posted.

The carmaker's full statement:

Rob Robinson, senior specialist of social communications for Nissan, told AutoblogGreen that the Leaf Twitter account is run by an agency, and that the tweet in question, "Was not a tweet that was reviewed or approved by Nissan. We saw it and asked them to take it down." As for the reasoning, Robinson said that, "We thought it was a discussion we didn't need to be weighing in on."

Which points out the continuing challenges of social media for large, global automakers whose images among target audiences can be instantly affected when a tweet or Facebook post goes viral.

As per its own editorial slant, Jalopnik found the tweet "hilarious" and tossed in a swipe at the "otherwise phenomenally boring" Leaf Twitter account.

It also begged in a piteous tone, "Can't we all just have a little fun at each other's [sic] expense sometimes?"

So what do you think? Was the Nissan tweet over the line, or just all in good fun?

Leave us your thoughts (politely, please!) in the Comments below.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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