On August 27th, Nissan North America opened up online reservations for the 2011 Nissan Leaf to Canadian buyers.
Two hours later, Nissan had received more reservations than it had cars to sell, prompting some news outlets to report that the car was sold out.
Just 40 cars
While we’re happy to see that the 2011 Nissan Leaf is just as popular in Canada with early adopters as it was in the U.S., there’s a simple reason why Canadian reservations for the 2011 Leaf reached the allocation figure so quickly.
Only 100, 2011 Nissan Leafs are earmarked for the Canadian market, with just 40 made available for private purchases.
2011 Nissan Leaf
After just two hours after opening the $99 reservation process, 40 reservations had been placed on the Nissan.ca website, securing the first 40 to place a reservation the chance to buy a 2011 Nissan Leaf in the next few months.
Reservations ≠ Sales
But here’s the problem. Reservations do not equal sales. Sure, those who have gone online and parted with $99 are now eligible to buy a 2011 Nissan Leaf. But putting a $99 deposit to be placed in the queue to buy isn’t the same as committing to buy.
And as we’ve seen in the U.S. and Europe already, not everyone who jumps online and puts down a $99 deposit commits to that purchase.
In fact, back in February, Edmunds reported that the conversion rate from reservation to actual sales was around 40 precent. In other words, for every two people who turned a reservation into a purchase, there were four who didn’t.
It’s hardly surprising
All of this isn’t exactly news, however. In an online ‘one-click’ generation, it’s very easy -- and quick -- to put down $99 to get the chance to spend a lot more. But committing to a minimum CA$38,395 before government incentives? That’s a completely different game.
More next year
While Nissan Canada’s 27 appointed Leaf dealers will only have 40 2011 Leafs to sell, Nissan has allocated 600 of the 2012 model year Leafs to Canadian customers.
Available later on this year, reservations for the 2012 Nissan Leaf will open in Canada next month.
Given Canada’s harsh winters -- and the fact that we don’t think the 2011 Nissan Leaf comes with winter package as standard -- we’d have to admit that we’d want to wait until the 2012 model year when battery heater and heated seats and steering wheel come as standard.
Unlike the U.S. specification 2011 model year, the Canadian 2011 Nissan Leafs will come with winter package as standard, to help it cope with the harsh winter climates of the Canadian winter.
[Nissan Canada via Sympatico.ca]