Nissan Leaf ads poke fun at Tesla Model 3 reservation queue


2016 Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf

The Tesla Model 3 may be getting a lot of attention, but the company that's sold more electric cars than any other is hardly out of the game just yet.

With production not expected to start until late 2017 at the earliest, most Model 3 reservations holders are in for a long wait of several years.

And Nissan is capitalizing on that in a new ad campaign for its Leaf electric car.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 demand startled everyone, even Musk; now what?

"No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today," one of the new print ads declares.

The Tesla-baiting Nissan ads debuted Friday in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, according to Automotive News.

The ads remind consumers that the Leaf is available now.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Instead of putting down a $1,000 deposit, as Model 3 reservation holders must do, the ads tell customers they can get "$4,000 cash back and best-in-class range."

Granted, the Leaf's maximum range of 107 miles falls a bit short of the Model 3's promised 215-mile range.

But the Leaf is on sale right now, whereas Tesla hasn't even shown the final version of the Model 3 yet.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Leaf: First Drive Of 107-Mile Electric Car (Dec 2015)

The Silicon Valley carmaker has managed to accumulate around 400,000 reservations just from a brief showing of prototypes at the end of March.

It will likely be years before most customers actually get their cars.

Tesla previously said Model 3 production would start in late 2017, but widespread doubt exists over that goal; the company has missed every one of its initial car-launch deadlines so far.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla says it will give priority in assigning Model 3s to its current owners, and will deliver cars on the West Coast first.

Customers who don't already own a Tesla, or live in other regions, shouldn't expect to get their cars until well into 2018 at least.

That date could very possibly stretch into 2019 or 2020 depending on the speed at which Tesla can ramp up mass production.

MORE: Tesla Model 3 depositors vs Chevy Bolt EV: sea change or double standard?

In fact, anyone who hasn't already put down a reservation will probably wait the full three-year lease term of a 2016 Leaf before taking delivery of a Model 3.

That's in a best-case scenario.

Any production delays Tesla might experience would push delivery dates back even further.

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