Impatient about Getting Your Nissan LEAF? Chill Out Says Paul Scott

By · January 06, 2011

Paul Scott

The first three Nissan LEAFs were delivered yesterday to Santa Monica Nissan, where former EV activist Paul Scott now works as an EV sales consultant.

In August, Paul Scott made an unlikely personal transition from electric car activist to car salesman. “I never in my life thought I would work at a car dealership,” Paul told me this afternoon. “But I’m selling a car that’s changing the world. It will improve the lot of millions of people. And that makes me feel really good. Plus I’ve got an income.”

Warm and fuzzy feelings notwithstanding, Paul probably didn’t realize how useful his skills as a rabble-rousing EV activist—he’s one of the founding members of Plug In America—would become when he decided to work for Santa Monica Nissan. That’s because he’s once again in the eye of the EV storm—the latest tempest is about how long it’s taking Nissan to make its first deliveries of the LEAF. His customers are angry.

On one hand, Paul sympathizes with folks waiting for their Nissan LEAF. “It not easy, because these are people made the decision to buy an EV months, if not years ago. There’s a process of putting a deposit down, and then you wait and wait and wait,” Paul said. After placing an actual order, there’s more waiting, and finally you get the word that Nissan will start selling the car in December. “And then you’re told in December that Nissan is not going to be delivering as many. It’s understandable that people would be frustrated and a little upset by that.”

The Long Night Before Christmas

Paul coined a new phrase to describe all the worries about waiting for an electric car to arrive: Delivery anxiety. And like range anxiety, the syndrome of worrying too much about the 100-mile driving range for electric cars, Paul thinks it’s overblown. “The cure for delivery anxiety is sure,” Paul said. “Take one LEAF and call me in the morning.”

Santa Monica Nissan has 103 people who have placed orders and 250 beyond that waiting to put down a deposit and choose their desired color and trim options. That makes hundreds of potentially impatient customers. “It’s like a kid waiting for Christmas. You want to hurry it up and be here, but we have to be patient,” Paul said.

Impatience about a months-long wait for an electric car seems petty to Paul. After all, he’s been fighting eight long years to bring about the electric car revolution now under way. Santa Monica Nissan finally received its first three LEAF yesterday. Paul expects the pace of delivery to ramp up to 20 or 30 a month by summer—not enough to quickly burn off the list of customers, but a flash in the pan in the bigger picture.

Paul said that he’s learned from Nissan officials that the slowdown is part of the company’s painstaking process to make sure that every car is perfect.

“It’s all a matter of perspective. A lot of these people who are bitching and moaning about Nissan’s rollout being so slow, they should take a pill and chill,” Paul said. “They should go back eight years in my shoes and stand out there on the sidewalk in Burbank in the pouring down rain to stop GM from crushing some cars. Where were they when we were fighting that fight? I didn’t see these guys out there. They didn’t even hear about electric cars until we did a lot of the legwork to get the word out.”

Gouging for a Higher Cause

When he hears people criticizing Nissan about the timing, it’s Paul who grows impatient. “They really need to get some perspective and not bash a company that’s doing the right thing,” he said. “There’s no point in bashing Nissan. Nissan are the good guys. If you want to bash somebody, go bash Chrysler. Go bash Mercedes. Name all of them, except for Tesla, Nissan and General Motors, because those guys are delivering electric cars. Nobody else is.”

I asked if he was concerned that some of those 103 who placed orders would give up or decide not to buy when the car does arrive. Not at all. “That’s a good thing for us. Instead of selling at MSRP, we mark it up and we’re going to sell it for whoever pays the most for it. We have a long list of people willing to pay way over MSRP.”

Paul has no concern about those markups. “You can call it gouging, but it’s the way the world works. It’s called capitalism and I am a capitalist,” Paul said. “I worked for free for eight years in this industry. Now I’m getting paid for doing what I’m doing.” He believe that it’s important for companies making and selling electric cars to be as profitable as possible, so they will continue to make and sell EVs. High demand will continue and grow, according to Paul, when gas makes its inevitable climb back to $4 a gallon and higher.

Even with the markup, Paul believes the Nissan LEAF is a tremendous deal. He once again embraces his inner activist when he hears people comparing the LEAF to a small gas-powered car like a Toyota Yaris. “If you don’t value human life at all. If you don’t value a strong economy at all. If you don’t care about your own kids’ health at all. If those things have no value to you, then you can compare a Yaris with the LEAF, and say it doesn’t pencil out for me,” he warns. “But you’d have to be a selfish individual, a real selfish human being, to not value that stuff.”

Whether it’s standing up to G.M. to prevent the EV1 from being crushed, or taking the higher ground against ill informed or impatient car buyers, Paul Scott is not giving up his fight for the electric car. Sounds like somebody I’d like to buy an EV from.


· · 7 years ago

I hear you Paul, on being patient. Heck, we in Colorado and other "late" states have no choice.

My big question: Do you have your LEAF yet ;-)

· · 7 years ago

It's easy for Scott to tell us to chill out, he has his LEAF. Look I have a lot of respect for Nissan and the risks they've taken to produce the LEAF. Two thumbs way up. But the launch of the LEAF has been nothing short of an epic fail. In fact this launch has been botched so bad business students should be made to study it as how you shouldn't launch a product!

A couple of months previously Nissan launched another new vehicle, the Juke. That launch went off nearly flawless. They have rapidly scaled the Juke. Today, for example, you can go to Mossy Nissan in San Diego and they have 44 Jukes in stock! This tells Nissan are able to launch and scale a new vehicle when they put their "A" team on it.

· · 7 years ago

But the Juke is just another ICE car, with different packaging. Same-old, same-old. The LEAF is something totally different, and revolutionary. Can you really compare their respective product launches?

· sjLEAF (not verified) · 7 years ago

I'd still like to know how many LEAF's have been sold in Japan. With the dollar having fallen 12% vs. the Yen in 2010, it wouldn't surprise me if they started filling their own domestic orders first--they get an additional 800,000 JPY from each one they sell there.

· · 7 years ago

@abasile, a LEAF is 90% the same as any ICE vehicle Nissan makes. The LEAF shares a lot of parts with the other Nissan "B" platform vehicles. The LEAF goes down the same Oppama assembly line as the Juke for crying out loud. But having said that, I'm just talking about the launch, not the development and assembly.

Once the first few dozen LEAFs landed at the port of LA on December 20, 2010 is when it really began to unravel. Senior marketing people at Nissan said we should expect our LEAF in time for the holidays! Also at that time user dashboards should have become more accurate as to delivery dates. So the delivery date should have moved from "Pending" to a specific date. But instead the dashboards went crazy showing different dates every time you checked. Mine changed a dozen times finally landing back on "Pending". There is some sort of mods being done on the cars at the port, but we don't know what that is or how long it will take. Cars are showing up at the dealerships one at a time. The dealers claim they don't know when or whose LEAF's will be coming in and Nissan says to contact your dealer for status. The dealer claim they don't know the priority of which LEAFs are being delivered first. Nissan should have sent an army of techs to get those port modifications completed ASAP. But they didn't and so the launch was botched. The result is the Volt is getting the headlines for more units sold and Nissan is systematically pissing off all their early adopters.

· · 7 years ago

Hmmm, that does sound a bit chaotic. Considering that for Nissan the LEAF is an important "halo" car, and then some, this is unfortunate. Once everyone gets their car, hopefully the launch glitches will become like distant memories.

By the way, even though I'm no longer planning to buy a LEAF and instead save our money for an EV with more range, I haven't yet had the fortitude to actually cancel my reservation, and should be able to order this month. In light of this article, perhaps I'd be doing Fontana Nissan a favor by ordering and not taking delivery. Another tempting thought would be to actually take delivery, enjoy it for a few months (including the desired "mountain testing") and then hopefully resell it without losing much money in the process. My wife would likely veto that plan, though. Maybe it's best to just give up the reservation so someone else can get their LEAF earlier. I dunno.

· · 7 years ago

@Christof - Paul told me that one of the three LEAFs that arrived yesterday to the Santa Monica dealership was supposed to be his. BUT it lacked the DC quick charger that he ordered so that car is in limbo. Paul blamed the mix-up on the way he placed the order, but who knows? I'm guessing that he'll comment on this thread in the next day or so.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Great, now those of us who aren't the highest bidder have to wait even longer.........

Quote from article:
"Instead of selling at MSRP, we mark it up and we’re going to sell it for whoever pays the most for it."

· Jimmydreams (not verified) · 7 years ago

I don't really care to read any more comments from Paul. he claims to want to help EV's that "will change the world (and) improve the lot of million of people." That sounds wonderful. But he goes on to say that he'll sell an orphaned Leaf to the highest bidder....someone who is likely to buy the car as a status symbol and may rarely even drive it. How is that "changing the world" or "helping millions of people" jumping the line over those who have waited just because he can profit from it?

Capitalism is great, but price gouging is NOT's greed. This is taking advantage of and profiting from a situation to the detriment of others. In a word, it's ugly. Paul should be ashamed of himself. I suppose Paul would have no problem parking next to an EV at a public charger and unplugging that car to plug HIS in? I supposed Paul would have no problem selling clean, safe water at $5000/gallon to a single mother with kids after a major earthquake? "Deal with it lady, capitalism doesn't care if your kids die of gotta pay to play".

Yeah, let's all emulate Paul.


· Michael Walsh (not verified) · 7 years ago

Well I have myself one well sorted car. So even though I was subject of some of the same frustrations, what with my car sitting at port for a couple of weeks while the extra QC work was done (I've heard it was either the interior heater was replaced entirely or had some wiring modifications), I'm more than happy with the result of having to wait just that bit longer.

· evnow (not verified) · 7 years ago

Paul, capitalism & 7,500 subsidies don't really go together. I'd like to say the subsidy is for buyers and not dealers.

Here is an idea. When & if you get an orphan, sell it on ebay and give part of the proceeds to a worthy cause. You get lot of good PR too.

· · 7 years ago

What's wrong with charging whatever the market will bear for a car? I don't see anyone complaining when it works the other way. My uncle just purchased a new 2010 Prius for well below invoice. Did he cheat the dealer? The only pitfall I see with charging over MSRP for the LEAF is that it might be bad PR for Nissan, but that's up to them to work out with their dealers.

On the other hand, yes, price gouging for necessities like food and water would be immoral.

· Ben Brown (not verified) · 7 years ago

I remember friends getting burned by availability issues when the Toyota Prius first came out. Some never got their cars as they were sold out from underneath them even though they had ordered them special. It's past history so doesn't seem so important to anyone now. In the big picture, the Prius was a step to where we are today. Sure, we need to let dealers know our feelings, but, perspective people. Myself, I'm hanging on to a thread trying to keep my old Insight alive long enough and my bank acct flush enough and credit good enough to hold out for the Leaf I ordered. If my Insight dies though... I am going to miss out. In the bigger picture though I know every Leaf and other ev that is driven is a part of changing the paradigm of how we interact with the planet and one another. ...better this had happened the first time during the EV1, I remember getting threatened by my auto parts supplier as unpatriotic trying to put GM out of business with an electric car. We were dumb sheep back then and believed it couldn't ever be done. Talk to Tesla owners who waited, talk to Prius owners who waited. We ARE on the way, not maybe, perhaps not early, but we are on the way to a better vehicle, electric.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

This reconfirms my original decision to eliminate Santa Monica from consideration. Even before Paul was there, they were unpleasant to deal with when I was initially shopping dealers... It's rather ironic that all the dealers near me (Mission Hills, Valencia, Universal, and Santa Monica) are difficult to deal with, arrogant, and/or and not competitive... I went with Fontana Nissan (Danny and Joanna) and they have been great in every respect! My Leaf is scheduled for production in January and delivery in March.

· Jeff (not verified) · 7 years ago

I was one of the other 3 that were delivered there so I can shed light onto this. I don't think the article captures his real tone at all. Taken in print it comes off all "I got mine and whatever price we can get" but that really isn't the attitude.

First let me say, they were really easy to deal with. Other than minor effort to sell me on the service plan, I got the price I agreed to and terms. All were really pleasant and excited about the car.

Paul, you have to realize has been at this a really long time and has been waiting for this day. I would call him giddy like a young kid at Christmas. He has unbundled excitement. I will say he is a true believer that Nissan is the one that is really changing the game here with a commitment to the cars and a pricing that makes us all demand it so much. I think what comes out is he doesn't understand people that haven't been watching this for so long grumbling so much about issues with the rollout. It is very like the Prius frenzy (of which I actually had to drive all the way to Phoenix to get a car so I know). This is a huge move for Nissan and there are going to be some hiccups. But to Paul, a few weeks of waiting for a literal boatload of cars to arrive is nothing. He thought this might never happen. So that is where the "chill out" comes from. It is, "Don't worry, they are here" it may take a little kinks getting ironed out, but the genie is out of the bottle.

Paul is one of the nicest guys in all of EV land I have met. Truly genuine and caring to the point of forgetting sometimes when to be a little political...

Clearly there were some issues with the Quick charge. He is really disappointed also that he will have to wait some amount of time for his order to get straightened out. But he was as pleased as could be to see me off in my Leaf.

So please all, keep some perspective. And I know everyone is eager and jazzed, but a bit of patience. I realize I have mine now so you can say "sure". But I gave up my Mini-E over 6 months ago and having dealt with the pain of that rollout, you all will get the car and love it all the more for the experience.


· · 7 years ago

@Brad, " Paul blamed the mix-up on the way he placed the order, but who knows?" So Paul, the Santa Monica Nissan EV expert, is stating he botched his own LEAF order? Man, his messaging has gone completely off the reservation. Why admit this? I always thought Paul was a lot more media savvy.

· · 7 years ago

Relating clean drinking water or generators during a power outage to a LEAF isn't really fair. Nobody NEEDS a LEAF. Maybe you want one, but you don't need it to survive. It's not price gauging at all, it's just free market setting the price. The S in MSRP stands for "suggested" price. As Abasile pointed out, the dealers don't complain to you when they sell you a car for $2,000 under MSRP do they? On most cars you can negotiate down from the suggested price, this is one of the rare times where that's not possible, for now...

Supply will increase very soon and dealers won't be able to charge over MSRP. Not too long after that, you'll be able to negotiate under MSRP for a new LEAF. I didn't really care for the way Paul's comments were worded either, but you don't get the whole picture about how the conversion really went when you cherry pick certain quotes to print. I'm not saying Brad did a bad job of reporting at all, just that the tone of the comments get lost sometime as Jeff pointed out in the comment above.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 7 years ago

Jimmydreams, I know you don't care to read anything more from me, so maybe you can have someone else read this to you.

The "orphaned LEAF" is not ours to sell. It belongs to Nissan and we're just holding it till we hear from them about what they want to do. The fair thing, and what I hope they decide, is to find the next person on the list who ordered a black SL w/o the DC quick charge port and move them up on the list.

The LEAFs that become floor models are the ones we can mark up, and I stand by our right to do so. If you were to sell your car, and you had one person offering you $10,000, and another person offers you $11,000, who are you going to sell it to? Car dealers are in the business to make money. EVs are not going to provide a very robust after-sale income stream like ICE cars do, so maximizing point of sale profits helps the dealers want to carry EVs. You may have heard that some GM dealers are marking up the price of the Volt. To my knowledge, no Nissan dealers have done so. Everyone is offering the LEAF at MSRP or below. That's for the cars bought through the online process. If a car is ordered, but the person opts not to buy it when it delivers, that becomes a floor model and can be sold based on demand. We have a long list of people who did not get on the deposit list and desperately want a LEAF. Some of them are willing to pay above MSRP, as I would be if I was in their shoes. I doubt many people would purposely turn down a higher offer for a car in a free market.

You say that we'd sell these cars to "... someone who is likely to buy the car as a status symbol and may rarely even drive it." Wow, where did you come up with that? Who are you to disparage our customers? The two cars I delivered yesterday went to committed enviros who desperately want to stop polluting your air and the air of their children. You have no right to presume their motives are anything but pure.

You state, "I suppose Paul would have no problem parking next to an EV at a public charger and unplugging that car to plug HIS in?" You suppose wrong! You clearly don't know me at all. I spend every moment of every day working to make the world a better place. You would have a hard time finding someone more energy efficient, or who works harder on population issues, animal cruelty, women's rights and many other issues. I would never do harm to innocents as you suggest and I take offense that you think I would.

We have lots of big problems in the world that need good people to stand up and do the work of solving them. Those who feel it's worth their time to criticize Nissan for not being perfect in the roll out of the LEAF should get some perspective. You definitely could spend that effort in a more constructive manner.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 7 years ago

Indyflick, I'm anything but "media savvy". :~) I'm as loose a cannon as you'll find anywhere. I might be an expert on EVs from a political perspective, but the ordering process got botched when I heard I was accepted in the ETEC program and therefore got the DC quick charge for free, so when I ordered, I didn't include it. I'm still not sure I did something wrong, but whatever, the car was delivered w/o the quick charge option and since I'm in the ETEC program, I can't take that car.

· Mike Austin (not verified) · 7 years ago

Think of this post in support of integrity and smart business whenever it can be found at car dealerships. It's a rare thing. When a dealership takes a deposit on a new car, integrity should obligate them to deliver the car at the price to which the customer agreed.

After having leased and purchased many new cars including Fords, a Pontiac, Toyotas and a Honda, I've commonly seen car dealerships price their new cars at what the market will bear. Every dealership does it regardless of marque or the type of engine.

Here's a current case in point: when I first I looked at the Nissan Leaf's range and the Chevy Volt's sticker, comparing them with a Ford Fusion Hybrid - the Fusion Hybrid was my first choice. Union of Concerned Scientists gave them high marks and I have good experience with Ford's build quality. But since Ford's attitude was they didn't have to discount their cars, my decision was simpler. I didn't buy a Fusion Hybrid.

Prices both go up AND down, as evidenced by the killer deal I made days ago on a new 2010 Prius hybrid. Nobody could likely match the deal we made, and it was because Toyota had too many 2010s when they created a massive PR problem for themselves in having the world's largest automotive recall.

I've seen this before, too. I'm an unusual hybrid owner because I'm also an adrenaline-junkie gearhead. 18 months ago, I still owned a 2005 Pontiac GTO. Before that, in the year 2000, I took my modified '97 Mustang Cobra to be serviced at a San Fernando valley Ford Dealership.

Sitting on their showroom floor was a 2000 Mustang Cobra R, meant to be a street-driver, but also an effective weekend racer. No radio, no backseat, differential cooler; gear like that. To me, they were very desirable cars. But they stickered at $54K. I also laughed quite loudly when the dealers' "market-value" markup showed they were asking $89K for it. It felt like most of the salespeople who heard me were even embarassed. Someone else might have eventually paid $89K for it. But I would have never purchased that car at that price.

If speed was ultimately my only goal, I could have taken the $67K difference in value between my Cobra and the new one, spent $67K in mods on my Cobra. It would have out-performed nearly any modified street car, anywhere at any time. It was my choice. Even if I had taken the $35K difference between the new Cobra R and my '97 Cobra and put it into mods, it would have likely been faster than the Cobra R, and thus more desirable. But I didn't.

With the Leaf or Volt this is exactly the same kind of market-valued thing. You don't have to buy any car at asking price. It's always a choice. You can wait. Although I, too, get upset by stuff like this, because you're an environmental activist you won't change the world by getting cranky or indignant. Only by being smart, giving people choices they can live with and by using whatever system's in place do we get anywhere.

· · 7 years ago

All of you newcomers who are grousing about delays don't know how good you have it. Paul and many of us have spent so much time defending (or trying to defend) our EVs. We've been waiting for nearly a decade to have the chance to actually buy one without a fight.
You should be thanking Paul for even having the chance to buy an EV. While not the only one, Paul should be credited as much as anyone else alive for preserving the RAV4EVs, embarrassing GM into making the Volt, and encouraging Nissan to sell the Leaf (Shai Agassi should get most of the early credit for the Leaf actually).
And if you can't handle a little Red Blooded American capitalism, why don't you try to buy an EV in Russia or for that matter anywhere else in the world. There's a finite supply of vehicles out there initially and Nissan has to figure out a way to choose how to allot them. Going to the highest bidder will at least encourage the dealers to want to sell the cars, even if it does annoy a few complainers who feel entitled to a car before someone else who is willing to pay a bit more for it.

· George Parrott (not verified) · 7 years ago

Paul, and others,
It is not the delay itself that is so irksome to me, as one who has a confirmed LEAF order placed on 31 August, but the lack of information on when the car will arrive and the false/wrong information that was given out for 2-3 months after ordering, "the car will be delivered 3-4 months after initial order or for those of your on day 1 in December..."

And I am totally disgusted with how Nissan has rolled out those early deliveries as big media events suggesting that many more cars were imminent when for those of us waiting a month or more is NOT quickly following the token 6 deliveries made in December of 2010.

Further many of us in the expected early delivery group, certainly myself, would MUCH rather have accurate information as to what was happening WITH OUR ORDER rather than crap mailers of color options (after our own choices were already finalized) and T-shirts that are not what we ordered when and IF those even arrive.

Basically, as I have posted elsewhere, I would NEVER believe again anything from Nissan corporate. My Nissan dealer has been wonderful, but Nissan Corporate is treating us as stupid children that can be appeased with a $ .10 toy.....and another fairy tale story.

Truth, and transparency would have gone a LONG way to make me a happy Nissan customer, as it is this was my first Nissan purchase (after owning Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, Lexus and VW), and it is very likely to be my.....last such.

And your (Peter's) attitudes about capitalism to me represent what is truly wrong with this country and with so many of us. If we have the chance to exploit others, from a position of power and opportunity, that is THE choice. It just seems too bad that we cannot simply try to find a reasonable exchange process/level where the seller makes enough to stay in business and the consumer can truly have access to those goods. (Clearly I admit, I am NOT a capitalist nor do I support that economic theory).

· Gas O'Line (not verified) · 7 years ago

Paul Scott is the devil! Do the right thing! Continue burning gasoline! It's for the children...of Texas oil-men...

· Gas O'Line (not verified) · 7 years ago

Paul Scott is the devil! Do the right thing! Continue burning gasoline! It's for the children...of Texas oil-men...

· · 7 years ago

@George Parrott don't forget this quote from a 12/21/2010 Nissan press release "The initial Nissan LEAF deliveries are followed by a second shipment of Nissan LEAF electric cars, which arrived on Dec. 20 and are destined for consumer driveways in time for the holidays."
Which holiday are you thinking of Nissan, Memorial Day?

· George Parrott (not verified) · 7 years ago

@Paul and @ indyflick

As a university professor, I try to present the best understanding of truths available to my students, and further I encourage them to pursue their own CRITICAL THINKING relative to weighing those truths --the ones I hold and present and ones they will later read, hear or see presented by others.

What has been so disappointing is that NISSAN CORPORATE does not realize that at least some of us are capable of critical thinking, that some of us have a memory span of more than 10 seconds, and that statements that are presented by them as "truths" will be tested by us. Pretty much every PR statement about LEAF availability given by NISSAN CORPORATE from the point of confirming our initial orders has been tested to be an UNTRUTH.

Indyflick and I and a few others are in this vocal subset of LEAF buyers who had wanted to believe NISSAN assurances, but as indyflick notes just above, they have not followed through and they never make clarifications or explanations as to WHY they have not executed their own PR statements.

Thus WHY BELIEVE ...if the information source has been consistently MISrepresenting their CORPORATE actions?

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 7 years ago

George and others, I agree with you that Nissan could, and should, have handled the communications better. I'm not happy about the delay either. I just don't see it as that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. If you ordered a LEAF, you WILL get a LEAF, maybe a few months later than you thought, but it will come, and it will be the best car you've ever owned. You'll love it and you'll feel great driving it.

You can choose to spend your time complaining about the process, or you can look for something more constructive to spend your time on. As for me, I still don't have mine, but instead of yelling at Nissan, I'm going to go pet some doggies at the rescue shelter.

· · 7 years ago

@Paul Scott, I obviously really really want the LEAF to be a big success. I have tried to be proactive and even help them out where I could. Whenever I saw issues or had suggestions I would always contact them. I never received a satisfactory response and also the issues wouldn't be resolved. As an example, one off the top of my head from last summer. Prior to opening up ordering I noticed there were no descriptions nor photos of the LEAF accessories available on line. Everyday for a week I pleaded with Nissan to fix this. Nothing. I knew this would result in fewer accessory sales and correspondingly less revenue for Nissan. You may say, "that's water under the bridge". But do you realize that to this day Nissan hasn't fixed this problem, six month later? Here the URL, use the pull down menu and look for LEAF, it's not there.

I have begun to realize the LEAF program is sort of an appendage within Nissan. They don't appear to be in the mainstream with the other products and therefore not all the boxes seem to get checked at the proper time. That is likely the cause of the botched launch and is also reason why I'm not as optimistic as you at this point. In my experience if you want to have a successful product launch you absolutely need precision and I don't see precision here.

· sjLEAF (not verified) · 7 years ago

My wife and I ordered a Nissan Altima Hybrid within the first 6-8 weeks of it being available in the market, and we discovered it only by chance. Throughout the process, our dealer was able to tell us when it would arrive and how much it would cost. It made planning very easy. So, having "pending" show up as my delivery status for the last two months has been especially frustrating because it's not normal. I'm beginning to think that indyflick is right. Nobody from Nissan even showed up at the San Jose test drive event and LEAF reservation holders were not even acknowledged. Luckily, we were able to determine that the LEAF is a hugely fun car to drive. I called Nissan today and they said things would change on my dashboard "approximately 30 days ahead of delivery".

· · 7 years ago

@ajLEAF, "Nobody from Nissan even showed up at the San Jose test drive event and LEAF reservation holders were not even acknowledged." Yep, so that's yet another aspect of the botched launch and it happened to me twice. When they announced the local launch event for the LEAF, I sent a RSVP for my wife and I. I was then told sorry only one of us could go. I said but we are buying a LEAF. They said they would escalate my request. Later I received an email which said sorry only only the individual registered is invited. So, of course, neither of us went. I honestly don't expect any extra special treatment from them as a buyer, but they dissed my wife. I have to say it really hurt me.

· sjLEAF (not verified) · 7 years ago

@indyflick, well I wasn't taking any chances and registered both my wife and myself for the test drive. So, at least we both got to drive and ride in it. Pending, pending, pending......

· curt (not verified) · 7 years ago

Why can Nissan's have the dashboard display your countdown number in the delivery queue? I'm sick of "Pending" for 4 months.

· shaun (not verified) · 7 years ago

Made my deposit 4/23. ordered 11/29. I'm expecting to take delivery sometime next summer, and i don't think that's unreasonable. I have been very impressed how Nissan put us early-adopter customers ahead of its dealers, to the point that I'm getting mine at $1000 BELOW MSRP. Compare that to what folks have to pay for other groundbreaking new cars, including the Volt.
My impression of Nissan has definitely gone up over how they have handled the leaf.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

You guys act like Nissan is a charity who is building people LEAFs because they are all warm and fuzzy.

Nissan is a business. They think they can sell electric cars so they are building them.

No one owes Paul a damn thing. Nissan and Paul owe their customers. That is how business works. Customers are the ones SPENDING THEIR OWN MONEY on a Nissan product.

I hate this whole "we should thank Nissan" and "We should thank Paul" crap. They should thank us, without customers willing to buy the damn things where would they be?

Whatever happened to "The customer is always right?"

Nissan should tell people the truth, and only accept orders it can fill. Period.

· · 7 years ago

You're right Anonymous. Its just a business. Nissan should just go on doing the same crap as the rest of the auto industry. This would mean making the same legacy ICE garbage that the industry has been selling for the past century.
Some of us are happy that Nissan has decided to take a risk, go against the status quo, and make what we want them to make. As such, we're thankful for them to take the risk on our behalf and we are encouraging tolerance to delays that always happen when someone does something new and risky.
Nissan isn't going to be making money on the Leaf for nearly a decade so it isn't just today's customers OWN MONEY here.

· · 7 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver, Well said. I'm plenty grateful that Nissan took the plunge into mass-produced EVs—it's about time! To the extent that other major auto manufacturers will end up scrambling to catch up, so much the better.

I also appreciate the efforts of niche EV makers such as Tesla. I'm rooting for them to become successful enough to offer downscale models someday. Even if they don't, at least they got the ball rolling here in the US.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

ex-EV1 driver and dgpcolorado: What does that have to do with what I said?

Is Nissan making the LEAF because they want to save the world? Or are they making the LEAF because they want to sell electric cars?

Doesn't every brand new product lose money initially until economics of scale and demand kick in? Do all car companies make an instant profit on an entirely new platform?

We don't owe Paul anything for his electric car struggle. He didn't do that for us, he did that for himeself - because he likes and believes in electric cars.

None of what either of you have said precludes the fact that Nissan is messing up the rollout of the LEAF. Nissan should be the one saying the things that some people are saying here, Nissan should be telling customers "We are rolling out a brand new product using a brand new purchasing process. It looks like we will not be able to fill demand initially, so here is when you can expect a LEAF based on our current production forecasts. We will notify you if it changes." And they should give honest numbers. Tell people, "You know what? It won't be until May that you get your LEAF".

Instead Nissan says "EVERYONE, GO TEST DRIVE OUR CAR AND SIGN UP TO ORDER ONE" and then ignores us all completely after that. And if you try to ask questions of Nissan either through their LEAF online chat help or calling them on the phone you get people who don't know anything and are annoyed you are taking up their time.

I will say this one more time, for those of you who apparently failed economics: Nissan is a BUSINESS. They are not selling the LEAF as a charity, despite what their marketing department would have us believe (and the fact that so many of you are suckered in, it would seem their marketing has done it's job). Nissan has a business model for electric cars, and they seeing a demand and a market void have decided to try and make money by filling that void and demand. It also helps the rest of their business in various ways, such as CAFE numbers and public visibility and good-will. Some people might go to check out the LEAF and buy a Juke instead (for example). But make no mistake - they are in this to make money, and although they will not make money on the platform *right this instant*, they have a business model that they are working with to try and make money on it in the near term future.

It may be a new kind of car, but it is still a car. It still consumes energy and drives on roads that cost $trillions to maintain. So it is not really all that revolutionary - heck, by their own admission in their "drive a LEAF" events - just Nissan themselves have been making electric cars for quite a while.

Nissan wants you all to think that you owe them something so that you will take whatever crap they dish out. But they will have to deliver some time because the other companies are hot on their heels. Ford and Toyota are just around the corner, and GM has big plans for the Volt platform too... Not to mention dark horse candidates like Tesla and Fiskar...

· Eco Mama (not verified) · 7 years ago

Careful there Mr. Nissan salesman. Over-promising and under-delivering (we now know the EPA certified range for Leaf is only 73 MILES, NOT 100) will backfire. One can only imagine what the Nissan PR Dept. in Tennessee is thinking about your rant! It would appear that Nissan Management may need to have a Come to Jesus meeting (if they haven't already) and give you one last chance to remain a Nissan salesman. Keep in mind that LA is full of hungry, unemployed and experienced car salesmen who can smell blood in the water and know how to lure and keep customers, and certainly not alienate them on the Internet! If your quotes were exact, something just doesn't make sense since you are representing a large, multi-national corporation now, not just a small not-for-profit.

· · 7 years ago

Now to add another Nissan botched moment to the pile!! I attended the Chicago Auto Show on Saturday with great anticipattion of seeing the Leaf up close and personal. NOT!!
The car was nearly 3 feet off the ground!! No open doors. No lit up dashboard. Nothing. I mean come on, the car is already on the road. What could possiblly be the reason for keeping the public from seeing the Leaf's interior and dash!! Just another bad Nissan decision.

Now I rode in the Volt. Everyone was allowed to walk up and look in and touch the iMiev. You could touch and sit in the Connect. No Focus was on hand even though they advertised that one was going to be there. Just about every other electric that was there you could experience. Nissan is trying to keep the myth alive here or something to that effect. I just do not get them. I may give up my reservation and go with the iMiev instead. I would not like to give up the range but, I really do not like the way Nissan is doing this rollout. I see the way Nissan is treating the Leaf as the "redheaded stepchild" in the production process and it really ticks me off.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nissan should have stopped hyping the LEAF the minute they knew their production was slow.

They have these drive events, and they have commercials with polar bears, and they have huge internet campaigns - but we can't even order the cars.


· JJ (not verified) · 7 years ago

Here in Canada, on TV, I see Nissan Leaf TV ads with a Polar bear leaving the artic, walking down a highway and through city streets and appears in a driveway to give a "thank you hug" to a (surprised) man about to get into his Nissan Leaf.

Has this TV ad appeared in the U.S. ?

· · 7 years ago

Yes, it made the rounds in the US a while ago.

· JJ (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanks for the info ex-EV1 driver. They started here.

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