UK-Built 2013 Nissan LEAF to Feature Unique Styling
Nissan will give its UK-built 2013 LEAFs a bit of European design flair before it hits dealerships in Europe, according to Colin Lawther, vice-president of engineering at Nissan of Europe.
"We'll fine tune the car for the European customer from a design point of view," Lawther told Automotive News.
Automotive News also reports that the European version of the 2013 LEAF will feature improved range and re-calibrated electronics that will reportedly make the LEAF accelerate in a "less jerky" manner.
In February 2013, Nissan will begin manufacturing the LEAF at its facility in Sunderland, England. This will put a stop to Nissan of Europe importing LEAFs from Japan.
Building Europe-bound LEAFs in the UK instead of Japan will reduce costs. Lawther estimates that production costs will be slashed by one third. However, reduced costs don't mean that Nissan will automatically lower the price of the LEAF. The 2012 LEAF starts at 25,990 pounds ($41,477 US) in the UK. That price includes the UK's 5,000-pound Plug-in Car Grant.
Lawther told Automotive News that, "European content [of the LEAF] will be the high 90s in terms of percentage. The only major item imported from Japan will be the electric motor, although the company is considering building this in the UK, too."
The UK-built Nissan LEAF will only be sold in Europe.
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