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Nissan to Double Sales of Leaf Battery Car in 2012

CEO says new Titan pickup coming; also says still more joint projects with Daimler likely.

by on Jan.10, 2012

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn insists the battery car is far from a failure.

Nissan expects to double sales of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle in 2012, CEO Carlos Ghosn said during a meeting with members of the automotive media at the North American International Auto Show.

The make sold just 9,674 of the cars last year, its first entry into the nascent field of electrification.  But Ghosn downplayed the concerns expressed by many industry analysts, some going so far as to suggest battery propulsion has already proven to be a failure.

“The only reason we couldn’t sell more is because we couldn’t build more,” the Brazilian-born executive emphasized, suggesting the biggest issue was a shortage of batteries, and adding that “We’re expecting in 2012 to double that number.”

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He better hope so considering the commitment to battery power being made by Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault.  Globally, they plan to have production capacity in place for 400,000 battery cars annually by 2015, with a sizable chunk of that in a new facility Nissan is building alongside its existing assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.