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Exclusive Report: Nissan Stops Taking Reservations For Leaf

Enough in hand - but will "reservations" translate into actual purchases?

by on Oct.11, 2010

Leaf has filled its initial 20,000 "reservation" slots.

If preliminary “reservations” are any indication, Nissan is likely to sell out the first year’s allocation of Leaf electric cars.

The Japanese maker began permitting potential customers to place $99 reservations for the battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, months before the first Leaf was scheduled to reach showrooms.  But the maker has now halted the reservation process, TheDetroitBureau.com notes in this exclusive report, having already filled the 20,000 slots allocated for the American market.

“We don’t have any more cars,” a senior Nissan executive told TheDetroitBureau.com. That was confirmed by spokesperson Katherine Zachary.

Though the maker has filled all the reservation slots that doesn’t ensure every vehicle will be sold.  The maker is using a two-stage order process, partially to help build buzz for the breakthrough vehicle, and partially to help get a better feel for demand for a product that’s substantially different from anything it has ever built before.

The initial $99 reservation is fully refundable and does not require a buyer to go through with the next step, placing a formal order for Leaf, which will begin reaching U.S. showrooms in small numbers late this year.

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It’s unclear how many of those initial reservations will translate into actual orders but Nissan insiders say they expect a high percentage of the initial “hand-raisers” to follow through to purchase.

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