Delay in production of Made in USA Nissan Leaf?

One of Nissan Motor Co. top official said that US may see delay in the start of U.S. built Nissan Leaf electric car because of the disruption caused by the huge quake in Japan.

Hideaki Watanabe, vice president in charge of Nissan's global Zero Emission Vehicle business unit, said many timetables had been thrown off by the March 11 earthquake, as Nissan focused all of its resources on restoring its manufacturing output in Japan.

Watanabe said "there's a risk" of delay but it was too early to estimate how long that might be.

The quake's impact "is putting us in a very difficult situation," Watanabe said at a briefing at the Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills.

Nissan has sold 7,554 Leaf cars since the model's launch late last year. Nearly 5,000 have been delivered to Japanese customers, and just under 2,100 to buyers in the United States — the Leaf's second-biggest market.

This year, Nissan expects to ship 10,000 to 12,000 Leaf cars to the U.S. — below expectations of as many as 20,000.

Src: [The Detroit News]

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