nissan-leaf-gray-walleditors-blog-entry3Okay, so I did write that maybe waiting another year for a LEAF wouldn’t be so bad – as long as we get a 2013 LEAF with a 6.6 kW charger, which reduces charge time from eight to four hours, and as long as we aren’t one of the very last buyers to get a 2012 LEAF with a 3.3 kW charger.

Still, if I were a Nissan executive working on the LEAF rollout right now, I’d be working very, very hard to ensure that all of us who reserved a LEAF back in April 2010 in the U.S. have a LEAF before the end of 2011.

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Why?

First, there’s basic customer service and fairness. When you imply strongly that everyone who reserved a LEAF in April 2010 would have a LEAF by the end of 2011, as Nissan clearly did, you really want to follow up on the promise you made. Otherwise, you turn a lot of people off.

Brand migration
Second, there’s brand migration: A very large percentage of people who reserved a LEAF have never bought a Nissan before. If you get these folks now, with an EV that impresses, you may keep them for the next two, three, four, even five decades!

If you allow them to migrate to other brands – Ford, Mitsubishi, CODA, Toyota, etc. Well, you’ve lost a tremendous opportunity to pull in thousands of new Nissan converts.

It’s difficult to overstate the value of these opinion leading LEAF foot soldiers. However, once they’re lost to another brand – and it’s clear Ford, Mitsubishi, CODA and Toyota in particular are breathing down Nissan’s neck on this — they could be lost forever.

Third, and this is perhaps the most crucial reason every single person at Nissan who’s working on getting the LEAF out into the hands of the public ought to be doing everything possible to ensure that all April 2010 LEAF reservations holders from all over the United States have a LEAF parked in their garage no later than the end of 2011: There’s the fact that a large percentage of LEAF buyers are typical early adopters, meaning they are opinion leaders.

LEAF foot soldiers
They will sell their neighbors, friends, co-workers and relatives on the LEAF. They will work tirelessly to sell and pitch the LEAF to the rest of the world — all of it without it even feeling like it’s work to them. They’ll be LEAF marketing foot soldiers, a commodity far more valuable than the marketing gurus at Nissan headquarters (sorry Nissan marketing gurus 😉

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It’s difficult to overstate the value of these opinion leading LEAF foot soldiers. You couldn’t buy a better way to expand and grow the Nissan EV brand in the U.S. than these people – and these folks are prepared to pay Nissan for the LEAF while working for it to sell others on the LEAF. Nissan, you can’t beat that!

However, once they’re lost to another brand – and it’s clear Ford, Mitsubishi, CODA and Toyota in particular are breathing down Nissan’s neck on this — they could be lost forever

Now, maybe that’s not enough motivation for Nissan to get April 2010 LEAF reservation holders their EV before the end of 2011. But if it isn’t, I sure don’t understand why.

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