Earlier this month, Nissan held a conference to discuss its financial results for Q2 of the fiscal year. Nissan’s chief operating officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, spoke about the company’s progress regarding green car technology, announcing that global sales for the LEAF, since its launch in 2010, now stand at 42,700 total units, including 19,000 in Japan. He also reaffirmed the automaker’s dedication to EVs moving forward and discussed some ideas that would help boost sales and worldwide interest.
Video of the conference is available online (talk of EVs starts around 41 minutes in), so you can get a sense of the tone for yourself. Although the audio is dubbed by an English translator, Shiga’s message was still clear. He expressed frustration about the slow pace of sales, calling it “disappointing.” Nissan had set some pretty lofty goals for itself, aiming to sell about 40,000 units in 2012 alone. Though they’ve fallen short of that mark, Shiga spoke about the importance of remaining committed to EV technology, reducing emissions and leading the charge toward more sustainable, renewable sources of energy.
He also discussed the importance of data Nissan has collected over the past couple of years and how to implement that information into setting up more Quick Chargers, which he sees as the key to increasing market demand and bringing new customers into showrooms. All LEAFs are connected to the internet around the clock and Nissan is now starting to analyze all that data. Though it’s unclear exactly where exactly Shiga would like to install more Quick Chargers, it seems they’ll be able to glean some pretty useful information from monitoring more and more consumer data in the next couple of years as more LEAFs hit the streets.
This news comes on the heels of the automaker’s announcement to add a third shift and 800 more workers at their assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, which is set to begin producing LEAFs in December. By 2015, 85% of all Nissan vehicles sold in the United States will be built in North America.
Although sales aren’t quite what they expected, it’s clear Nissan remains steadfast in their dedication to the LEAF and the ideals it embodies; greener technology, zero emissions and a focus on overcoming the stranglehold combustion engines have had on the worldwide auto industry for far too long. They still have quite a lot of work to do to help make their vehicles more practical and boost consumer interests in North America, but it seems they’re not going to slow down anytime soon.
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