GM and Nissan limit supply of electric vehicle offerings  At first glance, the sales figures from the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are underwhelming: Though car sales surged 27 percent in February, there were only 281 Chevy Volts sold and 67 Leafs. However, both GM and Nissan are have limited supply - though for different reasons, Fast Company reports.

The two electric vehicle offerings are currently only available in certain markets in the U.S.; the Leaf, for example, is only offered in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii and Tennessee until April when it launches in an additional eight states. Rob Peterson, a Volt spokesman, said that the slow sales are actually expected as the majority of Volts produced in February ended up at dealerships as demo units for customers to take test rides in.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say that sales were down," Peterson said. "I would say that more production was earmarked toward demos. The average daily inventory is the lowest in our fleet, if not the lowest in the industry." He expects Volt sales to pick up significantly after April when all 600 Chevy dealerships have gotten their Volt demo models.

Sales of Leaf models, on the other hand, are also suffering as a result of supply problems. David Reuter, the vice president of corporate communications at Nissan, said "the first three to four months of production haven't brought as man across to America as we hoped to." Nissan's move was intentional, though, as the company wanted to ensure there were no supply chain mishaps affecting car quality.

"We won't be up to full speed production until the end of this month," affirmed Reuter. "Then, we'll be producing 3,000 to 4,000 cars per month. We've been producing less than half of that until now to ensure quality."
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  1. Nonsense: the sales are low because they aren't getting them to customers. Both models' production runs are sold out (at least the Leaf, and I'm pretty sure the Volt is too). That is hardly an indicator of hesitancy.

  2. The Leaf not only suffers from slow production. They kept 3,200 in Japan in Feb to Mar because the Japanese tax credit was expiring. Then the deliveries just before the tsunami were all with a defective firmware that caused the cars to fail to start if he air conditioner had been in use. And drivers get only about a 70 mile range instead of the advertised 100 miles.

    Further, the charging stations installed in the 1990s were never upgraded to the new standard, so the Leaf has no place to get a boost.

    Then the order process was grossly mismanaged by Nissan. Poor communication. Late deliveries. Repeatedly broken promises.

    As somebody who put in a reservation a year ago, paid my money months ago, I am walking away from this boondoggle.