Nissan expects to sell 12,000 Leafs in U.S. in 2011  Though Japanese carmakers have struggled to get their manufacturing back to full capacity following the natural disasters that struck the country in March, Nissan said this week it has seen swift sales of the Leaf, its electric car offering.

Bloomberg reports that Japan's second-largest carmaker sold 1,142 Leafs in the U.S. in May, which is the highest number since the company began selling it in December. Nissan vice president Al Castignetti said the company expects sales to continue at that pace through the end of the year, even with the major supply chain disruptions that have plagued the carmaker's manufacturing.

In total, Nissan projects it will sell between 10,000 and 12,000 Leafs by the end of the year, lending a bright spot to its otherwise gloomy outlook for 2011.

"That's a reasonable figure," Castignetti said. "We're very positive about this program. It's different than anything we've ever done, launching the car in three global markets at the same time. We knew it wasn't going to be easy."

Procurement cost reductions had previously enabled Nissan to achieve business cost reductions in its business model, but the shocks to Japanese infrastructure prompted a number of carmakers to shift their strategic sourcing as they scrambled to find procurement consultants who could find critical components necessary in the production of vehicles.
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