In preparation for this December’s launch of its new Leaf all-electric vehicle, Nissan North America Incorporated has opened a technical training center in Livermore, California. In a statement issued last week, Nissan said the new center will provide training to technicians for dealerships located throughout the Western U.S., including California, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
More than 14,000 U.S. customers have paid a $99 refundable deposit to reserve a Leaf since Nissan began accepting reservations last April. Nissan North America’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, Brain Carolin, said 90% of those reservations have been made by current owners of non-Nissan vehicles. Nissan says it will refund customers’ deposits if they decide not to go through with their purchase for any reason. One reason for such a decision may be the customers’ inability to have a charging station installed at their residence.
Nissan says it has also taken reservations for another 6,000 Leafs from Japanese customers.
Nissan says the base sticker price for the Leaf will be $32,780. Federal tax credits will reduce that price to about $25,000, and California residents will also receive additional savings amounting to about $3,000 in the form of state-sponsored incentives.
Nissan said the new 23,000-square-foot Livermore training center will provide service technicians with extensive training on the Leaf’s diagnostics, heating and cooling system, chassis integration and much more. Nissan North America’s communications manager, Tim Gallagher, said the location and timing of the facility’s opening couldn’t be more perfect. “For dealers,” he said, “that part of the country is where we are seeing hand-raisers for the Leaf. Those are hotbeds for EVs.”
Beginning in September, Nissan plans to launch a full-scale, nationwide advertising blitz for the Leaf. The following month, Nissan will begin offering test drives in various U.S. cities to help build excitement and word-of-mouth buzz about the Leaf. Carolin said Nissan plans to offer “tens of thousands” of test drives between the promotions launch in October and the arrival of the Leaf in dealer showrooms in December.
Nissan currently has nine technical training centers in the U.S. serving their flagship and Infinity brands. The automaker plans to open another center in Ontario, California sometime this fall.
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