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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orphaned Nissan LEAF


There is a Nissan LEAF available for sale in Washington State. Well at least there was on Jan 19th 2011. There are currently thousands of people waiting to receive these cars. Many customers have been told that they cannot have one until April and even more have been told the vague four to seven months from now.

How is it that there is one for sale in Washington? The dealer was not available for immediate comment when I called. Here is my understanding of the process. For all the initial LEAFs that are being sold, Nissan corporate is keeping a tight rein on them. The orders are placed via the web to Nissan directly and then the customer can later select a dealership. The dealers are disallowed from pricing these initial orders above MSRP. And with sites like MyNissanLeaf sharing all sorts of pricing information, dealerships have to price it at least $500 under MSRP to get any quantity of sales. Even if the dealership prices the car at invoice, they will get an $820 dealership destination fee, and since Nissan corporate is handing them the cars and customers all paired up, the dealership does not have to do too much to make the sale. And like any other car, they can make money on the financing, depending on how it is paid for.

So why is there one for sale? For these initial orders, if the customer does not take the vehicle (perhaps they changed their mind, or could not get financing), then the gloves are off for the dealership. The car is considered "orphaned" and the dealership can sell it to anyone off the street for whatever price the market will bear.

Will there be price gouging and crazy bidding or will it quickly go to someone willing to pay MSRP?
We will soon see.

Dealership information:
Rairdon's Nissan of Auburn
713 35th St. NE.
Auburn, WA. 98002

Todd A. Fee
Internet Sales Director
(253)833-4700
tfee@rairdon.com