Nissan Expected to Slowly Boost US LEAF Production to Meet High Demand
The shortage of Nissan LEAFs will come to an end soon, says Bill Krueger, Nissan America senior vice-president for manufacturing.
As Krueger states, Nissan is currently gauging long-term demand for the LEAF and will use the info it obtains to determine the correct method to ramp up LEAF production in the US.
Production is not expected to increase dramatically, but rather at a slowly growing pace.
The first step in the ramp up is already underway. Nissan is adding staff at its Decherd, Tennessee factory ahead of launching a third shift there. Decherd is where Nissan makes electric motors that power the LEAF. The 3rd shift is expected to be added this Fall.
The next step for Nissan is to determine whether or not a 2nd shift is needed at its battery manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. Nissan will wait until sales results for August are in before determining the right action to take.
As Krueger told Automotive News:
“Sales needs to give us the green light, and we’ll decide in September. We want to know is this a spurt, or is this long-term? But we don’t want to ramp up and then ramp back down, We want to see that it’s sustainable. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of cars out there that you can’t sell.”
If sales hold steady at or near 2,000 unit per month, then Nissan will indeed need to ramp up production as supply of the LEAF is starting to dwindle.
Of note, Nissan is still the only major (excludes Tesla) automaker that produces a pure electric vehicle, its battery pack and its electric motor right here in the US of A.