TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. has stopped taking North American pre-orders for its Leaf electric car after reaching the 20,000-unit mark three months before its December launch.
No additional orders will be taken until next year, the company said. Combined with some 6,000 pre-orders in Japan, the zero-emissions car has attracted more than 26,000 hand-raisers worldwide.
The reservation tally is more than double the 10,000-unit production capacity that Nissan plans for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2011.
The Japanese automaker began taking pre-orders in the United States on April 20 and in Japan on April 1. U.S. drivers needed to pay a refundable $99 reservation fee.
Nissan started taking orders in Europe on July 30 and doesn't have a tally yet.
“Nissan now is focusing on providing the best level of customer service and premium ownership experience to those who already have enrolled,” Nissan said. “A subsequent phase of reservations will begin next year, after current reservations and orders have been processed.”
Nissan is screening potential customers to make sure their driving habits are best suited to the Leaf, which has a single charge range of 100 miles. Orders are also prioritized according to local market launch dates and when customers submitted their reservations, Nissan said.
People still interested in making reservations can sign up on Nissan's Web site and receive updates about when the next round of reservations will begin.
Leaf sales begin in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee. Texas and Hawaii join the list in January. It will be available nationwide by the end of 2011.