Monday, October 11, 2010

Nissan Leaf

At least twenty thousand Americans are getting very excited about the December arrival of the first all-electric car from Japan. And The Star (October 09, 2010, p SBW16) reported that for that number who have reserved the Nissan Leaf, they’re learning that going electric comes with many perks like no other car purchase. For a start, you need only to pay $99 as deposit and then you get bombarded with government incentives – promises of a $7,500 federal tax credit, a $2,500 cash rebate from the state of Tennessee, and a $3,000 home-charging unit courtesy of the Energy Department. Besides these, there are other benefits such as free parking in some cities and the use of express lanes on highways usually reserved for cars with multiple passengers. And since a Leaf assembly plant is being built in Tennessee, Leaf drivers will be able to charge their vehicles free at public charging stations on 425 miles of freeways that connect Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

This is all part of an unprecedented effort by federal, state and local governments to stimulate demand for cars that have zero tailpipe emissions. It seems that interest in the car has been so great that Nissan has stopped taking reservations for the initial production run. The company has plans to sell as many as 500,000 electric cars worldwide by 2013 and this is Nissan’s pre-emptive bid to corner the all-electric market much the way that Toyota dominated the early hybrid market with the Prius.

As I highlighted in my Strategic Management class on October 03 – to be a global player and become a global success, any company with these ambitions must look to invade the US of A. As I have said, if you can conquer USA, the whole world will be yours too! Proton doesn’t know this lesson – that’s why at best, it's just a two-bit player!

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