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By Mark Kleis

Did you reserve a Nissan Leaf with a $99 deposit? Did you get an e-mail on Tuesday asking you to contact your local dealer to complete your order?

If not, you are one of nearly 20,000 hopeful Leaf buyers that will have to wait until next year before you can potentially place your order. According to a report by Venture Beat, Nissan has communicated to dealers that just 200 Leaf vehicles will be delivered this year starting in December, and all 200 will be limited to a five state special introduction.

For its initial 2010 limited introduction, the Lead will be available in California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington and Tennessee, with just a handful of dealers getting only one to a handful of orders each.

Nissan says that it chose the 200 lucky buyers based on “when consumers submitted their original reservations online and by the consumer’s market,” which was seemingly confirmed by sales manager Ray Ishak of CampbellNelson Nissan in Seatle, Washington. Ishak reported a total of six customers were sent the notification e-mails confirming their December deliveries.

Ishak says that Nissan has not explained how it will divvy up the 200 orders amongst the five states, if it will do an even 40 per state, or if it will divide them by population and/or market conditions.

The Leafs which were ordered yesterday or in very early September are expected to begin production later this month in Japan, with the orders placed in September having a slim chance of making it to their prospective new owners before year’s end.

Pricing for the Leaf starts at $32,780 for the base SV model, and jumps modestly to $33,720 for the SL model – both before the qualifying $7,500 Federal tax credit. The SL will likely be the more popular model as it exclusively allows owners to order an additional $700 quick charge option that will allow an 80 percent charge to take place in just 30 minutes. Otherwise, a conventional full charge will take a rather extensive 20 hours to complete.

Nissan claims to have just over 18,500 pre-orders to date, and is expected to reach 20,000 pre-orders before year’s end.



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