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Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:24 am
by bonaire
Why are the Nissan reps at the Philadelphia Auto Show (and perhaps others, dealerships, etc.) still telling potential buyers that the Leaf range is 100 miles when they ask them?

This raises their up-front expectations right away and then you have people who buy Leafs becoming irritated that they were misled. Forget the heat related decline. How about the drive-off decline from the point of purchase?

I actually want to add a Leaf to my garage to sit next to my Volt to take advantage of the new lease deals Nissan is offering. But hearing the Nissan reps spouting the 100mi range is troubling and this really turns me off from dealing with the company. It's like a bait and switch. And at worst, it's outright sales-fraud. Of course, it's only really fraud if there is a guarantee, which there isn't.

Anyone else irritated that Nissan continues to give the totally incorrect 100 mile range claim? It's not an estimate - it's a utility claim by someone representing the company, even if they are simply an auto-show demo-model.

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:33 am
by mikeEmike
bonaire wrote:Why are the Nissan reps at the Philadelphia Auto Show (and perhaps others, dealerships, etc.) still telling potential buyers that the Leaf range is 100 miles when they ask them?

This raises their up-front expectations right away and then you have people who buy Leafs becoming irritated that they were misled. Forget the heat related decline. How about the drive-off decline from the point of purchase?

I actually want to add a Leaf to my garage to sit next to my Volt to take advantage of the new lease deals Nissan is offering. But hearing the Nissan reps spouting the 100mi range is troubling and this really turns me off from dealing with the company. It's like a bait and switch. And at worst, it's outright sales-fraud. Of course, it's only really fraud if there is a guarantee, which there isn't.

Anyone else irritated that Nissan continues to give the totally incorrect 100 mile range claim? It's not an estimate - it's a utility claim by someone representing the company, even if they are simply an auto-show demo-model.
I'm irritated by this as well. I had a similar experience with a Nissan rep at the LA Auto Show while I was having a conversation with someone interested in the LEAF. I try not to be bias when it comes to talking about the LEAF when people ask me about the car. I shared the information I had about my experiences, both good and bad. When we were talking about range, the rep must have been eavesdropping because she butted in and insisted that the LEAF will get 100 miles in range, and if I couldn't get 100 miles in range, then it was my poor driving habits. I think this is a pretty good example of how Nissan treats new car buyers AND existing owners, and it really is a shame.

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:41 am
by Shaka
From what I understand, many of the people that work at car shows as "reps" are not actual employees of the company. They are hired from an advertisement agency / marketing company. They are not permanent employees, although they might actually travel the USA to various car shows and represent the same company for the entire auto show "tour" that occurs. However, as these folks are just usually getting data from "bullet point lists" provided by the mfg, they are clueless.

As a HUGE Volkswagen and Audi fan, I can recall going to even the Detroit auto show in addition to the local, Cleveland, Ohio auto show. At both locations I would often see the same "hired help" and hear them spewing off the same inaccuracies to the general public. They are trained for the specific tasks at that show, and usually the people training them work for the domestic corporate and are equally as uneducated. You may be surprised to know that many people who work for auto mfg's don't actually like cars, or lack the passion that we have here on these forums.

All of that being said, that does not obviously excuse the mfg from sending half-truths into the wild. But for them to flow-down proper data, it takes a long time and is a daunting task. I'm guessing that Nissan Japan has yet to revise this data in such a way that it has flowed all the way down. For example, a month ago when my wife and I leased our 2012 Leaf from a local dealer, our salesperson indicated he has not personally delivered one (although his dealer had sold a few). He was less educated than I was on the car, which is not uncommon for sales people in this day and age. Sad, but true.

But alas, from what I've heard Tesla does the same thing. Promises ranges that are at peak conditions and unlikely for the average consumer. This isn't much different than the MPG ratings most cars carry. I rarely see those conditions on my ICE unless on the freeway using cruise control. Around town, my MPGs are always worse. Then again that might just be my lead foot... hahaha!!

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:44 am
by surfingslovak
Shaka wrote:But alas, from what I've heard Tesla does the same thing. Promises ranges that are at peak conditions and unlikely for the average consumer.
I would hope that Tesla stopped advertising the internal design goal of 300/240/160 miles of range for Model S, and is using the official EPA rating instead. I know GM did that with the Volt, and Nissan would be wise to follow suit. Much of the agony in Phoenix and elsewhere started with unrealistic range expectations, which were followed by equally unexpected and fairly rapid drop in effective autonomy.

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:54 am
by TomT
Actually, when I visited Tesla last week they were very upfront and honest about the range, giving what the EPA numbers are and explaining that you might get more, or considerably less, depending on a number of factors, which they then explained in fairly good detail. It was refreshing after constantly hearing the Nissan 100 mile mantral.
Shaka wrote:But alas, from what I've heard Tesla does the same thing. Promises ranges that are at peak conditions and unlikely for the average consumer.

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:56 am
by Herm
You have to drive at 50mph steady on a flat road to get 100 miles of range.. totally impossible!

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:59 am
by EdmondLeaf
This is what I was suggesting to Yokohama marketing trip people, make the car that can do 100 miles, or drop this unrealistic claim

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:10 am
by Bicster
I wonder if Japanese culture is the reason why they make those claims. And don't forget, the official range number for Japan is even higher and more unrealistic.

It turns me off as well, but I'll probably buy a '13 anyway. There aren't any other BEV options around here, and I can get by with a 50 or 60 mile range most of the time. I keep reminding myself that my van has a 260 mile range and I don't even fill it up weekly. I could probaby drive 90%+ electric on a Volt.

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:25 am
by bonaire
Yeah, they may have similar cultural issues as China where "Saving Face" is an incredibly important issue.

"We've been saying 100miles for two years now ... why stop now?"
or
"Our demo dollies must have been trained in 2011, we have made adjustments to that and will retrain them shortly..."

My "beef" is this. You put a shirt on with the company logo on it and "represent" the company - then YOU are the company and you are responsible for correct information. I'm sure Carlos thinks this is fine and part of "doing business".

Re: Phila. Auto Show - Leaf range

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:27 am
by adric22
I don't mind if somebody uses the 100-mile figure as long as they put it into context. For example, when people ask me how far my Leaf can go on a single charge, I will tell them, "Well.... You can get about 100 miles if you drive on city streets at a constant speed, on a flat ground, with the air conditioner off, on a warm day." But then I follow that up with "Realistically, most people are going to get 60-70 miles in city driving, or 50-60 on the highway." If time permits I also go on to explain that most people overestimate how many miles they actually drive, and that the range is more than you think.

Just like with the charging time, I always have to explain the 3 types of charging, and then the most important part of that is that the battery will almost never be empty when starting the charge, meaning those are always worst-case-scenario charge times. For example, my charge time is usually about an hour each day when I get home from work.

So, numbers are good only when explained with real-life scenarios. I too am irritated that Nissan would throw out that 100 miles range without explaining to people that this would be a best-case scenario.