TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co has temporarily stopped taking new orders of its recently unveiled light electric vehicles (EVs) because of prolonged delivery periods of a year or more, a Nissan spokesperson said on Thursday.
The Japanese automaker stopped taking orders of the Sakura, fully electric micro “kei” cars, at the end of the month, the spokesperson said. The company announced the suspension on its website on Tuesday and it is unclear when it will resume taking orders.
Gasoline-electric hybrid models remain far more popular in Nissan’s home market than EVs, but the automaker hopes to draw more Japanese drivers to battery-powered cars by offering low-priced micro models such as the Sakura.
Nissan also stopped taking new orders of the X-Trail crossover sports utility vehicle for the same reason.
The suspension is for the domestic market, the spokesperson said.
“We are unable to provide customers with a delivery date response,” the spokesperson said.
Strong orders and the global semiconductor chip shortage, which had cast uncertainty over the production plan for the next fiscal year, have led to a prolonged delivery period of a year or more, the spokesperson added.
The Japanese automaker unveiled the Sakura, its first jointly developed light EV with alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp, in May and said in July it had attracted orders of 23,000 units, exceeding the total number of battery-driven EVs sold by all companies in Japan last year.
Nissan said in August it would stop taking new orders for the Leaf EV currently sold in the domestic market in late September.
(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama and Maki Shiraki; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)