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As of tomorrow, Nissan has announced that the Leaf will be available for order across all U.S. markets as the automaker completes its final launch phase in the remaining states.
“More than 22,000 Leafs are on the roads globally, having driven more than 30 million miles. There is no longer any doubt that a 100-percent electric, zero-emissions vehicle fulfills the needs and desires of drivers from around the globe,” sales and marketing senior vice president of Nissan North America Brian Carolin said. ”Nationwide availability of the Nissan Leaf means that now, anyone in the country can opt for a transportation solution that does not harm the environment, provides a pathway to energy independence, and doesn’t use a single drop of gas.”
Beginning March 1, customers in the remaining 21 states who already hold Leaf reservations may begin the Nissan Leaf ordering process. In the coming week and beyond, any can join the list to own a Leaf. New order deliveries for the nationwide release will commence by Summer.
Read AutoGuide’s Nissan Leaf Review Here
The battle axes are sharpened and starting to swing in Germany between the three largest luxury car makers, as Audi admits for the first time that they plan to sell their compact Q3 SUV in America.
The Volkswagen-based luxury brand has been hinting and teasing the notion that we might get the Q3 on North American soil, but until now there wasn’t any way to be sure. Now Audi has confirmed it will reveal a Q3 “Vail” Concept at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, using the vehicle as part of a larger strategy to overtake BMW as the top-selling luxury brand by 2015.
“The next pillar of the market that we have to conquer is the United States,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in London on Thursday. “We see opportunities in the SUV and sedan segments.”
Audi has been growing as a brand outside the U.S. but making a more solid footprint in the American market is essential for them to meet their goal. Here in the States BMW and Mercedes still have a strong grip on luxury sales, but by introducing smaller cars, Audi may be able to change that. Along with the Q3, Audi is expected to deliver several versions of its next generation A3, including a sedan.
Another key point in their strategy will be manufacturing cars domestically rather than shipping and therefore significantly limiting availability to consumers, something BMW and Mercedes have already figured out.
It isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, though, according to Stadler, Audi is finally profitable in America, giving them the confidence to go from wading into full swim.
“In the next decade, we will have to think about the next icon in the Audi brand,” Stadler said. Given the strong trend toward smaller, more economy-minded cars, we’re eager to see what he has up his sleeve.
GALLERY: Audi A3 Concept
[Source: Automotive News]