The moment that all we electric automotive industry stakeholders (that is, taxpayers) have been waiting for has arrived! The dreams that spurred our $1.4 billion investment in Nissan’s Tennessee plant, for construction of the all-electric Leaf, and its batteries, will finally be realized!
Pass out the scissors for the ribbons, set up the podium for the dignitaries, and roll out a few of those shiny new models…what’s that you say? The ceremony’s been cancelled?
Sure enough, the planned grand opening a couple weeks ago for the Japanese automaker’s factory in Smyrna, Tenn. was called off. It’s not going to be rescheduled. The excuse was that there was a scheduling conflict “among key stakeholders,” which is a surprise considering that with so much taxpayer money behind Nissan’s loan guarantee, “key stakeholders” are plentiful.
But seriously, the horrid-selling Leaf never deterred Nissan from celebrating every milestone – real and imagined – since the car’s introduction nearly three years ago. According to PlugInCars.com, it all looked like a huge build-up to the culmination of what was supposed to be the party of all parties two weeks ago.
“Photo opportunities were created each time the first customer took possession of the first Nissan LEAF in its rollout markets,” the Web site reported. “Top executives smiled as they handed over keys. (Former Tenn.) Gov. Phil Bredesen attended the May 2010 groundbreaking ceremony for Nissan’s EV battery plant. Last year, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood toured the battery plant as it was under construction.”