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Nissan Leaf tucked away at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

The 2011 Nissan Leaf began reaching the hands of American consumers in December 2010 as the full scale electric car war begins but while the 2011 Chevy Volt was well represented at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the Leaf was more of an afterthought.


Nissan did not have a display on the main floor of Cobo Hall at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and they were nowhere to be found downstairs either, although the downstairs test drive area went so far as to give people a chance to drive the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. The only indication of Nissan’s presence at the Detroit Auto Show was a set of signs sending you to the far end of the Cobo Hall entryway area, near the arena and once you got there, another sign directed you down the long hallway that runs alongside the main floor area. After weaving through a maze of unopened crates, forklifts and stacks of chairs I arrived at the Nissan Media Lounge and with it coming as my last stop of the day, I was sorry that I hadn’t found it earlier.

The only vehicle in the Nissan Media Lounge was the 2011 Leaf with an array of ultra-bright LEDs spotlights set up around it and to its side was a large area of white sofas set in soft lighting. It was like an art gallery devoted to the Nissan Leaf and like any good art gallery, they had drinks (both alcoholic and not) and a spread of tasty food. The Nissan area was whisper quiet with a handful of lovely ladies poised and ready to answer questions – although there was no one else in there while I was in there. This also provided a nice place to kick back and relax, while having a beer and waiting the next shuttle back to Greektown…after taking another look at the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

In speaking with a friend who reads a little too much into things, it was suggested that the well-out-of-sight location of the Nissan display is the work of an overbearing autoworkers union but it seems more likely to me that Nissan Motors dropped the ball on getting a display at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show until it was too late. In any case, Nissan missed a great year for the Detroit Auto Show both from the aspect of vehicles in attendance and the size of the crowd.

Check out the gallery below for a look at the 2011 Nissan Leaf from its secretive display at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

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