Dec 02, 2009 at 04:23 PM
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Nissan Dilemma Demonstrates Difficult Diplomacy of Olympic Bidding

Autocar reports that production of Nissan's new battery-powered Leaf hatchback in the UK is now uncertain after BMW outbid the carmaker for the right to supply electric vehicles to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Autocar writes:

Nissan UK’s trump card in trying to secure European Leaf production for Sunderland was the fact that it could promise to have an outlet for at least 2000 units of the car by 2012. After the games, the used Leafs would be passed onto City Hall for use in its own fleet.

“The Olympic decision would have accelerated the Leaf process in the UK,” said our source. “There would be a local urgency for the cars and a client base to satisfy and time pressure to work to.”

The report states that 'the government, in particular business secretary Peter Mandelson, is believed to be keen to see the Leaf being built in the UK, but it had no involvement in the LOCOG’s decision.'

While the UK remains in the running for the production contract, other European countries like Portugal are expected to heavily compete for the bid to produce the new fleet of cars.