Nissan PR chief hits back at Top Gear


Nissan's communications director has hit back after Top Gear's test of the brand's Leaf electric car.

Following presenter Jeremy Clarkson's rant in his Saturday column in The Sun, where he slated Nissan's current range as "boring", Nissan's PR chief has attempted to have his say too.

Writing on the Nissan Insider website (, the firm's PR chief Tom Barnard confirmed that they had complained to Top Gear that the review contained "inaccuracies", but he said these were focused on the presenters' conversation about battery life.

"The presenters' suggestion that the Leaf battery would be scrap after three years is plain wrong," Barnard wrote.

"Other than that part we actually quite liked the review. They said lots of good things about the Leaf. But other media – who love to hate Top Gear it seems – leapt on this and said we had been moaning about the whole feature."

Barnard goes on to explain why Nissan got upset about a car that they've only managed to find a fraction of homes for since its launch earlier this year.

"There's a reason we feel passionately about the Leaf," he wrote. "We feel we need to be first with EV technology, even if it means we have to take a few punches at the beginning.

"People who are cleverer than me have looked at the very big picture. China recently overtook the US as the biggest car market in the world. And it's now the biggest consumer of oil.

"All of these cars currently run on petrol or diesel. It's fuel which we have been used to snaffling ourselves. But soon the global petrol station is going to have a very big queue.

"We'll be forced to find alternative ways of powering our cars. And nearly all the alternatives, from hybrids to fuel cells, use batteries and electric motors to some extent. Thankfully Nissan has already made massive investments in the technology, and will keep doing so.

"Hopefully, it will mean Nissan owners will be able to drive right past the queue in a car which doesn't feel like a compromise. And that's worth shouting about."