KBB Says 2013 Nissan LEAF Resale Value Will Drop Compared to 2011 and 2012 Model

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 14

2013 Nissan LEAF

2013 Nissan LEAF

2013 Nissan LEAF Will Have Lower Resale Value, Says KBB

2013 Nissan LEAF Will Have Lower Resale Value, Says KBB

Resale value are an ever-changing figure.  The automotive market is simply too complex to set it and forget it.

That’s what we have here in Kelley Blue Book’s (KBB) recent resale valuation of the 2013 Nissan LEAF.

First, some background info is in order. KBB set the 36-month resale value of both the 2012 and 2011 Nissan LEAFs at 40 percent of their respective stickers prices when purchased new.  40 percent is average in the automotive field.  Not a stand-out figure, but not bad by any means.

For the Model Year 2013 LEAF though, KBB revised its 36-month resale value down to 35%.  That’s not a figure to shout out loud about.

Eric Ibara, KBB’s director of residual value consulting, says residual values dropped due to a few factors, most notably the LEAF’s reduced base price for 2013.  Other factors include gas prices that are lower than anticipated and a general weakening is wholesale prices for electric vehicles.

Quoting Ibara:

“Demand for a new LEAF is driven by vehicle enthusiasts, early adopters, people who are concerned about the environment. But when it comes to a 2-year-old used electric vehicle, practical considerations greatly outweigh the novelty of new technology.”

Sort of makes sense, right?  But what KBB is missing is the fact that the $7,500 credit only applies to new vehicle purchase and not to three-year-old LEAFs.  So, why would anyone buy a used LEAF over a brand spankin’ new one right now?  That just wouldn’t make financial sense.

Source: Automotive News

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14 responses to "KBB Says 2013 Nissan LEAF Resale Value Will Drop Compared to 2011 and 2012 Model"

  1. evnow says:

    KBB had their numbers all wrong – they seem to be correcting them now. Earlier they would show a resale value of $21k when the auction was going for $16k

  2. Richard Noe says:

    Nissan’s cutting corners on their Leaf battery packs is coming back to bite all the early adopters that placed their trust in a large OEM to do it right, and now want to sell or trade up.

    Living in AZ, I wouldn’t touch a Leaf new or used with a ten-foot pole. Especially used.

    1. evnow says:

      I wouldn’t live in a desert to begin with 😉

      1. Richard Noe says:

        Good for you. I happen to like waking up to the sun shining most mornings and no snow in “winter”.

        Wherever you live, you can stay there 🙂

        1. shaun w says:

          I haven’t noticed any “cutting of corners” in my battery. After 15,000 miles and 2 years I can’t notice any difference to when it was new.
          BTW here on the coast in San Diego I get all the sun I want, though admittedly a few times a year we have to run the A/C.

    2. VFanRJ says:

      It’s that battery management cost cutting that prevented me from buying a leaf, even though it seats 5 and has good range. Instead, I bought a Volt.

  3. “resale value of both the 2012 and 2012 Nissan LEAFs at 40 percent”
    Typo: Is 2012 vs. 2011, or 2013? Thanks.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Fixed…Thanks for catching the error.

  4. It would be helpful if “resale values” were included in article, in addition to “resale percentages”. It sounds like resale percent, is based on original sticker price? What happened to basing resale pricing on market value?

    2011 Leaf: Had pre-order MSRP but was increased as deliveries started.
    (¥, yen to other currency re-evaluation)
    2012 Leaf: MSRP price increased further, (increased ¥ headwinds), but some
    features added (winter battery warmer, heated seats, steering wheel, etc)
    2013 Leaf: MSRP drop & lower price entry model added (3 models total),
    features added (faster charging, interior options, better reGen, etc. … over 100+ changes)

    Not seeing logic; perhaps a better indicator of resale value is to:
    Park a 2011, 2012, & 2013 Leafs side-by-side in 12 months from now, with the same:
    1) feature-set,
    2) 12-bar battery capacity (what’s value of a missing battery capacity bar?)
    3) mileage
    4) remaining warranty (for: basic {3yr/36k miles}, powertrain & battery {5yr/60k miles/70%})
    5) general interior/exterior condition
    6) maintenance history (service checks, tire & battery reports, CarWings data?, … )
    7) …

    How would a purchaser value each Leaf model? Obviously it will be rare to find 3 identical LEAFs with only the model year varying. KBB has good mileage info (ICE maintenance cost & repair history) & good valuation on feature preferences (heated seats, stereo, sun-roof, etc)

    The **big unknown** is placing a “valuation” on the battery, the most expensive component? The battery pack is one component that is essentially the same between all 3 model years!
    Some possible factors: age, mileage, capacity, charge history (regular 80% vs. 100% SoC), … , etc.

    From KBB, it would be interesting to hear how they plan to calculate depreciation? Are “residual values” used for new & prior leases data that KBB has access to & uses?

    With early adopter leases starting to come to term, it will be interesting to see numbers on how many buy out the lease, lease a new vehicle, or purchase a new vehicle.

  5. Open-Mind says:

    IMHO, the primary cause is Nissan’s Leaf price drop, since gasoline prices are nowhere near “low”. In my city, gasoline is back up to the 2008 $4+ prices that Bush was vilified for.

    When Nissan cut the price of a new Leaf by $6K (or whatever), they also devalued every used Leaf at the same time. That’s because the value of a used product will always be relative to the cost of its new counterpart. Likewise, when the $7500 tax credit eventually goes away, that will increases the effective cost of new EVs, so it will also increase the resale value of used EVs. Seems pretty simple.

    1. Regulus Black says:

      @Open-Mind

      I watched the video. It was pretty interesting. I leased a Leaf to cut down on my gas expenses. It was an experiment. I’m really glad I did. It is a great car, really well made. My monthly expense for gas went from $200 to $50 (for the John Deere and the Prius).
      The Leaf takes a little getting used to. We use it for most of our driving, the Prius just for long trips. It is great not having to buy gas and not polluting!

      We have to save this planet – it is the only one with chocolate!

  6. Future Leaf Driver says:

    This will also happen with the Volt and other EVs when they drop their prices to match the Leaf price drop.

    Wait until 25,000 leased Volts hit the used market. They’ll be selling south of $20K easily especially if GM offers 2014 Volts for under $30K.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    And as more advancements are made re:batteries, the price of EVs will decline further, as will the resale value and likely the percentage, as people come to expect prices to keep dropping. This is why I’ve been telling people for some time to lease, not buy a Leaf, and it’s why I leased an S trim level, which I happen to love.

    But as far as the residual values go, nothing to see here, unless you know nothing about economics. This is just a new technology sorting itself out in the marketplace, as economists like to say.

  8. Steve Morris says:

    I’ll be very pleased to buy a used three year old 2013 Leaf at 40% of retail. While the low resale value is bad news for buyers, it is great news for those who want an electric car for a reasonable price. Drivers who only need 50 miles of daily range will have quite a bargain, especially when you factor in the minimal maintenance they require and the reliability of so few moving parts in an EV drive train.