Nissan LEAF January/February Sales To Be Lower As Inventory Approaches A “Sold Out” Scenario

4 years ago by Jay Cole 9

2013 LEAFs (SL shown above) Can Not Arrive At Dealerships Soon Enough For Nissan

2013 LEAFs (SL shown above) Can Not Arrive At Dealerships Soon Enough For Nissan

In an effort to clear out 2012 LEAF inventory ahead the arrival of the updated 2013 lineup (which now starts at $28,800), Nissan, along with their dealers, heavily discounted all the existing inventory last month.  Rebates started at $5,500 and ranged up to almost 10,000.

Workers At Nissan's Smyrna Assembly Facility Toil Over A New 2013 S Model LEAF

Workers At Nissan’s Smyrna Assembly Facility Toil Over A New 2013 S Model LEAF

And it worked.  But maybe too well.

Nissan’s Director of Corporate Communications, filled us in on the situation on 2012 LEAF inventory, and short-term sales expectations for the model:

“The current model ’12 Nissan LEAF is approaching a sold-out scenario as we prepare to introduce the upgraded 2013 model, which will go on sale in February.  That increased sales pace of about 1,500 units per month during the 4th quarter of 2012 means that we now are almost out of MY ’12 LEAFs. We won’t be able to meet that pace again until we can fill the channel with the new supply of ‘13s from Tennessee.”

2013 Nissan LEAFs Come With A New Darker Interior Trim Option (click to enlarge)

2013 Nissan LEAFs Come With A New Darker Interior Trim Option (click to enlarge)

Nissan tells us that they entered January with less than 900 vehicles still available to be sold at the dealership level, and although “the remaining units are dispersed across the 50-state network, we anticipate that we’ll be able to sell the majority of those this month.” 

We Have Now Exhausted All The Decent Photos We Have Of The 2013 LEAF...So Here Is A Shot Of The  Cupholders.  Enjoy!

We Have Now Exhausted All The Decent Photos We Have Of The 2013 LEAF…So Here Is A Shot Of The Cupholders. Enjoy!

The 2013 Nissan LEAF has already entered production in Smyrna, TN, and the first retail units are expected to reach dealerships at the beginning of next week.

However, Nissan says that fully filling the distribution channel will take until March, and “the sustained higher demand for LEAF is creating a shortage in the supply that will last until the pipeline is filled with new 2013 models…”

Brendan Jones, Nissan director of electric vehicle marketing and sales strategy, separately also weighed in on the situation:

“The Nissan LEAF sales rate grew significantly in fourth quarter, which resulted in dealers starting January with an even more limited supply of the electric vehicles than we anticipated. We’re currently on track to sell more than 80 percent of that available inventory in January, which puts us in an ideal position to release and ramp up supply of the enhanced 2013 LEAF in February and March.”

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9 responses to "Nissan LEAF January/February Sales To Be Lower As Inventory Approaches A “Sold Out” Scenario"

  1. Delta says:

    Those cupholders are a deal breaker.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Jay,
    What production rate is Nissan planning for 2013’s?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Thats a really good question, and something the Nissan guys would probably never tell me, lol.

      We can probably logically deduce something fairly close though. Nissan is hoping to sell around 15,000 2013 LEAFs in its first full year. And now that they aren’t losing their shirt bringing them in from Japan (and the price is realistic), the dealer inventory level should be normalized to a conventional sell-through (60-90 days) or about 3,000-4,000 units.

      I’d pencil them down for a run rate of 18k or 19k for their fiscal year. Mind you, Smyrna is a monster, so they could easy jack production up on a whim if they wanted to.

      …thats my guess anyway

  3. Josh says:

    I am guessing the discounts on the 2012s are shrinking along with supply until there is a 2013 sitting right next to it.

    I spoke to my sales rep about theoretically getting a 2013 lease to replace my 2011 lease. They quoted me as 6k upside down (2011 LEAF w/ 30k miles – $15k valuation) on the lease right now. I am sure they would love me to eat that now, instead of them at the end of my lease ($15k residual in the lease).
    Waiting to see what the larger pack looks like on the LE and hold out for June 2014 (my lease end), sounds like the best plan.

    1. evnow says:

      Josh, where are you ? My 15k 2011 was quoted as around $16k – about $3k down from payoff amount.

      1. Josh says:

        I am in Houston. Did you lease or purchase? I leased an SL (with the QC port) for 36 months and 45k miles with a residual of something like $15,500. So basically I owe $21k for the lease buyout (after 20 months) and they say my car is worth $15k. I had a pretty good feeling the resale values would plummet as the new versions came out.

        Don’t confuse me with being upset over the situation. It is the reality of wanting to be first in line and the major deciding factor on leasing as opposed to purchasing.

        1. GeorgeS says:

          I thought what you owe is simply the payments till the end of the lease. Yes? You could try to find a buyer for your lease if they qualify. So you might have to buy down some lease payments to get a buyer but it would be better than eating the whole lease.

          Does this make sense? Or am I wrong.

          1. Josh says:

            I owe roughly $8k in future lease payments and likely will have about $2k (13k miles @ 15c/mile) in mileage overages remaining on my current lease. So the $6k is less than just making the rest of my payments, but it is still cheaper to just use my current LEAF for the remainder of the lease, pay the overage in mileage, and get another car then.

            Plus I get to see what comes out over the next year (and dream that my wife wakes up one day and decides I have to have a Model S 🙂 ).

            1. GeorgeS says:

              Good one I dream the same thing.

              So the dealer is givng you a little bit of a bonus at only 6K upside down??