Nissan LEAF Sales US Reach 2016 High, But We Can’t Help Looking To 2017

2 months ago by Jay Cole 28

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn comes to the US for a couple of keynote presentations this month.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn comes to the US for a couple of keynote presentations this month.  First up: CES on the 5th, then NAIAS on the 9th

Nissan has finally closed the books on the 2016 selling season for the Nissan LEAF, and although December ended with a bit of a bang…it was pretty underwhelming overall.

Quite honestly, we spent the majority of the year ‘looking ahead’ to what was next for Nissan’s plug-in offerings.  Thankfully with 2017 now here, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is now in America for the first of two appearances over the next week.  On Wednesday, Ghosn appears at CES for a keynote focusing on autonomy and technology advancements, and also next Monday (January 9th, 2017) for the ‘big show’ in Detroit – NAIAS.

But there still is the business of December sales…and for the month, Nissan sold 1,899 LEAFs, good for a 41% increase over a year ago’s result of 1,347.

December represented the base month of the year, eclipsing the former high set just last month when 1,457 were sold.

For the year, a total of 14,006 LEAFs were sold, off some 19% from the 17,269 moved in 2015, and well off the all-time high set in 2014 when 30,200 were sold.

With the arrival of the 238-mile Bolt EV this month, we expect LEAF sales to pull back some until Nissan can bring its worthy competitor to market later this year.

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28 responses to "Nissan LEAF Sales US Reach 2016 High, But We Can’t Help Looking To 2017"

  1. BenG says:

    I expect price cuts and/or deep discounting for the Leaf as Bolt sales spread across the land.

    My prediction: Nissan will use discount pricing to move the remainder of 1st gen Leafs through the first half of the year, then the 2018 Gen 2 will be available around August.

    1. Ziv says:

      Ben, the Leaf finished the year fairly well, but I really hope the Gen II Leaf will come late winter or early Spring, not late summer. July is too late and August is even worse.

      Nissan has been working on this car for years, I just don’t think it will take them that long to bring it to market. But I have to admit that Nissan seems to be lagging, I haven’t even seen a teaser photo of the new Leaf.

      1. James says:

        How are you guys claiming a new leaf would be out by the summer when a prototype hasn’t even been unveiled! They don’t even have a new design! Nissan is and just lagging I think they’re giving up completely

  2. Assaf says:

    Seems like the Leaf still managed to hold on to the annual global #1 spot for 2016…

    1. Brian says:

      This is a point that seems to be missed on this US-centric website. The Leaf still sells very well world-wide. There is little to be gained by showing the next gen Leaf early. Nissan has a history of holding their cards very close.

      I think there is still some hope that this spring will see the significantly improved 2018 Leaf. I will be watching CES/NAIAS very closely for clues.

      1. BenG says:

        Yep, I think they are in a good position to crank out some more volume of the Gen 1, cut prices/increase incentives, and take advantage of the investment in Gen 1 for another few months at least. If they keep up 4,000/month for 6 months, at $28,000/car that’s $672,000,000 in sales.

      2. Josh Bryant says:

        I am looking for more than clues. I am expecting final interior/exterior, EPA range, drivetrain power, starting price, and spring availability announced in the next 7 days.

        Maybe I am setting myself up for major disappointment.

        1. Brian says:

          “Expecting” may be a bit too much – seems you are setting yourself up to be disappointed. I think “hope” is the best we can do for now, and even that is pushing it.

          If Nissan reveals anything like what you are expecting them to, I will be blown away.

      3. Rob Stark says:

        The LEAF sells poorly in more markets than any other BEV in the world.

        Combined it is number one.

        It really does do well in Japan, especially considering how old it is. Outside not so much.

    2. Counter-Strike Cat says:

      And Renault-Nissan DID top the 80000 mark!

  3. Alan says:

    5 days is a long time to wait !

  4. Alan says:

    If you play the video and stop n start it in very small amounts, you can see several cars in the area, one a 3 seater and at least one other vehicle in the background both of which are white, the second could be a Leaf or Pulsar type sized vehicle ?

  5. AlphaEdge says:

    Come on Carlos. Knock it out of the park. This is a segment you should be leading in.

  6. Joe says:

    Nissans dealers blew any chance Nissan had to be a leader in EVs.
    I’ve long thought they should just keep building the Leaf mostly as is and keep driving the price down, much like the VW Beetle.

    1. Yogurt says:

      I would not mind that at all but always want a better battery…

    2. If (And – that is a big ‘IF’) Nissan Dealers wanted to ‘Knock it out of the Park’ themselves, they could get a whole lot more EV Friendly – by always making sure their on-site EV Charging Stations are available for use by EV’s, Offer Free Charging for anyone with an EV, and at least 1 or 2 Hours use during business hours, for anyone coming to see their LEAF (or, I guess – the new PHEV they have coming)!

      They could also post better signage around their own EV Charging stations – that show where other nearby Charging Station Sites are, in case these ones are busy!

      While Discounted prices are a great pitch, do they even mention that the EV’s TCO is a great value, or – do them lead off with mentioning the FED and State EV Credits (or Rebates, as the case might be – in some areas, like Canada)?

  7. Leafer says:

    The “big show” in detroit? This means tomorrow Nissan shows us only ProPilot or Windows OS for their vehicles?
    I hope insideevs is right because than I will not stand up in the night looking the CES show, will wait for the 9th.

    1. Erik says:

      Hehe, I’m also doubting if i’m going to stay up late to watch this keynote! It would be very disappointing to get to work tomorrow with only 5 hours sleep and no new Leaf news (-:

      Seems like most commenters are unaware of this article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bertelschmitt/2016/12/16/ghosn-hints-at-substantial-ces-reveal-but-the-leafs-new-battery-could-disappoint-at-first/#7b0bcc662793

      1. Brian says:

        Somewhat interesting article, but there is no substance. Other than the statement “However, the car’s range could initially be a little less than the expected 400 kilometers (250 miles) per the optimistic Japanese standard” there is nothing to support the idea of a dissappointment. The author does not give any kind of source of this statement. I suppose we are led to infer that Ghosn himself said it, but if that’s the case why is he not quoted?

  8. Sam says:

    The big question is who is going to buy an EV with an 80-mile range when they can spend a little more for a 200-mile range? Nissan can expect sales to keep falling.

    1. q says:

      Q: Who’ll buy 80 miles when 200 miles costs a little more?

      A: People who only need 80 miles.

      Daily commute of over 40 miles is pretty rare. And long haul trips (roadtrip style) require either 400 mile range (so that you can go back to the overnight approach) or serious fast-charging (which so far only Tesla provides in USA).

      How often do you drive somewhere over 40 but less than 100 miles away? Is it often enough to make “buy 200 mile car” cheaper than “buy 80 mile car + occasionally Turo 200 mile car”?

      I mean, sure, if you have a 40+ mile commute, or can’t charge at home, it’s worth it.
      Or if you take roadtrips all the time, a Model X may be the right move.
      But that leaves a bunch of folks who I think still have a good argument to buy the cheap car, even if it has lower range.

      1. JH says:

        If they cut the price accordingly they might move some vehicles. But not in any significant numbers.

      2. EV4Life says:

        I don’t agree with that argument at all.

        Using that argument is just selecting a special case in a vain attempt at relevance.

        I own a LEAF and in winter the range is more like 65 miles, 75 in summer and 85 in the two weeks of the year that heating or AC aren’t used.
        65 miles means I HAVE to find charging solutions just to complete a normal day. There just aren’t enough L3/DC options to make it useful.
        Attempting L2 charging during the day is only fine if you enjoy spending hours waiting to charge.

        Even better – most of the fast L3 charging prices are more expensive than gas, so it ends up costing more and taking more time and ICE.
        Basically, public charging is a crapshoot that can’t be relied upon for day to day use.

        200 mile range means we can charge at leisure not out of necessity and use an EV just like a normal car rather than constantly making compromises.

        And given that the Bolt is only a little more than the LEAF, why would anyone opt for the car that can only be used some of the time instead of being close to an “only” car.

        disclosure – I own a 24K LEAF but am waiting on Tesla to deliver my Model 3

        1. Erik says:

          Totally agree with you, the constant pressure of HAVING TO charge is annoying. I’t not range anxiety that’s the problem but charging anxiety.

          Wednesday’s I arrive late at the office, all 4 sockets are already taken. I NEED to charge to get home again, during the day I have to check for free scokets on a regular basis.

          With a longer range car I’d say, what the heck, I’ll charge at home again, or tomorrow when I arrive early.

          In fact with a 250km/160mile EPA car I would have to charge just once a week instead of say six times a week…

          Drive a used 2012 Leaf, reserved a model 3 but a Nissan IDS based car with the above range might tempt me because of the years of waiting for M3.

      3. “How often do you drive somewhere over 40 but less than 100 miles away?” Every Day for large numbers of my Co-Workers!

        I work in a place with over 4,000 staff, and I would guess that 50 miles each way, is the norm for about a 1,000 of them, or at least 25%!

        So, and since the LEAF is nor a true 100+ miles a day car in winter, and with Heat on, and Highway speeds of 110-120 Kph (65-70 Mph, or so), and with hills, and Snow (slippery roads), a minimum would be the new IONIQ 124 Miles EV Range target, at least for them. So – for those 25% of co workers, the LEAF would not cut it – even with the new 30 kWh Battery! An upgrade – to a 40 kWh Battery, could get it done, even if the LEAF Stayed in its currently designed shape!

        As we don’t currently have any major push in the Province of Ontario, for Workplace EV Charging, Longer Range EV’s will become a requirement to get many long distance commuters into EV’s, and it really is the Longer Distance Commuters that both save the most by going to an EV For the Commute, and safe on Pollution created in their commute!

        If the LEAF has nothing new to add in this CES/NAIAS Announcements, they will for sure have to start moving on bigger price drops to move their Metal!

  9. ED Witt says:

    It’s true that 40 miles of range is adequate for the vast majority of situations. However the reason why I want my next EV to have 200+ miles of range is because I keep my cars for 8 – 10 years. At 10 years it may still have 100 miles of range and not need a new battery back.

  10. CarDude says:

    You all seem to forget that the other EV announcements (Bolt, Model 3) could be done very far in advance BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE A COMPARABLE CAR IN THEIR SHOWROOMS THAT THEY STILL NEED TO SELL! Doing so generates a lot of free coverage and buzz, even though the car in some cases is years away from production (Tesla: I’m talkin’ to you!) Nissan will unveil the new LEAF closer to launch because it still needs to move the current LEAF. Announcing the replacement too early would kill current sales.

  11. Mister G says:

    Leaf needs a make over ASAP.

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