August 2012 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card
The month of August is really about the ‘have’ and the ‘have nots’ in the plug-in business.
Chevrolet had another big month (their biggest ever), while some of the fully electric cars continued to struggle to find ground. Nissan LEAF sales, while still low comparatively speak, was still their highest volume monthly result so far this year.
The list is populated as it is reported in real time by each manufacturer throughout the day.
Chevrolet Volt: 2,831 Volts were sold in August, crushing the 1,849 sold last month. August sales were also an all-time for the Volt. (GM sales PDF here)
Of note, August sales were helped by some significant pressure at the dealership level to move metal.
General Motor’s also announced that the Volt’s Hamtramck assembly plant will be idled for 4 weeks beginning September 17th in order to “tool up” for the new Chevrolet Impala. GM did over-produce to demand this month, building 3,688 Volts (and 1,163 Amperas) in Michigan this month. (GM production pdf here)
Nissan LEAF: 685 Leafs were sold in August, a marked improvement from the 395 cars Nissan managed to move in July, and Nissan’s highest level of the year. (Nissan August Sales PDF here)
This may be an indication that things are starting to turn around as some more attractive financing deals have come online.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has also said that September’s sales be the start of the turnaround, “…you can expect to see the sales move up dramatically starting in September.”
Battery production in Smyrna, TN is now online to some degree and actual US made LEAFs are expected in December. There is also a report saying both a price cut and a longer range LEAF may be in store very shortly. Either would help sales significantly.
Tesla Model S: Unlike larger auto manufacturers, Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales. However, they do give out updates occasionally. With a week left in the month, Tesla had 45 cars set to be delivered in August. However, a sensor issue held all deliveries to customers up until August 27th.
We have heard from two SSL (Signature Series Performance models) reservists that they received their car over the weekend, and perhaps a dozen in total where delivered during the calendar month.
Several Signature Performance holders have been notified their cars are ready, or will be ready shortly. September looks to see Tesla finally break loose and deliver several hundred copies of the Model S.
Fisker Karma: Like Tesla (only worse), Fisker does not report monthly sales, however, that won’t stop us from doing some napkin back delivery calculations based on Euro regeistration reports and production/VIN numbers of cars leaving its Valmont assembly plant in Finland.
After passing 2,000 cars produced earlier this summer, it looks to us that Fisker added about 250 cars in August worldwide, most sold on delivery. Separately, the Sunset and Surf, both variants of the Karma will not be helping Fisker achieve its goal of 4,000 units sold, as both were put on hiatus this month for the company to focus on getting the already delays Atlantic to market.
Toyota Prius Plug-In: Of the 21,000 plus cars sold in the ‘Prius family,’ a very healthy 1,047 were plug-ins. In the previous month of July, Toyota sold 688 Prius plug-ins.
The car had seemed to have found a balance around 700 units per month, but Toyota financing incentives in the month of August may have convinced additional buyers into the showroom. The Prius plug-in was sold off lots in 14 states across the US.
Honda Fit EV: In honda’s first full month
selling leasing the Fit EV in North America, they sold only 9.
Trying our darndest to be positive, August sales are a 28% improvement over July’s, in which 7 Fit EVs were sold.
Honda says it will build only 1,100 Fit EVs in total for the US market, but recently decided to build an extra 200 and lease them into their home market in Japan. The Fit EV is currently on sale in California and Oregon, but will soon expand into the northern states in 2013.
Ford Focus Electric: Another slow month for the ‘FFE” as 34 were sold.
Ford has a a rather loose style of production (if you want one, we will built it) so it is hard to get a handle on what meaning, if any, there is for monthly sales.
For July, Ford sold 38 of their all electric plug-in, with sales peaking in June at 89 units. Ford will begin selling the C-Max Energi to its plug-in offerings this month at a price of $29,995* (details here)
Mitsubishi i-MiEV: A name change back to ‘i-Miev’ from just the ‘i’ did not help the Japanese automaker, as they sold just 37 EVs in August.
The Mitsu continues to languish in US sales as the car really does not offer much over its Japanese rival the Nissan LEAF. In July Mitsubishi sold 33 i-MiEVs (same number for June), with the 88 units sold in May still topping their results.
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 5th @ 12:18pm