In Anticipation Of New Pricing On 2013 LEAFs Nissan Offers Up To $5,500 Off 2012s

DEC 6 2012 BY JAY COLE 32

$5,500 Off 2012 Nissan LEAFs Should Be More Than Enough Incentive To Clear Room For New 2013s

New, Cheaper 2013 LEAF S Model Production Begins This Month In Smyrna, TN (Note: 16" wheel caps and normal headlamps)

Very soon Nissan will announce 2013 LEAF pricing on North American produced electric cars.  Which means very soon you can get a longer range LEAF, for less money, as the S Model (not Model S) will be offered for sale starting in the first quarter of 2013.

And with new features, option and pricing across the entire LEAF lineup (SL, SV, S) the 2012s really have to get out of the dealerships.

To usher in this new era of more affordable EVs, Nissan is putting up to $5,500 worth of dealer rebates on the table to move product, making next month’s (and next year’s) race for top selling plug-in vehicle even more interesting.

Nissan Is Offering Up To $5,500 Off 2012 Model LEAFs

Interestingly, $5,500 off the SV LEAF model brings the price before $7,500 rebate down to $29,700 (MSRP $35,200) and to a level just under $30,000 where many suggest is around the area where the new 2013 S Model LEAF will be priced.  After the current rebate offer, the top of the line SL would start at $31,750.

Revised 2013 SV Trim Level LEAF With New 17" Rims

Also of interest to our friends north of the border, Canadian dealerships have been advised this week that they have a $5,000 rebate program to clear out 2012 inventory.

Dealerships can now order 2013 inventory for their stores, although entry-level S models are in tight supply (and not yet priced), so 1 per dealer for now.  Nissan’s Smyrna, TN is expected to start shipping US-made 2013 cars to dealers around the 1st of February.

(thanks to Sean @ Nissan for some data)

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32 Comments on "In Anticipation Of New Pricing On 2013 LEAFs Nissan Offers Up To $5,500 Off 2012s"

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Great news. As GM learned there’s nothing like a hefty dealer discount to bring in the buyers.

So way to go Nissan. Carlos is serious about selling this car.

seems like you speculated on the S price as about 10% lower so that puts the S at 27K$ after rebates….

Getting there.

Hey GeorgeS,

I took at WAG at the new 2013 S Model US-pricing when the new specs came out in Japan, that it would be no more than $31,500. I don’t think this month’s $5,500 clear-out incentive really changes my thinking that much. Would make the effective price around $24,00 after $7,500 fed credit.

For most of us that really want to see EVs take off in general, we are hoping for the magic $29,999 (from anyone really)…but at this point it just doesn’t feel like it is going to happen.

$31.5ish would be a significant jump on more range, and would still leave some further wiggle room for dealer incentives like this in the future.

There is still volume dealer programs at play behind the scenes and holdbacks that customers don’t see (up to around $1,800) that could actually make it under $30K from the start if the dealer was motived to pass those savings along.

I really do think the sub-$30k number is the sweet spot for now, this should help move some inventory. I hope the Volt can also soon be sub-$30k, crossing my fingers for the 2014 base model. ($28,995 would be a particularly sweet number after credits)

Let’s not mix numbers here. To be clear, the Leaf was sub-$30k before this discount (but after the tax credits). It always has been.

My mistake, I did mix in a couple numbers there. I was keying in off of this statement, “Interestingly, $5,500 off the SV LEAF model brings the price before $7,500 rebate down to $29,700” but then switched to speaking of Volt’s price “after credits”

When will the Gen 2.0 be out? I think Nissan needs to make the Leaf a little “sleeker” looking. I believe the # 1 complaint from potential customers is the looks. “Affordable” doesn’t have to mean “fugly”.

Sadly, I don’t know if the 2.0 is going to look much “sleeker”. Nissan seems to think that people want ugly cars – it’s certainly not limited to the Leaf. The Cube is one of the ugliest cars I’ve ever seen, and the Juke is fighting hard for that title too. It’s amusing to me, because the GT-R is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. And the Altima is one of the nicest looking family sedans. It’s as if Nissan’s design department is bipolar.

Yeah, I was thinking of a Nissan 370Z- EV. If products like that existed for $29K, I think they would sell more than the catfish car. Now I understand you need a station wagon version for the Lyle Dennis’s out there, but why not something like a Dodge Magnum? Sure, make it a bit more aerodynamic, but don’t cut its balls off.

In other words, you want something like the ESFlow concept:

So do I 🙂

Very cool, but I think I would like an EV version of the Chevy Tru 140S. (at least could more easily afford it, if they stuck to the concept’s goals)


I think Nissan is calling the 2013 LEAF “Gen 2” even though it’s really more like “Gen 1.5” given that it looks identical from the exterior. Pretty much everything in the guts of the car have been optimized – the entire drivetrain has changes to reduce weight and cost. Pretty much the only thing left unchanged is the body and interior. Even though the LEAF doesn’t look sleek, it is actually basically the sleekest hatchback on the market. I still think they could make it sleeker with these changes: 1. Lower seats and roofline – the LEAF is quite tall. This should be possible without compromising headroom. 2. Aerodynamic wheels – open-spoke design increases turbulence. 3. Closing up the fender gap around the wheels which is very large (compare the LEAFs fender gap to a BMW, for example – lots of room to reduce the gap which should reduce turbulence. 4. Cleaner rear end, primarily the rear fenders – a cleaner edge there (reduce the appearance of the rear “haunches”) and a longer, more functional spoiler will all help. I think they could easily decrease the Cd down to the 0.26 range from 0.29 using those changes which could add… Read more »

Lower seats and roofline : I don’t think they can do that – since the batteries sit below the seats.

“I believe the # 1 complaint from potential customers is the looks”

And that belief is based on … ?

How soon is very soon ? This week / month ?

I’m hoping to turn in my Leaf early and get a MY13 and possibly reduce my current $350 a month lease payment.

I talked to Travis Parman (who I guess is head of communications for Nissan NA now that Katherine Zachery has been promoted into a Euro-zone role) a week or so ago about that and he said Nissan wasn’t sure yet, but that it would not happen until at least next month.

Looking at this cashback deal that is out now, that statement about why the slow announcement makes a lot more sense, lol.

That being said, I don’t know that Nissan can sit on their hands without giving up the info much longer, whether they want to or not, especially with dealer orders active on the ’13s. Just feels like it could slip out between the cracks at any time.

What penalty do you pay for turning it in early.?

Seems like my Volt lease contract says I are liable for all the full term payments……meaning my option is only to try to get someone to take overpayments (with the lease companies OK)

Jay, EV any of you lease experts know…..maybe if it’s the same lease company they will cut you a deal.

Generally speaking they add up all your payments and you pay. So if you have 10 months left at $300 then you pay $3,000, plus any exit fees. Lease company will never cut a deal.

If the car’s lease ending residual is attractive to the dealership, they may agree to offset some cost, but that is rare.

For example, I turned in a BMW Z4 early to get into another car (because it was September and the car is inoperable in the winter time, with my lease ended in May). Anywhoo, I got a break of about $1,500.

If you feel you have value in your car, you are probably better to call your lease provider to get the total buyout price and see if you can sell it for more than that amount. Most times you just have to wait it out…or eat it.

Thx for the input. Guess I won’t be getting an ELR too soon….but I’m hot to find out its specs.

With Volt you have a real problem. The buy out price is really bad (since they add back the tax credit).

With Leaf, as Jay says, the dealer can help you buy out and take it as a trade in. Ofcourse, I may still end up selling on my own – since I’ve a very low miles Leaf that has been babied.

BTW, my payoff amount is 19,365. Current SL post- tax credit price is nearly $30k. I should at least be able to break-even on that payoff amount.

good point. I am definitely tied into the full amount if I terminate.

Maybe if I’m down to only 6 months it will be OK.

Might not be bad ELR timing.

I think it MIGHT be a good Tesla low cost substitute.,

can you give back a Leaf early (before lease ends?) to get the new one ? is it an expensive proposition ? any idea ? my monthly lease is a hefty monthly $ 450 …Thanks

The short answer is no. You wil have to buyout all the remaining payments to turn it in, which obviously has zero value to it.

The only expceptions are when your buyout residual is considerably higher than the worth. In these cases you can maybe expect about half the difference of the fair market value less your residual….and that is after you square up the payments.

ie) 20 payments remaining @ $50 = $9,000 buyout, less difference of Fair market value (say $22,000) and residual of (est $18,000) = $4,000/2 or $2,000

…in this scenario you would still pay $9,000 – $2,000 or $7,000

Long story short, keep the car…almost never is worth it to break a lease. If you can find someone to take it over, that is another story…but that not very likely given the current incentive laden climate

There is one kink in this plan. Dealerships simply do not have much of an inventory to sell. It seems if they are lucky they have one in the show room, one demo driven home every night by their Leaf specialist, and maybe one for sale if it can be found anywhere on the lot, maybe all the way in the back behind the trash containers, bushes, and mud puddles next to the car with three flat tires that has been sitting there for years and has wild life inhabitants of the reptilian kind.

The other kink is that over 90% of these cars are apparently leased. At the current $199/month with $3k out of pocket for 3 years /36k miles the Leaf is not exactly what you can call expensive. One saves over $200 a month on gas, this car is practically free 🙂

If you could get people to realize what you said in the last paragraph about the car and about any other plugin lease like the volt’s bmaking them pracitcally free taking out the price of gas then there would be a lot more evs getting sold

“Dealerships simply do not have much of an inventory to sell.”

Well, my nearest dealer has over 100 Leafs.

Whew, that is a lot of LEAFS.

And a decision that might have seemed fairly questionable for the dealership to take on that much inventory ahead of the new upgrade is probably really going to pay off for him now. I’d say you could nick him an extra $1,000 off the top if you wanted to buy now.

They sold 60 last month. So, they didn’t seem particularly worried about the 100 they had on hand.

It’s funny how their “used” car lot has 3 used hummers surrounded by several new Leafs.

“Well, my nearest dealer has over 100 Leafs.”

Geez EV that’s incredible. What dealer is it?

Could it be Nissan of the Eastside at Bellevue? If so they show 89 currently in inventory:

I’m amazed they sold 60 last month unless they discount substantially off the ridiculously high advertised Retail Price of $42,565 for 2012 SL’s…sheesh!

I think they are selling a lot on lease. I forgot to enquire about their split – I’ll next time I go there.

Price is getting there. Now if we can only get some range.
A nice article Statik – thanks.