A recent marketing push by Nissan and some good leasing offers propelled the 73 mile electric vehicle to its best sales result of the year.  And by big margin.

For October, Nissan LEAF sales rose 60% to 1,579 cars.  The previous best monthly tally was 984 in September.

And while any other month that would have been good for second overall behind the Chevrolet Volt (2,961 sold), the Toyota Prius Plug-In put up its all time best result as well at 1,889 cars sold.

,(Nissan sales PDF can be found here)

To Nissan's credit, they have been saying sales would "dramatically" start to improve in September, on their way to selling 20,000 copies in the United States before their fiscal year end on March 31st, 2013.   We would note that the second part of that missive is still very much in doubt, as Nissan has only 5 more months to sell just under 15,000 cars.

2013 LEAF To Get Entry Level Model With Less Features, And Less Price

2013 LEAF To Get Entry Level Model With Less Features, And Less Price

Nissan began the month offering LEAFs for as little as $219/month with $2,999 down over 32 months, but by month's end $199/month deals at local dealerships were more the norm, causing pressure on other plug-in manufacturers  to rework their own leasing offers.  (most notably on the Ford Focus Electric & Mitsubishi i-MiEV)

In advance of US production in Smyrna, TN, Nissan also begin to heavily promote the LEAF (new global advertising commercial below), something that had not been seen for the better part of the year due to Nissan's inability to make any profit on the cars as long as they were still being built in Japan.

During the month of October, we also learned that Nissan will offer a cheaper, more basic 2013 model year LEAF to spur sales.  A starting MSRP of  under $30,000 has been heavily speculated since then.

This more inexpensive LEAF model will have the same 73 mile range, but lose features such as navigation and LED headlamps.

US LEAF production is expected to begin in about 4-6 weeks time in Smyrna, TN, with inventory hitting dealerships sometime in February.  Nissan media also put out a production video of the beginning of LEAF eMotor production in nearby Dechard, Tn.

Early in October, David Reuter, a Nissan spokesman reflected on the sales prior to this month by stating,  "The sales overall have not met our expectations, but we're working hard to keep pushing,"

Now we know what he meant.