Believe it or not, Nissan LEAF buyers are unique. That's certainly no surprise, but what's unusual here is that potential LEAF buyers are a rather "easy sell," according to the words of Broderick Alley of Downtown Nashville Nissan.
Okay. Let's explain.
Typical Nissan LEAF buyers are extremely educated and don't often spend time roving the lots at the local Nissan dealership. Rather, they come in expecting to buy the LEAF and only check it out to confirm that it meets their needs.
Potential LEAF buyers know exactly what they want...a Nissan LEAF
As Broderick Alley explains, dealers need only convince potential LEAF buyers to purchase what they've already considered to be the only vehicle they'd like to own. Sounds simple, right? Well, from the dealership perspective, the task is easy, but unfortunately for Nissan, the number of "easy sell" LEAF buyers is extremely limited.
Nissan hopes to broaden the appeal of the LEAF beyond today's "typical" buyer, but that's a difficult task. The automaker has enticed non-conventional LEAF buyers to swing by their local Nissan dealer with attractive lease offers, which was successful in increasing sales, but the fear is that even at a discounted price, Nissan will find it difficult to move the LEAF in mass numbers.
Finally, as Broderick Alley explains, nearly all LEAF drivers lease, rather than buy, the electric hatchback. Why? Alley chalks this up to a general lack of confidence in electric vehicles. So, even two years in, the LEAF is still viewed by most as experimental technology that may or may not stand the test of time.