While the anticipation for Nissan was to be debuting the upgraded LEAF in the US for January, all we got was a "Nissan Intelligent Mobility" autonomous demonstration
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed a "new" LEAF was coming soon from CES...but disappointed in not actually showing it off
With 2016 now in the books, Nissan looks ahead to 2017, but still with its aging first generation offering holding down the fort until the "new" LEAF arrives soon (Nissan's words).
For the first month of 2017, Nissan sold 772 LEAFs, which represents a 2% improvement over a year ago.
January's 'beat' of the previous year's number is actually the 5th straight month Nissan has accomplished the feat - after posting a record streak of 20 consecutive losing months in 2015 and 2016.
Interestingly, the main driver to new sales was not the 30 kWh offering itself, that version under-performed right out of the gate, but rather it was the removal of the 24 kWh option and a pricing cut across the reaming 30 kWh lineup for the LEAF brand.
The base 30 kWh model (S) moved down ~$3,500 to $30,680 (+DST), and that almost immediately resulted in the mini-sales resurgence we see today.
Nissan has seen its market share drop over the past couple years in the US
With that said, the decision by Nissan to cut pricing came too late to save 2016 for the LEAF.
Sales ended 2016 at 14,006, which was off close to 20%.
Just by looking at the sales chart (above), one can see the pretty devastating effect the decision to not introduce the next generation LEAF in a timely fashion was, as the press surrounding other long range offerings (Chevrolet Bolt EV, Tesla Model 3) has decimated the Nissan's standing as the all-electric market leader in the US.