on UK roads last week!
After going through a slump of some ~20 consecutive months of downward year-over-year sales for its aging 1st generation LEAF in 2016, something strange happened for Nissan last Fall...they started going up.
At first we thought September 2016's result that broke Nissan's not-so-great streak was an anomaly, but after 7 months of gains (including besting the new Chevy Bolt EV in February and March), an anomaly it is not.
Nissan Introduces LEAF "Black Edition" For 2017 In Europe
For March, 1,478 LEAFs were sold, which was a gain of 19% over the 1,246 moved a year ago.
For the year Nissan has now sold 3,287 cars versus 2,923 in the first quarter of 2016 - good for a 12% improvement.
Going forward, there will be huge pressure on the current gen LEAF's sale performance. After 75 months of production, there is finally 2nd generation news for the oldest plug-in vehicle currently offered for sale in the US.
The question now is: Will Nissan simply sell down current inventory from this point? Or will it ramp up production from its Smyrna, TN, facility and then blow them out at discounted pricing to get end-of-life value from the line?
In February, inventory of the LEAF hovered around ~1,250 units nationally, but by the time April rolled around that number moved just north of 1,500. Look for continued strong deals on the company's current 107 mile offering.
Specific to the second generation news, Nissan announced in March that LEAF 2.0 will debut this September, and it will be on sale shortly thereafter!
Nissan didn't give any further detail, but we did spot the 2018 LEAF prototype out testing in London last week, and it is definitely taking design clues from the IDS Concept shown by Nissan a couple years ago.
2018 Nissan LEAF Spotted!
Nissan IDS Concept foreshadows look of the next generation LEAF for 2018
The IDS Concept featured a 60 kWh battery co-development with LG Chem, and also some swanky autonomous features; of which, was also demonstrated last month in a fairly impressive test drive in Europe last month.
Gallery (below) of interest: the IDS Concept debuted over a year ago with a very production-ready 60 kWh battery, which we think is quite likely one of the range option for the 2018 LEAF arriving later this year
Next Generation 60 kWh battery on display in conjunction with the Nissan IDS Concept
And here is the 60 kWh battery as compared to the current 30 kWh battery...note the configuration and sizing is 'ready-to-go' in next gen LEAF platform