Nissan LEAF Sales Are A Testament To Dealers’ Role In EV Success
While Nissan only sold 14,006 of its all-electric compact car last year, the Nissan LEAF is succeeding in areas where dealerships support and educate. Ted Christiano, executive manager of Boulder Nissan, shared:
“The LEAF now accounts for 80 percent of the new cars we sell here. We’re doing a great business with them.”
“I’d like to have more EV models from Nissan. How about an all-wheel-drive EV?”
While some dealerships might consider the Nissan LEAF a sales failure, Christiano believes that if they were taking all of the right measures to market and sell the vehicle, Nissan would need to build more.
There are 1,100 Nissan dealers in the U.S. and Christiano is selling two to three hundred LEAFs per year. He promotes EVs and distributes educational materials and EV-friendly info on social media. Boulder Nissan even sends salespeople out into the community with the Nissan LEAF, to educate people on how EVs work. Christiano also hosts EV-based events, including ride-and-drives.
Boulder is not the only place where EVs and specifically, the Nissan LEAF, are catching on. Despite the low overall market share of EVs, there are EV market clusters all over the U.S. In Seattle, the LEAF outsells Nissan’s top-selling Altima. According to Nissan’s director of electric vehicle marketing and sales, Brian Maragno, LEAF sales have doubled or even tripled in Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Kansas, and Minnesota, over the last couple months.
Milwaukee Nissan dealership owner, Jeff Rosen, pointed out that he rarely sold any LEAFs until he opened a second dealership in Madison, Wisconsin. He said:
“It’s amazing the traffic we get from the LEAF there. Madison is a very green-conscious market. It differs from area to area in the country.”
Christiano concluded with a few tips for other dealership owners:
“We do a lot in the community, very close to home but also around the state.Where it really started for us was having a dedicated EV specialist on the team. He does EV outreach and education. He visits local schools and talks to students about the vehicle and how the technology works. He joined various groups and government advisory boards. It seems like every time we do a public event, the customers just follow us back to the dealership.”