Nissan LEAF Sales Continue To Struggle In August Against Future Self

SEP 1 2015 BY JAY COLE 39

Nissan Isn't Doing The Current 2015 Model Year LEAF Any Favors By Keeping 2016 Details Under Wraps

Nissan Isn’t Doing The Current 2015 Model Year LEAF Any Favors By Keeping 2016 Details Under Wraps

A curious thing has developed over the past couple months as confirmation after confirmation has come to light that a new, longer range (30 kWh) LEAF will shortly be going on sale in the US as soon as mid-September.

"New, Longer Range 2016 Model?  Never Heard Of It...But Let Me Show You These 2015s "

“New, Longer Range 2016 Model? Never Heard Of It…But Let Me Show You These 2015s “

Nissan has pretended like it isn’t happening.

For August, 1,393 LEAFs were sold, which was less than half of the 3,019 sold a year prior.

Clearly Nissan has decided that it is better to not disclose details on any new LEAF offering while it is attempting to sell down the older edition – which would be a smart decision, however the problem it seems is that everyone already knows what Nissan isn’t saying;  the dealers know, the customers know.

This leads to an impossible buying decision, and poor sales – despite some pretty decent incentives on 2015s.

Unlike if a consumer was deciding between buying a 2015 Chevrolet Volt, with 39 miles of range, on sale today for $29,000 vs waiting a couple months for a new 2016 Chevrolet Volt for $34,000, the choice for Nissan LEAF customers has been:

“Do I buy a clearance, 84 mile range, 2015 Nissan LEAF SL at the local dealer for $29,000 today – or do I wait a few more weeks for a new 2016 LEAF SL with a higher, but unknown range for an unknown amount?

The result from the unanswerable nature of this question, has lead to paranoid customers unable to pull the trigger on buying a 2015 model year LEAF this summer.

That 2015 LEAF sitting on the dealer lot might be a great steal compared to the new 2016 edition, but who can tell that?  And who is going to risk buying a 2015 LEAF today, when they know the new hotness is already in production at Nissan’s Smyrna, TN factory?

Nissan LEAF Historical Sales And Percentage Of Plug-In Market Through July 2015 (click to enlarge)

Nissan LEAF Historical Sales And Percentage Of Plug-In Market Through July 2015 (click to enlarge)

Heading in August, Nissan has seen its share of the plug-in market in the US plunge to just 17.4%, the lowest year-to-date total in the brands history.  If you are looking for a silver-lining in August sales, the 1,393 sold actually lead the industry, just edging out the 1,380 Chevrolet Volts sold during the month.

As for the 2015 model year inventory specifically, Nissan still has about 3,100 of them yet to be moved in the United States – which is actually quite reasonable.

Our advice to Nissan – make with the new 2016 LEAF announcement already!

Categories: Nissan, Sales

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39 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Continue To Struggle In August Against Future Self"

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Nissan is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. As consumers, we want to know our options now and in the near future, to make better decisions. But as a company, Nissan wants to maximize their revenue on the remaining stock of 2015 Leafs. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have no idea that the 2016 Leaf will have a 25% larger battery. I’m betting Nissan is hoping to snag some of them as customers for the 2015 Leaf. The 2015 Leaf is, of course, no less appealing than the 2011-2014 Leafs. So in theory they could still sell them without huge incentives.

Just trying to play devil’s advocate.

Brian – per: “I’m sure there are plenty of people who have no idea that the 2016 Leaf will have a 25% larger battery.” Of course – and – I am sure there are an equal number of people who don’t read websites like for research, too! And – THAT is also what NISSAN and likely many others, are in cases like this – counting on!

” I’m sure there are plenty of people who have no idea that the 2016 Leaf will have a 25% larger battery.”
I really, really doubt that.
Noone today is buying an EV (let alone a BEV) who isn’t a bleeding edge EV early adopter fan (unless someone else ditto is making their buying choice for them). It’s easy to forget if you’re a everyday reader of this and similar sites, but EVs aren’t mainstream in the slightest.

“I’m betting Nissan is hoping to snag some of them as customers for the 2015 Leaf.”
If they are, it’s really stupid marketing behavior.

Oh they definitely exist. There are so many EVs where I live and there is no way that they are all bleeding edge early adopters. Lots of people that just want to do ‘the right thing’ by getting an EV. Or, more likely, just want to use the carpool lane.

I beg to differ. I got my 2015 back in December and did very little research into what was coming down the road. I had never even heard of Insideevs or the other multitude of EV websites until after I drove the Leaf home. My research was primarily on the range and the cost, which after accounting for incentives gave me an almost free car to drive on a 3 year lease. My decision was financial in nature. However, now that I have one, I love EVs and read these darned sites all the time!

welcome, Rightofthepeople, and congratulations.

Or … the choice for Nissan LEAF customers has been: “Do I buy a clearance, 84 mile range, 2015 Nissan LEAF SL at the local dealer for $29,000 today – or do I wait a few more weeks for a new 2016 LEAF SL with a higher, but un-announced and unspecified range for an un-announced and unknown amount?“ (An if it is greater, by how much, and for how much difference?)

By now Nissan must be getting few holes in it’s feet from shooting itself in the foot by informing (certain) Dealers of the information before they are ready to announce the actual specifics for the Vehicle!

Of Course – Toyota’s PIP is not likely to suffer this consequence – since they will have none left to sell – LONG BEFORE they make the next version of the PIP!

The reason LEAF sales are dropping is because there are better options out there now. It is overpriced for what you get. They must lower the price or sales will continue to fall. You can buy a 2013 LEAF with 25,000 miles for $9,000 where I live. Used LEAFs are a great buy.

I’ve been looking and I haven’t seen any that low in AZ…..more like 15K$.

Then you might want to look into a vehicle transporting company. I bought my 2012 Nissan Leaf SL with 36,000 miles at the end of February in Massachusetts for $13K. I assume more inventory = lower prices since then as cars come off lease.

How many bars of charge left?

2 Brand new 2015 Leaf S at Nissan of Sunnyvale are discounted to $19,999, then deduct federal credit $7,500, CA rebate $2,500, SJV $3,000 rebate results in $6,999, plus sales tax and license! That’s how Nissan will clear out the 2015 inventory!

What would be great to hear from NISSAN USA (and for the Great White North – NISSAN CANADA) would be an announcement of Policy – A Statement – that they are now verifying that EACH Dealer that is in the ‘EV Game’ – Selling the LEAF, etc. – Has a Publicly Accessible EV Charger – for PUBLIC EV CHARGING – of Any brand EV, as well as additional units specifically for their own Customers! Further to this statement – would be a New Policy Program – that ALL NISSAN DEALERS shall treat ALL Guests to their Properties with the Same Respect they treat Their own Clients / Customers – and that Guests charging on their public EV Charger, would be invited in professionally – to see what EV’s they offer, and if there is anything else they can do to make their visit comfortable! As in – offer you a coffee, washrooms, etc.!(Just in the same fashion they do when they are courting you for your business to buy one of their products, or have your vehicle in for service!) Point Being – If Nissan itself can’t direct the Dealers in how to present their Brand – then Nissan is… Read more »

Sure, and all vehicle (even lawnmower) dealers will maintain gas(oline) pumps for all comers.

It’s a very smart move to allow charging at your store. For pennies in electricity you capture someone for hours. But, some stores have comatose sales staff, and even this small cost per lead would be wasted.

Well – I am just saying – that they could add a Clipper Creek LCS-20 Unit for $379.00 – and keep the current units they have just for clients/customers, but use the CC unit to avoid some of the bad blood, and if they wanted to up the ante to a higher level they could, but at least this would keep their energy costs down, and still show that they cared about: Their customers, AND the rest of the EV Drivers, too!

They could also set a policy that If you want to use their EV chargers – you need to open a service Ticket, so you’re listed and in the system, and they can contact you if there is any need! (Also gives them access to pitching their deals and offers to you, if you agree!)


A Nissan dealer that sells LEAF’s already has 1 or more Aeroenvironment L2 unit(S) on the forecourt and one or more in the repair shop.

Some Dealers also have rapid charge unit as well.

When Tesla started to sell its CHADeMO adapter there was a spate of Tesla owners visiting Nissan dealers to try out their new purchase, and unfortunately a few of those took advantage and came back multiple times.

The point is, few visit to take advantage of an L2 unit. Rapid charge units do attract visitors be they Tesla, Mitsubishi or Kia vehicles.

Point directly at the expiration of incentives in States like Georgia.

You beat me to it. Must have been late to bed last night, late to rise this AM….

True reasons will be known after the bigger batteried LEAF shows up – with the new Volt hitting the scene, sales might perk up a bit but I doubt it will bring back the sales numbers the LEAF enjoyed before Georgia shut down their tax incentive program.

And don’t forger GA also added an EV tax of $200 / year to boot. Stupid State. Nobody is buying EV’s in a state that used to have the highest numbers after CA

for me, the 30 kwh version is the only one that will do my route.

Offer a good lease package and I may give it a shot.

I second insideevs’ advice! Come on, Nissan!

It’s no longer 29000$, because Nissan offers 5000$ instant cash rebate.

The Nissan dealer near me has a 2015 S on the lot with an MSRP of $32k. On the windshield, it says $10,000 off!

So here in Pennsylvania, this deal works out as follows:

MSRP: $32000
Discount: $10000
Fed subsidy: $7500
PA subsidy: $2000

Net price = $12,500 before negotiating.

This is way less than the lease buyout on my 12 Leaf.

That is a great deal…unfortunately Florida doesn’t have a state rebate.

14.500 is still a great deal.. 😉

That sounds too good to be true. Perhaps they are counting one of the subsidies in that $10K off?

Bevs,(before evs), this was rarely a problem for the auto industry. The newer model was pretty much like the last one, year over year. Once in a while a new model or a refresh would come out. With evs there is a fundamental problem that the next model will be better and not just in small, incremental, ways.

Just like computers and phones. They seem to manage anyway.

I’m still waiting on the offical news of new larger batteries before I go jumping into a used Leaf or i-miev.

Is the 2016 Leaf orderable by dealers? Where are the 2016 Leafs made at the factory going?

I’m betting that Nissan will announce the new batteries and maybe even show them at (inter)national Drive Electric Week events. They are a major sponsor and what a great way to intro the new features and get folks and the media to give the car some free publicity.

Glad I leased a 2015 Leaf Model S last year with 6.6 and DC chargers. My new 240 volt Aerovironment ESVE extends my useful range since I no longer fear coming home below 50%. In two years the 2017 models should be ready. When the federal subsidy runs out, prices will have to decline. Great car if it is double your local commute, and you own or can rent a second car for road trips. Agree Nissan made a classic marketing mistake.

Why would you fear coming home with less than 50%?

Nissan I’ll buy a 2015 Leaf for $10,000 cash.

My parents would have bought a leaf months ago but the only thing holding them back are the stupid quirky looks. When will Nissan understand they’re losing western sales because of their stupid design, no matter how popular the car is in JP.

Well, I believe they are working on a more normal design.

They need to do the upscale Infinity LE.

just got my 2015 Leaf SL. Best car ever!!! great time to buy one. I saved 14k with discounts and incentives.