New Edition Or Not, Nissan LEAF Sales Depressed In January For US
2015 was mostly a year to forget for Nissan with the LEAF. The first six months of 2015 showed decent results, but news of an upcoming 2016 edition with a 107 mile option last summer
obliterated took the legs out from under the brand in the second half.
By the end of the year, 2016s had rolled out in a limited fashion in the US, but the damage was done, and the year was mostly a write-off.
For January, with slightly more EVs on dealer lots available to be sold, Nissan still sold just 755 LEAFs, which is off 29.4% compared to a year ago when 1,070 were sold.
The question now is, “can 2016 be a return to former glory?”; such as in 2013 and 2014 when the LEAF accounted for more than 1 out of every 5 plug-in sales in America?
We have serious doubts those numbers can ever be achieved again on a percentage basis, as the US plug-in market has mature and the depth of EV choices has deepened.
But perhaps a return to selling 20,000-25,000 copies is still possible ahead of the highly anticipated next generation LEAF debut in 2017. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is also on record from the NAIAS in Detroit, saying that 2016 will be a rebound year for LEAF sales.
Currently Nissan has about ~3,000 LEAFs in stock to be purchased in the US, ~2,200 of which are 2016s, about half of those are of the new longer range variety. This level is probably appropriate for the poor performing winter EV sales months, however the inventory is not still spread evenly across the country by a long shot.
We should note, Nissan has only managed to get out about ~2,000 or so copies of the 30 kWh edition in total since its arrival late last year – so it hasn’t been the best launch so far to say the least.
Historically when Nissan was averaging 2,500 sales a month in 2014, the company had about ~5,000 units available for sale.
Separately from Nissan this month:
*- Nissan announced that although its Sunderland, UK facility is not making the 30 kWh battery packs for the 2016 edition of the LEAF in Europe, it will produce the next-generation battery cells for the company
*- New York, Philadelphia and Santa Barbara were all added to Nissan’s “No Charge To Charge” program in January, bringing the total US cities participating to 26
*- Nissan, with partner Renault, says the two companies will launch 10 autonomous vehicles over the next 4 years, starting with the LEAF
next generation LEAF IDS Concept (with 60 kWh battery) made its US debut in Detroit this month (full details, pics here)
*- Carlos Ghosn also took some time to put Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne in his place when it came to the Fiatsler boss’ take on electric cars