Nissan LEAF Sales Drift Sideways While Awaiting 107 Mile, 2016 Update

OCT 1 2015 BY JAY COLE 27

30 kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF Debuts In September (seen here at the Frankfurt Motor Show In Germany)

30 kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF Debuts In September (seen here at the Frankfurt Motor Show In Germany).  The 30 kWh Versions Of The LEAF (SV/SL) Now Come With a 8 year/100,000 mile (160,000 km) Capacity Loss Warranty

In what was the worst kept secret in the electric vehicle community this year, Nissan finally took the wraps off the new, longer range 2016 Nissan LEAF in September.

The 2016 Nissan LEAF Is Unchanged Outside

The 2016 Nissan LEAF Is Unchanged Outside

Unfortunately, that upgrade announcement came on September 10th – and sales promptly shrunk up into a little ball for the remainder of the month.

For September, 1,247 LEAFs were sold – which really could have been much worse. 

This month’s result only off about 11% from August, but any comparisons to a year ago demonstrate how ready the US consumer is for the 2016 upgrade.  Compared to 2014, sales were down more than 1,600 copies – 2,881 were sold in September of 2014.

But as we have said before, all those poor sales results can now be seen in the rear-view window (or back-up camera if you will), and we expect the return of much bigger numbers in October.

We do know the 2016 arrives this month, but our inquiry to Nissan to pinpoint the exact date a little more accurately has gone unanswered so far.  Until then, only ~2,600 2015 model year cars remain to be purchased.

The new 2016 LEAF (in SV and SL trims) now comes with a 30 kWh battery, which is rated at a sturdy 107 miles of range from about $34, 000.  The base “S trim” retains the older, 24 kWh battery (84 miles range), and the same price-point ($29,010).

In anticipation of a wider/favorable reception for the new LEAF, as well as a larger base of which to sell into, Nissan amped up the advertising and promotion of its electric car around the world in September.

New Euro-Spot Advertisement (below):  2016 Nissan LEAF (rated at 250 km on the NEDC system)

New Nissan LEAF “Talkers Vs Doers” Advertising Spot:

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27 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Drift Sideways While Awaiting 107 Mile, 2016 Update"

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I doubt enough of the 2016 models will be in showrooms in October to really make a huge difference in sales this month. It may take 2 or 3 months to get inventory levels to a point sales can recover.

I think you’re right. Locally the more informative sales people said mid-November. And Seattle has always been early in the Leaf feeding cycle, perhaps second only to California.

Not a very meaningful ad push as far as I’ve seen (although we don’t watch much on-air TV nowadays, who does?).

I wonder whether they’re counting on Tesla-style word-of-mouth to spread the 30kWh news. If so, let’s see how it pans out.

show me a good lease deal Nissan.

There are good lease deals.

I just grabbed my second Leaf. A 2015 Leaf S can be had for $1000 drive off (inc all fees) and $200 a month.

Basically, I will end up buying this Leaf and the grand out of pocket cost will be $14,000 before taxes.

Is that a 2 or 3 year lease and what’s your residual?

Leaf is now just 13.5k YTD compared to 30k in 2014 overall.

For Leaf to not follow below 2014 level, 5,500 Leafs need to be sold on the average in Q4. So, we should expect total 2015 sales to be lower than 2014 – first time Leaf sales would have declined.

The numbers seem surprisingly good given the end of the subsidy in GA and the announcement of the longer range model.

Over all I’m really wondering what the 100 plus leaf will do to sales. In that I don’t think it will raise them more then 40%.

You may be right. Until now, the vast majority of Leafs sold/leased were the S model. And the bigger battery will only be on the more expensive SV and SL, which limits how much the sales will grow.

It remains to be seen how many folks are willing to pay for 2 upgrades (bigger battery & better equipped)

Where has it been stated that the S has the vast majority of sales?

I don’t recall, but just look at the 2013+ used LEAFs on the market. At least 70% of them are the S trim.

Agreed. Why not wait 12 months for a 200 mile Bolt at the same price point as the 107 mile LEAFs? Any sales spurt is bound to be small and short lived.

Because … a lot of us want to wait for 2017/18 model 3 ? 2 Year lease on ’16 Leaf would be perfect for that …

@Stuart why not?

1. Bolt is not due before 2017 calendar year, so you got your times wrong. By then, Gen 2 Leaf will be coming as well.

2. Judging from the present, both Bolt and Gen 2 Leaf might easily be a half-year late in actually reaching customers outside of California, even without being late on the formal timetable.

3. Bolt will likely be a subcompact with only 4 seats. It might suit your needs, but not those of all Leaf buyers.

@evnow, Even Musk is not talking about Tesla Gen 3 in 2017 anymore. And judging by a very clear pattern with Tesla launches, most of us will be lucky to see the affordable long-range Tesla Gen 3 before 2020. Surely not if you factor in quite a few months of waiting list.

Bolt is based on Sonic platform which is the same size class as the Leaf (91CF vs 92CF) and more than Volt. The Chevy released prep-roduction Bolt has five seats. I would get a Bolt over a Leaf with the same MPC just on the superior battery (liquid cooled).

Keep in mind you would also be dealing with Gov’t Motors rather than Nissan. As an ex GM owner who will NEVER EVER EVER own another GM vehicle, I can tell you buy the Nissan. GM doesnt deserve anyones business, the way they treat existing customers. I had a $55K Tahoe with all sorts of issues (like the door locks failing repeatedly, dash board splitting all the way across in multiple places, all sorts of driveline issues). GM was a NIGHTMARE to work with. Never ever ever again, GM. Not until you make it right with me.

When are the 2017 models expexted to be released?

I have my doubts that this will be a single model year run, considering how late they are releasing 2016. I don’t think 2017 will be Gen 2. It will probably be in 4th quarter 2017 as a 2018 model year, so 2 years from now.

Without Georgia incentives, Leaf sales will continue to suffer regardless of still relatively wimpy 30kwh battery. Price is $34k and long term (3-5yrs), real world daily range is more like 65-75 miles. Nissan will need to subsidize leases big time to push sales above 20k again.

Local Nissan dealers are having $119/month leasing deals on the base 2015 LEAF S…

I guess everyone is waiting for the 30kWh version or the LEAF 2.0.

I am afraid that LEAF is going through the same thing as Volt since the LEAF2.0 rumor is confirmed.

I can see many 2012/2013 Leaf leases upgrading to 2016 Leaf lease (myself included).

My 2012 lease is up April 2016. Nissan said I can extend it 12 months. To do that they will have to drop the payments at least $100/mo. They have offered 2free months. My range is down to 65-70/charge at 33,000 miles. A 200 mi leaf would be great.

” worst kept secret in the electric vehicle community this year”. Whoops! Sorry, Jay…

I don’t think a 20% range improvement will do much to improve sales with all the competition out there and especially if gas prices remain low through 2016.

Lets give Nissan and Tesla credit, they have brought BEVs into reality. Lets hope with GM and Ford the next gen will be significant upgrades.

Nissan needs to bring the ENV-200 to the USA, and NOW!