Nissan LEAF Sales Bottom Out In U.S. In February 2019


Just when you thought sales of the Nissan LEAF couldn’t possibly drop any lower.

Clearly, the focus in the U.S. has turned to the longer range LEAF e-Plus now and rightfully so. The old 40-kWh LEAF just can’t compete in the long-range race,

After several months of a downward slide in 2018, sales of the Nissan LEAF showed a sharp rise in December 2018 in the U.S.

With just 1,128 LEAFs sold in November and only 1,234 LEAF sold in October, sales of Nissan’s flagship EV had been soft. That came to an end in December when sales shot up to a reasonably solid 1,667 units.

But as those of us in the EV sales world know, January is never a strong month. Therefore, and as expected, LEAF sales dropped. Nissan sold just 717 LEAFs in January 2019. We figured that was rock bottom, but then February numbers came out and yet another decline was noted. In February 2019, Nissan sold just 654 LEAFs.

Let’s not waste time here or try to make this figure seem attractive. It’s not.

Now we wait to see what level of impact the LEAF e-Plus has on the yearly figure. Nissan says the LEAF e-Plus will launch in the U.S. this Spring, so we’ve got just a couple of months to wait still. However, with the recent announcement of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3, we’re thinking Nissan will be forced to come in at a price it’s not too thrilled with in regards to the LEAF e-Plus.

All eyes on the upcoming 60-kWh Nissan LEAF e-Plus now, of which we still await U.S. pricing info.

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88 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Bottom Out In U.S. In February 2019"

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Better get used to this after the recent price change over at Tesla’s I suppose….

Looks like the only option left is for legacy brands is to design and build a compelling EV for the masses at a competitive price point and in high enough volumes to be profitable. Period.

Yes, they have to build EV’s that outperform their ICE in every category, just like a competitor would who’s interested in market share.

Which is something they are loath to do and have staunchly resisted.

I get the sense that their will be a lot of Golden Parachutes being deployed by suddenly retiring Big Auto Execs over the next several years!

Like Max Planck said, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” also applies to the auto industry here.

I hope some of those deployed Golden Parachutes come in the shape and shade of the Blue Oval!

Perhaps they should have golden showers instead and I don’t mean the bathing showers.

It all boils down to price and a mountain of fake news about Evs. A lot of people I work with are afraid to drive in an EV, they think satan will get them or they will burst into flames.

What ever happened to America’s pioneering spirit? Are we all total boobs now.

This harks back to my prediction that Tesla might encounter difficulties if legacy automakers decided to subsidize EVs from gasser profits. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem to be close to happening.

If automakers continue to insist that their losses on EVs be kept to a minimum while at the same time refusing to build battery manufacturing plants, legacy brands will also continue to face a hefty price premium against Tesla.

Capitalism is kinda brutal. I am afraid the EV world is turning into a one-horse race. I don’t want want to sound like a Tesla fanboy, which is kinda hard given that I own multiple Chevrolet EVs and no Tesla’s or their stock, but pretty much every new EV from an existing company is just a step or two behind the M3. Even the new Polestar just doesn’t quite have the speed and range specs and that is a car that won’t be available for a year and a half. Never mind that the specs that any company advertises probably overstate performance or gloss over important details.

@Mike said: “…I am afraid the EV world is turning into a one-horse race…”

Likely 3 EV car makers will account for 80% of global EV car sales… and that will maintain as ICE totally transitions to all-electric over next 7-10 years. Its a wild card who those top 3 car makers will be but a good chance Tesla will be one of them.

Massive consolidation will be forced within traditional car makers to compete in the EV space… and many traditional car makers will simply not survive the transition because of deep seated legacy constraints.

It’s nearly unimaginable the transition we will see in automotive play out during the next decade.

What about Hyundai/Kia though? I think you have to remember that the old guard have to protect their current business, and as soon as it makes sense for them, they will release pretty quickly. We could have a million EV options 5 years from now, who knows.

Well, I bought a Leaf in 2012 (and I still have it). But I can barely travel 20 miles in winter, so guess what… I would never buy a Leaf again. And I’m probably not the only one in that same bucket.

How many bars are you at? That sounds really really bad.

Nissan could have easily avoided this “never buy a Leaf again” customer dissatisfaction. The battery degradation in the 24kWh pack, in the lack luster Leaf batteries from 2011-12, is well known, and thoroughly documented.

Nissan and their recent price increase to egregiously expensive $8,500.oo Leaf battery replacement, is the “same bucket” that the early Leaf bag holders are at the bottom of, and why the Lack Luster Leaf Loses LUV!

Thats too much, hopefully they will come out with the remanufactured packs for 2 grand. The problem is that no or few lizard packs have gotten below 80% yet. Outstanding batteries.

When I heard the price increase to $8500 I decided not to buy another used Leaf. I “totaled” my last one by simply damaging the aluminum hood and passenger led headlamp. Insurance would not pay to fix it.

That’s a lot but the new lizard batteries are outstanding. I doubt one has ever been replaced before which explains why Nissan is not selling remanufactured batteries for older LEAFs.

8 bars. When I start it up fully charged in winter the guessometer reads “55 miles”. By the time I get to the corner it’s already 49! After driving 10 miles I’m already half way down and starting to freak out!
And this is not cold Canada weather, I’m talking between 20’s and 30’s

Yep it has reached its warranty level. If you get a new battery drive it in the 20-80% charge range and save those 100% charges for trips out of town. That’s how a lot of leaf and teslaowners are getting great life from their cars. Don’t ever let it sit at 100% charge for extended periods.

I have 12 bars in mine, but at 0°F on the highway, it goes into power limit and can’t even keep with traffic while losing 5-10% per mile. Strangely enough, when I slow down, some of the charge comes back.

That’s the GOM reading the voltage fluctuating man

You have a bad cell, probably more than one.

We had had four leafs and sold a 50 k car with 4 bars for $6500 last week. She got a great commuter car to take her cat to the vet. We have three other leafs and they all have 12 bars and still go further than the 75, 110, 151 mile reported ranges.

I was in that bucket with you. To make matters worse, Nissan turned its back on the early Leaf adopters in that they didn’t really offer any compelling solution to their 2011-12 garbage battery pack cars. The car itself was good enough, but after losing 40% capacity at the 50k mile mark, Nissan wouldn’t even let me buy a larger pack to replace my old one. So.. later days, Nissan.

The outrageous thing is that even the new 60kwh battery pack would fit in the gen1 leaf (with some modification) due to them being “air cooled” and Nissan using the same basic body with new panels. If someone could hack the BMS and program the car to accept and perhaps make adapters for the old pack connectors to new pack. Hopefully in time someone will hack a gen1 leaf and start offering the installation of gen2 packs into gen1 cars.

I think you could have gotten the battery replaced at $1000 even after the warranty period but that offer has expired. Ashame they raised the price on the new batteries, they new batteries will last 3x to 4x longer, especially if you know how to care for them.

Actually they fixed the problem with degradation in the heat. They developed a new heat resistant battery pack for temps above 76F. Excellent batteries. They also added a retroactive battery degradation warranty to cover 2011 and 2012 leafs. Nissan was the first manufacturer to do that. Chevy followed immediately and in 2018Tesla added battery degradation warranty to their 3 model. Nissan set the standards.

How many car manufacturers will sell you a bigger motor for your gas burner? None. If you get a new battery and use it in the 20-80% charge range I don’t care where you live it will last 20 years. Excellent batteries.

Nissan has lots of issues with their Ice cars as well. Especially with electronics and their CVT transmission that tend to go out at about 60,000 miles. While at a Nissan dealer I went at the back and saw 5 cars getting new transmissions.

I have owned half a dozen ICE cars that didn’t even last 100,000 miles. Transmission, engines, accidents, cluches, timing belts, etc.

Hoping for hope there will be guys out there who’ll make a margin in refurbishing LEAF packs. 2013 – 2017 24kWh lizard packs and 30 kWh packs differ slightly in only a few ways. Resistor fuses, HV connector, cell A-hrs and the software to recognise it.

Nissan’s disregard to its early adopters is clear. But before 2011, all of the FUD surrounding hybrid cars were the same, saying that Prius batteries would be kaput after 10, 8, 7 years. Turns out only until the oldest cars (especially the Honda IMAs) turned 10 years old was there an attainable way to refurbish old HV batteries.

I’d say wait, don’t scrap the ol’ cream interior LEAF just yet.

We need batterys to be so cheap that aftermarket packs become widely available. Until battery costs come down it won’t happen. Screw a refurbished pack. I want a new pack with state of the art cells.

Unfortunately I do not think a single lizard battery has gotten down to four bars yet. Great batteries. So there is nothing for them to refurbish. They are using the 2011 and 2012 batteries for industrial applications.

A lot of 2012 Tesla owners in the same boat, actually 8 times as many 2012 Tesla batteries replaced, except they had six figure incomes for those new batteries. I got the 2012 LEAF model in 2011. I drove it 100-0% every day and it only lasted 43,000 miles. About 4 years ago i got the battery replaced and I read the instructions and I have been using it 20-80% every day. This replacement battery might last a lifetime, excellent battery and car.

But you can buy a brand new battery for $8500. How great of a deal is that?

An excellent deal. You can save $2000 a year on gasoline or $1200 every other year for model 3 tires.

My 2012 LEAF still charges to 85 miles in winter time and will easily go 65 miles. The LEAF is a city commuter car. How far is your commute. Have you considered a later model Leaf or maybe a Toyota Prius if you do a lot of long distance driving.

The question I have is: will it recover without massive discounts from Nissan?

It still has the tax credit on it’s side, but I think they’ll need to discount considerably either way.

Random thought: Does a $35k Model3 actually hurt the adoption of sustainable transport, by forcing other makers to sell their EVs at a loss which must be subsidised by fossil sales?

I imagine there are some ugly discussions happening at various EV program offices today…

Hopefully it helps by taking market share away from ICE. There should be plenty of room for Teslas and EVs from older OEMs.

Chevy Volt % change in sales: 100% to 0%.
Ford CMax % change in sales: 100% to 0%

Why people are losing faith the Majors will actually try to compete against Tesla.
They could just “survive” on pickup truck sales till bankruptcy.

Im still waiting on the Tesla truck. Im hoping against hope that they will offer a base no frills truck for 45k to compete against the f150.

Tesla sales have tanked too.

It’s think it’s certainly a risk.

But mostly if Tesla cannot show a consistent profit while selling the lower priced model and also if they cannot sell all they can make, 400,000 per year out of Fremont factory. If they can then that bodes well. If not, then legacy manufacturers are likely to continue to slow the EV revolution because they make more profit off of ICE and as you say, lose money or make little profit off of EV’s.

This would open the door for the Chinese, because they have the largest incentives for EV’s and they have the largest auto market. They are already winning the EV race and Tesla is the only Company that is running with them. BYD, Chinese EV manufacturer since 2013, sold 350k EV’s last year and was the highest seller of EV’s for Jan. by 2x the next manufacturer.

Yes, I think this is the larger risk, not that the EV revolution will be slowed but that it will result in the death of the majors in the US as it would/could create the opening for the Chinese brands. Given what we’ve seen from the Volvo Polestar 2, I think it’s foolish to think that the Chinese (Geeley) couldn’t pull it off.

I don’t know if the legacy makers understand that they are in a two front war on this. It will be easier for the Chinese to break into the auto market in EVs than it will be for ICE. They really aren’t just fighting Tesla.

That is assuming that people buy the base trim. Tesla released a Model 3 “trim” with slightly upgraded features and range for 2k more. Plus, they uncoupled some features of autopilot and got rid of enhanced autopilot. I presume this was done to tantalize people to spend more.

No, because number of overall BEV’s still increase when you add in the Model 3 sales.

The real issue is the many cars, especially in the US, that are used as a single-person short-distance commuter only (the US has about a car per capita, including kids) — these households have other vehicles that they use for longer distances and/or as people carriers.
A short-distance EV is environmentally only 10%-15% better than an ICE from a total lifetime energy, materials & pollution standpoint; the real win would be to get those people to switch to public transport, bicycles (electric or otherwise) or electric Vespa-type scooters.
From my PoV, electric pickups like the Rivian are actually making things worse, because they’ll increase the use of pickups as personal transport.

Tesla Model 3 being available at 35,000 is great news for consumers! Hopefully the 60 kWh and 40 kWh Leaf prices will be lowered accordingly.

If someone said they are considering getting the 60 kWh Leaf, I would tell them, they are insane to get that over a 35K M3.

Here in Canada we need the heated seats so the minimum is the SR+ . At $50600 CDN plus taxes. Not so cheap. Personality I can’t afford it. Still it’s a great car.

Just get heated seat covers.

Well, maybe vs $37k plus with AP ;).

I got my 2018 S for $30,000 OTD [$6000 off MSRP] plus 0% financing.

The $35k M3 is really $43k with the necessary (cost-effective) upgrades. With sales tax and cost of money its true cost is over $50,000.

The Leaf is certainly no M3, but it’s a great in-town car in its own right, and that $20,000 will cover the depreciation on any 2nd car I’d like to add to my garage: Miata, BMW 4-Series, even a Supra

but I’m happy saving a ton of money waiting for a compelling BEV that complements the Leaf, something I would enjoy taking out on holiday. Something with 2 doors for a start.

The leaf is a lot better family car. The Tesla is simple the best performance sports car. Do you own a car?

Since model 3 cheap version not coming to Europe yet, they can just send all the Leaf plus here.
Btw Nissan leaf quality is much better than model 3 so they can just ship them a place where we will appreciate them.

Build quality is in fact superior, but pack longevity remains to be seen.

No, it isn’t yet to be seen, it’s lasting pretty equal to the Teslas. Remember, a LOT of the Teslas from the early days had multiple battery swap outs. Starting around 2015, battery technology for most all cars has settles down and become quite reliable. I sold my 2015 Leaf last and the battery was about 97% after having it for just about 4 years. Bought another one while waiting for the Model 3 and love the 2018 Leaf, at 150 miles, it has quite sufficient range as our second car. And it’s actually been on some longer trips and did quite well.

My 2015 S came off lease at 30,000 miles & 86% SOH. It’s quite hot in the summer plus I did hundreds of QCs.

My 2018 S is currently at 95%, but still 150 mile range, yes

Actually, by not improving their lease terms, they have a chance of beating their negative record next month. This is just the beginning….

Always looking on the bright side.

I guess i’m still sour for not being able to get a decent lease on it a few months back…

US is just one market and a declining one in importance, they are doing OK in Japan and EU. The hatchback design is not a big segment in US anyway.

The U.S. a declining market? It certainly is for the Nissan Leaf.

It is declining in terms of share of global market.

Anything compared to recent third world China is “declining.”

You know the U.S. has the fastest growing population in the 1st world right? Declining… nice joke…

You still live in 70s (like some politicians), US is already much smaller than China and about the same as Europe.

The US is the third-largest EV market in both absolute and marketshare terms. It also has many less models than the other two, and certainly less developed charging networks (the latter is also a problem of geography and much lower population density).

In terms of total automotive units sold/capita? Yes. Declining since the 70’s.

I still have my 2015 Leaf with 100k on it and 11/12 bars.
Base Model 3 in Canada = $40,000 and the Base Model Leaf is $36,798
At MSRP I’d say this is a no brainer. We still don’t have the longer range Leaf, but it will obviously be more than the 40 KWhr model.

Where are you seeing $40k CAD? It’s $47.6K CAD (less gas savings, which is a bit of a joke)

Well, if they had of put active liquid cooling in and had better batteries, then that would be worthy of applause, otherwise, not so much, just more of the same from Nissan, disappointing half measures, and big fans, just don’t pay the piper.
So be prepared to have most of your customers skip off after a guy playing a flute, and riding a unicorn.
Little wonder that their sales are cratering.

Interesting that so many Leaf sold even with e+ coming soon. Also interesting I waited for lots of free charging Leaf in Feb despite sales being less than Jan. We are living in interesting time.

Kenneth Bokor (EV Revolution Show - YouTube)

I think this is typical behaviour when coming out with an improved model. The Osborne Effect. Nissan was # 3 in the world for sales in January. I’ve not seen Feb Global numbers yet but they should be ok too, probably lower somewhat with people waiting instead to look at the bigger Leaf.

Maybe Nissan will throw in some free retard sandwiches for anyone willing to buy a Leaf over a base Tesla Model 3?

Better price it at 35k or maybe selling 500 a month. Even if the same price, Tesla 3 is a better car.

I so hate when writers come to false, or at least unsupportable conclusions. US didn’t turn to longer range cars, they turned to Teslas. With a pent up demand, there was essentially no way for anything else to really compete. And that’s important when you look at the Leaf being about half the cost. It wasn’t money, it wasn’t range, it was 5 simple letters, TESLA.
Remember, those 5 same letters have also impacted the sales of many non-EV cars at the same time.

As Europe has proven, the 2018 Leaf has been an awesome seller. Its an awesome car and the 150+ mile range is well beyond the needs of most drivers. Writers who live in big city apartments seem to not understand that most households have 2 or more cars. And in those situations, there’s a travel car and then the commute cars. commonly the minivan or SUV. But the commute cars are often the smaller, more efficient car, for which all of the Leafs fit quite nicely. The 2018 Leaf even fits the shorter, 100-300 mile trips quite nicely. And between the commuter and 300 mile trips, that accounts for effectively 100% of the driving.

Thats excellent another 600 gas burning cars off the road.

Unfortunately it looks like all EV sales tanked out. Only a few hundred Tesla S and X sales, a few thousand Model 3 sales, Bolts, Volts all at record lows. The economy is at rock bottom. People are starting to realize they have to save up to pay their taxes.

But the good news is that if you add them altogether there is another 9,000 EVs on the road. we ned all the EV brands to sell 10,000 units each month.

Well hopefully all the Ev sales will pick up. It looks like Nissan will make 3,000 more other cars in Smryna unless they export to South America and Mexico.

Perhaps Nissan will have to cancel the Leaf stateside. Then they can finally introduce the e NV200 with TMS in North America……..
Come on, humor me people.

It’s Nissan’s stubborn insistence that passive cooling works. It doesn’t. My Leaf lost nearly 20 miles of range in only 8,500 miles of driving in the SW desert area where temps reach 120 degrees. It fried the battery.

Can Nissan say “Osborne Effect”?

All eyes are not on the Nissan eplus what have you. All eyes are on the $35k Tesla Model 3.

This forum seems to be a hate forum now. We need all EV sales to flourish. Nissan has been making a EVs for dozens of years now. Leaf global sales are still around 15,000 for the year so that isn’t bad. The LEAF is the best car Nissan has ever made. EV sales in the states and car sales in general are down. Some good news I heard on NPR last night. Home sales have rebounded.