Never Say Die! Nissan LEAF Sales Resilient In September Ahead Of New Model

2 months ago by Jay Cole 33

The original Nissan LEAF begins to fade from dealerships in September

It was a streak that had to end.

Heading into September, the first generation Nissan LEAF had bested year-over-year sales in every month of the year. In fact, the LEAF had record seven consecutive months worth of 4 digits deliveries.  The end result being 2017 sales were up some 22%.

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF took to the stage for the first time at its debut event in Tokyo, Japan in September

And all of this despite the public’s knowledge that a new longer range, better-in-every-way model was en route.

September put an end to that streak, as Nissan came up just short of last year’s numbers.

In the end, it wasn’t the US consumer’s dis-interest that stopped the sales streak for the 107 mile EV in its 82nd month on the US market – it was Nissan.

As the month closed, previously built 2017 inventory dried up as the company’s Smyrna, TN plant started to build the new 2018 model.  Entering October, less than 500 copies of the original LEAF are on hand at US dealers.

However, somehow Nissan still managed to cross into 4 digits worth of sales for the eighth month in a row.

In September, Nissan sold 1,055 LEAFs, off some 19.8% from the 1,316 sold a year ago.

For the year, the LEAF has cracked the 10k level (10,740 sales), which is still up decently (16.3%) from the 9,238 sold during the first 3 quarters of 2016.  All things considered, it is hard to imagine Nissan could have managed much better numbers with the aging LEAF.

2018 Nissan LEAF pricing/basic specs US

Nissan’s 150 millionth vehicle produced – the 2018 LEAF out of Oppama, Japan

As for the new LEAF (full details/watch live launch here), it will start to arrive in late December/January, bringing with it a refreshed (and less polarizing) look, and ~150 miles of real-world/EPA range – up 40%…for about $700 less.

And while Nissan really didn’t want to talk about it at all at the launch party on September 5th, the company will also have an every longer range/higher performance model of the LEAF when the 2019 MY arrives in the Fall of 2018…with a ~60 kWh battery and about 225 miles of range.

So, how will the 2018 Nissan LEAF sell when it arrives in early 2018?

Well, given it has also no competition in its range (150 miles) and price class (sub $30k – meaning we will be seeing $199/month lease deals out of the gate), it is hard to imagine it won’t end next year a “medal position” (top 3),  alongside the Tesla Model 3 and the Toyota Prius Prime.

Below: 2018 Nissan LEAF Gallery

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33 responses to "Never Say Die! Nissan LEAF Sales Resilient In September Ahead Of New Model"

  1. Texas FFE says:

    Ford Focus Electric sales are up while Nissan Leaf sales are down. The longer range 2017 FFE might be stealing a few sales away from the 2017 Nissan Leaf. Of course the Chevrolet Bolt EV is stealing away most of the sales from the Leaf but the Bolt EV is not really in the price range of the Leaf or FFE.

    1. Spoonman. says:

      How do you know FFE sales are up?

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Sales of the FFE has been up every month this year since March when the 2017 model showed up on dealers lots. Inventory of the 2017 FFE model is higher right now than it has been all year. Sales will be up for September.

      2. Texas FFE says:

        I might also mention that there are a lot of bargains on the 2017 models right now including a $10,000 credit on a lease. No bargains on a used 2017 model though, ALL the used 2017 FFEs on the market a few months ago have found homes. I guess we will see tomorrow if the apparent popularity and availability of the 2017 FFE adds up to sales in September.

    2. jhm614 says:

      Lack of inventory is stealing a few Leaf sales, too. For example, there are are only 3 new Leafs for sale in a 150 mile radius of Dallas.

  2. Assaf says:

    I’m not sure I’ll share Jay’s optimism regarding US 150-mile Leaf sales.

    US auto consumers have been brainwashed too thoroughly by Musk et al. that nothing under 200 miles is worth even considering.

    Never mind that most households with kids have 2+ cars, and that even a 70-mile BEV could easily become one of those cars with no net loss of convenience.

    But globally, the 150-mile Leaf will be a hit. IMHO that’s why Gen 2 sales debut in Japan, vs. the Gen 1 which was shipped to the US first despite being made only in Japan.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      How dare you sir!

      /prepare to be removed for such insolence

    2. ffbj says:

      Probably. I would wait for the 220 mile version. Btw, some have said that may have a TMS, liquid cooled, they are wrong.

      I pointed that out early this year, yet I would still read people saying they would hope Nissan would go to TMS for the battery pack, and maybe they would, they won’t.
      Foget about it.

    3. stimpy says:

      Why settle when you can get a superior car for about the same price.

      And yes they ARE close in price. The base Leaf doesn’t even have fast charging or alloy wheels.

      1. stimpy says:

        Correction: The base does have chademo (which is a standard already on life support) but has weaksauce 3.6 KW home charging that was already behind the times 2 years ago.

        Also the base Leaf doesn’t include a cellular connection which is extremely nice for pre-conditioning from afar. Even the lowly Chevy Cruze can do that.

        1. vdiv says:

          The weaksauce 3.6 kW was behind the times even 5 years ago. Anything less than 20 kW onboard charging is just sad, but let’s remember, these are supposed to be affordable, compromises have to be made to allow more folks to drive electric 🙂

          1. sveno says:

            20kW onboard? Thats 3 phase 30A at 230V! How many household have that kind of spare power?

            1. vdiv says:

              Or a single/split phase 80 A in North America. You may be surprised how many households have greater than a 30 A supply, most are 150 to 200 A.

              But besides at households L2 charging is available and used everywhere, it is much cheaper to deploy and maintain, and at up to 62 mph or 100 km/h of charging speed it can do wonders.

              A bit of trivia: the Efacec DCFC station require a biannual maintenance that includes cleaning the 16(!!!) air filters on board that are used for cooling. L2 stations do not have forced air cooling.

      2. Lawrence says:

        Superior is the car that can be obtained.

      3. Mint says:

        Once the base Model 3 is actually available with a reasonable wait time, Nissan dealers will probably discount the Leaf, as opposed to the non-negotiable Model 3 price (which may go up by then).

        The price difference is significant. If you think the base Leaf is trash, you can compare a Leaf SV with ProPilot to a Model 3 with Autopilot, and the price difference is the same.

        There’s no doubt that the Model 3 us vastly superior, and will sell far better, but the Leaf has its niche, and stands out much better there than the previous Leaf did.

        1. Lawrence says:

          By that point, Tesla will no longer have any tax credits, but Nissan will. They may not need to discount that deep.

    4. Rhaman68 says:

      Your statement as to us being “brainwashed” by Tesla’s 200 miles plus range defies logic as to sales of the Leaf Gen 1. It seems that pricing is the key. A 105 mile range Leaf discounted 10k with the 7.5k credit plus any state credit is a bargain for just a 59 mile shortfall. I find my 80 to 100 mile Leaf meets all my needs and I do not need other than City/regional range. A150 or 250 range EV would not be useful. And it is efficient to a high level. Yesterday’s drive yielded 6.4 miles per KWhr! Try that in a Tesla or other national EV.

  3. David S. says:

    When did production of the 2018 LEAF start at the Smyrna plant? Why does it take so long to bring it to market? 3 months with nothing to sell (~500 2017s left in stock) seems like a miscalculation on Nissan’s part.

    1. Tom says:

      Because Nissan is not Tesla. You build some, test the process, test the car, test it some more, fix anything wrong in said process, then go to market with real inventory. Japanese manufacturers don’t take to ready, fire, aim very well.

      1. David S. says:

        Given that the 2018 LEAF is an update on the existing platform, and the fact it’s already on sale in Japan (not sure when exactly production started in Oppama either) I hoped for a faster ramp up.

        1. Timmy says:

          Please don’t bring politics and/or name”calling into this. I’m sure Drumpf wouldn’t have had a faster ramp-up.

          ( “jk” )

      2. Get Real says:

        That’s right, Nissan isn’t Tesla and proved it by NOT having any TMS in their 1st generation Leaf (unlike Tesla and others) and only a weak and rudimentary air cooling in their “improved” 2nd Generation Leaf.

        Way to go Nissan (and Tom the serial anti-Tesla troll).

    2. Lawrence says:

      Japanese companies tend to under-commit and over deliver. It’s not unusual for them to quote a worse case scenario and then deliver early.

      It is an embarrassment to let people down by not delivering on time.

  4. Jay D says:

    The 2018 basic specs graphic indicates that the S and SV don’t include an L1 EVSE? Could that be true?

    1. stimpy says:

      The base Leaf is a stripper. The one most people would want is basically the same price as the standard range base Model 3.

      The only thing Leaf really has going for it is availability.

      1. vdiv says:

        Availability is nothing to frown upon if we are trying to move people to driving electric. It’s how Nissan has sold so many across the world.

      2. Lawrence says:

        Availability and the ability to lease.

    2. David S. says:

      The S and SV most certainly include an L1 EVSE
      The SL gets the dual voltage L1/L2 EVSE

      1. sveno says:

        In Europe with the cheaper trims get you the 2.3kW EVSE and the top end Tekna gets you a Type 1 charging cable only 😀

        1. sveno says:

          No wait – you get the cable with the upgraded 6.6kW charger, doesn’t matter what trim. But still only cable, no EVSE.

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This proves that we need lower priced EVs and Price matters.

    When you can get a brand new LEAF for around $13K to $15K after all incentives, people will lease it!!! =)

    1. Pabiltos says:

      My electric company and others are kicking in 10K, so this is not surprising at all.

  6. Tony Marco says:

    …the rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated..

    Wait for Leaf 2.0 to ship….

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