Nissan LEAF Sales Stall in July as 1,864 Were Sold

AUG 1 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 15

2013 Nissan LEAF

2013 Nissan LEAF

“Nissan LEAF sales in July were 1,864 units, up 371.9 percent over last year. Year-to-date sales are 11,703, marking an increase of 230.3 percent over the same period in 2012.”

That’s the news sent to us via Nissan and at first glance it might seem as though the LEAF had a strong month, but the story doesn’t end there.

US-Made LEAFs From $28,800 Have Been A Big Hit This Year

US-Made LEAFs From $28,800 Have Been A Big Hit This Year

If we look back at the year that has been, LEAF sales were steadily climbing (aside from a slight April dip) after Nissan’s facility in Tennessee came online.

The year started off slow, with LEAF sales on the low side as Nissan worked to get production up and running in Tennessee, but once that happened, LEAF sales shot up.

  • January: 650 (production constrained)
  • February: 653 (production constrained)
  • March: 2,236 (production in full swing in Tennessee)
  • April: 1,937
  • May: 2,138
  • June: 2,225
2013 Nissan LEAF

2013 Nissan LEAF

We had figured July to be perhaps Nissan’s best sales month ever for the LEAF.  Guesses ranged from 2,500 to 3,000-plus units.  LEAF sales only needed to surpass the 2,236 mark set in March of this year for Nissan to break a record.  It was “in the bag.”

Or maybe not.

That’s okay though, as LEAF sales will still be on track to double the 9,819 sold in 2012.  And all we’re concerned with is overall growth in the plug-in segment and Nissan continues to prove that’s the case.

1,864 sold is still a strong mark.  We just got caught up in looking for the first electric vehicle ever to sell over 3,000 units in a single month.  We thought the LEAF had an outside shot.  Maybe next month…

UPDATE:  It should also be noted that while Nissan came up a little short on last month’s result, they also came up a little short on production in Smyrna, TN, as nationwide inventories (curiously) also fell in July by almost the same amount as sales did.  Nissan ended July with only 33 days inventory of the 2013 LEAF.

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15 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Stall in July as 1,864 Were Sold"

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Do we know for sure that production wasn’t constrained still? I keep hearing stories that dealers still aren’t getting enough to meet demand? But I haven’t seen any actual production numbers.

Yeah there seems to be an issue with Nissan not getting the LEAFs where they’re needed right now. We’ve heard reports of Nissan dealers in CA having 20-plus LEAFS on their lots, while some in like Atlanta have none. Even East Coast Nissan dealers are being shorted. It’s perhaps right to assume that Nissan will work this out. Demand in CA (West Coast) is falling off since everyone out there owns a LEAF already. Nissan now has to get the LEAFs were there are buyers. It’s more an allocation issue than production.

Hey David, supply still tight for July, in fact it contracted. I added in a little ditty to the story to reflect that.

Not really sure why/how that could happen…yet there it is. Only 33 days inventory, and as Eric says, it is not divided up very equally, or by trim level. Seems like Nissan is having a lot of difficulty getting the 2013 LEAF production on track properly.

I don’t know how many LEAFs they actually have, but Nissan of Portland is advertising they have ONE S Model in stock.

http://www.nissanofportland.com/content-weeklyspecials

One Model S doesn’t say anything about the other trims, right?

Anyway, last Friday I was at Campbell-Nelson (Puget Sound’s 2nd-largest Leaf seller) for that software upgrade, and the lot was full of Leafs. I didn’t count, but I think there were at least 10. OTOH, in this type of dealership they might be able to move such quantities within a good week or two. So 33 days still sounds just about right.

Eric, don’t be hard on yourself for expecting. If I recall correctly, it was Nissan who started playing up expectations this month, saying that 2,000/month are going to be history soon. Did they mean it in the opposite direction?

Anyway, with these Leaf and Volt figures 100k plug-in sales for 2013 look farther than ever.

You think Nissan meant it in the other direction? Guess we misinterpreted that. Lol.

And what did month-by-month sales look like in 2012? Was there a dip in July, which is usually a soft month for car sales?

Overall, I’m not concerned. If yearly sales double from 2012 to 2013, that’s great, as we’re still in the stage of this adventure where a lot of mainstream consumers are learning about EVs. I routinely run into people who don’t even know pure EVs are on the market in the US, let alone that they’re “real cars”, fun to drive, save a lot on fuel costs and maintenance, etc.

Check out the graphic below…I think that is probably what you are looking for (chart of 2012 plug-in sales)

We also have a monthly plug-in scorecard (tab at the top of page) that tracks all the monthly results on all the EV brands since the beginning of time.

I’ve seen plug in cars on the road but I have never seen a pure EV drive into a parking lot or running under it’s own power on the highway.

Lots of new competition for the Leaf with the Spark EV, Fiat 500e, price-cut Honda Fit EV, price-cut Ford Focus EV, etc.

Funny too, I don’t live in an upper class section in the Seattle area – just say
upper-middle-class, yet I do, and have seen, multiple LEAFs on nearly any
drive I set out on from my home. These days, however, I see a lot of
Teslas.

Yesterday, for example, I set out in my Volt with the kids to go get in
some quality playground time. In a five minute drive I saw two
Model Ss and one LEAF. This is becoming more and more common.

If Elon can accomplish a $30,000, 200 mile Bluestar, with a 300 mile
option – I can truly see them becoming a major force in the auto
industry.

“a $30,000, 200 mile Bluestar”

Can’t be done. Tesla has no battery magic that isn’t also available to everyone else.

I really think the 900 pound ogre in this debate is are these low sales do to production problems at the factory and bringing in the right number of cars to areas where they are needed. Or is the 75 mile battery range on the car the main handicap to prevent it from growing into the 3000’s and 5000’s along with it might possibly going into a decline do to the the limiting battery range scaring away people who might convert.

The 2013 LEAF just went on sale in Canada at the end of July. Maybe the cars allocated to Canadian dealers reduced the supply in the U.S.?