Nissan LEAF Sales Stay Strong in September; More Production Coming In November
For September, Nissan once again moved a lot more US made 2013 LEAFs than it did a year ago.
In total 1,953 of the 75-mile EVs were sold during the month, and considering the company only managed to move 984 in September of last year, this month marked a 99% improvement.
As Nissan’s director of corporate communication, Travis Parman, states:
“That makes for seven straight months of record sales. Once again, Atlanta was the No. 1 LEAF market in the U.S., as electric vehicle sales spread from the West Coast to a new wave of markets. Atlanta has a five-day supply of LEAF. Raleigh-Durham also showed significant sales increases bumping into the Top 10 markets for LEAF, and sales were up in all major Texas markets.”
With another impressive uptake in the bank, total LEAF sales for 2013 now check in at 16,076, which is already 6,259 ahead of the 9,817 total sales for 2012 – the kind of improvement you would expect to happen after the company lowered the barrier to ownership by $6,400 this year and starting offering $199/month leases.
Even though Nissan LEAF inventory increased slightly in September (up about 300 units – which is why sales did not crest 2,000 this month), one should not take the monthly results to mean Nissan is catching up with demand, but rather that the LEAF is just getting distributed a little more evenly (in low numbers) nationally now.
In fact, an underestimating of demand for the LEAF by Nissan USA has caused an electrode shortage which has capped sales around the 2,000/month level since the new 2013 model was introduced last March. That’s a problem which is not easily rectified, as the lead time to increase production in electric vehicles can be long.
InsideEVs has learned that Nissan did decide to increase monthly capacity up to around 2,700 units (from an initial plan to produce about 1,900 per month) last May after realizing the positive impact that the $28,800 starting price had on sales. Unfortunately, a good 5 months is needed to actually make that change a reality.
Nissan expects this new capacity to be reflected on dealer’s lots starting in November with the arrival of the 2014 model year LEAF. Then, we will see how deep demand really goes on the LEAF.