No Escape From Winter – Nissan Sells 1,252 LEAFs In First Month Of 2014

FEB 3 2014 BY JAY COLE 11

In January, Nissan Sold It's 100,000th LEAF Globally

In January, Nissan Sold It’s 100,000th LEAF Globally

This Special LEAF Commemorating The 100,000th Sale Has 50,000 2p and 50,000 Two Cent Euro Coins On It!

This Special LEAF Commemorating The 100,000th Sale Has 50,000 2p and 50,000 Two Cent Euro Coins On It!

Nissan did a lot of things right in January:

  • Completed the first full month of 2014 model year production (MY 2013 production started last February in Smyrna, TN)
  • New production level came online (2,700 units/month)

Unfortunately, if there was one month to mute these events, it is January – the worst selling month for plug-in vehicles.

For the first month of 2014, Nissan sold 1,252 LEAFs, good for a 92.6% improvement of January of 2013 when 650 cars were sold – a month when Nissan had only a very limited amount of pricey 2012 Japan-made LEAFs left to sell.

In other words, the comps were an easy beat.

The First Two Months Of 2014 Should Be Easy Wins For Nissan Over 2013 - Before The Inexpensive, US Made 2013s Arrived

The First Two Months Of 2014 Should Be Easy “Wins” For Nissan Over 2013 – Before The Inexpensive, US Made 2013 LEAF Arrived

Interestingly, Nissan did send us a note reflectly on why January was the worst performing month since the switch to US made LEAFs in March of 2013:

“With LEAF, we see unique seasonality with some December pull-ahead demand based on federal and state tax incentives. San Francisco reclaimed the No. 1 spot from Atlanta as the nation’s top-selling LEAF market. Atlanta hung on to the No. 2 spot with Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego rounding out the top 5. San Diego and Dallas-Fort Worth were particular hot-spots.”

Nissan also said that the “polar vortex hampered LEAF sales in Atlanta this month,” as inventory became constrained with year end selling in December.  The company sales those supply issues have now been resolved for February.

Globally, Nissan sold its 100,000th LEAF in January (that story here), as well as put out some feelers on what customers might be willing to pay for a 150 mile LEAF (that story here).

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11 Comments on "No Escape From Winter – Nissan Sells 1,252 LEAFs In First Month Of 2014"

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Dallas/Ft.Worth is a hotspot? Could have fooled me. I live here in DF/W and I only see a Leaf maybe once or twice per month on the streets. Maybe the North Dallas area has higher concentrations, but I rarely go there. I think I’ve actually seen more Teslas this last month than I saw Leafs.

Here in North Dallas, I rarely see LEAFs. On my way to work today, I saw two Volts though. There is one LEAF here at my work, along with one Volt and a Tesla Roadster (on nice days). Oh, and my little i-MiEV.

At least there’ll be plenty of stock, unless Nissan adjusted production to compensate for the January blues.

With the loaded 2014 Focus Electric costing just $165 more than a base Leaf S, and over $2,800 less than the Leaf SV, it will be interesting to see how Leaf sales go this year.

Especially if Ford dealers start to push their market advantage.

“it will be interesting to see how Leaf sales go this year”

I suspect similar to last year. Healthy growth.

Ford’s production and marketing is clearly pushing the Energi drivetrain vs. their BEV option. At MOST, Ford plans to produce 5000 Focus Electrics per year. They sold about 1700 last year. This is way less than either the C-Max Energi or Fusion Energi. Combined, they sold over 13,000 Energi . Next, they plan to bring this drivetrain to the Focus.

My highly scientific (I count how many BEVs/EREVs I see at the free chargers I frequent and compare it to how many I see commuting) poll indicates that although the Volt was the clear sales leader in Northern Virginia in 2013, late in the year the PiP gained a great deal of ground and nearly reached parity with the Leaf.
Nissan is really growing their inventory again, it hit 3800 for a while. They want to sell them some Leaf’s and I think they will do so.

No need for alarm. This is a big drop off from last month’s great month, but given the tax break situation especially in Georgia this is no surprise. It should still be the Leaf’s best year so far. At its price point, there is not another BEV produced in serious enough numbers and supported with decent marketing. Well, the superbowl add for the Smart was a step in the right direction (along with going 50 states now) but it just isn’t big enough to sell like the Leaf. Last half of last year the Volt started facing some decent competition from Ford Energi products and to a lesser extent the PIP, meanwhile Nissan doesn’t really have any serious competition. The Volt dominated the first few years of this generation’s plug ins, but this year the Leaf should come out easily on top.

“Completed the first full month of 2014 model year production (MY 2013 production started last February in Smyrna, TN)”
… Remember 2013 MY sales didn’t uptick until March 2013? … February sales should improve with 2014 MY, but it’s the month with the least sales days.

Also, you don’t have to look far to see that the 2014 MY LEAF, promised for “late December” availability, is still not on the cover of: NissanUSA.com/LEAF

Looking further on the website (for inventory), there is no selector available for “2014” MY LEAF. Perhaps the “polar vortex hampered” website updates? Dealers nationally have however started receiving inventory in the last couple weeks. Soft sales have followed a soft launch.

Expect NissanUSA will show the LEAF some love in February and refresh the website as 2014 MY volume ramps up.

I’m really worried about what that Ice Storm did in Atlanta to Leaf owners in that they will have stories about people getting trapped in their leafs do to them running out of power and it will spill over and ruin the car in that city.

As for Nissan I think the reason why they are now somewhat active at talking about raising the range of the leaf from 80 to 150 miles is that they are starting to see the writing on the wall. That a car with only 80 mile range can’t really get that big of a seller among people outside of the hard core EV drivers. In that when I talk to people about EV’s the bulk of them make fun of the leaf for having only a 80 mile range.

If they do up the range to a 150 miles on a charge under the existing prices I pet we could see months where it breaks past 4000 to 7000 cars a month.

I just helped the numbers for February. We turned in our 2011 Leaf last night and got a 2014.