Worldwide Nissan LEAF Sales Down To 43,651 In 2015 (From 60,000) As Weak Numbers For Japan Are In

FEB 5 2016 BY MARK KANE 63

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

Worldwide sales of the Nissan LEAF took a hit as a combination of the anticipation for the new 2016 edition, and a rapidly deepening field of plug-in choices hurt the world’s all-time best selling EV.

We assume 2016 will be a better sales year for the LEAF overall (thanks to the longer range/30 kWh option), the question is to what degree?

Regional breakdowns:

Nissan wasn’t able to maintain a growing sales curve for electric cars in Japan as its flagship model didn’t attract 15,000 buyers.

The very late 2016/30 kWh battery introduction, and maybe some other factors too, led to a 36% sales drop year-over-year to 9,057.

It’s the worst result ever for Nissan LEAF sales in Japan.  Even December sales disappointed as only 1,019 were noted compared to 1,259 in December 2014.  In total, Nissan LEAF sales in Japan stand at 57,699 .

We should note that the numbers look set for a big turnaround in 2016 for Japan, as early returns (and the arrival of the 30 kWh car) indicate well north of 2,000 copies have been sold in January.

Update:  January logged 2,503 LEAF sales in Japan..the second best result to date – amazing what some deep 2016 inventory can do, now we just have to see if the same phenomenon occurs in the rest of the world

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan experienced a similar sales drop in other markets.

In the U.S., sales dropped by nearly 43% year-over-year to 17,269 (see details).

In Europe, on the other hand, LEAF sales increased a little bit from around 15,096 to 15,630 (3.5%).

Total LEAF sales worldwide in 2015 were 43,651 (nearly 40% of which was achieved in the U.S., nearly 36% in Europe, with ~21% in Japan and about 4% for the rest). In 2014, the LEAF peaked at over 60,000 (we estimate a decrease of somewhere between 27-30% year-over-year).

Nissan LEAF sales in U.S. - December 2015

Nissan LEAF sales in U.S. – December 2015

Categories: Nissan, Sales

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63 Comments on "Worldwide Nissan LEAF Sales Down To 43,651 In 2015 (From 60,000) As Weak Numbers For Japan Are In"

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People are not so dumb. They are all waiting for better ranged EVS. Not a 10% improvement in 5 years!
Mainstream Media negative articles too are hurting sales.

“Mainstream Media negative articles too are hurting sales”

What? You are blaming media now?

What about poor battery reliability. Poor performance. Bad IIHS crash results. Lack of 200 miles range. No Super Charging access. Lack of advertisement. It is just part of auto/oil cartel that doesn’t want EV to succeed.

What happened to all those reasons that you often give to other EV makers? LOL.

Musk said that the supercharger network is open to all who want to use it. Nissan could make it an option. Just get with Tesla and work a deal out. I would gladly pay for it.

Say, what’s with the troll infestation here? It’s been a while since I’ve seen here the comment thread kicked off by such a collection of mean-spirited nonsense (Alpha777’s comment excepted). Starting with the always nice ALL CAPS leadoff batter 🙂 So: – Yes, Ghosn does have a clue and certainly knows about EVs, more than any other major automaker except perhaps Mary Barra. – No, it’s not “10% improvement over 5 years”. It’s nearly 50% improvement, plus an improvement of infinity in range warranty, from none to 70% after 8 years/100k miles. – The Marvel fan comment, not even worth answering. He seems to live in a Superhero world somewhere. – And No, Tesla is not (yet) offering to share in its Supercharger network. There’s no question that Nissan screwed up the transition from 2015 to 2016 year models. I’ll grant you even more: Nissan still hasn’t demonstrated the ability/willingness to produce the Leaf on a *really* large volume (i.e., something approaching its leading ICE models). But get a grip, will you? Overall the Gen 1 Leaf is a success, considering all factors. And they’re not exactly giving up either. The 30 KWh Leaf is arguably the best affordable BEV… Read more »

…I stand corrected on the Supercharger-sharing thing.

There seems have been a trial media balloon in September, mentioning some negotiations about it. Regardless, 4+ months have passed and not a peep since that single one mention. Either they want too much $$ for it, or it was more of a spin than a serious offer.

Assaf, I hate to contradict any part of what you wrote, after that masterful summary of the true situation, and after you refuted so much of the nonsense in the comments preceding yours…

But Tesla made an open invitation to all other auto makers to join and support the SuperCharger network. They got no takers, but that’s hardly Tesla’s fault!

Realistically, no other car can use the Supercharger system, because none have a battery pack big enough to allow charging at Supercharger speed… at a rate between 90-120 kW. But with plug-in EVs which have significantly larger capacity battery packs coming out soon, starting late this year with the Bolt, and possibly others not yet announced, there will be at least the possibility of other EVs being able to be charged at Supercharger speed.

Clearly you have not been around much lately, mores the pity. Yes the neighborhood has really gone to the dogs lately.

“The Marvel fan comment, not even worth answering. He seems to live in a Superhero world somewhere.” Really, is that why LEAF sales tanked in 2015? Why is such “excellent” car in your opinion dropped in sales? Sure, you can blame it on GA Tax incentives gone, you can blame it on low gas price, but how come you don’t blame Nissan for making it much better? I wrote: “poor battery reliability.” Still the case with 2011/2012 LEAF. So, that is the longest/oldest data point available. The claim is that 2013/2014 all got better. Are there any studies to reflect that? INL did studies on the 2012 packs and showed degradation curve under heat. Are their any repeated studies on the “new” version of the battery packs? Is the lack of complain due to people in hot climate stopping buying the LEAF or due to actual improvement? Any data to prove it? “Poor performance.” Fact is 0-60mp is about 10s. That speaks for itself… “Bad IIHS crash results.” Fact: Rating is POOR. NHTSA crash is also only 4 stars with 2013 or later model losing a star. “Lack of 200 miles range.” Fact. “No Super Charging access.” Fact. “Lack of… Read more »

“What about poor battery reliability”

You seem to have been “convinced” by the bad press.
Battery reliability isn’t an issue any more.

Is that proven statistically with factual data or people living AZ just stopped buying LEAF and doing DCFC with hwy driving?

There certainly are some problems with the Leaf battery, but to call it “poor” is a gross exaggeration.

And calling a 4-star crash test rating “bad” is even worse.

Reality check, MMF: The Nissan Leaf has sold more units of fully highway-capable plug-in EVs than any other car in the world. That car you’re describing as “poor” is more popular, worldwide, than any other PEV which can be driven on public highways.

Maybe in the comic book world which exists only in your head, MMF, cars can be perfect. In the real world, they’re not. Cars should be judged relative to other cars which exist in the real world, not some impossible comic book superhero level of perfection.

The lizard battery does seem to be a good deal better than the original Leaf battery, but Nissan took a hit when it turned out that not only did the hot climes cause problems for the original Leaf pack, but Nissan’s Andy Palmer tried to brazen it out by saying the loss of bars of range was due to instrument error not actual battery degradation. It turned out there was a slight instrument error but a lot of people in the hot areas were seeing premature battery degradation.
Tesla and GM have done a much better job of protecting their battery packs.

I wonder if you really know how annoying it is to read comments written in ALL CAPS or whether you’re clueless. Do you even remotely understand when it is appropriate to use the Caps Lock button?

No big deal with the ALL CAPS. Just read the article and move on. No need to continue staring at it if you don’t like it

But I agree with his points. Nissan wasted 5 years patting themselves on the back for having the best selling EV. But what they didn’t seem to grasp is that people were buying the Leaf because there was no other choice at the time, not because it was a great car.

I’ve had a Leaf for two years and it is the most frustrating car I have ever had. I use it all day and still have about 5 miles left, but that means that I can’t go anywhere in the evening!

I really hate being so limited and can hardly wait for the Bolt to come out so that I can finally get rid of my Leaf for a car with decent range.

100% right, while the Leaf might have been the first mass market EV, its not a nice car. The only redeeming factors were its relatively high range, low price and general availability compared to other EVs. The entrance of the more expensive Golf and i3 did already hurt sales, the Bolt will make it even worse.

I agree with the comments except I loved my Leaf. Now I have an ICE waiting on the next generation EVs.

@Greg, I suggest you spend half an hour driving a 2011 Leaf, and half an hour driving a 2016 Leaf. Then talk about “Nissan wasted five years”.

Oh, also check how much improvements Toyota did with its Prius over 15+ years. Not to mention plain-vanilla ICE cars.

Let’s just look at the battery size. It took Nissan 5 years to go from 24kWh to 30kWh. Now look at what Tesla has done in 5 years. How many batter sizes have they offered in that time?

Nissan should have at least been able to offer it faithful clients bigger battery options, but they didn’t. And for that neglect they are now paying the price. They have been left behind with their pants down.

Assaf, that is a suggestion. Back in February of 2011 I drove the Gen I Volt, the 2011 Leaf and the 2011 Ford Focus Electric and the Leaf was in last place when it comes to driving experience, with the Volt and the FFEl nearly tied for 1 and 2.
I have chatted with Leaf owners all the time, but I haven’t driven another Leaf since then. I am kind of curious to see how they have changed. The 2015MY Volt had 15% more AER than the 2011 but it looked pretty much the same. I haven’t driven a Gen II Volt yet, just sat in two, but they look pretty good, both in and out. Not great, but good.

The Leaf has boxed itself into a corner. The FFE with a 30 kW battery and DCFC might be able to match the Leaf sale to sale when it comes out later this year and the Bolt is probably going to suck up sales from a lot BEV models. Sales of the Leaf will probably hold steady for a few months but without any big changes Leaf sales are going to nose dive at the end of the year. The Leaf is going to have to get a much larger battery and some advanced autonomous features to stay in the game.

In French we say :”painted himself in the corner”

In English we say “painted himself into a corner”.

If he’s actually painting himself, it doesn’t matter whether he’s in the corner or not. 😉


The true meaning is painted the floor, not noticing he is blocking himself until he is in the corner.

I don’t think people really care that much about autonomous, at least as long as it’s not fully autonomous. It might be a nice feature if it’s there but it’s not a deal-breaker.

2503 sales in January for the worlds best electric car in Japan.

Thanks CSC, just noticing the official numbers now…will update the story.

We had been following it for a while and knew when they crossed the 2,000 mark with a ~week left it was going to be a special month.

It will be interesting to see what happen in the US when they get those 30 kWh cars spread out over the nation…it has been hard to judge demand so far with only ~3,000 odd produced and delivered to dealers since the launch in November. Not sure what the hold-up has been to tell you the truth.

Bugfixing NissanConnect aka TCU-unit?

That’s what happens when you make the same 80ish mile leaf for over 5!! years. Even the 30kw version with just over 100 miles (which is what it was supposed to have originally) isn’t going to get many more customers. I enjoy my leaf because its electric but other than that its a cheap car and its frustrating that we have zero details on a new compelling EV from them.

This is the age of the internet.
The new model is so fantastic it’s probably eating into today’s sales.

Carbon Fiber body with at least 150 mile range in 2017?
Come on, who wouldn’t wait.

Lesson: Steve Jobs, ultra-secrecy of new models until the assembly line starts to run.

But, with the Bolt, Nissan may have felt they had to let the cat out of the bag.

150 range is already a thing of the past….Bolt is 200 plus++..Who knows what the model 3 will be ? there are rumours of 250 miles PLUS+ I’m Gonna Relax, wait, & count my money $$$…It’s getting Very interesting…..

Nissan was very stupid to hurt their sales by revealing the 30kw LEAF so early. On the other hand, they also must compete against Bolt which GM revealed as early as possible so Nissan is screwed either way without a 200ish range car for around $35k. I don’t expect their sales to recover, especially given dealerships that don’t want to sell EVs.

insideevs revealed the 30 kWh LEAF! 🙂

shh…it’s a sore point, we don’t mention that anymore, lol

The Nissan Leaf 30kWh is available for sale now.

Same with the BMW i3?
January sales drop off as internet people told potential buyers 100 miles of range would soon be available.

Anyway, I’m buying SOMETHING in the 2017 model year.
There are too many good cars coming out.

But, it won’t be the 20 miles of range,( 10 in winter ), CMax,

C U Later MAX!

One more time I am being picky with the stat figures.

You reported that cum Nissan LEAF sales in Japan stand at 56,680. There is an aritmethic error, from the values in the first graph, the correct number is 57,699 (I guess you guys didn’t add the 1,019 for December 2015).

Could catch Emc2, we didn’t bring in the December numbers. /fixed

As a side note: you are now an honorary editor…which of course is an unpaid position, (=

Thx 🙂

Oops! the graph is still showing the wrong figure. Cheers

We’ll get the chart fixed soon – the article itself is corrected now.

Just have to wait for our guy to “get up”. It is/was like 2am in Europe when we started talking…and he has the data files, (=

Update: And now it is 2am here (so lovely morning there) and the chart is fixed, (=

I’m willing to bet they are sorting out their production process for the 30kWh version. Come march they’ll have it all straight and then they’ll drop the price, here’s hoping, I’d live to get to jan 2017 with a new volt, low cost 30 kWh leaf, 200 mile bolt and a widely available outlander in the us and eu markets.

83 miles doesn’t cut it any more.

Btw did I miss the story about how the volt or pip sales dropped off a cliff this year?

Yupe, guess so. We have been winding our way through a year-end recap of every major plug-in…both in the US and Europe

Prius/Toyota here:
Toyota Plug-In Electric Car Sales Flop In 2015
-January 16th, 2016

Volt here:
Next Generation Chevrolet Volt To Reverse Trend Of Decreasing Sales?
-January 7th, 2016

Thank you, stupid thing is I actually remember reading the volt story now I see it again.

semi related: is it possible to show more than 10 articles in feedburner, sometimes with “spam” of articles interesting ones gets pushed out of last 10 boundary

I would bet that sales didn’t plunge if Nissan had said: “There will be a bigger battery soon, old Leafs can get an upgrade.”

That’s the way to go with EVs. Don’t hurt your sales by excluding early buyers from fast improving technology.

+100, making the battery the same size physically but not allowing upgrades to existing leaf owners was seriously dumb. More people drive electric nissans than any other brand right now why give them an excuse to try another brand? Also how many customers would they have kept out of a bolt if they’d allowed the upgrade? I’d upgrade my leaf for $10k to wait 6 months for a 200 mile leaf or to see if there is a price drop but that option is not open to me…… Gm won’t sell the bolt in aus anyway but I still think Nissan are being dumb.

That is what happens when you don’t do a major redesign in 5 years when the market you are in moves super fast…

LEAF is getting sandwiched by the new Volt from the bottom (in terms of EV range) and Bolt from the top (about to come out). Tesla Model 3 is also squeezing out any air it got left for its future (or all BEVs for that matter). Not to mention other competitive PEVs are either lowering price or upgrading ranges or having lower monthly leasing price with promotions… Combined with more choices coming to the market that comes with plugs, LEAF is just no longer “unique” enough to be competitive in its existing form.

It is time for the “EV leader” to do something major to the car.

I am hard pressed to find any rational reason to buy a leaf for the moment. I would wait for the bolt or model 3. Nissan could have done the real deal and actually release a 60 kw modell. Now that would have been car worth buying. If I am desperate for an electric in this price range I would go for a leasing deal. Buying would only be an option if I could totally disregard the second hand value.

Leaf 30 is one of the Best ev On sale today.
Yes, in a year or two the world will look different, which is only relevant if You are NOT in the marked to buy an ev…

It you had to buy an EV today the Gen 2 Volt is probably the best value for the money. The Leaf is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Don’t understand whining. Leaf is best selling EV, by far also in 2015 in its class. Sure the timing with 2016 Leaf was not perfect, early on EV websites and many people know it. Now the delivery begins, more than 4000 Leaf in January and my dealer get a whole Leaf truck this weak. You will see, in 2016 Leaf will extend its leading position. When Bolt goes to the dealers the 2018 Leaf will be presented in January 2017 and i am sure it can compete with Bolt by offering bigger choice of different battery sizes, cheaper entry level, more range in the top 60 kWh option, wireless charging option, piloted drive 1.0, availbility all other the world in EVERY country produceded in four factories enable cheaper prices and special version like no mirrors in Japan (cams are allowed from Japan government since 1.01.2016).

” Leaf is best selling EV, by far also in 2015 in its class”

In a class of 1 or 2, you win by default…

The problem is and has been lack of choices. Once people see the choices getting better in the future, they wait…

Alex said:

“Don’t understand whining. Leaf is best selling EV, by far also in 2015 in its class.”


It is amazing how quickly and how much expectations have changed. GM announces a 200+ mile PEV which won’t be available for almost an entire year, and suddenly many posting comments to InsideEVs are sneering at what’s available to buy today.

I’m very glad indeed that we’re finally starting to see sharp upward movement on the range of BEVs, after five years of near-stagnation. But those who are criticizing Nissan and BMW for not increasing the range of their BEVs, should remember that nobody is currently selling a 200+ mile BEV in a price range below the Tesla Model S… not even GM.

You can’t buy a 200+ mile Leaf today, or next month? Okay. But you can’t buy a 200+ mile Bolt today or next month, either.

If Nissan would work a deal with Tesla to use the supercharger network and let it be an option $$ they could double sales of the next Leaf.

I’m not surprised sales have suffered. Can’t keep selling the exact same car for that long, it looks and feels quite dated. Even knowing they have a 30 kWh battery, I opted for the e-Golf… how much would it cost Nissan to have a more conservative/classy styling, multilink rear suspension and adjustable or at least more aggressive regen breaking? Maybe they could have gone through the effort and upgrade a little more than just the battery?

The Leaf is still a great second or “city” car and a decent value new (S model) or used. For us, the 84 mile stated range is way more than the daily commute of 14 miles. The ICE vehicle gets minimal use. The big question is whether the 70-107 mile EVs will get price cuts when the competing 150-200 mile models start showing up? Maybe Nissan, BMW, etc. will finally allow older models to get bigger batteries, in order to deal with the issue of obsolescence?