Demand for the Nissan Leaf has been sprouting across the United States, resulting to more sales for the Japanese carmaker’s much-touted electric vehicle. Nissan is now selling the Leaf EV at a rate of more than 2,000 a month, which is four times the sales figure in 2012. Erik Gottfried, Nissan's director of electric vehicle sales and marketing, met with dealers in Dallas, Texas, which are now demanding for more Leafs in their stores.
Dealers, however, have to wait a little as sales of the Leaf have already led to shortage in supply. Gottfried remarked that he has been telling dealers that they will be a shortage on Leaf inventory all through the summer.
Nissan is slowly ramping up production of the Leaf at its Smyrna site in Tennessee. Gottfried said that there would be enough Leafs for dealers by late fall. Not only sales of the Leaf are increasing, but also the number of geographic locations where consumers are demanding for the EV.
This presents quite a challenge for Gottfried and Nissan’s dealers to cater to all these demand, which in the past two years were only concentrated in more environmentally minded cities on the West Coast, like San Francisco and Seattle.
Gottfried said dealers from Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago and Raleigh, N.C. are asking for supplies of the EV. He noted that while not every dealer “has pursued selling the Leaf yet," one dealer in a city “will start marketing the car and have great success with it” and other dealers in the market will realize the opportunity and start selling the EV.
California now only accounts for 27 percent of Nissan Leaf sales from 37 percent in 2012, as EV slowly but surely penetrate other markets in the US. According to Gottfried, one of the factors in the rise of Leaf sales is the launch of a trim line in early 2013 that trimmed the starting price by over $6,000, to $29,750, including shipping. Buyers are also qualified to federal tax credit of $7,500 maximum.