Nissan justifies the lower price of the Leaf EV in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

As part of Nissan Motor Co.'s strategy to be the top seller of electric vehicles, it is lowering the prices for its Leaf hatchback in the US, when compared with Japan and Europe.

The price difference is due to variations in the value of local taxes and incentives but Nissan asserts that it will make money in all markets in the long run.

Earlier this week, Nissan said that the Leaf, which is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, will be priced at about $37,000 in Europe after incentives. Meanwhile, it is priced at $32,780 in the US before incentives. In Japan, it has a base price of more than $40,000.

Tom Smith, Nissan's chief marketing manager for European electric auto sales, cited the variations in import fees, taxes and incentives as the reason for the inconsistencies.

In a phone interview from Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, Smith said that there is a "significant difference" in the US and Europe prices when they're converted.

But that they're priced at exactly the same level in both markets when Europe's tax and import duty (4x than that in the US) are excluded.

Nissan's Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn aims to lead sales of rechargeable vehicles, which is predicted to consist of about 10% of global auto demand by 2020.

The Leaf will go on sale in Japan and the US this year and in Europe next year. [via autonews - sub. required]

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