Nissan predicts sudden drop in Leaf sales this summer

Article by Christian A., on June 9, 2015

A steep drop last month of about 33% in sales of Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle compared to the previous year is just one aspect of the automaker’s problems. After July 1, the up to $5,000 state tax credit for EV purchases in Atlanta, Georgia, will be withdrawn. This is a significant blow as Atlanta is known to be the Leaf’s biggest market.

Monthly Leaf sales are likely to fall to 5 to 8 units beginning in July compared to about 100 currently, according to Scott Middleton, sales manager at Town Center Nissan in Kennesaw, Ga. In addition, a wave of Leafs will soon come off lease with reduced resale value. The automaker has started offering a $5,000 credit for lease customers to purchase their cars at the end of the lease period.

Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president for U.S. sales, marketing and operations, said that while many will grab this opportunity, it won’t turn things around. He said that the low gasoline price in the U.S. is the immediate problem of battery-powered cars. Nissan has had to tackle numerous challenges in its campaign to launch and market the Leaf.

For example, the company worked to give education to new consumers on this technology, urging cities and power firms to invest in public charging stations, and proving to skeptics that the battery-powered Leaf can be a long-term solution to more stringent regulatory demands for zero-emission vehicles.

What hurt Nissan’s campaign is the cost of U.S. retail gasoline dropping below $3 a gallon and consumers buying up large SUVs and trucks in the past few months. However, the brand benefits from the shift to bigger vehicles.

From January to May of this year, Nissan Division reported a 2.6% increase in sales cars and trucks to 557,960 units. For this period, truck sales went up 17%. Last month, dealerships sold 2,104 Leafs, a 33% decline from May 2014.

Leaf sales from the start of the year through May dropped 26%. Diaz puts the blame on cheaper gasoline. The Leaf doesn’t use gas or oil. Similarly, sales of the Toyota Prius hybrid -- one of the most fuel-efficient nameplates in the industry – decreased by 27% in May.

However, Diaz also pointed out that Leaf sales will be hurt by the termination of Georgia's up to $5,000 EV tax credit -- which Georgia residents can get aside from a federal $7,500 tax credit for EV purchases.

The Leaf has a base price of $29,860 (including shipping). Diaz told Automotive News that the company has yet to predict “how severe the impact will be.”

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

New and improved 2018 Subaru Legacy comes packed with a number of upgraded features from the get go - from the exterior to the interior. And the company has finally...
by - June 23, 2017
In an interview involving Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali and Automotive News, the topic about the Urus was thoroughly discussed. This super SUV is scheduled to make its debut later this...
by - June 23, 2017
Porsche definitely adores variety. You’ll see what we mean if you browse through the official company's website that shows a plethora of various 911 models. And now, the German marque...
by - June 23, 2017
2018 Ford Expedition is on its way to the market, and will be arriving at dealerships this fall. The all-new SUV will come with a new design, new EcoBoost engine,...
by - June 23, 2017
The 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS that made its debut not so long ago at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles has already been sold out according to...
by - June 23, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries