Nissan Hopes to Boost Leaf Enthusiasm with Price Cuts
October 2, 2012 9:17 PM
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Nissan is cutting the sale price and lease prices in the U.S.
Nissan's Leaf is withering in terms of sales, and the automaker is looking to fix that through discounts and cheaper lease options.
sales have taken a serious dip
this year, having only sold 4,228 for the year through August in the United States. The automaker sold 10,000 Leafs last year and had hoped to double that number this year.
How does Nissan plan to fix this? For starters, it took $3,250 off the price tag of each 2012 Leaf model starting in August. This is a considerable jump from the $850 discounts it was giving back in January. The 2012 Leaf starts at $36,050.
In addition, Nissan is reducing lease costs of the 2012 Leaf from $249 per month to $219 per month with $2,999 down for 32 months.
Nissan's U.S. Leaf sales were affected by sending vehicles to all 50 states, thus having to reduce the number of Leafs sent to California. The problem here is that California is the largest buyer of the Leaf. Right now, dealerships are experiencing an excess of Leafs, having a 114-day supply. Automakers usually only want a 60-day supply at dealerships.
The Leaf also had battery troubles this year, where
EVs in Arizona experienced a shorter battery life
due to the heat. However, Nissan said that these vehicles had thousands of miles on them and that the battery capacity loss was "normal" for that amount of drive time.
"The sales overall have not met our expectations, but we're working hard to keep pushing," said David Reuter, a Nissan spokesman.
The discounts only apply to 2012 models. The
2013 Nissan Leaf
won't be released until early next year.
The Washington Post
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/3/2012 2:37:43 PM
$36,000 for a base model Leaf
$20,000 for a high-end gas powered hatchback with much better features and feel
Seriously, even at $5/gal (God forbid we see that any time soon), and comparable hatchbacks getting some 30+mpg now the price difference would still be 96,000 miles on gas before you hit a break-even point for the purchase price, and considering you still have to pay for the electricity to put in the car, the real break-even point is much much higher than that.
The issue is not so much in the cost of the car as much as the audience that it is attempting to cater to. This car looks like something for a teenager to drive as a first vehicle; It does not look like the kind of car that respectable adults would enjoy driving to and from the work place, or out and about on errands. If they were to make the body less teen-friendly and made the interior more posh and quiet then they could stand a chance as selling more of these at this price. But kids don't have money, and won't be buying one of these even if they did have that kind of cash to burn.
I think that Tesla has it right: Make EVs drop-dead-gorgeous and rightfully expensive so that people WANT to buy the car. As battery tech prices drop with mass production then start offering cheaper stripped down models that people like myself could afford. I would love to have an EV, but renewable energy should make vehicles LESS expensive, not MORE expensive for a similarly spec'd product, especially considering the inconvenience of current models in the way of top speeds and range.
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