Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
October 8, 2012
Nissan set a very ambitious goal of selling 20,000 Leafs this year. At the end of September, Nissan only sold 5,212 Leafs, way off the mark.
"We don't plan on the moment of changing the projection. We're a little disappointed. … The uptake isn't as strong as we first hoped," said Nissan's executive vice president of product planning, Andy Palmer.
Palmer puts blame poor marketing around the world and a lack of production in the U.S. At the moment, the Leaf is currently built at a plant in Japan and being sent around the world.
Another problem for the Leaf is the pricetag. The base Leaf currently starts at $36,050, including shipping. Include the $7,500 U.S. tax credit, that puts it below the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt though comes with a gas engine that acts like a generator, giving it more range than the Leaf.
To help with sales, Automotive News reports that Nissan is planning a lower cost version of the Leaf when a face-lifted version is introduced sometime in 2013.
The model will drop LED lamps for HID-Headlights and some of the advanced features offered in the current navigation system. The model will also feature components being combined to help cut costs.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.