Nissan Expands Leaf Sales To Seven More States

By Danny King December 8, 2011

Nissan Expands Leaf sales lede.jpg

Nissan North America Inc. expanded availability for its battery-electric Leaf to seven additional U.S. states this month, bring the total market to 30 states, adding the electric vehicle would be available nationwide in March. Nissan, which has sold 20,000 Leafs globally, in December added Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to the EV’s U.S. marketplace, the Japanese automaker said in a statement Tuesday. With the expansion, Nissan made good on its July goal for the Leaf to be available in 30 states by the end of the year. Nissan started selling the car on the West Coast, in Hawaii and in Tennessee late last year.

"We are seeing already-strong interest in the Leaf continue to grow across the country," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, at Nissan North America. "This market expansion brings us one step closer to true, nationwide availability." Nissan ramped-up Leaf sales from 19 in the EV’s introductory month of December, 2010, to a monthly high of 1,708 in June, according to data compiled by Edmunds.com. Through the first 11 months of the year, Nissan sold 8,687 Leafs in the U.S., although November sales of the battery-electric hatchback fell to just 639, the lowest monthly number since April. A spokesman for the automaker told AutoObserver the car’s sales slowdown was due in part to changeover from 2011 to 2012 models and to logistic issues related to shipping as the U.S. market for the car expanded geographically.

Nissan said in July that it would raise the price of the Leaf for the 2012 model year by between $2,420 and $3,530, depending on the trim level. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2012 Nissan Leaf is $35,200 for the SV trim level, up 8 percent or $2,420 from $32,780 on the 2011 model and $37,250 for the SL trim level, up 10 percent or $3,530 from the 2011 model. The Leaf, which added features such as standard-equipment onboard quick-charge capability and cold-weather features, remains less expensive than its prime competitor, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle, which has a base price of $39,995. Volt sales also began a year ago in just a handful of states, but GM expanded sales into all 50 states early this fall and through November has sold 6,142 of the electric-drive sedans.

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