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Nissan CEO welcomes the storm of Tesla Model 3 reservations


Tesla has mostly welcomed electric vehicle competition since it contributes to its mission to accelerate the advent of electric transport, though it didn’t stop CEO Elon Musk to literally laugh at competition on occasions. Nissan is another automaker with a strong commitment to EVs and it has a similar approach to competition in the market.

CEO Carlos Ghosn commented on Tesla having received an impressive number of Model 3 reservations since unveiling the all-electric $35,000 sedan last week and he referred to the vehicle as “good competition.”.

Ghosn’s comments were reported by Auto News during a visit of an engine plant in Iwaki, Japan:

“The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign. Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”

Musk confirmed that Tesla received over 276,000 Model 3 reservations with deposits since unveiling the vehicle last week.

Nissan CEO’s logic is that the demand and attention around the Model 3 will expand the market for EVs:

“We welcome competition because it can expand the market. It’s going to stimulate demand.”

While the LEAF has been on the market for years at the same price range as the Model 3 will be offered in late 2017, it can’t really compete on specs. The LEAF’s biggest battery pack enables about 107 miles on a single charge, while the base Model 3 will be able to travel 215 miles. Although subjective, its design is one of the LEAF’s biggest weakness.

Nissan’s LEAF sales have been lagging since last year. The company sold 17,269 units in the US last year versus 30,200 in 2014.

The new 30 kWh battery pack option for the 2016 models gets 107 EPA-rated miles on a single charge. The pack is standard on the LEAF SV and LEAF SL models which starts at $34,200 and $36,790 respectively. Nissan also still offers the 24 kWh pack option on the LEAF S, which starts at $29,010.

The company is expected to bring to market a next generation LEAF next year to compete with the Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt. The car is expected to have a 60 kWh battery pack allowing around 200 miles of range and hopefully it will feature an updated design.


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  1. Benjamin (@NSbenjamins) - 7 years ago

    I don’t think he understands. Leaf is not really in competition with Model 3 or Tesla in general.

    Let’s not even look at the styling, just look at the range. They are not remotely in the the same league.

    • QC - 7 years ago

      Nissan and Tesla are both part of the solution. There’s enough ICE market to work on for the next decade without creating rivalries between the two.

      • Benjamin (@NSbenjamins) - 7 years ago

        I am sure there will be rivalries, but this reminds me of Microsoft welcoming competition from iPhone in 2007.

  2. Robert Weekley - 7 years ago

    I still say Nissan could do something wild in thei 60 kWh vehicle, taking a card from Tesla’s deck, and at least give it 10 kW AC charging at L2, and make it with CHAdeMO AND CCS/J1772 ports, in the base amf mid level models! Then it could give it even more by partnering with Tesla for having Supercharge Access for their higest level package!

    Of course “Silly Human Pride” likely prevents them from extending their ideals and hooking up withe Tesla!

  3. darthbelichick07 - 7 years ago

    Blunt talk, so don’t be offended:

    The reason Tesla has hubris (and over-shot their Model X design) is because everyone else in the industry is so obviously stupid.

    Nissan and Toyota decided that EVs should be utilitarian, tall, boxy hatchbacks with skinny tires and irrelevant performance aimed at people who eat kale and worry themselves to sleep about the environment. They captured that market. It’s about 15-20K cars/year in the U.S.

    The BMW i3, and Volt/Bolt have followed that design pattern.

    The Model 3 shows up looking like a cross between a Tesla and a Porsche, comes with promised supercharger access, auto-pilot capability, AWD, over-the-air-updates, and 0-60 times that should dip below 4 seconds, ~90MPG, 220+ mile range, and it garners 300,000 pre-orders in less than a week. Over 100,000 of those were made sight-unseen.

    The only benefit Nissan will get from the Model 3 is if Tesla can’t make them fast enough.

    The Leaf needs to be about 50% cheaper than current prices to have any chance of surviving a head-to-head matchup with the Model 3. They’ve got until 2018 to figure out how to either drastically reduce their price, or somehow come close to matching Tesla’s specs/performance/looks. Otherwise, the Nissan CEO won’t be looking as happy as he does in that photo above.

    • jpwhitehome - 7 years ago

      I believe the point Ghosn is making is that a rising tide lifts all ships. Tesla’s success simply expands the market for everyone if you are willing to accept that the EV marketplace is a new one that has a huge potential for expansion.

      The 15,000 kale eating environmentalists can expand to millions over time.

      • darthbelichick07 - 7 years ago

        I agree that’s the point he’s making. However, the Model 3 won’t bring more people to buy the Leaf, for all the reasons already stated. It’s 50% overpriced/under-spec’d and it looks like a Pokemon toy.

        Cars are a very personal purchase, right down to the interior/exterior color. People aren’t necessarily buying the Model 3 to save the world, as are the Leaf buyers. The Model 3 is essentially a wake-up call for Nissan to electrify their Maxima or 300Z or something similar and compete on performance/specs. Maybe they’ll do that. But, despite being years ahead in EV experience, they’re actually behind where it counts, in battery production/costs and having a supercharger network.

    • focher - 7 years ago

      The Leaf is fine … for what it is. But Nissan, like the others, started at the “bottom’ while Tesla started at the top. I think Tesla was right. New tech is expensive and has to go through evolutionary cycles before becoming mass produced and common.

      Ghosn’s mistake is actually at Infiniti. Where is their EV? We know the former Infiniti head, de Nysschen (now running Cadillac), is no EV promoter. They should have a hallmark car with their Leaf EV knowledge. Instead? Nothing.

      Everyone who claims the established car makers all have the ability to easily make a Tesla EV can now put up or shut up. They have 300k orders of pent-up demand. So make that “easy” car and fulfill the demand.

      • John - 7 years ago

        darthbelichick07 has nailed it.

      • Bob NIckson - 7 years ago

        I find it difficult to understand why Nissan, all of Ghosn’s bullish EV talk notwithstanding, has decided to only pursue EV’s from the bottom. Where is the Z-EV? Where is the GT-R-EV?. Both of those cars offer great platform opportunities for real Tesla competitors.

        Another tremendous opportunity they appear to be missing is with the E-NV200. Why is this van not available in the U.S. market, and why no 60kWh version? Delivery/transport fleets are a market segment which could presumably absorb the cost of a larger pack.

        And the gorilla in the room for any manufacturer who wants to ‘compete’ with Tesla: where is your >100kW rapid charging capability?

        How is it that a tiny startup with no prior car building expertise has been able to do what none of the majors have been able to do? It seems likely that the answer isn’t that they can’t, but that they won’t. EV’s threaten the entire incumbent business model of parts and service profits.

        The Tesla tsunami has now sent a message to corporate boardrooms that they cannot afford to ignore the threat advancing on their shores. They must respond seriously, or they will die. Thank the gods for Musk.

      • jpwhitehome - 7 years ago

        The weird thing is that starting at the top is well known to the OEMs as the way to introduce new technology.

        On star. Started with Cadillac.
        ABS started life in premium models.

        The OEMs invented the strategy, then fail to apply it to EVs. Why?

        They are not bought into the technology, they are complying with regulations and don’t want to Mar the premium brands with technology they don’t believe will succeed.

  4. lachmoewe - 7 years ago


    the link “literally laugh at competition on occasions” is broken.

  5. nonni55 - 7 years ago

    My next car (2018) is going to be an electric car. I sure hope NISSAN will greatly improve the “sad look” of the LEAF, so it becomes a real competitor to TESLA Model 3. Nissan has the long experience and the technical staff to rise to the challenge.

  6. Unpacified - 7 years ago

    How many kale eating Americans are so mad at the curret state of the planet, and being lied to about it for the Oligarch special interest that trully run our puppet government that we won’t drive again, until we are no longer supporting our own genocide, or the ones that have perpetuated it!?!
    Boycott everything invest in the future!!!!

  7. danfrederiksen1 - 7 years ago

    It is good, just not for Nissan. He has so badly dropped the ball, it’s bizarre. And they’ve spent something like 7bn$ doing it. So dumb.


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