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Nissan’s U.S. Leaf sales tumble to a crawl as buyers wait for the next generation

Nissan’s all-electric Leaf sales have been difficult for a while now, but it unsurprisingly tumbled to a crawl last month after the Japanese automaker unveiled its next-generation Leaf and delayed deliveries until next year for the American market.

The 2018 Leaf has been available in Japan since September and it launched in Norway, Germany, Austria, France, and Holland last month.

The company confirmed that it received over 9,000 orders for the new Leaf in less than 2 months.

But Nissan is holding off on a US launch until “early 2018”, which leads to only some remaining 2017 Leaf inventory to try to sell to American drivers.

The whole year Leaf sales dropped to roughly 1,000 units per month – a fraction of 2,000-3,000 units per month it used to sell.

In October, it went down to just 213 Leafs – down 85% from the same period last year, but still roughly the same overall year-to-date.

In order to sell those cars, we have seen some impressive discounts on the 2017 version offered by Nissan and its partners.

Electrek’s Take

Now looking ahead at the next generation, it will be interesting to see what kind of volumes Nissan can deliver. The company says that the new all-electric Leaf will be manufactured in Japan, the US, and the UK in order to support all its main markets.

During the launch, executives said that they were expecting higher volumes for the new generation, which features a new design, bigger range, and a few more features – for roughly the same starting price as the previous generation (~$30,000).

It will also be especially interesting to follow sales of the new Leaf due to the imminent launch of a bigger and more powerful battery pack option.

Nissan was expected to come out with an EV capable of over 200 miles of range in order to compete with the likes of Chevy’s Bolt EV and Tesla’s Model 3, but it instead launched the 2018 Leaf on a 40 kWh battery pack enabling roughly 150 miles of range.

Though they also confirmed that a new pack will come “later in 2018”.

It will be interesting to see how it will affect consumer interest in the vehicle with a longer range option coming, but likely at a higher price.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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