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The Nissan Leaf continues its dominance of the Chevy Volt in September 2011

Sales numbers for September 2011 are in and for the sixth month in a row, the Nissan Leaf has outsold the Chevrolet Volt even though the Nissan saw a drop in sales last month while the electric Chevy saw a healthy increase from the month before.


Nissan sold 1,031 examples of the 2011 Leaf electric vehicle in the month of September 2011 – a decline from the 1,362 units sold in August. The key advantage for Nissan is that their preordering process has allowed them to take 20,000 orders for new electric vehicles so at this point, they are literally able to sell the cars as fast as they can build them. Nissan hasn’t accepted a new order for the Leaf in almost a year yet with just 7,199 electric vehicles sold this year – Nissan still has almost 13,000 customers who put their name on the list for a 2011 Nissan Leaf.

General Motors, on the other hand, has taken quite a different approach in distributing the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. GM began by launching the Volt in markets that they believed would be the most likely to snatch them up and they were right, as in the early part of 2011 the Volt was very easily outselling the Leaf. Unfortunately, once the demand was met in those initial launch areas, sales stalled and began to decline – amounting to GM selling just 125 Volts in July as the company went into a period of planned production downtime as they retooled for the 2012 model year. The Detroit Hamtramck plant is now back to building new Volts but unlike the Leaf, Chevrolet dealerships have to sell the vehicles one at a time rather than having an ongoing waiting list like Nissan. The good news is that after a horrible month in July (125 units sold) and a luke warm month in August (302 units sold), the Chevy Volt has bounced back and sold an impressive 723 units – an increase of more than 140% over just one month earlier. This is due in part to the Volt becoming available in more markets while the average American consumer works to come to grips with the fear of the electric vehicle technology. Also, GM has planned an additional shift to produce more Volts (and Opel Ampera models for the European market) over the next few months, meaning that more Voltec-powered modeld should be available in more markets around the world.

Nissan will continue to fulfill their 20,000 pre-ordered Leaf electric vehicles while Chevrolet continues to push and produce their Volt electric vehicle with a range extending gasoline engine. It will be interesting to see how the sales of both electric vehicles continue into the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, as Nissan is forced to begin relying on dealership purchases rather than online preorders, much like the Chevy Volt.

Other Electric Vehicle News:
General Motors responds to Nissan “Gas Powered Everything” television ad
The 2012 Nissan Leaf gets a healthy price increase
Alyssa Milano orders Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf to avoid gas usage
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt comes to the Carolinas
GM planning to add 2nd shift for Volt production in 2012