The Nissan Leaf easily outsells the Chevy Volt in May 2011
Since the first official month of delivery late last year, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has held an overall lead in sales over the 2011 Nissan Leaf but in April, Nissan was able to boast of being the bestselling electric vehicle in the US for the first time as their all-electric vehicle outsold the extended range Volt sedan by a margin of 573 to 493. General Motors stated that deliveries were slow because they were working on getting demo vehicles to dealerships but as the May numbers have come in – things haven’t improved for GM. In fact, they have gotten worse as the number of Volts delivered last month was down to just 481; compared to the 1,142 Nissan Leaf units delivered.
The good news for GM is that they still lead in overall yearly sales, as the Volt has sent out 2,184 units while the Nissan Leaf has seen just 2,167 vehicles reach the hands of consumers. However, Nissan has been gradually building momentum as Chevrolet has remained steady – with a slightly downward direction. Based on this direction, Nissan could stake their claim as being the bestselling electric vehicle in America as soon as next month.
One key difference is that Nissan pre-sold the 2011 Nissan Leaf online and it is those pre-ordered units that Nissan is working to deliver and, for the time being, no new orders for the Leaf are being accepted. On the other hand, Chevrolet went the route of a more traditional new model rollout, with models trickling to dealerships and being snatched up relatively quickly. This means that anyone who wants an electric vehicle but did not pre-order a Leaf last year can either wait until Nissan reopens the ordering process for the Leaf – or they can go to a Chevrolet dealership and walk out with a 2011 Volt – provided that they live in one of the limited markets currently selling the electric Chevy with a range extending gasoline engine.
General Motors has announced plans to expand the production capabilities for the Chevrolet Volt as they begin production on the European version that will go on sale later this year as the Opel Ampera. As GM begins shipping Voltec-based vehicles around the world while also extending the area of availability in the US, they should have a far better chance of maintaining their lead in the battle of the emission-free vehicles.
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