Skip to main content

Nissan Leaf outsells Chevy Volt by over 4 to 1 in August

Sales figures for August 2011 are trickling in from around the world and once again, the Nissan Leaf has badly outsold the Chevrolet Volt for the 5th month in a row – this time by a margin of roughly 4.5 Leafs sold to every Volt.

In August 2011, Nissan sold 1,362 Leaf electric vehicles for an improvement of 431 units over July and although Chevrolet more than doubled their Volt sales from July, with just 302 new Chevy electric vehicles sold last month, Nissan easily claimed the battle of the US electric car segment. Chevrolet won the first few months of 2011 but since April, Nissan has claimed the title every month en route to an annual sales lead of 6,168 Leaf models to just 3,172. Also, with the current rate over the past few months, we can expect Nissan to improve their yearly segment sales lead over a margin of 2 to 1.

The advantage that Nissan has over Chevrolet is that every 2011 Leaf being delivered in the United States had been reserved in the 2010 calendar year. Nissan took some 20,000 pre-orders for the 2011 Leaf and although the year is running short, the Japanese automaker claims that they are targeting 20,000 deliveries in 2011. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami may have set the Japanese auto industry back a bit but it has had little-to-no effect on the sales of the Nissan Leaf.

Chevrolet, on the other hand, did not run a pre-order program so the majority of 2011 Chevy Leaf buyers are walking in or configuring them on the internet. However, because of the way that Chevrolet has introduced the Volt to dealerships in regional “waves”, a vast majority of the American public has never had any real exposure to the car. GM hopes that as the most recent stage of Volt release hit more states including Florida (click here for more on that) will expose more consumers to the electric Chevy – helping to increase sales against the Nissan Leaf. It will also be interesting to see if Nissan can maintain this momentum once the initial preorders have been fulfilled.

General Motors is currently planning on ramping up production to the rate of around 2,400 a month and when that happens, we will see if the slow roll out of production models was the main cause for the early dominance by Nissan. GM is surely hoping that is the case, as more available models should equal much better sales from the Volt.

Other Leaf-Volt News:
The Nissan Leaf clubs the Chevy Volt in July 2011
The Nissan Leaf bests the Chevy Volt in June 2011 sales
The Nissan Leaf easily outsells the Chevy Volt in May 2011


Kai Petzke (not verified)    September 6, 2011 - 4:13AM

Still doing 20000 Leaf deliveries in 2011 would require around 3500 deliveries for each month to come. At a current rate of 1500 deliveries monthly, that is quite an increase, but something, that could be done.

Chevrolet is well behind their plans. Unfortunately, one doesn't hear, what the reason is. Are they deliberately only making few cars daily, so that they don't incur too much cost, if they have to do a callback, and only plan to ramp-up production later? Or are they short on batteries? Every other component shouldn't be a problem.


David Hughes (not verified)    September 7, 2011 - 12:39AM

The LEAF also has been rolled out in waves. First seven western states Wave 1 (CA, OR, WA, HI, AZ, TX, TN) ,July 26 th Wave 2 (GA, FL, AL, SC, NC, VA, MD, MS and IL) waves 3, 4 , and 5 are fall, winter and to be announced.

Sales for the LEAF were limited by supply: only 56 in Feb 2011, close to 500 in March. That is may be why the Volt out sold LEAF initially.

Ask any active LEAF dealership if the earthquake and tsunami had an effect on delivery's. Or go to the LEAF website and see the 60 day (was 90 day) color delays still in effect.

With major manufacturer's production, both vehicles are a big step forward in the EV field. However the volt will soon be just another plug in hybrid. As our dealer principle suggested to one volt owner when he asked to use our LEAF charging station, "there's a gas station across the street".

Bobby (not verified)    September 8, 2011 - 2:48PM

Is everyone in the media really this dumb? Chevrolet was retooling the Volt factory so they couldn't produce the vehicle. You can't sell what you don't have. How can so many "journalists" be this stupid?

Kai Petzke (not verified)    September 9, 2011 - 9:28AM

In reply to by Bobby (not verified)

I don't know, who does not get it: Journalists that believe in the numbers, that the Volt sells better than the Leaf. Or journalists, that believe in the word of GM, that they "sold every Volt they could make", which would mean a shortage on production.

Such shortage could be a result because of lack of batteries, lack of electric motors or lack of production capacity. Re-tooling and company holidays might explain the lack of production capacity for a month or two, but not for the long times, that we have seen. So it could be, that GM is still short on batteries or electric motors. But why does Nissan apparently have more of these?


ronwagn (not verified)    September 24, 2011 - 4:38PM

You have to be able to produce vehicles to sell them. GM seems to have a problem. Another question is will Nissan or Volt make money. I guess that the Volt will lose money and the Leaf will make money. That will definitely be a big factor in the long run!