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