Nissan On Sale: Leaf Prices Drop by $6,400
There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Nissan Leaf. Sales did not look good in 2012 and this did not bode well for the future of EVs in America.
However, it looks like Nissan has taken a brazen step in order to boost sales and increase Leaf popularity. During the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Nissan executives announced a $6,400 price drop for its 2013 base vehicle.
Nissan Leaf, often criticised for its ostentatiously high price has humbled down and now costs merely $28,800. If you exclude tax rebates in some states and $7,500 cut in federal taxes, you can get your hands on Nissan Leaf for $18,800 only.
The 2013 Nissan Leaf will be available in three trim levels- Leaf S will cost you $28,800, Leaf SV is available for $31,280 and the highest model Leaf SL comes with a price tag of $34,840. The most exciting thing about this price cut is that the price of the most expensive 2013 Leaf is lesser than the cheapest 2012 Leaf. It is clear that Nissan has done all it could in the price department to make Leaf more appealing to prospective buyers.
Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said during the interview at the North American International Auto Show, “the new prices make the Leaf the least expensive five-seater electric for sale in the US”. The Global Vice President of Leaf sale, Billy Hayes, stated that “From the very outset, Nissan has continuously advanced and refined the affordable zero emissions vehicle ownership experience. Now customers won’t have to pay a premium for owning a green car that’s really fun to drive, and that’s exciting.”
This price slash is essentially due to the geographical shift in Leaf productions. The 2013 models will not be manufactured at the Japanese Nissan plant. Leaf production has begun in Smyrna, Tennessee. The United Stated Department of Energy granted a rebate of $1.4 billion to Nissan, allowing them to produce 150,000 Leaf models and 200,000 batteries at its Smyrna plant. So, as both the car and its batteries will be produced in the US, Nissan will save a lot in production cost. This explains the huge dip in Leaf prices.
Another reason for the Leaf’s desirable and inexpensive price tag is its market performance in 2012. Nissan had estimated a sale of over 200,000 Leafs but it could only sell 9,819 in 2012. This number was nowhere close their goal and only 1.5% higher than the number of cars sold in 2011. Nissan was in desperate need of a miracle, and it looks like this new price tag might do the trick.
The new Leaf will come with 107 horsepower, 187lb of torque and a 48-module lithium ion battery. Nissan executives reveal that due to its improved aerodynamics, the 2013 Leaf will have a longer driving range than its 2012 version. The numbers aren’t out yet but it all looks good on paper. Hopefully, this will give the Leaf the much needed popularity boost.