A Nissan consultant has acknowledged that the Leaf is “right here to remain” regardless of slowing gross sales. Nissan’s first mass-market EV was highly regarded within the early-mid 2010s nonetheless elevated competitors has had a major affect on gross sales lately.
The arrival of a second-generation Leaf in 2018 did little to enhance issues, with solely round 50,000 offered within the US thus far. Whereas which will sound like quite a bit, in actuality it is not for a car within the $25-40k worth bracket constructed by a mainstream producer. For reference, between 2013 and 2017 when EV demand was a lot decrease, Nissan nonetheless managed to promote over 80,000 Leafs in America.
Leaf trim ranges have been drastically reduce for the 2023 mannequin 12 months with consumers now solely in a position to select from two choices: S (40 kWh battery) and SV (60 kWh). Nevertheless, Nissan has insisted the Leaf won’t be discontinued within the close to future. When questioned concerning the Leaf, Nissan’s head of EV advertising and gross sales technique Aditya Jairaj informed Autoblog that “it is right here to remain”.
Jairaj did not get into specifics so it is onerous to inform exactly what his assertion meant. One risk is that the Leaf will stay a hatchback, though there’s additionally an opportunity a brand new model will probably be launched as a crossover to enhance ailing gross sales. We now have already seen in style fashions from different manufacturers change from hatchbacks to crossovers to alleviate slowing demand, such because the Renault Megane. On paper, making the third-gen Leaf a small crossover that sits under the Ariya would make loads of sense.
Regardless, Nissan persevering with to make its entry-level EV is an effective factor. Though there may be an abundance of electrical automobiles on sale right now, inexpensive choices are few and much between.