Is it the chicken, or is it the egg?
We just pulled up Nissan LEAF sales in the United Kingdom (UK) market just for fun and were somewhat surprised at our findings. Through September LEAF sales total just 579 units sold to date. No matter how you slice it, that isn’t a big number. Let’s take a closer look.
The first LEAFs hit the ground in the UK in March 2011. Sales each month since then look like this:
No matter how one looks at the numbers, UK LEAF sales are uneven at best and anemic at worst. LEAF is now available in the United States, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal and France. It will soon start deliveries in Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. Future countries to be added to this list are Norway and Denmark later this year with Sweden early next year. That said, one can’t really imagine that the full capacity of 4,100 units per month is actually being produced yet in Oppama. If it were, we should be seeing more cars in the US, as the demand is certainly here for them if not in the UK.
Nissan Canada only got 40 2011 LEAFs for retail customers, with a total of 100 allocated to Nissan Canada (including fleet sales). Reservations for the 2012 model year will open tomorrow (October 22) at noon. 350 reservations will be taken in this first release for the 2012 model year, with additional reservations opening up in spring of next year for the remaining 250 of the expected 600 allocated to the Canadian market. We realize that the Canadian automobile market is nowhere near the size of the American automobile market, but it seems as if Nissan’s goal of selling 600 LEAFs in Canada next year is less than lofty. If you live in any of these non-US markets, perhaps you can give us your take on the LEAF situation (availability and/or demand) from your perspective.