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Nissan Leaf Widens The Gap With Chevy Volt

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On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 10:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Widens The Gap With Chevy Volt

Though September proved to be a better month-over-month for the Chevy Volt, Nissan handily outsold Chevy and increased its overall sales lead. Nissan has now sold nearly double the number of Leafs as Chevy has Volts.

Nissan Leaf sales dropped in September, but still performed admirably at 1,031 units (versus 1,362 in August). Chevy, on the other hand, more than doubled month-over-month sales, leaping to 723 from 302 in August.

Chevy still lagged well beyond Nissan in total sales for the month, and Nissan widened its sales lead. Year-to-date sales are now at 7,199 Leaf models to 3,895 Volt models.

The Volt outperformed the Leaf for the first few months that the two were on the market, but the Leaf went on to surpass the Volt in April on its way to a half-year sales lead.

The Leaf appears poised to beat the Volt by a large margin for first-year sales, and Chevy is ready to concede. A GM spokesperson told Inside Line that Chevy plans to sell only about 10,000 Volt units while Nissan plans to sell 25,000 Leafs.

Of course, Nissan set its original goal at 20,000 and subsequently said it's not likely to meet that goal this year. Around the same time, GM upped its production goal to 25,000 Volts—and that wasn't as reported by a Nissan spokesperson, but as told by GM CEO Dan Akerson to media. So I'm not sure what the GM spokesman is talking about, but I am pretty sure of what he's talking out of. Sounds like Chevy got a little too optimistic after a strong start, and Nissan stole all of the Volt's momentum. And then the spin begins.

With a total of under 4,000 Volts sold in nine months, Chevy looks poised to fall well below that 10,000 goal. However, the company insists that with production fully ramped up in August, it stands to start selling more Volts. It stands by its 10,000 unit goal. The company says that 2012 Volts are only sticking around dealership lots for about three days, so, as long as they build them, customers will come.

The sales comparison between the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt should be more interesting now that 2012 models, which are significantly closer in price than the 2011 models, are hitting dealerships.


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