Nissan sells some 14,000 of the new electric LEAF in its first month

Nissan domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino: “Sold 9,600 LEAF in Japan.” (c) Bertel Schmitt

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF went on sale in Japan on October 1st, “and demand was strong to say the least,” rejoices InsideEVs. “Better still, Nissan knows what to do with demand – fill it! What is “simply amazing” is how Nissan shows it in September, then sells the pants off it in October. For October, the LEAF set a new all-time sales record with 3,629 deliveries! Making the LEAF the 19th bestselling car in Japan for the month.”

Wait until InsideEVs hears this:

Including pre-orders, the LEAF actually sold 9,600 units in Japan in October. Together with a little over 4,000 LEAFs sold in Europe, Nissan’s 2nd generation EV found around 14,000 happy buyers globally by end of October, and wait until it comes to the U.S., where it should be available in January.

LEAF production at Oppama, Japan (c) Bertel Schmitt

But what about the 3,629 reported for October? These are actual October registrations, reported by the Japanese government via Japan’s Automobile Dealer Association. In Japan, when a car is sold, the order goes to the factory, where the car is produced to spec, and when that is done, it is registered by the dealer, and the customer takes possession. These are firm orders, no $1,000 refundable deposits. A total of 9,600 LEAF were sold in Japan, Nissan’s domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino said today at Nissan’s quarterly results conference in Yokohama. All but 3,629 could not be delivered, because Nissan is in the throes of an inspection scandal that continues to make headlines in the island nation, and which is largely not understood elsewhere.

On October 19, Nissan stopped all deliveries to the Japanese market. As a result, Nissan’s total October registrations were nearly cut in half in Japan, while its actual sales continued unimpeded.

Scandal cost Nissan nearly half of its October registrations

Yesterday, five out of six Nissan plants started shipping again. Today, the Nissan plant in Kyoto also resumed shipments. As the first week of November was also affected, one should expect a huge leap of Nissan’s official Dovember registrations after this stoppage has been cleared, Hoshino said

On top of the 9,600 LEAF sold (but not yet delivered) in Japan, more than 4,000 were sold in Europe last month, I was told by a source close to the matter who requested anonymity as this number is not official yet. All in all, this makes for more than 14,000 LEAF sold in its first month in just two markets.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa at the results conference in Yokohama (c)Bertel Schmitt

Back to InsideEVs. Gently ribbing Tesla, it wrote:

“In other words, Nissan may not have the very best EV out there (we’d really like to see that ~200 mile, affordable CUV already), but Nissan knows how to build EVs right…there was no showing off the vehicle and then teasing it for the next 2 years, no limited production at launch and a gradual roll-out over a year, no production “bottlenecks” because it had not put in the work yet, no building capacity for only a token amount.

…but rather Nissan announced the vehicle to the world only once volume production was already coming off the line (in this case from Nissan’s Oppama, Japan assembly facility), and took just 26 days from the model’s global debut (September 5th) to hit the first customer’s driveway.


Let’s see what happens when they get ahold of the true number of LEAF sales.




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