The LEAF had a spectacular 2013, increasing sales by 130 percent over 2012 as Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant ramped up production. This week, the company announced that the 2014 LEAF will see only a minuscule increase in MSRP, and CEO Carlos Ghosn said he is optimistic that the world’s #1 EV maker can soon double deliveries.
Nissan will add $180 to the sticker price of each of its three trim levels: the 2014 Leaf S will list for $29,830, the SV model for $32,850, and the top-end SL model for $35,870 (these prices include destination fees, but not the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs).
For 2014, Nissan will make the car’s rear-view monitor system, formerly part of an optional tech package, a standard feature on all trim levels.
Nissan sold a record 22,610 LEAFs in the US in 2013. Carlos Ghosn said in a CNBC interview that he expects to double that figure this year. “We are now on a trend of 3,000 cars a month in the US, which is about 36,000 cars” per year, Ghosn said. “The next step is moving up to 4,000 a month, which is going to be approximately 50,000,” he said, without setting a target date.
“They have found the sweet zone for price and demand to at least maintain the current volume, but I don’t know what it will take for them to get it up to 50,000 a year,” Karl Brauer, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told Bloomberg. “We’re still in the early days of the electric-car market, and when you’re at the beginning, you’ve got to learn and make adjustments. That’s what Nissan’s been doing.”