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Nissan Leaf: Electric Car Won't Hit 2012 Sales Projections, CEO Ghosn Says

By Michael Mullins   |  

After predicting the Japanese automaker would double sales for its all-electric Leaf vehicle in 2012, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn acknowledged on Thursday that it would not meet expectations.

After selling 9,679 electric Leafs in 2011, Nissan has sold only 6,791 Leafs so far this year, down 15.6 percent from a year ago today according to Detroit News.
(http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121115/AUTO0104/211150461/1361/Nissan-CEO-abandons--12-electric-vehicle-sales-target)

Ghosn, who earned $12.38 million last fiscal year making him one of Japan’s highest paid CEOs according to The Wall Street Journal, is one of the automotive industry’s most bullish leaders when it comes to support for alternative energy cars.

In November of 2010, Ghosn told reporters in Washington that half a million Electric Vehicles (EV) would be sold by the end of 2013 among all carmakers. Ghosn also asserted that by 2020, 10 percent of vehicles sold globally would be EVs.

Despite the decrease in annual sales, Nissan did see interest in its Leaf spike last month selling 1,579 vehicles, up 86 percent from October of 2011.

Similarly, General Motors (GM) sold 2,961 Chevy Volts in October, a new record for the automotive giant according to Autobloggreen.com.
(http://green.autoblog.com/2012/11/01/chevy-volt-sets-new-record-with-2-961-sales-in-october-nissan-l/)

Year to year, GM has seen sales for its Chevy Volt jump 286 percent, selling over 19,300 vehicles in the past twelve months. Many analysts point to GM’s generous leasing packages as a catalyst for the sales boost.
In order to encourage more interest in its Leaf, Nissan too has begun offering more incentives to drivers.

Last Thursday, Nissan canceled a grand opening ceremony at its recently completed Tennessee electric car battery plant, which according to Plugincars.com would be capable of producing 200,000 lithium-ion batteries per year.
(http://www.plugincars.com/nissan-cancels-grand-opening-ev-battery-plant-125259.html)

The Leaf’s battery has been a source of some controversy at least among drivers in Arizona who according to Dailytech.com have complained about the car battery’s diminished range in heat.
(http://www.dailytech.com/Nissan+Leaf+Battery+Cant+Take+Arizona+Heat+Dealerships+Knocking+5000+Off+Price/article25210.htm)

Between June and August, Arizona’s average desert temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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After predicting the Japanese automaker would double sales for its all-electric Leaf, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn acknowledged on Thursday that it would not meet expectations.
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