Nissan Admits It Crapped Pants in the EV Race

Former boss Hiroto Saikawa admitted the value of its flagship Leaf car had been destroyed during the Carlos Ghosn era.

Financial Times

Oh, really? And why do you think that is?

In an interview, Mr Saikawa, who stepped down as chief executive in September, delivered a sharp rebuke of Mr Ghosn’s hallmark EV strategy, saying deep price cuts to meet the former chairman’s sales targets tarnished the image of its battery-powered Leaf.

Financial Times

You put out one of the uggliest cars the world has ever seen. If you’re trying to figure out who tarnished the image, start with… the actual image:

“What really destroyed Leaf’s product value was when we vastly cut the lease price for Leaf in the US. Since then, Leaf’s image is that of a discount car,” Mr Saikawa said. 

Financial Times

The Leaf sucks. I wouldn’t lease it for $5 or $5000. The price isn’t the problem, the problem is that your EVs are lame.

Three years after its launch in 2010, Nissan cut Leaf’s entry price by 18 per cent to $28,800 and began offering leases as low as $199 a month for three years. In a report in 2015, the National Automobile Dealers Association calculated that a one-year-old Leaf retained 44 per cent of its original price, compared with 83 per cent for Tesla’s Model S.

Financial Times

The $199 a month lease price meant that Nissan took a bath when the residual value was a lot less than expected. Ouch.

The blunt admission of the faltering value of its flagship electric car marks a shift for Nissan as Makoto Uchida plans to take over as chief executive on Monday.

Financial Times

Yikes, good luck to that guy.

Leaf has sold more than 430,000 worldwide, but it has failed to establish the status symbol with consumers in the way Tesla has done with its electric offerings, in part because of its quirky design and lower mileage.

The US carmaker has ruled the EV market in the US, having sold 480,000 of its Model 3, Model S and Model X models, according to EEI.

Financial Times

The Leaf just isn’t S3XY.

Nissan plans to launch eight new electric cars by 2022 and power its vehicles with its hands-off, semi-autonomous driving technology. 

Financial Times

Will Nissan customers wait until 2022? Or order a Tesla today?

Read the full story at The Financial Times

UPDATE: Former Leaf owner Rodney Tanner comments on why Nissan lost his business:

As an early Leaf owner (2011), Nissan lost my business because:
1) They did not take accountability for the battery degradation of their cars
2) Multiple commitments were made to make it “easy” to replace a degraded battery, the dealers were clueless about this
3) The car did not evolve for year – showing no commitment to the vehicle
4) The price did not come down sufficiently to align with the class of the car and the range

It’s unfortunate, as I will say being an early Leaf owner allowed me to see the potential for Electric cars, and made buying a Model 3 to replace my Leaf a no brained decision.

Rodney Tanner

5 thoughts on “Nissan Admits It Crapped Pants in the EV Race

  1. As an early Leaf owner (2011), Nissan lost my business because:
    1) They did not take accountability for the battery degradation of their cars
    2) Multiple commitments were made to make it “easy” to replace a degraded battery, the dealers were clueless about this
    3) The car did not evolve for year – showing no commitment to the vehicle
    4) The price did not come down sufficiently to align with the class of the car and the range

    It’s unfortunate, as I will say being an early Leaf owner allowed me to see the potential for Electric cars, and made buying a Model 3 to replace my Leaf a no brained decision.

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