Nissan Slashes Leaf Price To Sell Electric Car In Australia

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Nissan should be pleased with its Leaf sales over the first few months of this year--not only is it beating last year's monthly rate, but it's on a level with the previously higher-selling Chevy Volt.

Not so in Australia though, where the car is still struggling. In fact, it's struggling enough that Nissan has cut a huge chunk off the price of a new Leaf.

According to The Telegraph, the car's original introductory price of $51,500 AUS ($53,100 U.S.) has been slashed to $39,990 AUS drive-away ($41,200 U.S.).

That will still sound expensive to U.S. buyers, but it's within $3,100 U.S. of the Toyota Prius out in Australia, as Nissan desperately tries to catch the attention of buyers.

To date, Nissan has sold only 116 Leafs in Australia--and now risks alienating these buyers, whose cars will now drop rapidly in value as new Leafs become cheaper than used examples. Nissan has said it won't reimburse those early adopters for their loss, and reserves the right to change pricing just like any car company.

Electric cars are a hard sell in Australia, where high pricing and limited range limit their appeal even more than in many other countries. Even the range-extended Chevrolet Volt, sold in Australia under GM's Holden brand, costs almost $62,000 U.S.

However, many believe that cars like the Volt, along with plug-in hybrids from Mitsubishi and Toyota, could prove to be the ideal middle-step for Australian buyers unwilling to fork out for expensive full-electric cars.

In the meantime, Nissan of Australia is providing us with a neat case study to see just how far pricing needs to drop for sales to take off...

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (5)
  1. $53,100 is pure greed. Not a way to win fans, Nissan.

  2. @Rick: You do realize that $53,000 in Australian dollars, right?

  3. $53 is still exorbitantly expensive for a car in its range. The government slaps on import taxes up to 50% of the cost of the car to keep the australian car industry (holden and ford) competitive with the rest of the world.

    The leaf also looses out here in Australia as buyers are more discerning about styling - and let's not beat around the bush; the leaf is as ugly as renaults megane.

    The Europeans seem to have struck the right balance of style and savvy pricing with the introduction of renaults ZOE recently. Introduction of a good looking car with a 20-30k price tag (then battery rental) would be gobbled up here in Australia - Australians are an environmental bunch who embrace new technology quickly if we're not ripped off.

  4. Is the Leaf ugly though? I've seen enough people buying Priuses (you know where I'm going there. ;)

  5. Leaf take note - 2003 megane; shudder.

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