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We Hear: Nissan Executives Disappointed By Slow Leaf Sales

Nissan executive vice president of product planning Andy Palmer admits company executives are disappointed that sales of the Nissan Leaf electric car continue to fall far below expectations. According to The Detroit News, Palmer revealed that the electric car won’t meet the company’s stated goal to double sales to 20,000 units this year.

In September, the Nissan Leaf recorded just 984 sales in the U.S., bringing its 2012 sales total to 5212. That’s the highest monthly sales for the car in the last 12 months. Last year, Nissan sold 9674 copies of the Leaf here over the entire year. In other words, sales of the Leaf this year are unlikely to match last year’s levels — and are currently only about a quarter of Nissan’s stated goals.

2011 Nissan Leaf interior 300×187 image“The uptake isn’t as strong as we first hoped,” Palmer told the News. “We don’t plan at the moment on changing the [sales] projection.”

Palmer attributed the Leaf’s sluggish sales to poor marketing of the new model around the world, and also to a lack of production in the U.S. The Leaf is currently built in Japan and shipped globally, but Nissan’s plants in Tennessee will soon be able to assemble the Leaf and its components. Palmer said production in Tennessee will help improve supplies of the electric car at showrooms here.

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