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LA Times – July auto sales: Nissan Leaf takes back lead in EV market

Nissan posted Leaf sales of more than 1,800 for July.
By Catherine Green

August 2, 2013, 7:00 a.m.
Nissan and General Motors continue to battle for the hearts and wallets of drivers in the U.S. electric car market.

July auto sales figures showed Nissan’s Leaf recapturing its throne as the leading plug-in — but in a photo finish.

Leaf sales rose 372% in July to 1,864 compared with the same month a year earlier. The Leaf was the top selling Nissan vehicle in July in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

Meanwhile, GM’s sales of Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids fell 3% in July to 1,788 compared with the same month last year. Through the first seven months of 2013, GM has sold 11,643 Volts, a 9% increase over the same period last year. Nissan has sold 11,703 Leaf cars, a 230% gain.

More http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76876323/

July auto sales: Nissan Leaf takes back lead in EV market

Nissan / Wieck

Nissan posted Leaf sales of more than 1,800 for July.
By Catherine Green

August 2, 2013, 7:00 a.m.
Nissan and General Motors continue to battle for the hearts and wallets of drivers in the U.S. electric car market.

July auto sales figures showed Nissan’s Leaf recapturing its throne as the leading plug-in — but in a photo finish.

Leaf sales rose 372% in July to 1,864 compared with the same month a year earlier. The Leaf was the top selling Nissan vehicle in July in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

Meanwhile, GM’s sales of Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids fell 3% in July to 1,788 compared with the same month last year. Through the first seven months of 2013, GM has sold 11,643 Volts, a 9% increase over the same period last year. Nissan has sold 11,703 Leaf cars, a 230% gain.

PHOTOS: Plugging in: Electric cars

“The concept of an all-electric vehicle was at first weird to the public,” said Fred Diaz, Nissan’s U.S. sales chief. “But now buyers are starting to accept it.”

But sales for both electric cars were lower than in June, when Volt sales overtook the Leaf by more than 400 vehicles.

Higher up on the EV price range spectrum, Tesla Motors did slightly better than its 1,425 electric sedans sold in June.

The performance electric automaker sold 1,470 of its Model S in July, according to Autodata Corp. (No comparison was available for sales of a year ago, as the car was just coming out.) Tesla has sold 10,401 cars so far this year.

“Tesla has a hit on their hands with the Model S,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “While Nissan, GM and others have had to focus on heavy incentives and lease support to move product, Tesla has demonstrated that catering an electric vehicle to enthusiasts with more disposable income can generate positive sales results.”

Another Kelley Blue Book analyst, Jack Nerad, said pitting the Volt and Leaf against each other was like “comparing apples and bananas” given that the Volt doesn’t rely solely on electric power.

The Volt is a plug-in hybrid, with a gasoline motor that takes over after its battery charge is depleted.

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