It may not be a popular opinion, but the Nissan LEAF was placed in 2011’s The Bad 8 for purely personal reasons. After all, The Bad 8 has a selection committee of one. And when that one individual, The Good Car Guy, has no personal desire to own a Nissan LEAF – the vast majority of drives away from and to GCBC Towers would require far more than the LEAF’s range permits – the LEAF is inevitably going to be harshly criticized by the selection committee.
However, the LEAF may be the ideal vehicle for certain individuals, certainly a decent second car for many new car buyers. And the sales success enjoyed by Nissan LEAF in the United States speaks to that fact. Its volume has been small in comparison with the Toyota Camry (30,185 August sales to the LEAF’s 1362) but the LEAF has crushed the Chevrolet Volt, a car The Good Car Guy would suggest you maybe should at least consider considering before you determine the LEAF makes sense and cents for your family.
More to the point of this article, the Nissan LEAF’s relatively small sales totals still stand up higher than the totals put up by cars you wouldn’t have labelled unpopular. The Audi A5 is a sought after coupe, but the LEAF beat the A5 in August 2011. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport was America’s 29th-best-selling luxury vehicle last month and 12th-best-selling luxury SUV. The LEAF beat the Range Rover Sport in August. The LEAF also crushed the currently-undergoing-renovations Toyota Yaris, fought off the perfect-for-family-hauling Mazda 5, whipped the failure-on-all-levels Honda Insight, and nipped the completely-opposite-to-the-LEAF Nissan Armada.
The Good Car Guy compiled this table to show you 19 vehicles the LEAF beat and five the LEAF couldn’t catch. There are many others the LEAF beat (and many others by which the LEAF was beaten) but these are the five closest it couldn’t measure up to and the 19 next-closest models. The table reveals an impressive monthly showing for the Nissan electric vehicle, although it’s important to note that on year-to-date terms, all but one of these models have out-sold the LEAF in 2011.
As for the LEAF’s importance to Nissan, it isn’t. At least not on volume terms. As an image assistant, as a marketing tool, as a home for research and development, the Nissan LEAF is vital. But Nissan’s sales figures would hardly be impacted by the LEAF’s disappearance. It made up just 1.0% of all Nissan USA sales through the first two-thirds of 2011. Oh, and the Volt? Chevy’s plug-in hybrid accounted for 0.3% of all Chevrolet sales so far this year.