Nissan Leaf Sales Disappoint

by Christopher Freeburn | November 16, 2012 11:14 am

Nissan[1]Nissan‘s (PINK:NSANY[2]) electric car isn’t a hit with U.S. consumers[3].

The Japanese auto giant has conceded on Thursday that its Leaf model will miss sales goals for the year, the Detroit News notes.

In 2011, Nissan sold 9,679 Leafs. It optimistically promised to more than double the car’s sales this year, looking to hit 20,000.

However, with 2012 approaching its end, Nissan has sold just 6,791 Leafs so far. That includes 1,579 in October, its best sales month this year. Leaf sales are off 15.6% from the same time in 2011.

The Leaf is part of Nissan’s strategy to boost electric car sales to 500,000 units by the end of 2013. It hopes that 10% of all vehicles sold will be electric by 2020. The company and its partner, France’s Renault, have invested $5.6 billion in electric vehicle development.

Admitting that Leaf sales won’t match estimates came hard for Nissan executives, who were still projecting as recently as last month that the car would double last year’s sales.

Shares of Nissan rose more than 3% in over-the-counter trading in New York on Friday morning.

It’s been a tough time for electric cars. Last month, Volkswagen‘s (PINK:VLKAY[4]) Audi halted further development[5] on its R8 e-tron, which had been projected to hit showrooms next year. However, in a historic development, Motor Trend just named Tesla‘s (NASDAQ:TSLA[6]) electric Model S sports sedan as Car of the Year[7], the first time ever a vehicle with something other than an internal-combustion engine won that honor.

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