The Nissan Leaf isn't exactly flying off dealer shelves these days, but the slow-selling EV could receive a sales boost when some production is moved to Tennessee. Bloomberg reports that Nissan is ambitiously expecting to double Leaf sales once the plant comes online in December. The sales boost would then give Nissan a chance at hitting 20,000 sales for the fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2013.
It isn't out of the question that the Leaf could gain momentum with the help of local manufacturing, but first Nissan will need to get EV buyers in the showroom. Leaf sales have ebbed the past two months, falling behind the Chevrolet Volt in sales by more than a three-to-one margin. And speaking of margins, moving production to Tennessee from Japan should help Nissan's quest to make money on the Leaf thanks to lower labor and parts costs.
The Smyrna, TN plant will be ramped up for Leaf production by December. The facility will be able to build up to 200,000 Leaf models and 150,000 battery packs per year.