Sales of the Nissan Leaf haven't been as high as CEO Carlos Ghosn once predicted, and Nissan is now admitting that part of the problem is the way Nissan itself presented the car. But don't worry, Nissan vice president for sales, Al Castignetti, told Automotive News, a change is coming. It makes sense to shift tactics, since Castignetti himself said Nissan was, "a little bit arrogant as a manufacturer when we went to the 50-state rollout."
The problem, Nissan now says, was that the company made the all-electric car available in places where there was no infrastructure – or not enough – to welcome new buyers. As Leaf production ramps up in Tennessee, the way the all-electric vehicle is marketed will shift from a "here it is, come and get it" strategy to one where potential buyers are specifically targeted. Castignetti told AN that Nissan is "telling our dealers, 'You don't market this car traditionally. You don't put it in the newspaper. You need to go and find the electric car buyer in your market.'"
Nissan has to hope this will work, since the company has talked about doubling Leaf sales once Tennessee production is up and running. Currently, somewhere around 1,000 units (sometimes much lower, sometimes up to 1,500) are sold in the US every month. When the Tennessee plant is up to full production (early production starts in January), Nissan will be able to make 150,000 units a year there.