Nissan managed to buck the industry's overall trend of lower sales in February with double-digit growth throughout its lineup. That includes a 12th month of record sales for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, with the year-over-year numbers up more than a skosh. The February ledger for the Chevy Volt looked much worse, falling 25.6 percent from February 2013 down to 1,210 units. With 1,425 Leafs sold, Nissan came away the winner in a head-to-head competition between these the two early plug-in vehicles for the fourth month in a row.
February Leaf sales were up 118.2 percent, making 2014 the car's best February ever. The car was most popular in San Francisco, CA and Atlanta, GA, two places where the the brutal winter cold that struck most of the country had a limited effect. Nissan said that other markets with notable Leaf sales growth were Honolulu, HI, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX and Denver, CO. Toby Perry, Nissan's director of EV sales and marketing, said in a statement that Nissan, "amped up advertising in the latter half of February, which already has resulted in an uptick in sales and a significant increase in shopping traffic. We expect to see that momentum continue in March."
Nissan expects the Leaf's sales momentum continue in March.
The Volt retains an overall sales lead against the Leaf, but Chevy's calendar year-to-date sales numbers are down 23.1 percent so far in 2014. Overall, Chevy's sales calendar YTD numbers were down just 7.7 percent, so the Volt is performing below average. As always, we will have a more complete report of last month's green car sales up in short order.