• May 1st 2012 at 12:54PM
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For anyone playing close attention to the month-to-month sales results from the two leading plug-in vehicles in the U.S., the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, April had some depressing news.

After selling a record number of Volts in March – 2,289 – Chevrolet managed to move just 1,462 in April. This is more inline with previous recent months (1,023 sales in February, 603 sold in January, 1,529 in December) and is almost three times the 493 sold in April 2011.

For the Leaf, Nissan sold just 370 in April, down from 579 units in March and 478 in February. In fact, 370 is lower than the number Nissan sold in April 2011, 573. The Leaf's best sales month ever was June 2011 with 1,708 units.

Now, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has been managing expectations about Leaf sales for a while, saying that the monthly ups and downs should not be taken too seriously as an indication of Leaf popularity until the company's U.S. and UK production facilities come online (in late 2012 for Tennessee, early 2013 for Sunderland). As Ghosn said in New York last month, "I don't want you to take a one-month or two-month sales result in one particular market to try to make your opinion about the evolution of a very important technology for the industry."

UPDATE: we forgot to mention that April had three fewer selling days than April last year, which should be taken into consideration when comparing sales figure to last year's. Also, plug-in vehicles were not as widely available in 2011 as 2012, so it's tough to accurately judge from year-to-year right now.
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 1, 2012) – Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today reported April U.S. sales of 71,329 units versus 71,526 units a year earlier, down 0.3 percent. Nissan Division sales decreased 0.9 percent for the month at 64,200 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles were up 5.4 percent over the prior year, to 7,129 units.

  • Nissan Division posted 64,200 sales, down 0.9 percent from last April's 64,765 unit total.
  • Sales of the Nissan Versa posted a new April record, with 8,335 deliveries, an increase of 30 percent over the prior year.
  • Nissan Rogue sales also set a new April record at 8,563 units, up 1.8 percent.
  • Nissan's lineup of trucks and SUVs delivered strong gains, with Frontier sales up 21.9 percent, Pathfinder up 26.5 percent, Titan up 25.1 percent and Quest up 96 percent.
  • Nissan Altima sales for April totaled 16,239, as Nissan prepares to begin sales of the all-new 2013 Altima in June. A special introductory program offering 3 years or 45,000 miles of complimentary maintenance for the all-new Altima has seen over 55,000 customers to www.nissanusa.com to configure the new mid-size sedan.

"Coming off of a blockbuster March, April showed signs of strength with record months for Versa and Rogue, and solid gains for our trucks," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "With an all-new Altima coming this summer leading five all-new, volume-selling models in a span of just 15 months, we expect Nissan's sales momentum to grow."

  • Infiniti today reported sales of 7,129 units for April, an increase of 5.4 percent from 6,761 units a year earlier.
  • In its first full month of sales, Infiniti JX deliveries totaled 2,079 units, making it the brand's second-best selling model.

NOTE: To ensure consistency in global sales reporting, Nissan North America calculates monthly variances on a straight-percentage basis, unadjusted for the number of selling days. April 2012 had 24 selling days, while April 2011 had 27 selling days.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.6 million vehicles in 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

GM Reports April Sales of 213,387 Vehicles, Increases 2012 Sales Outlook


DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported April sales of 213,387 vehicles in the United States. Retail sales were essentially equal to April 2011. GM's fleet sales declined 25 percent due to the timing of rental customer deliveries, as previously indicated. As a result, total sales were down 8 percent.

Based on higher than expected first quarter industry sales and expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to grow, GM is increasing its full-year light vehicle sales forecast to 14.0 million – 14.5 million units from 13.5 million – 14.0 million units.

"We expect gradual improvement in the economy going forward," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Over time, strength in the manufacturing sector and strong retail sales will lead to more job creation. That will help more consumers put the recession behind them, gain even more confidence and drive vehicle sales higher for both the industry and GM."

GM's two newest vehicles, the Chevrolet Sonic and the Buick Verano, continue to perform well. Chevrolet Sonic sales were 38 percent higher than the vehicle it replaced. Buick Verano sales reached 2,989 units and have increased each month since it went on sale in late November 2011. In addition, Chevrolet Volt sales of 1,462 units were strong nationally but limited by availability of vehicles in California, where GM is launching a model that qualifies for high-occupancy vehicle lane access.

Other highlights include a 7 percent year-over-year increase for the Cadillac CTS sedan, a 20 percent increase for the GMC Sierra, a 9 percent increase for the GMC Terrain, a 5 percent sales increase for the Chevrolet Silverado and a 7 percent increase for the Chevrolet Equinox.

On a selling-day adjusted basis, GM total sales were up 3 percent and retail sales were up 12 percent. On the same basis, Chevrolet retail sales were up 13 percent, Buick retail sales were up 8 percent, GMC retail sales were up 17 percent and Cadillac retail sales were essentially equal to a year ago. There were three fewer selling days in April 2012 than a year ago.

2012 Highlights

April Total Sales

Total Change vs. April 2011

April Retail Sales

Retail Change vs. April 2011

Retail Change vs. April 2011 (selling days adjusted)


CYTD Change vs. 2011

CYTD Retail Sales


Retail Change vs. 2011









































Total GM











Units @
March 31, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

Units @
April 30, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

All Vehicles





Full-size Pickups





Industry Sales

April SAAR (est.)

Q1 2012 SAAR

Full Year 2012 (est.)

Light Vehicles

14.2 million – 14.5 million

14.6 million

14.0 million – 14.5 million

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words "expect," "anticipate," "possible," "potential," "target," "believe," "commit," "intend," "continue," "may," "would," "could," "should," "project," "projected," "positioned" or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planned significant investment in new technology; the ability of our suppliers to timely deliver parts, components and systems; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provides information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      SVX pearlie
      • 8 Months Ago
      No more than 11 FFE were sold on the second full month (12 total Dec & Jan). That's no more than 1/30 of the Volt take, and no more than 1/150 of the PIP take. Does that mean anything? People paid good money for MINI EV and Smart EV. Doesn't mean there's real demand for them at market pricing. Let's see how PIP does after a year's worth of sales.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hmmm....keep paying about $150 per month for gas for my truck or by a plug in or hybrid that will drop that bill to about $50 per month. However, I would pick up a payment of about $500+ per month, thus taking my gas bill from $150 per month to $550 per month for at least 5 years, then I get to pay for battery replacement of untold thousands of dollars.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Why would anyone pay $40,000 for a plug in Prius that only gives 11 electric miles (zero at highway speed) and then uses a 98hp engine? The Volt has an electric range of 35 miles at highway speed and the electric motor is rated at 149hp. When running on gas , it gets 40mpg on highway . I would use around 20 gallons per year in the Volt and 280 gallons in the Prius . In addition to the less pollution and including paying for the extra electricity , the Volt would save me $70 per month in gas over the Prius . The Volt can be leased for $369 with zero down . In my situation it would save me $110 per month in gas over a Chevy Cruze . $369- $110 = $259 , add $30 in extra electricity = $289 . That's very reasonable for a car that handles and performs much better than a Prius .
      • 8 Months Ago
      Just to clarify, the 1,023 sold is the number of Volts sold to dealerships or sold to consumers? If to consumers how many were sent to dealers?
      • 8 Months Ago
      What's more interesting is that the Prius Plug In in just it's 3rd month of sales and with only $2500 in federal tax credit (as opposed to $7500 for the Volt and Leaf) outseld them both: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/0501/Electric-car-sales-fall-in-April Sales of plug-in electric cars fell last month, with especially low sales of the Nissan Leaf, following their strong showing in March. Last month, just 370 Nissan Leaf battery-electric cars were sold, down from 579 in March, and bringing this year's Leaf sales to only 2,103 in the first four months. Last month's Leaf sales were the lowest monthly number in more than a year. Nissan has sold 11,796 Leafs in total since the car went on sale in December 2010. Nissan has said it will sell 20,000 Leafs in the U.S. this year, but that will require it to sell 2,500 each month from now through December. GM had a decent but not spectacular month, with Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car sales falling back from last month's 2,289 but staying in four figures. The company sold 1,462 Volts in April, bringing total 2012 sales to 5,377. Chevy has sold a total of 13,374 Volts since its sales, too, began in December 2010. The total so far in 2012, however, would indicate that it will sell between 15,000 and 20,000 Volts in the U.S. this year unless sales improve over the summer. But the big winner in April was the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which logged 1,654 sales in just its third month on the market. Its April sales beat the Volt by 192 units, and were more than four times the month's sales of Leafs. Toyota has now sold 2,552 plug-in Priuses since late February. Among those top three models, the sales total for April was 3,486 plug-ins--versus 3,759. If all three models stay on pace, that means that U.S. plug-in sales might go as high as 40,000 for the year, versus about 17,000 last year. In the second tier of electric-car makers, April sales of the Mitsubishi i minicar were 79--the best monthly number yet, bringing the year's total to 215 (plus another 80 late last year). At the time this article was published, Ford had not responded to our query on April sales of its Focus Electric hatchback. The company sold 12 of the cars in December and January combined, but none in February or March. As always, both Fisker Automotive and Coda Automotive declined to comment on sales of their plug-in vehicles. We'll be curious to see whether larger media press those companies on this issue, or whether the world simply stops paying attention. As always, and we wrote several weeks ago, electric car sales will rise--but it will be slow. Still, with more than 27,000 plug-ins now running on U.S. roads, the progress is steady and the demand--if low--is definitely there.
        SVX pearlie
        • 8 Months Ago
        This is a really good article by CS Monitor. They clearly did their homework, digging out some of the harder-to-find data (i.e. MIEV totals). That allows for broader perspective: Series production totals (2010 + 2011 + 2012): 13,374 Chevy Volt (326 + 7671 + 5377) 11,796 Nissan Leaf (19 + 9674 + 2103) 2,252 Toyota Prius PI (0 + 0 + 2,252) 295 Mitsubishi MIEV (0 + 80 + 215) 12 Ford Focus EV (0 + 6? + 6?) At the rate the PIP and Leaf are selling, Toyota's PIP will surpass Leaf total series production by the end of the calendar year. From a series production standpoint, that will mean GM #1, Toyota #2, Nissan #3. It's not a sprint, but going from #1 at the start of 2012 to #3 at the end of 2012 can't be good. With the MIEV having the absolute worst sales of any reported plug-in, no corporate support for the FFE, and a fear to share sales data on the S, it appears BEVs are basically dead as far as the US is concerned.
        • 8 Months Ago
        321 Volts and 1,654 PiP were sold on the 2nd full month of sales since the launch. That's 1:5 ratio. People buy green cars for efficiency, emission and functionality. Many find recharge time of more than 3 hours unacceptable and care about where the electricity comes from. PiP makes best use of both electricity and gasoline in a midsize family hatchback. I think that's why it is selling, not because of brand royalty.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The only thing this shows is that the Japanese prefer not to sell as much in the U.S. as... well, a U.S. carmaker like GM. The strength of the Yen, Nissan and Mitsubishi's presence in other, more profitable markets, tsunami... take your pick. Why can't Christian Science Monitor investigate "GLOBAL SALES" for a little perspective?
      • 8 Months Ago
      There are only 12 showing up on cars.com right now within a 30 mile radius of my house here in Phoenix, and that's not many for the number of Nissan dealers we have in the area, so those sales numbers sound a little odd. The dealer where I bought mine has none right now, so I'm reading the low Leaf sales as a bottleneck, not some kind of impending doom for EV's. I've probably sold two or three just talking to people and telling them how much my electric bill is (the entire bill is less than what we were paying for gas alone).
      SVX pearlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      1,462 Volt is really not a bad number, even though it is somewhat less than last month. Series production totals (2010 + 2011 + 2012): 13,374 Chevy Volt (326 + 7671 + 5377) 11,807 Nissan Leaf (19 + 9674 + 2114) As of this month, Volt now has more than a 1 month sales lead over Nissan (11.9k total Volt as of last month). Next month (5 months in), it is possible that Chevy surpasses last year's total sales, and almost certain to outsell 2011 Volt sales by July 1st.
        MTN RANGER
        • 8 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        With sales to Canada and Europe included, the Volt/Ampera will easily triple 2011 numbers.
          SVX pearlie
          • 8 Months Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          CYTD production (not sales) at Hamtramck: 5,095 Volt 3,382 Ampera = 8,477 total Voltec built Had GM not halted the line, simply shifting production to 100% Ampera, it'd be more like 12k built, with 7k Ampera.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Gas prices did see a slight drop over the month of April, so a sales drop is pretty understandable. Still though, really good numbers for the Volt!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drove past my local Nissan dealership and still...no Leafs yet. So the Leaf hasn't shown up everywhere yet. The Chevy dealership got their Volts back in December and I saw my first one owned by a cutomer about a week ago. Very nice.
      Dave R
      • 8 Months Ago
      @MTN RANGER - Problem is that there isn't enough rear leg-room in the Volt. The Prius/LEAF is already snug and the Volt feels even more snug (which is weird since the specs say it has more legroom than the LEAF yet the LEAF feels the same as the Prius). And there's still that price issue - get the MSRP down within $1k of the LEAF similarly equipped and then we'll talk.
      Ryan D.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I've reviewing a Volt at the moment, and I'm floored that more haven't sold. It's wonderful to drive, and seems worth the $41,500 Canadian they charge for it here in Canada without the $8,000+ in government rebate that you can get. Chevy just needs to get people to drive it - it's easy to love. For the record, I've had it for 4 days and averaged about 2L/100km, or 117.61MPG. Keep in mind, I live outside of pure electric range of work, and have commuted three times this week.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I never thought I would say this, but I can't wait for the June/July Volt production shutdown. A lot of us ranted and raved about the last shutdown and now it looks like we were right. GM shutdown production just before sales took off and really shot themselves in the foot. But GM probably won't announce the MSRP of the 2013 model until they have stopped building the 2012. We will probably see another record Volt sales month in May as California continues to gobble up every Volt sent out there and as other GM dealers begin to get comfortable selling the Volt. But the number I really want to see is, will the 2013 have a MSRP of less than $37,500? If it does Volt sales will continue to increase. If it does not, they will plateau like the Leaf sales have done, and it will be due to price, the same issue that is dogging the Leaf right now. Nissan will be able to reduce the price of the Leaf by December or January as Smyrna kicks in, but will GM reduce their MSRP? I really think that GM's engineers have done a phenomenal job designing the Volt but the management has botched every step of the way. Unfortunately, I would bet that the MSRP will drop by $1,000 or less and Volt sales will begin to taper off by September.
        SVX pearlie
        • 8 Months Ago
        If the Federal support goes from a $7500 tax rebate to a $10000 credit, as proposed, then GM won't have to cut their price by a single a penny. And even if it doesn't, a lot of wealthier Californians will buy Volts simply for the HOV access. I mean, people bought FCV Hondas for pity's sake!
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