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, Tennessee 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.


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  • 76 Comments
      timber
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will the new plant make the Leafs cheaper? Reading the text it looks like Nissan just wants better margins. If I read correctly I just can't understand how they expect better sales. I have driven the Leaf, it's really nice (and silent!) but with that price and range... there are no miracles.
        1guyin10
        • 2 Years Ago
        @timber
        Nissan has hinted at possible price reductions after the new facility comes online. It has to be a lot cheaper than building it in Yen and selling in Dollars.
      raphael
      • 2 Years Ago
      EV can't be popular until the batteries are in one standard or just a few formats, so your battery refill like pull/drop the old one and replaced with a fully charged in less than a minute. Plus this way does not need 100k mile new battery replacement. Battery stations have multi re-charged batteries ready for customers refill in 24/7.
      danno
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well i did see where jd powers released there top ten selection of the best new vehicles..and goes with=out saying nine out of ten were of course asian cars and trucks.with jeep cherokee coming in at numer ten,,Within five more years you will GM broke once again as well as ford chrysler.. And what caused the first meltdown the same thing that will cost the second meltdown..Customer Dis-loyalty as americans would much rather buy anything asian than american..O Please spare me all your american cars are not made in america comments as a former gm analyist who watched the first collasp from the foreign invasion of the 1970:s I have seen it all and yea i do know it all as well..
      glassguy2
      • 2 Years Ago
      ok everyone says buy american ,i agree but the autos of today have parts from every where ,mexico ,china ,india,mainly just assembled here . big deal
      geo1284060
      • 2 Years Ago
      How well does the Leaf sell in the Northern states & Canada? How will they perform going through snow and temps below freezing, having to run the heater, wipers, lights, etc?
      reattadudes
      • 2 Years Ago
      a silly little $35,000 car that you couldn't even take on vacation. I couldn't even drive one home from my nearest dealer. I'd have to spend the night somewhere to recharge it. I can't imagine worrying about running the climate control (its going to be 114 degrees here today) because its depleting your battery range. this is strictly a "hey, look at me" car, just like the Prius....and with a much more limited market. and when that market is satisfied (like it probably is now), its over. the Volt keeps looking better and better every day.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        [blocked]
        wicketr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        They need to turn the Leaf into a Liquid Natural Gas car. That would be enticing. The battery life just isn't good enough considering American driving tendencies.
      JF
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone please explain to me how more cars = more consumer interest. Building more cars doesn't necessarily mean consumers will be there to buy them. Unless the Leaf's problem is availability, I don't think sales will increase one bit with this new plant.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JF
        [blocked]
        bigwingnut
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JF
        Nissan has a track record of misreading the market. I flew into Smyrna, Tennessee a few years ago (where the Nissan plant is), and they had rented 300 acres of space at the airport to park cars that they built but couldn't sell. Musta been 5-10 thousand cars sitting there, being charged $5 per car per day for the space. Expect to see the Smyrna airport covered up with Leafs (Leaves?) in the near future!
      Keldon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriously? They plan on selling TWO of them this year? C'mon Nissan, that's just crazy talk.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Keldon
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      wicketr
      • 2 Years Ago
      So what happens to the millions of car battery packs 10 years from now. And what effect will they have on the soil, ground water, and the rest of the environment?
      janka51
      • 2 Years Ago
      buy American cars, the job you save , may be your own.
      Frank S. Pedigo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I do think it is funny how these companies are moving thier plants to the US . They create jobs because they know that a well paid workforce will buy thier product and increase thier profits . Where as people like Mitt Romney think exporting jobs is the way to go . The trouble is they dont go with those jobs .
        spokajo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frank S. Pedigo
        I cannot understand how you are able to twist an article about an electric car into your own "self serving" political post. I call these cars "throwaway cars" after 4-5 years they won't be worth a plug nickle, used, because nobody will be willing to pay for a car which has a 5 yr. old electrical system with potentially very high battery and gererating system parts replacement on the near horizon. One auto. manufacturer says that it's batteries are tested to last up to 200K+ ( the rest of the system not mentioned), so maybe they should warrentee them for 200K+ regardless of time.Not going to happen. How much would you be willing to pay for a $40K Chevy Volt in 5 years? Be homest now.
          fredrdr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spokajo
          Battery has a 10 year warrenty. The game changer is when military research in battery technology is released.
        Beverly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frank S. Pedigo
        Hey Frank - Their is spelled T H E I R.
        danno
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frank S. Pedigo
        well paid at twelve bucks an hour I do not consider that well paid..Oh and genuis your hard earned money returns to japan or korea not america..
          fredrdr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @danno
          Get used to it. It will not be long and 35K a year will be fantastic.
        awpaguy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frank S. Pedigo
        Guess those companies that move overseas must do it mainly because of the costs here. That's what obama's "job czar" did. He moved his company's headquarters (GE) to china because the costs were less. And obama has the gall to say anything about what Mitt's old company did, when a member of his own administration is doing the exact same thing . What a sorry bunch of jackass hypocrites he and his stooges are.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm seeing more Volts than Leafs now, and the sales numbers are showing the same thing. Unless they can figure out how to rapidly charge them, it'll never be anything more than a niche vehicle.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        [blocked]
          tump
          • 2 Years Ago
          Leaf still *owns* the Silicon Valley market, but I'm seeing more and more Volts and I think this is a direct result of the updated models with HOV access qualifications. HOV is one of the big selling points for commuters here.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        The Ford Focus Electric charges in half the time and has a little more of a range for a couple grand more which I think is money well spent. It's like a cell phone to me, it's useless if it's not charged or quickly chargeable!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        [blocked]
        Denver
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        I agree, I live in VA and i dont think ive ever seen a Leaf driving down the road. Ive seen a few Volts, and even a Focus Electric this past week.
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