Different month, same story. That's the gist of the monthly US sales numbers from the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. These were the first two mass-market plug-in vehicles to go on sale in the US and we've been comparing their sales numbers for what seems like ages now. So far, the 2014 tale of the tape shows the all-electric once again trumping the plug-in hybrid. The last time the Volt outsold the Leaf was in October 2013.

Chevrolet sold 1,777 Volts in June. That was good enough to be the Volt's best sales month of the year, but it's down 34 percent from the 2,698 units sold in June 2013. In fact, it's on par with the 1,760 Volts sold in June 2012. Given the steady sales, General Motors might need to push up the release of the next-gen Volt to gin up excitement, especially if it also offers some of the things that current Volt drivers say they want improved: more range, a lower price and a fifth seat. GM also said it sold 85 Spark EVs in June, an increase of 215 percent over June 2013

Nissan sold 2,347 Leafs last month.

The good news continues for Nissan, which says it sold 2,347 Leafs last month. That's an increase of 5.5 percent over 2013 numbers and makes 2014 the best June ever for Leaf sales. Let's credit Texas. Toby Perry, Nissan's director of EV sales and marketing, said in a statement that, "Since the Texas state incentive went into effect in May, we've seen a big jump in Leaf sales in the Austin, Dallas and Houston markets. Our dealers are telling us that they saw more traffic in their stores, and they had their best Leaf sales performance in the last weekend in June." Even with that increase, Atlanta remains the top Leaf market. Nissan has sold 12,736 Leafs in the US so far this year; Chevy 8,615 Volts.

Our detailed monthly sales write-up of green cars in the US, including plug-in vehicles, hybrids and diesel cars, is coming soon. For now, we invite you to discuss these numbers in the Comments.


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  • 50 Comments
      J.
      • 5 Months Ago
      GM=Junk!
        j
        • 5 Months Ago
        @J.
        Please change your screen name, your one dimensional outlook and limitations are astonishing enough as it is! - Jeff
      Spec
      • 5 Months Ago
      The Leaf sales are encouraging. People are figuring out that they really don't need a huge range for a daily driver. Pure EVs handle daily driving just fine . . . you can have a second hybrid car, car share, borrow, rent a car, PHEV, etc. when you need to do long distance driving.
        thecommentator2013
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        That's what I am trying to explain when people ask me about my Volt and laugh about the range while they then commute home for about 10 miles.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          It is such a simple concept yet many people seem unable to grasp it.
      Julio B
      • 5 Months Ago
      Thanks to this, last week I was able to buy a new 2014 Volt fully optioned for $7,000 off MSRP before any government incentives. Thanks Leaf!
        Jim
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Julio B
        Heh. Now you have me tempted to shop for a Volt. I was already tempted to lease one, but if dealers are discounting, then I may buy.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          No kidding. The Volt is an incredible bargain at that price.
          Julio B
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          Ziv, The dealer where I bought in South Carolina had only 2 Volts (thankfully one had the exact specs I wanted) but its mainly a truck dealer. The one I bought had been sitting at their dealer for a while according to the VIN and not only they matched the dealer prices in CA, but gave me the most money for my trade. I traded my 2005 GTO and they told me that it won't last a week at their dealer. Central SC is still big on V8 power, not so much on electric. My point is that you can also find a dealer with one or two Volts and negotiate a great deal.
          Ziv
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          It is anecdotal, but we are starting to hear of dealers dropping the sales price by $5k. Not any dealers, of course, but the ones that sell a lot of Volts. If they have 20-25 Volts on the lot, that is the dealer to work with. If they have 5 or 6, drive right on by. Getting a Volt for $30,000 then getting $7500 off your taxes makes the Volt a no brainer.
      paulwesterberg
      • 5 Months Ago
      GM needs to step up their game or they will no longer be able to claim that the volt is the best selling plug-in vehicle in America.
        Luc K
        • 5 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        The Leaf is not a plug-in vehicle. So far Prius PHEV is slightly ahead in 2014 YTD (unlike 2013). Not sure why the comparison continues here between a pure EV to an PHEV. Maybe because it has bit more range than most PHEV's. I could see the i3 being compared rather but bit more expensive.
          thecommentator2013
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Luc K
          Not a plug-in? What is it then? It has a plug, you get a cord, you plug it in.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Luc K
          If you don't plug it in then it doesn't go.
          futurecars
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Luc K
          I understand what you are trying to say but the leaf is a plug in electric vehicle (PEV), what it is not is that it is not a plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), but it is a plug in.
          Rotation
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Luc K
          How is it not a plug-in vehicle? It has a plug. You plug it in.
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      One of these days the GM marketing department will figure out how to properly market the Volt. Instead, the head of marketing department is wasting time doing comparisons to Tesla. You've got a great car in the Volt but you're just not selling it. That should tell you something. Maybe your sales force needs some training or an attitude adjustment.
      Smurf
      • 5 Months Ago
      There appears to be no evidence that GM "wants" to sell more Volts right now. One has to assume that they are losing money on the GEN I Volt, and have no incentive to sell more until a more profitable GEN II Volt is on the market... Expect Volt sales to remain at this level until the 2016 model is released.. I just hope its not too late....
        James
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Smurf
        The first gen are very well built. You could say overbuilt. GM wanted to make sure that there wasn't any rattles, squeaks, or anything at all wrong with the car. Even though it rolls off the same line as Malibu, and Curse, the cars are essentially assembled by hand (the parts that make them unique) and there is a fair bit of effort put in to make sure things were done right. I expect that, like with everything else there will be some corner cutting to meet a price point, just like everything else. Look at vintage electronics. Old televisions and HiFi equipment made 40 or 50 years ago still going strong. The new stuff barely makes it past the warranty and you toss it away. I'm not saying that the next gen volt will be junk, but I think it won't necessarily be built to the same quality level that the first batch was. There will be more plastic, thinner metal, smaller 3 cyl engine for the generator ect. Things to get the production costs down. Will that be a good thing? I think if GM can get the volt out on lots at a 30,000 price point, they won't be able to build enough of them. Even with the current one, at 40 grand they are selling OK. Hell mine was 47 grand before govt incentives, and I think I got a hell of a deal compared at what I was going to buy (a Tesla). In 3 years and over 50,000 miles I have only had 1 problem, a flat tire, and that was because some s55hole got their jollies sticking a knife into the side wall
        Dave
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Smurf
        I'm surprised GM isn't selling more Sparks. Seems like GM is missing out on some easy ZEV credits.
          Koenigsegg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Spark is super ugly
          TopGun
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          The Spark is super awesome - lots o torques! I heard Mark Reuss talk about being inventory constrained in the Spark - but that was a while ago.
          Ziv
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          I used to think that the Volt was inventory constrained. LOL! There have been more than 6,000 Volts on Cars dot com for a month and a half (8000+ now) and they sold just 1777 last month. I think the Spark EV is a nice first effort but it could use a bit more appealing look. Think Mini/500 and maybe they could sell a lot of the Spark EV's. But the Volt just doesn't appear to be as popular as I thought it would be. I love mine, but the public isn't sharing that love. Still, 8000 Volts in inventory and 150 of them are the 2015MY. Interesting. Last year GM dropped the MSRP in August, I hope they do it earlier this year. Like, tomorrow, would be fine.
      Marco Polo
      • 5 Months Ago
      I hope Grendal's comment is correct, and that the Volt's lacklustre sales performance is largely due to GM's poor marketing. Otherwise, this is worrying news. In a year when the US car market reached the highest sales for 10 years, moving 17 million units, the total of EV's and PHEV's doesn't even reach 0.05%. The only areas where any growth in sales are recorded are where additional government incentives, or subsidies are increased. Put another way, it means that despite a plethora of publicity, and massive government incentives, less than 0.05% of Americans auto-buyers responded to the attraction of PHEV or EV vehicles. I am a huge fan of GM's Voltec drive-train, and Like Grendal, I hope this is just down to GM's poor marketing, and maybe the gen 11 Volt will be better marketed.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        My guess is that the Volt is suffering due to poor internal packaging, notably the intrusion of the transmission tunnel. If that is right the Audi A3 PHEV should do fine, although it is pricier. In any case, I doubt that it is the PHEV formula as such, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV should sell be the bucket load when it finally gets to the States, as it has everywhere else it has gone on sale.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Totally agree with Grendal. The Volt is a fabulous car and a revolutionary step past the Prius. It's won awards, car of the year, great reviews, etc. I drive one, and my wife and I both love it. Why haven't they sold a million of them? The big missing piece here is clearly the marketing. Most people haven't heard of it, don't know what the car is, and don't know what it can do. I think there are three valid theories as to why GM isn't marketing the Volt: 1. They don't want to sell too many, because the batteries and parts are so expensive that they're losing money on each sale. 2. They don't want to sell too many, because they're still mostly interested in helping gas companies make as much money as possible, and so they push their other cars. 3. They don't want to market the Volt, because the very nature of marketing the Volt's attributes (it's clean and green and wonderful!) inherently vilifies their gas cars. I think #3 is most likely the underlying cause. By praising the Volt they insult their other cars, and their other cars still comprise the vast majority of their sales. So they don't talk too much about how great the Volt is. And so we have to discover it for ourselves.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The evidence of this is the fact that customers/owners love the car. It was a favorite with reviewers and it also won Car of the Year awards. All of that should be an easy tool for a marketing team to build on to increase sales and increase marketing share. Instead the sales are dwindling and becoming lackluster. It sure isn't the cars fault. GM created a great car. They just don't seem to know what to do with it or how to get their salespeople to sell it. Which is amazing since the price has dropped to the point where it should be even easier to sell. We should be seeing serious sales growth, not dropping sales. Tesla seems to have the long range EV market, Nissan seems to be building the short range EV market well, yet GM has let the EV with a range extender market slip from their fingers letting other companies step into that market and take it away from them. The ELR, while being a nice idea (an upscale Volt), doesn't address what customer's are asking for from the company. A good marketing company would be polling successful Volt salespeople and potential customers and asking them what prevents someone from saying yes to a Volt. I can guess at the answer but I'd bet it would be: looks, more EV range, more space, and just simply that they can't quite understand how the car works. Address those issues instead of making a luxury Volt and you might have more success on your hands. It makes you want to believe in conspiracy theories, however, the truth is more likely ineptitude and stupidity.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I couldn't agree more. Making the Volt a Caddy is obvious. I think they went with Chevy to please the government which had just bailed them out. It made the car seem more accessible to the masses. Making a sport version is a simple, yet outstanding idea. It worked well for Tesla. I doubt it costs Tesla $15K for the better inverter. So, in an EV, performance is a money maker that GM hasn't taken advantage of. Yet another mistake. I still loved their "I Love my Volt" campaign. Right about then was when the car sold the most. Then GM dropped the campaign and sales have dwindled ever since. If you followed that campaign with the salesforce being taught to do rudimentary math with monthly gas cost on their current car compared to the leasing/monthly payment of a Volt and then the sales would have seen a nice spike. At this point GM should be selling at least 25% of what the Prius does if it had been marketed correctly. Instead we have :P
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal I agree with your reasoning. i think the Volt was introduced at a time when GM was still very disorganised, with low morale and no clear direction. To paraphrase a President, In an effort to get rid of what was wrong with GM, they also got rid of much that was right with GM. With hindsight, the Voltec drive-train should have been first offered with the most expensive Cadillac, and a glamorous sports version of a Comaro tuned for performance, not fuel efficiency. Then released as a Buick, based on the Ampera bodywork. By the time the Volt was released, the excitement and acceptance would have been established, and the mass production Chevy Volt would have seemed a bargain, and the car of the future. I have been a fan of this car since it's inception. It's just a damn shame that GM seems to have lost confidence to such a degree that the marketing seems to be the mediocre product of a committee, rather than inspired brilliance.
        James
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I agree that the marketing could have been better. I still get people that think that it is a hybrid. Just today, I dropped my daughter off where she works, as she was going to a softball tournament. She was getting a ride from work to the tournament with a co-worker and he thought I was driving a prius. He even commented about it, and she set him straight, explaining what the volt is,and how it works. (not bad for a 16 year old) The co-worker she was with still didn't understand, and then she said, "the last time my dad bought gas was last December" Her co-worker was amazed, had no idea the car was electric, and thought it was the same as a prius. There are a lot of people that think the same way. A better advertising campaign would have helped. All is not lost though, they can still do it. Perhaps calling it "Advanced Hybrid Technology" or Advanced electric propulsion or something along the line to tall people up front that it is different. Toyota has their "Synergy" why not have a trade name like "GENergy Drive" Something that will stick out from the crowd. tesla has done that with their "Super charger".
      • 5 Months Ago
      I just purchased a Leaf and couldn't be happier. Initially I was cheering for GM to take over this market. The Volt is a push in the right direction. I thought the Leaf looked funny and was risking driving with such a short range. A year ago I drove a Tesla and was converted that this is the future. Tesla succeeded since it went for the upscale market while delivering a great product- awesome performance and handling, good looks, and roominess- potential to seat 7. Nissan went for the masses. My lease is approx. $250/month and factor gas savings, my net payment is almost zero. GM on the other hand- confused. The biggest thing for me with 3 kids is why did they put a hump in the middle of the car and have only 2 seats in the back. With all there engineering prowess, they could not figure a solution for this (I am no longer a fan of GM). The ELR- give me a break. The only thing it has going for it is its looks. But for that price it needs either extended range, roominess, and more importantly performance. Another GM flop.
        BipDBo
        • 5 Months Ago
        The hump in the middle of the back seat causing seating for 4 instead of 5 is also the reason I will not buy a Volt. I am a big fan of the car, but since I have 4 kids, it's just not an option. The reason for this is because of the T shaped battery design that goes back to the EV1. This t shape gives much better crash protection for the battery than a flat floor battery. With a flat floor battery, it would also be much more difficult to incorporate liquid cooling. GM crunched the market numbers and decided that there are few enough people like me who actually use that center seat, and went with a battery that is In other ways, far superior to the more vulnerable, poorly cooled battery in the Leaf.
          James
          • 5 Months Ago
          @BipDBo
          In my situation, I have 2 kids, so the volt works perfectly.
      J.
      • 5 Months Ago
      15 million Americans that have had their GM vehicle recalled can't be wrong, GM=JUNK!
        Koenigsegg
        • 5 Months Ago
        @J.
        Volt hasnt been recalled, tard
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Koenigsegg
          Your all class E C
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @J.
        My car is one of those in the recall. The fact that I can accidentally turn the car off is not really a big deal. It's even less of a deal now that I know about it. I have tested it and it can be done. One of these days I'll take it in to get the fix. I'm not in a rush. I'm sorry that some people were killed over this but the number of people being killed over having cell phones in a car is far far higher. Let's keep some perspective on this.
          James
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          If those drivers that were in an accident due to the power steering reverting to manual steering when the engine cut out had been properly trained, they would have never crashed in the first place. One of the first things I did to my daughter when she first got her license was to take her to an empty parking lot, had her speed up to 50, and then I shut off the engine and made her pull over and bring the car to a safe stop. Now that she knows what will happen if the engine dies, or the fan belt breaks, I am confident that she won't freak out, freeze and crash into someone. Everyone is so fast to jump all over GM for the switch issue. They probably didn't even make the switch. If you want to talk about recalls, I have had many more recalls with my Ford and Toyota vehicles than my GM. And one of the recalls for my last ford was for an ignition switch failure, where the car could burst into flames due to a short while the car is parked in my garage and I am sleeping in the house. I now drive a Volt, and there hasn't been any recalls on that. There was a voluntary battery pack side intrusion modification performed, but that was not a recall. There is a software update for the inverter, but again that is not a safety recall. Speaking of recalls, I just got a notice to get my Ford hybrid ABS system checked. No, it isn't a recall, so if they tell me the pump is fubar, I am looking at a 4500.00 repair.
      Jeff
      • 5 Months Ago
      Just leased a Leaf for 3 years. The net effect on my cash flow will be $0 since I'm trading in a gas guzzler. We have another car for our out of town trips, so we started looking at EVs as an option. The first thing I did was eliminate any EV that is built on a gas chassis. Too many compromises in such a design. Given the nature of EVs, your best bet is to design a new car from the ground up. It's just more efficient. I looked at the Volt, but three things took it out of consideration: 1. Price. We picked up the Leaf, fully loaded, for $36k BEFORE Nissan took off $9700. A similarly optioned Volt would have run almost $4k more. 2. Gas. The range extender is a nice concept, but at the end of the day the Volt is a plug in hybrid, not a true EV. The battery range is pathetic and given my commute, I would likely be filling the tank fairly frequently. Yes, it would still be cheaper than any other gas car, but not cheaper than the Leaf. Given the option of buying no gas vs buying a little gas, I chose no gas. 3. It's a GM. Sorry, but I felt, and still feel, strongly that GM should not have been bailed out but allowed to fail. I don't see how anyone would consider even looking at a GM today. I just don't feel they can be trusted. I've had the Leaf a week now and couldn't be happier. It's a great car. The people complaining about diminished battery capacity probably aren't driving the car correctly. There's a lot of education still needed on these cars, because you DO drive them differently than ICE cars. I put about 60 miles a day on it and have around 30 left when I plug it in. Perfect for my work commute, lunches, and errands.
      • 5 Months Ago
      The VOLT is a colossal failure. The huge investment is lost forever. I commented on the VOLT across the web for 4 years, the target of many nasty, vitrolic and shrill VOLT lovers, I predicted it would never go anywhere, and it hasn't...and NEVER WILL. I am not surprised GM is still making it...doing so means they have shot themselves in the other foot. A bad, complicated, shoddy and expensive idea that delivers poor value.
        • 4 Months Ago
        You're just jealous. I have a volt and enjoy it immensely. It's an interesting car. It never fails to amaze my passengers with its zippy performance. Far from being bad or shoddy, it is a very well built car that is fun to drive. It's my main car. I drive one long trip each week and still get more that 60 miles per gallon on the average.
        • 2 Months Ago
        The VOLT is a colossal failure. You're right. But, the huge investment may not be lost. If recent history is any indication, the Chinese will come in and buy-up this taxpayer-subsidized technology for pennies on the dollar. The Ford Edsel was labelled a colossal failure. Over 2.5 years of production, Ford sold around 120,000 Edsels. That would be about 4,000 cars per month average. So, if the Chevy Volt is a success, the Ford Edsel must have been a HUGE success...! Of course, not a dime of taxpayer money went into the Edsel. Word is that GE purchased some 20,000 volts(GE makes the charging stations) and that the Obama administration is making grants to municipalities to purchase Volts in addition to the Federal fleet purchases.
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      FYI: There are a lot of Leafs and Volts coming off of leases now. One dealer in my state of Florida (see link below) is selling Leafs starting at $15K and Volts starting at $18K with less than 40,000 miles on the odometer. No dealer fees. There is a 2012 Leaf with only 5000 miles going for $17K. If you're in the market for a car, I don't think there is any better bang for your buck out there for basic transportation, except for maybe a reservation on an Elio. http://www.offleaseonly.com
        James
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I am looking to buy another Volt. The problem is there really aren't many where I live. I have had more offers to buy mine lately. NO it's NOT for sale.
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