Nissan Hopes Practical, Pocketbook Approach on Leaf Attracts Buyers

The Nissan Leaf is one of the boldest, bet-the-farm electric vehicles from a mainstream manufacturer. While many companies have a few token hybrid models, and even a few plug-ins, Nissan went all-in on its pure EV play with the Leaf. Since bullish initial predictions and forecasts, the Leaf has not sold in the volumes predicted. But now that production has fully ramped up, and is now offered at dealers from coast-to-coast and everywhere in-between, the marketing on the car is going to change to reflect buyers' more pragmatic, everyday concerns.

Nissan is hoping to broaden the appeal of the Leaf electric car by shifting the marketing message from a feel-good environmental appeal to a practical pocketbook-centered approach, according to Bloomberg. The emphasis of the new campaign, which is expected to start within the next few months, will center on Nissan's new $199 per month lease deal, and now that the Leaf is built domestically in Smyrna, and available nationwide, the ad campaign will be national, rather than regional. "We're focusing on the value and economic equation of having an EV," said Erik Gottfried, director of sales and marketing for the Leaf.

Since announcing bold annual sales forecasts of 20,000 units a year when the Leaf was introduced in December 2010, Nissan has since not released sales forecasts for the Leaf. Since its introduction, the Leaf has sold 23,051 through March.

Source: Bloomberg

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