How High Can Nissan LEAF Sales Go In Japan?

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The new, refreshed Nissan LEAF has been selling quite well in Japan since its launch there — with only a few Nissan models eclipsing it (the Note, the X-Trail/Rogue SUV, and the company’s flagship sedan in the market).

As the market there becomes better acquainted with the new Nissan LEAF, how high can sales go? Will the improved appearance, the ProPILOT semi autonomous driving tech, and the improved range lead to the model overtaking some of Nissan’s top selling petrol/gasoline models in Japan?

Looking at the most recent sales figures (as provided by Push EVs) makes one wonder, on all of those counts.

Push EVs provides more: “The Nissan Leaf was the best selling plug-in car in Japan with 1,912 units sold last month. The second place was reserved for the Toyota Prius PHV with 1,670 units sold. Unfortunately, due to the inspection scandal that affected Nissan, it wasn’t possible to surpass the previous month sales of 3,230 units.”

“Nevertheless, as we can see from the sale figures below, the new Nissan Leaf is proving to be one of the automaker’s most popular cars in Japan. … At the current scenario, the 5-seater all-electric car from Nissan is expected to outsell the more expensive 4-seater plug-in hybrid from Toyota. While the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the new Nissan Leaf starts at 3,150,360 JPY (€23,351), the Toyota Prius PHV starts at 3,261,600 JPY (€24,171).”

All things considered, at that price point, the new Nissan LEAF is a compelling car. Especially when used in a country that’s as compact as Japan (or the UK) is, the model doesn’t have any real flaws worth noting.

What’ll be particularly interesting to see is what Toyota ends up doing as Nissan LEAF sales continue going strong. As noted by Push EVs, the manufacturer “will no longer be able to say that nobody wants electric cars. While I don’t think that Toyota will release an all-electric car anytime soon — outside China — to compete with the Nissan Leaf, the automaker will improve its Prius PHV by increasing the number of seats to 5 and upgrading the battery capacity.”

That makes for some interesting speculation.

Toyota execs, of course, have stated that the company will be releasing an all-electric car before too long — by the end of 2020 or so. We’ll have to wait to see what happens. Personally, though, I’m betting on Nissan gaining market share at the expense of its competitors.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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