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Friday, September 28, 2012

Nissan offers Leaf discounts to spur sales

Nissan is offering discounted leases on 2012 model Leaf to spur sales of the all-electric car.

Nissan sold 4,228 Leafs this year through August, almost a third fewer than a year ago.

Earlier this month, Nissan started offering Leafs for $219 per month with $2,999 down for 32 months. That's discounted from $249 per month earlier in the year.

Nissan joins General Motors in offering discounted leases on electric cars. The Volt is the Leaf's main competitor and Chevrolet is discounting the $40,000 car by up to $10,000, including a $249-per-month lease deal.

Both cars are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles. The credit is not included in the discounts.

Globally, Nissan has sold 38,000 Leafs so far this year and is on target to reach expectations of 40,000. About 70 percent of Leaf sales in the U.S. are purchases, with the rest leased.

The discounts are on 2012 models. The 2013 models won't be at dealers until early next year, when Nissan begins producing them at a factory in Tennessee.

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