Chevy Volt Sales Trump Nissan LEAF in November 2011

By · December 01, 2011

Chevy Volt Nissan LEAF

Chevy Volt outsells Nissan LEAF in November 2011.

Sales of the Nissan LEAF in the US dipped in November, allowing the Chevy Volt to grab the top spot among plug-in vehicles.

Sales of the Chevy Volt continue to follow a slight upward trend, with General Motors tallying 1,139 units for November. That's an improvement over October 2011 Volt sales of 1,108 units—and a sizable jump over the 723 Volts that Chevy sold in September. Year-to-date sales of the Chevy Volt—now at a 6,142 units—are not likely to reach the 10,000 target stated by General Motors. By not hitting the mark—and due to a possible fallout from reports of fires in crashed units—the ability for GM to ramp up to its 60,000-unit target are uncertain.

Meanwhile, Nissan reported that sales of the all-electric LEAF rang in at 672 units in the US in November 2011. That's down from the 849 LEAFs Nissan sold in October and way below the 1,031 LEAF sales reported for the month of September. From a year-to-date perspective, Nissan LEAF sales now rest at 8,720 units—putting combined sales of cars that use grid-supplied electricity as fuel at nearly 15,000 vehicles.

Nissan expects to add another 1,000 or so sales of the LEAF by the end of year, potentially selling 10,000 LEAFs in the US by the end of 2011. The company has already sold in excess of 20,000 LEAFs worldwide.


· · 6 years ago

>> putting combined sales of cars that use grid-supplied electricity <<

We're not counting those who charge via their own wind or solar?

· · 6 years ago

Does anyone know why US Leaf sales have fallen for the last two months? Was there a supply crunch? Were the cars shipped to other countries instead? I find it hard to believe that Nissan has saturated all of the pent-up demand already with only 8,720 units. And if they have, they need to expand availability to nationwide already!

@darelldd - since you're picking on that line....
I find it hard to believe that many (if any at all) of these cars have NEVER used grid-supplied electricity. Eric never said it was exclusively grid-supplied. For example, if you have solar, you would either need to only charge during the day or have another set of batteries. One with a net-metered solar array would still use "grid-supplied electricity" to charge at night. They would just "replenish" the grid during the day to compensate ;-)

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 6 years ago

Only 1 factory producing LEAF. Shipping to Europe & US, plus internal sales within Japan. As shown in the other article, Nissan has reported 170K vehicle (LEAF) sold in early Nov, then 200K LEAF sold in the last few days of Nov. Thus, 3000 or so LEAFs sold worldwide in 1 month.

This is vs 1139 units of Volt sold for the same month, total, worldwide (Volt is only sold in the US, very few in Canada, none in Asia or Europe).

Now THAT's comparing Apple to Apple.

In the MyNissanLeaf forum, there's a post about LEAF having 20 supply days, vs Volt having 120 supply days. The person who wrote this is respectable by both Nissan LEAF forum and GM-Volt forum, and his (I guess he's a man) data are using pulled from reliable sources.

FYI - industry average is 65-68 supply days, and that's good. 20 supply days are HOT (less than 10, that's burning!). Anything over 75 is considered not so good...

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 6 years ago

As per WSJ

Volt 134 Supply Days, LEAF 21 Supply Days.

· · 6 years ago

Days supply is not difficult to get.

In - you can find the total number of cars on sale (apparent, not real). Divide that by daily average sales (i.e. monthly sales/no. of days in the month).

Ofcourse, comparing Leaf/Volt to other car numbers isn't very useful. A lot of Volts (and almost all Leafs) are already "sold" to a customer, though the customer can refuse to buy and thus creating an orphan.

Current Volt inventory : 4,240 (111 days)
Leaf : 616 (27 days)

· · 6 years ago

Well - apparently # of selling days was 25 last month. So,

Current Volt inventory : 4,240 (93 days)
Leaf : 616 (23 days)

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 6 years ago

@ EVNow,

I disagree with your "calculation" and explanation on day supply.

It's not simply the # of cars @ dealer lots or dealer inventories, divided by # of days sold.

Here's something I've posted before, from Detroit Bureau, explaining what day supply is about:

In short, it's NOT just about dealer inventory level, but from the very beginning when vehicles are still in the factory parking lot. In this case, it actually eliminates those so called "pre-sold" because they are counted as sold - well, at least my understanding of days supply means it takes in sales rate and production rate, NOT the dealer inventory level, during computation - it reflects the actual inventory of a vehicle, unsold, and location of it doesn't really matter. In fact, it actually explains why a lot of people are "waiting" for the Volt, yet the days supply count is high - because location does NOT matter! In this situation, dealer trade should have kicked in to even out the inventory, but probably not with the Volt situation.

In any case, 134 days supply is an extremely high #. It means inventory has built up. Kinda makes sense to me when GM has now built over 110K Volt, but sold less than 7000 of them. Where are those 4000-5000 Volts? They must be sitting somewhere around...

· · 6 years ago

@Londo Bell
"K" generally means 1000, not 100 as your posts seem to indicate.

· · 6 years ago

Thank you very much for inventory info!
That is very valuable info!

Up to now hybrids inventory are also very limited: Prius - 12,580 only; Toyota Prius v - 2631; Toyota Camry Hybrid - 580 only; Lexus CT - 1,266 only; Honda Insight - 1,332 only; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - 1,145 only.

· · 6 years ago

"In short, it's NOT just about dealer inventory level, "

That could account for higher # on volt in wsj.

As for pre-sold - they are actually pre-ordered, so won't be excluded. So, days supply is not that useful a figure.

· · 6 years ago

"As for pre-sold - they are actually pre-ordered, so won't be excluded" That's right, it would be good to combine this data with the % of pre-orders getting converted to sales, and exclude that number.

· · 6 years ago

Very small # of Leafs show up as orphans, so that % is probably higher than 95%.

Recently there are more '11 leafs available because of demos and model year switch over.

· · 6 years ago

I am supposed to get my leaf next week but Nissan phoned me to say that my dealer failed the Leaf certification process and they can't sell me the car through them. They also said that they have been trying for days to find another Nissan dealer willing to sell me the car but have not found any. So there is a car sitting in an US port, it cleared customs and is ready but Nissan can't find a dealer willing to take my money. No wonder sales are down with such an strange inefficient process.

· · 6 years ago

Meanwhile sales of Hybrids and EVs jumped in November to 27,897:

Hybrids restored their market share to close to 3% as availability have improved and this is despite still limited availability (now Thailand flood) and competition from growing numbers of new gas car models offering highway fuel efficiency figures that exceed the magic 40 miles per gallon.

· · 6 years ago

"General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says the automaker may redesign the battery cell of its Volt."

I wonder what effect this will have on Volt sales in the coming months?

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 6 years ago

@ indyflick

You gotta give thumbs up for the GM clowns in their PR team.

Not a redesign anymore. Just modify.

· · 6 years ago

So GM VP Mary Barra said it was not a cell level problem with the Volt but a stack level issue. That would be consistant with the coolant testing that was done on a thread a few days ago. The coolant was found to be not conductive enough to short a cell but was conductive enough to short the stack, given exposure to conductors or circuit boards by the coolant being dumped on the system during a rollover. The same testing on that thread showed that if the coolant were heated it would produce the kind of smoke that was seen in the federal crash test/rollovers. The smoke appeared first and then a fire later.

I am not saying this was the cause, but it is consistent with it, given a coolant leak from the crash. That same thread identified 2 non-conductive coolants that might fix the problem. There may be other things GM wants to do, however. Like insulate or seal certain things, depending on where the conductors were exposed.

· · 6 years ago

There are more than 2 millions Hybrids on the roads in USA. Has anyone heard about battery related fires in them?

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 6 years ago


You're generalizing. So far, the fire problem is specific to the Volt, and nothing else. Could signal a problem with just the Volt.

Just wait patiently for the investigation result. That's the best thing to do. No need to speculate, as none of us have any firm info - unless someone works for GM or NHTSA.

· · 6 years ago

@ Londo Bell

>> . Could signal a problem with just the Volt.... No need to speculate <<

OK, that's just funny. You first speculate that this could signal a problem with (just) the Volt. And conclude that there's no need to speculate.

What problem? A Volt caught fire a week after an engineered accident when the standard after-accident protocols were not followed. We have more than a quarter million gasoline car fires every year. Fires that often start immediately when the collision occurs. That often start when the occupants are IN the car. That start while the car is being driven. We accept them, for some reason. Hey. They carry gasoline! And we're OK with that. But we have a Volt fire a week after an accident, and gosh, we'd better redesign the vehicle.

Does this remind anybody of the Prius brake non-issue?

· · 6 years ago

"Does this remind anybody of the Prius brake non-issue?"

Yes, it does. There are trillions of oil money against electric vehicles so there are going to be lots of attacks against EVs - they will use any occasion or non-issue.

· Perry (not verified) · 6 years ago

In 2002 there were more than 329,000 car fires. This trend has varied from year to year. Most were accidental some were arson. I don't hear much about these statistics.

· · 6 years ago

Toyota plans to sell 15,000 a year of plug-in Prius, starting in 2012.

· Bayersthorn (not verified) · 6 years ago

It's now well documented that the Volt won't hit 2011 sales expectations. Your article correctly cites the battery issues as a factor reducing demand. This article proposes another factor: that GM didn't distribute enough Volts into markets to cover demand in the first place, and that other markets got too many. Interesting take if nothing else

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