By on April 22, 2016

leaf

Nissan is trying to play Tesla’s lengthy Model 3 waiting list to its advantage.

A print ad that landed in the country’s most-read newspapers this morning is playing up the Model 3’s wait times, according to Automotive News, and encouraging EV buyers to go the faster route by buying a Leaf.

There’s nothing subtle about the ad, which would have been green-lit by Nissan’s intimidating sales and marketing head Christian Meunier. Since taking on the role in January, Meunier has laid out an aggressive marketing strategy, meaning the Leaf spot could be the first of many cheeky ads.

“No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today,” states the ad, which goes on to ask, “Why wait when you can drive an all-electric Leaf today?”

For 2016, the Leaf’s range grows to 107 miles (on all but the base model), exactly half the projected range of a Model 3. Still, the first Model 3 won’t roll off Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly line until late 2017, and with 400,000 reservations, some buyers might be waiting a long time.

Nissan needs to sell Leafs any way it can, given the model’s falling sales status. Leaf sales have rolled downhill since reaching a high point in 2014, meaning a growing need for manufacturer incentives. Nissan tells EV buyers via the ad that the automaker will give them $4,000 cash back for the purchase, which is better than having to “drop $1,000 to stand in line.”

There’s also a ridiculous amount of incentives available if you live in the right state, like Colorado, for instance.

Will Nissan’s EV ad gambit pay off? Many Tesla buyers want a Tesla and nothing else, but Nissan really has nothing to lose by trying.

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45 Comments on “Meow, Nissan: Automaker Slaps Tesla in New Leaf Ad...”


  • avatar
    stodge

    No one covets a Nissan Leaf, seriously. Compare the looks and performance. It’s simple. Nissan is desperate.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Yep this. Nissan must think that we cant do maths and our eyes are painted on.

      Moreso… arent these big car companies downright embarrassed that an upstart like Tesla can make beautiful cars that have acceptable range that people line up to buy?

      I know why they dont want to compete directly but dont ordinary people wonder why Tesla can do this but the trillion dollar combined capitalised global ICE car companies can’t?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Somebody at Nissan must have thought an electric car needed to look kind of unique / weird to draw buyers. Tesla acceptance seems to indicate they just want it to look cool.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    It’s sort of like Hardees running an ad campaign next to the drive thru for Chick Fil A telling hungry folks that there’s no wait next door for a Hand Breaded Chicken Fillet sandwich.

    I’m sure yours is fine. But I think I’ll wait just the same.

    Aaaand now I’m hungry.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I hope the rare Chick-fil-a food truck is rolling around downtown today. Probably not. Damn you! At least I’ve got dinner plans now.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I have to admit to Chick-Fil-A conflict.

        That sandwich is YUM. But my kid is gay.

        Ah well…I changed my eating habits completely about four months ago, so fast food is out anyway. Guess that fixes it!

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Im gay too, but I still eat there ocassionally. It doesnt bother me that the (old as the hills) founder has views that are seriously out of date. Obviously I dont agree, but I do understand that its his right to think and speak what he wants.

          I stopped by my parents today, they are as anti-gay as Mr. Cathy (sp?). Its only possible for us to interact if we ignore the elephant in the room.

          When John is in the car snd I stop by, I have to park on the neighbor’s little field entry way, off the property. They refuse to meet him, they are apalled when I mention him, our plans to get married, how happy we are, how great Im treated, etc. Its sad, but their generation simply didnt accept stuff like this. At least they have no desire to harm gay people, at least not physically, and thats more than I can say for many others around the world.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            JohnTaurus , if you’re homosexual, why would you patronize a business and enrich it when its owner/founder detests homosexuals?

            You might be sadomasochistic or have those tendencies, also.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I don’t get the whole Chick-fli-a fascination. To me it’s just another over brined chicken breast fast food sandwich. On par with McD’s or Wendy’s, but… no Wendy’s sub minute order to payment drvethrough times. If I want to wait, I can get actually GOOD food, so ??? what am I missing?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The only good thing about the Leaf is that, when you’re inside the car, driving it, you don’t see much of the outside. The commercial that made me LOL was the one with the couple going out on a date in one, and the background singer is singing “passion”. The Leaf generates less passion than a washing machine.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Why wait? How about because it looks like a Nissan leaf?

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    Why wait for a diamond when you can have a lump of coal right now?

    Maybe I can get Nissan to pay me to take a 2 year lease…

  • avatar

    Instead of just building an EV that looks like a regular car they go and produce these ugly ridiculous bug-eyed ugly cars.

    Put the LEAF tech in an ALTIMA.

    Put the LEAF tech in a MAXIMA.

    Why keep making small, ugly, ridiculous looking UGLY cars?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      BTSR, the problem with putting “Leaf tech” in other cars is that for a pure EV to be workable, it has to be a) a tiny subcompact with a low curb weight, like the Spark, or b) purpose-built, like a Tesla (or a Leaf, for that matter). Conventional platforms are too heavy to work for true EV-only.

      If Nissan could restyle the Leaf, they’d sell a lot more of them. I don’t know why they chose to make it so darn ugly.

      • 0 avatar

        If TESLA can do it…Nissan can do it.

        They are bigger.

        No excuses.

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          BTSR,
          To be fair the leaf is a whole lot cheaper than any Telsa now on sale or on sale in the next 5 years, ugly yes but a hell of a lot cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yes, Tesla can do it…because their cars are all clean-sheet EV designs. It’s a lot harder to ‘convert’ a conventional platform to being an EV car, and I’d say the only manufacturer that’s done it is – surprise! – GM. As detestable looking as the Spark is, it delivers more than acceptable performance and good range. How did they do that from a “standard” platform? Simple, it’s a tiny, lightweight car to begin with.

          But if you want something bigger, or a midsize EV, it has to purpose built, otherwise it’ll be way too heavy, and the range and performance won’t be acceptable.

          No doubt you’re right when you say Nissan has the tech know how to do it, but simply stuffing a Maxima with an electric motor isn’t workable.

          Eventually I think there will be a market for larger EVs, but only once the tech matures to the point where they won’t cost as much as a Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        NexWest

        Because, truth be told, they, Nissan, don’t want electric cars.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, they can try to compare the Leaf, but…

    If they want to sell more of these, then they should do an immediate restyling – the Leaf is an eyesore (apologies in advance to all the other B&B who own one, but you know it’s true).

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Lol. Tesla needs to respond with: buying half the range? You should only be chragrd half the price….wake me up when leaf is 17,500 before gov rebates.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      But a customer pays out the door price on eiither, and with the 4k off along with the lost opportunity cost of a few years on 1k on the other side, half may even overstate the cost of a Leaf. Besides, by the time the 3 is actually delivered to someone not even on the list yet, the Leaf you buy today will be … old. Maybe the next add will be, drive a Leaf whle you wait for your Model 3; you’ll save the planet faster.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Nissan lost one of their biggest markets in the US when Georgia killed their electric vehicle tax credit. Now I hear that the Georgia legislature is reevaluating their decision. Forget investing in better styling and increased range, “investing” in the Georgia legislature has to be MUCH cheaper, and yield MUCH better results!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nissan should try the reliability angle instead, which Teslas are not known for.

    My 12 Leaf was trouble-free, except for its degrading battery. Tesla continues to struggle with the Model X.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/21/tesla-model-x-glitches-lock-owners-out-of-cars-suv

  • avatar
    seth1065

    With gas prices where they are sales of Leaf’s are gonna suffer simply as that.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    DID THE NISSAN LEAF JUST TELL THE TESLA MODEL 3 TO STEP OUTSIDE?

  • avatar
    ldl20

    Don’t quite get the title…perhaps instead of “Meow,” it could have been something like, “Rrrerrr.”

    Think about the Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets into “catfights” and even the police say this to her when she complains about an aggressive co-worker.

  • avatar

    Seems like a benign ad to me. Calling it a slap is a bit of a straw man.

    Reality is whatever you want it to be I guess. I will have been commuting to work in a Leaf for six or seven, possibly eight years by the time anyone can just walk onto a Tesla lot and buy a Tesla 3.

    Always cracks me up to hear guys bashing the looks of other cars and trucks. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Does it matter to a Tesla owner that I think the Teslas are ridiculous looking? In my mind, they all belong in a 80’s era James Bond movie. I’d be embarrassed driving one. But my opinion only matters to me, not to a Tesla owner. Not everyone wants a Tesla, in fact, when considering that there are over 300,000,000 car owners out there, you can argue that almost nobody wants one, to more exact, using the number of down payments to do the calculation, about one tenth of one percent want one.

    Get a grip guys …it’s a car.

  • avatar
    mcs

    My Leaf has been good, but it doesn’t compare to a Model 3. The Leaf battery is much improved. I have 28,500 miles and last night the twelfth bar got me 10+ miles last night and this morning the car fully charged was showing 115 miles. I’m expecting the hammer to drop at some point, but for now, it’s still perfectly healthy. The handling and performance can be tweaked if you have connections to get JDM upgrade parts. The upgrade to 215-70R17s is available in the US and really helps the handling. Most of the time, the 100 mile range is overkill. The car was purchased as a high mileage per year commuting machine and keeps the miles off of the toys. I’ve been driving the crap out of it, so I’m getting what little money I paid for it back quickly.

    The downside is that even though the 100-mile range is overkill most of the time for me, 200 miles would kill my need for ever needing public charging. That’s a good thing since Nissan’s dealer based charging network sucks. Some dealers won’t let customers from other dealers use them, and others ICE the spots for displaying cars for sale. Hours can be an issue too. Tesla’s charging network independent of dealers is far more useable. Even though I’m not sure I’d really need one, it’s good to know there is a supercharger available if I did.

    As far as the Leafs styling goes, I worked in France for a while and it reminds me of the Citroens back there, so I’m not offended by its looks. Besides, if my son ends up buying a new iA, when he parks next to it, the iA will make the Leaf look beautiful.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Nissan should try a clever lease program … lease the Nissan for as long as it takes for you to get your Tesla. The lease would end when you get your Tesla. It might work out well for Nissan, since people waiting for a Tesla think it’ll be a 2-year Leaf lease and so will pay 2-year lease rates whereas reality is that they’ll be paying 2-year type rates for 4 or 5 years!

  • avatar
    LJD

    If Tesla can make a decent electric sedan you would think Nissan engineers could make one too. They should drop the Leaf and make a compact sedan with some racy styling and at least a 200 mile range. Tesla can’t be the only one that can make decent batteries. 100 mile range cars just don’t sell.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Nissan senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura announced at Geneva that they’d expand beyond the Leaf within 5 years. My guess is that they are going to revive the Infinity EV sedan concept now that the Model 3 has received so many orders. Nissan is also going to a 200 mile plus battery with the next Leaf.

      Those Model 3 orders are a tempting target, but they may never get them. Nissan has a big handicap in that it’s charging network is poorly implemented. They depend on the dealers to provide locations, but the dealers restrict availability, or in at least one case that I’ve seen, use the charging spaces to exhibit used nono-electric cars. If Nissan had a decent charging network the 100 mile cars would be great. Even with a 100 mile car, I’ve been from Boston to all of the New England states except Connecticut.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    To be fair, it is probably cheaper to buy 2 used leaves and put them at work / home and charge them at night at both locations, regardless of how many bars of batteries lives left.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      What’s the pricing like on used Leaf cars? Might be a great starter car for my grandkids to bomb around in, high school commute, etc. Low daily mileage even if the battery is dying. Get a Wrapify deal for it and maybe turn into positive cash flow?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      One of my work locations is 100 miles round trip. I’ve been having no trouble traveling that distance by charging at the work location. If the battery were to drastically drop in capacity to let’s say 60 miles, there are three CHAdeMO chargers nearby with two within 40 miles of home.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I’m considering a leaf vs. used C-max showdown (spreadsheet and test drives) to be my most reasonable “if replacement becomes necessary” options. If I can’t stand either, then spreadsheets be damned, time to look at more $ options. The Tesla still seems more a style/status statement than an actual transportation or envvironmental choice. I use purchase price as a proxy for environmental damage caused in production via material sourcing and processing. It’s not perfect, but what’s better?

  • avatar

    Why wait for BMW when you can by Nissan Sentra right now and for $30,000 less.

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