Meow, Nissan: Automaker Slaps Tesla in New Leaf Ad
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.
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.
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.
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?
Why wait for BMW when you can by Nissan Sentra right now and for $30,000 less.