Massive Nissan Leaf Group Buy Kiboshed by Manufacturer

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
massive nissan leaf group buy kiboshed by manufacturer

Just north of the Vermont border, you’ll find 3,712 very disappointed would-be Nissan Leaf owners.

A Montreal-based group seeking a low-priced bulk buy of Nissan’s electric car has had their dreams dashed by Nissan Canada, after the automaker seemed to grow wary of the group’s size, Quebec’s La Presse reports.

Organizer Bruno Marcoux sought to replicate the success of a similar group in Colorado, which recently scored 248 Leafs for an ultra-low price. Marcoux thought he was getting close — he had secured a group purchasing agreement with a local Montreal dealer, which, combined with government and incentives and manufacturer buy-in, could have dropped the per-unit price to under $20,000 CDN. (The Leaf’s MSRP in Canada, before incentives, is $32,698.)

No dice, said the manufacturer. “We do not support this type of group purchasing initiative,” Nissan Canada president Joni Paiva told La Presse yesterday.

Paiva’s communications director, Didier Marsaud, went further, saying, “Nissan Canada made no commitments in any manner whatsoever to the purchasing group of electric vehicles in Québec.”

Marsaud said that if the group members really want to buy a Nissan Leaf, well, they know where to find a dealer.

This doesn’t sit well with the group’s organizer. Besides having the buy-in from his dealer, Marcoux claims the automaker’s regional director initially supported the group buy attempt.

“The group then gained momentum and became too big for them,” he told La Presse. Nissan Canada denies pulling a U-turn on the deal.

Such a deal would have put Leafs on every street corner in Montreal, where gas is expensive and electricity is cheap. In fact, it would have more than doubled the country’s Leaf sales, which reached 1,233 last year.

The automaker clearly didn’t want to handle the extra volume or soak up the lost profits, or both. Selling a pile of Leafs at a near-loss clearly isn’t Nissan Canada’s idea of a good time, despite similar (though much smaller) group buys in the U.S.

Nissan Canada would much rather those car-hungry Montrealers buy the subcompact Micra, which starts at a rock-bottom MSRP of $9,988.

H/T to Goodwill!

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Olddavid Olddavid on Aug 24, 2016

    I agree with Nissan's thinking on this. 3700 units with no profit will never "make up on volume". I'm sure the numbers guys figured that they could send a "coupon" for a sale at invoice to all on the list and accomplish the same thing while spreading the traffic to more dealer points. Some sharp salesman should jump this list and start calling. Never a better qualified group.

    • Rudiger Rudiger on Aug 24, 2016

      While it's true there's no direct profit on Leaf sales, the whole point of these compliance vehicles is to take the loss but accumulate EPA credits which, in turn, can be made up on the sale of less fuel efficient, but much more profitable vehicles. Of course, these being Canadian vehicles, I don't know how credits are awarded (if at all). That may explain why Nissan allowed the Colorado deal to go through, but squelched the Quebec one. Plus, 248 versus 3,712 is quite a difference. Maybe if the number of Leafs had been more in line with what was sold in Colorado, Nissan Canada would have okay'd it.

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Aug 25, 2016

    In Japan where gasoline still costs a zillion dollars per gallon, Nissan clings the hopeless notion that the EV will win out.

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