After a disappointing start to the year, Nissan has conceded that its Leaf EV is "falling short" of sales expectations. Nissan originally aimed to sell 20,000 units of the Leaf electric in 2012, but so far has only managed a quarter of that goal.
The Leaf posted a relatively successful 2011, prompting Nissan to increase the EV's sales target to 20,000 for 2012. However, through the first nine months of the year Nissan has sold just 5,212 Leafs – down 27.8 percent from last year – leaving that 20,000 unit goal well out of reach.
"We're a little disappointed," Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president of product planning, told The Detroit News. "The uptake isn't as strong as we first hoped."
Palmer added that Nissan remains committed to doubling its electric vehicle sales, but failed to specify a timeframe for that proposed milestone.
Meanwhile, the Leaf's main competitor, the Chevrolet Volt, posted its best sales month ever in September with 2,851 deliveries. Chevy has recorded 16,348 Volt sales so far this year, marking a 300 percent improvement over the same period in 2011.
But despite the Volt's improved sales performance, the plug-in is still well off Chevrolet's initial sales estimates. Chevy originally forecasted 45,000 Volts sales for the year, but retracted that prediction early in 2012.