+1. Ford is very serious about hybrids and PHEVs (cf. Fusion/C-Max), and if the FFE takes off as a result of the Leaf issues, will be happy to ramp up production.Volusiano wrote:You're only looking at the narrow EV market. Don't forget to look at the PHEV market with the Volt, and the hybrid market with the Prius. I'm sure people turned off by Nissan don't just consider another EV only, when other semi-EV options are available like the Volt and the Prius. I'm sure there are a lot of people who consider the LEAF, learn about the battery issue and especially the way Nissan handles it, get turned off and decide to go the Volt route or Prius route for now because the other EV options are not viable right now.dgpcolorado wrote:Really? So what do we have for the other EVs?Volusiano wrote:...3. Customers are now turning away from Nissan and Nissan is starting to lose EV market share, despite having a head-start against other companies. This is evident in their pitiful sales figure against their own projection, until they had a fire sale last month...
October sales numbers:
Tesla Model S: 290, some trouble ramping up production
FFE: 112, a half-hearted effort if ever there was one
Mitsubishi "i": 30, they never seem to get serious about ramping up production and sales
Rav 4EV: 47, CARB compliance car limited to a few hundred per year in very limited areas
Honda FitEV: 16, CARB compliance car limited to a few hundred per year in very limited areas, lease only
BMW ActiveE: test cars only
That's losing market share? I always assumed that other EVs were going to come to market eventually. But the other EVs have a long way to go before they have significant market share compared to the LEAF. And it remains to be seen what will happen once Tennessee production starts.
While I agree that Nissan hasn't handled the hot climate problem well and wish they would do better, I do want to cut them some slack for coming up with the first mass market EV. The LEAF is a car I very much enjoy driving and it seems to work fine for many owners/lessees thus far.
Which of the other EVs do you see supplanting the LEAF in the next couple of years? The extraordinarily expensive Model S? The FFE?
Nobody is arguing that the Leaf is a not car most people enjoy driving and it works fine for many owners/leasees thus far. The point is that in light of Nissan's mishandling of the battery issue, potential owners and even current owners/leasees will prefer to go with a different option if viable options are available to them. Currently it's the Volt and Prius. But as more viable options are available, who do you think people will pick? Given 2 cars with similar pricing and options, one by a company with an already proven bad reputation for not backing up their customer, and one by a company whose reputation is unknown in terms of customer loyalty, who do think people are going to chose? I'd pick the car by the company with the unknown reputation, because it can't be worse than picking the one with an already known bad reputation.
Toyota remains big on hybrids, is moving towards PHEVs, has the only sub-$50k 100 mile BEV extant even if it's limited in both production volume and sales area, and has a generally excellent rep with customers. Honda has what IMO is the best combination of features/performance in any sub-$40k BEV, and even if it is a compliance car currently, it's a very good one. They also have what has been one of the top-selling cars for decades coming out in a PHEV version, and a customer service rep equal to Toyota's.
Added: That Honda, at least, feels that FCEVs are a better option than BEVs is true, and given the current glut of NG due to fracking they may well be right economically (leaving aside longer-term issues related to how we produce the hydrogen), but nevertheless they've put BEVs out there that are viable performance-wise, if no more affordable to the masses than the Leaf.
And GM is obviously in this in a big way, and has a powertrain that, while expensive, can be adopted painlessly by the masses and allow them to do the majority of their driving on the battery. The Spark is certainly a compliance car, but if they can bring it in much under $30k there may well be people who will opt for it. And unlike Nissan, GM has stood firmly behind their early adopter customers (who woulda thunk it?).
So, there are lots of options to the Leaf now: If the Leaf hadn't been on sale the early adopters would have bought themselves i's or Codas, and put up with their lower level of refinement.
It takes decades for a car company to live down a rep for bad treatment of its customers; just ask the people who've said that despite the Volt getting the highest ratings ever recorded for reliability and customer satisfaction, they wouldn't even consider one owing to past bad experiences with GM products and service.
Nissan's experience isn't going to be any different, and the damage to their reputation is entirely self-inflicted.