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Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:19 pm
by AlanC
Donald -- that's very odd to hear because a lot of the Nissan LEAF news I read about comes from the UK, especially since there's a Leaf factory right there! Perhaps with the population they take sales for granted? I also see a push to get EVs into India and China, so perhaps Canada (with a population smaller than California) just doesn't have the numbers to warrant a big effort. Again, that shouldn't excuse the individual dealerships from advertising.

Re BC Ferries: I called them and they said there are some sailings that have "commercial outlets" for trucks, but not consumer vehicle EV stations specifically. I don't know if they mean a 240V plug, but I wouldn't count on it. I believe if you're lucky enough to park close to where a 120V outlet is, you're probably allowed to plug in, barring someone yanking or stealing your EVSE. They did ask if I wanted to formally request that feature as they do take public requests and suggestions into consideration all the time, so I did. Hopefully more people ask that same question.

On a practical level, there are a good number of EV charge stations on Vancouver Island within about 2km from the terminals, so that could be a great destination for EV travellers!

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:14 am
by kcarmich
with 1000 Nissan LEAFs sold in 4 years in Canada, and they lost a tonne of money in 2012 when they brought in 600 LEAFs and sold only 200 of them, then had to deeply discount them to try to get rid of them, there is no way Nissan Canada could afford to do a strong marketing campaign. I have seen the odd commercial on places like the weather channel. Im sure they are still licking their wounds from 2012.

Their marketing budget is so small that it wouldn't even cover the cost of 1 FTE to work on it. The dealers get money from Nissan Canada for advertising the vehicles, but again, there is no money for the LEAF so why should the dealer spend their money trying to educate the population.

This is where it is up to us EVangelists to help. Support your local Electric vehicle association, get out and educate the population about the electric alternatives.

if Nissan Canada could sell more than 200 LEAFs a year, I'm sure we would start to see some marketing money available and we would see advertising for the LEAF.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:31 pm
by gboudreau
Big ad in two of the biggest french newspapers in Quebec:

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Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:56 pm
by kubel
Here in Michigan, outside of the Internet, I've only heard one EV advertisement on the radio (BMW i3) and one printed PHEV advertisement (Chevy Volt). That's it. These aren't items they can sell to the masses, so targeting advertisements at random people doesn't work.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:53 pm
by donald
Maybe not immediately, but they have to be seen to be ubiquitous, else they will never gain a level of awareness 'in the masses'. Persistent and long-term campaigns are required for big changes to people's thinking.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:32 pm
by JohnBike
This is definitely the time to kick some advertising into high gear. My 12-week experience with a Leaf S and the most recent non-rant posts indicate that the Leaf is mostly out of woods in quality, battery capacity, and overall performance. I would have purchased a Leaf last Fall, but this site scared me off. When our PT ("Pitifully Terrible) Cruiser told me to try again, I noticed better stories here on MNL, particularly if I avoided posts older than about three months.

However, if I were to rank the most important factor that won us over, it was our Bill Robertson Nissan salesman, Jeff Jackson. Jeff is one of those "knowledgeable" guys many of you wish you had known. In all fairness, Jeff has a good local market. Lots of techies at local DOE contractors, particularly Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Nissan also needs to advertise this car for what it can do best: make those short errand trips that are the worst use of an ICE car.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:23 pm
by evnow
Big problem in Canada is no federal incentives. Are there any incentives in BC at all ?

Just see the difference in Leaf sales in Seattle & Vacouver,BC - no real difference in climate, costlier gas in BC - yet a single dealer in Seattle area outsells all of Canada.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:20 pm
by AlanC
There was a BC incentive program that ran for a few years, but the money ran out just in March this year (a month before I started looking)! Only Ontario and Quebec have their programs still in place.

However, don't get too mad at the gov't... in Vancouver alone, there's almost 100 charge stations due to building regulations and green initiatives. "If you build it, they will come..."

So, since there are still great incentives south of the border, I found two local used car dealerships/brokers that are seeing a big demand (so they say) for Leafs imported from all over the States. If Nissan dealerships were smart, they'd be transferring them from US Nissan dealerships and selling them at a big price reduction, rather than just moping around the new Leafs that barely get looked at.

Re: LEAF low sales and lack of advertising

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:53 pm
by SmartElectric
AlanC wrote:
In talking to a few salespeople, they are very unenthusiastic about selling the car, and I've found most aren't very knowledgeable, even though they have to go through a LEAF training course to be able to sell them. One of them told me they don't make much money on them, so it's less of an incentive to spend time trying to sell them.
Here in Toronto, I was unable to find a Leaf dealer who was interested enough to return a phone call, let alone discount the outrageous difference between the Canadian cost and the US cost of the Leaf.

I bought a 2014 Smart Electric Drive for $19K all-in (Ontario has $8500 rebate, and Smart deducted $4000 off the MSRP which by the way is almost identical to the US MSRP).

Until more manufacturers match the US pricing for electric cars here in Canada, it's going to be slow going.

Oh, and everyone who gets a ride in my Smart is blown away and begins asking about what other electric cars are available. It will take time.

My neighbour has a Leaf, so there are two electric cars, and two houses with solar panels on my street, which is altogether too uncommon unfortunately.