SageBrush
Posts: 5265
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:12 pm

frontrangeleaf wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am
Hmmm. My take is different.
Well said.

Back in 2010 the LEAF was the face of cheery optimism from a car manufacturer on the leading edge of technology. Ghosn had a multi-billion dollar bill to prove it. And yet fairly quickly Nissan dialed way back its EV R&D and seemed content to try and recoup its investment by squeezing the LEAF for every sale possible from lagging but cheap(er) tech.

Why the change of heart from innovator to bean counter ? Lots of guesses, perhaps some of them have merit:
1. The passive battery under performed its roadmap and Nissan could not/ would not change direction (read: hot climate failure)
2. The NEC/Nissan battery alliance fell behind in the battery tech front
3. Ghosn over-estimated the EV adoption curve kinetics in general, and the ~ $30k market specifically for commuter cars
4. A roadmap predicated on step-wise improvement in the LEAF battery was a market failuret

---
I was at a Chevy dealer last week checking out the Bolt. The salesperson saw us drive up (important detail for them) and commented on my 'Tesla hybrid.' He had no idea of the details about fast charging and could not estimate miles of range added per minute for the Bolt. He made me realize just how far out of mainstream EVs still are. You have to leave the forum and talk to average folk TODAY to grasp just how silly they think a $30k, 75 - 150 mile range EV is. To them it is a joke. Now dial that back 10 years.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/18: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/18: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
09/20: 54.3 Ahr; 38k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

cwerdna
Posts: 11135
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:44 pm

SageBrush wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:12 pm
Back in 2010 the LEAF was the face of cheery optimism from a car manufacturer on the leading edge of technology. Ghosn had a multi-billion dollar bill to prove it. And yet fairly quickly Nissan dialed way back its EV R&D and seemed content to try and recoup its investment by squeezing the LEAF for every sale possible from lagging but cheap(er) tech.

Why the change of heart from innovator to bean counter ? Lots of guesses, perhaps some of them have merit:
1. The passive battery under performed its roadmap and Nissan could not/ would not change direction (read: hot climate failure)
2. The NEC/Nissan battery alliance fell behind in the battery tech front
3. Ghosn over-estimated the EV adoption curve kinetics in general, and the ~ $30k market specifically for commuter cars
Agreed on this.

On the recouping investment front, I believe the e-Power series hybrids (https://insideevs.com/news/342021/nissa ... dd-a-plug/) use the same motor as Leaf. Also, notice the e-Power versions use the same shifter as Leaf: https://www3.nissan.co.jp/vehicles/new/ ... erior.html. (I saw and sat in these in Japan before.)

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/1 ... erena.html and https://www3.nissan.co.jp/vehicles/new/ ... tions.html mention EM57. EM57 seems to be the motor used for '13+ Leaf including current Leaf Plus (https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic. ... 77#p552277). 40 and 62 kWh tabs of https://www3.nissan.co.jp/vehicles/new/ ... tions.html confirm this.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

frontrangeleaf
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:07 am
Delivery Date: 08 Jul 2019
Location: Denver Area

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:38 am

"Tesla hybrid" is good. Wow. Talk about clueless. How can anyone actually in the car business be that far under a rock?

Sadly, I have encountered far too many sales people at dealers of various brands who have absolutely no idea what their products can do, how they work, what they might be good for or not. It's astonishing. I used to do technical sales, in another life. Our products sold for 1/20th what a car goes for, and we knew them inside and out. People came to us for our expertise.

At this point, if you don't know your product, I refuse to deal with you. I'm done with that. The world is full of car dealers. And cars. No need to put up with that.
Empty-nesters - NW Denver-Boulder Area

2019 Leaf SL Plus
2015 Audi Q5 TDI
2007 BMW Z4 3.0Si
2012 VW GTI

SageBrush
Posts: 5265
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:25 am

frontrangeleaf wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:38 am
"Tesla hybrid" is good. Wow. Talk about clueless. How can anyone actually in the car business be that far under a rock?
I took it in stride and just commented that the car is an EV. We had a much longer discussion when he told me that the Bolt is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. I presumed that he was just misinformed rather than lying. It was actually a bit funny (and sad) because he kept showing me google results on his phone and I kept telling him that his search results were outdated. I think he finally realized I knew what I was talking about after I described in detail the tax credit allowance and phase-out. It probably also helped him to hear that GM and Tesla are in the same boat.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/18: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/18: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
09/20: 54.3 Ahr; 38k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

DougWantsALeaf
Posts: 2079
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 pm
Delivery Date: 18 May 2013
Leaf Number: 407811
Location: Chicago North Side

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:28 pm

Question. Why do Nissan and GM keep their MSRP so high, if they are just going to massively discount. They would sell many more with a 25/30k msrp vs a 38/44k msrp. Same purchase price out the door.
2019 S Plus (98.06% SOH) & 2019 SV Plus (94.77% SOH) Both Silver
2013 Leaf SV sold 2019 with 11 bars
100 Mile Club Member (Number 87)
Max Miles on 13 Leaf: 120 miles
Max Miles on 19 SV+: 242 Highway miles @ 4.5 miles/kWh

salyavin
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:51 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Dec 2019
Leaf Number: 318726
Location: Littleton , CO

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:36 pm

I agree with you Doug, I hear all the time that it costs as much as a model 3 but in reality there are many discounts that Tesla does not have. I think they would sell many more just setting a lower price in the first place.

cwerdna
Posts: 11135
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:10 pm

DougWantsALeaf wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:28 pm
Question. Why do Nissan and GM keep their MSRP so high, if they are just going to massively discount. They would sell many more with a 25/30k msrp vs a 38/44k msrp. Same purchase price out the door.
I agree, esp. when https://www.chevrolet.com/electric/bolt ... price/trim already assumes an $8500 discount (which is the minimum discount now) and that GM EVs/PHEVs are no longer eligible for $7500 Federal tax credit unlike all non-Teslas.

I think it would help them a lot to drop the price so that it looks more price competitive vs. Model 3. Also, would make Bolt look better vs. all non-GM and non-Tesla EV/PHEVs.

Right now, Bolt base MSRP is a nutty $37,495 and $41,895 for Premier trim. Nobody in the right mind is paying anywhere near that.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

SageBrush
Posts: 5265
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:13 am

High msrp and discounts is typical for cars, and not just EVs. Governments certainly appreciate it since taxes are higher.
As for why the manufacturers act this way, I'm not sure.

Part of it is that most consumers do not really have much of a clue regarding fair value and instead rely of getting a "deal." That can be a lower cost than across the street, or simply less than the initial asking price. Starting from a high price gives the salesperson room to maneuver. It would be a rare consumer who gives a first offer of $15k for a $35k msrp car, even though that would be ~ symmetric.

Another part of this has to do with leases. Manufacturers are highly motivated to set the game starting from msrp.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/18: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/18: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
09/20: 54.3 Ahr; 38k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

jlsoaz
Posts: 810
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2012
Leaf Number: 24218
Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:02 am

frontrangeleaf wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am
Hmmm. My take is different. I think they built a car that would only ever be attractive to a very small audience. Leaf gen 1 was never going to be a crowd pleaser, even if it had had much greater range. Its styling was too provocative. Given its functional limitations, all the more so.
[...]
My recollection is they were pretty clear that they anticipated a certain number of sales, and the numbers, overall, were well below those anticipations.
frontrangeleaf wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am

We won't know about the latter factor, because Tesla had redefined the market and its expectations by the time Nissan finally got around to giving the gen 1 a bigger battery. They couldn't go really big without offering a completely different driving experience ala Tesla, with a price point to match. Different vehicle and market entirely.

But I also don't think this was lost on the strategists at Nissan in the beginning. They knew they were delivering a vehicle with serious functional constraints. I can't believe that their focus group studies would have told them otherwise. This suggests that the provocative styling was deliberate - Leaf gen 1 was never intended as a mainstream car. I think it might be considered a success if measured against those upfront expectations. The market changed out underneath them.
Notwithstanding styling considerations, again, strategists at Nissan anticipated sales that did not materialize.
frontrangeleaf wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am
Which raises an interesting question. Imagine looking forward from the beginning, what were their expectations at the time? Did they think that battery tech would advance faster than it did? Were they testing the waters to gauge market acceptance (odd experiment if I'm right with my conjecture above - what can you learn about market acceptance when delivering a small niche vehicle?) Were they just wanting to mitigate the development costs while pushing battery and battery manufacturing development? Did they even consider marketing a hot EV sports car priced high end?

Innovation arises out of the creative, incremental re-combination of existing and adjacent insights and technologies. It almost never happens how Hollywood describes it. It is fundamentally a non-linear, complex process, one that defies predictability. That is, it is most amenable to experimental discovery - safe-to-fail experiments instead of fail-safe design. In a manufacturing space, particularly one that requires enormous capital expenditures and long lead times, this is a daunting challenge. All the more reason to give Tesla props. What they've accomplished is quite remarkable.
[....]
Ghosn at some point years later went on record as indicating that he didn't think folks could have anticipated, without selling the cars and getting the feedback, that a key point was that the range needed to be beyond a certain point. I think it was 300 km or so. I thought this was telling. He actually didn't get it up front, and he actually thought in the old school way that you had to [edited] sell a lot of vehicles [/ end edit] do to understand your customer on such a basic point.... there was no other way to anticipate the needs of the customers. At the time I thought to myself that they sort of slightly seemed to understand that longer range might have high marginal utility to some customers, but they also seemed to think that it was ok to drag that question out for years and years, instead of getting on top of it with a greater sense of urgency.

If I recall, they did experiment at some point in the early 2010s I think with a 2x24 kWh pack configuration but that never made it, at the time. They also talked up (around 2013?) Infiniti North America offering a luxury BEV, but it became clear (at least, in my view) that the leaders at Infiniti did not really understand what that nascent market was about and why it might be important for them to pursue it. I'm also not sure that Nissan thought it was capable of the battery pack technology to achieve ranges that customers would pay luxury sedan prices for. I don't know if this was a matter of having the vision to commit resources to that key point, at the time, or whether they did try to do that.
Last edited by jlsoaz on Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/ba ... hp?vid=229
2017-October: bght 2013 Volt
will buy 150+ mile BEV when they become less expensive on used market
opinions expressed are my own

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 15481
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: some comments on Nissan EV Strategy

Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:53 am

The reason that the Gen I Leaf failed to sell well is simple: it was promoted by Nissan salescreatures as a "100 mile range" car, and it was not anything like that in normal driving - more like 60 miles, with even less in frigid weather. Then, when the capacity loss issue became known, that was the last nail in the coffin for good sales figures, as bad word of mouth takes a while, but it does work to hurt sales.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Return to “Business / Economy and Politics”