Nissan only sells slightly more than 1,000 battery-electric powered Leafs in all of Canada per year, but a consumer “group buy” program could provide a huge sales jolt.
Bruno Marcoux, a Leaf owner from Montreal, was inspired by an electric vehicle association in Colorado, the South West Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).
Earlier this year, SWEEP negotiated a significant $8,000 discount for a group buy on the Leaf from Nissan North America ($5,000) and a local Nissan dealer ($3,000), resulting in sales of 248 units.
Combined with Colorado’s $5,000 EV tax credit and the $7,500 federal tax credit, the price came down to a sizzling low $12,130.
Marcoux isn’t sure he can secure a discount that matches the Colorado group buy, but the number of sign ups is encouraging.
After his idea was featured in La Presse, the largest newspaper in Quebec along with the EV blog, Roulez Electrique, sign ups rocketed from 750 10 days ago to more than 2,500 on Tuesday.
In Canada, the Leaf S with a 24-kilowatt hour battery pack starts at $32,698 (CAD) and the SV with a 30 kWh battery pack starts at $37,398.
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Should Marcoux be able to negotiate a sizeable discount with Nissan Canada, the price of a Leaf could be under $20,000 CAD with the $8,000 Quebec rebate.
If only half of the people who signed up purchase a car, that would double Nissan’s Canadian Leaf sales.
But wait, people in Canada and Colorado aren’t the only ones who like the idea of group sales.
Last week, a “Rev Up Wisconsin” group-buying program was launched by the Wisconsin Clean Cities in partnership with two electric utilities in Madison and two Madison Nissan dealerships.
This group buy will offer a savings of $8,200 for the Leaf. Adding the federal tax credit lowers the price to around $14,300.
If these new group buy programs are successful, look for more to follow.
Electric vehicle sales have fallen the last few years as cheap gas prices have shifted consumer-buying preferences from cars to SUVs and pickup trucks.
Nissan has seen year-to-date Leaf sales decline 37 percent from 2015, so they may like the group buy programs.