January U.S. auto sales were generally down, and deliveries of 918 Chevy Volts, 41 Cadillac ELRs, and 1,252 Nissan Leafs were down too, but Nissan still found reason to celebrate.
“Sales of the all-electric Nissan Leaf set a January record and increased 92.6 percent to 1,252, which means that Leaf now has broken records for 11 straight months,” said spokesperson Paige Presley today. “With Leaf, we see unique seasonality with some December pull-ahead demand based on federal and state tax incentives.”
In terms of bottom-line numbers, the Volt and Leaf were down by more than half respectively compared to December.
Last month the Leaf sold an all-time record 2,529 units, and Volt sold 1,920. The ELR had a trickle of sales the last week of December too, and accounted for six units.
GM noted the month was down – historically “the industry’s lowest.”
“Extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest and Northeast this January further depressed GM and industry sales,” said GM in a statement.
“The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles is expected to be an estimated 15.3 million units, down from 15.6 million in December,” said GM. “GM expects light vehicle sales for the year to be in a range of 16 million to 16.5 million units, which would be the industry’s best year since 2007, when 16.2 million vehicles were sold.”
In a brief phone interview, GM’s Jim Cain, who handles GM’s sales reporting said the automaker has not otherwise set a specific sales forecast for the Cadillac ELR. It is, he says, a “specialty” vehicle with intent to “build the brand.”
While 41 ELR sales was low, GM has otherwise said it has no major expectations for the ELR’s volume. January was the first full month for the new car, and the month was low for even established vehicles.
Making the most of things, Nissan documented continuing positive trends for its Leaf.
“San Francisco reclaimed the No. 1 spot from Atlanta as the nation’s top-selling Leaf market,” said Paige. “Atlanta hung on to the No. 2 spot with Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego rounding out the top 5. San Diego and Dallas-Fort Worth were particular hot-spots.”