Unveiled in September, and on sale from Oct. 1 in Japan, Nissan yesterday reported 14,000 sales counted after the 2018 Leaf’s first month of sales to Japan and Europe.

This news beats prior reports of an also-impressive 9,000 orders to the two markets, and Nissan shed light on a holdback that prevented delivery and registration of a number of Leafs otherwise counted as fully bought and paid for.

Pundits can decide the significance of this number, but 14,000 units including pre-orders before October and sales in October stands in stark contrast to the Chevy Bolt EV’s 579 sales its first month in December 2016, and an estimated 30 Model 3s its first month after a ceremonial delivery event.

It also compares well to those two cars’ sales cumulative sales to date. After the California and Oregon launch of the Bolt in the U.S. and the Ampera-e in April in Europe, the vehicle has fewer than 20,000 sales, and Tesla’s Model 3, despite off-the-charts projections by Tesla now delayed by a “bottleneck” stands at an estimated 370 sales in the U.S.

This month Tesla CEO Elon Musk updated a projection formerly made for this year, saying by early next year, it will be producing 5,000 units monthly for global distribution, but Nissan has shown what it can do off the bat without nearly the amount of hiccups and drama.

Nissan’s report of 14,000 Leaf sales was given along with its quarterly results briefing in Yokohama, and domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino told journalists it has sold 9,600 Leafs in Japan and another source has stated over 4,000 in Europe. Hoshino also added dimension to a previous report that 3,629 had been registered in Japan, because Nissan was dealing with a bottleneck of its own.

Nissan domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino: “Sold 9,600 Leafs in Japan.” (c) Bertel Schmitt

That would be Nissan’s being “in the throes of an inspection scandal that continues to make headlines in the island nation, and which is largely not understood elsewhere,” said the Daily Kanban which sat in on the briefing.

The Japanese automaker defines sales as fully committed-to paid sales.

“In Japan, when a car is sold, the order goes to the factory, where the car is produced to spec, and when that is done, it is registered by the dealer, and the customer takes possession,” wrote the Daily Kanban. “These are firm orders, no $1,000 refundable deposits.”

A discrepancy was previously reported of “registrations” reported by the Japanese government via Japan’s Automobile Dealer Association versus paid sales, which Nissan is counting.

The orders are for cars considered internally by Nissan as fully sold, but not necessarily delivered. Only 3,629 in Japan were delivered because of the slowdown, and on Oct. 19, Nissan had stopped all Japanese market deliveries, cutting its number of deliveries in half.

On Tuesday, Nissan resumed shipping from five of its six plants, and reportedly its very temporary bottleneck has been cleared.

Hoshino told reporters one should expect a huge leap of Nissan’s official December registrations because the first week of November was also adversely affected.

Daily Kanban