NEW YORK -- The Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, a month after the company dropped its sticker price by $6,400, is on its way to setting a monthly U.S. sales record in March of more than 1,900 units, Nissan executives said today.
"There is a group of journalists that has already written the obituary for EVs, but I tell 'em every month they gotta put that obit away because it's not dead yet," Al Castignetti, vice president for Nissan Division, said in an interview today on the sidelines of the New York auto show.
In February, Nissan began selling the 2013 Leaf at a base price of $29,650, a $6,400 reduction from its 2012 model base price of $36,050. Both prices include shipping. The automaker has been able to cut the vehicle's cost in part by beginning production late last year at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn.
Of course, a sales record for the Leaf is still pretty small volume in the grand scheme of things. The Leaf's previous U.S. monthly high came last October when 1,579 were sold.
During the first two months of 2013, Nissan sold 1,303 Leafs in the United States, a gain of 13 percent over the same period last year. For 2012, Nissan sold 9,819 Leafs, up 2 percent from 2011.
"Our ambition on the Leaf is not 2,000 a month," said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a separate press conference.
"The target is much bigger than that," Ghosn said. "But we will have to be patient and resilient."
Philip Nussel and Dave Guilford contributed to this report