25 June 2014

Nissan Leaf Price Slashed In NZ

So quiet and clean even the wildlife didn't hear or get a whiff of it

You would think that 'clean, green' New Zealand would be promoting cars that were environmentally friendly such as electric. Most power here is hydroelectric which is ideal for such cars. Unfortunately no, but as a free market economy, cars with electric propulsion have to go it alone. The price has been prohibitive and range limitations rule it out for many potential purchasers, such as myself.

Nissan has decided to take the bull by the horns and slashed the price of the Leaf model. It was selling for an eye watering NZ$69,700 but is now NZ$39,990. That is some reduction and puts it into close proximity to fossil fuel powered cars of the same size. As NZ imports used cars from Japan, it made little sense to buy new when late model imported Leafs were much cheaper. In Japan such cars do get subsides when bought new so late model cars can be landed here well below our new price. This probably is the reason for the decision.

I would love to go electric, but a single car family in a town hundreds of kilometres from other bigger urban centres makes it impractical. Still, I like the bold step and it should translate into much stronger sales. According to the LTSA, 11 were sold in NZ in 2012 and 3 in 2013 so they were not flying out of car dealer's yards.

The number of Nissan dealers who will sell and service them is up to nine, all city based dealers I would imagine.  Any new way of doing things is difficult to establish, to be successful enough to pay its way. However, fortune favours the brave they say, and such a price realignment deserves to do well.

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