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Nissan Turns Over Older Leafs to Fit Buyers' Budgets

By: Jeff Youngs, 9/13/2013
Beginning this month, consumers will be able to purchase used all-electric Leaf compact cars through Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicle program. The 5-seat Leaf, with an estimated range equivalent of 106 mpg in city traffic, has been sold or leased in the United States for nearly 3 years (since late 2010).

To kick off the used Leaf program, Nissan will offer special finance terms with interest rates as low as 0.9% APR for 36 months through the company's captive finance arm, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. The CPO model package will include the existing  Leaf's original 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile coverage for battery capacity loss below 9 bars of capacity. As part of the program, Nissan will extend the EV system and powertrain warranty coverage to 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

To qualify as a CPO vehicle, a Nissan Leaf must have been driven fewer than 60,000 miles and be in operation for fewer than 5 years from its original in-service date. The EV must also have a clean Carfax vehicle history report and pass a 167-point quality inspection at the dealership. Another requirement will be for Leafs to have a minimum of 9 out of 12 bars of battery life, based on the vehicle battery capacity level gauge.

By mid-May of this year, Nissan reported that it had sold 25,000 Leafs in the United States. Through the first 8 months of 2013, Nissan already sold more Leafs than in all of calendar 2012. Year-to-date Leaf sales, including vehicles from Japan and those produced in the U.S. at a manufacturing and battery plant in Smyrna, TN, totaled 14,123. In the same 8 months of 2012, Nissan delivered 4,228 Leafs in the U.S. market, according to data from J.D. Power's Power Information Network(R) (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Nissan claims that Leaf sales in the Unted States have risen 335% from a year ago since launching the 2013 model in March. The company also says demand for EVs is expanding outside of the West Coast hub to markets in other parts of the country, such as Atlanta, Georgia, which is the third-largest market due to the abundance of HOV lanes in the state, as well as incentives of up to $5,000 awarded by the state for buying an EV.

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