Nissan Leaf, Toyota Camry hybrid flying off dealer lots
But just because of limited hybrid and EV supplies?
As the Nissan Leaf begins to hit new dealerships, spreading to all 50 states by March, it has become one of the fastest moving vehicles in the industry, averaging just 6 days on the dealer room floor. Similarly, the recently revamped Toyota Camry hybrid is lasting just 7 days according to Cars.com.
But is this a story of electrified demand, or limited supplies?
In terms of the Nissan Leaf, CEO Carlos Ghosn has in recent weeks admitted a bottleneck in Leaf battery supply chains. Coupled with the expansion into new markets, it seems the Leaf sale’s story is still one of limited supplies, rather than exceptional demand. However, as Nissan ramps up US battery production capabilities, while hitting all 50 states, a better story of Leaf potential should drop.
Likewise, the new 2012 Toyota Camry hybrid is similarly a case of pent up demand and limited supplies. Nevertheless, with a nice price reduction in Camry hybrid pricing and an increase in fuel economy — resulting in a very cost-effective package according to Forbes — the long term Camry hybrid sale’s story provides an interesting hybrid sale’s benchmark.
Can a hybrid based on a cheaper conventional offering compete? Can consumers buy into a 5 year payback period? Considering that consumers are holding onto their vehicles for almost 11 years, the upside cost-savings of a Camry hybrid seems a pretty good deal for buy-and-holders.
Obviously, the Camry hybrid isn’t going to top conventional Camry sales, but a nice uptick in Camry hybrid sales compared to last year would be a telling sign that Toyota has come closer to bridging the hybrid price premium gap.