12:22pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Business

Mid-State Built Nissan LEAF Sees 280 Percent Sales Growth

DETROIT (AP/WMOT) — Franklin based Nissan North America, one of Middle Tennessee’s biggest employers, is reporting its best sales ever during the month of March.

Nissan says sales were up a full percentage point in March year-over-year. The company says the all-electric Nissan LEAF now being built at the company’s Smyrna plant, saw sales jump by more than 280 percent year-over-year.

Nissan's Bryan Brockman says a recent drop in the price of the new LEAF seems to be getting a lot of attention.

“The starting price on that new entry model is $28,800 before any state or federal incentives. So the effective price for somebody walking in an buying the LEAF now is down around $20,000 or maybe even a little less in areas like Tennessee where you have state incentives."

Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and General Motors are also reporting sales increases in March, with some reporting their best monthly totals since the start of the Great Recession in 2007.

Analysts say low interest rates, an improving employment picture and flashy new vehicles are luring buyers.