If not for the fact that it is also sold in relatively more markets, the Nissan Leaf would have lost its global lifetime sales lead to the Chevrolet Volt a long time ago. In the US, the Volt has beaten its closest rival to 100,000 sales, a feat that seemed highly unlikely just two years ago.

Despite losing out in sales to the GM plug-in hybrid in 2012 and 2013, the Leaf came back strong and trounced the Volt with 30,200 sales to 18,805 in 2014.

This lead was extended to 2015 when it sold nearly 2,000 units more than the Volt. As such it’s a surprise loser in the race to 100,000 US sales against a vehicle that has virtually no advertising support from GM, the most spendthrift automaker in the market.

Everyone knew since last year that the Leaf was losing steam in the market, but its decline has gotten worse than expected. With poor monthly figures the Leaf has managed to reach 95,384 sales so far, and the hatch would have reached the 100k milestone first if it had replicated its 2015 performance.

Who knows – the Tesla Model S that’s currently leading in the plug-in sales charts could eventually be another surprise loser and concede to the Volt as well by the end of this year. It is only ahead by 2,000 sales, a gap that could be closed if Tesla’s admitted ‘production hell’ continues.

The Palo Alto automaker has claimed numerous times over the past year or so that it’s resolving and easing the production issues that it has been wrestling with, but they never seem to really recede. Could the more secure Chevy Volt take advantage of that?

Staff Reporter

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