Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told Bloomberg Television yesterday the automaker will fall short of its sales target for the all-electric Leaf.
In an interview in Mexico City, Ghosn said, "The forecast we have given ourselves for the year will not be reached," The Detroit News reported.
Nissan goal was to double the number of Leaf sales, from 9,679 in 2011 to 20,000 this year. Despite a strong October, it has sold only 6,791 Leafs in 2012.
The electric vehicle industry has suffered a number of setbacks in recent months: Fisker has delayed production of its plug-in Atlantic to late 2014; battery maker A123 went bankrupt; studies on the environmental impact of battery production and electricity generation have dampened enthusiasm.
At the same time, Tesla's electric Model S has raked in accolades of late, named Car of the Year by Motor Trend, and winning a positive preliminary review from Consumer Reports.
The weak sales for Nissan have not held other automakers back from entering the electric market: GM just announced it aims to put 500,000 hybrid and electric vehicles on the road by 2017, and Chrysler is about to debut its first electric car, the Fiat 500e.
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- Carlos Ghosn