I'm afraid I'd have to agree that's a likely scenario. I was very much on the fence during the six months it took Mitsu to deliver my i-MiEV. In the end, I'm glad Nissan never brought quite good enough a deal to Albuquerque during that time, because I would have been hard pressed to pay anywhere near as much for the i as for a Leaf. What made me nervous was that I did not have great confidence in Nissan's thermal management plan for their battery, and I think events in Arizona prove that my concerns were well-founded. I do hope there'll be a major re-think of all that for Nissan's next generation effort (the 2013 being a minor update), as well as addition of a fuel-fired heater (without which I don't think EVs make much sense for most drivers in northern climes).PV1 wrote:Maybe people wanted to snag up a MiEV before they would be wiped off the map by the new LEAF.
I really just like the i-MiEV much better, and find it more fun to sling around town than the plusher and bulkier Leaf; the Leaf is certainly the superior highway cruiser, but for heaven's sake, that's exactly what I don't want to be doing with my EV, isn't it? Fortunately for me, the big price difference at the time made the decision an easy one, but once the 2013 Leafs are readily available, that will all be over. It may be happening already - I haven't checked, but I'd imagine any Leaf SVs or SLs still on dealer lots would have to be discounted to 2013 prices, or even below given the arrival of the new S model. As for the Leaf S, it's clearly calculated to kill the i-MiEV, dropping SV features (LED headlights, hybrid heater) that some Leaf buyers would find critical (and so be driven to the higher-margin SV), but which the i-MiEV has never offered at any price. Once the Leaf S is sitting on dealer lots, the i-MiEV will cease to be competitive for all but the handful of buyers drawn to its idiosyncratic virtues and less concerned with its more obvious shortcomings.
I guess I'm saying that some temporary good sales news does not encourage me regarding the i-MiEV's prospects for survival in the U.S. The only thing that could do that would be news of a significant price drop to retake the low ground from the Leaf S. Since Mitsu raised the price in Canada, I fear that's just not in the cards. Mitsubishi isn't a charity, after all, and if they can't get their Japan-based costs down and don't consider selling i-MiEVs at a loss to be in their intermediate-term interest, such a price drop just wouldn't make sense. I hope that's not the way this goes - I'd be a lot happier if they could sell thousands of these and build up a decent market for parts and support. I'll just have to wait, bated breath, crossed fingers, and all.