LEAF Demographic? Old and Color Blind.

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Alright, there is a little tongue and cheek in that headline. And I am also smart enough to know that I should convey that my message that follows for this piece is not-so-serious…after all, I really appreciate the people who do take the time to come here everyday and read the blog. No need to disturb/upset the majority of people that have put up their $99 reservation.

Fair disclaimer out of the way, lets get down into it.

The average age of a Nissan LEAF buyer (up until this point) is north of 50. More than a third are collecting pensions. Now why is this? The LEAF would seem to be a car for the ‘next generation,’ yet less than 5% are in their 20s.

One has to believe that the amount of ‘over 60′ buyers will only increase, as their grandkids come to their Florida over the summer, and show grandad how to use the computer to reserve his new LEAF…while the 20-somethings should have already been “up in Nissan’s face” putting down their $99.

So, will the LEAF be making a run at Buick’s crown for the vehicle for the aged? (now down to ‘only’ 65 from a high of 72, thanks to Tiger Woods, and now the Buick Enclave) No. Not likely.

I don’t think it is the car itself that is to blame for the high grey hair count of hand raisers. It is strictly the price. We are talking about a car starting at over $32,500, and you are looking at putting out probably around $40,000, all in (taxes, freight, charger, etc) at the dealer just to get a set of keys. Now sure there is a check for $7,500 coming back to you down the road, but that is still a astronomical amount in the world of compact sedans. ‘Junior’ just out of college is going to have a hard time coming up with this scratch, while his dad, who was teased with a electric future in the 90s with vehicles such as the EV1, is more than ready to take the plunge.

Second point, color blindness. Now here is where I know I am going to get in trouble. A third of all buyers have bought into the “Aqua Blue” or “Aqua Blue Earth” or “Water Blue” or whatever Nissan is given to call that terrible color today.

I hear it. I hear what you (well, 31% of you) are saying. “Statik, you are insane, that is a great color. Look how vibrant, look what it signifies…it is so unique. You just like all cars in black, so you can see the forest for the trees!” Blah, ditty, blah. I hear you, and to be fair, it actually doesn’t look bad….right now. And there is my point.

Whenever a car comes out that is a fresh face on the auto scene, invariably it also comes with a initial ‘wow’ color choice. And at the time it comes out, people say, “wow, that is a great color, it is so unique,” but its not, it is ugly. Time will wear out its welcome far too quickly, and before you know it, your car that was such a break from the norm, is now just a hideous eye sore. Don’t believe me? Just have a look at the 2010 “Citrus Fire Metallic” Element and the 2010 “Synergy Green” Camaro…already moving violations against your senses.

Alright, you still don’t believe me. Fair enough. Go out to your window and look outside, better yet, go to your local WalMart and scan the parking lot, all normal colors…except for that ugly (insert car name here) in burnt orange, or powder blue, or purple haze, etc., etc. There quite simply is no mass produced car in a odd color that stands the test of time. Drivers of these vehicles are to be mocked openly. Now do yourself a favor and change your mind, and just get it in silver, or black, or white…or red if you really must stand out. You will thank me later. Trust me.

Or get the crazy blue, see if I care…in five years it will be the Espirit Firebird all over again. /and I will mock you

23 Responses

  1. JOHN says:

    Sounds just about right. Count me as one of the 5% (27yrs old) and the minority in color choice as well (white). And don’t get black, unless you like washing the car everyday and seeing all of the scratches. Silver and White are the only two choices, really.

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  2. Hey John,

    I’m glad to have some of the ‘youth’ around to represent. I myself am in the next segment (30s) representing about 15% of sales. Although I am sad to say that you have been banned forever from the blog because of your obvious mental instability by not choosing black.

    …just kidding, I appreciate any (and all) feedback/support

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  3. garrytman says:

    Statik,

    I’m right there with you. Mine is reserved in black, don’t now the time frame for them hitting CT. But can’t wait for the day I can cut my monthly payment to Exxon/Mobile. Volt or Leaf, I’m still up in the air, but at least I can get my place in line for the Leaf. BTW I’m not at 50 yet (48).

    On a side note, Electric rates are finally dropping in CT due to deregulation a few years ago. Now we have a bunch of suppliers to choose from. From a high of around 12c to 8.5c now and dropping.

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  4. Tom K says:

    I’m 50. I can afford it. A red one please…

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  5. Shannon says:

    Silver for the 34 year old.

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  6. Marcus Thomas says:

    I chose the “Aqua Blue Earth” but after reading this I think you are right that it is a nice color but not very good if you are keeping the car a long time. Im probably going to go for silver now.

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  7. John R says:

    Count me in that 5% as well. Age 28. Picked that blue color, but may switch to silver. White is so boring – most everyone has a white car. The car is not so pricey – after incentives it will cost me about $19k.

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  8. Herm Perez says:

    My brother recently got an Enclave in Carbon Black Metallic, what a gorgeous color.. in bright sunlight it has glints of deep dark green.

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  9. Hey Herm,

    I actually like the Enclave a lot. And I agree that ‘black’ is really nice. Out of all of GM’s lineup, Buick is certainly the strongest/most relative at the moment.

    It is a real shame GM felt it necessary to have a zillion cars based off the Lambda platform. (Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, and Saturn Outlook).

    Even more of a shame, is having the new Escalade going onto this platform as well. (I thought the SRX on the Equinox’s Theta platform was bad…which was the 9th version of basically the same car).

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  10. Karl Olmstead says:

    I want mine in either transparent, or camo. Anything to hide that fugly body. I’m going to have to approach the car with my eyes closed. Once I get inside, it’ll be okay. Love the technology, hate the looks.

    My theory is that Nissan let Renault design the body. I think I see a lot of 2CV in the design.

    Nissan builds some attractive cars. What went wrong here?

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  11. Marcus Thomas says:

    yeah why did we not get the Fluence ZE? I can live with the LEAF, but it seems like all of Nissan and Renaults other electrics have more styling going for them

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  12. JEff says:

    I think there’s another reason why the over 50 crowd, especially retirees, dominate the buying ranks – the range. Retirees run errands, short trips. Younger people commute, often over relatively long distances and often in heavy traffic where although the engine won’t be running all the time the heater or AC will.

    My daily commute is 40-50 miles and unless there’s been a major accident traffic is not heavy, so even if the 100 mile range is an exageration the Leaf should suit me well.

    Torn between red and silver, but leaning towards the former.

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  13. curt says:

    55 and white was my choice. The Leaf is my second vehicle with my Harley has my prime :-)

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  14. Laurie says:

    I am in my early 50s — we were teased with electric cars at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. I won’t name names of companies, but a number of key companies sat on those patents for a looong time!

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  15. Laurie says:

    I have to test drive the car before considering buying it. If it doesn’t have pick up, I don’t care how far it can go on a charge! So, I’ll wait until I can try one out. I currently have a silver Nissan Versa (switched to this when gas went almost to $4). It doesn’t have the gas mileage nearly as good as it was touted! But, I’ll still go with Silver- it does stay pretty clean.

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  16. Stoixima says:

    Very informative post. You are bookmarked!. Luck is with me today as I have found many fantastic blogs. Just before I found Stoixima, a blog about sports. Keep up posting!

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  17. olivia says:

    i just got mine yesterday and i am 29yrs old and I got it in white. (austin, texas)

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