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Nissan Cuts Leaf Price in Japan to Boost Sales in Biggest Market

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, said it is cutting the price of the all-electric Leaf hatchback in the country to boost sales in the model’s largest market.

Nissan will trim the current G, X and S grades of the car by 280,000 yen ($3,165) starting in April, following price cuts in the U.S. earlier this month, according to a statement by the company today.

Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has estimated electric vehicles would account for at least 10 percent of global auto sales by 2020, a view not shared by other large carmakers. The push by carmakers including Nissan and General Motors Co. to spur market for rechargeable vehicles has been hampered by the higher costs of such models and the need for more recharging stations.

After Japanese government incentives as much as 780,000 yen, prices for the G, X and S grades of the car will be 3 million, 2.6 million and 2.2 million yen, Nissan said. The incentive is set to expire March 31.

Buyers who get the car before the April cut takes effect will be reimbursed for the difference in price, Nissan said.

The Japan’s second-largest carmaker sold 11,115 units of Leaf last year at home, 8 percent more than a year earlier. Leaf sales in the U.S. rose 1.5 percent last year to 9,819, less than half of Ghosn’s 20,000-unit target.

Nissan sold 26,973 Leafs in 2012 globally, a rise of 22 percent over 2011.

Toyota Motor Corp. is Japan’s largest carmaker.

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