In the face of all the positive press the Tesla Model 3 has generated, Nissan is feeling a little left out. After all, they have their own electric car and it's one you can buy now. Nissan's Leaf EV has been in production since 2010, ad a 107-mile range for $29,000 it's one you can buy right now — so they've taken out national newspaper ads to that effect.
As noted by Automotive News, the ads carry a banner text that's calling out Tesla without mentioning the automaker: "No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today."
The full-page ad is appearing in the print editions New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
While, yes, it is true that you can buy a Nissan Leaf today instead of placing $1,000 down in a reservation fee for a Model 3 that likely won't ship until 2018, we wouldn't necessarily recommend you do that, unless you (1) really want to go electric right now and (2) can live with the Leaf's sad range and awkward styling. In the meantime, you can do as others have done: get a car that makes some financial sense, like a Prius.
Sales of the Leaf have thus far failed to meet Nissan's expectations. On introduction they expected to sell up to 150,000 a year in the United States. The Leaf never caught the wind, however. In the first quarter of 2016, Nissan sold a paltry 2,931 Leads.
Just for comparison's sake, Tesla has managed to collect nearly 400,000 reservations for the Model 3. Sure, that's not the same as actual sales and Tesla has a large hill to climb in getting there, but the interest in Model 3 has in just a short time overwhelmed the Leaf. And so Nissan responds as we'd expect from an old and entrenched automaker: by buying advertising in a declining medium with an aging readership. Well played.