By on October 3, 2011

Is the Chevy Volt a flop? It’s a question that plenty of folks both inside the industry and beyond seem awfully curious about, and one that I’ve tried to stay away from until we had some strong data to go on. And with nine months of 2011 under our belt, we’re starting to get a sense of where the Volt is going… and it’s not been all reassuring news. Jalopnik notes that such unloved GM models as the Buick Lucerne and Chevy Avalanche outsold the Volt last month, but failed to look at the important stuff: production as compared to deliveries, and inventory. Jalopnik does quote a Cars.com inventory  figure of 2,600 Volts on dealer lots, although the latest data we have from Automotive News [sub] shows 1,400 units in the national inventory as of September 1… which at that point  constituted a 121-day supply. Add in the 1,644-unit differential between Volts built and Volts sold in September, and the estimated Volt inventory across the nation should be closer to 3,000 units. We will be sure to update when AN gets new inventory numbers, but for now, the signs aren’t promising.

For one thing, it doesn’t seem likely that many Volts are being diverted from the Detroit-Hamtramck factory for sale in Europe. After all, only 10,000 Opel-branded Ampera versions will even be sold in the 2012 model-year, and European Volt volume could be even lower as the model will only be available in 50 European dealerships. In any case, with the European launch of both vehicles starting in November, GM is probably only just shipping the several-hundred Europe-bound Volts and Amperas now. In other words, it’s up to the US market to soak up the up-ramped production volume of Volts. As you can see in the top graph, production ceased in June as workers upgraded the lines for higher volume, which jumped from the 600-800 range up to the mid-2,000 unit range starting in August. What’s interesting, if you look at the numbers cumulatively (see graph below), that zero-production month actually corrected a slow divergence between the production and delivery lines. In other words, slowing production might have been a better move than ramping it up.

 So, why did GM bump Volt volume? Well, more volume could eventually come in from overseas market, for one. And in the post-ramp-up period, US deliveries are climbing… just nowhere near fast enough to keep up with demand. Which is why inventory levels are climbing. Meanwhile, if you keep a close eye out, you might find more anecdotal evidence that the Volt’s sales issues are about a shortage of demand, not supply: for example, Oregon Public Broadcasting story recently ran a story on EV rescue training, which noted

About 40 Oregon first responders took part in this training session in Salem.

John Brown with the Crescent Fire District in central Oregon checks out a brand new Chevy Volt, which runs 35 miles on a battery before switching to a traditional gas engine.

“Nice vehicle. Creates headaches for us.”

For now, if Brown does respond to an accident involving a Chevy Volt, it would be, well, a shock. The dealership that loaned this car for the training session says after a month on the lot, it has yet to sell a single one.

And with Nissan Leaf sales handily outstripping deliveries of Volts, 7,199 to 3,895 (Nissan does not break out inventory data to AN), it’s no wonder the “Volt is losing the EV race” storyline is all over the media. GM’s response to that line of thinking comes from spokesman Rob Peterson, who tells Insideline

Nissan’s sales target is 25,000 Leafs in 2011. (Their sales) should be higher than ours. Our target is to deliver 10,000 (Volts) and we’re on target to reach that goal. Only 1 in 3 of the 2,100 dealers selling Volts have one in stock, with nearly 1,700 in transit. The pipeline from plant to dealership is filling up, making deliveries much more fluid.

Which is another way of saying it’s still to early to tell of the Volt will find consistent demand in the marketplace… although the “one in three dealers” thing is a bit disingenuous. After all, GM launched in EV-friendly states first, which means they likely already have access to a lot of their market. Still, sales are trending upwards, and from here on out, the “supply constrained” argument won’t fly… so the next few months will be key to determining real demand for the Volt. And though GM may only be planning on 10k Volt deliveries this year, the Obama Administration is banking on 15k units this year… and a whopping 120k units in 2012. In fact, the Obama Administration is relying on GM selling over half a million Volts by the end of 2015, in order to meet its “million plug-in cars on the road” goal. Given how much work the Volt still has to do on the demand side in order to keep up with a 28,000 unit annualized production rate, I’d say that goal is pretty much dead on arrival. As far as GM is concerned, the Volt may not be a flop… but politically it’s well on its way towards being a bust.

 

 

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47 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The Chevrolet Volt’s Sales Challenge...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Obviously this source has an agenda, I’m just sharing – no commentary on my part…

    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/22/chevy-volt-sales-whats-the-real-story/

    G…when Ward’s Auto World recently reported that 226 Volts sat on dealer lots at the end of July, critics jumped on that as a 22-days’ supply (inventory divided by sales rate) – which would actually be good, since about 70 days’ is average – but they failed to note that only 550 Chevy dealers had been allocated Volts by that time. So if 226 of them had one, the other 324 had exactly zero in stock.

    Ward’s James Amend, who wrote that story, tells me he regrets that it has been misinterpreted. “Days’ supply can be very misleading with low-volume vehicles,” he says.

    When Popular Mechanics recently asked me to do a story on (Volt and Leaf) EV sales, I found that Volt sales were just 302 in August and 3,172 for the first eight months of 2011. We can compare this to 1,362 Leafs in August and 6,168 since January 1.

    GM reports that fewer than 4,300 2011 Volts were built before the Detroit-Hamtramck plant shut down for a month in mid-June for upgrades needed to increase Volt capacity from 16,000 in 2011 to 60,000 in 2012. Of those, 784 (as of Aug. 31) had been assigned to dealers in 13 launch-market states as not-to-be-sold demonstrators, and some 300 are being used for GM engineer and executive evaluations, engineering test and development and media test cars. That leaves about 3,200 saleable Volts, which correlates well with AN’s reported 3,172 total…

    More if you click through on the link, sharing just a few paragraphs to stay within copyright laws.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Why not make all congresscritters drive in these?

    No more GM 50 year old technology bloatmobiles, no more govt jets. Just the Volts.

    We’ll see how long there scientific illiterates keep trying to push things on others.

    (Nope, the Volt is not a bad car…it’s just not something most of us want.)

    Now…as soon as GM hires it’s second engineer and fires the 20,000 worthless MBAs and finds some way to send the UAW to the moon, I must might consider a Volt II.

  • avatar
    ajla

    -How many “not for sale” demo Volts are out there right now?

    -How much is the order-waiting list backed up?

    -What was the added market adjustment that the Oregon Chevy dealer was charging on the Volt while it wasn’t selling? Major markups were the norm just a few months ago. Now that more vehicles are on the ground, and initial hype is dying down, dealers are seeming more willing to sell at MSRP.

    -If the government really, really wanted to sell more electric cars, they would let the tax credit be taken off at the dealership level.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah I wonder how many Volt sales have been lost due to dealers playing the “adjusted market value” game? Seeing a $5k or more second sticker, which is what I’ve seen some people reporting, is going to turn a certain number of buyers away. Of those who would be willing to pay that ADP how many couldn’t make a loan happen since lenders usually base how much they will loan on the MSRP. So they would have had to come up with whatever that APD sticker was in addition to the “normal” down payment?

  • avatar
    CamaroKid

    You are aware that almost ALL of the Volts on dealer lots are there ONLY as demo’s and were sent to the dealers with a contractual provision that they MAY NOT BE SOLD for the next six months, they are there to provide for test drives prior to taking an order and a deposit and that most dealers who can sell Volts are reporting 6-9 month waiting list…

    I would guess that GM is ramping up production because there is reportedly a huge waiting list of people who have left deposits on 2012 volts.

    And as for “supply constrained”, come on Ed, do a little homework, do a little reporting. This is supposed to be “Truth” about cars… Phone a dealer in any “Volt enabled” location and ask how long is the waiting list.. sample 5 or 6 dealers… you will quickly spot the obvious trend. GM is selling EVERYONE of these cars that they can make right now… The average time that the “for sale” Volts spend on a dealers lot is measured in hours not days or weeks.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      If the ‘reported’ waiting list for Volts exists, GM should say so. Instead they resort to dealer stock mumbo jumbo.

      Nissan actually reported how many people pre-paid their $99 to get on the Leaf waiting list.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      CamaroKid: “You are aware that almost ALL of the Volts on dealer lots are there ONLY as demo’s and were sent to the dealers with a contractual provision that they MAY NOT BE SOLD for the next six months, they are there to provide for test drives prior to taking an order and a deposit and that most dealers who can sell Volts are reporting 6-9 month waiting list…”

      No, I’m not aware of that. Please provide some verification.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Here’s info on the Volt Demo Program:
        http://www.gmfacilityimage.com/pdfFiles/2011_0502_Volt_Participating_Dealers_Program_FAQs.pdf
        _____________________

        There was a GM sales conference call yesterday that apparently (this is second-hand info from postings on the Volt forum) claimed “about 2200″ Volts on the ground right now are part of the demo program. However, it was never explained if those were recently produced demos. There were a few other Volt questions answered as well.

        If you have an hour to burn today, you can listen to the conference call here:
        http://investor.gm.com/announcements-events/event.jsp?id=4206738
        _____________________
        I couldn’t find anything concrete about waiting lists.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        In fact, I listened to the conference call. There was mention of nearly 900 Volts “available for sale” although there was also some verbiage about whether or not they were actually cars that were ordered and, therefore, not “available for sale.”

        The Volt Dealer Demo Program FAQ is interesting. The penalty is interesting, too, revocation of the agreement and Volt allocation. However, if the Volts aren’t moving, that’s not much of a penalty.

        Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that there might well be more Volts available for sale than GM admits. Or maybe there’s a big slug of cars on their way to customers who ordered them a while back.

        Who knows? Big picture: Closing in on a year in showrooms, the Volt’s “best month ever” is a mere 723 units.

      • 0 avatar
        CamaroKid

        This is NOT a secret or even a Surprise… In fact this is covered by our Editor in his very next Blog on this subject where he notes,

        “In order to sell Volts, dealers need a demo car. That wasn’t part of the plan. For that reason, GM is goosing production for the next few weeks to make sure all 2,600 participating Chevrolet dealers have at least one demo”

        Phone ANY dealer with a Demo and ask when you can buy THAT specific car…

        The penalty can be huge.. depending on how long the waiting list is. My local dealer told me to expect at least a 6 month wait for this car.

        I see ZERO evidence that there is a glut of these things out there… If anything I see these cars hit the lot and are off to a waiting customers hours later.

      • 0 avatar
        liml

        And yes there is a Santa Claus. Let’s put this subject into proper perspective:
        a. The car is not practical for a majority of the population.
        Try plugging it in on the fifth floor of your condo or
        apartment. Or how about running a cord from your desk or
        punch press.
        b. It costs way too much money even after Americans pay $7,500.00
        for each Volt sold. Picture the best looking girl at the
        dance that is handing out $100.00 bills to anyone that will
        dance with her and her purse is still full at the end of the
        night.
        c. It will never justify it’s cost.
        d. Green is not a consideration until all power plants are
        nuclear and that isn’t going to happen soon.
        e. Real miles on battery in cold weather,i.e.. most of the
        country
        is 22~25. Real hot isn’t too good either.
        f. Fact. The average income for people that have purchased a
        Volt is in the $150,000.00 range. And they care about gas
        consumption.
        f. And the list goes on

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Few Volts have been sold. Few have been produced. Distribution has been limited.

    And it would appear that most those Volts are parked on dealer lots that are attempting to price gouge, with asking prices well above MSRP.

    Given all of that, it’s far too early to judge whether it is a success or a failure. The only way to find out for sure is to push inventory into the market, which should encourage dealers to go easy on the markups. In effect, the dealers are trying to take the tax credit for themselves, and there have yet to be enough units in the market to push down their asking prices to more reasonable levels.

    (To add to the above, “days of inventory” isn’t a relevant figure for new models, given how that data is calculated. It doesn’t make much sense to use it for a new model such as this.)

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      To add to Pch101 (with whom I would typically disagree, but not here), “days of inventory” isn’t a relevant figure for a model whose 8-month sales totals are only beginning to approach the number of dealers.

      The small sales numbers and the apparently high number of cars in the pipeline disguises the fact that there just aren’t more than a car or two on any given dealer’s lot over the vast majority of the country. Anyone with experience in retail can tell you how many times a perfectly good item will sit on the shelves for ages unless there are 10 exactly identical perfectly good items along with it for the public to choose from.

  • avatar

    I don’t think GM has been trying to produce or deliver many cars to date. Those new cars will just now be reaching dealers–they don’t get transported instantaneously. The dramatic sales dip in July following the production break in June suggests that the inventory of salable vehicles was low at that point.

    The real question is, why the slow ramp-up? Fear of glitches? Supply chain issues? Unclear level of demand?

    Let’s see what happens in October and November now that they’ve stepped up production.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The real question is, why the slow ramp-up? Fear of glitches? Supply chain issues? Unclear level of demand?

      The factory was shut down for a month, supposedly due to retooling for the 2012 model year. But that story doesn’t make much sense; this car is a brand new model, so I can’t imagine that they’d need a month to address changes to a model released just a few months earlier.

      I’m going to guess that it’s related to the supply chain, combined with a lack of commitment. Plus, you have to wonder how serious GM is about the Volt. Surely they must know that this is practically guaranteed to be a low-volume car; why squander too many resources on it?

  • avatar
    Monty

    I don’t know, nor will I guess as to how many people have left deposits on Volts, how many are in transit, how many are actually sitting on dealer lots, what’s in inventory because it’s a fool’s game at this time. Right now, all we know is how many GM has pushed to dealers. We have no verifiable information as to how many are in the end users’ hands. When GM reports vehicles sold, those are vehicles sold to their network of dealers, not the end consumer.

    This situation won’t be resolved until the end of the year, at the minimum.

    A quick check of websites shows the base price for a Volt as $39145.00 before destination and taxes, and for a Leaf as $35200.00 before destination and taxes. Methinks that if the base price was $29995.00 including destination charges that GM and Nissan would be moving a lot more inventory.

    If the difference between a base Prius and the Volt was less than $5000, I think we would see GM shoving a lot more than 10,000 out the door this model year. The internet meme appears to have the Volt as a far more satisfying drive and much better appointed interior compared to the base Prius, factors which would, conceivably, lead to conquest sales.

    Toyota could afford to sell the first two generations of the Prius at a loss and buld brand equity and word of mouth. I don’t think GM is in the position to price the Volt to do the same.

    • 0 avatar

      The last paragraph explains the pricing. A Volt costs far more to produce than a Prius.

      One minor correction: reported sales are deliveries to owners, not dealers. This is different from when a sale is logged on the OEM’s books, which is when it’s sent to the dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        Monty

        Michael:

        I’m sure a Volt is more costly – Toyota must have had the same issue with the first generation of the Prius but was able to abosrb the cost.

        Thanks for the correction – this is why I return every day to this site. I assumed that there were very few Volts in the hands of consumers, but obviously I was wrong, according to your information. Based on this new information it’s too early to label the Volt either a success or failure.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        “I’m sure a Volt is more costly – Toyota must have had the same issue with the first generation of the Prius but was able to abosrb the cost.”

        GM’s balance sheet likely moots any argument to absorb large amounts of loss per vehicle, Toyota’s was far healthier at the time in question.

        Plus, the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is FAR more expensive than NiMH in any Prius prior to the plug-in. Not just more expensive per-kWh, but many more kWh as well. Estimates are around $10k for the Volt’s battery, which is 1/4-1/5th of the total gross price, and IIRC GM _does_ lose a bit of money on each Volt sold (and will until production ramps up and dev costs are recouped across more vehicles sold).

        If they sold the Leaf here, I’d probably have been more torn about picking up the Volt, but I would still have made the same choice in the end I believe. Plus, the dealer had the exact Volt I wanted in stock (loaded, black) so it was Karma!

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    This period is very bumpy for the Volt and we won’t really know for a few more months. The production and sales through August roughly match up.

    GM produced about 2,500 cars for dealer demo units not to be sold, so this accounts for a big chunk of the “excess” production. October will be spent filling the sales channels in all the new markets and resupplying dealers in existing markets. Only by November or December will we know how well the car is really doing in the marketplace as every dealer should have stock by then and the waiting lists will have been satisfied based on the current high production.

    That said, there’s a ton of 2012 Volts sitting around Southern California right now. Last week there was a “$2,000 off all Volts in stock!” ad in the Sunday paper from a major Los Angeles area dealer. I don’t know if this is due to wonky, unbalanced production distribution at the beginning of the model year or if demand has just fallen off a cliff.

    If the Obama administration really wants these to take of they need to get the tax credit applied at the point of purchase, stat.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      So was that $2K off all Volts in stock based on MSRP or the dealer’s ADP sticker so $2K off is still more than MSRP?

      • 0 avatar

        The trick was probably the “in stock” part. How many were “in stock?” Why exclude ordered cars?

        If they were having trouble moving the cars, there would be some 2011s still around. A 50-mile search around 92010 finds only two 2011s still on dealer lots.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        BTW, when I was looking to buy mine, there were 2 in my area, and when I went to test drive one at the first dealer I went to, they actually sold it in the 2 days between my first call and my visit to the dealership! Luckily the other one was still available, and the dealer was only 5mi further away.

        I actually wanted the sales guy at the first dealer to get the sale as he was quite helpful, and even though both dealerships were part of the same company, they wouldn’t let the car move from one dealer to the other. Apparently dealers jealously hold onto their Volts for some reason (scarcity, perhaps, or a reward from GM or something).

        If I had wanted to buy from the original dealer, I’d have had to wait until they were allocated more vehicles in Spring. Meh on waiting.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    They’ve just started advertising them on the radio in S. Ont. New market and I would expect that they’re going country wide. That “ramped up” production could barely cover all the demos needed. Even with the dealer cull, having a demo plus one “on the floor” model would wipe out all the produced cars so far if you went to all the dealers in N/A. It’s very early days to pronounce this either a stiff or a success.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I note production declined slightly in September. I suppose that’s not a huge surprise, September had 21 workdays vs August’s 23.

    On the other hand, Detroit-Hamtramck now builds only the Volt. About 2300 copies of a single vehicle is the best they can do? In April, that plant built on the order of 5000 cars in 3 different models.

    Also, the reference to fewer than 4300 2011 Volts built by APaGttH is probably incorrect; the production report says 4488.

  • avatar
    megaphone

    The problem with the Volt is it is just too damn expensive. I’d buy a Volt at a lower price tag. But no one wants to buy a car at that price not knowing if this is a technology for the long term. And no matter how much GM says it is ground breaking it is still a hybrid with the electric motor doing more work than the gasoline engine.The Leaf is more revolutionary.

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      How is the Leaf more revolutionary? Looks to me like a French subcompact with a battery and an electric motor.

      And why the concern over whether the Volt has a technology for the long term? If anything, isn’t the basic gas engine the technology that is doomed long term?

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        Zero emmisions and almost maintainence free operation (powertrain-wise).

        Plus for 27 and change after the tax rebate, it’s accessible to a wider audience than the 40k (to start, before options and before ADM) Volt.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Does anyone on this site actually have intentions of buying a Volt? It’s easy to defend the car when you aren’t throwing down cold hard cash.

    We have plenty of Prius drivers on here. And even that car, priced in the mid 20s, seems like more of a fashion statement when you can buy a Yaris for much less and get nearly equal fuel economy.

    You can buy an entry level Lexus or BMW for the price of this Volt…

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      “Does anyone on this site actually have intentions of buying a Volt? It’s easy to defend the car when you aren’t throwing down cold hard cash.”

      I did, and nothing in my month or so of ownership experience to date has soured or cast doubt on my decision. This is the best car I’ve owned, and probably the best car anyone in my family has ever owned.

      Of course I have niggling criticisms that I wish GM had a Bugzilla for its customers to register. Of course it would be nice if it had composite body panels and a microturbine genset and it was $10k cheaper.

      But for what it is, it’s a solid car. Great for the commute, big enough for most visits to Costco, and for the time being, _far_ more exclusive than any starter luxury sedan ;)

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    It’s early days for the Volt, and likely a decade or two before we’ll understand it’s true impact. For all the criticism, this is the first vehicle that for most commuters offers a step change function in economic performance, yet still delivers the security of a gas engine for longer trips.

    The analogy I use to describe the Volt is the Apple Newton, which was essentially the prototype for the iPad, but came out a few years before the underlying technology was ready. The key for GM will be to stick with the concept and find ways to add capability and gain scale economies.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The Newton was rather a black eye for Apple.

      Scale economies are subject to diminishing returns. And there’s one big expensive part in it, on which GM is highly dependent. A breakthrough or an awful lot of incremental improvement is needed. The price on this is not going to drop much in the near term.

  • avatar
    JonKessler

    I have three good friends with Leafs. Have yet to see a Volt on the road.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Gee, GM screwed up? Really? That is so unusual, even when they get a good product going, they manage to mess it up, somehow. Why stop production for a month just when the car was going on sale for the first time, it makes ZERO sense, bad production planning, that is all, they should have had the new plant online from he get-go.

  • avatar
    jaje

    I think GM missed the boat of not putting in a modern common rail diesel engine as the generator than the marginally fuel efficient 1.4T (33mpg combined after the first 40 miles) – they have a clean diesel in Europe already and have plans to bring it over to put in the Cruze (which in effect will further marginalize the Volt as it will get near hybrid fuel economy [likely better today\'s hybrids on the highway] for many thousands less on the same car platform).

    Which brings me to the one issue I have – sure electric is the most efficient in city driving (instant torque – off when off throttle or sitting in traffic) but diesels are simply more efficient on the highway than today’s best hybrids easily reaching mid 50′s mpg in a small car like the Jetta (the current shape of today’s hybrids). If you really want to build a class leading hybrid…why not build a series hybrid that runs solely on electric power in the city then switch over to run solely on the diesel when moving above 25 mph (also acts as a generator to recharge the batteries)? You get the strengths of both – the most efficient at low speed / no speed and the superiority of diesel efficiency over gas when an engine has to run.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Problem: diesels weigh more. Thus you need more heavy battery to offset that weight, requiring more diesel power – a negative feedback loop. I like the diesel hybrid concept too, but this is the drawback as I understand it.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Diesels do not necessarily weigh significantly more. Americans have been conditioned by the fact that most diesels around here are in HD pickups and are built for high power. Make one that produces the kind of power you’d need for use as a generator and it wouldn’t be significantly heavier than a gas unit that would do the same thing.

        However the Volt is designed to make the experience as friendly as possible and for most people diesel isn’t friendly.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        An 80kW microturbine running on gas or diesel would be lighter and more efficient than either.

        If the Jaguar/BladonJets concept is anything to go by, you could get a microturbine _and_ 40l of diesel within 100kg.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Modern locomotives use a diesel generator parallel system and not a lighter gasoline engine. Modern car diesel engines are not 1,000 lb iron block behemoths that run under the same skin as a Kenworth. There are heavy duty made for industrial uses, medium duty made for commercial uses and light duty diesels made for cars. The weight difference is small and the delta in torque at low rpms is substantial compared to a like sized gas engine.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      How much would the 80KW microturbine cost to build? How efficient is it? How long would it last?

      Can it conveniently be mated directly to the drivetrain? Under certain circumstances, for efficiency, the Volt’s ICE drives the wheels directly (because converting mechanical energy to electric energy, storing it and re-converting it to mechanical energy involves significant losses).

  • avatar
    Herm

    GM just shipped about 2000 Volts as demos only, since really nothing changed between the 2011 and 2012 models (paint colors and options) will dealers have to get new demos for 2012?.. if so it will be months before the demo queue demand is filled up, but we should see an uptick in used Volt sales. Dealers want to have a Volt demo on hand, it brings in traffic.

    The Hamtramck plant shutdown for the 2012 upgrade, they make 3 models there so I assume they upgraded all the lines at the same time.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    For all the greenies arguing that, if only the U.S. taxed gas like European countries, you’d see widespread adoption of fuel-saving technologies (EVs, hybrids) seems like the Volt (or its equivalent) would be the acid test.

    If it fails, they’ll say its because European governments didn’t put $7500 on the hood like the US government . . . ;-)

  • avatar
    KixStart

    The meaning of inventory levels for low volume cars can be misleading but we could compare another low-volume vehicle that is still in the introductory phase of its life, the Leaf:

    GM tells us it has produced nearly 9900 Volts and has sold about 4220.

    I don’t know how many Leafs Nissan has produced or claimed to have exported to the US but they have sold about 7200 here.

    AutoTrader lists 1850 new and used Volts available. That’s about 43% of sales to date.

    AutoTrader lists 489 new and used Leafs available. That’s about 7% of sales to date.

  • avatar
    SoapyJohnson

    Sales failed to rebound and demand has been non-existent since February’s Chevrolet Volt 400 disaster … http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/05/nascar-pulls-plug-on-chevrolet-volt-400/

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      That made as much sense as story about trying to drive the kids to school every day for a month in Kevin Harvick’s “Chevy”

      Results would have been the same… Initial excitement, followed by a total disaster, including government interference, lawyers, and law enforcement.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Just to update this thread : http://gmauthority.com/blog/2012/08/chevy-volt-sales-continue-to-outpace-those-of-nissan-leaf/

    Outpacing the leaf almost 5:1 and on course for close to the 20,000 target. With a 52 day supply, so altering production to meet demand seems to have worked as of August 2012.


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