By on November 7, 2011

With all the attention being paid to Volt sales, production and turn time in the wake of recent congressional criticism, I thought I’d update our recent chart of Volt sales versus production to see how GM’s wonder car is doing a month on. As you can see, there’s not much obvious change on the year-to-date chart, with both sales and production trending upwards. But if we zoom in on the most recent months, we can see something strange happening…

This chart, showing production and deliveries since the Detroit-Hamtramck plant was retooled shows a softening of demand and a small but undeniable downturn in Volt production. Wondering why GM was trimming production of a car it says it will build 60k units of next year (including 45k units for the US market), I reached out to GM to ask about the cutback. A spokesman replied

Our 2011 target is 16000 units global production and we’re right on target. The dip in Volt production is made up by an increase in Ampera production for export.

In other words, Det-Ham isn’t making fewer Volts, they’re just building more of them with Opel badges for Europe. But what about anecdotal evidence showing that US demand for the Volt is weak? Where are the 6,000 or so Volts that have been produced but not sold this year? GM’s breakdown is as follows:

As of Oct 31 we had built roughly 10500 vehicles, sold 5000, shipped 2300 dealer demos, had over 1400 in-transit (includes roughly 300 demos) and about 1800 on dealer lots… nearly 85 percent of the 2,600 participating Volt dealers have only one or zero Volt’s in stock. Of the 1400 dealers currently with no stock, roughly half have received a Volt and sold it and half are waiting to receive their first unit.

So, 1,800 units are currently on 1,200 lots. Presumably the 1,400 in-transit” units are headed to the 1,400 lots that have no Volts for sale. And now, Automotive News [sub] reports that GM is now allowing dealers to sell demonstrator-model Volts, noting

The move will increase the number of Volts available for sale to 4,100, from 1,800… Another 1,100 units are in transit.

GM will reimburse dealers $1,500 to compensate for depreciation and for the cost of removing some decals from the demo models. Dealers must sell their demos by Jan. 3 to qualify for the payment

In other words, if demand is as strong as GM is claiming, there should be no problems selling 10k units this year. Production is rolling along and inventory is building (AN [sub] says it was at 83 days supply as of October 1); though still a long way from the volume needed to sell 45k units in the US next year, sales are still growing as well. Over the next few months supply should build to the point where Volt demand should become discernible. One downside to the demonstrator-sale strategy: dealers will be giving up what GM calls its strongest halo car, which The General says draws customers who end up leaving in a Cruze. In any case, we’re about to learn a lot more about the real level of demand for the Volt… for now, however, we’ll have to stay patient.

 

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66 Comments on “Volt Production Drops Slightly As Export Volume Ramps Up And Dealers Sell Demonstrators...”


  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    in the boston area, one can be leased for $349 a month, 48 months, with 999 down. i have yet to see one on the road however.

    1400 in transit – just how long does transit take anyways? they should be hitting lots really really soon.

  • avatar

    I’ve been saying all along that we won’t know if the Volt is a success or a bust until sometime in 2012.

    No doubt there are people that want the Volt to fail. I noticed a news story yesterday about a house fire in North Carolina involving an EV charging station made by Siemens and, apparently, a Chevy Volt. I put up a post about it at Cars In Depth and it got noticed by Instapundit and it’s been bouncing around the dextroblogosphere. My post and the original report make it clear that the fire investigators didn’t know the source but it was in the area of the charging station (close to where other electrical appliances were plugged in), so Duke Energy told its customers who had the same Siemens unit installed under a company plan to stop using them until the investigation was completed. If anything, the charger, not the car, was suspected. As a matter of fact, the original story didn’t even mention a Chevy Volt, just an EV, but since GM is part of the investigation, the car was likely a Volt.

    I knew that mentioning the Volt would get attention but unfortunately, a number of the sites that linked to my post said stuff like ‘Chevy Volt burns down house’ and ‘Electric Vehicles are unsafe’ (paraphrased but close). One said that the Volt burned down a second house, even though my post mentioned that the previous fire in Connecticut was determined not to have originated in the Volt.

    Haters gonna hate, I suppose. There’s a lot of hate going on for the Volt.

    http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=5222

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Gotta hate that we subsidized over $7000 of the purchase price to the buyer of that Volt since they lived in an $800,000 house…or formerly $800,000 house.

      Since this is clearly a home owned by the top 1%, why in the world are we underwriting that persons car purchase? If they can afford a house at that price point, do we really need to help them buy a car?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Since this is clearly a home owned by the top 1%, why in the world are we underwriting that persons car purchase?

        We aren’t. We’re subsidizing the R&D of the product.

        The subsidy should result in higher sales volumes. That benefit goes to the manufacturer.

        It’s not as if the car is being purchased for some below-market price. If the Volt was being sold for some exceedingly low price point well below other cars in its size range, then you’d have a point. But it isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        alluster

        Look at what the Milken Institute in Los Angeles has to say about what it’s really costing all of us for a gallon of gas.

        When you factor in deployments to the Middle East. When you factor in keeping the sea lanes open for the importation of oil. When you look at terminaling, storage, distribution costs, etc… It is $13 a gallon.

        So let’s eliminate all the “big government” support and subsidies for gasoline and let it float to $13/gal. Then we can eliminate the $7,500 electric car tax credit so many seem upset by.

        My guess is the Volt and other cars like it would become THE cars to drive in short order given they use little or no gasoline.

        Of course it would not surprise me if those clamoring for the failure of the Volt would riot in the streets if they actually had to pay $13/gal for gas instead of the “socialist” price of $3.60 we pay now.

        If you think the 7,000$ subsidy for the richest 1% is bad, GM with 39.7 billion cash on hand, 4.7B profits in 2010 and 5.7B for the first six months of 2011, gets an illegal tax break to the tune of 14B Dollars. That’s in addition to the 15 or so billion dollars that tax payers might end up losing on the bailout. Sometimes it pays to be well connected.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        I’d LOVE to see $13/gallon. That’ll mean more relaxed driving. :)

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        That type of study always has a bigger axe to grind than Lizzie Borden, and should therefore be taken with a rock-size grain of salt.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        That type of study always has a bigger axe to grind than Lizzie Borden, and should therefore be taken with a rock-size grain of salt.

        How much $$ is spent on national defense per year? What percentage of that is spent in protecting oil nations and global access to oil resources? I would bet at least 30% at this point, plus the oil region wars (in which we would not have been involved for 50 years in the first place except for that oil). How many gallons of gasoline are sold per year? All you do then is divide the defense figure spent by the number of gallons sold, and charge that as a federal “oil defense” tax on gas. That’s fair.

        So, say 30% of $685B = $205B, divided by 138B gallons of gas, you end up with an “oil defense” tax of roughly $1.50 , based on 2010 figures.

        Me, I think the price of minimum liability insurance should also be priced into gasoline, so you only pay for the insurance you use, and there’s no more un(der)insured motorists.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: All you do then is divide the defense figure spent by the number of gallons sold, and charge that as a federal “oil defense” tax on gas. That’s fair.

        And then you subtract the considerable benefits of inexpensive, widely used energy, how it has raised our standard of living and the fact that it has improved the lives of American over the last century.

        And, while you’re at it, subtract the contributions that should be expected from those nations heavily dependent on Middle Eastern Oil who rely solely on the United States armed forces to ensure a steady supply of oil. (We, meanwhile, only import about 13 percent of our oil from the Middle East.)

        That’s fair, too.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      And some hate the Japanese. Are you busy trying to stamp that out, too, Ronnie? Curiously, at least some (perhaps many) that hate the Japanese don’t seem to mind the Germans. But this anti-Japanese sentiment could not possibly be racial, could it?

      Here’s the deal with anti-GM sentiment… GM earned at least some of it. To some extent, it may be a little unfair that anti-GM sentiment continues but GM sold low-quality merchandise and backed it only grudgingly, if at all, for decades. Some people went elsewhere and found satisfaction, realized they could have had satisfaction all along and are now, I think understandably, upset.

      Then there’s a strong anti-union sentiment running in this country, fanned by right-wing media and the feeling that anything Obama touches is unquestionably Communist in nature (hey, he’s not even an American, ya know?).

      You can take your pick of things in this overall picture that are unfair or extreme interpretations or just outright stupid but there’s plenty of unfortunate things in life that happen that are less well deserved than some anti-GM hate.

    • 0 avatar
      Southerner

      Well I sure hate the Volt, and the union that pieces them together; and the company that employs the union workers that piece them together; and the administration that bailed out the company that employs the union workers that piece them together; and the voters who installed the administration that bailed out the company that employs the union workers who piece them together.
      Whence all this hate? And hate I mean. It’s my money! Bailout money for the corporation, subsidy money for the 1% who will buy them. Heh.
      Good Lord people, soon the government will dictate toilet and shower-head flow. After that it will demand of private business a minimum pay scale, and a light bulb edict for all.
      Liberty is lost, I fear, and not to be reclaimed.
      But autos sure will get 35 mpg, you betcha’.

  • avatar
    CamaroKid

    Just wondering, on what planet would a monthly sales increase of 53% be considered a “softening of demand”? Are we looking at the same chart? The one with the red line that points up up and up.

    I wonder how many other models can post a 53% increase in October 2011 sales over September 2011 sales?

    Ed, it is time to stop doubling down on your political point of view that no one is buying this car… it is simply not true.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      Everywhere but GMFanboyWorld, selling less than half the cars you produce is considered an abysmal failure.

      • 0 avatar

        In the middle of rolling out a new product, selling half of production when the retail pipeline hasn’t been filled is nowhere near a failure, let alone an abysmal one. Not when it’s a low production car that hasn’t been completely rolled out. Like Ed said in the article and I mentioned above, we won’t know if the Volt is a bust till sometime in 2012.

        There are 2600 Chevy dealers set up to sell the Volt. Chevy has sold 5,000 units so far. For each dealer to have one Volt available for sale and one to use as a demo would consume the remaining 2011 production allocation. In other words, just for Chevy dealers to be able to have one Volt on hand to show people, and another for sale, that would necessarily mean that half of the Volts made so far wouldn’t have been sold yet. The math is simple.

        We’ll know more once GM ramps up production to the 50K/yr level. Right now the # of days supply is not really a significant metric. Let’s see what the days supply situation of the Volt is in April or May when the pipeline has filled and all participating dealers have demos and in stock units for sale.

        The Volt may turn out to be a sales failure but right now reports of its demise are a bit premature.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        But requiring every dealer to stock a demo is nonsense. It’s not like people haven’t heard about it already. Looky-lous aren’t going to just stumble into the dealer and buy a $40k electric car because it’s sitting on the showroom floor. And if the demand is so great and waiting list is so long like GM wants us to believe, what sense does it make to keep those people waiting when there’s 5,000 more cars floating around?

        I’d understand if the car was just launched, but it’s been on sale for a year. Let me repeat that: IT’S BEEN ON SALE FOR A YEAR. Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell them as fast as you can build them, then allocate one per dealer once demand cools and/or production picks up?

        But then again GM proves time and time again that they don’t have a clue how to actually sell cars to anyone outside their captive audience.

      • 0 avatar
        CamaroKid

        Over here in what we like to call the real world, you have to build the car before you can sell it… We can now see that we have built enough cars for GM to meet their target, but if the sales continue to grow a the rate that they are GM will EASILY sell enough cars to meet their first year targets.

        See ya in 54 days (or so)

        Ya there is soo little demand for this car that GM just released all of the demo units in an attempt to help reduce the time it takes to put one of these cars in a customer’s hands.

        If this car really was demand limited why release all of the demo units?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Over here in what we like to call the real world, you have to build the car before you can sell it

        Of course, you’re right about that. Those who have an emotional investment in hating the car or its producer don’t seem to understand this.

        On the other hand, I do wonder why production has been so lacking. I would speculate that someone botched the supply chain, badly.

        In spite of the supply issues, I still have my doubts that the car is going to be much of a success. The launch hasn’t been stellar, and the buzz largely seems lacking.

        And I don’t see how the R&D is going to create much benefit for the rest of the lineup. Other than being a halo car, it doesn’t appear to accomplish much.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        @ CamaroKid: You’re really milking that 385 unit sales increase for all its worth, huh?

        GM plans to build 16,000 Volts by year’s end. They’ve sold 5,000. That means they’d have to sell 8600 Volts in the next 54 days (not counting demos) for demand to catch up with production, like you claim.

        Good luck with that one.

      • 0 avatar
        CamaroKid

        Where has GM ever said they would sell 16K? GM has always stated their goal is 10K… Who’s milking numbers now?

        If the trend continues GM will easily hit the 10K number… or come right close.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ……On the other hand, I do wonder why production has been so lacking. I would speculate that someone botched the supply chain, badly……

        That is my strong suspicion as well…I think they can’t produce too much more. I would think the General would be better off fessing up, but apparently there is a lot of the old General’s thinking still left…

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        I’d understand if the car was just launched, but it’s been on sale for a year. Let me repeat that: IT’S BEEN ON SALE FOR A YEAR. Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell them as fast as you can build them, then allocate one per dealer once demand cools and/or production picks up?

        It’s been available nationwide in every state for a year?

        Folks will still want to test-drive a car before they plunk down $40+ large.

        Wake me when GM starts putting cash on the Volt’s hood.

  • avatar
    Rob Finfrock

    So GM wants us to believe that roughly 3200 Volts are awaiting sale — between on-lot units and those still on the truck — presumably to a buying public hungering to spend $45,000+ on a much-modified Daewoo Cruze.

    In related news, cars.com tell me close to 3700 Volts are available for sale, nationwide, RIGHT NOW.

    This taxpayer-funded remedial science experiment pig isn’t selling.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Cars.com is not the end all of automotive inventories. They allow dealers to make posts for in-transit inventory, allow dealers to post not-for-sale inventory, and don’t do much to ensure sold units are removed from the site in a timely fashion.

      2012 Chevy Volt demo ad

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    @ Rob Finfrock – Go home troll-boy and take your buddy Z71 Silvy with you.

    The story on the Volt demo’s is that GM gave the dealers the option to sell because supposedly they are losing sales due to wait times.

    The dealer where I demo’d one last week has one on the sales floor and 2 on the lot, plus the demo.

    Me, I was absolutely blown away by the car. We put a 100 miles on it over 3 days and didn’t burn a drop of fuel. But the best thing about it is the way it drives. Our ICE vehicles drive like model T’s in comparison. Unfortunately it would have been her daily driver and she wasn’t so impressed. I’ll get one in my garage eventually – trust me on that!

    • 0 avatar
      Rob Finfrock

      All your post really demonstrates, Carlson, is that some of us are more easily impressed than others. Good on your wife for protecting you from yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Rob, you hate the Cruze so much that it often used as your whipping boy to make your points. While I am not really a fan of the Cruze, why do you hate it so much that you mention it all the time?

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        Philosophy and execution.

        The Cruze represents utter capitulation on GM’s part — an admission that it can’t produce a competitive automobile in America, but instead needs to rely on Daewoo (and to a far lesser extent, Opel) to actually design the thing.

        That’s all well and good, but don’t represent the Cruze as an “American” vehicle, and spotlight the car as an example of why it was worth it to hard working Americans to bail GM’s sorry a$$ out three years ago.

        The only thing “American” about the Cruze is the union workforce watching the robots put the pieces together. (The money wasted on that workforce is also one of the main reasons, in my considered opinion, why GM couldn’t — and still can’t — produce a decent US-sourced car.)

        For all its advancements, Korea largely remains a second tier manufacturing country, and Daewoo is the bottom tier of that. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for long-term durability, as the quality reports are already indicating. Add to that the underpowered engines and laughably awful transmission, and it should be clear to even the most dimwitted consumer that the Cruze isn’t worth spending money on… but I guess I’m wrong.

        Apparently cloth dashboard inserts are enough to sell a car. Who knew?

      • 0 avatar

        @Rob: I find it interesting that you view the Cruze as you do, I see it very differently but with the same facts. Cars are heavily designed under the guise of globalization these days, in fact almost every vehicle has many many parts designed in many many areas of the globe, usually in those areas that are best at designing said parts. If GM here in North America has a long track record of messing up small cars, why force them to continue such attempts and not replace it with resources (such as Daewoo) that would, and did, do a better job of designing a small car? So what if it isn’t an American design? American design’s sucked! The point is, to be a smart company, use your best assets to do what they do best. It’s good business, and it means GM makes more money, and puts that money into development of new cars, either in North America or abroad. Your Mazda 6 (if that is indeed what you drive) probably wasn’t exclusively developed in Japan, is that a huge problem? No.

        As for the Cruze, I have this to say: My entire family likes and drives Japanese cars, typically small ones. The Cruze is the first GM in a long long long time to be genuinely interesting to them, based on the way it drives (solidly, quiet, refined) and its fuel economy/feature set. If long-time import buyers are interested, how badly did they mess it up? Live and let live.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      “We put a 100 miles on it over 3 days and didn’t burn a drop of fuel.”

      How many times did you plug it in? ‘Cause electricity’s free and doesn’t cause pollution, right?

      “Our ICE vehicles drive like model T’s in comparison”

      Who’s the troll-boy now?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @FromaBuick6….What! The guy gives a positive comment on a Volt and now he is considered a troll?

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        @mikey: He called the OP a troll with no real basis beyond not liking the guy’s opinion. I was just turning his words back around on him.

        And, come on, how can you take a head-in-the-clouds comment like that seriously? The Volt’s an interesting piece of tech, sure. But the driving experience can’t be that different from a Prius, and it’s not like we haven’t had pure-electrics before, either. Makes ICEs drive like Model T’s? Really? Last time I checked, my car didn’t have a hand crank or foot pedal for reverse.

      • 0 avatar

        @FromaBuick6 Drives like a Prius? What? Are you familiar with the technology? No, ignoring the fact that the Volt is actually more refined and comfortable, the Prius is fundamentally a traditional car with an electric motor tied to it. When you accelerate, you hear engine. That is not at all how it works on the Volt…in fact, if you want to say the similar to something compare it to a Nissan Leaf. Better yet, just go drive one.

        Before labelling someone a misinformed troll, at least demonstrate a reasonable reason for them being as such.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        And, come on, how can you take a head-in-the-clouds comment like that seriously? The Volt’s an interesting piece of tech, sure. But the driving experience can’t be that different from a Prius, and it’s not like we haven’t had pure-electrics before, either. Makes ICEs drive like Model T’s? Really? Last time I checked, my car didn’t have a hand crank or foot pedal for reverse.

        The Prius doesn’t have >270lb/ft of torque from 0rpm.

        The Volt drives more like a 6-cyl diesel, but without the noise and stink.

        But keep on spouting off about a car that you’ve never driven. Your ignorance is highly entertaining.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Chevrolet had a few Volts on display at the Capitol in Harrisburg about two weeks ago. I took a ride in one – it was remarkably unremarkable. Which is a good thing – no one will be scared away by the way it drives and rides. But it hardly makes conventional cars feel “like a Model T.” Unless your conventional car is a 1975 Chevrolet Vega, in which case, my 2003 Accord can make that one feel like a Model T, too.

      The main drawbacks I noted were the price and the passenger capacity in relation to size (it’s strictly a four-passenger car, and not an especially roomy four-passenger one).

      If you strip away the hype and the hate, once you get beyond the green buyers and the techy types who love the latest-and-greatest, the Cruze still makes more sense for most people.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      The story on the Volt demo’s is that GM gave the dealers the option to sell because supposedly they are losing sales due to wait times.

      The first dealer I went to lost a sale due to this very reason: they sold the car I was interested in during the 3 days between when I called and when I showed up. Their next allocation was due to be March 2012, and the visit was this last August. I did get to test-drive it though, and asked if the tester was for sale.

      The 2nd dealer I went to had a single Volt left, it was perfect (loaded, black), and I snapped it up. Presumably now anyone coming in after me will also have to wait until March 2012.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    According to Chevy’s site there are about 20 Volts in Las Vegas, 30 in greater San Diego and 50 in greater LA. Seems OK to me. No need for Vitriol.

  • avatar
    TheHammer

    Ed- Great job on hammering the Volt. Keep up the pressure and scrutiny

  • avatar
    Pch101

    AN says it was at 83 days supply as of October 1

    Automotive News ought to know better than to claim that. It isn’t possible to calculate days of inventory for new models, because the inventory should be compared to an annual sales number that does not yet exist.

    This is reinforced by the low inventory figures. 1800 units on 2600 lots is equal to 7/10th’s of a car per dealer, not including the demos. It’s really hard to gauge demand when the supply isn’t in the market.

    The data available thus far is of limited value. If there is some sort of BS to be found, then I would check it against the waiting lists. The waiting lists are supposedly lengthy, but it would be interesting to know whether the cars that are being delivered are going to customers on the waiting lists. If they aren’t, then that would suggest that the lists are more hype than real, which would be bad news, indeed.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Not sure why Volt sales get so much scrutiny when for October, the Volt outsold NINE Toyota and Lexus models (xD, HS, GS, FJ cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, LX, LFA and GX) which is 33% of all Toyota and Lexus models sold in the US. Will outsell 3 more for November, the xB, LS and CT. It also outsold the Civic hybrid, CRZ, Insight, FCX, Ridgeline, Acura RL and ZDX by a wide margin.

    From the chart, Volt sales in october are up 786% from July, 267% from August and 53% from September. That is a nice upward trend.

    GM has the volt leveraged pretty good with the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera twins, engines shared by Cruze and Sonic, platform shared by the Cruze and Verano, and soon the production plant shared by the next gen malibu and impala, not to mention a Cadillac based off this car.

    The Volt is also helping to sell a lot of Cruze’s, the sales of which are only 1300 away from topping the segment. It is getting shoppers into Chevy dealerships who otherwise would have never set foot it. Is changing GM’s image and people’s perceptions about it.

    content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/10/chevrolet-volts-magic-rubs-off-on-sales-of-cheaper-cruze/1

    That said, GM will not hit the target of 10K this year, nor the 45K in 2011. GM needs to keep their mouths shut more.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      From the chart, Volt sales in october are up 786% from July, 267% from August and 53% from September.

      You must have taken a Statistics Abuse class.

    • 0 avatar
      eldard

      LIke how the EV1 changed GM’s image?

      • 0 avatar

        The EV1 DID change GM’s image for many. My GM-hating, import-loyal father saw hope for GM with its newer electric car innovations…until they cancelled everything and confirmed that they were generally disinterested in building any new automotive innovations. The Volt is nice again helping with this image.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Eldard, baby steps to victory my friend; have some faith in something. We all knew the EV-1 and the Honda equivalent were a bit ahead of themselves and most likely wouldn’t change a thing. I also thought the same of the first gen Prius.

        GM needed a good competitive car against the well-entrenched hybrid crowd and the Volt is a solid first effort. I look forward to seeing how well it holds up.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        I guess the baby went to stasis for more than a decade then.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “All your post really demonstrates, Carlson, is that some of us are more easily impressed than others.”

    All every post you’ve ever put on this website demonstrates is that your a non-value added troll boy. Get a life.

    “How many times did you plug it in? ‘Cause electricity’s free and doesn’t cause pollution, right?”

    A lot less than gas would have cost and pretty much zero pollution because I charged at night on power that would have gone to waste anyways.

    Any other questions? Are you related to Rob or Z71 Silvy by chance?

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      The power company doesn’t just “waste” electricity at night because you’re not there to use it, they reduce production or store it. Sorry, you’re still polluting…by your logic the gas in my car creates zero pollution because it was already there and somebody else would have bought it if I hadn’t.

      And what do you think’s going to happen to your cheap electricity rates when there’s a couple of million Volts on the road taxing the grid to its limits? Oh, right, it doesn’t matter as long as the cost to you is cheaper than a gallon of gas. It’s okay that everybody else will have to pay more to heat their house in the winter so you can have your smug mobile, right?

      Stop calling everyone who disagrees with you a troll.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t like the trollboy business, but I think he’s right. I’ve read that currently the excess electricity literally going to ground just keeping the generators spinning at night for nighttime needs is sufficient to meet all of our transportation needs (assuming we had the batteries or capacitors to use it).

        Not many generating plants have some kind of storage capacity. Some nuclear plants like the one near Bridgeman, MI, pump water into towers which is then released to run turbines during high demand periods. That’s fairly rare.

        In any case, like I said, just to meet nighttime demands we generate a lot of electricity that goes to waste.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      @ ronnie schrieber

      C’mon, you’ve read they waste electricity have you?

      The plants don’t run flat out if they don’t have to. You have all sorts of different kinds of plants to meet a given demand, and you can throttle all of them. Electric utilities devote a great deal of effort into getting plant scheduling and loading plants properly. The trick is to meet demand in the most economical fashion.

      Call Detroit Edison for an explanation. Old wives’ tales apparently trump picking up the phone to ask someone who knows.

      I don’t have the time or desire to elaborate further. Suffice it to say I worked in the electric utility business for over 20 years.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Relax guys, the utility does not dump power to ground to create a dummy load. The electrical grid is like a huge pool with a bunch of hoses dumping water in (generation) and a bunch of hoses going out (load). The level is kept even. That is why when you buy “wind” power from you utility for a couple of extra cents per KWH, the electricity you actually used is highly unlikely to have originated in the windings of a windmill. But some of what is dumped into that pool did. All utilities work to keep the grid stable and away from voltage collapse and deliver precisely 60 Hz at the end of each and every day.*** That’s why entities such as the Northeast Power Coordinating Council exist. Generators go offline as needed and there is plenty of round the clock load to keep the reduced number of units running efficiently. Maybe back in the stone age they dumped power but not today. Next we are going to hear that it is cheaper to leave on fluorescent lights than turn them off…some of these old wives tales just won’t die…

        ***Regulating the number of cycles tightly is important because this timing cycle is used by all sorts of electronics to keep proper timing. Anybody who has had a sustained power failure has likely noticed that their clock radio as crept up in time while running on the battery backup. Also, for us with generators, the clocks tend to creep up as well because more often than not the home standby systems tend to run a few extra hertz…unless of course you have a Genrac (Guardian) system…then you don’t run at all…

  • avatar
    Rob Finfrock

    All every post you’ve ever put on this website demonstrates is that your a non-value added troll boy. Get a life.

    Seems only one of us is taking this exchange personally, Carlson, and it isn’t me.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      Right, because “fanboiz” is an actual word you can find in a dictionary and it’s okay to start a sentence with “And”.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The way I saw it, the guy gave an enthusiastic opinion of the car, based on his actual driving experience, and you jumped on him.

      Sure, his opinion might be over the top but it’s also possible that he simply responds enthusiastically to certain qualities that the Volt happens to possess. In fact, many Volt owners (and some testers) like the isntant torque and several have said it’s like nothing else they’ve ever driven.

      This kind of response to the Volt reminds me of something I believe Farago once wrote about the Lexus LS600h… “the power just comes on like a subway train.” Not a bad word picture. That differentiates a car in a way that some people are going to appreciate and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “@FromaBuick6….What! The guy gives a positive comment on a Volt and now he is considered a troll?”

    @mikey – Sure because every troll on this board demo’s a car for almost 3 days before commenting on it. Right? ………LOL

    • 0 avatar
      Rob Finfrock

      A scene from Carlson’s Chevy dealer:

      “Wait… what? You mean we have a bite on the VOLT? You’re kidding! You say he wants to take it for a test drive? Hell, let him have it THREE DAYS! It’s not like we’re doing anything else with it, after all!”

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Rob, just don’t get the absolute vitrol from you about this car (or the Cruze). Simply put, it’s a car. If someone wants to buy one to what they perceive will save the world, then good on them. They’re probably wrong, but why do you care? This isn’t a battle cry against Foxnewsthink or for Greenforever.org. Its a car. It gets marketed to people who are looking for a hybrid but would like to buy a GM instead of a Toyota. Honestly what’s wrong with that.

  • avatar
    beken

    Come on folks, let’s chill a bit. Take a step back. State your opinions but let’s adhere to the commenting policies okay? One of the reasons I comment less and less is because I see this behavior happening more and more on TTAC. Great to see some passion in our hobbies, but let’s get along even when we disagree.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/faqs/#commentpolicy

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    As of Oct 31 we had built roughly 10500 vehicles, sold 5000, shipped 2300 dealer demos, had over 1400 in-transit (includes roughly 300 demos) and about 1800 on dealer lots… nearly 85 percent of the 2,600 participating Volt dealers have only one or zero Volt’s in stock. Of the 1400 dealers currently with no stock, roughly half have received a Volt and sold it and half are waiting to receive their first unit.

    I dunno, there’s some curious points in here. Consider that when Chevy rolls out a new ‘Vette, they sell tons of them without demos and many with “market adjustments.” Over 60 years, they’ve built up a lot of fanboy mojo.

    I’d have thought that with all the hype over:
    1) electric cars
    2) save GM
    3) Buy ‘Merican!
    4) Big Oil eats children!
    5) electricity is “green”

    and other peculiar perceptions, that GM could have sold these with fewer demos. Nissan did with the Leaf.

    The Volt, in theory, has more going for it, particularly utility and price. So is GM’s marketing of this a failure? Or is Nissan a liar?

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I can imagine buying a Volt. I can’t imagine buying one in November or December when the weather is lousy and getting worse. Who want’s to drive your new show car through all that salt, snow and other yuck. Better to buy it in April

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Saw my first Volt in use the other day here in western PA. Actually, it was in a shopping plaza parking lot rather than a dealer’s lot.

    It looks as nice up close as it does at a distance or in pictures.

    EN is right, we’ll just have to be patient to see meaningful trends. It’s tough to draw conclusions with recent data.

    But my opinion is that GM’s 2012 forecast is wildly optimistic, particularly as our economy stalls.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The Volt sold a little over 1100 units in October. Not bad. The dealership I was at had already sold 2 in the first week. So I’m not sure GM will make it’s goal of 10K by years end but they may be around 7-8K units. Again not bad. Imagine if the economy was still going gangbusters and gas was over $4 a gallon. I suspect they’d be selling even better.

    Me, I like idea of the Volt or any vehicle for that matter than runs on something besides imported oil. Mainly becasue I believe that energy independance for the US is important.

    Lastly, I be proud if I had anything to due with the design and manufacture of that car. Having an engineering background, I’m amazed at what they accomplished at GM with car. Drive one and then tell me it’s not worth every penny.Or at least drive one before you make some troll comment that it’s a “pig”.


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