By on January 4, 2012

Wamp wamp! That’s the sound of the sad trombone playing for the Chevrolet Volt, which missed its 2011 sales target by 2,329 units. General Motors hoped that the Volt would sell 10,000 units in 2011, but it was not to be.

Bloomberg reports that the bow tie brand sold only 7,671 Volts in 2011, but has plants to increase annual production to 60,000 units annually. 45,000 of those will be sold in the United States. The Volt had only been on sale nationwide for the final three months of 2011.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the Nissan Leaf  had sold 8,720 units through November, compared to 6,142 Volts (according to data from Automotive News). Despite being hyped up as an electric car devoid of range anxiety, consumers evidently didn’t care, opting for the little Nissan instead.

While the Volt was helped by GM authorizing the sale of 2,300 demonstrator units in November, the Leaf, unlike the Volt, has still not been launched in all 50 states, instead remaining on sale solely in the coastal regions and the Chicago metropolitan area. It’s still to early to tell how the NHTSA investigation into the Volt’s battery-related fires has impacted sales, as our data only extends to the month of November, and the NHTSA announcement came on November 25th.

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81 Comments on “Chevrolet Volt Misses 2011 Sales Target By 2,300 Units, Outsold By Nissan Leaf...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Why buy a Leaf or a Volt, when plug-in Hybrids are coming on line?

    The EV concept has its limits, pun intended.

    • 0 avatar
      hyundaivirgin

      The Volt might have sold more if it weren’t the least functionally useful and ugliest car out there. Who thought that wide swaths of unevenly shaped black plastic under the windows, extending forward in an aimless useless indescribably asymmetric shape into the engine box, plus a lower cheat line that is mysteriously broken by the doors, were good ideas? In its mishmash of odd trapezoidal shapes and broken lines, it most closely resembles that other esteemed GM product of design by committee, the Aztec. And who thought that you could sell the Volt on the idea of taking long road trips, but then pin the passengers into a claustrophic back seat with low headroom and a huge battery taking away your ability to stretch out once in a while?

      Why the Leaf? We are happy Leaf owners. It does 95% of our car missions. It is tall and airy. It accelerates fast and corners solidly. We put the baby seat in the middle of the back seat and can still seat 4 more people. The charging time is not an issue as we typically charge from half full, and only maybe every other day. It will cost us $25000 after rebates, less than an equivalent Prius with nav and backup camera. For the occasional (twice monthly) longer trips we get into our Elantra Touring. A family could buy a Leaf and a used ICE car for less than the price of one Volt and get 2.5x the functionality (10 total seats vs 4), and overall use less energy, because you only carry along the one powertrain you need, and most of the time that is the one that does not use gas.

      So why does the Volt not sell? Because there is no point paying more and getting less, and looking frumpy while doing it.

      The plug-in Prius is okay but I just cannot stand the steering, or lack thereof, or the central console, or its low sitting position, or its narrow interior.

    • 0 avatar
      Idemmu

      I guess most of the Leaf buyers didn’t like the standard Chevy Volt heated seat..err..everything, and prefer to be stranded on the way to the grocery store.. Most of the leaf drivers would probably argue that Volkswagens, or Saab are likely to leave a person stranded, but, here they are driving a car that has probably left more drivers stranded than VWs and Saabs Combined.. This world I tall yaz…

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      “Why buy a Leaf or a Volt, when plug-in Hybrids are coming on line?”

      Correct me, if I am wrong, but I thought, and still think, that the Volt is a plug-in hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The technical difference is that the drivetrain on the Volt is purely electric. You could remove the gas generator and replace it with more batteries, a fuel cell, or even nothing at all, and the car will still work just fine for 35 mi or so.

        The other hybrids on the market are more truly ‘hybrid’ in that they use (need?) both the motor and the engine for propulsion.

        However, I see the question better asked as: “Why buy a Volt when you can get the same functionality for $10,000 less?”

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        redav: “The technical difference is that the drivetrain on the Volt is purely electric.”

        A common misconception. The motor can drive the wheels directly, which is more efficient than dual-conversion of mechanical energy to electricity and back, anyway. It’s basically a Prius with a bigger battery, different algorithms for allocating and using battery and ICE power, a higher CD and a lot more road-hugging weight.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @kixstart: The Volt can only directly drive the wheels in certain high speed situations. This was the ‘big dirty secret’ about the Volt last spring. At normal operating speeds/modes, the electric motor does all of the driving of the wheels.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    The price of the Volt is simply too high, even with the rebate. The high price/early adopter model hasn’t panned out. Time for GM to start putting the Voltec drivetrain into other models to try and recoup some of the developmental costs.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      agreed, i predict the volt being a horrible failure, in addition to the fisker/tesla experiment.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that the price of Volt hurts its sales. I asked my less Internet-plugged friends about Volt’s fires, and the recall, and nobody heard anything. That story is completely muffled by the common media. So it must be the plain price.

      By the way, I cannot understand one thing: why cannot GM sell Volts with a big loss? Simply jack up the pice of full size trucks and transfer the money towards the small cars. Voila, CAFE compliance without any engineering (or at least dramatic improvements of average fleet fuel economy), and booming Volt sales, too.

      Not that I have anything against affordable trucks, in fact I have an 19 mpg one. But I’m wondering why GM did not do that margin transfer thing.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    There’s limited demand for both of these things. This Volt-Leaf pissing contest is just a tempest in a teapot. You may as well argue about who has the most popular manual transmission diesel station wagon.

    But whereas the Leaf can practically monopolize what little there is of the EV market, the Volt competes with the Prius, no matter how much GM wishes to claim otherwise. And the Prius owns this space. The odds of shoving the Prius aside are low.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The Prius PHV will very likely put a dent in Volt sales. It has more passenger capacity, more room for cargo , better DBFE (Dead Battery Fuel Economy), a lower price and the strength of the Prius name. It will certainly have strong appeal to people who commute much less than 40 miles per day. Why pay more for EV miles you won’t regularly use?

      • 0 avatar
        petecele

        This is what I do not understand about the Prius PHV trying to compete with the Volt. The Volt electric motor is designed to drive the car (almost) all the time and is about 150 hp. The Prius electric motor is designed to supplement the gas motor and is somewhere around 50 hp. I have not seen that this will be increased for the PHV? I drive about 6 miles a day, with an occasional longer trip. With either car I would be in electric-only mode most times. I would consider a car with a 150 hp electric motor, but I would never consider one with a 50 hp electric motor.

      • 0 avatar
        celebrity208

        +1 DBFE
        you should trade mark that shizz

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        Add to that 14 years of reputation.

        The Volt was an unproven product with an unproven history of long-term reliability and dependinbility.

        Battery fires aren’t going to help that reputation either.

        Then again, GM also recalled and replaced every single battery in their laughable two mode hybrids a few years ago and now we have E-assist. So they are determines to keep trying.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Volkswagon has the most popular manual diesel station wagon. Doing quite well with them too – they sell every one they can be bothered to import. :-)

      I agree though, the Volt is competition to the Prius, and not really all that competitive with it. If you have a commute where you never have to add gas to a Volt, you might as well buy a Leaf.

      Anyone figured out where the break-even mileage point is between a regular Prius and Volt? 30 miles for “cheap” (electricity sure isn’t free where I live) then relatively lousy gas mileage vs. rather better mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      axual

      I agree, the Volt does compete with the Prius which is why GM Marketing Team needs to get their act together.

      Many Leaf owners are going to rely on free power paid by others. The Volt, though it has that feature as well … is not dependent on this.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    So, did they sell only 7,671 because that’s all they could build? If that’s all they could sell, I don’t see how ramping up production capacity to 60k is going to help.

    Unfortunately for GM, that T-shaped battery and the chassis that was designed around it will preclude its being adapted to other gm models.

  • avatar
    Weltron

    This should really come as no surprise. I mean, who in their right minds thought that it would make its sales targets? With its price and some of the flak surrounding the car, it really was a tough call from the beginning.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Give it (the Volt) a chance. Our Fearless Leader is doing the best he can- first the anti-Toyota “safety” campaign, and the moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The price of gasoline will eventually rise high enough to make the Volt and the Leaf economically justified for the average comsumer. And their “skyrocketing” electric bills will un-justify the Leaf at the same time, due to the switch from coal-fired electricity generation. IT COULD WORK !

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The moratorium on Gulf oil drilling was lifted in October of 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      the anti-Toyota “safety” campaign

      You must have it on good authority that Obama personally installed the wrong floor mats in the Lexus that killed Mark Saylor.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Neither did anyone from Toyota (employee of dealership is not employee of Toyota). But Toyota was somehow fined multimillion.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It wasn`t just the floormats, which I agree with wsn wasn`t directly Totota’s fault. My Sienna was recalled due to the potential of a rusting spare wheel harness – I would call that a safety issue and directly Toyota’s fault. Also it was recalled for a fuel system issue. So lets not fall for the recall issue solely being about spurious UIA. There were many other valid recalls in that period, so much so Toyota admitted they had grown too quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      I guess you haven’t seen this
      http://planetoceannews.com/2011/11/21/shell-sets-deepwater-gulf-oil-record-at-9627-feet/

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      1st off, a big part of the high price of oil can be attributed to the OBSCENE amounts of $$ that has flowed into oil futures.

      Also, more oil is being pumped in the US than at any time during the Bush administration; but now, one of the biggest US exports is oil/gas.

      The US hasn’t been a net oil exporter for more than 2 decades.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    On the November Sales conference call, GM had said Volt fleet sales were 11% of total Volt sales. On that basis, Volt retail sales in November were in the neighborhood of 1013. In December, Volt retail sales were 997.

    In other words, retail sales gradually rose to about 1K per month by October and have been more or less flat since.

    Getting Volts into commercial fleets is probably a good thing for increasing exposure and familiarity with the car but, if you ask me, it’s not at all likely that GM’s going to need 45K units of production for the US next year.

    Here’s another thought… How many of those Volt sales were principally to get the toy and to get the rebate this year? I would not be surprised to see Volt retail sales fall in January.

    The Volt remains a pretty good idea but it’s expensive (and has a few other problems). In fact, one can look at the existence of the Prius PHV as Toyota’s endorsement of the concept.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      GM appears to have two choices: Stick with the current price point, which practically ensures that the car is never able to amortize its fixed costs, or else reduce the price point.

      Lowering the price could increase sales volumes and better use the capacity of the factory, but that would most likely generate losses, given the cost of the battery. So either way, they lose.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        There is another alternative.

        Cut the size of the battery (maybe remove the cooling system, which might be a significant chunk of the cost) and build a Volt that’s more like the Prius PHV, including more aggressive use of the engine at speeds above 55.

        They could also swap for an Atkinson cycle engine to improve DBFE and eliminate the premium fuel requirement. I don’t imagine the part count in an Atkinson is all that much different than a regular Otto, so the ICE cost shouldn’t increase on account of it.

        The downside is that this would add some development cost (the battery and trunk would need rearranging, for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Cut the size of the battery

        If they had been smart, that’s what they would have done in the first place. But no…GM wanted to be able to claim that the Volt is an EV with a backup system, instead of a hybrid, even though it’s a(n expensive) distinction without a difference, about which nobody cares.

        This illustrates one of the problems with GM — they continuously try to compete by using a number or two (in this case, the electric-only range) instead of with the overall package. Toyota’s branding works because it competes on consistency; TMC provides a predictably decent result, and rarely offers unpleasant surprises.

        In contrast, GM hypes up some statistic, even though most of us couldn’t care less, missing the forest from the trees. Random stats don’t sell cars; after years of failing with this strategy, you would think that they would have figured this out.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        build a Volt that’s more like the Prius PHV,
        Maybe something like this?

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        mcs,

        So they’re going to (likely) cut the cost of the battery but increase the complexity and cost of the rest of the drivetrain (the two-mode system is expensive).

        Oh, GM, GM, GM…

        pch101,

        Well, yeah. The entire reason for building the car was “to leapfrog Toyota.” Call me crazy but I think a better reason for building a car is “to make money.”

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The entire reason for building the car was “to leapfrog Toyota.”

        Which could have been a worthwhile strategy had they done that. But they didn’t.

        What Lutz et. al. don’t understand is that the “early adopter” and “innovator” consumers who first bought the Prius perceived that as being an electric car with a gas extender. (Those who aren’t big fans of the Prius don’t see it that way, but the early buyers did.) Presenting the Volt as if it is dramatically different from the Prius isn’t going to move those people, as they think that the Prius accomplishes the same thing.

        I would recommend reading Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm and the book’s adaptation of the Technology Adoption Cycle. http://www.chasminstitute.com/METHODOLOGY/TechnologyAdoptionLifeCycle/tabid/89/Default.aspx Apply this to the Volt/ Prius market, and I think that it becomes obvious that the innovators and early adopters for this sort of product were already captured by the Prius. What’s now up for the debate is whether this will cross the chasm and who can make money from it in the mass market, assuming that there ever is a mass market.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Increasing production to 60K units would be the triumph of hope over experience. If GM wants to sell more Volts then it has to be priced around $30K – not $40K.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      If the rebate continues, reducing the MSRP to $35K would probably be a big help ($27,500, net).

      If the rebate ends (Rep. Mike Kelly has introduced legislation to kill it), then even at $35K it’s Game Over.

  • avatar
    NN

    The $350/month lease on the Volt makes much more sense to me, and I don’t see why GM doesn’t do a national ad campaign on this offer.

    Real life example for me…my current ride gets about 17mpg on my daily commute, and I drive about 35 miles/day. Let’s keep the math simple and say 2 gallons at $3.25/gallon.

    That’s ~$195 on gas alone per month. If I plugged a Volt in every night I would probably use less than a gallon of gas a month, so now all of a sudden my net costs are more or less the equivalent of leasing a Camry, and I have the satisfaction of using domestic-sourced energy (in my area mostly nuclear) to power my car.

    If GM really wants to sell 45-60k next year, they’ll have to advertise this lease so people stop thinking it’s a $40k car

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I’m fairly certain the $350 lease offer ended. The deal is now $399 and I’m not sure how many miles you get for that.

      And you don’t get the tax credit when you lease it, so that’s your net price.

      And don’t bank on that “use less than a gallon a month,” figure, especially if you live in a state that is known to encounter the climate phenomenon known as “winter.” It would appear that the Volt engine starts up relatively frequently when the temps go under 25 (maybe more often if you can’t pre-condition, say, after being parked at work). You also use up a lot of battery power running the A/C when the weather is hot.

      Even with heavy rebate support, it is unlikely that buying a Volt saves any money, compared to buying some thrifty new car or a Prius. Drive more than 40 miles and the mediocre DBFE of the Volt hurts. Drive less than 40 miles and the high fixed cost of the Volt hurts.

      And if you’re driving something that gets 17mpg because you actually need something that gets 17mpg, then the Volt certainly isn’t going to replace the utility of whatever you’re driving.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Conservationists want to preserve natural resources, like a forest, for future generations to use while environmentalists would prefer that humans don’t harvest the lumber even if the trees are replanted. I don’t think the Volt or any EV or plug-in hybrid can win over frugal conservationists on the basis of energy efficiency vs. vehicle cost. The market depends on the customer getting some emotional environmentalist green status for the extra money. Think selling expensive food at Whole Foods Market. General Motors needs to figure out how to provide the maximum perceived environmental and lefty social status for the minimum cost. My brother’s neighborhood in Ann Arbor seems to have at least one Prius on every block. GM needs to appeal to that upscale environmentalist demographic to have profitable retail sales of an inherently more expensive niche product. Maybe they need to cut the Volt range/battery size and build it out of recycled metal and organically grown hemp.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        As tensions rise in Iran and North Korea, we could easily see $150 or even $200 barrels of oil. All those folks shelling out $41k for a BMW, would likely be better off with a Volt. There is definitely a degree of cool factor in driving a vehicle that for MOST people will never run on gasoline.
        With the EV1 debacle behind it (but the volumes of data still secure and readily available) and Toyota already occupying the ‘hybrid’ middle ground, GM’s choice may appear risk, but it was the only choice it could make. It’s one thing to work with Ford and BMW to share costs on transmission development, but to license Toyota’s drive system, as Ford did, and put them in Chevrolets. I get that, why is it hard for others to understand that? Do not line the pockets of your enemies. Find another back door in. The Volt is that back door in.
        Of course, it is unlikely to be profitable at $41k, just like battery technology is not guaranteed to double every 2 or 3 years like computer technology used to.
        I would not set aside the Edsel, 1934 Arrowstar, the Dale, Briklin and many others to make room for the Volt on the shelf of shame. Introductions rarely go as planned, unless you have groupies dressing up as vampires or witches on broom sticks like at so many theaters around the world these days.
        The market will have to be right for such a vehicle to take off. A drastic oil price increase could be one. Delaying pipelines from Alberta until easterners are freezing in the dark may not be the most prudent move. Japan slipping quietly into the ocean one night might also boost the Volt’s sales.
        GM had to get into that market and do it in a unique way. That much they have accomplished. Now, all they have to figure out is how to sell them
        The next 2 or 3 years are going to be crucial to the auto industry, and not just in North America.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Quote-” The moratorium on Gulf oil drilling was lifted in October of 2010.” And the point is…?
    The attack on Pearl Harbor ended Dec.7th 1941 but still had an effect on the U.S. for many years.
    I was merely expressing the (supposed) strategy of the Commander-In-Chief of Government Motors to help out GM by raising the price of gasoline. (And the strategy of the government campaign hyping the notion that Toyotas were unsafe.)

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Gee, I dunno, maybe the (supposed) strategy of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States is to protect the environment from the release of another bazillion barrels of oil or to ensure that the cars on the road are actually, you know, SAFE.

      The Toyota situation was probably overblown but dead bodies tend to get the general public’s attention and politicians like to be seen doing something about dead bodies.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Isn’t GM still dependent upon trucks and SUVs for much of their profits?

        Do they make any money off of the Volt?

        How do higher gas prices help them out? I’d imagine the ideal scenario from their perspective would be very cheap gasoline and a resulting return to the truckapalooza of a decade ago.

        Toyota and Hyundai, on the other hand, would probably welcome a rise in gas prices.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        bikegoesbaa,

        Good point!

        While it’s extremely doubtful that GM’s going to make any money off the Volt in the near future, it would be nice to find that they are making money off cars like the Cruze and Sonic.

        On the conference call today, GM said they’d be putting a lot of money into improving 4 truck plants. Maybe that’s a clue.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        KixStart: On the conference call today, GM said they’d be putting a lot of money into improving 4 truck plants. Maybe that’s a clue.

        GM’s full-size pickup is now the oldest of the three major pickups (F-150, Silverado/Sierra and Ram), so it’s due for an update. (It’s really OVERDUE for a new version.)

        Along with the update, GM is undoubtedly revamping the plants that manufacture it.

        This isn’t necessarily proof that GM is still placing most of its eggs in the truck/SUV basket. Ford never let the F-150 grow stale, even as it rolled out the Fiesta and Focus.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @scarey:
      “Quote-” The moratorium on Gulf oil drilling was lifted in October of 2010.” And the point is…?”

      The point is you said there is a moratorium on drilling when there is none.

      “I was merely expressing the (supposed) strategy of the Commander-In-Chief of Government Motors to help out GM by raising the price of gasoline. (And the strategy of the government campaign hyping the notion that Toyotas were unsafe.)”

      Well, since GM’s highest profit vehicles are trucks and SUVs, what better way to help them out than to make sure gas prices stay high…right? And what does hurting Toyota do for the economy – they have hundreds of thousands of workers here in the States. No, Toyota hurt ITSELF.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The Volt wasn’t really available in most of the US until the 4th quater of this year. In October and November it outsold the Leaf, not sure about December. If gas was $4 or $5 a gallon right, instead of $3, I think we’d see a different sales scenario.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Per the conference call, it was available across the US in October and that availability really didn’t move the needle all that much (September 723, October 1108).

      It seems reasonably likely that after the initial, small rush of early adopters get their cars, demand in each state falls off.

      That said, the Volt is (or will soon be) certified for HOV use in certain places in California. That could provide some boost to sales, although it doesn’t seem to be helping the Leaf all that much.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Check this out. Apparently the Volt has just
    won an award!

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Sydney

    I wonder if the Volt (or Ampera) will sell better outside the USA due to different buyer habits. In America, owners tend to keep their new cars only a few years or until the warranty expires whereas in many parts of the world a car is seen as a longer term investment. (well, expense anyway) The answer to my question will probably not emerge until the Volt proves itself able to perform as an older, possibly used, car.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Maybe GM has a strategy to start down the path of “econonomies of scale” without only depending on the present Volt model and subsides.

    The ELR will hit the auto show circuit again. However I would bet that this car has already been green lighted and is in motion behind the scenes.

    The ELR can use the Volts architecture while being priced up market. It can be slotted under the Tesla and Fisker while building Volt component volumes.

    If we can break down the China import cost barriers it could be exported successfully. More volume.

    it may be a Hail Mary pass, but guts is what is needed at US automakers today. In the future “play it safe” cars will become a disposable commodity and what margins are left will be compressed further.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    The dealer by my office now has at least three Volts sitting out front. So much for the fanboy claims of waiting lists, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, same in my area. One of them has “VOLT” painted on the sides of the car in giant letters. They’re not selling worth diddly in my area. But the number of Prius sedans in this area are like cockroaches, all of them driven by old people. Then again, the Prius surpassed the million-mark sold a long time ago.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I miss Ed already. He would have given us a nice graph of monthly sales for the Volt and the Leaf. How about it Derek give us a visual aid.

  • avatar

    a disaster from the beginning with no way out. best option? pull the plug now.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      They’ll never pull the plug. They can’t! The Volt was a condition of the bail out. It was the wet dream of Obama and the environmentalist green weenie uber-left liberals, funded by the American tax payers. Chalk up another loss for we, the people. Solyndra, anyone?

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Volt is actually doing worse than it may seem. GE has pledged to buy fully 1/2 of Volt production and consequently should reap hundreds of millions of $ in tax credits – at taxpayer expense. Recently GE was the largest recipient of government loan guarantees yet pays no taxes. By any definition this is corporate cronyism at its worst.

    As the head of Audi said, the Volt is a car for:
    Are Chevy Volt buyers idiots? Audi’s American president thinks so.
    http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/03/are-chevy-volt-buyers-idiots-audis-american-president-thinks-so/

  • avatar
    damikco

    Horrendous editorial here. every day it’s something anti GM. Why? Lets just note the Volt only missed it’s mark by 2300, not bad for a brand new ideal in a recession. Also lets make it known that the Volt was not sold continental wide and two it had stalled production for nearly two months.

    http://www.prlog.org/11604267-chevrolet-volt-faces-production-shortages.html

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The Volt missed its mark by 23%. That’s quite a miss. And they didn’t claim they would do that until they were a few months into selling it. Nobody could figure this out from the early clues?

      Stalled production is GM’s own responsibility; they made their own decision on when and what to produce. They’ve managed the pace and timing of this vehicle to their own ends and the upshot is, they didn’t hit a mark they established for themselves.

      If this news item (I wouldn’t call it an editorial) is anti-GM, it’s because the facts themselves are anti-GM.

      You might give careful thought to what you consider to be “news” sources. I got a laugh out of this line from your article:

      “Hendrick Chevrolet Cadillac has been designated the official Headquarters of the Chevrolet Volt!”

      Sure, the author of that would have no desire to shade the truth…

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I definitely think GM is overestimating demand for the Volt. Unless there is significant price changes in the vehicle, it will not see 60k units per year.

    More like 20-30k per year and probably not even that much.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think GM is overestimating the demand for GM, not just the Volt. In my region they have acres and acres of distributor storage lots loaded with unsold 2011 GM cars and trucks, and more being hauled in every day by train and truck from around the country.

      I would never buy any EV or Hybrid. I just don’t believe in them. Gasoline and Diesel are just too abundant and I don’t care what fuel costs. I’d rather drive. It beats walking.

      But in the worst case scenario, if there was no other choice and I HAD to buy an EV or Hybrid, I’d go with the one that has sold the most over the past ten years. The Prius.

      There are hundreds of them in my area, all of them driven by old folks. And they love them! One guy who joins my friends and I for donuts and coffee in the morning has had a Prius since they first came out and buys a new one about every four years. He loves them! Never had any problems with them. No fires. No burned-down home. Just get in and go.

      His other car is a ’96 Towncar, and his truck is an even older F150.

      The Volt will never sell well at that price point because the Camry Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid sell for less. Even the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid offers more of everything than the Volt does.

      Buying a Volt just doesn’t make sense to a lot of people because it is basically a battery-powered small sedan with a screaming-banshee AC generator to keep it going for the long haul. Not appealing at all at that price point. You can buy two Cruzes for the price of one Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I think GM is overestimating the demand for GM

        I noticed in the December report that vehicle inventories fell from 86 days supply in November to 67 in December and full size trucks fell in the same time from 105 to 73. Obviously the Christmas shutdown helps but they are controlling inventory and 67 is perfectly reasonable company wide.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        “I think GM is overestimating the demand for GM”

        I noticed in the December report that vehicle inventories fell from 86 days supply in November to 67 in December and full size trucks fell in the same time from 105 to 73. Obviously the Christmas shutdown helps but they are controlling inventory and 67 is perfectly reasonable company wide.

  • avatar
    damikco

    “Hendrick Chevrolet Cadillac” Is just buying ad space on the article submitted by PRlOG. If GM had enough units for the year they could have sold many more Volts. The demand was there, and strong enough for dealerships to sell Volts over MSRP and you cant call that a failure.

    http://www.dailytech.com/AutoNation+to+Its+Chevy+Dealerships+Sell+Volt+at+MSRP+or+Face+Termination/article19346.htm

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I feel bad for investors or rather gamblers who bought GM common shares at IPO.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I don’t. Stupidity should be punished and they tried to profit from the misfortune of GM’s previous stockholders, creditors, and that of the taxpayers. Besides, most of it was bought with billions handed out to the Obama regime’s pet bankers.

      • 0 avatar
        damikco

        Handouts?! Why dont you tell us about the billions and Billions foreign automakers received from their home country’s on top of the Billions the southern states have been throwing at them for the last two decades.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Would that be like the billions southern states and Michigan, Ohio and Illinois have showered on GM, Ford and Chrysler at various times over the last 20+ years when they have modernized (or threatened to close) a plant?

        Or all of the money that Tennessee showered on GM for locating the Saturn plant in Spring Hill?

        Memories seem to be a bit selective on this issue…

  • avatar
    Michal

    Wow, the Volt has been on sale for barely a year and is at the forefront of a new type of vehicle, and some people are already declaring it essentially dead? Give it time to be accepted by the marketplace and drop in price once production costs are reduced.

    The first Prius didn’t exactly have a stellar debut either, and went on to be a very successful model (top seller in Japan in 2009, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      ++1

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      some people are already declaring it essentially dead?

      It’s window of opportunity is closing fast. With the 5 passenger Prius PHEV coming onto the market this year and GM’s own form of cainism, the Cruze PHEV, on the horizon, I think it’s going to get a lot tougher to sell the Volt. The sales numbers also indicate that the subsidy is probably benefiting Nissan (and soon Toyota) more than GM, so I don’t see the subsidy surviving Congress.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    http://apps.detnews.com/apps/blogs/watercooler/index.php?blogid=3790

    “But even the 6,000 figure is worse than it appears, because – according to a Daily Caller analysis – many are being bought by the government itself.

    “On Dec. 7, for example, New York City announced it had bought 50 Volts,” reports Munro. “In November, the city of DeLand, Florida announced it was using part of a $1.2 million federal grant to buy five of the autos.” This in addition to the 100 Volts Obama himself announced the feds would purchase this May.

    When Obama isn’t buying the cars directly, he’s buying them through stimulus grants to utilities.

    “A total of 64 Volts were purchased by a coalition of 28 utility companies,” continues Munro. “The purchase is funded with $30 million from Obama’s. . . American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” In addition Obama is leaning on his corporate crony friends – like the head of his Jobs Council, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt – to buy Volts. GE – itself the recipient of millions in taxpayer stimulus dollars – will purchase roughly 3,000 Volts per year through 2015.

    And so on. Indeed, Obama has promised that by 2015 all federal vehicle purchases will be alternative-fuel cars like the Volt – on the way to replacing the entire 600,000 federal fleet.”

    Impala, Rentibu and now Volt

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      In an article about the Volt recall – I mean Volt Customer Appreciation Event, the AP says there are 4,400 unsold and 8000 on the road. If those numbers are accurate then more than 1/3 of Volts produced are yet to be sold.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Electric utility companies ALWAYS purchase any EV that seems to have any kind of chance of acceptance. The one I used to work for bought several of those Renault EV’s of the very late ’70′s (it was a LeCar full of lead and performed about as well as that description suggests).

      Given where the NYC Meter Maid fleet operates, an EV makes a lot of sense. Municipalities are always getting grants for this kind of thing.

      Your link doesn’t seem to do anything and I was going to ask for the source of this news but I see from the next post that it’s Mark Modica. Thanks for the laugh.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.


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