By on January 19, 2012

The Toyota Prius V didn’t hit dealerships until the final week of October, but it still managed to beat the Chevrolet Volt’s entire sales total. According to Bloomberg, Toyota moved 8,399 Prius V models in 10 weeks. The Volt sold 7,671 examples in 2011. Volt production has yet to re-start since it went idle in December, and we can only assume that Toyota is cranking out the Prius V as fast as they can.

 

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80 Comments on “Toyota Prius V Outsells Volt In Just 10 Weeks...”


  • avatar
    Juniper

    Nice car. Too bad it burns so much gasoline.

  • avatar
    analoca

    Guess Prius V and Volt are not comparable vehciles, so sales figures should not compare either…

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    @slance66 – I’ve heard ignorance is bliss, what’s your thoughts?

    Derek – If was your boss you’d be fired so quick the door wouldn’t have a chance to hit your ass on the way out! What a piece of trash!

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Derek posted some simple facts. Complaining about facts is pointless.

      It is only in GM FanBoy Fantasyland that the Volt doesn’t compete with the Prius – and everything else on the road.

      • 0 avatar

        Thank you. If anyone wants to know the honest truth, here it is. I couldn’t care less, in an emotional investment sense, what car outsells what. Camry vs. Accord, Camaro vs. Mustang, Prius vs. Volt. I am completely mercenary and have no brand allegiance.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Derek:

        As the former owner/editor of a successful online e-zine (not remotely related to the automotive industry) can I give you some friendly advice?

        You have to take the feedback your readers give you – both good and bad. Telling your readers, even nicely, to stuff it or grow a thicker skin is not a good way to develop more readers.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        APaGttH: You have to take the feedback your readers give you – both good and bad. Telling your readers, even nicely, to stuff it or grow a thicker skin is not a good way to develop more readers.

        Just because someone gives you feedback doesn’t mean that, one, it is accurate, and, two, you need to automatically treat it as such.

        The way to grow readership over the long haul is to tell the unvarnished truth. Which is what this very brief article did.

        It’s too bad that the Toyota Prius is a much more successful vehicle than the Volt at this time, or that GM spent boatloads of money to reinvent the wheel and ended up with a vehicle that really isn’t all that different from a Prius.

        If readers can’t stand the truth, they can always log on to various pro-GM sites and find comfort in those echo chambers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        So, it’s the only the readers who should benefit and appreciate the “unvarnished truth”? A little one-sided perhaps?

        One thing I appreciate is the “Therefore, what?” test. In this case, the Prius V outsold the Volt dramatically. Therefore, what? Data points in and of themselves don’t mean much, thus even if no “what” is given, one will be implied, hence conclusions of conspiracies, bias, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Seems like a silly comparison. I am sure you will have an article after 12 weeks to say how it is outselling the Leaf as well. Why not something about how it outsold the Lexus HS or maybe the Lincoln hybrid.

    I don’t like to bring up the B word, but what exactly is the point of this article? Was it a GM sales goal to outsell the Prius V? I know GM didn’t make the sales goal for 2011 of 10k units. But why this comparison?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      +1, and I would love to see the article about the Lexus HS (isn`t that being withdrawn soon).
      Wasn`t the Volt not on sale nationwide until the end of 2011.
      The Volt (and Leaf and Prius V) will struggle later this year and into 2013 when the plug-in hybrid and standard hybrid Fusion is released since it is even more practical and more efficient (if Ford figures are to be believed and it is priced competitively).

    • 0 avatar

      The Leaf still hasn’t had a nationwide rollout. Just the coasts and Chicago. And it is still outselling the Volt.

    • 0 avatar

      Because I saw it on the wire and thought TTAC readers would find it interesting/have a discussion about it. That’s why.

      • 0 avatar
        WRohrl

        Keep it coming, Derek, I have no problem with this (short) article. Heck, there is not even a slant on it. Just a straight report that one car outsold another and if I were in the market for another hybrid (OK – NON-conventional) vehicle I would certainly cross-shop the Volt, any Prius configuration available, Honda Civic/Insight Hybrids and also the larger (my perception) sedans such as Fusion, Camry, Altima, Sonata and whatever else is out there.
        Like it or not the Volt is the one that got all of the media and political attention. Now it will be (and is) compared to everything else out there. Nobody in the US was trumpeting the Prius and/or the Leaf’s capabilities nearly as loudly as those of the Volt.

        Some of the comments are clearly childish, even the biggest GM-haters can’t truly believe that the Volt pricepoint is FOUR times as high as it should be. Maybe it should cost less, but whatever.

        And Derek, feel free to respond to whatever anyone writes. It’s your pulpit, use it. Farago did. There is no reason to remain silent (and you aren’t). The whole point of the comments section is for comments and discussion, the author is certainly entitled to respond as long as you don’t edit/censor other’s comments unless they are of a vile nature.

      • 0 avatar
        Mullholland

        So many well meaning readers wanting to help! I am impressed. Perhaps they’ll all be editors one day! The problem is, good help is hard to find.
        Write what you want to write and as I said earlier, ignore the trolls (or the GM PR flacks,
        or the Maximum Bob apologists, or the Nissan Leaf Blowers, etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        protomech

        “Heck, there is not even a slant on it.”

        The article doesn’t have explicit spin in it, but there are a lot of games you can play with careful selection of facts. Since the article is comparing sales numbers of two vehicle lines, it would be useful to have some of the context.

        Examples:
        * How available are the two vehicles in question? Are these US domestic sales or world-wide sales? Are there regions where either vehicle is selling notably well or poorly?
        * How many of the Prius V sales were preorders? How many of the Volt sales were preorders, how is the Volt selling now that preorders in its initial launch markets have been filled?
        * How many of the Volt sales are fleet sales? How many for the Prius V? (doubt many of the latter, but it would be interesting to know)

        As-is, the article is basically a link (er, no real link) and run, empty of context beyond the Volt factory idling since December.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        protomech, your statement reminded me of an article about propaganda and deceit in the news. One of its topics was how to lie using photographs. Obviously, you can use photoshop to alter the photo to change what information it communicates. But the article pointed out something I hadn’t considered before–you can change the meaning of a photo simply by cropping it. It used the widely published photo of a crowd tearing down a statue of Saddam Hussein. But when you saw the whole, uncropped photo, you realize that the ‘crowd’ extended only to the edge of the cropped photo, and those who were cut out of the picture were staging the event.

        Any data can be presented like that photo, which is why statisticians are worse than damn liars. It also highlights the fact that not only does data communicate a message, but also the method with which the data is communicated communicates a message, and this is a fundamental reason for miscommunication. A speaker must be mindful that the message sent equals the message received.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Actually, it didn’t outsell the Lexus CT, which is the new compact Lexus hybrid. Lexus sold 14K CTs, I believe, in just 10 months on the market.

      I think the HS got fairly well dissed on this site but that’a all yesterday’s news. Lexus probably didn’t get too excited about low HS sales, anyway, as the HSD was already fully amortized by other implementations and the HS was just basic parts-bin engineering, so they aren’t out much money.

      The CT is probably good parts-bin engineering, too, and also likely didn’t cost a lot to develop.

      GM’s goal with the Volt was to leapfrog Toyota. Toyota’s goal with everything was to make money. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here but I think “make money” is the better business goal.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    The Prius V also has a built in clientele. All of those Prius drivers that wanted or needed something to move up too and not over the slightly over priced Lexus versions that both have worse fuel economy and about the same space. The Prius has a very loyal following so this is not a surprise. I feel that this is an apples to apples comparison however it needs to be red vs red and not red vs golden or green.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      The Volt also has a built in clientele – anybody who wants a primarily electric car and is pro US/GM. Nobody would buy a Volt for purely functional reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        OTOH, basically every Volt buyer is a conquest, probably from a Japanese make.

      • 0 avatar
        highrpm

        I doubt that there are many conquest buyers for the Volt. It’s still a GM product that carries the history of low reliability and a Government bailout under its belt.

        The Volt buyers are probably GM employees and their families, some government agencies and utility companies, and that’s about it.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: OTOH, basically every Volt buyer is a conquest, probably from a Japanese make.

        Proof, please, with a citation to a credible source.

        For the record, the wishful thinking of posters on Gminsidenews.com does not constitute a credible source.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        http://blog.polk.com/blog/blog-posts-by-barbara-keys/volt-and-leaf-conquest-successes

        “About 78% of Volt buyers didn’t own a Chevrolet at the time of the purchase. On average, about 43% of Chevy buyers are conquests, so the Volt buyer was almost twice as likely to be a conquest than the average Chevy buyer. That pattern holds true for the LEAF, too – about 90% of LEAF buyers didn’t own a Nissan previously. Nissan’s average conquest rate was 52%, so LEAF buyers are also almost twice as likely to be conquests than the average Nissan buyer.”

        So 22% weren’t conquests, but the # is high enough to illustrate the point. The Leaf conquered even more by percentage, but it’s also more radical so I suppose that’s to be expected.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Thank you for the source, but it says 78 percent of Volt buyers didn’t own a Chevrolet at the time of the sale.

        That doesn’t mean that they didn’t own a GM car. Using Polk’s criteria, a Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn or GMC traded for a Volt counts as a conquest sale.

        Chevrolet conquesting sales from another GM brand is a whole lot different from Chevrolet conquesting sales from, say, Honda or Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        GM has been telling Wall Street analysts that they are getting significant numbers of Priuses as trades (I forget the figures). This is likely the truth as lying to that crowd carries severe penalties.

        But what they’re really getting isn’t conquests, they’re getting pent-up demand for an “EV” solution; people who had to make-do with a Prius because the car they really wanted just wasn’t manufactured at all.

        You’ll probably find a lot of Prius trades for Leafs, too.

        When the Prius PHV is available, this trend will slow.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Well I’m not going to pay for a market analysis study to satisfy an internet discussion, but if someone does, I’d be happy to read it.

        I’d be curious to see the conquest % for Volt involving non-GM cars as well, particularly Japanese, and I would bet 100 Schrute Bucks that it’s at least 80% or more higher than any other GM brands.

        But what they’re really getting isn’t conquests, they’re getting pent-up demand for an “EV” solution; people who had to make-do with a Prius because the car they really wanted just wasn’t manufactured at all.

        By definition they’re conquests if they came from a different brand. And even practically, it means that an audience who would never have considered a domestic car (as I’m sure Prius drivers are, and I bet my stereotype that they had only owned non-North American brands before Prius if anything is correct) decided to buy. I’m also thinking that GM is not going to sell an awful lot of body-on-frame full size pickups to Volt owners. But in theory you can call it ‘diversification’, and who knows, you gotta start somewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Dr. KN: “By definition they’re conquests if they came from a different brand. And even practically, it means that an audience who would never have considered a domestic car (as I’m sure Prius drivers are, and I bet my stereotype that they had only owned non-North American brands before Prius if anything is correct) decided to buy. I’m also thinking that GM is not going to sell an awful lot of body-on-frame full size pickups to Volt owners.”

        Your definition of conquest is correct but I would argue that it’s only narrowly correct. The value of conquest sales (and conquest rates) is in knowing that you’re doing whatever you’re doing better than the other guy is doing it.

        Nor am I going to shell out for a marketing study but I believe GM when they say they’re getting Priuses in trade… but are they getting Camrys? Accords? Not so much.

        In this case, GM is getting sales because they are hitting Toyota where they ain’t; in EVs. Once these hard-core EV intenders are gone… what happens then? Does the Volt compete for basic transportation sales? As it is, Volt sales are so low and so many Volts are going begging that I see this as evidence that the Volt isn’t winning wider acceptance.

        And I do follow the anectdotes over on certain other sites. Funnily enough, I see posts from Volt buyers who also have or recently had big-ass BOF hardware or other very thirsty vehicles. They’re “saving money” with the Volt because it costs them less in fuel than their Tahoe does. Well, I guess they didn’t need the 8 seats and 6K tow capacity after all. But it’s curious that suddenly they need an EV to use no gas at all when they were perfectly happy to get 18mpg when they could have had 30 or 35 – or even 50.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        And General Electric who has committed to replacing their fleet with 50,000 Volts over the next 2 years.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    Ya this article just seems like re-selling Haterade.

    You could have at least bothered to add some analysis or compare it to other cars.

    You know what I’d like to see? A sales comparison of the Volt vs. other vehicles in its price range.

    In fact, you could compare the Volt to cars in the 32k range, and the 41k range. That’d be an interesting post to read. But I am sorry I even clicked this post.

    • 0 avatar
      highrpm

      Cars in the $32-41k price range include fully loaded Camrys and Accords which sell in much greater volume than the Volt.

      $32-41k may still buy a Lexus IS, Audi A4, BMW 3, and other very desirable makes. Which also sell in much greater volume to the Volt.

      The Volt is not priced competitively. That is the bottom line.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Ummmm, Derick, Chevrolet only had 8,000 Volts produced to sell in 2011. 96% of inventory was sold in the calendar year produced. Most car makers, even for a niche product swirled in controversy would love to see that sales rate.

    How do we know they made 8,000? Because 8,000 vehicles are involved in the voluntary repair order for the battery fire non-issue (as there hasn’t been any fires outside of a laboratory) – all vehicles produced to date.

    Kind of hard to sell more than 8,000 when you only built 8,000.

    • 0 avatar

      Wasn’t the much higher than 8,000 units and they stopped production because of slow sales? I’m going to go on the record to clear this up; I don’t hate the Volt. I had it for a week and I liked it. It actually makes sense for me, as someone with a 6 mile commute.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        By your own numbers Derek, 7671 sold and there were 8000 built before the production stop. Is that slow sales with those numbers??? I haven’t seen Volt sales numbers since the 7671 figure.

        In the interest of full disclosure the SO and I looked at a Volt and concluded it was too small for our needs. Was a bummer as like you I don’t have a long commute over suburban roads so the math would add up for me if I owned one. A Leaf would not work for me because once a week I have to drive a 100 mile trip once a week. I’m no fan of the Prius but due to driving dynamics, or the complete and utter lack there of.

        So I have no real skin in this game. If we wanted to a more fair comparo, in 2011 the Volt outsold the hybrid powered and similarly priced Lexus HS250h in sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        It probably didn’t make sense for you, actually. With a 6 mile commute, you don’t spend an appreciable amount of money on fuel commuting. If you do spend an appreciable amount of money on fuel annually, and only have a 6 mile commute, you either drive something horribly inefficient to where any basic compact would have a far lower total cost of ownership or you take lots of roadtrips on the weekend and the 35 mile charge range doesn’t do enough to counteract the low 30mpg that you’ll be getting in range extended mode.

        I’m the latter example. 6 mile commute, 20k miles a year due to heavy weekend travel. The less practical Volt was a 20 year payback versus a similarly equipped Prius when I ran numbers on my ridiculous spreadsheet. We’re shopping for our next car since the MINI won’t be adequate for child carrying duties (currently DINK). I’m looking at the $30k range and it is pretty hard to beat the Prius v. It has nearly as much space as my 4Runner inside and will get ~40mpg versus the 28mpg my wife is getting in her MCS due to traffic. Giving up little space and getting the best efficiency among my small fleet means that the v will be the standard choice when we go anywhere unless we’re expecting a snowstorm. When there is a car out there that is cheap to operate and gives you all the space you need, that is a compelling argument.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Wow. If I had only a 6 mile commute, I’d buy a Camaro SS convertible or a Hummer H3! Both in yellow, too.

        Currently, 100 miles. Rats!

        I do consistently get over 30 mpg in my Impala, though. Still…

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        APaGtth,

        First,

        You’ve got the guy’s name staring you in the face and you can’t manage to spell it? What else can’t you get right?

        Second,

        To answer my own question, you can’t get Volt production right. I’m not going to speculate on how GM manipulates its recall numbers but I suggest you surf on over to http://www.gm.com, look for investor relations, sales & production and download yourself a copy of their December production report. GM had built 14K Volts as of Dec 31.

        And GM could have produced more… except they didn’t seem to want to. Production “ramped up” at a glacial pace through early summer and then GM shut production down for 6 weeks before restarting at a pace that leads me to think they had finally started to believe their own BS. But as reality set in, they let production decline and then put production on hiatus for about the past 4 weeks.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        GM produced 14,510 Volts in CY 2011. http://media.gm.com/content/dam/Media/gmcom/investor/2012/0101ProductionPlant.pdf

        GM sold 7,671 Volts in the US in CY 2011. http://media.gm.com/content/dam/Media/gmcom/investor/2012/0101Deliveries.pdf

        I’m not sure what happened to the 6,839 units that weren’t sold in the US, but I’m pretty sure that they didn’t all end up in Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        Kixstart:

        APaGtth,

        First,

        You’ve got the guy’s name staring you in the face and you can’t manage to spell it? What else can’t you get right?

        “Steve Holt… is a bastard.

        He doesn’t even know who his real father is. What else don’t we know about Steve Holt?”

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Ahh, the Volt conundrum. Short-run commuters don’t drive enough miles to justify the price tag, and long-distance commuters will only get 34 mpg with it after the first 35 free miles.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The Prius V is taking over from the Crown Vic as the taxicab of choice in San Diego. They are everywhere. Attacking Derek for reporting facts as if GM and Toyota were in the same class as manufacturers should be seen as flattery by GM shills. Face it: GM spent billions creating a gimmicky toy for people who think market forces are something Keynesians can outsmart. Without subsidies, would GM sell another Volt? Meanwhile, Toyota can look at the same market and create a car that is useful and appeals to people who don’t need the encouragement of a government check or a two year government funded marketing campaign. Embarrassing for the GM shills. No wonder they want Derek to be removed from the marketplace of ideas.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Wow talk about hyperbole. Please define “taking over” and “everywhere”. I don`t doubt they make good taxis, but with being on sale for less than 3 months and less than 9000 sold nationwide I find it hard to believe they are everywhere. Unless of course the city of San Diego (population 1.3 million (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego) is buying them all. That would account for me not seeing any yet (Raleigh-Durham area, population >1.1 million).

      I agree with some of your “argument” above about Toyota being more successful in this space. Note though they sell a Prius plug-in for a similar price to the Volt and their customers also get the $7500 tax credit (as do Leaf owners).

      I haven`t heard anyone wanting Derek to be removed, other than those who took exception to his Ford Fusion comments (seems OK to laud Toyota products in similar ways but not other companies, umm). I personally think he is doing a good job.

      As for your comment about shills, you would know about that since you have never uttered any negative comments about Honda or Acura products and seem to view anyone who disagrees with you as enemies and try to dehumanize them. Rather than engaging in debate.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        When Acura unveiled the beak, I was all over them. When TTAC showed the TL AWD’s trunk opening, I commented that it was an utter failure of packaging. When Honda announced that they were rushing Direct Injection and CVTs to market to quiet their ignorant critics, I lamented that smart customers are no longer a statistically significant demographic. I also took a look at our fleet and made plans to buy the last of the conventional Hondas to replace anything that is within 5 or 6 years of the end of its useful life. You’re the one with the selective myopia. Look at Carlson Fan’s comment in this thread saying he’d fire Derek for daring to comment on real demand for one new hybrid while production is being curtailed for another.

        Everywhere is a stretch, since I don’t go everywhere. I’ve been to the airport four times since the Prius V came out, and they made up almost all of the non-Crown Vic cabs, probably about 15% of them. The other new cabs are regular Priuses. I see them on the streets of the beach community where I live every day and whenever I ride my bike north up the coast. I also see them on the 8 when I drive to my office in Mission Valley and downtown when I go out. I suppose they might not be as common in the places where cabs don’t prowl for bar goers or wait in lines for fares. The Crown Vic managed to make up essentially all of the cabs here while never being a top seller. Word has it that the vast majority of them were former police cars. It is interesting that the cab companies are buying new Toyotas where they once bought used Fords.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-san-diego/green-taxi-and-travel-plans-move-ahead-at-airport

        I did a little research. It turns out that I was wrong on one point. The Prius V cab is here in real numbers, which I knew because I live here and they’re conspicuous as can be in bright colors and looking nothing like the usual Crown Vics. What I was wrong about was thinking it was the market at work. Turns out that public policy initiatives are driving their adoption. Too bad for GM that the Volt wouldn’t work as an airport taxi. I guess they shouldn’t have built a toy.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Thanks for the research, I am just waiting for your incandescent outrage at Governmental interference in the market. Oh I forgot it favors a Japanese company, silly me. So I will be waiting a long time.

        So a disproportionate number are in San Diego, just remember there are >300 million other people in the US and the Prius V is rare, as <9000 units would indicate. This shows the problems that can occur with anecdotal evidence. I will be interested to see how it competes (retail not fleet!) when others enter the market for a "versatile" and slight more fuel efficient vehicle (hello C-Max, maybe Mazda will hybridize their 5)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I’m not happy about the government getting involved in much of anything. San Diego’s government needs to fix their own house before they inflict their stupidity on anyone else’s, but that wouldn’t be much fun for them. Instead they’ll bankrupt private industry with the same defective minds that bankrupted the city. Is that enough outrage for you? If cab companies were buying Prius V’s because of Synergy Drive’s reputation for racking up trouble free miles and saving fuel, that would be great. That they’re doing it as the least of evils available to them thanks to the totalitarians down town is depressing.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Thanks CJ, that is more like it. Just a shame it took some prompting for you to be consistent! Have a good Thursday.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @CJinSD: Well said.

  • avatar
    NN

    I sat in a Prius V recently and really liked it. However, the MSRP was $37k, which shocked me. That’s more or less the same price as a Volt. It may have been a loaded model but didn’t have leather seats (not sure they are even offered).

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The $37k v is the top trim Five model with the advanced tech package which includes radar cruise, precollision system, premium nav w/ JBL speakers, advanced parking guidance, panoramic moonroof, safety connect, and Entune. The Five trim comes standard with leather, 17″ wheels, and LED headlights (not just DRLs). If it didn’t have leather, some dealer is gouging.

  • avatar
    maccve

    I do not see anything wrong with this comparison…they are both marketed towards the same “green” people or people who cannot do math and think they are saving a lot of money (even though they pay a premium to buy the vehicle) because of the increased fuel efficiency…to me the only difference between the vehicles is that the volt also runs on coal power…

  • avatar
    nickeled&dimed

    If only Ford had moved quicker on the C-Max and Energi, THAT would have been a good comparison… As it is, there is no comparable vehicle, as the V is the only hybrid in its’ size class. I bet people who buy a Prius V also cross shopped Mazda 5’s, Subaru wagons, and 1998 4-cylinder Odysseys.

    Owning both a Prius and a Subaru wagon, I’d gladly ditch the Subie for a Prius V, but with only 170k on the wagon, I’ve still got a lot of time and mileage before it’s sufficienlty run-down to justify a new (used) vehicle. Here’s looking at a CPO base Prius V in three years.

    And I do care about cars, really, but for my use they have to be functional, frugal, and reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Good point about the C-Max hybrid and Energi. I had forgotten about those. They are out later this year so within a year of the Prius V. Will be interesting to see how they stack up efficiency and space wise.

  • avatar
    RobertR

    There are two separate issues in this post.

    First, and the one I consider a little more glaring given it is a repeat seen elsewhere, is Kreindler’s defensive posture to comments. One exceptional aspect of TTAC is the fact that the editors will respond to interesting, reasonable, or noteworthy posts by commenters. That is a good feature, and should be maintained. The problem is Kreindler’s responses come across as though he needs to defend his clearly lackluster work, and it shows in his petulance and snark.

    Second, the post itself is weak use of statistics to seem impartial. The only certifiable fact is that the Prius V has now sold more units that the Volt.

    If anything, this post would have better tracked the spirit of TTAC’s if it had added some valuable commentary to the Bloomberg post. What does it mean, if anything, that the new Prius V is selling at a significant clip? Why does the article compare a relatively random 10 weeks in Prius V sales (end of October through first week in January) to a calendar year of Volt sales? Did it take that extra week to overtake the 2011 Volt sales, thus making this a story? Why is this interesting, to us car enthusiasts? (For example: we have a new station wagon in the U.S. that is selling 4,000 units a month!)

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The article uses the 10-week period beginning in late October because that is when the Prius V arrived at dealers. It’s hardly a random 10-week period. That is a good starting point for a comparison.

      It is noteworthy that a new vehicle managed, in 10 weeks, to beat the 12-month sales total of a widely hyped competitor.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It is noteworthy that a new vehicle managed, in 10 weeks, to beat the 12-month sales total of a widely hyped competitor.

        To be fair, the plug-in version of the Prius will not be out until March. The Prius models sold thus far are the new standard hybrid model, and the plug-in Prius will start with an MSRP in the low 30s, well above the standard model and closer to the Volt’s price net of the tax credit.

        We already knew that the Prius was popular prior to this. I doubt that all but a few of the most diehard and irrational among the GM fanboys were presuming that the Volt would completely tank the Prius’ popularity. This article is not making an apples-to-apples comparison.

        That being said, it is fair to ask whether there is much of a market for plugins, and how much of that market will be split between the Volt vs. the Prius. I suspect that we’re going to see that this market segment is small, but that the Prius plug-in will be able to use its brand strength to take much of what share there is of it. However, it’s a bit early to take that to the bank, obviously, given that the Prius plug-in has yet to be released.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      “What does it mean, if anything, that the new Prius V is selling at a significant clip? Why does the article compare a relatively random 10 weeks in Prius V sales (end of October through first week in January) to a calendar year of Volt sales?”

      Here’s why: The Prius v has received a tiny fraction of press as compared to the Volt; yet the Volt will contribute nothing to GM’s success, while the Prius v will be a meaningful player.

      GM is ‘talking’ about expanding the Voltec platform into other vehicles, while Toyota is actually doing it with the Prius platform. And I doubt that GM ever actually will, because the Voltec platform is just too expensive and underperforming (see “Converj”).

  • avatar
    Some Guy

    Why do I read these comments? Just childish arguing. Let talk about whose dad can beat up whose dad while we’re at it.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Presenting the facts in this way implies that the Volt is a failure, even if your intention was to show what a success this new Prius is. It’s an easy way to start a ‘comment war’ between pro and anti GM factions. It’s an interesting little nugget anyway.

    I’ll throw out my own ‘analysis’ and say that this demonstrates the strength of the Prius brand and reputation more than the failure of the Volt.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I mentioned in a recent post but didn’t see that anyone answered – that I recently heard on our local NPR station that the city of Dallas purchased 60 Volts.

    Does anyone know how many of the 8K sales were fleet sales to cities, states, and the Fed Gov?

    For the record the report also mentioned that the city purchased 30 Leafs (Leaves?).

    With this factoid as a starting point for speculation one could guess that some thousands of sales of Volts (and to a lesser degree Leafs) were NOT to indivuduals. Then, speculating that this would hold true in future years, one could further speculate that sales will fall off next year since these EV’s won’t be due for replacement yet.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    In attempting to answer my own question, I did a little research. There are several posts out there on the net, but they all seem to go back to one, very anti-Volt (negative voltage?) article which must be discounted as cant.

    The only discussion that I can find that seems at all neutral is this one:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?8814-Nothing-but-fleet-vehicles/page2&highlight=fleet+sales

    I’ll let you look for yourselves, but the answer seems to be best summarized as “…a blend of fleet, demos, test vehicles, and stock that will go across the US, Canada, and Europe”

    Noteworthy comments are that something a little less than 1,000 were sent out as demo units, and that GE has committed to buying 12,000 units, although it doesn’t seem to be clear if GE has yet taken delivery of any.

    So, adding to my speculation above, I’d say that we can probably guess that 1/3 of Volt sales are NOT to private customers. I am simply guessing based on what little I can find, and I’d love it if somebody has a source for reliable figures – not however, the tainted IMHO nlpc article which is just weirdly, even offensively, deliberately negative.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    I bought a V. first one the dealer got actually. Volt was too small, particularly in rear seat due to the legroom and the tunnel in the middle making it 4 seat car vs 5 seat car. Cargo room also a factor. Comparison set was other wagons and a few large sedans, not a C-segment car.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    You did good, Derek. The GM fan club just hates any kind of editorial that alludes to the actual real-world sales of the Volt, because the Volt was a bust, from the start.

    Just the concept of using an onboard gas-powered AC generator to keep the battery charged, spells inefficiency and alienates a lot of non-believers.

    The Prius was a decade ahead of the Volt and developed its own niche quickly with repeat sales to follow, largely because of its Hybrid architecture which utilizes the gas-engine as well to power the drive-wheels.

    Although I believe that the Volt should be available in the market place to anyone who wants to buy one, I cannot see how continuing to produce the Volt can be done without major financial losses to GM and the tax payers and yet another bail out of GM in the future, just to keep it in business. GM can’t sell its products at a loss and hope to make it up in volume.

    The Volt is way overpriced for what you get and it is heavily subsidized by the tax payers to boot.

    The entire line of the Prius will continue to sell well for a myriad of reasons and the Leaf is gaining popularity although range-anxiety is still an issue for many. That’s just not encouraging news for the Volt fans.

  • avatar

    It seems that 90% of posters missed the fact that the article, and the headline, are from Bloomberg. They already have a response from a GM spokesman in the story, no need for your help.

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    I guess it’s all relative. The Chevy Volt looks pretty good compared to
    these other green losers that Obama backed with taxpayer money:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/13/cbs_news_11_more_solyndras_in_obama_energy_program.html

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    50 thousand of them accounted for

    http://www.afterld.com/showthread.php?32372-GE-to-buy-50-000-Volts-from-GM-half-of-production-run

    Quick! Get yours while you can, only 4650 of them left, two of them priced a very reasonable 430 thousand dollars!

    http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action?stkTyp=N&tracktype=newcc&mkId=20053&AmbMkId=20053&AmbMkNm=Chevrolet&make=Chevrolet&AmbMdNm=Volt&model=Volt&mdId=35025&AmbMdId=35025&rd=100000&zc=00001&enableSeo=1&searchSource=TRAIL_HEAD

    So hot, nobody wants to go near it.


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