General Motors sold 1023 Chevrolet Volts in February of 2012, but production figures totaled 2,347 units. Uh oh.
As we all know, GM originally targeted 45,000 units sold in the United States this year. GM only sold 603 in January and just restarted product a few days ago – the discrepancy between production and sales has long been documented at TTAC, and even my second-grader math skills can figure out that sales of the Volt are a long way off from their initial targets.
Hardcore skeptics may roll their eyes at the inevitable retort of “bbbuut…bbbbutt…gas prices are going up!”. Volt apologists are far from the only people worried about this – analysts at UBS, in their excellent February sales report, noted that dealers are very worried about how the cost of a gallon of gas will impact sales, with pickups likely to take a big hit. Nobody buying a Silverado is going to switch to a Volt, but since we all know that perfectly rational behavior is non-existent, and people do dumb things when gas prices go up, the Volt may be in for a bit of a sales spike, right as West Texas Intermediate starts to hit $110 a barrel.
As much as some of the B&B would like, this isn’t another nail in the Volt’s coffin. I for one, am curious to see how the HOV lane approved Volts sold in California will fare – and if demand keeps up once the supply of HOV lane stickers themselves run out.