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Report: Chevrolet Volt Sales Triple in 2012 4
Posted by Darryl in 2011 Chevy Volt, 2012 Chevy Volt, Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Volt, Chevy Volt, Electric, hybrid, News on 01 4th, 2013

The Chevy Volt has undoubtedly had a slow start in terms of sales – only moving 7,671 units in 2011. While it is still evident of slow but steady economic recovery, consumers are starting to catch onto what the new Chevy Volt really has to offer and have tripled sales accounting for GM selling 23,461 Volts in 2012.

The Chevrolet Volt, commonly misrepresented as a hybrid similar to the Toyota Prius, is actually an electric-powered vehicle that happens to utilize a gasoline engine acting as a generator to recharge its electric motor battery.

The Chevy Volt remains to be one of Chevrolet’s lowest-selling cars beating out the 14,000 Corvettes sold last year by just over 9,000 units. Moreover, the Volt outsold the Nissan Leaf in 2012 where Nissan only managed to move 9,800 units, a minuscule increase of just 1.5% from 2011. The Nissan Leaf is the Volts nearest competitor, which at one time in 2011 outsold the Volt.

The biggest factor contributing to the increase in Volt sales throughout 2012 was its increased popularity in California, which tends to suffer from a massively crowded road grid. The Volt, due to some minor engineering tweaks, is now eligible for California’s carpool lane stickers for the first time.

Of course the negative press from sources reporting on a fire case well after an accident and GM voluntarily recalling the cars to fix the potential issue did not help matters. In the end, it was found that even before the recall the Volt did not pose any greater fire risk than other cars on the road today.

“More than half of all Volt sales are in California,” said Alec Guitierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. GM also claims that the care has been catching on in other markets, such as Chicago and Michigan.

Price point of the Volt due to new incentives bringing some payments down to as low as $289 a month have contributed to the Volts sales increase. Additionally, the $7,500 tax credit is also an enticing figure even if the car price starts at nearly $40,000.

Ownership of the Chevy Volt has been easy on pocket books where owners have claimed paying just pennies to keep it going and virtually reaching triple digit gas mileage numbers.

The Chevrolet Volt can drive on average 38 miles on full plug-in-electric power according to EPA estimates before the gasoline engine switches on to generate power for the electric powertrain, essentially extending the range.

[source: CNN Money]

It’s The Economy Stupid: Reseach Shows Chevy Volt Interest Waning 17
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2011 Chevy Volt, Automotive, Chevrolet, Electric, electric cars, GM, Hybrids, Kurt, News on 08 17th, 2011

The 2011 Chevy Volt. Image: © GM Corp.

CNW Marketing Research recently conducted a study into consumer interest towards the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Their findings? Interest among both “early adopters” of technology and the general car-buying public is dropping. In March, some 21 percent of the early-adopter group expressed interest in the Chevy Volt, but by July that figure had dropped to just 14.6 percent. Worse, interest from those who consider themselves “EV enthusiasts” dropped from 25 percent in March to 17 percent in July. Across the board, less people are considering a Volt today than earlier in the year, and GM needs to figure out why, quickly.

As we see it, there are several factors in play here. First, the economy today isn’t any better than it was in March, and many of us feel it’s even worse. It’s tough to part with $40k for a four-seat sedan, especially when you’re worried about job stability or even putting food on the table. That leads us to point number 2: the Volt is a great car, and we understand why it costs as much as it does, but the average consumer does not. Many see it as competing with the Chevy Cruze, which is half the price and still gets highway fuel economy near 40 mpg. GM has two choices: they can either up the content of the Volt without raising the price (and lose more money on each car sold), or they can ramp up marketing to make the public more aware of what the Volt is (and isn’t).

And therein lies the problem: the Volt has become to most politicized car in the history of the auto industry. The far right hates it because it comes from Government Motors and is “just another hybrid” (which it isn’t, but why let facts stand in the way of good rhetoric). The far left hates it because it uses gasoline, not just “clean” electric power (which, ironically, is usually generated by burning some sort of fossil fuel). No matter how good the Volt is, neither side would be satisfied unless it got 1,000 miles per charge, 200 mpg when running on the generator and cost $10,000. Even then, the lunatic fringe would find fault with something.

Is the Volt perfect? No, and we’ll be the first to admit that it’s an ideal fit for a very narrow range of buyers. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good fit for a much broader audience, but most of those potential buyers don’t understand the difference between a Volt, a Nissan Leaf and a Toyota Prius.

GM can’t fix the economy (and we’re beginning to wonder if anyone can), but they can and must make the public more aware of the Volt. It’s about to launch from coast to coast, and unless GM does something to ramp up interest, sales aren’t going to increase substantially as the number of retail outlets goes up.

Source: egmCarTech