GM Insists it Will Sell 10,000 Volts this Year but the Numbers Don’t Seem to Add Up ~ Greatest Vehicles

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

GM Insists it Will Sell 10,000 Volts this Year but the Numbers Don’t Seem to Add Up

Earlier this week, General Motors released its US sales results for September. And the numbers are looking good as deliveries are up 20% compared to September 2010 while the Cruze remains the best-selling compact car in the country.

Yet, despite all the euphoria, GM is actually facing a small problem: even though it had initially set a target of delivering 10,000 units of its Volt hybrid by the end of the year, it is very unlikely that it will achieve this goal.
Up until the end of August, a little more than 3,000 Volts were sold. If we add the 723 September deliveries then we have a total of 3,895 units. Considering that, time is running out,Chevrolet must sell an additional 6,105 cars by the end of the year – or an average of 2,035 units per month from now until the end of December.

In August alone, the Nissan Leaf outsold the Volt by more than four to one (300 vs 1,300 units). GM spokesman Rob Peterson, however, remains optimistic: “I don’t see any problem with reaching our goal”, he said.
Peterson says that GM is only now starting to gear up production and availability of its extended-range hybrid. The Volt was initially available in seven markets, but from now on it will be sold by 2,600 Chevy dealerships across all 50 states.
In order to achieve this, GM had to close down its Detroit factory for a period of four weeks to perform upgrades so it can churn out more vehicles. This was essential, as all variants of the Volt including the European Opel Ampera, will be manufactured at the Detroit plant.
Peterson, therefore, points out that it isn’t lack of interest from buyers but inventory shortage that has limited Volt sales so far – and that is about to change rapidly: “Despite being sold only in seven states, Volts have found homes in all 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii. They want the car so badly they’re buying them and shipping them across oceans and continents.”
There is another role the Volt plays in the grander scheme of things and which works to GM’s advantage: that of a “halo” car drawing people to Chevrolet showrooms.

“Of the initial batch of Volt owners, about half hadn’t stepped into a Chevy dealership in eight years. And a third of them never had," Peterson pointed out.
What’s more, customers initially drawn by the Volt may eventually end up buying other models, like the Cruze compact sedan that has been a hit so far.
Still, shifting 6,000 cars in three months is going to take a lot of effort, and perhaps heavy incentives, if Chevrolet wants to get anywhere near that number.
Story References: Chicago Tribune & General Motors


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