April 2013 Chevrolet Volt Sales Fairly Flat With 1,306 Sold, As Inventory Continues To Grow

4 years ago by Jay Cole 15

GM Hopes Some High Inventory Levels On The Volt Translate Into Strong Sales This Spring

GM Hopes Some High Inventory Levels On The Volt Translate Into Strong Sales This Spring

Entering April, GM had only sold only a few hundred more Chevrolet Volts in 2013 then it had in 2012, and was hoping that some huge ballooning of available Volts at the inventory level would pay off in sales dividends for the month.  Unfortunately, it did not happen.

After selling only 1,478 plug-ins in March, GM sold 1,306 this April.  A year ago in April of 2012, GM sold 1,462 cars.

Acceleration Production Of The Chevrolet Volt Continues To Be The Story Into April Of 2013

Acceleration Production Of The Chevrolet Volt Continues To Be The Story Into April Of 2013

2013 started out with only 1,140 Volts sold in January, as a decision to idle the extended range car’s Hamtramck, Michigan facility for three weeks crippled inventories on the West Coast.

However, GM quickly corrected that story and was determined to not have that scenario repeat itself by almost producing 3,000 cars in January (2,949), and even more in February and March (3,298, 2722 respectively).

Year to date sales of the Volt now total 5,550, which is still a 3.3% improvement over 2012, when 5,377 Volts were sold.

This month GM produced another 2,768 Volts, and now has near 9,000 cars looking for owners in the United States, an all-time high for dealer inventories.

April 2013 Chevrolet Volt Production Continues To Well Out Pace Sales

April 2013 Chevrolet Volt Production Continues To Well Out Pace Sales

GM has announced that the 2014 model year Volt will be going on sale in “late May,” and that two new color choices will be available (Brownstone Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic), as well as some other new (and as of yet undisclosed) options.

The early arrival (at least to order) of the 2014s makes the decision to have this many 2013 Volts on hand puzzling (over 180 days worth of inventory), and the vehicle’s Hamtramck line maybe in line for an extended spring or summer idling this year to re-aligned stock levels for the August when the next model year beings to ship.

Separately, GM CEO Dan Akerson probably did not do any favors for the short-term sales outlook of the Volt by announcing that the 2nd generation of the car will receive a $7,000 to $10,000 price cut…and that is without “decontenting” the vehicle.  The next Volt platform is expected by many to debut in the fall of 2015, as a 2016 model year.

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15 responses to "April 2013 Chevrolet Volt Sales Fairly Flat With 1,306 Sold, As Inventory Continues To Grow"

  1. backstroke says:

    Time for a big sales promotion to shift some metal? Seems like it.

    1. Dave R says:

      I feel like people are waiting for a refresh and a price drop after seeing the ’13 LEAF refresh and price drop.

      At least I would be if I were interested in a Volt!

      1. backstroke says:

        A lot of Volt owners run the car like a pure electric. Do wonder how many new buyers have taken the plunge and gone with a LEAF instead. Pretty sure the LEAF price drop has convinced some, know it would me.

        1. bloggin says:

          It could be that consumers who already have an ICE vehicle as a mental backup, are feeling more confident with going pure electric for their daily commuter.

          Especially if their ICE vehicle is already paid for, and they lease their EV.

          The fuel savings alone would zero out the monthly lease of the EV, with just a slightly higher electric bill. But if they can charge at work, all the better.

          Those with only one vehicle, may see the plug-in hybrid a better/more safe option as long as their base commute can be all EV, and have hybrid drive for longer trips with no worries about having to find an outlet to plug in or you are stuck.

  2. Open-Mind says:

    About 3 years ago, almost everyone complained about the Volt’s MSRP, but most assumed it would eventually go down. Now 3 years later, the price is about the same and the car is mostly the same. And now they have competition.

    The Volt is a great car, but until they improve the vehicle or lower the price, I expect sales to stay flat.

  3. kdawg says:

    “This month GM produced another 2,768 Volts, and now has near 9,000 cars looking for owners in the United States, an all-time high for dealer inventories.”
    ——————–

    To me this is a good thing. You need to have them on the lots in order to sell them, and in different colors/trim levels/etc.

    There will probably be some (more) good discounts when the 2014’s roll out. I think in some places in the US, you can get a 2011 for ~$22K after the tax credits.

  4. Anthony says:

    Looks like GM needs to get this show on the road with the ’14s and the price cut.

    Volt sales are (mostly) to people who do research and get word of mouth info from Volt owners. If we know there is a price cut coming, then that’s what we tell people. A friend of a friend asked me about buying a new Volt and I told him that there is a price cut coming in May or June. He had to get a new car now, so he didn’t have an opportunity to wait, but he would have given the chance.

    And after seeing the price cuts, I’m guessing the Volt needs to come down $4000 to $36K (28.5K after tax incentive) to boost sales back up to 30-35K units/yr.

    1. Dave R says:

      IMO it needs to come down a few thousand lower than that – need to get the MSRP under $35k at least…

      Getting the plug-in tax credit implemented as a instant rebate or even taken right off the sticker would also go a long ways towards moving vehicles…

  5. bloggin says:

    It looks like GM is starting to feel the pressure from Ford Fusion/C-MAX Energi. If the daily commute is less than 20 miles, the C-MAX/Fusion Energi works, and the consumer saves $2k to $6K over the Volt.

    C-MAX Energi starts as $34,140. $6k less than the Volt, seating for 5 and more interior space and lots of technology options.

    Fusion Energi starts at $37,995. $2k less than the Volt, seating for 5, and it’s a very nice mid-size sedan with 21 EV miles and even more technology options.

    Which means for 2014, Volt really need to have a price drop. Even Ford dropped $2k off the Focus Electric months ago to $37,995. Waiting to see the 2014 Focus Electric Order Guide for info on a new trim model. Ford already announced the less expensive S trim for the Fusion Hybrid coming in 2014 to better compete with the entry Camry Hybrid. Batteries have dropped in price, so Chevy should drop at least $5k from the Volt so it can better compete.

    In March, Ford sold 789 C-MAX/Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, curious how many of the 3,608 C-MAX and 26,722 Fusion sold in April were Energi.

    Daily inventory only shows 5 Fusion Energi available and 1,367 C-MAX Energi models as of today.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      “In March, Ford sold 789 C-MAX/Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, curious how many of the 3,608 C-MAX and 26,722 Fusion sold in April were Energi.

      Daily inventory only shows 5 Fusion Energi available and 1,367 C-MAX Energi models as of today.”
      —-

      Hey Alan, should get those Ford numbers early afternoon tomorrow, will update the sales thread here as soon as it happens.

      I think you are using for those inventory numbers you are using cars.com as a resource, which doesn’t always filter properly. AFAIK, at last check Ford has well over a thousand Fusion Energis in stock.

  6. Kent says:

    My coworker just told me that he and his wife went to look at a Leaf this past weekend. He was offered a deal on a 2-year lease at $2,200 down (inclusive of fees and first monthly payment) and $69 per month. This was with 12,000 miles per year. The only reason he didn’t get one was they didn’t have the color he wanted.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that in a few months, Nissan’s going to be paying people to drive these things!

    1. shawn Marshall says:

      I’m ready.

  7. shawn Marshall says:

    uh-oh. Looks like GM needs to turn over a new Leaf. Looks like the BEVs are winning over the EREVs. Maybe a car should be one thing or another, ICE or EV.

  8. GreenDay says:

    The C-MAX Energi is ugly as hell.
    But it has 5 seats and that’s why it sells any at all.

  9. Blane says:

    GM squeezes more storage out of the battery each year. They should be reducing the size it takes up in the car and keeping the previous years range instead of leaving the extra juice the car. Maybe they can get a child seat out of it.

    I think Ford Fusion, which only has a 20-mile range, seats 5. Smart.