Atlanta Dealership Acquires Chevrolet Bolt EV 6 Months Early, Here’s How

6 months ago by Steven Loveday 29

Chevrolet Bolt

California dealerships are teeming with Chevrolet Bolts, and even offering discounts. It’s unfortunate that other states need to wait, even though there is a surplus elsewhere (photo via George B)

The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is not set to hit dealerships in Atlanta, Georgia until about six months from now when the 238 mile EV rolls out nationally (September).

However, one dealership’s vice president personally changed that. Here’s hoping he doesn’t get reprimanded for going above and beyond.

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevy Bolt Interior

Vice president of operations at Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta, Mark Frost, worked out a special deal, and actually had a Chevy Bolt trucked from California to his dealership. The car has been on a Santa Barbara lot since December, and Frost had a need. He admitted:

“I’m probably gonna be in trouble for this a little bit, but we have so many people here asking about it. It just seemed like a natural thing to do.”

“The reality in the Atlanta market is there’s a very enthusiastic EV market here. So we decided, since a lot of people already have deposits on a waiting list, if you will, for 20 people committed to buy one or lease one, why not get one for them to test drive and then go from there?”

Frost may get a “talking to,” but due to the way he went about the transaction, he will not likely get in any real trouble. Dealerships are not allowed to trade vehicles or carry out such “special” actions, especially prior to a car’s sale in the incoming state. But, Frost purchased the vehicle himself, through the husband of his niece. He will sell the vehicle for the same price that he paid for it. It is likely that he will still lose money on the Chevrolet Bolt , because it’s not cheap to haul a car across the country. He said:

“I didn’t charge them a markup.”

Frost has worked this sort of magic in the past. He bought two Volts, back in 2010, from a Long Island dealership, and sold them in Atlanta.

Source: Autonews

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29 responses to "Atlanta Dealership Acquires Chevrolet Bolt EV 6 Months Early, Here’s How"

  1. leafowner says:

    Good 4 him! It is good to see that there are some people in GA who want to see EVs succeed (obviously no one in our state Government)

    1. realistic says:

      How is state gov’t of GA hurting EVs exactly? Merely by not offering a big subsidy?

      1. Cheesymac says:

        $200 special yearly registration fee for all electric vehicles, on top of normal registration.

        That’s not friendly.

        1. Nix says:

          ^^ This. Georgia took American Legislative Exchange Council model legislation and created a tax rate higher than gas taxes to run an HD pickup truck for a year.

          ALEC is now openly promoting this across the US, along with legislation to add massively high fees to home solar users, well above any rational justification, in some cases adding up to thousands of dollars over the life of the solar panels.

          They are actively working to make owning an EV and powering it on your own solar to be prohibitively expensive.

          1. Fredrick Ramsden says:

            Unfortunately America seems to love those gas sucking trucks. My brother is one of them. 16 Mpg. Status you know. I’ll stick with my LEAF.

        2. Luke says:

          Highways, bridges and many other aspects of our roadways and transportation infrastructure are funded by taxes collected at the gasoline pump (or diesel) and EVs are getting a “free ride” because nearly all the states haven’t yet figured out an equitable way to get EVs to share the burden.

          I own an electric car and I’d have no gripe if my state (Texas) required an additional $200 fee for my vehicle.

          1. paul smith says:

            If the $200 tax was for that purpose and equaled what ICE drivers paid it would make sense. But the purpose is to punish EV owners.

          2. philip d says:

            But for the average of 12000 miles it’s pretty steep. It’s like what an SUV pays in gas tax.

        3. philip d says:

          $204 this year

          1. Actuality says:

            God I paid a total of 263 for a plug in hybrid! How fare is that! Getting taxed doubly.

  2. bro1999 says:

    Dealers in at least Colorado, Florida, and Washington state have been acquiring Bolts from CA dealers (well, it might all be the same CA dealer) to sell to locals before the Bolt officially launches in those states.

    It seems whatever the penalty is for “selling” Bolts to out of state dealers, that CA dealer doing it doesn’t care that much.

    1. Warren says:

      You can ad North Carolina, South Carolina, and Minnesota to that list.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Wow, you are right! I just looked and a dealer 20 miles away has 3 Bolt EVs in stock for MSRP. BTW, I’m in NC.

  3. Why would he not just use this car to give the 20 Bolt Depositors the car to use for a day, then start offering Test drives to the general public?

    Have a ‘Test Drive a Bolt EV’ Day! Contact each of their current servic customers and past buyers to offer test drives.

    Everyone gets their name in a draw, winner gets a ‘Bolt for a Week!’

  4. Goaterguy says:

    I saw one last week in Charlotte NC with paper tags.

  5. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    I wonder if buyers will get income tax credit this way? If the sale goes through some other person, not dealership, technically that person may claim credit.

  6. Independent Observer says:

    This is the one advantage of the Franchise dealer program. The manufacturer cannot dictate who they buy and sell from. They guy is trying to grab some social media headlines and appears he was successful. As mentioned above there are Bolts floating around in a number of states via dealer/dealer swaps or an out of state customer purchase. About the only thing GM could do is if the Bolt broke down and required a part. GM could say they don’t have the system set up to replace under warranty or sell parts in Atlanta and he will have to wait. I doubt they would do that.

    1. Taser54 says:

      GM can withhold the dealer’s allotment.

  7. AustinAnthony says:

    Looks like the Chevy Bolt is already not meeting the sales goals and the initial excitement for the car is starting to fizzle out. Sales are already lower in February and dealers are discounting them upwards of $5,000, which is in addition to the $7,500 federal rebate and any additional state incentives. In California everything combines for upwards of $15,000 off the sticker price, and people still are not buying them. After all the positive press and awards the car won, I think everyone was expecting more, especially GM.

    1. Kent says:

      I’m sure you have some justification for your numbers, but let me add to it. My sister (we are in CA) just bought a Bolt last week and it was $3,000 off MSRP, not $5,000. Maybe there’s a dealer somewhere selling one Bolt at $5K off, but most dealers are not. I checked every dealer within a 100 mile radius and they were all $3,000 off. Also, since the end of 2016, the CARB rebate was changed. We only get the rebate if we are below a certain income threshold. Unfortunately, my sister was not eligible so she received nothing from CA (although she pays a lot into CA).

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      According to an article just a week ago here on InsideEVs, some of the Chevy dealers in areas with real competition between dealerships are offering up to $3000 (or even more) off a Bolt EV, but dealers in some rural areas are marking the car up by as much as $5000.

      So I suggest this is nothing more than an indication that dealerships in close proximity do compete with each other for customers, and nothing out of the ordinary.

      http://insideevs.com/deals-chevrolet-bolt/

  8. Todd McLendon says:

    A St Petersburg Florida dealer had bolts also.

  9. Sailom says:

    3 weeks ago, I saw one near Nashville TN. So must be test drive car then.

  10. Jason says:

    All us EV advocates really want EV’s to take off, but the sad reality seems to be they just have not captured the public imagination yet.

    First they were too extensive and had limited range. Now they have good range and are not too expensive, but still not selling in huge numbers.

    Maybe people are waiting for Tesla Model 3, maybe not. I think take it for what it is, keep showing the benefits of EV’s to anyone who will listen, and the year on year increases will happen. Bolt sounds like a pretty good EV, especially compared to what else is available. Just give it time for people to have a drive, hear how well it performs, and I’m sure by the end of the year things will be looking better.

    1. jeffhre says:

      It’s a Bolt, how much imagination can it capture? No one is surprised when a newly revised Spark or Sonic ICE does not become a massive selling category killer overnight.

      1. jeffhre says:

        There are about 270 vehicle models for sale in the US – it’s going to take more than a Bolt to put a dent in that.

  11. philip d says:

    This is the dealer I leased my 2013 Volt from and where I bought my 2017 Volt.

    They seem to actually want to sell them. They have a solar canopy with a row of L2 chargers where they keep some of their stock parked and charged.

    1. Brian says:

      I was there yesterday and 3 of the spots were ICE’d. All the rest were full of Volts. So no charging available for my Leaf.
      I had called ahead to test drive the Bolt and was assured it was available. So I drove there (across the city) . It had left for a promotional event for the weekend. Not impressed with this dealer.

  12. Franco Lobo says:

    Great initiative. I would feel very confident buying from, and getting support for the Bolt from Jim Ellis.

    Now if we only had that kind of Chevrolet dealership in New Jersey. Even though Bolt is officially launched in the state, the incompetence of the dealers goes from comic to tragic.