Chevrolet Sets New Yearly High For Volt Sales In April

1 year ago by Jay Cole 62

We Just Got Rid Of The "Robin's Egg Blue" Color With The First Gen Volt, Now GM Torments Us With This "Citron Green Metallic" - meh

We finally rid ourselves of the hideous “Robin’s Egg Blue” Colored Volts with the end of the first gen cars, now GM torments us with this new “Citron Green Metallic” option for the 2017s!

With a brand new generational upgrade filling in inventories across the US, General Motor’s Chevy Volt once again “put the boots” to year ago numbers.

Easy Year-Over-Year Sales Comps With The 1st Gen Model Guarantees "Most Improved" Award Goes To The Volt in 2016

Easy Year-Over-Year Sales Comps With The 1st Gen Model Guarantees “Most Improved” Award Goes To The Volt in 2016

For April, 1,983 Volts were sold, which was up 119% from the 905 moved in April of 2015.

With this result, the plug-in Chevy also put more distance between itself and the Nissan LEAF for the all-time US sales crown, as the current LEAF has fallen off the EV buying radar in America.

Heading into April, the Volt had a slim 215 car lead, which has now grown to 1,411 units (94,720 for the Volt to 93,309 LEAFs).

Although we have to note it wasn’t a “perfect” month for the Volt, as the national rollout to dealers (now entering its 2nd full month since production kicked off in February) still seems to have a lot of regional holes, and the average amount of 2017 editions on dealer lots in April only grew by about ~500 units to around 3,300.

As with all plug-in vehicles currently for sale, we are curious what the “Tesla Model 3” effect will be on the wider market going forward in the near term, as one assumes that many of the 400,000 hand-raisers for that car are also signalling a “hands down” towards buying anything else over the next ~20+ months.

Chevrolet Volt sales in U.S. – Through March 2016

Chevrolet Volt sales in U.S. – Through March 2016

Separately this month on the Volt and GM:

2017 Chevy Bolt Arrives In Q4, GM Says It Will Have More Than 200 Miles Of Range...and they don't want your money until they ship 'em

2017 Chevy Bolt Arrives In Q4, GM Says It Will Have More Than 200 Miles Of Range…and they don’t want your money until they ship ’em

*- GM’s marketing boss Darin Gesse noted Volt customers “don’t really watch TV, so the company will be mostly promoting the 2017 Volt (and future Bolt EV)  online, on billboards – he also noted Volt customers generally know more than GM’s own dealer salespeople on the subject

*- the Cadillac ELR posted a pretty normal 95 sales, slightly down from the 104 moved in April of 2015

*- Chevy Bolt EV Update: GM re-enforced its 200 mile range claim for the upcoming Bolt EV, by stating that the long distance benchmark was being well exceeded in current testing, and will ultimately be rated 200-and-something

*- with the actual release of the Bolt EV only ~7 months away, GM will not be following Tesla’s lead by formally accepting deposit pre-orders (or reservations) saying “We don’t need [pre-orders] to begin building our products…We’re really excited to offer it when it goes into retail production at the end of this year to those that have expressed interest”

 

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62 responses to "Chevrolet Sets New Yearly High For Volt Sales In April"

  1. David Murray says:

    Well, I did my part by purchasing a 2017 last month.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Congrats! That Volt is a nice looking car.

    2. Fool Cells says:

      bought mine two months ago.

    3. Paul says:

      I picked up my Kinetic Premier a couple of weeks ago and what a difference from my old ’13 Prius model 4! Never looking back….

    4. Miggy says:

      Great but what are the worldwide sales of the Volt?

  2. Kdawg says:

    That is the largest April sales for the Volt in history.

    1. David Murray says:

      Good point.. and by a pretty fair margin too!

    2. pjwood1 says:

      I feel like, if gas prices were where they were at Volt 1’s intro, we’d be pushing 4,000.

      Liking the color. I can attest to billboards, on the major stop & go arteries I drive.

    3. PHEVfan says:

      That’s the more interesting fact. Comparing to last years’ sales is misguiding, as they had just announced the 2017 model which put the quash on sales for the rest of the year.
      But to see that this is the highest April ever, that shows how well the new model is holding up.

      1. James says:

        “GM’s marketing boss Darin Gesse noted Volt customers “don’t really watch TV“, so the company will be mostly promoting the 2017 Volt (and future Bolt EV) online, on billboards – he also noted Volt customers generally know more than GM’s own dealer salespeople on the subject”

        —- That is the biggest load of hooey I have ever heard. Fact is, they are fighting getting up against the limit of the tax credit with Bolt EV on the way. GM is perfectly fine with 23,000 Volts sold/yr.

        What with the spotty and convoluted ad campaign – actions speak louder than words.

        A note to those who talk as if the Bolt will be aggressively marketed. Hey, as long as they cut into LEAF sales and keep the Orion Sonic factory humming, they’re happy.

        We’re talking low-volume ZEV, C.A.R.B. and C.A.F.E. compliance and green cred. That’s it.

        When folks talk about Chrysler Pacifica or Bolt EV selling like hotcakes…Hey, they’re not, and were never meant to.

  3. MTN Ranger says:

    Being on the Model 3 reservation queue does not preclude one from leasing a Volt (or Leaf) for 2 to 3 years until it comes out.

    1. Tim says:

      Lease one you won’t regret it ..and might find its almost as good anyways! 🙂

  4. St John says:

    Put the exact same unit in a Malibu. Probably could sell 50000.

    1. Ziv says:

      I would be one of the Voltec Malibu buyers. My Volt is just too small to put an adult in the backseat without me moving my seat way up. I want my passengers to like riding in an electric car, not feeling like they are squished in to a sub-compact sized cabin. The Honda Fit backseat is roomier than my Volt’s.

      1. sven says:

        My Volt is effectively a three-seat car, unless there is a very small child as a passenger that can occupy the back seat behind the driver.

        1. Kdawg says:

          I haven’t flipped up my back seats since 2013.

          1. Jeffrey Songster says:

            Too bad they don’t offer one that has the back seat replaced by a larger battery pack that would get the car to 100 miles and also a DC QC option. That would make it an ultimate 2 seat commuter.

            1. Stephen Hodges says:

              Why settle for a 2 seater, I would just stretch it enough for a couple more batteries and some great leg room in the back.

      2. Tim says:

        GM has a Malibu hybrid coming out this year but only a Prius-like battery assisted but has a projected 47mpg!! It shares the Voltec drivetrain of the Volt..so maybe in a year or two it will turn into a full EREV like the Volt 🙂

    2. Daniel says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more on that one I’m here wallet in hand an EREV Malibu with a plug would get my money tomorrow. love the volt that I have but the form factor is just too small would like something a little bit more user-friendly.

  5. Apkungen says:

    I think the bolt will be rated 228miles epa. Remember that number and remember who first said it, Apkungen!

    1. Ziv says:

      As my Grandmother would have said, “From you lips to God’s ears!”
      I am hoping for 220 hwy miles but 210 is more likely.
      200 on the hwy and DCFC at 50 kW charge rates mean it would be a reasonable road trip car when I take it out every 6 or 8 months. Not great but good enough, considering the fact that 98% of the time the AER would be MORE than enough.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Great to see PEV (Plug-in EV) sales picking up again in the U.S./Canada market! As has been noted in numerous articles at InsideEVs, it’s the top 3-4 PEV sellers which really drive overall sales numbers, so the Volt achieving robust sales is quite significant.

    Go GM!

    And too bad GM plans to make the Bolt in such paltry numbers, at least for the first year of production.

    1. Dan Small says:

      My country GM dealer has sold 3 2016-17 volts out of the 4 they have been allotted. I almost bought the 4th one but opted to wait for the Bolt. They have indicated they will try to contact me to see how I want the Bolt equipped when they see what their allotment will be. I need to purchase outright not lease due to the miles I expect to drive.

    2. Kdawg says:

      Hell, they need to make more Volts now, and get them on the lots.

      Can we get a 2nd shift going at Hamtramck please?

  7. Michael Will says:

    Congrats GM and now stop blocking competition in CT so the more aware public can like your products too.

  8. EMJ says:

    It will probably take 3-6 years for Tesla to build and sell 400,000 Model 3s. So for anyone who is beyond 100,000th on the list, it makes sense to buy or lease an EV or PHEV now

    1. Kdawg says:

      I don’t think list position is that significant. If you are a California Tesla owner, and you reserve a Model 3 today, with the plan to buy a fully optioned one, you would probably get it before 80% of the people on the list now.

  9. Raymondjram says:

    ‘.. with the actual release of the Bolt EV only ~7 months away”. The predicted release will be October which is only five months, not seven. I predict that the first Bolt EV will be delivered by November 30th.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I think maybe you are getting some SOP dates confused with deliveries…the Bolt EV ramp is a couple months after summer shutdown for traditional products

    2. Bacardi says:

      GM’s CEO has a built in disclaimer, she stated that they will not guarantee Bolts in customer hands for 2016…Therefore we shouldn’t be disappointed if they start delivering in March 2017…

  10. Speculawyer says:

    AWESOME. Of course I still think it should be selling double that amount!

    But the more of those cars that get out there, the more people learn about plug-ins, the more neighbors get to see a plug-in up close, and the more new converts are created.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Since GM stubbornly only slightly increased charging speed to 3.6kW, they kept the thing from destination charging…Therefore most of your neighbors will have this thing hidden in their garage, assuming they’re able to find their garage door opening remote…

      1. V2 says:

        Funny comment about the garage door opener. I think not including HomeLink on Gen 2 is one of the dummiest mistakes. To have a Volt that can be used as intended (i.e. charged overnight), 90+% of owners would generally have a garage to park and charge.

  11. suresh says:

    whats happening with tesla. do they prioritize EU cars the first month of every quarter?

    1. Breezy says:

      Yes. They build mostly non-US cars at the start of each quarter so there is time to deliver them before the end of the quarter.

  12. Ziv says:

    With Volt inventory and sales trending up, May, and especially June, are going to be really interesting months for electric car production. Given the quarterly surges Tesla engages in and the new X sales, June could break the monthly sales record for electric cars by a large margin. If Ford joins in with more Energi inventory, sales could be out of the park.

  13. Dave S. says:

    Our local dealer has only had one so far and that was a cancellation. We are waiting to trade our 2013 in on a Bolt, but I’d like to test drive it.

  14. Bacardi says:

    Last state was that 55% EV buyers lease and that 53% live in Cali…

    1. On the leasing front, GMAC leases now allow you transfer your lease…I believe if they market this feature more it greatly reduces buyers remorse…GM has a lot of time to improve the MY18 Volt and I’m sure was shocked by Tesla’s 400K+ pre-orders…Therefore you can lease a MY17 Volt now, wait and see is GM smartens up for MY18 and pay the lease transfer fees if you feel the MY18 has improved.

    2. Currently the Cali PHEV HOV stickers are capped, yet there’s legislation to remove the cap…More sales should come once the cap is removed…

  15. ClarksonCote says:

    EV sales will wane in NY until the announced EV rebate is actually implemented.

  16. Jeffrey Songster says:

    GM really needs to get serious and get VOLT into all 50 states ASAP while it is selling. Once Bolt ships it will fade fast.

    The reason that folks did the Tesla deposit was to buy a spot in line. They can drop out at any time but most won’t. So psychologically it commits them to Tesla and that helps make sales to GM and Nissan less. Smart move by Tesla.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      “Once Bolt ships it will fade fast.”

      Oh, I think the Volt will continue to sell. There are some people that a pure EV works better for and there are some people that a PHEV works better for.

      But they do need bigger PHEVs.

    2. David Murray says:

      I much prefer my Volt over the Bolt. Mostly just for the style of the vehicle both inside and out. But I also think the drive train is the superior of the two offering me freedom of both worlds.

    3. Bacardi says:

      An increase of production won’t do it very good…First the dealers don’t want to sell them because they feel time is money, for every Volt that dealers sell they could have sold 2-3 ICE vehicles…Followed by the dealers don’t charge them so odds are your test drive will be ICE based…If a customer “knows more about the car than the dealer” then they know they can buy the car from a neighboring state…Just under 2K sold last month, go to cars.com, look at new Volts and you’ll see just under 500 2016/2017s or about one quarter of those sold in April are available…

      Tesla sells a compelling RWD performance machine with a quick 0-60, GM sells the Volt as Leaf and Prius competitor and doesn’t even do that all that well…Trying to be “king of the geeky cars” is not a good sales strategy…

      2000 Volts sold April
      400000 TM3 preorders where people were willing to put $1K to wait possibly years knowing they may not get that $7500 tax credit proves that point…

  17. Larry says:

    I guess I live in one of those holes – there’s only been one 2017 on a dealer’s lot within 100 miles of my home. Too bad it was badly configured – in fact the option packages listed on the dealer’s website are not even described in the Volt information. I guess GM really doesn’t need the sale. And the Bolt?? I don’t have a prayer of seeing one around here before the end of 2017.

  18. I love my new 2017 Premier edition. I, however discovered that there is not a CD in the car. It also does not have a hand pull on the front passenger side. The seating is comfortable but the is no selectable lumbar support.

    1. Larry says:

      Annoyingly, it appears the CD player is a thing of the past on most new cars (all the one I’ve looked at this yer, anyhow). I would like to be able to play music of my choice without loading up an iPod and I have no interest streaming music. I may have to keep my 2005 Prius, after all……

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        For less than the price of one new CD, you can buy a USB thumbdrive that will hold every CD you own at once. No iPod or iPhone necessary.

    2. V2 says:

      The Gen 2 Volt is missing quite a few features that are on many other cars in the price range. While most EV fans may choose to overlook those, the general public for $40k+ cars buys because of the looks, creature comforts or performance of the car. As much as I would like to say the Gen 2 Volt is a winner in any of those 3 categories, it will just be not true. Buying a car just on its EV credentials is appealing to a small sliver of the total market.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Let’s compare a fully-loaded Volt to a similarly-priced BMW 320i. I chose the 320i as the least expensive 3 Series; the performance will be better than the Volt, but the NVH (noise/vibration/harshness) will be dramatically worse (to say nothing of fuel economy), so I think that’s a fair trade.

        The 320i gets a moonroof, front power seats, front driver/passenger hand pulls, CD player, Homelink, and personalized cabin settings per keyfob.

        The Volt gets remote start/lock/unlock, adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, parallel-park assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward automatic braking, CarPlay/Android Auto, and rear heated seats.

        I’d say the Volt wins handily in the features comparison. Keep in mind that this 320i, as optioned, costs ~$2800 more than a fully-loaded Volt; remove the moonroof and power front seats from the 320i and you’re paying an extra $750 to lose everything listed in the Volt category while gaining… plastic handles, Homelink, and a CD player.

        So, yeah. The Volt is more than competitive when it comes to feature comparisons with cars in its price range.

        1. Bacardi says:

          People love to ignore this fact that the Volt is heavily based on the FWD Cruze and adds a $10K battery so comparing it to a RWD BMW luxury car makes zero sense…The only true competitor is the i3, while more expensive you get more features including more range, no rear floor hump, sunroof, faster charging, sunroof (limited edition), RWD and a faster 0-60…It’s also a greener car in manufacturing and because you will use more EV miles due to the more range and can gain more miles due to fast charging when you destination charge…The top competition for the Volt should be the $20,400 (deals have been reported for $17,500) FWD MY16 Civic with Honda sensing, you get ACC and all the safety features and yet the car still beats the Volt in every performance metric…Even with $5 gas, the Civic would still be cheaper than a $25K (normal Cali post incentive Volt LT price) over it’s lifetime…

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            Saying that the Gen2 Volt is “based on the Cruze” is like saying that humans are “based on monkeys.” They share the same D2XX platform, but it is no more accurate to say that the Volt is based on the Cruze than it is to say that the Verano is based on the Volt. The platform was designed for all of those cars.

            However, I’m happy to use your comparisons. Let’s start with the i3 (REx, of course). First off: a comparably-equipped i3 REx is a $53,000 car, not a “$40,000” car, so already the comparison is broken beyond recognition. But continuing on, moving from the 320i you LOSE the moonroof (and there is no sunroof available in an i3 REx, only the BEV), LOSE the power front seats, and LOSE the 5th seat; this basically kills the “where are the Volt’s luxury features?” argument that was the original point, as the i3 REx is missing them for the same reason the Volt is (weight savings). However, you negate the Volt’s ACC advantage, while gaining power folding heated side mirrors and faster charging. You gain more electric range that the Volt but have pitiful gas/total range (wash), you have slightly better 0-60 on electric but MUCH worse 0-60 on gas (the U.S. i3 REx is borderline dangerously underpowered on gas), which is really a win for the Volt. FWD vs. RWD depends on your particular locale and is a wash. And you’re STILL missing remote (phone/internet) start/lock/unlock, lane keep assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, CarPlay/Android Auto, and rear heated seats.

            Discussions about “greener manufacturing” (or, say, “creating more U.S. jobs”) are outside the scope of directly comparing the end quality and price of the two vehicles. So for only $13,000 more, you get a car that is slightly-to-significantly worse than a Volt, but has a BMW badge. Not a convincing argument.

            Now, let us compare the 2017 Volt to a 2016 Honda Civic. For $21,275, your Civic comes with a cloth interior, halogen (as opposed to LED) headlights, no pushbutton start, no navigation, no premium sound, no heated steering wheel, no heated seats (front or rear), no CarPlay or Android Auto, no remote start/lock/unlock, no side blind zone alert, and no rear cross traffic alert.

            So basically, almost every single advanced feature one would expect in a $40,000 car is missing… and the car gets worse MPG on gas than the Volt does, while having ridiculously inferior NVH and ride quality. But other than that, yeah, they’re pretty comparable…?

            This continued attempt to paint the Volt as some sort of subpar ugly stepsister is absurd. It’s one of the best vehicles (not just EVs) on the market, and is legitimately a GM halo car.

            1. Bacardi says:

              You missed, aka ignored, (it’s okay, you’re not the first pro-Volt person to ignore a shortcoming) the price points…$40K, which is the top of the line Volt (net of $31K MSRP for most post rebate) is what you want to compare than let’s compare it to the $30K Civic touring which gains everything including a faster turbo engine…

              On the I3, what I did say is you get more but pay more…Some are willing to pay for more Range and fast charger because ultimately you will be greater…Many, you probably ignore them, think PHEVs are still too dirty and think we should go “cold turkey” and have no ice…Everyone has and is entitled to their opinion yet the i3 is greener vehicle.

              You’ve “ignored” the look of the new Cruze, they have similar body lines, exterior looks and interiors…But the Cruze doesn’t have the rear seat hump and has a faster 0-60…One fast monkey!

              1. Spider-Dan says:

                I didn’t “miss” the price point, as it’s a silly argument to make; the original objection was that the Volt was “missing” features that $40k cars commonly have, but the $53k i3 REx is missing those same features (and costs over 10 grand more!), which makes it a terrible example to cite.

                Finally, as to your fully-loaded Civic example: using this logic, most vehicles on the road are fully obsoleted by a fully-loaded Subaru WRX STI. It is both higher performance and lower-cost than a great number of luxury sedans. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, etc. manage to remain in business because there is more to a car than simply looking at its price and its 0-60, and the list of accessories.

                The Civic is not anywhere in the same league as the Volt when it comes to a smooth, quiet ride. Nor is any ICE car under $200,000, for that matter. Yes, you can save $3-5k and get a car with drastically worse fuel economy, a much noisier and less refined ride, and marginally-faster (but still not remotely close to fast) performance… but you won’t have anywhere near as good of a car.

              2. Spider-Dan says:

                Additionally, to say that you “get more and pay more” with the i3 REx is a pretty questionable assessment.

                The i3 REx uses expensive lightweight materials, weighs several hundred pounds less, and yet somehow manages to get worse MPG on premium gas while being dangerously slow during REx operation and having pathetically small gas range (on account of being intentionally crippled by BMW for extra ZEV credits). It can’t even use REx waste heat for the cabin and has to use resistive heating when running on gas! But in the most bizarre design decision, the designed-from-ground-up i3 (with its skateboard battery) is somehow, inexplicably, only a 4-seater. And you’re complaining about the necessary seat hump in the Volt!

                Meanwhile, the Gen2 Volt is faster in Hold mode than the i3 REx is in any mode, and the $40k Chevy has a boatload of features that the $53k BMW does not. That isn’t “get more and pay more,” unless you’re talking about getting more blue-and-white badges. The most aggressive and optimistic argument you can make for the i3 REx is that it’s not THAT much worse than the Volt.

                1. Bacardi says:

                  Gen2 Volt in hold or any mode is NOT quicker (you should know that)…MT’s BS 0-60 7.1 was an error that no one has been able to replicate; high odds it’s a typo, real was 8.1 from a rollout…So the i3 is still quicker and greener no matter how much you want to ignore it…

                  You whined about the near base $20,400 civic not having all the features as the top trim Volt, you keep changing and cherry picking things at random, first you want to talk price than you don’t…

                  For the record, few care about “quiet” (most of us listen to music while driving)or “smooth” (most new ICE cars are pretty smooth) far more care about 0-60…Or you can truly have it all, just get a Tesla…

                  400,000 reserved the TM3…
                  2,000 bought a Volt…

                  1. Spider-Dan says:

                    Sorry, you can’t just ignore inconvenient facts and claim that numbers you don’t like “must be a typo.” MT tested the Gen2 Volt in Hold mode, and that’s the result they got. If you’re saying they’re lying or wrong, show your evidence.

                    And yes, when the objection on the table is “the Volt is missing features!” and you cite a $20k barebones Civic as a response, you should expect a list of all the features that Civic is missing.

                    I must say that when I woke up this morning, I did not expect a Tesla supporter and EV advocate to inform me that people actually don’t care about quiet and smooth operation (or fuel economy, apparently), and really just care about 0-60. Long live the pushrod V8!

                    1. Bacardi says:

                      In the article it made no mention of what mode was in yet in the comments an editor stated the car was in “hybrid” mode which doesn’t exist…You’re welcome to refer to this misquoted article as your absolutely authority in the Volt’s 0-60 time despite no other owner on the forums, including myself on hold mode or media source being able to replicate this…

                      Glad I improved your morning…I am a realist who understands why 400K Tesla’s were reserved is because they bring compelling and quick cars to the table…

  19. Phr≡d says:

    Jay – Dec ’17, UK needs this car..

    1. pjkPA says:

      UK needs this car … well .. from what I heard it will cost you $80,000 to buy a Volt in the UK… and it isn’t GMs fault it costs that much there.

  20. Richard says:

    I bought a gen 1 volt to my wife’s objection. Her car is a civic coupe. She never grabs the civic keys when the volt is available. There is zero need to compare civic, other than price. Gm doesn’t market the volt at all, duh the profit from pumping out big guzzlers.
    Only model S scores higher than volt with its owners.
    For the volt haters, the average volt owner makes $175,000 annually.

  21. Steve says:

    I would like to test drive one before deciding to buy, but don’t want to drive more than 50 miles to find a test drive. Our 2 local Chevy dealers do not have any. The closest cars are 200+ miles away. Chevy should have a rotating test stock that visits smaller areas. We have several electric cars such as Tesla, BMW, Porche nearby in our community, so this could be a fertile market for Volt, but they have nothing to demo here.