Chevrolet Bolt EV And Volt Sales Flatten In April Despite More Inventory
The first quarter of Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in the US for 2017 was a bit anti-climatic, as inventories remained very low in March, with GM’s production focused on bringing the 238 mile EV to Europe under Opel Ampera-E badging.
GM even took time to mention last quarter that dealer stock was limited, and the “days to turn is exceptionally low at 14 days”.
That all changed in April on the inventory side of the equation, as we noted in week 2 of the month that national reserves of the Bolt EV in America quadrupled (to ~4,000 units); and with that, we anticipated much higher sales numbers.
Unfortunately those sales did not materialize, and it is difficult to put a positive spin on April’s result for the EV.
For April, 1,292 Bolt EVs were sold, a gain of 32% from March when 978 were moved.
We should note that the almost 1,300 units sold is still a personal best for the Bolt EV, with the previous high coming this past January (1,162). What is the reason behind the lower than expected numbers so far? It is perhaps a case of the American public once again rejecting a small car offering, but only time will tell the story clearly at this point.
As for the Bolt EV’s “mini-competition” with the other major new offering for 2017, the Toyota Prius Prime; the Prime moved 1,819 copies in April (also a personal best)…but from an average inventory of less than 1,000 units. We can probably now declare that the Prius Prime will be the best selling plug-in newcomer in the US for 2017 – that is, depending on how quickly Tesla can ramp Model 3 production in Q3.
Separately during the month, GM announced that the first “3,492 Bolt EV owners in the United States have driven a cumulative 4,570,300 miles as of April 2, 2017″.
During April, the Bolt EV also arrived in Washington for the first time, bringing the availability of the electric car officially up to 8 states.
Although we did see some inventory managed to find its way into other states originally planned for a May introduction (CT, ME, VT, RI, NH and CO).
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Volt continues to be the runaway best selling plug-in for GM.
However, the 53 mile extended range car did have some trouble in April, and failed to best its year-over-year comps for first time in the 2nd generation’s sophomore season on the US market.
During the month 1,807 Volts were sold, a loss of 9% from the 1,983 moved a year ago.
For the year, 7,370 plug-in hybrid Chevys have been sold, versus 5,970 moved through April of 2016, a 23.5% improvement.
Also, we would be remise to not mention the all-new Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid.
The 18.4 kWh/31 mile range premium Caddy (full details here) arrived on dealer lots in very late March, and noted its first sales in April with 6 copies sold.