Chevrolet Bolt EV Demand Shown With 93 Pre-Orders At One Dealer (Update)

5 months ago by Jay Cole 53

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

First 2016 Chevrolet Volt Actually Arrived At Bourgeois Chevrolet in Quebec, Canada In October

First Next Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt Arrived At Bourgeois Chevrolet in Quebec, Canada In Early October

Despite GM only have taken the wraps off the production-intent Chevrolet Bolt EV last month at CES in Las Vegas and the NAIAS in Detroit, one Chevy dealer is showing that demand for the 200+ mile EV is already very high.

That dealer is Bourgeois Chevrolet in Rawdon, Quebec (Canada),  where part-owner Samuel Jeanson says he took  33 pre-orders in the 2 weeks after the debut; this despite the EVs arrival being almost a year off.

Update: Make that 93, as Bourgeois Chevy posted this update on February 9th

“and counting…! 93 pre-sold Bolts as of this morning!”

These orders on the Bolt have also been acquired even though the EV is still is not officially on sale by GM, it has no stated MSRP, and consumers putting down deposits today have no guarantee of any special early delivery dates by doing so.   These customers are operating only out of a strong desire to own the plug-in.

"Hey, Where Are All The Trucks And SUVs?" - Bourgeois Chevrolet Owners Out Front With Volt Fleet

“Hey, Where Are All The Trucks And SUVs?” – Bourgeois Chevrolet Owners Out Front With Volt Fleet (Mario Bourgeois, Hugo Jeanson and Samuel Jeanson)

We should also note that Bourgeois Chevrolet is not your ordinary dealership.

They also received the very first 2016 Chevrolet Volt delivery anywhere in North America…and they really love plug-in vehicles.  In fact, as AutoNews recently found out, they more often than not, attempt to convert customers attempting to buy gas cars, to make the switch into plug-ins – a refreshing change!

“Bourgeois Chevrolet sold a record 287 electrified vehicles in 2015, including 192 new and 95 used….(for the year) Bourgeois sold 704 vehicles in 2015, so that means more than 40 percent of sales were plug-in hybrids and EVs, all this in a town of 10,000 people about 50 miles from the nearest big city — Montreal.

“It is an amazing market,” says Jeanson, who has sold Volts to customers from as far away as British Columbia. “Even customers who come in for conventional product and ask for gas, we sell them an EV”

GM CEO Mary Berra With Chevy Bolt On Stage In Las Vegas

GM CEO Mary Berra With Chevy Bolt On Stage In Las Vegas

Today, the dealership looks to scoop up as many plug-ins as possible from GM directly, but they also roam auctions both in Canada and the U.S. looking for deals, while also taking in unwanted new Volts from other dealers.  Besides the 33 93 Bolt pre-orders, Bourgeois says they have 43 pre-sold copies of the new 2017 edition of the Volt, which just went into production last week.

Chevrolet Bolt EV (Interior Shown) Coming In Late 2016

Chevrolet Bolt EV (Interior Shown) Coming In Late 2016

Part of the difference between the Quebec dealer and other traditional retail models is that the business is family owned, and no sales people work on commission.

The owners freely admit that plug-ins take longer to both educate and sell to customers, but having sales people that are in no hurry to rush off to the next sales, is an advantage in this case.

“The dealership has been in the family 50 years, and we didn’t have any commission for 50 years,” says dealer Jeanson,  “People want to know how it works. It takes three to four times longer to sell an EV than a regular car.”

“If a salesman is selling an EV on commission, he’s not interested in selling an EV. They have the same price and less profit.”

AutoNews, Hat tip to Breezy, Teng Y!

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53 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt EV Demand Shown With 93 Pre-Orders At One Dealer (Update)"

  1. Alan says:

    GM & other EV manufacturers should set up EV only dealerships thus avoiding any conflict of interest with salesmen ?

    1. David Murray says:

      Or maybe just pay all of their salespeople by the hour instead of commission. That way they will take the time needed to sell the car without feeling pressured to kick them to the curb or sell them a quick, easy gas car.

      1. Nate says:

        Not going to happen. The people at the dealership don’t work for GM or Chevy, they work for the owner of the dealership as do the sales managers who are all under pressure to look out for the owners interest not GM’s.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Alan said:

      “GM & other EV manufacturers should set up EV only dealerships thus avoiding any conflict of interest with salesmen ?”

      Seriously, I think GM should develop a new badge just for plug-in EVs. Both Cadillac and Buick are now seen as long in the tooth, more-or-less appealingonly to senior citizens. Isn’t it time to dump at least one of those in favor of a new badge for the 21st century?

      Selling only PEVs would eliminate the natural tendency of legacy auto dealer salesmen to avoid promoting EVs, because talking about the advantages of EVs means talking about the disadvantages of most of the cars they sell. Nice to see that the one GM dealership described in this article is a big exception, but it’s only one dealership.

      1. Nate says:

        That has been mentioned before, and I agree. It won’t make nearly as much difference though unless the new brand does not have to be bound by dealer franchise agreements that their other brands have.

      2. Scramjett says:

        GM tried something like that back in the 90’s called Saturn and their “no-haggle” pricing policies (as I recall when my dad bought his ’94 Saturn that eventually became mine, there was some haggling, but I digress). We all know how THAT worked out!

        1. james says:

          And for the same reason there is no TESLA dealerships…

    3. chris says:

      Tide is turning over the next 2 years. Dealers that delay on jumping in may be left behind

      1. miggy says:

        Agree Chris, if I lived in Canada I would go out of my way to buy from this dealership and yes I will be in the market to buy either a Bolt or Tesla 3 which ever comes to my country first and that also needs to be in RHD.

  2. evcarnut says:

    Nice Little Car! The demand appears to be there ,All they would need is some decent charging Points , now if only the auto makers would put out some decent product , that yet remains to be seen…

  3. Ash09 says:

    I wonder how much more effective the sales staff would be if they were paid a salary instead of relying almost entirely off a commission system. Especially when it comes to EV’s, since they do take longer to explain to the average customer about the pros and cons of them.

    1. kosee says:

      I don’t get this. I imagine the average customer anyway doesn’t buy. A lot of people just visit dealerships and buy somewhere else. If you can get the attention from a customer for a larger amount of time the chance that the customer buys something at all increases. So the filosofie of less time per customer doesn’t apply to my mind.

      If I buy one of the two most expensive things I’ve bought in my life (car, home) the salesperson better take at least some time for me. If they won’t I’ll get my car elsewhere.

      If this is a real reason why ice cars are sold more often than evs I’ll eat my shoes.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        You’re not making a lot of sense. Dealerships can’t afford to hire an infinite number of salesmen, so a salesman’s time is a finite resource. The faster the salesman can sell a car, the faster he can go on to the next potential customer. Of course every auto dealer and every salesman wants to maximize his number of sales per week; why wouldn’t he?

        And where exactly does one “go elsewhere” other than an auto dealer to buy a new car, unless it’s a Tesla? The reason why people put up with the hassle and stress of dealing with “stealership” salesmen is because that’s the only place you can buy a new car.

        1. james says:

          When I bought my PHEV I went to 3 dealership (in rotation) bringing the last offer from the last dealer. Eventually 2 dropped out and I bought from the best deal (for me). 149 days later I got the exact car I wanted (ordered from factory).

    2. M. St. J. says:

      That was the point. They are salaried.

  4. Vexar says:

    I love this exception to the dealer rule! Congrats, don’t sell out, ever.

  5. 13Volt says:

    I feel the opposite, the less time spent at a dealer the better. Being my second largest purchase I spend alot of time researching before I ever set foot in a dealer and generally know more about the car, ICE or EV, than the sales person. By the time I get to the dealer I have a VIN to the car I want and the price I am going to pay. That way I am in and out. I have better things to do than spend an inordinate amount of time buying a car.

    1. David Murray says:

      Agreed. I’d be MUCH happier if I never had to see a salesman and could pick the car I wanted online, pay for it and everything. Then go to the dealer to pick it up or better yet have it dropped off at my house.

      1. Jaymac says:

        That’s exactly how I bought our 2012 Prius. I negotiated with 3 dealers online. I never spoke to anyone on the phone. We never laid eyes on the car before the day we drove to a the dealership and picked it up.

    2. Randy G says:

      Me too. My wife always gets mad at me and tells me I know more than the salesperson. She makes me promise to “let them do their job”.
      I let him show me the back in auto park feature on the G2 Volt so I learned something.

      1. ffbj says:

        Trade her in for a newer model.

    3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Inside EVs readership aren’t exactly representative of the average car buyer. Most people are too lazy to research purchases so they rely on the sales droids.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Exactly, thanks.

  6. Stimpy says:

    I’m not sure if this shows Bolt demand or just how much better EVs/PHEVs sell in general when the salespeople and dealers aren’t actively against the idea.

    1. MikeM says:

      I suspect the local EV-aficionado crowd already knows which (the only) dealership to go to.

  7. Texas FFE says:

    I definitely understand the desire to pre-order a Bolt, I feel the desire myself so that I might get a Bolt more quickly. But if I pre-order it would probably turn into a factory order and I wasn’t happy with the one factory order I purchased.

    The wait for my factory order was excruciating. The dealer told it was going to take six weeks then told me it was going to be there next week for the next two months after that. I had a lot of problems with the car and I always thought it was because it was a custom assembly.

    As much as I want one I think I’m going to have to wait until they are actually on the lot.

    1. Aaron says:

      Agreed. You leave yourself up for price gouging. I did a pre-order of a vehicle and, of course, the salesperson I worked with no longer worked there when the car arrived. They changed the pricing terms and claimed they “lost” the paperwork from the original salesperson. Never again.

  8. Koenigsegg says:

    Look at the Bolt then look at the Volt

    why the hell would anyone choose that dorky Bolt over the Volt

    1. Benjamin says:

      Bolt is faster, is all electric, and I like the 5 door, 5 seat tall hatchback body architecture.

      I think it looks pretty cool: fun. The Volt does look better though.

    2. bro1999 says:

      5 seats (with a flat floor)
      More headroom/interior space
      More cargo space

      Then there’s that thing about 100% electric driving. 😉

    3. MTN Ranger says:

      I’m an ex-Volt owner that is going to buy a Bolt.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Myself also Ranger.

        I had a Volt for 3 years. It was a nice car but this time I’m going with a Bolt EV.

    4. Texas FFE says:

      Zero emission, not dependent on any one energy source, 200 all electric range, DCFC, good looking, sporty, etc., etc., etc.

  9. Mikael says:

    I didn’t like the appearance of the Bolt when going from a really good-looking concept to the spy shots that were of a pretty ugly car.

    But I have to say that it’s growing on me for every pic I see of it.

    It also looks like a great car for Europe. I’d be happy if they sold it here too, so I at least could try it out.

    The Bolt is going to be big. And it’s once again surprising that it’s Chevrolet and GM being the ones in the lead.

    1. TomArt says:

      Historically, GM has been at the forefront of innovation – the baffling issue is that they usually don’t stick with it. For example, the first production vehicle with all-wheel-drive in the US was a GM vehicle, but was only in production for a short time (sometime in the 80s, if I remember correctly). I don’t mean 4×4 pickups, that’s different. I’m talking about a Quattro-like system that beat Audi to marker by many years.

      The first production vehicle with a heads-up display in the US was a GM vehicle (Plymouth, if I remember correctly, in the early 90s), but it was an option for only 1 model year. Over a decade later, BMW has been the only automaker to have heads-up displays in production vehicles sold in the US.

      I would have to go look up the details – I forget exactly which models these were and the specific year(s) in which they were available.

      Since then, GM was one of the first to have daytime running lights on all their production models in the US.

      GM had the first modern, all-electric and arguably successful EV of the modern era (EV-1). GM then put forth the first, and I think still the only, series/parallel plug-in hybrid (Volt), which is also successful. And now, they are the first to market with a 200-mile mass-market BEV.

      I’m not a huge fan of GM – other automakers have better fit and finish and reliability, and just as important, other automakers stick with their innovations and develop them, instead of abandoning them almost as fast as they create them.

    2. brian says:

      You’re in luck- they just announced the Opel Ampera-e, the European version of the Bolt

    3. Raymondjram says:

      Europe may get the Opel Ampera-E. Search for Jay’s other artcle from yesterday (with pictures).

  10. Speculawyer says:

    I hope those orders are real but I’m always skeptical of such claims. Are these people who put down a deposit? Or are these just people who indicated a little interest.

  11. an_outsider says:

    Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, QC won 2 years in a row in Canada the:

    “LEADING PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE (PHEV) DEALERSHIP AWARD”

    2015
    http://www.electricity.ca/resources/cea-partners/electric-vehicle-dealership-awards/2015-award-winners.php

    2014
    http://www.electricity.ca/resources/cea-partners/electric-vehicle-dealership-awards/2014-award-winners.php

    They just received in January their first batch of Spark EV for detail sale too.

    They are my preferred Chevrolet dealer too 🙂

  12. GeorgeS says:

    Just goes to show how smart people are that live in Canada (wink wink— you know who)

    🙂

  13. scott franco says:

    Whats the difference between a car salesman and a homeless person?

    A bath and a suit.

    1. mr. M says:

      Thats insulting for the homeless.

  14. Murrysville EV says:

    “consumers putting down deposits today have no guarantee of any special early delivery dates by doing so”

    I don’t see the point, then.

    At least with Tesla, early depositors get early cars.

  15. Scott says:

    I bought my Volt from this dealership. Samuel really knows his stuff and he took the time to explain everything. He’s the best salesman I have ever dealt with. Great job you guys, keep it up!

  16. Omar Sultan says:

    Completely OT, but “Bourgeois Chevrolet” seems like such an oxymoron 🙂

    1. BraveLilToaster says:

      Why? “Bourgeoisie” is the middle-class.

  17. BraveLilToaster says:

    “Bourgeois Chevrolet sold a record 287 electrified vehicles in 2015, including 192 new and 95 used….(for the year) Bourgeois sold 704 vehicles in 2015, so that means more than 40 percent of sales were plug-in hybrids and EVs,”

    That’s not just extraordinary for any one dealership to sell that many EVs in Canada, that’s extraordinary overall. There were about 1500 new Volts sold in all of Canada in 2015. 192 Volts is 12.8%!

  18. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Wow 33 Bolt orders?

    Why doesn’t GM just claim that Bolt are sold out in Canada for calendar year 2016? =)

    1. an_outsider says:

      They published today on their FB:

      “and counting…! 93 pre-sold Bolts as of this morning!”

      https://www.facebook.com/srbourgeois/?ref=nf

      1. Jay Cole says:

        So..guess it is time to update the story huh? Thanks for the heads-up!

  19. kat says:

    Gee, with the US $ being so high, compared to the Canadian $, it might be feasible to visit relatives in Canada and drive back a new EV and support such a progressive dealership in the process.

  20. kat says:

    Jay Cole, see if they want to make a deal with a Canadian living in the USA, considering buying an EV from them to support their business model.

  21. Jonathan says:

    HAHAHA! 33? 93? How about 400,000?

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