Chevrolet Marketing Director Bullish On Success Of 2017 Chevy Volt

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 58

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

General Motors seems confident that the 2017 Volt will be more successful than the first-generation vehicle, mostly due to some changes in its approach.

2017 will be the first version of the new Volt that will be released nationwide. There are no official plans at this time to release the car outside of North America.

Voltec

Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet marketing, cars and crossovers, said:

“I think that we focused more on the architecture and the mechanics versus the promise of what Volt delivered, which was a cleaner, more environmentally friendly, more technologically advanced system with electrification at the heart of its propulsion system.”

“We would not be putting this product out there if we weren’t bullish on it and didn’t feel it was going to make a difference for us from a sales share, and dealers and customer standpoint.”

The goal, according to Marjoros, is to focus on the strengths of the new Volt and to push and educate about the vast benefits of a PHEV/EREV.

The company has been through a lot in the past 9 years, since the release of the first Volt concept. Initially, the car even became an object of ridicule, called the “Obamamobile.” Rush Limbaugh specifically used Chevy’s Volt to poke fun at President Barack Obama’s push for electric cars.

Former CEO, Dan Akerson, was publicly optimistic during the first-gen Volt release, announcing projected sales of 60,000 Volts a year. In reality, car sales dwindled from a high of 23,500 in 2012, down to 15,400 in 2015.

Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst for IHS Automotive, commented:

“GM was able to learn a lot from the program and you’ve seen that development come through to their future products. There’s still some consumer education to be done but they’re not starting from zero again this time.”

IHS predicts that GM will sell 41,000 Volts in 2018.

The 2017 Volt is rated at 53 miles of electric range. It achieves 42 MPG overall in standard hybrid mode. It houses an 18.4 kWh battery pack. The car will cost about $34,000, which is cheaper than the first-gen model when it was first released. Chevy has added a fifth seat, which was highly requested by Volt owners. However, it is very “cramped,” but it’s there.

Time will tell if GM’s new Volt proves successful.

Source: The Detroit News

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58 responses to "Chevrolet Marketing Director Bullish On Success Of 2017 Chevy Volt"

  1. vdiv says:

    Sorry, I read the title as “Chevrolet Marketing Director Bullsh!t on…” and thought yup, that’s right!

    1. miggy says:

      If GM think the Volt is such a great car why don’t they sell it worldwide just like they would an ICE car.

      By the way, I think the Volt is a great car, not putting the car down just GM for not selling it worldwide.

      1. vdiv says:

        I think the Volt is a great car too, especially the first generation that required significant investment, risk-taking, and swimming against the current, both within GM and outside. Drove one for 3.5 years. And yet GM remains its biggest enemy and the self-contradictory stance really hurts sales.

        1. Just_chris says:

          IMO GM never wanted the volt, they built a compliance car and were forced to push it for the bailout money. Funny thing is it’s a great car and a great concept. People love it and have stuck with it despite GM’s best efforts to make it look unwanted whilst trying to make it look like they are keen to sell it.

          I wish they would take the spark, volt, elr and bolt and make a sub brand. Let that sub brand compete on its own – choose its own next models, market it’s own product and build its own future. There appears to be nothing wrong with the cars but everything wrong from the dealer to the board room.

          1. Nix says:

            Bullpucky. Bob Lutz personally championed the Volt with the GM board way back in 2006. Long before being pushed into bankruptcy by a combination of management failures and the collapse of the international credit market. Long before bankruptcy. Long before the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 was passed. Long before CARB wrote any rules about PHEV’s.

            It was a reaction to Toyota owning the hybrid market, and Tesla building the Roadster, along with Lutz having a vision for the future where whatever company had the lead in PHEV technology would be in the best position to grow market share.

      2. Nix says:

        miggy — GM isn’t selling it in China because they refuse to hand over the technology to a Chinese partner. GM isn’t selling it in the EU because when they tried to sell it there, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV crushed it in sales.

        1. Scramjett says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Opel Ampera shelved long before Mitsubishi Outlander sales really took off?

          1. Nix says:

            Outlander PHEV sales began in Oct. 2013 and they sold 8000 units in 3 months. This was roughly the same number of sales that the Ampera did from 2011 through 2013.

            Sales of the Ampera dropped to 332 in the first five months 2014. Meanwhile the Outlander was selling around 1500 units a month in the EU. Then in July 2014 GM announced that the EU would not get the 2016 GEN II Volt.

            My read of that data is that GM lost and they withdrew to the US market where the Volt was battling with the Leaf to be the top selling electric vehicle. But I’m open to alternate interpretations.

      3. Jason says:

        Miggy,
        I agree it would be nice to have GM release the Volt Worldwide. However I believe economics played a large roll in that with the Dollar being valued very high, it makes American products seem more expensive to other Countries.

    2. Taser54 says:

      Show some maturity

  2. Skryll says:

    Assuming it handles better than the 2013 🙂 with that electric range it is got to be a good choice for the non-fully-electric camp, all close driving can be done electric only, probably a strong seller through 2017 until bolt and model 3 come out and convert more people to fully electric. Just my guess 🙂

    1. David Murray says:

      Bolt and Model III will still suffer from lack of charging infrastructure. So Volt will still have the advantage.

      1. Josh says:

        The Volt is a great car, but it isn’t a great road trip vehicle. I just doesn’t have enough room for a family + luggage. I am ironically doing an Austin family trip this weekend (on a packing break right now). I could never imagine getting all this stuff into a Volt.

        I don’t really see how highway charging infrastructure is going to be a big deciding factor between Volt vs. “200 EPA mile BEV”.

        However, a VoltUV would clearly win in road trip decision. If they ever build one.

        1. GSP says:

          Check out the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, coming this fall.

          16 kWh, 32 A charger, 30 EV miles, huge passenger and cargo space, very quiet and smooth ride.

          GSP

        2. SJC says:

          One guy had a sales route and put 200,000 miles in three years on a Volt, ran great.

      2. Titolajko says:

        One thing a lot of people do t understand is that there are hidden costs with electric vehicle. One people have to restructure their garage and install a plug that is 240v or better. Cant charge a car on 120v, it takes 2-3 days. This cost alone can be from 500-1200$ depending on setup and whats needed. Im going through it now and it will be around 850$. For some people not a big deal for others may be a deal braker. One must be an early adapter to do it. Worth it in the lo g run though

        1. Tim says:

          Thanks for sharing such insightful information that clearly comes from you never having had a car with a plug.

          The more common approach is to plug in when you get home, so the car is usually topped off for each trip. Many – if not most – EV owners use a 110V charger, so they haven’t seen the need to invest in some big renovation as you suggest (which, by the way, is often just a circuit upgrade so more akin to getting an electric dryer).

          1. GSP says:

            Tim is correct, 120 V charging is all you need for overnight charging. So simple. But that is not all.

            The 120 V charge cord that is included with the 2016/17 gen 2 volts is fully capable of 240 V charging. It only takes an inexpensive 240 V outlet and a plug adapter. Check out how at gm-volt dot com.

            240 V charging makes the Volt *even better* by allowing faster top up during the day. Great if you run several errands over the weekend.

            GSP

        2. M. St.John says:

          Drove a Leaf for 37 months and never had a problem using 120 v. Many 3rd party 240v chargers under $400

        3. Coiled says:

          So much bad information in one post.

          It doesn’t take 2-3 days to charge the Volt battery on 120V. It takes maybe 10-12 hours IF you drained it completely, which not everybody does. As Tim said, you plug in when you get home and you’re topped off for the next trip. Easy.

          I upgraded to 240V in my garage for about $400 and I didn’t have to “restructure” anything. It’s a small cost relative to the price of the Model S, and even the Volt.

          1. Arnold says:

            Agree re bad info by ignorant bloggers,120V charging i found to be about 12 hrs and 240V about 4 hrs to get 57 battery miles (accurate around town but fwy 70 mph is 1/3 less). I paid $450 for a plug in L2 charger plus $125 for electrician to install but got a City rebate of $500 and a Federal tax rebate of $350 so it was free! Rarely use gas (travel less than 50 mi/day).

        4. goodbyegascar says:

          Titolajko:

          Consider the “hidden cost” of ignorance.

        5. Ziv says:

          Tito, you are wrong about charging at 120 volts. I take the same amount of time to plug in my Volt every night as I do to plug in my phone, about 3 seconds. And my Volt is topped off every morning, and I generally don’t even have to set the charger to the 12 amp setting, 8 amps being fast enough.
          Most Volt owners use 120v and it works fine.

        6. Nix says:

          Tito — Most people who have never owned an EV don’t understand that you just have to re-charge the amount of electricity you used each night. You don’t actually have to recharge from empty every time.

          So if you only use half your battery, you only have to recharge half your battery. So charge from empty times don’t really mean that much for many folks who charge overnight.

          The average driver drives LESS miles per day than the 2017 Volt has in range with a fully charged battery. Most average drivers will rarely have to charge from empty.

          The other thing is that you don’t actually have to recharge the entire Volt battery if on one day or another you run it to empty, and you need to drive it the next day before it goes through a full charge cycle. You just drive off with whatever charge you have, and the gas engine will take care of you.

          So even if you don’t get a full charge one night, it doesn’t matter for the Volt. You can finish charging later.

        7. KenC says:

          Tito, what are you talking about?

          I just added a 240v outlet, which I did myself, doesn’t take a rocket scientist, and it cost me about $50 for the double pole breaker, the NEMA 6-20 receptacle, the weatherproof box. I had some leftover 10 gauge wire, so didn’t need to buy that.

          Then the 2016 Volt includes a portable EVSE that is made by Clipper Creek, and L2 compatible. Says so right on the label. You just need to make yourself an adapter for about $30.

          Altogether, I spent less than $100, if you add in the cost of buying 10 gauge wire for a 240v outlet and EVSE. I can get a full charge in 5 to 6 hrs. Of course, most times I don’t need a full charge.

  3. Nelson says:

    The 2011 Volt was only competing against the Leaf and Prius. The 2017 Volt will compete against many more plug-ins, even against its brethren the Bolt. I don’t expect high sales numbers, just a decent market share. Top 5.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Great point!

      Back in the Volt peak days of 2012/2013, there were far fewer choices or competition. Today’s PEV market are filled with alternatives in size, price and body style.

      Volt will be lucky just to match its “glory days”…

    2. David Murray says:

      Depends.. If gas goes back to $4 per gallon anytime in the next few years (and nobody can predict if it will or not) then the Volt sales could easily double or triple over today’s numbers.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Even with more choices?

        Remember when gas breached $4/gallon, Volt sales was good, but Prius sales were even better…

        Combined with plenty of new choices coming from Toyota, Ford, Kia/Hyundai, VW, BMW, are you still sure that Volt won’t lose significantly amount of buyers to those brands?

        Not everyone care about the extra few EV miles like more Volt owners do.

        Remember the tiny 11 EV miles PIP even sold decently.

        1. kdawg says:

          My *hope* is that consumers are becoming more educated about plugins, so hopefully the best products win.

    3. GSP says:

      The 2017 Volt does have many other PHEVs to compete with. The 2011 Volt had none!

      However, none of today’s PHEVs can even come close to matching the 2011 Volt’s EV range and performance, much less the 2017 Volt!

      GSP

  4. pjwood1 says:

    Marketing is such the wild card. where I live I see the Volt on billboards, highways, etc.

  5. Ian says:

    Release a Silverado with the same drivetrain and see how it does.

    1. Daniel says:

      VIA Motors already has. I don’t think they are available to the general public “yet” but such a truck does exist.

      1. Ian says:

        Very pricey though. Chev could shave the price and sell cheaper if done in house.

      2. Speculawyer says:

        Retrofits are too expensive. It needs to be done from the ground up.

        1. CBonville says:

          VIA is getting “gliders” from Chevy, so it is less retrofit cost than you might think. Biggest issue right now is that VIA needs to up their volumes so they can earn back their R&D cost on more vehicles and reduce the prices. AFAIK, they are still only selling to fleet owners.

  6. Koenigsegg says:

    My blacked out Volt with Yellow calipers

    http://i.imgur.com/P9HM7kX.jpg

  7. Kevin C. says:

    I have good feelings about this. And the Bolt, too. Even without massive EVSE build out. It would help of course…

    Koenigsegg…beware the dark knight stealth mobile:-)

  8. flmark says:

    Like ‘Men Working’ & ‘Naval Intelligence’, ‘Chevy Volt Marketing’ is an oxymoron to me. We all know the Chevy commercials that show the family of Chevys all together. Until I see GM put the Volt in this grouping, I will continue to believe that GM views the Volt as the proverbial ‘red headed step child’ and ignore them when they tell me they are actively trying to sell this car.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Yes, they’d have a lot more success if they actually *marketed* it.

    2. Nix says:

      flmark — Both GM and Ford have had to keep their PHEV/EV marketing local and targeted to avoid right wing backlash. Sorry, it’s just a sad reality of our current political climate.

  9. jmac says:

    In its 63 year history the Chevy Corvette has sold only about 1.6 million million copies. That’s a little over 25,000 cars a year.

    The Chevy Volt is not fairing any better with around 110,000 sales since 2011, their first full year. That’s about 22,000 a year, including Ampera sales.

    Despite some formidable technology and some tender loving care from GM, neither model is a best seller. GM did a terrible job marketing the EV1 with advertising that looked as if GM was actually trying to discourage sales. (which turned out to be exactly the case)

    Most Volt owners are tremendous fans of the car. While the Volt is an engineering phenomenon, it may suffer from lack of functionality when you compare it to another EREV the Mitsubishi Outlander. I can see tech loving engineers driving their Volts to work every day with huge self-satisfied grins on their faces. I can also see soccer Moms piling kids into the back of the Outlander with a big grin on their faces.

    Advice to Chevy….. build an EREV that’s also an SUV like the Outlander. Barring that, at least get the hump out of the car to seat 5 comfortably. Who wants to pay 40K for a transmission hump ?

    1. Nate says:

      Where do you see that? There is not much overlap where the Volt inventory is allocated to vs. the Outlander PHEV.

      Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer much more seating space for kids than the Volt – 4.5 vs. 5. Maybe what you envision is the XC90 PHEV or Model X because those actually give you 3 rows to pile those kids into. Of course, those aren’t anywhere close to the Volt’s price of $26,000 after credit.

      Yes, I’d like to see the drivetrain in larger vehicles but Outlander PHEV wouldn’t be it.

  10. Speculawyer says:

    The VOlt is a GREAT car.

    But they really need to put that drivetrain into SUVs, bigger sedans, pick-ups, minivans, etc.

    1. jmac says:

      Most of the complaints against the Volt are usually not about the car itself but about how GM is marketing and selling the Volt. The French liked the Ampera (Volt) so much that they formed an Ampera activist group to try to get the car back in 2016.

      The Association Amperistes et Amis des Véhicules Rechargeable blame the demise of the Ampera in Europe on GM.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        I wish that French group success. And at least it looks like they will get an Opel version of the Bolt.

        The Volt is a great car but not everyone wants such a small car.

  11. Larry says:

    Today I discovered that GM has no interest in leasing the Volt. The dealer I talked to found no sign that their leasing companies give the lessee the advantage of the $7500 federal rebate by crediting it as a down payment like Nissan does for the Leaf and BMW does for the i3. I guess the leasing companies don’t think the lessee will notice that they’re stealing the rebate. This certainly killed my interest.

    1. Fail Cells says:

      why wouldn’t you want them to credit the lease with 7500?

      1. GSP says:

        Right. The $7500 to the lease company enables a much lower lease payment. If that is not the case for Larry, he can find a different lease company that offers a competitive payment.

        GSP

        1. Larry says:

          The dealer quoted $299/mo for 36 mos.on a Volt with MSRP of $36.7K. The residual was stated to be 55%, rather than a specific amount, but I would interpret that to be about $20.2K. About $3K down, also. Can you identify lenders that will give $7500 credit off the top? I guess they know how to coordinate such a transaction with car dealers. I don’t.

          1. KenC says:

            The 17s are just starting to roll into dealerships. The tax credit on the lease hasn’t been factored in yet, give them a little time. GM probably has to submit some paperwork to the Feds to qualify the 17 for the credit. All the previous Volts have gotten the tax credited to the lease amount.

    2. V2 says:

      As with Gen 1, the rebate is added to the residual,artificially inflating it. This does two things:

      1) Makes your monthly lease payments SAME as if you deducted the $7.5k from the sale price. Math is the same, so you do not “lose” money per se.

      2) More importantly, such way of taking the rebate makes your buy out cost almost guaranteed way above market value when your lease is up. This means no one would really be buying their leases Gen2.

      As a my Gen 1 lease is 2 months before it is over, I learned the above first hand when I wanted to figure out what to do. Resale value is VERY low on gen one, base models ~13k, loaded ~16k here in my part of the state. Almost 1/2 of the cost of buying my own car at end of lease. From what I understand, Ally bank is worst to try to negotiate lower buyout…

    3. Proton says:

      I can’t speak for the 2017 models, but when I got my 2015 (decided to buy), the lease deal applied the the tax credit as a reduction of the lease capitalization cost.

    4. Spider-Dan says:

      When I leased my Gen1 Volt, I talked to about a dozen dealers and a couple of them had wildly higher lease payments because they would not deduct the federal EV credit. You may simply need to shop around.

  12. Mister G says:

    Will Rush Limbaugh ask for tax payer money when his waterfront mansion is flooded due to rising ocean?

  13. Mark Messinger says:

    Hopefully, Chevrolet’s factory will back up Steve Majoros’ words. The slow – really slow – rollout of the 2nd generation Volt has been exceedingly frustrating. Available in all Canadian provinces and even in Mexico, although not in great numbers, the 11-state US rollout has left a lot of potential Volt owners in the cold.

    My own factory order, placed through an Oregon dealership on November 21st, still doesn’t have an assigned target production week.

    I read elsewhere that the car buying public doesn’t understand the Volt. Or that Chevy has to explain more about what the Volt can do and how it’s different from a conventional ICE vehicle. But for a lot of us, Chevy just has to promote the Volt and, more to my point, step up the pace and produce the Volt in larger numbers.

    Oh, and if the factory can cough up a few more Volts with the light ash/dark ash cloth interior, I’d sure appreciate it. That’s my order and it looks to be the unicorn of Volt interiors: rumored by never actually seen.