Chevrolet Volt Crosses 2,500 Sales In US For First Time This Year

3 years ago by Jay Cole 35

Will The Knowledge That The "Next Gen" Chevy Volt IS Coming Next Summer Hurt Sales Today?

Will The Knowledge That The “Next Gen” Chevy Volt IS Coming Next Summer Hurt Sales Today?

2nd Gen Cruze (sister car to the Volt) Launched This Month In China

2nd Gen Cruze (sister car to the Volt) Launched This Month In China

Heading in August, the Chevrolet Volt had managed to best the prior month’s sales for each month so far.

And this month was no exception, except that GM did it in style by passing the 2,500 unit mark for the first time in 2014

For August Chevy sold 2,511 Volts, good for a 24% improvement over July when GM sold 2,020 Volts.

Excluding Nissan LEAF sales, the 2,511 figure is the 2nd best monthly sales result for any plug-in vehicle sold in America (6th best overall).

Unfortunately the year-over-year numbers continued to fall, as the buzzsaw that was August of 2013 – when GM set the all-time US record for most plug-ins moved in a month with 3,351 Volts sold easily outpaced 2014’s number by 25%.

Overall 13,146 Volts have been sold in the US thus far, which is down by 12.3% on the 14,994 sold at the same point last year.

On the production/inventory side of things – while we thought that we might see a bit of a sell down of inventory during August, the opposite happened with close to 10,000 Volts being available for sale on deal lots; about 40% of which are new 2015s.

GM Launched An Aggressive Incentive Campaign In August To Move Excess 2014 Inventory

GM Launched An Aggressive Incentive Campaign In August To Move Excess 2014 Inventory

Also during August, General Motors promised to show the next generation of Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) in January, while teasing a picture of the rear hatch of the car.

Before then however, InsideEVs has learned there will be a least two more company “events” toying with our emotions and teasing the future Volt further.

On the ‘premium’ extended range side of things, the Cadillac ELR also set a new personal best with 196 notches during the month.  On the small EV side of things, we just spoke to a GM exec and 80 Spark EVs were sold in August as well…which doesn’t seem all that great, but we have to note that these were ALL retail sales this month, and in that regard, it was pretty decent.

High fives all around for GM this month.

 

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35 responses to "Chevrolet Volt Crosses 2,500 Sales In US For First Time This Year"

  1. pjwood says:

    The ELR number was the one to watch, IMO. Last months more public 20k discounts, before credits/rebates, would have to have moved more than 196, for Cadillac to back off I think. It suggests the deals will stick around, or get hotter. With the cash value of the charger allowance, demo and other tax incentives, ELR pricing has fallen near that of the original Volt price tag.

    1. Spec9 says:

      The ELR is an unmitigated disaster. Who ever thought that it was a good idea to sell plug-in hybrids to grandpas that watch Fox News all day must have been completely drunk.

      1. HoustonBeerMan says:

        I like a joke as well as the next guy, but I don’t get the drunk grandpa Fox News ELR connection.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      $25k on the hood, _before_ tax incentives, and I could be interested…

      1. Phr3d says:

        as a grampa, if I could -only- get over the ELR face that is apparently good looking, I’m already More than interested at $20k.

  2. Year over Year numbers by Month and Month to Month are NOT really that relevant.

    2014 Volt sales should not be “punished” because of the inventory issues last Summer that caused artificial astronomical sales last August.

    By the same token, July 2014 v. August 2014 growth is no big deal.

    Bottom line, if the Volt can maintain an average over 24,000 for the trailing twelve months until the new model comes out, GM should consider it a WIN.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Just trying our best to give sales some context. I think the take away is that sales are consistently improving in 2014 after a slow start.

      Next month GM gets a breather on the comps as September of 2013 (1,766) was a ‘step-back’ month for people after the big August sell-off.

  3. Breezy says:

    The Volt’s doing fine in the face of increased competition and being that it’s in the last model year of the current generation.

    Really the good news story is just that: increasing competition in the PHEV space (good) and the fact there is going to be a second gen Volt (good).

    1. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, that is a good point. The Volt has much more direct competition than the Leaf. People shopping for a PHEV can now look at the Ford Fusion Energi, the Ford CMAX Energi, and the (pathetic) Plug-In Prius.

      Outside of California & Oregon, the Leaf has pretty much no competition other than the Ford Focus Electric. (And the Model S but it is so high-priced that it is really not in the same market.)

      1. vdiv says:

        You got that wrong, it is not the (pathetic) Plug-In Prius. It is the

        …—>>> P A T H E T I C <<<—… Prius (plugin).

        Toyota must be very proud.

        1. Spec9 says:

          🙂 I very much agree. California needs to stop allowing it to qualify for a carpool lane sticker. Too small of a battery and it really can’t go freeway speeds with burning gas anyway.

        2. Tim says:

          I recently was having dinner with a friend who brought another friend of his along. The conversation turned to my Volt, and the new acquaintance proudly shared they had a Prius Plug-In. It was all I could do to politely be positive about his car versus mine. What I was actually thinking is “you’re a fool”.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “new acquaintance proudly shared they had a Prius Plug-In”

            And did they proudly shared the fact that they bought it for the HOV lane sticker? =)

            Also, one of the most frequently mentioned mentioned fact by Prius Plugin owners: I don’t have to plug it in.

            That is what piss me off the most. If you don’t need to plug it in, then don’t buy that POS….

          2. pjwood says:

            Still remember one, among three, PiP owners at a focus group complaining about 9.2 miles of range. Yes, that’s nine “.2”. I kept it polite, but did finally whisper to him “Toyota doesn’t like electric cars”.

            Among Volt, Fusion PHEV and Leaf owners, they were the “educators” who were clearly the least educated about cars.

            1. HoustonBeerMan says:

              I’m sure what you said was very profound, but I have to admit I didn’t understand a word of it.

        3. william edwards says:

          I really thought they would add more EV range in the PiP over time. But Toyota is selling more of their PHEV in a handful of states than GM is selling nationwide for many months.

  4. Alok says:

    Thanks for the super-fast coverage (as usual), Jay!

    Just for history’s sake…
    As you said, in August 2013 the Volt set an all-time world record for most plug-ins moved in a month.
    Then in December the Outlander PHEV set a new record by selling, due to very exceptional conditions, as many as 4,976 copies in the Netherlands(12.6% of the whole Dutch car market that month).

    http://insideevs.com/shock-and-awe-data-shows-netherlands-december-ev-record-at-9309-238-market-share/

    That also represents the highest market share for a single plug-in model. Isn’t it?
    I think the second in this regard is the Model S, which reached a market share of 10.8% in Norway last March (when, with 1,493 units sold, also set the all time record for monthly sales in Norway by any model).

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Alok, yes my bad, that should be all-time US record…that Netherlands/credit expiry month always trips us up, (=

      1. Alok says:

        🙂
        Sure!
        You know, some of my best friends are Dutch… I owed it to them!! ah ah

  5. QCO says:

    The new Volt is certain to affect short term sales, especially with a knowledgable customer base.

    But along with some improvements, the second generation Volt is also likely to come with some unpleasant cost reduction and reliability compromises in the grand GM tradition.

    Opens the question of whether the first generation Volt is sufficiently iconic to be collectible. It’s stellar reliability makes it practical too, along with some clearance discounts.

    1. Kickincanada says:

      My ex mother-in-law just got a screeming good deal on a fully loaded Volt and picked it up a few days ago. Rather than wait I advised her to buy now. The first generation volt was clearly over engineered and bullet broof reliable. I’m worried about decontenting with the 2016 hence the buy now attitude.

  6. Anthony says:

    N = 2 isn’t a large enough sample size to draw that conclusion. That’s like saying because there is more ice at the north pole this year than last year, climate change isn’t happening, when its just coming off record lows.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/09/01/global_warming_denial_claims_of_arctic_ice_recovering_are_exaggerated.html

  7. GeorgeS says:

    Here’s my brilliant comment:

    Go Volt!!

  8. Daniel says:

    I’m left to wonder why the Ford Focus EV does not do better? It has 5 seats, It is MUCH better looking than either the Leaf, I3, or Volt. Comes very nicely equipped and for the most part is available nation wide, Has performance numbers on par with it’s direct competitors. I just don’t get it. It also seems never to get mentioned much in articles dealing with available plug in cars. It may well be a better value than a comparable Leaf. They must be taking marketing lessons from the Volt team over at GM

    1. Ziv says:

      I like the FF Electric a lot, but it has a higher MSRP than the Volt but less range than a Leaf. That is a tough row to hoe. And Ford has kept inventory incredibly low.
      9000+ Volts in US inventory.
      4000+ Leafs in US inventory.
      396 FFE in US inventory.

      1. Dan says:

        The Focus EV also has cargo room that would be generously described as pathetic. We’re talking Corvette-levels of rear storage.

        1. Leo says:

          rear Storage in the c7 is huge. I recently got a handful of 8′ 2x4s in there, & closed the hatch!

  9. Taser54 says:

    Any hint as to whether the 2015 model year will be a short one for the Volt? Is GM producing a bunch of Volts now, to accomodate the upcoming months while the factory retools and shifts production to the new Volt (possibly available in January when introduced).

  10. Stephen says:

    I thought at the beginning of the year that GM will not let Volt sales for 2014 be less than 2013. They let inventory decrease at the beginning of the year while they produced the unloved ELR. Now they have ramped up production steadily and I predict sales will continue to increase month on month till the end of the year. They will probably not care about sales records for Gen1 next year as they will concentrate on a successful launch of Volt Gen2.

  11. VoltOwner says:

    One of those Spark sales was mine. Fun little car!
    Totally agree about the Fast Charging being key to acceptance. So far I have been to every one of the SAE Combo chargers in the Bay Area. That means 3 chargers total, but they are well located to get me to the airport and SF, as well as to the beginning of the North Bay. As soon as another one pops up in the north and one to the south, I can go pretty much anywhere I need to. We should see up to 55 when the currently planned stations are completed…

  12. Douglas says:

    I wouldn’t use the 2016 Chevy Volt rear as the picture for this story. The 2016 Volt had nothing to do with these sale numbers and posterity will be misled by the incongruity of showing a car that isn’t for sale yet headlining a story about a different car that is.

  13. HoustonBeerMan says:

    Know what? I don’t care about who is selling how many whatever’s in what amount of time in what country. I have a 2013 Volt that is fun to drive, is perfect for my driving needs and saves me a lot of money on gas. To me, all of this stuff doesn’t matter one iota!

  14. Bill Howland says:

    I’ve been test driving ELR’s lately, and the biggest negative is the small back seat. Its for kids and diminutive adults only.

    Otherwise, not a bad car, but, if they plan on making any number of them they have to get the price down. At GM’s pricing point, its not going to sell in large numbers, and GM is making the BIG mistake of pissing off their Caddy dealerships. I was in one small town over the weekend, who had 5 ELR’s that he admitted he’d had for ‘almost a year now’, and he said he wasn’t ordering ANY ELR’s for 2015 since they just take up space on his lot.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Most ELR’s I test drive automatically start the “engine maintenace” at turn on, signifying I’m the first person to turn the car on in 6 weeks. (I know that’s not strictly speaking accurate, but it COULD BE accurate). Especially when quizzing the dealer who states that ‘No one ever asks about these cars.’

      So GM has a problem in the making if they don’t do something to increase sales of these cars. Its a shame because some thought went into these things to differentiate them from a volt. The heavy regen feature is nice, as is the added acceleration.