Chevrolet Volt In September Sets All Time Record For Sales. Again.

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 15

General Motors seems to have found the right formula for selling the Chevrolet Volt, as the 40 mile, extended range plug-in once again set a new level of sales during September.

For the month, 2,851 customers made their way into Chevrolet showrooms in the US and left with a new Volt.

Helping to spur sales was the addition of new and improved 2013 model year Volt hitting dealership floors.  The 2013 Volt not only features more electric range, but is more fuel efficient than the outgoing 2012s.  For 2013 range has been increased by 3 miles to 38 total miles (as rated by the EPA) and overall fuel efficiency has increased to 98 MPGe.

The 4 Drive Modes of the 2013 Volt

The 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt also adds features previously only available on its sister car for Europe, the Opel Ampera.   A selectable ‘HOLD‘ feature allows drivers to NOT use the on board lithium battery to propel the car, despite it still being charge capable. This feature now gives the Volt four driving modes: normal, sport, mountain and hold.

Also in play for part of September sales (and all of August) was an aggressive marketing incentive at the dealership level to move Volt inventory off lots.

Because this incentive only ran through the first week of September,  sales expectations for the month by analysts were estimated to still be strong, but slightly lower than the previous month’s high of 2,831 units sold.

However, in order to offset the loss of this incentive to dealers, GM switched its focus back to customers directly by introducing new, financing and leasing programs designed to get more people into the car.

“Passenger cars (including the Volt) have been the launch point for a broad and deep GM product offensive,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “Auto sales will continue to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy, which is particularly good news for GM as we walk into an even stronger cadence of new products in 2013 and 2014.”

2013 Chevrolet Volt Interior (click to enlarge)

At the moment, the Volt’s Hamtramck assembly is on hiatus for 4 weeks as GM prepares the factory for the new Chevrolet Impala.  The plant is not expected to reopen until the 15th of the month.

Previously, GM stated they had sufficient Volts to satisfy demand for the car until the plant restarts, but some dealerships have said they are currently waiting on more cars to sell.

In a work shortened September, GM produced 1,214 out of their Michigan facility, while also producing 247 Amperas for Europe.  To date GM has sold 16,348 Volts, and increase of 320% over 2011 (3,895).

We think with a 8,614 vehicle lead over nearest competition, the Toyota plug-in Prius (which also impressed this month, selling 1,652 copies in September), it is fair to say that the plug-in champion for 2012 will be the Chevrolet Volt.

Source: GM September sales report PDF , GM production report PDF.

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15 responses to "Chevrolet Volt In September Sets All Time Record For Sales. Again."

  1. Dave R says:

    Well done, GM! Good to more more plug-ins hitting the road!

    Would love to see GM build on this momentum, but it’s pretty clear that price is the biggest factor in moving these cars…

  2. James says:

    I think it’s time we stop using the oft-quoted dealership incentives as reasons Volt sales were strong. The dealer incentives ran out Sept. 4th. This would still indicate that Volt has reached
    a momentum in recognition on the market and is now enjoying some success on it’s own merit.

    Since when is any model not pushed by some sort of dealer or customer incentive program, especially in September when the new models generally appear in showrooms? It’s time we stop adding asterisks to Volts strong sales and just realize there are people out there who are very tired of the situation in the Middle East and peak oil in Mexico and elsewhere effecting our rollercoaster gasoline prices. Everyone knows that $4.00 per gallon for regular
    unleaded gas is some kind of red button that goes off when it comes to hybrid sales. In my
    area of the United States – gas has been flirting with and/or going past that number all Summer long. People are just plain tired of being held prisoner by the price of gas.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Right – people aren’t buying “because” of the incentives, but they are helping people get off the fence and do the lease or purchase. I’m pretty sure people who hate the Volt are not going through with the deal 🙂 I think it is because they like it enough to own or lease it.

      1. vdiv says:

        I think having a larger dealership inventory helped a lot. People want to get the car with specific options and if those were not available that hurt sales.

  3. Bonaire says:

    I wish they would talk about the # of sales of Volts in Canada and Europe. And Opel Amperas too in Europe. It’s hard to judge a worldwide sales number – but that number would be larger than US-sales only, would help squelch the media and show that the USA is actually exporting a viable mid-priced vehicle *to* Europe and not just importing all that stuff from Germany.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Europe is a toughie. It can be compiled, but every country has there own little quirks (registrations)/timelines to deal with. However, Canadian numbers? Not so tough:

      Chevrolet Volt – 214 (previous best was 211 in May)
      Nissan LEAF – 16 (20 sold last month, best was December of 2011 @ 59)

      (Of interest, Nissan just expanded its dealership base in Canada past the first 20-odd ‘introductory’ that had been using exclusively the last year or so. So October will be a much larger number)

  4. MrEnergyCzar says:

    The negative spin should be very interesting in response to these sales numbers…. I’m sure they are working hard as we speak to come up with something….lol..

    MrEnergyCzar

  5. benni says:

    Waiting for GM to pay back my tax money.

    1. Koz says:

      That will never happen but if you want the government to recoup the max amount of it’s bankruptcy support cost, buy a Volt or other GM vehicle. The only federal assets are in GM stock, unless you are referring to a low interest loan for the battery pack plant.

  6. benni says:

    Hold on now. The Ford C-Max Energi is on the way.
    With no Gov handout. 🙂

    1. scottf200 says:

      This is more a competitor to the Plug-in-Prius where the gas engine turns on under hard acceleration and certain speeds. The Volt EREV concept is still unique in that it is battery only until it runs out and even if you put the pedal to the medal up to 101 MPH (read pure EV up to ~40 miles). I am a Ford fan and hope it does well against the more typical plug-in hybrid cars.

    2. Koz says:

      Really? Define handout. Would a $5.9B low interest loan qualify?

  7. Shaun says:

    Does the September sales number include the 1500 purchased by the pentagon?

    1. scottf200 says:

      Shaun, see this article
      http://insideevs.com/department-of-defense-to-buy-1500-plug-ins-mostly-chevrolet-volts/
      and especially the end:
      “Update: The story has since been retold (and re-written) so many times by less-than-informed outlets, that even some mainstream plug-in and hybrid media sites are reporting this as both a new decision by the government to add EVs to their fleet, and that the entire puchase (1,500) is in support of the Chevrolet Volt. Neither of which is true.”

  8. Jim I says:

    Build a great product, and have gasoline prices start to dance around $5.00 / gallon, and people will start to think about changing their ideas of what a car should be!

    JMHO