Chevrolet Volt Sales Drag In March, As Cadillac ELR Re-Tooling Gets Underway

2 years ago by Jay Cole 13

2013 Chevrolet Volt Sales Much Improved Over 2012 So Far

March 2013 Sales First Year-Over-Year Drop Since The Car Went On Sale In December of 2010

2013 has gotten off to a bit of a shaky start for the Chevrolet Volt sales.  And while General Motors has ratcheted up both the production, and the discounting of the Volt over the past couple months, in March, only 1,478 plug-ins were sold.

Acceleration Production Of The Chevrolet Volt Continues To Be The Story For 2013

Acceleration Production Of The Chevrolet Volt Continues To Be The Story For 2013

2013 started out with a lowly 1,140 Volts sold in January, as a decision to idle the extended range car’s Hamtramck, Michigan facility for three weeks crippled inventories on the West Coast.  However, GM quickly corrected that story by almost producing 3,000 cars in January (2,949), and even more in February (3,298).

For February, those more Volt production led to a 40% improvement (1,626 Volts sold) during the month.   But fresh inventories, and a national $3,000 off rebate program didn’t help the Volt much in March, as year-over-year sales fell for the first time ever, by 35%.  In March of 2012, GM sold 2,289 plug-in Chevys.

Year to date sales of the Volt now total 4,244, which is still a 8% improvement over 2012, when 3,915 Volts were sold.

Despite Low Sales, Chevrolet Volt Production Continued Unchecked At GM's DHAM Plant.  Opel Ampera Production Continues To Be "Token" At Best

Despite Low Sales, Chevrolet Volt Production Continued Unchecked At GM’s DHAM Plant. Opel Ampera Production Continues To Be “Token” At Best

For March, production of the electric Chevy once again wll outpaced sales, as GM’s Michigan assembly plant produced 2,722 Volts, as well as a meager 163 of its sister car for Europe, the Ampera.

New Color Choices For 2014 Chevrolet Volt: Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstone Metallic

New Color Choices For 2014 Chevrolet Volt

This week, General Motors also announced that the 2014 edition of the Chevrolet Volt will be going on sale in “late May,” and that two new color choices will be available:

  • Brownstone Metallic
  • Ashen Gray Metallic

It is thought that when the 2014 Chevrolet Volt does goes on sale in May, that a new pricing structure (with a lower starting MSRP) may be introduced to spur sales on.

Cadillac ELR On Stage at Detroit Auto Show, While Behind The Scenes Re-Tooling Of The Volt's Line For They Caddy Has Already Begun According To A Source

Cadillac ELR On Stage at Detroit Auto Show, While Behind The Scenes Re-Tooling Of The Volt’s Line For They Caddy Has Already Begun According To A Source

Also of interest, InsideEVs has learned from a source inside General Motor’s Hamtramck facility that January’s seemingly self-inflicted sales wound, due to the plant’s extended 3-week closure, may have actually had a purpose to it, as “re-tooling” for the upcoming plug-in Cadillac ELR apparently got underway while normal Volt production was idled.

The limited-run Caddy, is expected to start around $65,000, and will enter regular production in the fall of 2013, for sales starting in 2014.

With local Volt inventory now touching 7,000 units, an all-time high, and sales seemingly slumping, one has to wonder if another extended shutdown of the line, either for inventory control or more work in preparation of the ELR,  is in the cards for the near future.

 

 

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13 responses to "Chevrolet Volt Sales Drag In March, As Cadillac ELR Re-Tooling Gets Underway"

  1. Anthony says:

    Has anyone seen any Volt ads lately? I feel like advertising is falling off, and maybe that’s why sales aren’t as robust.

    1. kdawg says:

      Well you have the Ford Cmax & Fusion Energi’s, which my have stole some Volt sales, but until we get Ford’s delayed #’s, won’t know how plug-ins are doing in general.

    2. vdiv says:

      Chevy! Find new roads!

      Not entirely a Volt commercial but it has the Volt at the beginning and end.

      Warning, digital dog not included.

    3. Bill Howland says:

      Anthony,
      Maybe Ackerson would disagree (he needs his $10 million per year, same as Ford’s Mullaly) but I would think its time for a price DECREASE.

      There are more plug-in hybrids on the market now, and for Chevy to remain competitive they need to adjust.

      If they make their own batteries (Not sure if the cells are being contracted out to LG CHEM) , then they should work on lowering cost here.

      The , at the same time Very Very complicated, and, so far, very reliable Synergy drive, made by a Japanese supplier ( same as the Prius) , since the design cost has been amortized may be amenable to a lower price, unless the extreme complication of the unit is frustrating price decreases.

  2. David Murray says:

    I wonder how many people that were considering a Volt either opted for the Tesla (now that they are actually being made at a decent pace) or for a Leaf. The Volt sits in between both vehicle in a way.

    1. vdiv says:

      I’d say Ford with its CMax and Fusion Energi models is really the competitive threat.

  3. James says:

    Everyone poo-poo’ed me when I predicted this a couple months back.
    ELR production in Hamtramck won’t keep the lines running as more
    shutdowns are in their future.

    Why? Basically the Volt’s price and it seats 4. For the first time since
    the first Volts rolled off the line, it has DIRECT competition from other
    plug-ins – namely the Ford C-Max which is less expensive and seats
    5, and Fusion Energi, which also seats 5 but is equally Volt-expensive.
    Add PiPrius and you pick off a few more potential Volt buyers.

    Add to this new hybrids in C-Max hybrid and Fusion hybrid. When folks
    are considering gas mileage, even a hybrid seems “radical” to most.
    When their previous car delivers 16-24mpg, 40-43 mpg seems huge!
    Toyota has been offering discounts on their hybrids and Ford is
    washing the airwaves with it’s hybrid commercials. Celebrities and
    higher profile greenies now have a new Tesla to ponder and the
    Volt seems like old news.

    As a Volt owner and advocate, I love mine and can’t think of another
    car for near the money that does what it does. That said, there are
    fewer of us willing to pay out the coin for a family car that seats 4
    and costs $40,000.

    Naturally, efficient car sales soar in late spring and summer, so Volt
    will pick up then, but expect a tough 2014 for the groundbreaking
    Chevy – I just hope GM has a lot more options pricewise, capability-
    wise and in form factor for 2015. Bargain hunters will be able to
    get a 2014 Volt for bottom dollar if they have the patience to wait.

  4. bloggin says:

    The ‘lowly’ 1,140 Volt sales for Jan outsold it’s primary competition, the Prius plug-in by 266 units, and it’s 1,626 sales in Feb outsold the Prius plug-in by 933 units. With 1,478 for March, Volt is at 4,244 sales for the quarter. Compared with the Prius plug-in that may break 2k units.

    So based on the plug-iin hybrid sales in the US, the Volt is doing well.

  5. Kimmi says:

    The competition is increasing and last year’s best seller (Volt family), both in the US and around the globem this year is down to #2 in both markets, outsold by the Model S in the US and by the Leaf on the global market.

    Do i hear a price drop coming for the Volt family?

  6. GeorgeS says:

    Shit now we are getting our butt kicked by Nissan??
    I don’ t believe it.
    there is something wrong with the data!

  7. GeorgeS says:

    James quote:

    “As a Volt owner and advocate, I love mine and can’t think of another
    car for near the money that does what it does.”

    well that says it all.
    Go James!

    1. Martin T says:

      Agree, same here in Australia even with the local markup!
      It proves my point the majority of people doe not understand the technological refinement that is in the Volt & are only prepared to put coin on ego brands.
      Pity as they are really missing out !

  8. Mike H says:

    humm, its just a shame the Volt hasn’t seen the same success as the regular Prius. It would have been nice to it succeed then have GM create a multiple Volt lineup similar to what Toyota did with the Prius. What I think really hurt the Volt is its price – I live in Texas so I would “only” get the $7500 tax credit. I wonder how much dealers will haggle right now with inventories so high.