Unexpected New 2017 Inventory Helps Chevrolet Volt Sales In February

2 years ago by Jay Cole 36

Look! Just after 17 days after the start of 2017 production, actual customer cars arrived in Michigan for delivery! Has to be some kind of record?

Look! Just after 17 days after the start of 2017 production, actual customer cars arrived in Michigan for delivery! Has to be some kind of record right?

Chevrolet accomplished a couple unexpected feats in February

For starters, they sold a respectable amount of cars – 1,126 worth.  A number that represents a 63% gain over a year ago, when the company moved just 693 units (fully feeling the effect of the new model’s debut the month prior in Detroit)

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt And Its "Hastag" Charger Made Its First Appearance This Month At CIAS In Toronto

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt And Its “Hastag” Charger Made Its First Appearance This Month At CIAS In Toronto

And secondly, despite only beginning production of the 2017 model year edition of the Volt on February 1st, they managed to build and ship the first of those models from their Hamtramck assembly plant to nearby Michigan dealers within ~3 weeks, which has to be some kind of record.

That was a good thing too as GM didn’t build a heck of a lot of the 2016 cars (and they had sold down to its last ~1,700 copies in February).  A slow ramp of the 2017 Volt would have meant some serious inventory holes for the 53 mile extended range EV.

The 2017 Volt is a now national offering, and as such we should note that inventory is still thin, entering March at about ~1,000 cars (and far from ideally spread out), but as it could have been so much worse, we have to give GM props – they are working hard and fast to get those Volts out to eager customers.

Also of interest: GM’s other extended range car, the Cadillac ELR sold 91 copies in February, off 28% from a year ago when 127 were moved.

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36 responses to "Unexpected New 2017 Inventory Helps Chevrolet Volt Sales In February"

  1. ziv says:

    Not a bad number given the lack of inventory. I am wondering when the US VOLT inventory is going to get out of the 2300’ish range it has been in the past 3 weeks. GM needs to build more Volts if they want to sell more Volts.

  2. Bonaire says:

    People seem to be choosing the Volt for the obvious reasons. Good AER (all electric range) and nice new tech over Gen-1. Better mpg on the range-extender too. It may be a good year (not great) for Volt while we await the Bolt. I’d consider a Bolt eventually if we start to see some amount of DCFC plans out there (GM sponsored or not). Otherwise, the Volt makes far more sense for those going EV.

    1. David Murray says:

      Yep.. I would really love to trade up from my 2013. But I can’t really justify it. My 2013 was bought used and it costs me $300 per month. It already has twice the EV range that I actually need. (I could get by with a C-Max Energi for my daily commute) and is by all standards a nice car. So I’ll just have to force myself to wait a year or two until I can find a good deal on a used 2016 or 2017.

      1. ArkansasVolt says:

        I would love to trade my paid for 2011 Volt, but I do not want a payment.

        1. Raymondjram says:

          Do you mean “make a payment”? Because GM will take your payment!

      2. Kevin C. says:

        Hi David,

        I was wondering what kind of AER you see with your ’13? Would you mind going over that. I know there’s a lot of variables.
        My wife and I have old cars. (One is 2001 Honda Insight) If we can’t hold off long enough for a future used ’17 Volt, I think a ’13 or newer one would work very well.

        1. Dave Arcaro says:

          I have a 2013 as well. Officially the AER is rated at 38 miles. In practice I see anywhere from 28 to 44 depending on weather, HVAC use, and travel speed (which for me almost always includes some highway miles). Others can squeeze out 50 or more by optimizing these variables.

        2. V2 says:

          Driving a 2013 too, here in the south states electric range for me has been 40+ miles since I got the car. Usually 45 in winter and 40 in summer (due to heavy A/C use).

          A few weeks ago, temperatures here dipped below 60F 😉 and I had to turn on the seat warmer and the main heater. Waiting on a red light, consumption varied and averaged ~4-5kW. This is quite a hit on battery, considering that same energy is used when I use cruise control at 35mph on a flat surface.

        3. David Murray says:

          Well, it varies a lot with the weather and whether I’m in town or on the freeway. But I can say the worst range I’ve ever seen was about 30 miles and the best I’ve ever had was close to 60 miles. I would say in the Texas winter the average range is about 32 and in the summer closer to 40.

          1. Kevin C. says:

            Thanks David, Dave, V2 for all responding to the AER question. That is just so cool to be able to drive solely on electrons but have petrol only for long distance backup…until we all have Bolts and Teslas…and other longer range EVs;-)

  3. James says:

    I was wondering what if any advertising has been out there. I have seen a couple magazine ads, but that was a couple months ago.

    The Malibu has been getting lots of airtime.

    1. Nix says:

      GM has to build up enough inventory on car lots first in order to justify a big national ad buy.

      If we see a big national ad buy, I wouldn’t expect it until summer.

  4. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    I can’t afford a new one but my hope is the used Volt market is soon flooded due to 2017 upgrades.

  5. Jean-François says:

    Is it now available outside CARB states in meaningful volume?

    1. Philip d says:

      I’m in GA and I’ve been seeing a few dealers here and in TN and SC getting their first allocations. It looks like the first round of allocations are just a few units each and are going directly to customers who ordered early with deposits.

      I’m one of those. I ordered through a big dealer in Atlanta as customer #1. It was built on 2/2 and I even have a pretty low VIN number but it has been a month where it has been listed as “in transit”.

      Some of those other dealers I mentioned earlier have already delivered a few of their units so I’m starting to get antsy about mine.

      As far as when there will be a high enough volume outside of the CARB states where you can just pick one up from the lot will probably be early summer if I had to make an educated guess.

    2. Austin says:

      I’ve seen one in Louisville, KY so far.

  6. Kent says:

    I echo the sentiments of many others here. I would love to have a new Volt, but it just doesn’t make financial sense at this point. On my 2012 & 2013 Volts, we drive 92% and 96%, respectively, on electric power alone. Since both are paid off, I am in no rush to have a car payment just to up my percentages. When is Gen III coming out?

  7. Fool Cells says:

    wish they would get to my state sooner. The closest chevy dealer to me says mid to late march for a single car to be delivered which is already sold.

    1. Philip d says:

      If you don’t mind me asking in which state are you?

      1. Fool Cells says:

        PA. And wouldn’t you know it, my dealer called today. They got one in. Premier, Pearl, black interior. 39,500

        I am going to lease it. What do you all think a good deal would be for three years, 14k miles?

          1. Fail Cells says:

            nope

        1. bro1999 says:

          Lease rates for ’17s are BAD right now….unless you live in a CARB state (unfortunately PA is not a CARB state).

          If you are planning on leasing a ’17 this month, be prepared to pay out the nose.

          I am curious if non-CARB state residents can now lease ’16s….that would be a much better deal.

          1. Fail Cells says:

            what makes them bad? Granted the 2017 just came out so the dealers might not want to deal as much, but with gas prices so low, they might be aggressive.

            The reason i am leasing is I would prefer a 200+ mile EV. In three years, the Bolt and Leaf 2.0 will be in full production. Tesla Model E III might even be out…that is the car i really am thinking i will get.

          2. Ziv says:

            Bro, my 2013 Volt lease ends in June and I am wondering how the deals will look by then. I think the inventory will be up by then but I am not sure of that. We are still looking at just 2360 Volts in the US and a large part of that is 2016’s. There just aren’t many 2017 Volts out there. I think there are just 760 or so. And that includes undelivered Volts, too.

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I bet that Volt will take over the cumulative sales lead from LEAF by May this year…

    Volt should be able to keep that lead until Model 3 comes out for at least 2 years…

    1. Ziv says:

      Leaf is still up by 700 or so, so May 1st may be the day the Volt gets the North American sales crown back for under $40k electric cars.

  9. Speculawyer says:

    That is a nice improvement but the Volt still deserves much larger sales.

    GM REALLY needs to offer the VOltec drivetrain in other body styles.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      +1,000

      But unfortunately with low gas price, most people wouldn’t bother with a Voltec SUV…

      1. Josh says:

        I would buy one tomorrow. Electric drive + enough room for a rear facing car seat and my kids junk… SOLD. As long as it was under $50k.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    Hopefully the ‘extended’ roll-out of the 2017’s will quell the criticism of the naysayers who keep saying chevy doesn’t really want to make volts.

    Of course, these same people then don’t actually make a purchase when the cars become available in their area (the only thing that matters).

    Haven’t read the 2 collision articles today, but I find it interesting that the first deaths in a volt after 5 years just happened, meanwhile IEV’s claims the “S” is the “world’s safest car”. (Just don’t go down a hill in one, or plug into the wrong supercharger – they won’t know who you were).

    This is proven by the picture of a fender-bender on the “S” and the professional driver lived to talk about it. Must be 2 interesting articles!

    But then, according to Consumer Reports, the S is the bestest car they’ve ever tested that they also don’t recommend you buy.

  11. Josh says:

    There is no 2017s in Houston yet. I exchanged emails with the dealer that sells the most Volts. They have one on order for a customer, supposed to let me know when it comes in.

    They have four 2014s on the lot. They can’t offer any lease deals on it (bank rules) and don’t sound like they would budge on the price. Listed at $28k – $30k. Those Volts are going be sold as boat anchors 15 years from now, if they don’t get more aggressive.

  12. RickK says:

    I am very interested in a 2017 Volt. I live in Ohio and drive 150 miles per day to work. I am hoping I can plug in at work but not sure they will set it up. I have a Prius now that gets around 45MPG year round. What do you think about a VOLT in my situation?

    1. Mark Messinger says:

      At about 115 miles, the Prius gets better overall mileage, than the 2nd generation Volt. That is, unless your 150 miles a day is a roundtrip figure, with a charging station available, halfway through. If you are driving 75 miles to work, then charging for the day and driving 75 miles back home, the Volt will do better than the Prius. But if you’re having to drive more than about 115 miles and no charger? Best to stick with the Prius, in my opinion.

  13. Mark Messinger says:

    So, you think the factory will actually built the 2nd Generation Volt I’ve had on order since November 21st? I hope that’s true. It’s not for lack of demand. First gen or Second, whenever a Volt shows up in Oregon or Washington, it’s either already sold or, in the case of the used ones, sold very quickly. From what I can see here, in the Pacific Northwest, the only problem in American’s adoption of this vehicle is the manufacturer’s strange inability to produce enough of them.

    Now, Chevrolet, about a tentative production week, for the Volt I’ve had on order for nearly the last four months. . .

  14. ajm says:

    I went to a local dealer looking at a 2017 volt and ended up walking away with a 2013 w/ only 17k miles at a fraction of the cost. truthfully, i liked the look of the gen 1 volt better than the gen 2