Chevrolet Volt Sales In US Continue To Improve – Over 2,000 Moved In July

2 months ago by Jay Cole 28

If You Squint Incredibly Hard You Can Read This Volt's VIN To See It Is An All-New, 2015 Chevrolet Volt

If You Squint Incredibly Hard You Can Read This Volt’s VIN To See It Is Indeed An All-New, 2015 Chevrolet Volt…Now With A Larger 17.1 kWh Battery!

Even though overall Chevrolet Volt sales were down against 2013 numbers heading into this month, General Motors had posted month-over-month gains for every month during 2014 so far – so the trend had been heading in the right direction of late.

July was no different

2015s Are Here!

2015s Are Here!

For July, GM crested the 2k mark for the first time in 2014 with  2,020 cars sold, which was a 13% increase over last month’s 1,777 sold and about the same against the 1,788 sold in July of 2013.

For the cumulative year to date, the Volt is still down 8.7%

  • 2014: 10,635
  • 2013: 11,643

Surprising us this month was the heightened production of the new 2015 model year Volt which we didn’t see coming at all.

After a Spring-push at the General’s Hamtramck production facility that saw 2014 Volt inventory peak somwhere around 9,000 units in June, a further 1,500-odd 2015s ended this month on dealer lots as well.  A level which would seem to indicate only 1 of 2 things:

  1. GM will be offering a lot of ‘bonus cash’ off existing Volts in the coming months – which will ultimately translate into higher sales or;
  2. the company will be slowing and/or idling Volt assembly in favor of alternative production (Impala, Malibu, ELR/Ampera)

Earlier this month we also broke the news that the 2015 Chevrolet Volt now comes with a larger capacity battery.  Out is the 16.5 kWh pack in favor of 17.1 kWh of power.

We spoke to Kevin M. Kelly who is the Manager of Electrification Technology Communications and he confirmed to us that the battery had indeed increased in size, and that drivers could expect to see some range improvements.

“We did make an engineering change in the battery cell used in the 2015 Chevrolet Volt, which resulted in an overall storage capacity increase from 16.5 to 17.1 kWh.

This is a part of our effort for continuous improvement.  As a result of this change, we would expect that some customers may see a slight improvement in overall EV range.”

Separately, some aggressive discounting on the Cadillac ELR really paid off in July as 188 were sold – a new record for the luxury extended plug-in!

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29 responses to "Chevrolet Volt Sales In US Continue To Improve – Over 2,000 Moved In July"

  1. CherylG says:

    “the company will be slowing and/or idling Volt assembly in favor of alternative production (Impala, Malibu, ELR/Ampera)”

    I don’t think we’ll see a production increase for the Ampera (It’s been cancelled).

    There are enough excess ELRs gathering dust on dealer lots to keep ELR production crawling for months.

    1. kdawg says:

      I don’t expect any more ELR production till maybe next summer, or not at all until the Gen2 Volt is going.

      Just my guess. I think GM made their limited production run of 2000 (or whatever) to get them out there. And now that that’s done.. there’s no pressure to make more. Only “if” is if suddenly there is a demand.

      1. kdawg says:

        Oh, and I forgot, with Johan de Nysschen running the show, we may not see more ELRs for a long time.

      2. Allowing cars to sit on dealer lots is a pretty expensive proposition – somebody has to pay finance charges on them and after 90 days, that’s usually the dealer. Finances charges for a year would make an ELR sales quite un-economic. Not to mention year end price drops (consumers do not like to buy last years car new, for darn good reason (they would pay an immediate 1 year depreciation – many thousands) I would be astonished if that was actually anyone’s plan.

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          It’s not that big of a deal since most dealers have only 1 or 2 ELRs at most.

          1. kdawg says:

            And i think in the future it would be more of an on demand type build. If someone orders one, they will build it. I just don’t see GM running out 1000 ELRs in 1 shot. Just my opinions.. I have no clue what goes into this decision making process. Have to talk to a salesman/accountant.

  2. Driverguy01 says:

    That’s good, let’s hope sales of all EVs break the 13K mark for july…

    1. kdawg says:

      Yes, w/more competition each year, it’s amazing the Volt is maintaining as much share as it is.

  3. Luke Warm says:

    The 2015 Volt I ordered on May 16 seems to be on a very slow moving truck to my dealership in Abilene, Texas. I was advised weeks ago, that it left the assembly plant and was in shipment. The 2015 Volt will replace my 2012 Volt that I bought off the lot at the dealership about 26 months ago.
    (And I thought truck drivers ran the speed limit, but the guy who is hauling my new Volt must be taking the long route through Canada first. )

    1. kdawg says:

      What’s going to happen to the 2012 Volt? Did you trade it in?

      1. Luke Warm says:

        @ kdawg
        The saleswoman who took my order for the 2015 (back in May) advised she is going to buy my 2012 from the dealership when I make the trade, if the truck driver ever shows up with my new Volt. She will be getting a great car. My 2012 has no squeaks, rattles, no issues at all. I’ll miss the 2012 and it served me well these past 26 months.

        1. kdawg says:

          That’s interesting. I wonder if you could sell it to her privately. She probably would get in trouble though.

          You’ll have to let us know if you see any more range with the 17.1kWh battery.

          1. Luke Warm says:

            If I sold it to her privately (most likely she would offer me what the dealership trade-in-value will be) I’d loose the tax benefit I get on the trade, thus I’m motivated to do the simple route.
            I’ve been off of Facebook for a while but when the new Volt gets here, I’ll be back posting what I’ve experienced with the larger battery and probably adding more videos to my YouTube account. Google “367 days without ever buying gas for my Volt” and you’ll probably find my channel under the moniker “N22Tango”.

        2. drpawansharma@gmail.com says:

          वहीWhy are you selling it then? Isn’t it better for the planet that you continue wth your 3 year old car? Its not that old.

          1. Scramjett says:

            Meh, it’s kind of a wash. On the one hand, you could argue that he’s keeping the sales rep from buying a new car, but on the other hand, he’s buying a new car while she isn’t. It’s a benefit only if he was going to buy the new car anyway.

            1. Luke Warm says:

              I’m under the impression money it “tight” and she simply needs a used Volt that can save her some funds, and mine is pristine and she will get one that looks new for a fraction of a 2014. And (ironically) this dealership has elected to no longer stock Volts. The last one they had, a 2013 sat on the lot for 13 months. Very few people are buying Volts here (don’t ask me why, but this is “cowboy country” in the Abilene, Texas area and some people still subscribe to “that ain’t what grandaddy done drove…” or “I’m not gettin’ any new-fangled thang like an electric car.”

          2. Anthony says:

            As more people buy new, more fuel efficient cars, it pushes old, less efficient cars out of use.

          3. Luke Warm says:

            I bought the 2012 straight off the dealership lot. They didn’t stock anything other than one Volt at a time, and buying an “off the rack” car you have to take what they have, and I got a black Volt missing a GPS and so I ordered a Volt with everything I wanted in one (and I mean everything) and the color of my choice… Besides, this is American and I wish to stimulate the economy :)

        3. MTN Ranger says:

          My 2012 has also been very solid – not squeaks or issues at all. I just hit 41,000 miles.

    2. Rock says:

      Hi. Cars are first shipped on rail. Oil tankers are clogging our rail system. That is one factor in slowing your car. GM is very paranoid of recalls and that publicity. There are numerous QC and re-engineering items also slowing production

  4. Ziv says:

    There are only 4 2015MY Volts on Voltstats and 3 of those are in MI, so I am not sure how many of those 1500 2015MY’s are actually on the lot and how many are in transit.
    I do like the increase in battery capacity and the fact that there are 8900 Volts on Cars dot com. That really makes it look like the sales will go up a bit like they did last year as inventory increased and the MSRP was reduced.
    I doubt the sales will go up much, but I would bet a small amount that at the end of the year, 2014 sales will be slightly higher than 2013′s were.

  5. Spec9 says:

    I’m surprised the Volt is not doing better. It is a nice car, it looks good, it saves people money . . . perhaps it is the competition from the Ford Energi cars and the PiP.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Political baggage, misunderstanding, hatred from BEV purist, GM haters, EV haters and lack of dealer enthusiams all play various roles in Volt sales..

    2. WopOnTour says:

      I;s doing fine. At the waning of it’s current generation cycle it’s only slightly off the pace that that has resulted in #1 plug-in sales the last 2 years running. Yes, there is more competition out there and really there is little discernible difference between the sales numbers of any of the top 4 sellers. 2000 units, 3000 units, 4000 units it’s all just a drop in the automotive bucket. But certainly can be “dramatized” by those obsessed with the percentages. (i.e. selling 2 cars instead of 1 monthly is HUGE 100% INCREASE!) lol

    3. Curt Brackenrich says:

      I think the reason for sluggish sales is the up-front cost. I looked seriously at the Volt, did the math, the payoff in gas savings doesn’t really hit until years of ownership, all while making payments on a pretty small and expensive car that hold 4 people. But I’m still rooting for the Volt, hopefully GM can get that price pont down closer to 30k and get sales moving.

      1. no comment says:

        if you are doing a payback analysis, then you need to purchase an economy car. the market for automobiles is characterized by consumer segmentation, and there are many reasons why people buy cars; there are at least as many reasons as there are auto segments. for example, nobody who purchased a mercedes-benz s-class would do so based on a payback analysis. but if you’re looking for an economy car, the Chevrolet Volt is definitely not an economy car.

      2. Dan says:

        If you are comparing similar-segment cars made within the last 20 years, buying a new car (no matter how fuel efficient) will always have a huge payoff time compared to keeping your existing car.

        The obvious benefit is that… you now have a new car. That’s what you’re paying for.

        But you’re right: buying a *new* car is never a financially optimal decision, particularly when you could buy a new-ish used car coming off lease.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    I heard from my local dealer that the 2016 volt will be an even bigger improvement.. 40 mile range battery standard, with a 50 mile range battery an optional extra (the one option I’m sure to get).

    Plus a 3 person bench seat in the rear so that it will now hold 5 people.

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