Chevrolet Volt Sales Continue Upward Trend In May

3 years ago by Jay Cole 45

Chevrolet Volt Sales In America Continue To Show An Upward Trend

Chevrolet Volt Sales In America Continue To Show An Upward Trend

Chevrolet Volt sales continued an upward trend in May, as 1,684 were sold during the month.  Sales have increased for the extended range Chevy in every month so far in 2014.

That result was 9% better than the 1,548 sold last month, and 5% better than the 1,607 sold in May of 2013.

Despite the upward growth trend for 2014, sales still lag last year as 6,838 Volts have been sold so far this year.  Which is  down 4.5%  from 2013 when 7,157 were moved.  Next month GM will have to kick it up a notch to keep pace with 2013 as a lot of Volts were sold in June of 2013 (2,698).

As expected, GM continued to produce more inventory of the Volt than there was sales in May (up to about 150 days worth), ahead of the ‘summer shutdown’ and changeover to the 2015 model year at the plug-in’s Hamtramck, Michigan assembly facility , which comes early this year in June.

Expect A 2015 Model Year Pricing And Option Announcement From GM...But With Not Many Changes As The Next Gen 2016 Volt Arrives In Fall Of Next Year

Expect A 2015 Model Year Pricing And Option Announcement From GM…But With Not Many Changes As The Next Gen 2016 Volt Arrives In Fall Of Next Year

To that end, we look to see an official release from GM shortly on 2015 pricing and specs…which should be a fairly uneventful, uh event, as the next generation of Chevrolet Volt will go on sale next year.

Sister-car, the Cadillac ELR continued to struggle to find demand in the market, with just 52 sold.

Chevrolet Volt Sales Continued To Increase In May 2014...Not So Much For The Cadillac ELR

Chevrolet Volt Sales Continued To Increase In May 2014…Not So Much For The Cadillac ELR

Just for fun:  Check out just how far the maximum range in all electric mode in the Volt is here.

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45 responses to "Chevrolet Volt Sales Continue Upward Trend In May"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    As a Volt owner I am disappointed…..but thx for putting a positive note on it Jay.

    I guess we just wait for Gen2. However, the fact that GM is overproducing may mean some good deals coming up.

    GM makes no effort to sell this car…..and magically that is what happens!

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I echo your sentiments, GeorgeS

      1. Assaf says:

        More and more it feels like with the Volt, GM engineers have provided the right answer to the wrong question.

        Which means that GM has great engineers, but pretty lousy management.

        And even worse marketing, as we all know. The question was still not *that* wrong – but then explaining the answer was left at the hands of people who don’t seem to even care to speak the language in which it was given.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          So, in other words, nothing has changed re: GM’s engineering and mgmt in the last 40 years :/

        2. codyO says:

          It might be more to the point to say that GM isn’t trying to sell this generation of Volts in high volume. It is my assumption that they make very little money on this car and would rather limp along another year until the next generation arrives. I think and hope that the next gen Volt will have a decent margin and they can REALLY push the car to the masses. That would also mean a 32k price tag tho. We’ll see.

      2. scottf200 says:

        As do I. I spend more of my free time on other EV topics/cars and other hobbies. If GM doesn’t really seem to care then I’m not “working for them” 🙂

        1. GeorgeS says:

          I totally understand scott. I know you have lots of time spent in the forum promoting the Volt. I have spent a ton of money and time myself also. Not only did I buy the Volt to begin with, I spent another 700 or so on a Dashdaq and spent 10 million hours taking data and publishing articles. All for ZERO dollars net income. At least Jeff and Jay carve out some kind of a living at it……That is why I am very appreciative of EV owners that donate their time to write articles and also why I get pissed off when someone is overly critical of someone that spent his time voluntarily writing an article.

    2. Bonaire says:

      I’d like to see 2000/month Volt sales ongoing. This is mild disappointment but then again, with GM Dealerships being lackluster in terms of plug-in support outside of CA dealers – who can blame them on the sales front. Price has to come down $5K further to hit 3000/month. And that is a stretch.

      1. kdawg says:

        If they can get the MSRP to start with a “2”, then many more people will consider it. A lot of people still think the Volt cost over $40K, and when you start telling them it cost thirty-something, they already stop listening. They don’t want to hear about tax credits or saving on fuel.

        1. Rick says:

          I agree. Getting the base price under $30K will get a lot of people to compare it to the other ICE car they are considering.

        2. Chris B says:

          You got it kd….$29,999.99 is a winner in this one and frankly, with that price a $7500 fed rebate and possible additional $2500 in some states you could be looking at a $19,999 purchase…now THAT’s compelling!

          1. Bonaire says:

            Chris – it is compelling – but, I still believe an out of pocket $19,500 Volt would not sell as well as an out of pocket Chevy Cruze ECO at $19,500. Strange as it may seem but I think the people out there are truly not that eager to add the complexity. For the same price, they need to get past the lies and other press problems of Volt’s past. Then there are a lot of people hearing “your electricity bill will go sky high and you need solar to offset that so then you have to spend another $30K for solar”.

            Plus, they tend to lease a lot too and monthly price is key. The banking activity needed for cap cost reduction and other tax credit recouping makes it more complex.

    3. Evil Attorney says:

      Totally agree. I’m hoping that with some of the efficiencies and cost reduction that Gen 2 may have, the Volt will be more profitable and GM will finally market hard nationwide, not just in California.

    4. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      GM has Osborned themselves a bit. If they were as good as Tesla about supporting previous owners with software (and hardware!) updates, they probably wouldn’t be as much.

    5. Ziv says:

      George, I am kind of disappointed too. But with a new boss in town, GM may decide to reduce the MSRP again, and maybe do an ad or two to trumpet that fact. Barra has been slightly less negative about the Volt’s cost to manufacture.

      Akerson repeatedly said they were losing money on each Volt built, despite the fact that other GM department heads were saying that they were making a slight profit. I would imagine that Akerson was depreciating the development cost of the Voltec line in a more aggressive manner, which is just an odd thing for a CEO to do.

      Even a couple thousand off the MSRP of the Volt could make a noticeable difference in a “waiting for the next gen” type of year.

  2. Fishhawk says:

    I suspect folks are waiting for the 2016 Volt, now that some info is slowly becoming available.

    1. Steve says:

      My hunch is GM will make sure there is no drop in overall 2014 sales vs 2013 to prevent bad publicity, but do no more. They will have to have some heavy inventives on the ELR soon before the 2015 model year rolls around.

  3. Dave S says:

    My wife has noticed an uptick in the number of people that want to talk about our Volt. Still ignorance is very common. Last week someone asked what happens when the battery runs out of charge. When she explained the concept the older gentleman replyed “that’s really the best of both worlds then.” Exactly!

  4. Spec9 says:

    I still wish GM would offer a pure EV version of the Volt. Pull out the entire ICE system, add some more batteries, and add DC fast-charging. Boom, a nice looking pure EV.

    1. Assaf says:

      They already have the Spark EV for that…. and seems like they are starting to sell it more seriously! 186 sales in May. If it goes nationwide it might approach 1k/month surprisingly quickly.

      1. kdawg says:

        I see Sparks driving around me all the time in Michigan. I wonder how many of those would have been Spark EV sales if it was available. GM sold 5,177 Sparks in May.

        1. GeorgeS says:

          How are they getting service?

          1. kdawg says:

            George, re-read what I typed. Sparks, not Spark EVs. If these drivers would have bought a Spark EV for a $7k premium, they would save enough gas to get that money back in 3 or 4 years and be driving a much better car.

            1. GeorgeS says:

              Ooops. I’m programmed to think Spark EV.

              1. Open-Mind says:

                Last week I test drove a Spark EV at Barker Chevrolet near Bloomington, IL. They had two used ones, one with under 200 miles on it.

      2. Steve says:

        They need a compact or mid size EV to compliment the Spark

      3. Bonaire says:

        Seems that the LG Chem battery deal may let the Spark EV go national. But the car is made in Korea. How about they make one of the Sonic versions electric. The motor is already made in Maryland and the car is made in Michigan and LG Chem plant is also in Michigan. Slightly bigger than the Spark – the Sonic style would hold a bit more battery capacity. Could that be in the works? I hope so as the Spark EV is strictly a smaller urban competitor to the Smart ED and smaller than the Leaf in terms of capacity.

  5. JeffP says:

    As an example of Chevy’s non-existent effort to sale Volts, I am coming up on the end of my 3-year lease of a Volt and have started getting sales material in my mailbox from Chevy saying “your lease is coming up soon so we are sending this brochure to make you more familiar with our current offerings”. No where in the document does it mention the Volt. Impalas? Yes, that’s highlighted. Silverado pick-ups? Yes, that too, as if a Volt driver is likely to switch to a full-size pick-up truck. They are completely clueless on how to market their own product!

    1. GeorgeS says:

      boy oh boy. that is unbelievably stupid on GM’s part. It is almost too hard to believe.

    2. GeorgeS says:

      @JeffP
      My lease is up in 11 monthes. Today I got a brochre from Ally on new GM autos for when my lease is up.

      They actually put the Volt in the brochure.

    3. Elliss says:

      GM has no idea how to after market to customers as you stated. This is why they went bankrupt before and screwed all of their shareholders, myself included. It’s going to happen again, give it some time but hopefully the govenment won’t bail them out this time.

  6. kdawg says:

    So is this 9% increase in sales w/out California’s green stickers? If so, I’m glad the sales numbers didn’t fall off a cliff.

  7. Voltowner says:

    Anybody from the Volt forum or anyone else ever ever contact GM Corporate Marketing and share with them that all their dealers in all 50 states advertise their Volt inventory on the major car sites as having “CVT” or “Automatic” transmissions and in the space allowed, say, on Autotrader.com or Cars.com – they always list the MPG as “37 or 40MPG”?

    To the internet car shopper – this IS ONE HELLUVA MAJOR FLAW GUYS! I mean, think of it – a guy is thinking good mileage so he’s looking at Prius and other hybrids, only to look at Volt and he/she sees “40”MPG!!! It’s like, “$40,000…FOR THAT?!!”

    Is it any wonder people are confused and they’re not flying off the lots?!!! This is a major deal and GM has not addressed it in four years!

    We here are EV fans and geeks. Remember Volt is competing mostly with pure hybrids in the marketplace. People shop MSRP – and these same sites have dozens of pages of Volts listed at dealers for $44,000.

    It’s one big huge hot mess, folks.

    We can only hope the 2016 is a good value proposition that doesn’t skimp with a plastic-fantastic interior.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      I have a bad feeling that achieving an under $30k Volt will result in even more interior cost cutting. I’m not getting my hopes up.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Chances are good we will have 2 Volts: a maxi Volt at 35k and a “Volt lite” at under 30K.

        1. Chris B says:

          Even if we do though, will the “base” they are both built on be decontented (and the only difference “range”)…I see several Volt owners (including me) browsing the i3 forums as we look to take a step up in some areas (performance most notably). A shame the i3 itself is such a compromise.

  8. no comment says:

    i think that Volt sales vs sales of various BEVs reflects the state of the current market for EVs. many current customers that are in the market for EVs specifically want EV range; so they look at the Chevrolet Volt and, for example, the Nissan Leaf; they see that the Leaf has a longer EV range, so they buy the Leaf. the problem is that the EV range in the Leaf is all that you get. this is why i think that BEVs have such a limited market; most people will look at an xEV and say that the EV range is too small. to appeal to the general market, you would have to have some means for range extension, such as the EREV concept. but to the general market, i suspect that the Chevrolet Volt is tossed in with cars like the Leaf and BMW i3. so while the Chevrolet Volt has the best long term prospects in the general market, the pricing will have to be more in line with comparable vehicles to really appeal to the general market, which is generally not as enamored with EV technology as are EV enthusiasts.

  9. Wallace says:

    I went from a 2012 Volt to a 2014 Volt. This time I got it loaded with every option. You guys complaining about plastic interiors are missing out on an awesome high tech design to compensate for some plastic. The leather seats in the Volt are top notch. No one says that. I recently seen a 2014 Hyundai with leather and it is ugly cheap looking leather. The leather has tiny holes in it. Looks more like vinyl.
    I love the interior of my new Volt.

    1. no comment says:

      the Volt is a very well designed car. i really like the console and dash layout and i think that they look really good at night. i also like the exterior design; they achieved high aerodynamic performance in an aesthetically pleasing package. the sight lines are a drawback, but one thing that i think that gm should add is a rigid cargo cover, which would also help dampen some of the noise from the rear tire wells.

      1. Open-Mind says:

        I think the center stack looks cool and high-tech, but it’s a usability train wreck.

        1. no comment says:

          i don’t agree that the center stack is a “usability train wreck”; it certainly doesn’t seem any worse that the Tesla touch screen idea. i do, however, find myself having to touch buttons twice sometimes.

  10. Tim says:

    I have really enjoyed my Volt, but GM’s marketing already screwed the pooch. GM is not an institution capable of building a long term sales strategy across multiple generations of a car like Toyota did with the Prius. The ELR is a disaster because it charges a price premium far beyond what’s warranted in the market. The technology will live on, but the Volt will likely fade during the 2nd gen. GM never made any bold attempts to get this car to consumers. It took a “Field of Dreams” strategy, and those of us who bought the car have loved it. But we have been too few and far between.

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Thanks for the spin on the story.

    The fact is that Volt sales are pretty much flat.

    Upside: Considering that CA HOV stickers are gone and Volt sales didn’t fall thru the floor is a good sign for “stabilizing” sales.

    Downside: Volt sales are flat. With more competition coming to market, Volt is finding harder time to stand out.

    Side note: Volt is still the most “hated” plugin car on the market. It is hated by the EV haters as well as BEV purist who loath anything with an EV name and an ICE in them. Volt is symbol of that hate from both sides. Considering that, Volt is doing well.

    Also, incentives matters. Volt doesn’t have the lowest price sticker like Prius Plugin or the $199/month leasing deals like the LEAF or the high state incentives such as Georgia.

  12. Ocean Railroader says:

    I always thought that the Volt would be the one selling 3100 and the leaf selling 1684. In that the Volt could thrive in my area. But oddly the pure EV’s are really taking a foot hold to were I’ve seen far more pure EV’s then volts which is a shock to me.

    1. no comment says:

      in one sense, i am surprised too; but in another sense i am not surprised. the EV vehicle market is still in the “toy” stage and is not really a “mainstream” vehicle technology at present. so people buying EVs are more likely to be looking to by the car with the most range. so the see that the Leaf has more EV range than does the Volt and they buy the Leaf. the Volt backed off on maximizing EV range to be a more practical, and general purpose, vehicle. so the Volt approach would do better in the mainstream market, but the market for EVs isn’t mainstream yet. the current market for EVs is too small for long term viability so i would not be surprised to see many of these BEVs being relegated (or disappeared) in the next 4 or 5 years.

      there is, in my opinion, a bit of “smoke and mirrors” in the EV segment these days. i mean, you have blog sites, like this one, that have writers who evangelize Tesla and BMW, in particular, and who try to make it appear that the Model S and i3 are somehow “successful” when neither has established viability in the market outside of the small EV niche.