Chevrolet Volt Sales Stay Strong In November, Up 50% From Year Ago

2 years ago by Jay Cole 24

2016 Chevrolet Volt Wins Green Car Of The Year In LA (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

2016 Chevrolet Volt Wins Green Car Of The Year In LA (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

November completes the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s first full month on the market.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Selling Well In First Full Month Of Availability In US

2016 Chevrolet Volt Selling Well In First Full Month Of Availability In US

And despite some still fairly limited inventory, and a roll-out to only 11 pre-determined states (and apparently Virginia according to a couple sources reporting back to InsideEVs), 1,980 were sold during the month.

Taken in context, November’s result was 48% better than the 1,336, and surprising not quite as good as the 2,035 moved last month.

Of the almost 2,000 Volts sold in November, about 6 out of every 7 sales were of the 2016 variety (~1,700).  With an average inventory in stock around 500 units during the month, we still have a bit of an allocation story playing out.

We should note that, thanks to the extended hangover between when the 2016 Volt debuted on the show stand in Detroit at the NAIAS last January, and its actual first delivery date in mid-October, just 13,279 copies have been sold so far in 2015, which represents a 23% drop from the 17,325 moved last year.

2016 Chevrolet Volt availability states: California, Oregon, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire

Looking ahead: Depending on GM’s production volume/allocation for the 2016 Volt and this month’s sales level, it is hard to determine short term sales until the extended range Chevy goes into full/nationwide production in February for the slightly upgraded 2017 edition.  Currently, GM has just over 1,000 copies on dealer lots to choose from.

A More Common Sight At Chevy Dealers This Month - The 2016 Volt (via Jamie H at Pohanka Chevrolet)

A More Common Sight At Chevy Dealers This Month – The 2016 Volt (via Jamie H at Pohanka Chevrolet)

Also of interest this month at GM and its plug-in vehicles:

The US Consumer (or Caddy dealers) Are Not Taking To New 2016 Cadillac ELR

The US Consumer (or Caddy dealers) Are Not Taking To New 2016 Cadillac ELR

*- the Cadillac ELR, despite a new, cheaper/faster 2016 edition seems to be struggling to find dealers willing to take another chance on selling it, and just 67 were moved in November

*- the production version of the Chevrolet Bolt has been confirmed to debut at CES in Las Vegas in January, so we will get our first look at the Bolt will actually look like – hopefully we find out some confirmed specs as well!

*- no 2016 inventory yet of the Chevrolet Spark EV?  No problem apparently, as GM still managed to sell a respectable 166 copies of the tiny all-electric Chevy

*- Consumer Reports took the 2016 Chevrolet Volt for a “first drive” spin (which one can watch here)

*- “Green Car Of The Year” went to the 2016 Volt in LA this year

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24 responses to "Chevrolet Volt Sales Stay Strong In November, Up 50% From Year Ago"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    According to GM, this is also the best Volt sales numbers for November ever recorded, despite the limited availability of the next Gen Volt over the last couple and next couple months.

  2. Benz says:

    “And despite some still fairly limited inventory, and a roll-out to only 11 pre-determined states (and apparently Virginia according to a couple sources reporting back to InsideEVs), 1,980 were sold during the month.”

    But how many of the 1,980 were first generation Volts and how many were second generation Volts?

  3. bro1999 says:

    You guys have a breakdown of Gen 2 sales versus Gen 1?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yupe, 6 out of 7 sales were of the 2016 variety (~1,700). Seems like a good note to add to the story as well…I’ll go do that now, lol

  4. BernieTx says:

    I think the gen2 Volt sales are inventory/production constrained. The sales should have been higher, even given the limitation of the 11 CARB states. The best years for the gen1 Volt were 2012/2013 which averaged 1940/month for 24 months straight, which is the same as Nov.

  5. Jacked says:

    Imagine the potential sales if GM were to competently market the Volt.

    1. Ian says:

      Imagine the sales numbers of a GMC Sierra with a volt comparable drive train.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Imagine the potential if there weren’t 10k subsidy in California.

      GM has to consider the production limitations and the fact that the credits will run out 1 year after they hit 200k.

    3. Bonaire says:

      Jack, not all Chevy dealers are in the Volt program. Many hundreds of small dealers opted out. Overall, if Volts were sold from every dealership with salesmanship in mind, 4000/month would be the norm. 16,000 Cruze were sold in November.

  6. ziv says:

    I have seen repeated posts that state that the Hamtramck plant has stopped making 2016MY Volts because they are shifting to 2017MY Volt production even earlier than had been announced. IF, and that is a huge if, GM is shifting to 2017MY production in December, we could see them on dealer lots in late January or February.
    Are these comments about 2016MY Volt production stopping true or is it a bunch of bull? I have to admit that I really hope the 2017MY comes sooner, but having a 2017MY car arriving in January or February of 2016 makes very little sense.
    The only reason I give it even a shred of credence is that we are down to 744 2016MY Volts from 792 a couple days ago.
    Maybe they are building Voltjust a bit slower than they are selling them, but maybe they quit building them a week or two ago and will be re-tooling for a while.
    Wishing it to be true but not believing it likely.

    1. Nix says:

      I don’t actually know the answer to your question (AKA “I don’t have any facts to back this up”). But they definitely would have to shut down 2016 production in order to start 2017 production.

      The Volt is already a fairly low production number vehicle (in GM terms). They could never run 2016’s and 2017’s at the same time.

      There seems to be much more secrecy behind the 2017 compared to all the openness we got used to before. It makes me wonder if the 2017 has significant updates that could jeopardize 2016 sales if the full details were released? Maybe because they want to avoid another sales dip, like we saw when they talked about the 2016 months before they began production?

      OK, so I did nothing to answer your question, and just created more questions… *grin*

      1. Ziv says:

        And we are down to 711 2016MY Volts today. Either they are building them really slowly and not keeping up with demand, or they have stopped building them entirely and inventory will continue to drop. But there are just 1380 Volts of all years in the US and there are more than 2000 Chevy dealers. You do the math. 😉
        I think GM is probably still building a handful of Volts every week, but that they won’t be building enough to keep the sales figures very high at all.
        I wish they had stopped the 2016MY production because they are retooling to build the 2017 early, but that is too good to be true. We are talking about GM here.

  7. James says:

    Our local Caddy dealer took his chargers out, or moved them out of sight.

    As for the Volt, in the entire Phoenix metro there are only 2 for sale, both of them old units. This means our entire city won’t sell one for probably six months. That’s a ton of missed opportunities.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Dealers are GM’s and sometimes Nissan’s and possibly Ford’s main problem in sending more plug ins out to customers in the form of lot inventory. Chevy dealers near me sure have dozens of pick up trucks, lots of Camaros and Corvettes. Very few Volts. I worry a bit about Bolt’s future. Also, the service writer at my local Chevy shop thinks Hydrogen is the future.

  8. Spec. says:

    Nice but the Volt still deserves MUCH better sales. The low gas prices are probably hurting.

    And as I say a zillion times PUT THE VOLTEC DRIVETRAIN IN MORE BODY STYLES. (OK, I know you put in the Cadillac but that was the absolute WORST choice, IMHO. That is a brand more associated with fins, blue hairs, and hoods that you can land aircraft on.)

    1. vdiv says:

      Agree, though I think the 2016 MY sales so far have been supply-constrained. Imagine if GM actually tries 🙂

  9. Brian says:

    We all knew that 2015 was going to be a tough year for EV sales. It’s great that the market is starting to turn back around. With the new Volt especially, we should be in for some strong growth in 2016. Here’s to hoping!

  10. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Well, there are less than 1,000 2016 Volt in inventory. That doesn’t help the sales for sure.

    The new Volt are flying off the lots as they arrive so dealers are selling every copy they get… This is all due to pent up demand which will slowly tapers off in the next 18 months…

  11. Zim says:

    Like all PHEV’s and EV’s, selling this car will struggle after they hit 200,000 and no longer qualify for the 7,500$ federal tax credit. Until costs come down and a more competitively priced model can be offered without that tax credit, there’s no benefit to rushing to sell these in all 50 states. Maybe GM, Tesla, and BMW will lobby for an extension to 500,000 models or something – that would certainly change the calculus on it.

    1. Zim says:

      And Nissan – almost forgot!

      1. Ash09 says:

        I’m pretty sure they’re already working on that. The Gen 2 Volt costs a lot less to build than the Gen 1 did thanks to lower battery costs, as well as redesigned engine to rely less on rare earth materials.

        My concern is when other automakers start seriously selling plug-ins as well, who haven’t exhausted their 200k limit. They’ll have a significant price advantage over the automakers that used up their 200k quota.

        I have a feeling the law will be revised before this happens though, either an increase in the number they can sell, say another 100-200k plug ins.

        Or say 2-5 year sunset period from whenever any of them hit the 200k mark. If they don’t exhaust their supply by that point, too bad, so sad.

    2. Ziv says:

      Zim, we are two years from the credit limit being hit, then a quarter or two from the credit being cut in half to $3750 and another two quarters until it is cut to $1875.
      I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that when the credit begins to disappear in 2018 that the Volt and Bolt prices magically drop $3000.
      The credit has done its job and when it goes away in 3 or 4 years it won’t matter. In fact, it would probably make sense to eliminate the credit we have in 2018 or 2019 and institute a different credit so the laggards like Fiat/Chrysler, Kia, Toyota and BMW don’t reap rewards they don’t deserve.

      1. Paul Stoller says:

        Absolutely, the credits for automakers that have been lagging behind should have their credit revoked. They shouldn’t be able to swoop in once the hard work of cost reduction has been largely finished, it’s not fair to the automakers that have truly invested to developing the supply chains and platforms for electrification.

        I would love to see them revamp the whole system. What I would like to see.

        Raising the cap on number of vehicles allowed

        Changing to a point of sale rebate

        Adjusting the calculation to get the full credit. (Requiring more kWHrs to get full credit)

        Time limit on the credit as well (alternative to this would be to cap it at a certain number of vehicles for all automakers)

    3. Nix says:

      There is no chance of the current law being made better. In fact, every time the press talks about another potential gov’t shutdown, there is a chance that the $7,500 tax incentive can be instantly killed (defunded).

      One of the two major political parties has in their official party plank the position that all purchase incentives should immediately end, and that the gov’t should only fund research and development.