Chevrolet Volt To Have Best Sales Month Ever In June?

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 11

New, Hotter Selling, 2012 Chevrolet Volt with HOV Sticker

Despite a somewhat rocky start, both in sales and image, the Chevrolet Volt has been staging somewhat of a comeback of late.  Not only have the long term reviews and reliability figures been superb on the car, but you can’t help but notice sales have rebounded nicely as well.

HOV Sticker to Increase Sales In CA

So far this year, GM has sold 7,057 copies of its extended range electric vehicle, which nearly equals the total sales for all of 2011 (7,671).

Ask GM, or their dealers about the reason behind the resurgence, and it is quite clear, it is because of a sticker.  The new, mid-product cycle, 2012 model year Volt now qualifies for California’s high-occupancy vehicle sticker.

This sticker not only indicates your eco-friendliness, but allows a single driver to use a highway lane reserved for multiple occupants.   Having a HOV sticker means valuable time is shaved off your daily commute in California.  And as they say, “time is money.”

Automotive News (sub) spoke to Californian dealers about the recent sale phenomenon:

Ron Vartanian, general manager at Bunnin Chevrolet in Culver City (outside LA) , said his store sold 26 Volts during the second half of May after  getting a fresh load of the new models. Before that, he said, the store had been  averaging six or seven sales a month.  “When the HOV cars became available, we had a backlog of people wanting  them,” Vartanian said. “I thought we’d have a tough time in June, but we’ve  already sold 12.”

When the Volt first hit the market, it did not comply with California’s strict emissions profile to qualify for the sticker, so engineers at GM went to work on the problem.   Adding a secondary air-injection pump to the catalytic converter to strip out more pollutants did the trick, and now the Volt has a huge selling feature to add to the price equation.

Ken Ross, owner of Team Chevrolet-Cadillac in Vallejo, Calif., told Auto News, his store sold 15 Volts in May, up from an average of three or  four a month, saying supply “still hasn’t caught up” with demand, though he has  30 Volts en route to his store.

More than 1 out of every 5 Volts sold, are sold in California, and according to a GM spokesman “that percentage should grow as sales of the low-emissions version accelerate,” while also noting that “the company is “on track to have one of our strongest Volt months since  launch.”

Another factor underpinning sales not just in California, but across the country is an incentive that gives a bonus of $2,500 per Volt to dealerships that meet sales volume levels set by the company (a handy factoid to have in hand if you find yourself currently negotiating a deal on a 2012 Volt, HOV  sticker or not).

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11 responses to "Chevrolet Volt To Have Best Sales Month Ever In June?"

  1. MrEnergyCzar says:

    I’d be surprised if people don’t wait until August for the increased battery range of the 2013 model coming out this summer…. I expect only 1,500 units for June sold….

    MrEnergyCzar

    1. Jay Cole says:

      1,500 wouldn’t be all that bad…would tie for 3rd best. The high water mark is 2,289, but falls off pretty fast after that. 1,680 – 1,529 – 1,462

      Also, the dealer $2,500 won’t be on the 2013s. So I guess the question is, “Do you want 3 more electric miles, or $2,500?”

      1. Copyhacker says:

        Do we know for sure that the $2500 discount won’t apply to MY2013? What about the 0% financing deal from Ally?

  2. ClarksonCote says:

    I don’t think the 2013’s would necessarily prevent sales… Seems like mainstream consumers would prefer $2500, and wouldn’t even really look into what is coming next month. I suppose time will tell though!

  3. Stuart22 says:

    The more Volts whizzing by hapless commuters stuck in the main traffic, the merrier sales will be. Commuters here in CA learn fast what works and what doesn’t, and I don’t think it matters much the fine detail differences between 2012 and 2013 model years, there’s simply nothing out there close to what the Volt can do. I anticipate sales to spike geometrically upwards and the rest of the auto industry will have to take note; compelled to match the Volt with their own EVs with extended range capability.

  4. Sterling says:

    I have no HOV lane on my unusual commute to “work” and in fact I’m probably the only one in the USA not fitting the profile of a typical Volt purchaser. I live in the heart of what used too be the oil producing area of Texas. I use my Volt to commute between two farms we own…. Nearly 50 miles apart and it cost me about what a bottle of water costs at a typical convenience store… And I bought a Volt because I strongly dislike OPEC…
    My story is on my Flickr account. Here is a link to one of my pictures, showing the Volt arriving at a 240 volt charging station I installed at my farm I call “Sleepy Hollow” near Abilene, Texas…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/7458417692/

    1. Raymondjram says:

      Good for you! The Volt will help reduce oil imports, so all future oil sources will be only American.

  5. I drive a Volt and love it. It is not because I cannot afford to buy gas but rather it just makes sense to not buy gas from OPEC. It is a 2011 and we have put 3 gallons of gas in it after 8 months of driving. The only reason is that the computer on board said we had to use the gas that was in the car when we bought it.

    The range has varried from 28 miles in the winter to 41 miles in the summer. I make a point of always plugging in and we did install a 220 volt power station at my home which took me about a day to do.

    1. Sterling says:

      I have exceeded 50 miles on a charge on several occasions but I’m doing so by “hypermiling”. Google will have a Wiki link about people who hypermile… For me, it is nearly a sport. All my “toys” (airplane, 4×4, a couple of tractors and a couple of vans) are so fuel intensive, it’s fun to get in my Volt and “cheat” OPEC.
      This link goes to my Flickr account where I am keeping a record of some of my outings.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/sets/72157630379404900/

      I just built a carport at our second farm to keep my black Volt out of the hot Texas sun. And I installed an SPX Xpress 240 volt charger there. On some occasions I can be fully charged in as little as three hours, but most often in four, which is just enough time to complete my chores and then head back to “Farm 1.”

  6. Voltonthewater says:

    I had driven the Volt very little relegated to kids and short haul. An emergency arose and I had to take it on a 1200 mile overnight round trip.Out of its comfort zone, but I was suprised I enjoyed the drive, (I am six feet plus and needing to loose more than a few ponds)suprised to see on each fillup (more gasoline passed through it in one day than in all of the last year) I had 12 to 14 miles of battery charge I guess from regen braking (in moderate mountains (Blue Ridge), did have it in mountain mode.For my next model some suggestions: 1. Get traffic pdates on the GPS like it better than my usual but traffic updates a must.. 2. Sunroof, t panels hardtop convertible, I live on the ocean dam it. 3. My compliments from engineers, to manufacturing, etc, an inovative quality prouct

  7. OldPilot says:

    Try Second best for US sales…. 1760 sold in the US, combined with Canada and overseas puts it at about 2300 total.

    Admittedly that a 300% improvement from June of last year and outselling many sedans in its price range ( Volvo, Audi etc).

    But still its obvious that the ongoing political critics are having a dramatic impact on sales. A good example of this is the complete lack of fleet sales, most of which appeared to have been postponed until after the US election in November.