Chevrolet Bolt EV Continues To Shine In South Korea

Bolt EV South Korea sales numbers are strong in 2018


The Bolt EV remained in the Top 3 of passenger cars for GM Korea’s domestic sales in July.

This summer, we have noted that Bolt EV inventories and sales in the US have been low as the automaker has put greater focus on exports.

After a solid performance in late March + April selling over 500 units, the Bolt EV jumped to the top of the Korean EV charts for May with 1,014 sold. Following this success, we were astonished to see the Bolt EV hit an impressive 1,621 deliveries in June.

While last month was not at the level of June, Chevrolet still delivered a very respectable 872 Bolt EVs in July.

This puts GM Korea’s plug-ins at ~10% of the brand’s domestic sales for the month. Year-to-date totals have now reached 3,994 units through July. This is a 1,082% increase from the same period in 2017. The Bolt EV is the 4th bestselling domestic GM Korea model for the year overall among all categories.

In less than 5 months, South Koreans have taken home more of the electric hatchbacks than Canada and Europe combined. In the first 7 months of the year, 1,532 Bolt EVs have been delivered to Canada based on registrations compiled by Green Car Reports. Roughly 1,700 Opel Amera-e’s have been delivered to Europe according to Car Sales Base.

For the first half of the year, Bolt EV sales are up over 40% globally.

General Motors will boost Bolt EV production for the 2019 model year.

We don’t expect Korean numbers to continue at this pace for the entire year, however. At least 5,000 Bolt EVs are expected to be sold in South Korea in 2018. In the coming months sales will likely fall as production is diverted to the United States.

We expect GM will primarily focus deliveries on the U.S. market due to the coming phase out of the tax credit. GM expects to deliver their 200,000th vehicle in Q4 2018 – although perhaps Q1 2019 is possible.

In their Q2 quarterly sales report, GM provided guidance on an upcoming Bolt EV production increase:

GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.


“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said.

2019 Bolt EV production is now underway. While South Korea does not have a ZEV mandate, they are taking a carrot approach to EV adoption. Regional subsidies for electric vehicles can exceed $23,000.

The Chevy Volt continues to trickle into Korea as well, but sales remain soft at 90 units for the year. The plug-in hybrid import is expensive and the very generous financial incentives do not apply. Despite low deliveries, Volt sales are up 50% over the same period 2017.

From Haeho Park, GM Korea Media Communications:

Bolt EV customer delivery in July recorded 872 vehicles reaching almost 4,000 YTD numbers.

Bolt EV continues to sell well in South Korea

Chevrolet Bolt EVs - finding more US driveways every month!
29 photos
The introduction (and US reception) of the Chevy Bolt EV has pulled forward GM's 200,000th sale by at least a year (now expected in Q2 2018) Chevrolet Bolt at the recent GM Official autocross event near Detroit. Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV The best option overall is generally to drive at normal speed Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Chevrolet Bolt EV:  Lots of useful room inside...and a fair about of standard finishes Bolt Interior Chevy Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV - right-hand-drive?! Chevy Bolt rear seats The rear seating area offers plenty of room for passengers Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

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41 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt EV Continues To Shine In South Korea"

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In absence of free chargers, Bolt at $22K is actually a pretty good car. Who wouldn’t want 0-60 in 6.5 sec and all other real EV goodness (eg TMS) for that price? There won’t be Tesla 3 in Korea for many more years, and who knows if the subsidies will be there by then.

Yes, and being designed by GM Korea Design center means it is a perfect car for that market. I think the Bolt EV is a great car and mid 20s would be a pefect price for it.

Name another car in the mid 20’s with the specs of the Bolt?

What’s the problem with not having competition?

Model 3 will ship to South Korea within a year.

Is that Elon time or real world time?

I certainly hope Tesla doesn’t ship to Korea in a year. Any Tesla 3 sold outside of US before 2020 is screwing over US consumers out of tax credit. Unlike Bolt that’s sitting in dealer lots in US that can be shipped to Korea, Tesla is effectively sold out in US for next 2 years. At the very least, wait until end of 2019.

Tesla won’t even exist a year from now

Great car!! Love the Bolt, it’s good to see that it’s gaining traction and I really hope Chevy continues to build on the platform and continues pushing it forward.

Sell them where, and while you can.

“we were astonished to see the Bolt EV hit an impressive 1,621 deliveries in June”

“Regional subsidies for electric vehicles can exceed $23,000”

So….what’s so astonishing?

That the Bolt sold more units in a country 1/6th the population of the US compared to US sales. Koreans know a great buy when they see one.

Because as far as I have found, no other EV in S Korea has ever sold that much in a single month. Including the Ioniq, the best selling EV in the country in 2017.

(The fact that it outsold US Bolt sales for the month was also impressive.)

The fact the it outsold the Ionic is very surprising but then again, for only $5k more you double the range with the Bolt.

I’m sure it wouldn’t have outsold US Bolt sales if there had been a $23K incentive in the US available. Bolt is very expensive for its compact hatchback format so its chasing markets where that price actually makes sense like markets where GM has compliance issues so it can sweeten the (lease) deal, markets that shower EVs with tax advantages like Norway and markets that shower EVs with subsidies like Korea.

After incentives, Korean Bolt price is similar to US Bolt price when it’s on sale. Dealer was selling for $29K post CA subsidy in June, so the post tax credit would’ve been $22K. But even at that price, they had several in lot. Even now, they have 6 in lot at $32K, which is $25K post tax credit assuming that price doesn’t include CA rebate.

Koreans prefer smaller cars…pretty much the opposite of the US, as you can see from the Spark sales.
I bet a good chunk of the decreasing YoY Spark sales are Koreans buying the Bolt over the Spark. With ~$22k on the hood in incentives, it’s almost a no brainer.

No just Koreans. I think most of the world prefer smaller cars if big is not required for job, etc..

Not true. Koreans prefer bigger cars, just like the Chinese.

This is a different market to Japan and Europe. That do prefer smaller cars.

Like Americans, Koreans buy smaller cars when they can’t afford bigger cars or their garages are too small for a bigger car.

True Asia has not appetite for American style pickups.

The rest of the world doesn’t need big vehicles and especially full size pickups because the rest of the world doesn’t have a population of over 40% being obese like Americans (CDC report).

Don’t sugar coat it. The word is fat not obese.

Hey now. No body shaming. Fat people have a right to live a life of gluttony without being ridiculed.

I wish the Bolt had existed when I bought my Volt 5 years ago. That would’ve been a no-brainer.

You offer them where you can sell them.
There are 500+ new Bolts available in the L.A. area.

I’m sure a good chunk of those 500 are in transit and not actually in stock. Perhaps half are actually on dealer lots.

Perhaps. Local dealer is showing 6 Bolts at $32K, so there are discounts to be had even if they’re in transit (to Korea?)

I guess you will never believe what us here in SoCal been saying for months now …so come down and see it for yourself. They are not in transit anywhere, they sit on dealre lots accumulating dust….while the Volts seem to actually sell.

New cars are sitting on a car dealer’s lot? Stop the presses!

Presses stopped! What’s next?

Even here in Ohio, the dealers I go to periodically (to charge, or for service) can’t seem to keep their Bolts in stock. True, they only get 2 or 3 at a time, but they sell them in a week, at most. They were telling me that they sold their last two the same day they were delivered, and their next one was already spoken for.

I think Bolt sales in the US would be higher if the supply were higher.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I direct people to the Bolt or TM3 and they can compare their Pro’s/Con’s, no Leaf recommendation due to lack of Active TMS.
The peeps that bought the Bolt have only one issue with it and it’s the seats on longer drives.

the seats and the terrible DC charging speed….

I found the seats on the Bolt EV Premier to be perfect—even on long drives like NorCal-SoCal x-country trips. The DC charging speed turned out to be a non issue because it takes me 45 minutes to eat lunch! How was I inconvenienced? No, I own the Chevy Bolt. Best car ever. Perfect commuter car but it’s not an SUV. That’s what I want now is an electric SUV with long range.

Yep, I find the seats perfectly acceptable. Are they as comfy as a lazy boy? Of course not, but the FUD about the seats being worse than in an early 90’s KIA is just that, FUD.

I’d agree with you on that. Of course, I’m not really picky when it comes to BEV’s that have 200+ mile range- I’m so blown away by traveling that far on electricity only that I don’t have much time for nit-picking!

Actually, you have kind of a point. With SparkEV charging to 80% after only 15 minutes on average, I often charged over 80% because ordering to-go “fast food” took longer than 15 minutes.

Although I’m ecstatic over the Bolt EV program’s huge success, I’m deeply troubled over the future–Namely tomorrow’s desired products, like a SUV EV with 300miles + range and immense capacity to fill and tow.
Will GM be able to compete with the now in progress Tesla Model Y program?

I wouldn’t call Bolt a huge success. Tesla 3 with 400K reservations for car not available for 2+ years is a huge success.

Best selling non-Tesla EV in the US. Pretty good success.

2019 Bolts are on their way to dealerships! (notice the new Shock/yellow color in the back)

That’s rad.