Canadian Chevy Bolt Sales Down In Q4, Up For 2018 Overall

Chevrolet Bolt EV

JAN 25 2019 BY WADE MALONE 31

The Bolt EV closes the second half of the year weaker than the first.

According to GM Authority, Chevrolet was only able to move 464 Chevy Bolt EVs in Canada during the final 3 months of 2018. This is down 35.6% from Q4 2017 deliveries. Bolt sales were also down compared to the 511 Bolt EVs sold in Q3 of 2018.

Overall, the second half of the year was considerably weaker for Chevrolet plug-in sales than the first. Between January and June, 1,433 Chevy Bolts were sold up north. Only 975 were sold in the second half.

One likely reason for this drop in sales during the back half is the loss of the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP) that had previously been offered in Ontario. The program had lowered the price of plug-in models up to $14,000 CAD.

But the end of the Ontario credit was not the only factor in the sales drop. The competition really began to heat up in the plug-in market last year.

In 2017, Chevrolet dominated the Canadian sales charts with the Chevy Volt and Bolt EV taking first and second place respectively. But several new players hit the streets last year and made a big impact. These include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the refreshed Nissan LEAF and of course the best selling Tesla Model 3.

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news for the Bolt. The electric hatchback ended 2018 with 2,408 Bolts finding new Canadian homes. This is up ~13.5% year over year from the 2,107 units sold in 2017. Hopefully 2019 will bring another growth year for the Bolt, since Chevy’s best selling Volt plug-in hybrid is not much longer for this world.

Source: GM Authority

CHEVY BOLT

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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31 Comments on "Canadian Chevy Bolt Sales Down In Q4, Up For 2018 Overall"

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From what I understand, Bolt availability in Canada has been pretty poor, with people waiting months to get one. So I think some of the low sales is entirely due to low allocation by GM.

You can add to this the TOTAL lack of any advertisement for this model from GM.

Last year I saw a few variations of this video on TV. It aired quite a bit on Canadian TV stations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUUzxr5yj-o

My experience in 2017 was every GM dealership having floor to ceiling banners for the Bolt being car of the year, but having no demos for test drives and no timeframe for delivery.

The assembly plant was also much closer to southern Ontario than California or Quebec. They just didn’t feel like delivering here.

Solid chance of me buying one if there was any effort. Instead, the Leaf came out and I was enticed by ProPilot.

I cannot speak for the whole country, but there has been regularly more than twenty units listed on Autotrader for longest time. Plenty of cars available, the issue is, you are paying full MSRP with no incentive. Which is tough pill to swallow, aaaaaand the low gas prices of late complicate it even further, since most people buy EVs to save money, not the environment oveall necessarily ….

Good point. With no incentive, the top of the line Bolt is pretty close to a nice Tesla Model 3.

No the Tesla Model 3 is still about $10k more than the top of the line Bolt in Canada.

There are still incentives available in Quebec and BC, most of the units on Autotrader are listed for Quebec.

My local dealer in Guelph, Ontario has 41 listed as in stock or en-route.
https://www.barrycullen.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new&model=Bolt%20EV

There’s a ton of them listed everywhere not just in Quebec … it’s a myth there’s a shortage of them.Period.

The Chevy Dealer Network has been one of Tesla Biggest ASSETS.

Technically the Chevrolet Bolt EV already is a great car, but it we be even better in the coming years. The availability should be much better (GM should increase production capacity, and Chevrolet dealers should have them in their showroom and in stock as standerd). The price needs to be lowered as well.

I want to like the Bolt, but it needs some changes. The front end/nose is just too ugly to be taken seriously. It looks like GM intentionally hit it with the ugly stick to keep sales low. The Honda Fit has a similar roofline and it looks kind of sporty. How did GM make the same shape look so clown car’ish? And the fast charging is just not acceptable. Barely 50 kW charge rate and it starts to taper early so you don’t even get that meager fast charging for long.
Finally, yeah, they improved the front seats from rather bad to so-so, but would it kill them to spend an extra $10 or so to make them a bit more comfortable? And the interior finish quality screams Small Chevy at you the minute you open the door and look in…
My Volt is at least moderately sporty, and the interior of my Volt puts the Bolt to shame. But I can only wish my Volt was as quick 0-60 as a Bolt, so there is that.

I disagree with the premise of the article. Just as Tesla has been, as long as the Bolt is production limited, the “competition” doesn’t matter. Chevy is selling all the Bolts it makes, it just shifts sales to where it gets the most profit. Until there are unsold Bolts sitting on lots, there effectively is no competition for the Bolt.

Before writing, I checked last night at a major city (Toronto) and 94 were listed within 100 miles.

Nationally, over 700 are at or in transit to dealers.

https://www.autotrader.ca/cars/chevrolet/bolt%20ev/?rcp=20&rcs=0&srt=6&prx=-1&loc=m4c%201m5&hprc=True&wcp=True&sts=New&showcpo=1&inMarket=advancedSearch

That’s pretty sizeable inventory for Canada. Especially compared to earlier in the year when I wrote an article about waiting lists and found less than 2 dozen in dealers at the time but sales were considerably higher.

https://insideevs.com/canadian-bolt-ev-orders-facing-delays-up-to-12-months/

I would say earlier in 2018 the Bolt EV was inventory restricted. But recently in the last quarter that has certainly changed. If we were to see a Federal EV program I would bet we would see a large sales spike.

Some people seem to think that Bolt is still not available, or that it has a long waiting list in Canada. Not true, every where. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty units on dealers lots around Toronto. The problem is, the zero rebate. These cars are very hard to move now, especially when GM has no interesting pricing, nor any good lease offers.

Many people will just drive their gassers longer than they thought they would, waiting for the necessary price adjustment, which will either require new government, or GM get creative. Either point send very unlikely any time soon.

Yes, I wrote earlier in the year about low availability and less than 2 dozen could be found in dealers in the country. Now over 700 are at or in transit to dealers.

It will be tough to move them in Ontario, that’s for sure. Perfect storm … no incentives, low gas prices and not good enough leases to attract significant amount of buyers.

It’s sad that last year before Canadian Trump arrived to Ontario political scene, GM could have sold many many more, but their “fabulous” planning caused a shortage. Now, they seem to be cranking it up, but the timing could not have been worse … I wonder whether they watch news at all? Seems like not …

There certainly were no Bolts available in Canada earlier in 2018. I would have seriously considered one. Barely managed to get a 2018 Leaf before the incentives expired.

My 2019 Bolt EV was built on November 15th but was stuck in the US due to “lack of railcars”. I only received it in Nova Scotia on January 16th. There can be lots reasons for lower sales for a month or two.

Bolt is too damn expensive. Starts at $44k in Canada. Plus delivery, taxes, etc. and you end up well over $50k. That’s crazy expensive for such a small car. With the previous 13k Ontario incentive that would bring it down to a still expensive price under 40k. Without the incentive is just complete out of reach for most people.

Well, have you ever looked at its range and checked its price/range ratio ?

You can sure get a sub-200 km range car for cheaper. And even then, it will have a worse price/range ratio.

There’s no magic here. Batteries are still very expensive. And longer range still requires larger batteries.

battery cost alone doesn’t explain it. GM is pricing these way too high. In canada Chevy cruze starts at 16k, sonic at 18k. Bolt at 44k !! That’s a 26k premium over comparable gas cars. Bolt has 60Kwh battery. Even at a pack cost of $200/kwh that’s 12k. Plus the electric motor and drive train should be a lot cheaper than an engine, transmission, emissions controls, etc. on the gas car. GM is just not serious about scaling up production on these to bring economies of scale, they are compliance cars milking governments incentives where available.

Exactly. Low sales allow them to cancel the car at any time.

To be fair a Bolt EV doesn’t compare to an 18K base model Sonic. With options and features a $28K FWD Trax is likely the closest comparison.

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Agreed and I think that’s what GM plan was all along. With tax credit the base model would be right around $30k USD – cheaper in CARB states. I know people love comparing this car to the Sonic or even the Trax, but these cars are night and day compared to Bolt.

Your back of the napkin parts pricing sounds good. But by that same math Tesla should be able to product at $35k model 3, yet they can’t profitable.

The Bolt: A footnote in the history of evs.

Also, the Chevy Canada website has never been updated for 2019 EVs. You cannot build, price or check inventory on either the Bolt or Volt even though the inventory has been sitting on the lots sine August. I need to go to Autotrader to find cars. Way to go Chevy!