Chevrolet Bolt And Volt Sales Show Promise This March

Orange Chevrolet Bolt EV and skyline


After a strong showing in 2017, the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV continues to impress into the new year, and the Volt wows us.

We can’t say we’re surprised that the Chevy Bolt fared much better this February after its weak sales figures in the first month of the year. January numbers – although down considerably from most months in 2017 – were still up a touch year over year. How goes it this March?

Read Also: GM CEO Promises Increased Chevy Bolt Production

Historically, aside from a surprisingly weak February and March, Bolt sales increased every month in 2017 to culminate in a December that eclipsed the 3,000 mark by a notable margin (3,227). This February, the Chevrolet Bolt showed that it could succeed once again. But, can it maintain that momentum as its situation changes?

Now that the Tesla Model 3 has proven it can easily top our sales chart three months in a row and counting, the Prius Prime continues to shine, and the new second-gen 2018 Nissan LEAF is here in stronger numbers, the Chevrolet Bolt is no longer in the “safe” position it has enjoyed for many months. Nonetheless, as linked above, GM CEO Mary Barra has promised increased Bolt production. We’ll see how that pans out in the coming months.Chevrolet Bolt EV

March seems to suggest that the Bolt will continue to find a home near the top of our chart, though it might never match Model 3 numbers going forward, and will now see strong competition from the LEAF.

With all of that being said, GM moved 1,774 Bolts this March, up 81.5% from last year’s 978, and up 350 units from last month’s 1,424.

This marks the last month that GM will be reporting monthly sales. The automaker has decided to go against industry tradition and follow in the footsteps of Tesla, only providing quarterly reports.

GM’s next sales report won’t come until July. This is yet another automaker that will make monthly sales reporting increasingly difficult, and the expectation is that most other will eventually follow suit. GM’s U.S. vice president for sales operations, Kurt McNeil shared:

Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market. Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.

In October, GM publicized its future electrification plans, which will include up to 20 electric vehicles. In the short term, GM will offer two new all-electric vehicles inside of the next eighteen months.

As we previously reported, the first will be a Bolt-based Buick crossover. We received exclusive information back in July from a source who attended a GM focus group. During the event, GM accidentally included the upcoming information in a presentation given by CEO Mary Barra (check out that photo below). Since then, the automaker has vowed to make profitable EVs by 2021.

Though Chevy Bolt sales have remained pretty solid, its stablemate, the Chevrolet Volt, has been telling a different story. The Bolt, along with a growing list of competing plug-ins, have stolen the Volt’s thunder as of late.

Chevrolet Volt

November welcomed the Honda Clarity PHEV – which has been priced strongly ($33,400 for a mid-size car with 47 miles of range) and is likely to become one of the Volt’s toughest rivals. In February, the Clarity PHEV sold a strong 881 copies, securing it a spot in the model recap section of our monthly scorecard. Perhaps it will fare even better this month.

In addition to the Clarity, the Hyundai IONIQ PHEV and Kia Niro PHEV experienced huge sales growth in February. If the trend continues, these vehicles could net an impressive amount of success over the course of this year.

The Toyota Prius Prime has proven the Volt’s strongest contender, having placed narrowly ahead of GM’s PHEV for five straight months. Then, in December, the Prime surged ahead with a solid 2,420 copies sold, making it boss to the Volt for a full six months and remaining far ahead ever since.

With everything considered, it comes as quite a surprise that GM delivered a healthy 1,782 Volts in the month of March. While this is up significantly from January and February, it’s down 16.4% from last year’s 2,132 for the month. The most interesting part is that GM moved more Volts than Bolts for the month of March, albeit just a handful more.

As a whole, the news remains positive for GM in the EV segment. The automaker sold 3,556 plug-ins for March (excluding Cadillac CT6 plug-in deliveries, which will be in later).

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt EVs - finding more US driveways every month!
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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

Chevrolet Volt

2017 Chevrolet Volt
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Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt The New 2016 Volt Features 53 Miles Of All-Electric Range, And A 1.5L Generator That Nets 42 MPG Thereafter Under The New CVRP Program, The Unemployed Person In San Francisco Can Now Get A $3,000 Rebate Off The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Next Generation Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt The Most Famous E-REV - 2017 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2017 Chevrolet Volt Interior

Source: The Detroit News

Categories: Chevrolet, Sales

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39 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt And Volt Sales Show Promise This March"

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Now, that is putting lipstick on a pig.

Nicely worded, indeed.

I am reallly disapointed with the Bolt numbers.

I was hoping for about 1,900 on Volt and 2,000 on Bolt… but 1,800 each aint too bad. 🙂 Bolt numbers are good and Volt numbers are down by a much smaller amount than the past several months.

I am kind of chuckling. The old Volt platform still has some gas in it. Beat the newer Bolt by 8 cars. LOL!
Seriously, though, these numbers aren’t much to boast about. GM needs to build a roomier Volt and a more attractive Bolt a la the Buick Encore Cute Ute style.
ACC and faster charging for both of them would be nice options, as would AWD for the Cute Ute. Kind of tough to shoe horn it into the Volt.

I’m anxiously waiting for more info on the Buick (Bolt). It may be my next car if it checks enough boxes. I’m starting to lose interest in my Tesla Model 3 reservation.

The Buick Bolt could be a nice car, especially if it shares a little familial resemblance to the Velite. I hadn’t paid much attention to the Velite until today. I thought it looked really unrealistic in the early prototype photos, but the latest ones don’t look bad.
Faster charging, ACC and AWD as options wouldn’t hurt either.

Not surprised–only heavily optioned M3s are being produced, at a whopping $56K.

I ordered mine last week at $51,000 ($35k + $9k long range + $5k premium + $1k color + $1k destination fee)

You forgot sales tax

$45,248 after taxes/registration/tax credit.

“GM needs to build a roomier Volt and a more attractive Bolt a la the Buick Encore Cute Ute style.
ACC and faster charging for both of them would be nice options, as would AWD for the Cute Ute.“

Completely agree on all points. The icing on the cake would be if GM partnered with Bosch (or similar) to develop a V2H/V2G capability for the Buick ‘Bolt’ to allow its use as a backup home emergency power supply.

It is all about the lease incentives. Chevy pushed out some great incentives on the Volt. One-pay leases for around $7k, similar to what drove the huge Bolt sales numbers in Oct/Nov/Dec 2017. How can you turn down deals like we were getting then? Co-worker paid $8200 for a one-pay, 45k miles/3 year lease for a base Bolt LT w/ no options. After external rebates, his total out of pocket was around $5k. My Bolt Premier w/ both options packages came out to $10.7k for a one-pay on a 45k miles/3 year lease. After external incentives, my total out of pocket cost was just below $7k! Those are what drove the 4Q17 sales on Bolts, similar to what is now giving life to the Volt sales this month.

At least it’s an improvement but GM can do better than this. They need to get a move on to produce more cars and also introduce a couple more models.

It’s great to see YOY growth of the EV market, but the general auto market is also increasing. It would be great to have a chart or comparison to the growth or sales of the “comparable” ICE models.

GM definitely needs a Volt-based PHEV in the lineup. Either replacing the Volt outright or offered along side. Chevy Trax, Equinox sales numbers were the best they’ve ever been last month. Even taking a small slice of those sales with a CUV/SUV Voltec vehicle would immediately launch it to the top of the EV sales board.

Yup. Offering something in CUV/SUV format will draw upon a large potential market. The idea that there’s a market for a compact hatchback still, especially with the upcoming tax-credit phaseout, is futile. Everyone who wanted one got one.

There’s nothing left to prove for the technology. With the obvious demand for Outlander and seeing the potential with Niro, it is time for GM to focus on mainstream shoppers. A larger vehicle is overdue.

The Volt is a beautiful design for single people or young couples. A pretty sexy car.

But, they need a Buick Volt redesign to give it better rear seat headroom. Because if your kids are older, they won’t fit.

They could offer a Sport Wagon version and carry the roof line all the way back with no dropoff, and a glass roof option like TESLA. That might fix the issue, and increase sales.

But, does GM on average sell a lot of $45,000 cars?
What’s a good production run when the car costs $45,000?

I’d like to see the Volt stretched about 4 inches in length and with a taller roof over the rear and storage areas. And redesign the T-shaped battery so that the 3rd passenger in the middle has some lower leg and foot-space in front of them. With the advances in battery cell design you could probably upgrade the cells and take out that section of battery while retaining the same total capacity as the current design.

I would love to see a survey of people who considered a Volt or Bolt but bought something other than one of those two cars, asking them what the biggest single factor for rejecting the B/V was. I’m sure a good part of it will be price — e.g. someone looks at the Bolt, likes it, but buys a Cruze instead. And, of course, there’s still a significant “electric cars are weird” factor among US buyers.

But I’d also wager that a lot of the lost sales are due to the size of the B/V. Many people simply can’t live with a smaller vehicle, so even if they like the B/V and can afford one, those cars aren’t ever in the running beyond a cursory look. This effect only becomes more of an issue as battery range increases and EVs are increasingly seen as a household’s only/main car and not a 2nd or 3rd commuter option.

Rear seat headroom.
I was extremely disappointed that I could not buy the Volt, because of the rear seat headroom issue.

Only then did I research buying services and BMW’s i3 REX.
1) You know Pennsylvania infrastructure doesn’t support having a Pure EV. There isn’t a High Speed charger between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, for example. So, it has to be a Hybrid.
2) BMW has a great lease offer, and the REX option, and the i3, shockingly, has more rear seat headroom. And the BMW has great handling and a great ride.

But, if GM could build a Volt Sport Wagon, they’d sell more.

Back in ’16 when I bought my Volt, I was seriously looking at the i3. I even drove one at a dealer about 60 miles away – unfortunately it wasn’t a REX. Too bad my local dealer had zero interest in selling me one. They had none in stock, of course, but even when they got a couple on the lot they never even called me, though I had left my number as interested. Of course, at about $10,000 more than my ultimate Volt, it would have been a tough call.Chevy’s 0% interest loan sealed the deal. Absolutely no regrets.


The Bolt has amazing rear seat head (and leg) room….are you thinking of the Volt?
Also, Phila to AC is ~65 miles one way, so my Bolt can make the round trip on 1 charge at 80 mph, in the wintertime.

I really wanted to buy a gen2 Volt but after driving a gen3 Prius hatchback since 2012 I just could not accept the Volt’s shortcomings : much smaller hatch area, large lift over to the hatch floor whereas the Prius is flat to the rear bumper with no lift over, 4 seat capacity, no rear seat headroom, and lastly, poor rear visibility after deleting the gen1’s small lower back hatch window.
A station wagon would have been perfect or something like the 5 door Cruze hatchback.

I became really frustrated about the M3 situation last fall, with my day 2 reservation for the base model. My old gas guzzler ICE car needed more repairs and I didn’t want to wait any longer. Test drove the Bolt and Volt, and decided to purchase a Volt LT. The Bolt was great, more roomy and zippy, but the front seats were way too narrow for my 6ft3 frame, sorry. I am glad I got the Volt after realizing the bad charging options locally and on the southern east coast area in general. Now that it is warmer I routinely get 60 miles or more on a single charge, totally sufficient for my commutes and other local driving. And we can drive to the beaches and mountains on backroads without losing time or getting stranded ! I drove the Prius, it feels like a golf cart compared to the Volt. We can live with the cramped backseats since we rarely have passengers. Even our 2 bikes fit with the backseats folded down. The Volt still has a lot speaking for it ! Get it if you need an EV now, especially if you live outside of CA.

I loved the Bolt technology & range – especially coming from a Leaf. I did not choose the Bolt because: the low-brow interior did not align with the cost (Absent the very nice touch screen, I considered the interior a step down from my Leaf); the front seat were very uncomfortable / too narrow for me; the very anemic DC fast charging speeds; and finally, the fact that outside of CA, lease offers on the Bolt are horrific. GM not passing along the $7500 for non-CA leases made me pass. I ended up getting a very low cost CUV as a stop-gap while I wait for another generation of BEVs.

I am a 1st Gen Volt owner and had a chance to drive both the Bolt and 2nd. Gen Volt a few weeks ago. I found the Volt to be by far the better car. It felt more luxurious and solid to me. The improvements over the Gen 1 are amazing. To me, the only thing the Bolt has going for it is the long electric range and the amazing acceleration. The interior looks really cheap.

I think the Voltec powertrain in a small or mid-sized SUV would be ideal. C’mon GM, get with it already. The Buick Bolt would be nice too, as long as it improves on the Bolt’s seats and interior.

All signs appear to point to after GM deploys all PHEV pipelined vehicles, GM will kill the Voltec/all PHEVs in favor of BEVs…

That isn’t a bad thing, the Buick Bolt/Encore EV will supposedly cost more, have less performance and less range than the Bolt but you get the Buick badge, non-minivan styling, supposedly power and better seats and stitching on the dash…However, its still only going to appeal to mostly EV enthusiasts…It’s supposedly still only FWD and it appears the base will start over $40K when the ICE Encore constantly leases for “$0 down, $199/mo!”…

I’d rather have a hybrid with 50 miles of EV range and a gas engine, then a Bolt with 200 miles of range in today’s east coast charging infrastructure.

Not, the Tesla has pretty much fixed their charging infrastructure.

I seriously don’t see much of a quality difference between the new Volt’s and the Bolt’s. Did you test drive a Premier Bolt? Or are you comparing the LT Bolt to a Premier Volt? The only thing that really sucks about the Bolt and screams “CHEAP” to me are the atrocious front seats. They are as horrible as everyone makes them out to be, but they are somewhat fixable by adding foam underneath the seat cover. Its a simple fix that takes less than 5 minutes, and boosts your butt above the pinching of the side bolsters. The Volt is low to the ground and has terrible a terrible rear visibility from the driver seat, To me, the Volt just feels too cramped, whereas the Bolt sits up higher, has excellent rear visibility and a much higher roofline gives it plenty of headroom in front and back, making it feel very open inside the cabin. Technically, the Bolt is taller than both the new “CUV” Niro and Kona. I was surprised at just how small those CUV’s are in real life when compared side by side with the Bolt. I think Chevy should have just given it a little more… Read more »

“GM CEO Mary Barra has promised increased Bolt production.”
Too late. They should have done that BEFORE Tesla’s M3 was in full production. Now all it’s going to accomplish is an overstock situation where they’re going to have to discount in order to move them. Great for buyers, not so much for GM.

Not the case at all. There is less than 30 days of 2018 Bolts in inventory. Bolt’s are more or less flying off the lot.

The Bolt inventory looks slightly better than it actually is since over half of inventory is 2017 LT’s that have been on lots for months. And those 2017 models will probably be there for several more months.

Why? Because buyers prefer the premier models, not the LT. Plus, why buy a 2017 LT when a 2018 Premier with incentives available on all GM 2018 models right now? Plus any dealer that ordered base model LT’s with no fast charging doesn’t understand the EV market anyways. So these are primarily at EV-clueless dealerships to begin with! 😛

If you are right, we see some decent incentives on those ‘new’ 2017 Bolt LTs in the not-to-distant future.

GM had the Asian lease conquest which took $2500 the price of the lease on most GM vehicles…This could stack with other incentives such as the grad/military bonus…That’s $3500 off or $100/mo off (sign then drive $0 drive off, $3500/35 = $100/mo) most leases…Most dealers will tell you how to qualify for incentives even if you don’t…Hint, some depts. in GM Corp give out the manually generated supplier authorization codes to anyone that asks…

Mine was $106 / month after incentives: not even the price of gas = free car (my electricity is free form the sun thanks to Solar City) … who could refuse such an offer on the most pleasant little car (from outside) to drive?
PS about some complainers: I don’t know what’s wrong with your “butts” but mine sits very confortably well on the front seat … may be giving up on sugar would help you all …

The conversation here seems to be primarily Volt vs Bolt. Killing off the Voltec technology instead of continuing to improve upon it is short-sighted by GM, IMHO. After all, battery technology continues to improve and the ICE is better than ever in fuel efficiency and power. Personally, I’d like to see GM offer a Volt/Bolt sales incentive to buy BOTH cars for the husband and wife’s 2 car garage. One car to get you from LA to Vegas in comfort, the other to get you to the grocery store and work via limited monthly charge-ups. Throw in a solar panel company as an option for both the cars and the house and watch those good sales numbers turn into great ones.

BTW, I own the original 2011 Volt (40.5k mi) and test drove the 2016 redux upon its release and frankly, mine is more like a baby Cadillac in overall execution, whereas the 2nd gen Volt is more (dare I say it) sports car!

Reasonable numbers. I’m actually over the current GM offerings in terms of BEV’s, but hopefully they will come up with something soon.
I really don’t see them increasing Bolt sales YoY, but I said that the end of last year, and so far that is exactly what we are seeing.

Before I leave any comments here I have to say that you guys/gals are more EV minded than another site I’ve been watching, ie; if it isn’t a Tesla it’s not an EV, I have nothing against tesla at all, but to deride any other firm that’s trying to have a go just gets up my nose, Sorry I ramble,just trying to say I enjoy the balanced view here, Thank you. My pet question is why they build Volts & their competition with only 40ish miles electric range, with battery tech at the moment, doubling or even more wouldn’t seem that difficult & give a good range on battery,my commute is 60 miles each way so with these vehicles I’m on ICE for much of the way there & all the way home, I think both the Volt & Bolt are good vehicles, with a bit more range the Volt would be an excellent vehicle & cover all the travelling needs of mum’s shopping, picking up the kids & sporting drop offs etc as well as commuting to work duties for other people & then you have the ICE to alleviate the range anxiety of others. Everyone has to remember… Read more »

“if it isn’t a Tesla it’s not an EV, I have nothing against tesla at all, but to deride any other firm that’s trying to have a go just gets up my nose, Sorry I ramble,just trying to say I enjoy the balanced view here, Thank you.”

You said it, could not agree more!

The last year of production for the Ford Edsel they sold 200,000 units. The word Edsel became similar to the word disaster. Yet selling 1700 units, a month or less than 24,000 a year is GREAT? Maybe under Obama’s definition, but not by anyone else’s. This car is a joke. Who wants to buy an electric after its 4-5 years old and facing buying a whole new battery pack for 10s of thousands. Nobody in their right mind is who.