Chevrolet Bolt EV Nets Record Sales In September, Not So Much For The Volt
As the Chevrolet Bolt EV has made its way across the US, making itself move and more available at local dealers in every state, sales have (perhaps unsurprisingly) began to rise. For September, GM blew former numbers out of the water, setting a new all-time high, while logging 7 consecutive months of sales gains!
The 238 mile EV also broke into the “2k” level for the second month in a row. Actually, the Bolt more than broke into the 2,000s…
For September, 2,632 Bolts were sold, a 25% gain over the 2,107 sold a month ago.
For the year, 14,302 all-electric Chevys have been delivered, keeping it firmly in the #5 slot on the best selling plug-in list for the US.
Interestingly, while the Bolt has been reaching a wider audience, the national inventory level on the EV, while more balanced, has been dropping over the past couple months; from a high of ~6,000 earlier in the Summer, to just north of 5,000 on average in August, to a few hundred less than that in September.
At this point we aren’t sure if that is a reflection of the recent higher sales constraining the inventory, or just a keener eye on inventory management from GM.
As for GM’s other plug-in vehicle, it is hard to now not conclude that the Bolt EV is stealing some sales thunder from the Chevy Volt.
As the Bolt has arrived at more dealers, Volt sales have lessened…and not by just a handful of sales, as the year-over-year number have now turned negative for the last 4 months in a row.
For September 1,453 Volts were delivered, off 28.5% from the 2,031 sold a year ago.
For the full year, 15,348 Volts has sold, down 6% from 2016’s total of 16,326 cars delivered through the first 3 quarters.
Just looking at Q3 when the Volt and Bolt EV were better competing for more national eyeballs (and wallets) at the dealer level, Volt sales are off 32% (4,416 vs 6,518).
We should note that it may in fact not just be the Bolt EV taking this consumer attention away from the 53 mile, extended range Volt, it might also be the Toyota Prius Prime, which has found a lot of traction appealing to PHEV shoppers…selling some 15,000 copies this year.
Looking at the best selling EV list, the Chevrolet Volt started 2017 as the leader, had fallen to 2nd place a couple months ago, and is now in danger of falling into 5th spot overall, holding just a couple hundred sales advantage over the Prius Prime (15,056), Tesla Model X (~15,290)…with the Bolt EV just 1,000 deliveries behind (14,302).
What can Chevy do to regain the market share? The most obvious answer (besides spending more money to advertise the car – which seems unlikely with the Bolt’s arrival on the scene), is a price reduction, or more dealer-offered incentives.
But then again, with GM stating this week that they intend to offer two more all-electric vehicles in the next year and a half and “at least” 20 over the next 5 or so years…does the Volt’s pullback really matter that much?