Chevrolet Bolt Sold Out For All Of 2017 In South Korea


Chevrolet Bolt

A couple weeks ago, we announced that the first allotment of Chevrolet Bolts for South Korea had sold out in just a couple of hours.

Now we’ve learned that the Bolt is sold out for all of 2017 in South Korea.

The Bolt was unveiled to the South Korean public at the recent (March 31) Seoul Motor Show. Before even seeing it in person though, the electric car had sold out.

Automotive News states:

“General Motors Korea began taking Bolt orders on March 17 for an initial allotment of 400 vehicles. Those cars sold out in less than two hours, and by the end of the day, GM had received nearly 2,000 orders.”

General Motors Korea CEO James Kim went on record stating that the Bolt is now sold out for 2017:

“It completely sold out. Next year, we will make an effort to prepare more Bolt EVs.”

It’s not often that a non-Korean car fares well in terms of sales in South Korea, but the Bolt was co-developed with LG Chem, Korea’s leading battery manufacturer, so surely that has something to do with the Bolt’s success. The Bolt was designed in South Korea too.

Bolt chief engineer, Mike Lelli, commented:

“People are drawn to things that are on the forefront of technology. The IT infrastructure is extremely strong here. It sort of lends itself to a technical car as well. I think that can help move this from those early adopters to mass ownership.”

“I don’t know if I’d position it as a homecoming, because we worked so closely from the beginning, both in the United States and Korea. We’ve been together on this thing from the get-go.”

Pricing for the Bolt in South Korea starts at 47.79 million won (US $42,254). But various local and national incentives can drive down that price to as low as 22 million won or approximately $20,000.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Chevrolet

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45 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt Sold Out For All Of 2017 In South Korea"

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For $20k no wonder that it is sold out. Especially that the range is basically enough for South Korea and you can’t drive anywhere to North anyway.

It certainly would be inadvisable to try.

No sure GM is all that fired up to sell lots of Bolts in SK.
Btw what was the total allotment?
Maybe 5-6k,for the year.

Hm, I read this as being the 2017 allotment. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong, b/c 400 is friggin’ ridiculous.
Either you try a market, or you don’t.

Yeah, they said they sold 2k in the first day. I read where it said, by the end of the show they had 2k orders.
So that may be all they planned to sell there this year.
So I am probably wrong, about the 5-6k.

The average Korean salary is barely 60% the US average US. So $20k for them is >$30k over here.

In short, the Bolt is relatively cheaper in the US, for sure in states like CA/WA/CO/etc. that offer additional incentives.

Anyway, seems like GM has misallocated its early Bolt distribution, big time.

– Huge truckloads up-front to every puny California dealerships.

– Too-slow expansion schedule outside of CA. This is GM, right? They ship millions of vehicles to every state. What’s the deal? Bottom line, other states’ dealers are now buying Bolts from CA dealers to ease the glut and satisfy would-be customers literally banging on their doors.

– Ridiculous under-allocation to Korea. Why not try more seriously a different market, esp. one that’s relatively unexposed (EV market share 0.4% for 2016, but that represents almost a 3x jump from 2015), and intimately related to the Bolt’s development, close enough to be considered a “home product” by the public?

There’s absolutely no consideration of Korean market potential in this decision. The 124-mile Ioniq BEV sold >1000 units there just in December.

So 400 for the entire year? What a joke. I hope they reconsider.

The initial allotment was 400, that was not the full year’s allotment.

Will a dealer sell to anyone even close to MSRP or will $5K over MSRP be the norm?

So with 1000pm sold in 3 months in the US. And a low inventory build 1000 – 2000

And only 2000 for the year allocated to its second home market that is Korea.

It’s looking like 30,000 bolts is all that GM will make this year.

Sold out indeed.

I don’t know why you guys continue to bang on GM for first year Bolt sales.

The leaf had less than 30,000 global sales for the first two years.

Tesla didn’t surpass 30,000 global sales until the third year of Model S sales, and how many years total after producing their first BEV?

Most other manufactures haven’t hit 30,000 BEVs in global sales for all years combined.

Clearly your expectations of GM are far higher than ANY OTHER BEV maker selling in the US.

Yep, because this ain’t 2011 nor is Bolt GM’s first rodeo. We are and should be expecting more from GM, one of the pioneers of the mass market EV which is now in it’s 7th year selling plug-in cars.

Personally, I can’t believe they have presold 2k Bolts in South Korea while I am sitting in Georgia and can’t even test drive one!

Mostly right, but Tesla has a longer history making EVs than anyone in business today. The General Motors corporation that made the Impact and EV-1 went bankrupt. I find it inane that General Motors won’t sell more in South Korea, but then… they don’t have the battery capacity to do more, and they are losing money on every unit sold (if not for ZEV credits).
The Hyundai Ioniq is going to clean up in its home turf.

“…they are losing money on every unit sold (if not for ZEV credits…”

So then, GM should stop selling the Bolt EV immediately, so they’ll stop losing money!

Oh, wait… 🙄

Just because some self-appointed “analysts” choose to use kindergarten-level accounting when talking about profit and loss from selling cars, that doesn’t mean we should. It’s highly likely that GM is making a per-unit profit on every Bolt EV it sells, if you don’t make the kindergarten-level mistake of lumping the sunk costs of R&D and tooling up into the per-unit profit margin for the car. Sunk costs and ongoing costs should be accounted for separately.

You must have been in the advanced kindergarten class.

In spite of what that one analyst made up in his column, they’re almost certainly not losing money per unit sold.

Say the pack cost is $250 per kwh. Figuring $15k for the battery, they have $22k left to cover a Honda Fit equivalent interior with some nice (but cheap to add, since they can be reused from other models) features like the surround vision cameras and automatic collision avoidance.

GM might never recover it’s R&D costs from Bolt sales. And they are likely selling them close to break even to try to build volume for a marginal product line. But they need an EV program if they’re going to exist as an automaker in 20 years, so it’s not unreasonable to amortize the Bolt’s R&D against future EVs.

GM already stated that the Bolt’s battery cost was $145 per kWh. That makes the cost around $8700 for just the 60 kWh pack itself, which is a lot lower than the estimate you gave.

I think that $145 number is cell cost, not including pack integration, thermal management, etc.

You are correct, $145/kWh is cell cost. Pack with active thermal control adds 25-50%, so $180-215 at the pack level.

I have to agree with Right. GM has been selling electric cars for the past 7 years and they are building the Bolt at a glacial pace. Now that may be because they chose to make it look like a slightly dorkier version of the Honda Fit, but it really seems like they are choosing not to build as many as the initial demand would have warranted. Now that partially informed people think it is a dog, NOW GM will build more and open up more states for sales.

I have a great deal of respect for GM engineers, but GM management is a pack of losers. They have shot the Volt and the Bolt in the foot time after time.

I will keep my Volt for a couple more years because it is paid off and reliable. But I will jump ship eventually and when I do it will be to a company that actually wants to sell cool electric cars, and it will probably be to Tesla.

It’s sort of like a NFL “halftime adjustment”…So it’s reported that there was just under 1K March sales and over 2K in total inventory…You’d imagine the new states who received Bolt’s aren’t on the lots very long, so it may be a very high % of unsold inventory are in CA/OR…Yank like 60-80% of their future allocations just for April, send them to other states just for this month (or May) and see what happens…

What we don’t know is if they are building 2017 models slowly because they are basically limping to the 2018 model which is the nationwide model. This is basically what they did for the 2011 and 2016 Volts. The 2018 could have more options or small changes and they don’t want a huge inventory of 2017 models.

This sounds right on to me. The 2017s are a relatively low volume introduction (especially first few months) that allows GM and LG to iron out any bugs/problems, then they tweak the car for 2018, distribute nationwide and ramp up volume.

I predict the 2018s will come with fast charger included at the same base price, improving the value proposition a bit.

Tesla culties would bang and trash anything and anybody that doesn’t have Tesla badge and EM approval. Only EM can be one true savor, everything that he didn’t approve is inferior trash, conspiracy and diversion attempts by Big Oil shills and evil shorters trying to undermine The One True Leader!

“Clearly your expectations of GM are far higher than ANY OTHER BEV maker selling in the US.” Our expectations for a plug-in EV with a range significantly higher than any other non-Tesla EV sold in North America, and sold at a “semi-affordable” price significantly lower than any Tesla car, certainly are much higher than expectations for lesser BEVs. Definitely; absolutely! Your citation of the first two years of sales for the Leaf and the Model S is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Both Nissan and Tesla had severe constraints on increasing production during those first years; Tesla because of its growing pains and rapidly expanding need for capital, and Nissan because of the 2011 tsunami and its major hit to Leaf production. Nissan wasn’t able to ramp up production to meet demand (~60,000 per year) until after they build new auto assembly plants and new battery factories in both the USA and the UK. A GM spokesman claimed they have the capacity to build up to 50k Bolt EVs, and apparently he meant even during this first year of production. If that number was real, if it wasn’t just an off-the-cuff estimate, then GM appears to be deliberately sabotaging its own sales,… Read more »

The leaf sold 50,000 worldwide last year.

The top 3 evs sold above 30000.

The top 10 all sold above 20000.

At 1000per month + 1000 in inventory it will have trouble breaking into the top ten.

True, the Bolt sits at number 11 in World Wide Sales Jan – Feb 2017.

You gotta be kiddin’ me!

Comparing GM in 2017 to Tesla in 2012? Remember that they not only had to produce a new vehicle, but at the same time build a production line and mass production experience and all that on a shoestring budget (relatively speaking).

Comparing the 2017 Bolt to the 2011 Leaf? The Leaf was a very limited range vehicle, the first affordable, full EV. In many markets, there were no incentives so people had to pay the full price. No wonder people were not standing in line to buy one.

The interest in the Bolt was widely expected and GM must have known this. As to why GM chose to start with limited production is a guess. (Not blasting GM here, they may have very good reasons)

All new car, new platform, new manufacturing partner … I’d say it makes a lot of sense to start off relatively slow so that GM and LG have time to iron out bugs/problems before they produce a ton of Bolts.

I’m not worried about this slow start at all. By the end of the year when 2018 models are selling nationwide the monthly volume will be much higher.

Huge demand for Bolt in Korea is not due to “Korean pride”. If that were the case, SparkEV would’ve sold far more than any other EV, yet BMW i3 sold more.

Bolt is simply the best car for the money when you take large Korean subsidy into account. When I say best, I mean it is better than any gasser, EV, hybrid, whatever of similar money. What other car does 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds and cost $20K?

So if Lucid Air made only 12 cars and scheduled delivery for once a month, they too would be “sold out for 2017″……lol

How long has GM been making cars again yet they roll out like this?

Funny how a new line of trucks or SUV rollout everywhere.

The year’s allotment for S. Korea was only 400?

If the Bolt EV doesn’t start selling better here in the USA, then perhaps GM should reconsider how many units it’s going to ship overseas! Especially the number they plan to ship to Europe. If the body style is what’s keeping domestic sales down, as many have asserted, then GM really needs to send more to Europe, where that style will be more popular.

Okay, 2000 for the year, not 400. But still!

Gm is purposely limiting supply even though they said they would meet all demand. Tried to buy one in my area. Burlington ontario canada. Dealership was supplied 6. All sold out in one weekend. Said i could possibly get one in 2018. Ice manufacturers are trying to push ice cars only. More profitable. As usual US manufacturers will fall behind the world supplying only crappy cars. They will be always playing catchup to the likes BMW, Audi, Toyota, Nissan and even VW, and Tesla.

You realize Tesla IS a US manufacturer, right?

Whoa, careful about spreading that information. A lot of democrats will stop supporting Tesla if they find out that it’s an American car company!

LOL. Or a lot of Republicans start buying Tesla. It’s odd that so few people realize Tesla is a US company until I point it out.

I tweeted The Donald that should get an armored Tesla. Black of course!

They realize it’s made in California but thought CA left the US a while back 🙂

The entire Canadian allocation of 2017 Bolts was sold out in a few weeks for full MSRP. The dealers I talked to all say they are begging GM for more Bolts. For now they are selling Bolts for 2018 delivery.

Another industrial (Euro) point of view

Except for Nissan/Renault and Tesla I am afraid we are still in a era when majority of car makers just do not want to sell EVs. Am telling this as just checked price of Prius Prime in my part of the world (Benelux), and it is priced around EUR 41,000. That is $43,000 approx.

So Toyota do not want to sell the Prius in Europe. I just hope Tesla Model 3 Sells in the hundred of thousands in 2018 as butts seems to be in needs to be kicked hard.

It’s march, we are supposed to believe that GM can’t somehow build an extra 4 or 5 thousand cars more than they had originally planned for over the next 9 months? Wtf? and who got the allocation so wrong? 12 months worth of cars sold in a few days – why didn’t GM either plan to sell more cars or think to charge more for the 2000 that they allocated.

The whole thing smells. GM could do so much better with their EV’s they seem to want to offer something competitive but then only sell it in small amounts. There is no logic to GM’s strategy. I often think I get it and then it escapes me.

I don’t trust GM, they want to sell ICE only.

I have said it will be a limited number of Bolts. I think they would prefer to sell people the much larger money makes.
Suv’s & trucks.
But they can’t completely ignore the ev revolution. The Volt/Bolt.
I think GM is aware of the coming darkness, and though they are whistling past the graveyard, they still carry loaded gun.

This is the exact reason Tesla’s market cap has passed Ford and now approaching GM — the traditional automakers DO NOT want to sell EVs — they will all be left holding an empty bag in 15 years….

GM = Sears

How long can Tesla go on burning through a billion dollars a year before investors finally decide to bail on this company?

Some believe profit is passe and market cap is all that matters nowadays, but I don’t think they can go on playing “lose money on every sale and make it up in volume” forever.

Looks like the land mass of South Korea is roughly the size of Kentucky, but the population is 51 million! Half live in high-rises in the city, according to Wikipedia.