Chevrolet Extends Shutdown At Bolt Factory As Inventory Hits 111 Selling Days


With Chevy Bolt inventory at 111 selling days, General Motors has decided to extend the shutdown at the Orion Township factory responsible for making the Bolt and Chevrolet Sonic.

Sales of the Chevy Bolt have been below expectations. We’ve reported on this multiple times now in our monthly scorecard. With Bolt inventories now sitting at approximately 6,000 units, General Motor has decided to extend the shutdown at the only factory responsible for Bolt production.

Reuters reports:

Bolt On Production Line

“General Motors Co has extended a shutdown at the Michigan factory that builds the new Chevrolet Bolt electric car as part of a broader effort to get control of bulging inventories of unsold vehicles in the United States.”

“A spokesman for the company said the shutdown at Orion was “due solely to softening sales of the Sonic” model, adding that its production plan for the Bolt for this year was unchanged.”

Though GM is trying to place blame solely on the Sonic, truth of the matter is there’s no other production site for the Bolt. Therefore, Bolt production will be completely halted until the factory re-opens after its extended shutdown, which could continue through the end of August.

Just recently, we posted this information in regards to Bolt sales/inventory:

Originally, we had been told thought tight inventory was holding back sales, but by late April inventory moved deep into 4 digits, and headed toward 5,000 units in May – the result was 1,566 sales.

For June, inventory of the Bolt EV touched close to the 6,000 unit level, and again, Bolt EV sales moved higher – up to 1,642 copies, a new 2017 high.

With the Bolt EV clearly underselling even GM’s own expectations, the company now finds itself with way too much 2017 model year stock. To solve this issue, GM surprised the market and opened up nationwide orders in June (a month early), with the first copies set to arrive next month (August).  Hopefully adding in 32 more states to the mix will help the Bolt EV set new year-highs this Fall!

Reuters adds that Bolt inventory is now at 111 selling days, up from 104 in June. That’s way over GM’s target number of around 70 selling days for its vehicles. That 70 target is to be reached by year’s end. At least that’s what GM is telling investors. Across all of its vehicles, GM has an average of 105 days of supply, a 10-year high.

With some dealers advertising Bolt inventory of 200-plus units, there’s cause for concern.

It’ll be interesting to see how nationwide availability of the Bolt impacts its sales figures. We’re certain sales will increase, but by how much? Enough to quickly eliminate the overage and get the factory back in action churning out Bolts? We’ll find out next month.

This shutdown is probably of more concern to those looking for the Opel Ampera-E in Europe, as that car is a badge-engineered version of the Bolt EV, that also runs off the Orion assembly line.  Opel has a many thousand vehicle backlog of Europeans who have ordered the Ampera-E, however GM has reportedly decided to artificially limit the number of EVs heading outside the US.

A word on Chevrolet Sonic sales in the US of late, which clearly demonstrates the utilization issue at GM’s Orion factory:

2014 – 93,518
2015 – 64,775
2016 – 55,255
2017 (through June) – 17,958

Source: Reuters

Categories: Chevrolet


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272 Comments on "Chevrolet Extends Shutdown At Bolt Factory As Inventory Hits 111 Selling Days"

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Ship some Chevy Bolts to Canada. That will keep the GM 200 mi. + EV sales ball rolling. Is this the beginning, of the early stages, of the “Tesla Model 3 effect”, rearing its pretty (not so little) head?

Water seeks and Always finds it’s own Level. That car would cost $47,500.00 Minimum CDN… Average Price would be aprox.$53,000.00 CDN Plus 13% taxes on top..$59,890.00 How is it possible to Justify This Price for that Car!?!? GM has 0verpriced EV’s Purposely to Discourage EV Sales and to show the EV’s will not work out in order to Promote the ICE Dinosaur..

Pricing for Canada is already established, it is cheaper than the US version by a fair margin, and some Canadians already have deliveries.

Jean-François Morissette

In Canada there are no Bolt available. People have to wait 8-10 month to get them, there are absolutely no inventories and a lot of demand, all of this is quite ridiculous!

Clearly you are mistaken about Bolt availability in Canada. Here’s another example:

Sure, inventories may be limited, but there are absolutely Canadians who are driving Bolts today.

No one is suggesting that there aren’t any Bolts in Canada, just that there aren’t any available to buy right away. Canadians are waiting months for new Bolts that they have purchased.

Walk into a Chevy dealership in Canada right now and they will put you on the growing waiting list for a 2018 Bolt. Some dealerships have already cut off their 2018 waiting list as they are worried that they have more people on their waiting list than Bolts they will be allocated in 2018.

Is there something which would physically prevent GM from taking Bolt EVs sitting on a lot somewhere, and sending them to Canada for sale? Are there physical differences in the cars sold in Canada due to the differences between Canadian and U.S. regulations?

To import a Chevrolet into Canada from the USA you need to ensure it is equipped with daytime running lights and electronic immobilization system.

I believe options like heated seats and DC fast charging are standard in Canada. There may be a few regulation differences too when it comes to running lights etc. but that’s probably a software thing. Emissions would not be one of them 🙂

Yes there is a big difference. GM loses money on every single copy and so is on purpose limiting sales to other countries because unfortunately it is clearly a compliance car. It is my unsubstantiated claim that they are losing money per car, but the evidence would appear to support this and is referenced here in the article.

Spot on. Canada (Ontario, Quebec and BC since they are the only places with incentives and a clean grid) seem to have a shortage of Bolts and I haven’t seen a single ad. A friend in Montreal wanted to trade in her Volt for a Bolt because it will work for her. They told her she would have to wait 5 months so she traded the 2014 Volt for a Kia Soul EV.

If they are not selling in the US then GM and the dealers are not trying to sell them.

They don’t sell in the states because the gasoline price is so low, and the electricity price in many areas is too high.

Montreal is a different case since your electricity is relatively a bargain, and your gasoline is more expensive – thus it is easier for ICE buyers to switch.

Bolt inventory situation is entirely artificially created by GM. Not only Canda, but South Korea sold out of its allocation in a day and Europe is also sold out. Ship ’em there, and inventory situation wouldn’t be so bad.

As for Tesla 3 effect, I thought that will happen much later in the year since I didn’t think Tesla will “promise to deliver” in Jul. We’ll see in coming months. At current pricing (both qualifying for tax credit), Bolt is going to be hurting when Tesla 3 is out.

The cars would need to be retro-fitted for other countries at substantial cost and effort. Merely “shipping them elsewhere” is simply not feasible.

Huh? No, they were already on sale here and sold out.

The only difference between the Bolt and the Ampera-e are the signets.
Everthing else is the same.
So put them on a train and on a ship and sell them here.
Wouldn’t work, because they sold their european business to PSA, so they don’t want to give the technology to a competitor.

That’s not true. Ampera-es have power-folding wing mirrors. They aren’t even an option in North America.

No. The Type 2 and CCS plug are different in Europe.

What are the retrofits? For Europe, badge may need work, but for Canada and South Korea, I don’t think anything needs to change.

One may argue Bolt costs too much in Canada. But with South Korea subsidy, it’s about $22K. No car (I mean ALL cars including gassers) is quicker than Bolt at that price point. That’s probably why it sold out in a day in South Korea.

It is a fair question to if there’s a way to “retrofit” US vehicles to other countries…The funny thing is if there are US regulations, Trump would happily to a way to get around them so we can “rid the US of these unwanted EVs”…I believe each countrirs bolts/opels have far more differences beyond just the badge and facias…I’m former military and knew people who imported a late model German/Japanese car, there was a ton of changes they had to make including every single window…

Still, worth looking into a foreign conversion, if it’s deemed say $10k-$15k, advertise that to your dealerships that they’ll convert them to the counties specs if they have a customer willing to pay the premium…I would be surprised if they could unload a total of another thousand…

Probably little point bothering to retrofit. They only have 111 days of stock in the USA.

Just keep the factory cranking producing foreign market cars (Canada, Korea, Europe) for the next 90 days, then start allocating some production back to domestic stock.

Aparently there are untapped markets in the USA also.

“Bolt inventory situation is entirely artificially created by GM. Not only Canda, but South Korea sold out of its allocation in a day and Europe is also sold out. Ship ’em there, and inventory situation wouldn’t be so bad.”

That’s the impression I get too, based almost entirely on what has been reported at InsideEVs.

The only real question I have is whether this is merely a case of incompetence at GM/Chevrolet, or if GM is deliberately sabotaging sales… perhaps in order to claim once again that there is very little market for EVs, as an aid to their political fight against tightening emission and/or fuel efficiency standards. Altho with the Trumpster administration in charge, I would think that would be largely unnecessary.

Of course, we should always keep in mind Hanlon’s razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

But in this case… I suspect malice.

I really don’t think GM is sabotaging sales. They have a technology lead that they can exploit in both the Volt and the Bolt.

I just think they created an expensive, un-sexy small car. They should have launched in a class or two higher where people are willing to pay a premium. And made it look better (but that’s something GM has never been able to do).

I’ve writing the same thing… GM should have given it better styling and badged it a Buick.

GM’s lack of interest in shipping surplus (with necessary regulatory modifications) Bolts to Canada, Europe, & South Korea is concerning.

Right now I’m thinking I can score a nice lease deal on a Bolt later this year.

Any of these California dealers want to move them to Canada to Sell them? Anybody ask them yet?

I am sure a dealer with 200 on the lot, could move 160 of them fast, ship them up out East here, with a simple stop in Buffalo to switch in the Automatic Daytime Running Lights, and drop of 80 in Ontario and 80 in Quebec! They’d be delivered in a week!

I reached out several months ago and the CA dealers are not allowed to even sell them out of state! GN requires they all stay and be sold in state.

I checked the dealer inventory that was mentioned in the Reuters article this morning. they only had 78 Bolts in stock. This means they’ve sold over 100 Bolts in less than a week? Sounds like this dealer moves a lot of inventory and that 200 was probably its entire 2017 Bolt allocation. Doesn’t sound to me like Bolts are piling up on lots like all of these articles are echoing.

While the USA isn’t much into expensive hatchbacks, other markets are.

In Europe, UK, Japan, Korea, NZ etc, hatchbacks are very popular (yes even expensive ones like the Audi A1/A3/S3/RS3)

In non-usa locations people value the smaller footprint (for parking), and greater versatility of a hatchback over a sedan, and sedans are seen as old mens cars…

GM could easily move these cars in there overseas markets.

Saw a post over on Cleantechnica this morning from a guy claiming to work at the Bolt plant. He echos the GMM executive’s comment from the original Reuters articles that the downtime is due solely to the Sonic, not the Bolt. He further states that the line is being revamped to produce the Bolt at a 1:1 ratio with the Sonic, where it is currently at a 2:1 ratio (Sonic:Bolt). He also states that they had to build out stock prior to shutdown, which is why inventory numbers are higher than previous months. This is what I’ve been suspecting/writing for two days now.

This 111 day “inventory” number can’t be compared to anything, since Bolt sales are currently ramping and sales are just now opening up in the 32 remaining states. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see most of this ~5000 vehicle inventory to be absorbed by these states in the coming weeks.

It is true Sonic production is continually being scaled way back (we posted the historical numbers up in the story), and the 2:1 ratio was the split when the Bolt was first pegged to head to Orion (just over 70,000 in 2015, ~59,500 in NA for 2016). The assertion that the split is now 1:1 for MY 2018 is likely correct and accurate to those working at the plant, but that is a reflection of the Sonic moving lower as opposed to the Bolt EV moving up. The sentiment that the production volume is increasing to any significant degree may well be unfounded. Not saying it is not true, but at the same time sometimes there is a hope, or even a spin, you get at the worker-level that marginalizes the primary reason for why something is happening, in favor of the more optimistic one. Just as a sidenote: The Orion plant, has long been considered one of the “dogs” of GM plants, it was almost shuttered a few times (most notably during the recent C11 ordeal), but was pulled out of the fir via a ton of external forces (an experimental labor deal, federal aid, union concessions, federal aid… Read more »

Based on MHO and friends that already have electric cars [Leaf’s, Volts, and Tesla’s], most if not all are really turned off by the format of the Bolt [With all do respect, we feel this format is too “feminine”]. We would of jumped to a more “SUV/Truck” format with available 4 wheel drive. This truly lacks every time I look at my Volt…

By format, do you mean the hatchback configuration?

Hatchback not really, could I use the expression “soccer mom” setup? Ouf I sound awful… anyway.

I think GM made a mistake going with that “bubbly” look. A design more truck than car would’ve been more popular based on most conversations I’ve had.

Can’t talk for most territories, but up here, most if not all owners I know are men… I found my way to the Guinness Record in Montreal and my thumb tells me more than 3/4 of owners were men…

Any other thoughts on other design “faut pas”?

I’m not a fan of the side profile of the bolt, but am surprised by your comments.

Where I live larger SUV’s are associated with the “socker mum” look.

Performance station wagon’s (estates) and diesel utes seem to be the “manly” look here.

Anyone that owns a Leaf and thinks the Bolt looks bad is drinking some good Kool Aid.

Agreed on the uninspired econobox “bubble” look. It’s not bad in the highest trim and wheel options, but not great either. And for $40K buyers rightly expect the whole package to be great: style, performance, and practicality.

I plan to buy one, but I’m an EV enthusiast and have family that works at GM, so a Nissan isn’t even an option. They would exocommunicate me from the family if I bought a Japanese car, lol. But a made in CA Tesla would be cool with them…

Gotta say the Volt looks rather feminine as well to me, but in a good sleek way. Bolt seems like a eunich.

Totally with you on that one… Been with a Volt for 6 years now – 2017 for the past 8 months and I really hesitated before changing my old one. It would’ve been a 5 minute transaction if the body was truck like.

Not asking for Jeep or Bronco style, but I’m a little worried design is heading in the pure efficiency avenue.

I’m I the only one waiting for a more masculine design pattern?

Tesla kinda has it… but I find it a bit “meh” St that price point…

I thought sales outside the CARB states do not give ZEV credits so that may impact where GM wants to sell (ie. Europe, Canada, etc)?

Compliance car. 30K max desired annual sales. So far, Elon is right.


They’ve sent all their inventory to compliance states and would rather close the factory than produce cars for other states or other countries where the waiting list is long.

A succinct and accurate summary of the situation!

Totally agree, this is the best and truest comment yet.
GM did not even build the Bolt in RHD which would have been a large market for the Bolt.

Sad but true , they could sale 100.000 of them right away in europe.

Only Norway has a huge waiting list and in My country (sweden) it would sell as hell ., perfect var for most companys .

I think it’s a vast overstatement to call the Bolt EV a “compliance car”, but certainly it does appear that GM has more incentive to sell the car in CARB States than in other regions, both domestically and in foreign markets.

If GM really wanted to sell the Bolt EV, then it should just ship most of ’em to Europe. But I don’t think GM really wants to sell the car. To be fair, I doubt they’re making much of a profit margin on it. From GM’s viewpoint, it would be far wiser to spend more on making more of one of their best-selling gasmobile models than on making more Bolt EVs.

* * * * *

I was hoping that GM would sell all the Bolt EVs that the market would bear. And altho I have pointed out frequently and strongly that GM has deliberately made choices to limit production of the model, I was still hoping against hope that they would ramp up production in future years.

Sadly, it’s now pretty clear that GM has absolutely no intention of producing this car in sufficient numbers to meet demand.


You have to do some pretty impressive mental gymnastics to arrive at “GM doesn’t want to sell the car” from “GM is shutting down a plant because of lack of demand.”

I agree with you. But if Bolts are losing money per unit sold, even in the short term, why sell it where the losses are even larger, such as non-“compliance” driven markets, which appear to include Canada and inland US states.

I don’t think you’re getting it. There is no lack of demand. Many of us want a Bolt, but are told by dealers there’s no stock and there’s a long wait time.

I suppose they mean the Bolt has softening demand in CARB states, but that implies it’s a compliance car.

You say “softening demand in CARB states,” but that is also interchangeable with “softening demand in the states with high EV demand.”

I suppose it’s possible that there is a hidden cache of Bolt buyers in Wyoming that are completely uninterested in every other EV to date, but it doesn’t seem likely. So to say that there is actually enormous Bolt demand among populations that have shown no interest in EVs is pretty-much an evidence-free statement.

Our local dealer in Calif has 182 in stock, more than double any other model it has. Case closed.

Paul, ask them if they would consider trades with Mid West, Eastern, or Even – Shipping them to Canada, at least the ones with the DC QC, as that is standard up here! Canadian ones need standard Always on when key is on, Automatic Daytime Running Headlamps (See and be seen!)

Check with if they could take some, too! (An Ontario Company that gets cars from many places for customers!)

There is an exact line of logic and you stating there isn’t sort of supports the idea you aren’t getting it.

Shipping them to Canada does seem like it would make a lot of sense. I wonder what their reasoning is for not doing it. Clearly it’s not in the order book that way but they changed the rollout for the US so why couldn’t they change it for Canada? They’ve already delivered some so it’s not like they just can’t do it.

To be fair, Canada is a tiny market and wouldn’t really move the needle.

If we’re such a tiny market, then there should be no problem to send a few thousand up here and fulfill pent up demand with plenty left over for the US.

The real reason is the credits.
Each unit may sell for a profit, but the credit values are more profit on top. And GM wants max profit, regardless of image and PR, which has a value in itself.

Hmm, that really doesn’t make sense. I build a car and sell it, presumably I make a profit. I ml build a car and don’t sell it, I’m guaranteed I didn’t make a profit. 180 odd cars sitting in one CA dealers lot is not making any profit, but shipping them to Canada would make a profit, especially if there is essentially no barrier to selling them in Canada. GM don’t own their dealers, so what is their power to move stock around? Can they tell a dealer “we’re going to send x of your vehicle’s to location y”? If we believe what we hear about dealers vs Tesla, then the answer should be “no, they don’t have that power”. If they do have that power then I don’t understand the whole issue of blocking Tesla sales centres, except bloody mindedness. Cynically it would appear GM wants to sell Bolt in CARB states, which is a compliance move for a non compliance car (why put 200+mi range in a compliance car?). Maybe they over allocated to the CARB states, let dealers pre order too many units that aren’t selling, now have dead inventory which has curtailed manufacturing more stock until… Read more »

Even if GM is obligated to give a dealer x units, they’re not obligated to deliver them all at once.
If they show that dealer as having 100 units stock not selling and others have 0 with a backlog of 100 that have actually sold, they can surely fill those orders first. No issues with dealer BS necessary.

In such a situation, I’m more curious why a dealer would want to sit with 100 units of excess inventory that isn’t selling, just because they’re “entitled to it”. Each one sitting on the lot is liability for them (damage, security, maintenance).

GM is also the manufacturer, they can create additional allocation for Canada if they want guaranteed sales. People have literally signed and put a deposit ready to give them money, and they don’t want to take it. Doesn’t make sense.

Maybe they should keep on producing them… With the Opel badge to satisfy demand in Europe


Or, even closer, for the Canadian Market, that they only let have about 700, and those sold out by February!

I don’t like following the crowd opinion but I think this time I’ll make an exception. The consensus would seem to indicate there is little desire to sell the vehicle in Europe. The evidence would appear to say this vehicle is a best of minuscule margin and selling them through Opel who needs a cut will only exacerbate that issue not help it.

Maybe they should stop making these 2017s and come out with a 2018 that finally has adaptive cruise control.


If your goal is to add 50 extra sales a month, then sure, add ACC…

Best “upgrade” GM could do is a dual motor…It’s inevitable GM will create AWD EV, the Bolt isn’t selling, might as well start experimenting with a production AWD EV…Simply offer two variants, lifted AWD Z71 and lowered AWD SS..Furthermore both variants chip away at the Bolt’s geeky stigma…

You’re on the right track, but maybe marketing the dual-motor as a “hot hatch”. Renault is considering selling its Zoe with the fancy fascias as a hot hatch due to feedback.

I don’t agree. AWD would be nice but I would selldom use it. I would use adaptive cruise control all the time especially, if it had full stop and go capabilities.

The way GM structures ACC, you’ll need a top optioned out Bolt to get ACC, in terms of MSRP it’ll approach $44k…So do you believe if GM just adds ACC to the MY18 sales will magically double? No debate ACC is both a glaring omission and very useful, it’s just GM will wait as longer as they can before making it standard despite the Prime having it standard…

This would eat into their massive SUV profits. And we can’t have that now, can we? 😉

Their goose will truly be cooked if they don’t get an electric AWD crossover before the Model Y.

Still a “geeky” looking hatchback, the Spark, ICE Sonic hatchback and Cruze hatchbacks are not huge sellers…

Best upgrade would be a proper heat pump tightly followed by faster DC charging.

+1 on Heat pump and +100 on faster DCFC.


and lane centering.

Yup, definitely a Tesla-killer. Suck rocks, GM, your dealerships hate EVs, you hate Tesla, and the world is easily manipulated by cheap gas. Call this one a win for OPEC.

No, the 50% drop in Sonic sales year over year is the main reason for this. Unfortunately the world does not revolve around EV sales (yet. 😉 ) Also, this is not the only plant to be idled for the year.

Unfortunately, the slowdown has hit harder than GM expected. They had planned to build up inventory for all models, slow production, and burn it off by July. That didnt happen. Now they have nearly a million vehicles waiting to be sold.

OK, so less about EVs, more about the vehicle segment / GM suckage in general this season. I’ll accept that as the reason. Their comeuppance is due, either way.

Send them downunder already!

Sorry, but one of several ways GM has limited the market for this car is by not making any right-hand-drive units. None at all.

Can people buy them from a GM Bolt EV Dealer in California, at their best price, get the Fed and California rebates, then sell / ship them to another market that wants them, as barely used EV’s?

Seems better than Stealing Cars, to sell in other Markets, and lots of that happens, in spite of the risks!

Could a Canadian buy / Import the car from California, after getting big on the lot discounts, modify it fo Canadian Regs, Register it in Ontario, and still get the $14,000 Ontario Rebates?

Would it be worth it if you wanted on but did not want to wait another year to get one? Oh, and is the Bolt EV Tow Rated? (Can it tow? Or, can it be towed behind a Motorhome?)

Maybe if GM would advertise them and actually make them available outside of the west coast, they might be able to sell them.

Lol…They can’t sell them in the West Coast either…

On the west coast they’re competing against a dozen Cali-only compliance cars that you can only buy there.

They sold out up here a long time ago with wait lists into next mid/late next year. But I think their Canadian pricing was a little bit more sane.

Chevys overall inventory of 105 days supply is definitely not ideal. Much higher than they planned by this time of year.

Maybe not a good time for them to launch a new model heh. The good news for buyers is that discounts usually follow. I just got a private offer discount in the mail that included the Bolt along with their other models for the first time that I have seen.

This proves my theory that the Chevy Volt is a side show compared to the Tesla Model 3.

If I where GM I would view the Tesla model three as a alien space ship showing up over New York City in terms of building up a response team.

But in Terms of GM I really don’t care what they do now.

An anecdote – I was watching TV yesterday and during the commercial break, there were ads for Toyota and Chevy literally back-to-back.

The Toyota ad showed several models, but seems to prominently highlight the Prius Prime. They didn’t mention that it was a plug-in or anything, just that it was Prime. They seemed very proud of the car.

Then came Chevy. They also showed several models. They showed the Silverado hauling a load. The Camaro was navigating mountain roads. They showed a Malibu in the streets of a big city. They did not show or mention the Bolt or the Volt. Even the pan-out showing any entire lineup of cars specifically excluded these two plug-ins. It’s like they are ashamed of them or just don’t want to admit to them.

There’s the truth, right there! Thanks, Brian.

We are on the other side of the hill of peak car sliding down the hill due to a cyclical downturn. The Sonic is a stark example of that. Large numbers of desperate car commercials are another.

“It’s like they are ashamed of them or just don’t want to admit to them.”

I dunno about being “ashamed” of the Volt or the Bolt EV, but certainly they don’t want them to take any sales away — none at all — from the cars they are advertising there!

If I were a stock holder, I’d have grounds to start a class action suit against GM if they actually tried selling the Volt and Bolt preferentially to the other vehicles. Public companies have a fiduciary responsibility to the stock holders. Purposely sabotaging profits by overly pushing EVs would violate that fiduciary responsibility. 98% of Americans would appear to believe that selling electric cars is a terrible waste of money and effort.

Unfortunately have seen same idiotic behaviour by Nissan in ads… my guess is that this is driven by local dealer nets more than corporate.

Its true the BOLT is minimally advertised… But I have seen brief shots of the BOLT ev when put alongside many other Chevy models.

Canadians will hate me for saying this, but perhaps BOLT ev pricing in Canada is too low, and there isn’t the profit potential there that there is in the States – what I’m sure is a profitable market…. The BOlt ev doesn’t seem to me to be losing money in the states as it seems to be fairly priced.

If the BOLT ev was given the exact same pricing in Canada as the states- modified only by the exchange rate – I’m sure GM would release more to the Canadian Markets. Heck, Windsor, ontario isn’t that far from the ORION factory.

Fugly design,high price,bad reviews about bad seats and hard plastics. No surprise.

Funny thing is had they put a Caddy badge on it and kept the price the same the sales would probably be double…People would be more tolerate of the styling if a luxury badge was on it…

They tried this converting the Volt to the ELR. It failed spectacularly

Sorry I missed that you said the same price.

You can’t slap a badge on the car and not upgrade the features. That’s not why luxury cars sell.

Look up the several caddy (or any luxury maker) base trims with MSRPs under $40k, most have less standard features than the Bolt EV LT…Manual seats, no leather, no sunroof, no push button start, some even have tiny 4″ screens…

Caddy Bolt EV base can be the current LT…For the Premier/Preium features/options, a higher MSRP, range sacrifice will be needed…Yet really, throw some leather insets on the dash, add power seats, moonroof and a garage door opener and it’s good to go…heck, even make supercruise optional…

You’re cherry-picking your facts to skew reality pretty hard here, Bacardi. Cadillac luxury may not compare with the luxury of Rolls-Royce, and perhaps not even Mercedes or BMW. But no reasonable person will claim that Cadillac cars have “cheap hard plastic” interiors, as reviews of the Bolt EV state.

There is a vast gulf between the luxury of even the lowest-priced Cadillac car, and what reviews have said about the Bolt EV. At best, the Bolt EV has an acceptable level of comfort. It’s certainly not luxurious, by any stretch of the imagination!

Caddys have other things such as more sound insulation, thicker glass, more substantial seats, more NVH abatement in general. It’s not all just about bells and whistles.

Caddy ats & cts, look at the dash, lots of visual “cheap hard plastics” with some leather inserts…Would the Bolt benefit from a better interior? Sure would…

We have to remember that Bolt EV is a very unique car, EV which needs to be quiet and has an aluminum body…officially the dB was 64.5 dB at a 70 mph cruise and 47.9 dB at idle…Also a lot of Gen1 Volters complained about the NVH which GM stated was greatly improved on the Gen2 Volt so you have to imagine that was taken into consideration when developing the Bolt…

Lastly it’s the stigma…Some folks just refuse to do things that aren’t luxury experiences, literally turn down a free carnival cruise but …They feel right at home going to a caddy dealer for sales and service (still have tire rotations, filter and coolant in addition to a possible breakdown and a flat tire)…Yet they’d be embarrassed going to a Chevy dealer…

At least in the US, The Bolt currently outsells all cadillac sedans and most of their SUVs and crossovers. It also outsells or is on par with sales of many Buicks. The price may be too high for some, but that is probably not going to improve sales by jumping to one of the other brands.

“Funny thing is had they put a Caddy badge on it and kept the price the same the sales would probably be double…”

You’re not making any sense. The Cadillac badge means “luxury”, which the Bolt EV certainly does not possess. Putting that badge on the car would make the Bolt EV a laughingstock and an embarrassment to Cadillac, and sales would be even worse than they are now. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that few Caddy dealers would agree to stock the car.

I agree.
The form-factor, the interior, and the handling (even with as good as the powertrain is)of the Bolt would not be up to Cadillac standards.

The Poorest of example of a compliance car . Designed & built with minimal desire , effort and requirements to disprove and discredit that electric cars can be better than ICE cars. EV’s can do Everything Better than ICE cars , Minus all the pollution , noise & maintainance & at a Lower price if GM really wanted them to..I’M TRULY IN THE BELIEF THAT GM LACS THE BRAIN POWER TO MAKE EV’s HAPPEN. Just look at all their failures in the past.

bad reviews???? Most if not all reviews have been extremely positive and the car has won multiple awards. Oh, I get it, you must drive the ugliest car on the planet….the prius…..

I find it funny that people that bash an EV (from whoever) many times don’t own an EV themselves, or have even taken the one they are bashing for a test drive. I don’t know if this is the case here, but we’ve seen it before.


Europe will take all they can make!
The poor UK would add to those numbers if only they offered them here.
Sad case of a company who have the capability to build cars that the customers will buy but bought off by the OPEC crowd.

6000 sounds like a lot, but that is roughly 1.5 per dealership if they all participated and distribution was not so lumpy.

GMs overall inventory is nearly 1 million. 6,000 is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to their other cars. This plant is not being shut down because of the Bolt. But because auto sales in general are significantly down for the year. Especially cars.

There are tons of people in Europe that wants to buy the car yet they refuse to ship it! What morons!

Simply shipping them elsewhere is not at all feasible for several reasons.

Yeah it was stupid to brand them as Opel in Europe. I said from the beginning they should have used the Chevy brand instead.

With regards to the different power standards and chargers, those are just standard off-the-shelf components that can easily be replaced.

Perhaps you haven’t been following current events:

Yes exactly. They should have been under the Chevy brand instead and therefore not included in the Opel deal

Well they lost money in Europe for 20 years, so I hardly see how losing even more money would have helped.

This is tragic. GM has yet to supply 1 Bolt in many States, let alone other countries. Now they’re claiming the inventory is to high.
If GM wants to sell more Bolts, they should pass the full amount of the Federal Tax Credit on to Bolt lease customers.

“If GM wants to sell more Bolts, they should pass the full amount of the Federal Tax Credit on to Bolt lease customers.”

Amen – for Volt, too.

Bingo! You can’t force Chevy to do, what they are unwilling to do, with The Bolt $7.5 k Federal rebate on the Lease. This is part of the reason Bolt is in its woeful triple digit days of inventory backstock.

GM is going to spin this as a demand problem, instead of a lack of sales/lease incentives problem. Go figure, shareholders are going to be pissed off at Mrs. Mary T. Barra and her staff.

Overall problem?

GM Culture…

“Over time I think we’ve developed a mutual understanding and figured out when it comes to software that’s really complex and needs lots of cycles of iteration to achieve the level of perfection you need to replace a human driver that we should leverage Silicon Valley talent and the people at Cruise to do some of that work.”

Lots of between the lines there but the most telling is “lots of cycles”…

And the waiting time for a new Bolt is 6 months in Quebec, Canada!

Hello GM! Is there anybody listening?

Here’s an alternative thought. If you read much automotive news you will know that there has been a slowdown in car sales in general. Additionally, as the Bolt is primarily a domestic offering, that product mix is skewing more and more towards CUVs. Also, the car isn’t widely available. Finally, it’s small, expensive and new technology.

What’s more worrying is that some of these same forces could hamper the new Leaf and the Model 3. This may be a marathon after all.

The inventory looks high in the US because it’s still rolling the car out. There are US states that have not even seen their first Bolt EV’s yet. Not to mention Canada, South Korea and Europe are begging for more Bolt EV’s and Ampera-e’s right now.

So simple logic would dictate that GM’s statement on the subject is correct “A spokesman for the company said the shutdown at Orion was “due solely to softening sales of the Sonic”

I’m more surprised GM hasn’t said the Bolt EV has exceeded sales expectations…

To add to my comments above the battery marriage process takes longer than one vehicle operation. So to operate the line at full speed GM needs to run a minimum number of Sonics down the line. If the Sonic isn’t selling well than it will affect production speed. Perhaps GM will add an additional battery marriage station so that they can shuffle the production mix in favour of the Bolt EV.

I think it is going to plan with GM / Chevrolet. They said people don’t want BEV’s, and they built and offer a car with the intention of reinforcing the position that a relatively low price, long range BEV can’t be done. And when they said it couldn’t be done, they proved they couldn’t do it.

Not too suprising. And I’ve gotten skewered for commenting that IMHO, the Bolt is a compliance car. When you see others complaining about Tesla “fanboys,” you might just ask yourself, “What realistic alternative is there if you want a long range BEV?”

You didn’t read the actual article, did you? It’s not Bolt sales that are the problem, it’s Sparks, made at the same factory.

Per “it’s Sparks, made at the same factory.” Correction: ‘Sonics’
OK? So…did You read the article???


“…I’ve gotten skewered for commenting that IMHO, the Bolt is a compliance car.”

You may well be correct to say that GM is deliberately sabotaging Bolt EV sales, in order to provide “evidence” to support its lobbying against emission standards and higher fuel efficiency requirements. In fact, I speculated just that in another post in this thread.

However, the Bolt EV just doesn’t fit any reasonable definition of “compliance car”, and IMHO it comes across as mean-spirited to try to paste that label on a car made in such large numbers, or one that is intended to be sold in all 50 States… not just CARB States.

Mark C, you may be undercutting your real argument by focusing on the semantic argument over whether or not the Bolt EV deserves to be labeled a “compliance car”. I hope you’ll think about that.

It does seem odd that GM would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create the Bolt EV only to not want to sell it. If they wanted compliance they could have kept selling the Spark EV in 500 units or less like always and kept up with CARB requirements. I wouldn’t attribute malice to GM, only incompetence by their management.

The Bolt has been the highest selling EV for the first six months from introduction, and the first >200 miles range with <40k price EV. Verdict: success.

Funny, many complain that even at selling a 100,000 Tesla’s in the US only, that they arent a success after 5 years! So how would bad delivery allotments, holding back sales in Europe AND Canada, then shutting down Bolt Production for 4-6 Weeks, actually equal ‘Success’, in your mind?

So they had the best sales…but could have had Spectacular Sales, if they knew where and when to ship them!

However, if some dealers want them, and other dealers have them, can these 2 dealers not do trades, swaps, or “Gimmee’s”?

Time for some serious price adjustment, there just isn’t value parity with Model 3 that actually looks like its $40K (presumably) price tag, comes with Supercharging plus infrastructure and is autonomous driving ready (presumably). The market for a $40K compact hatch was always going to be small.

I can see these fly off the lot again at $25K.

They could drop the price and sell every single Bolt they made but still have to shutter that factory. Because it’s not a Bolt factory, it’s a Spark factory that also makes a few Bolts. The Bolts sales are not the reason for the slowdown.

As stated in the article, once you get past its terrible headline and slant.

The article I’m reading says:

“Reuters adds that Bolt inventory is now at 111 selling days, up from 104 in June. That’s way over GM’s target number of around 70 selling days for its vehicles”.

There is reports of dealers sitting on 200 Bolts. Sonic is definitely not the only reason for that production stop.

Ryan, when did Sonics become Sparks?

I’ve long had a suspicion that Bolts will sell better once the Model 3 is actually released. People are waiting (and hoping) to see if the Model 3 is better for the same price.

Once they can actually compare the cars, they’ll be willing to commit to a decision.

There is something weard going on here. Europe could absorb several thousands of them immediately. Whats the reason for not continue production of the Opel-badged version. Still 2 years until launch in some European countries due to lack of cars available.

Because the the Orion plan it on shutdown.

Details, details.

“There is something weard going on here”
Agreed. This makes no sense.
Could it be a defect that’s going to force a large scale recall? Battery supply chain problems?

Nope, it’s 100% about the slackening demand for the Spark, the ICE car that is produced in the same factory.

AFAIK Hamtramck is still on schedule to pump out Volts at their normal rate.

Ryan, go back above and read the story: it said ‘Reduced Sales For Sonic’, no mention of Spark!

Wow! Already you messed that reference up 3 times, just to this point!

Drop the price, ship them to more places, eat the initial loss to get traction. Add a dual motor, ‘hot hatch’ version, to attract a wider audience.

A hot hatch version would be great! Make a 2x100kW AWD version and then lower the specs of the regular version to 1×100 kW. The front wheels are slipping anyway when flooring it, there’s no need for a 150 kW motor.

There is huge demand for the bolt (rebadged as an Opel Ampera-E) in Europe. In The Netherlands we have to wait to 2019 for delivery!!

Here in the UK we won’t even be getting it, still, come Sept 5th in Japan, we should have a viable alternative which should be available worldwide at the beginning of 2018 !

Please explain! What’s the viable alternative that’s showing up Sept 5???

Probably the Leaf 2.0.

I find it continually amusing that people keep describing the Bolt EV and the Leaf 2.0 as competitors of the Tesla Model 3, when in reality they will compete directly with each other, and hardly at all with the rather different Model 3.

Who mentioned anything about the Model 3 ?

Certainly not me ?

Alan, he was responding to Mike, not to you! Mike did not apparently know about Nissans Unveiling of LEAF 2.0 in Japan.

Theyve got supply chain problems. This is just a fluff piece to tell a narative.

GM financial needs to quit stealing the $7500 federal tax credit from Bolt EV leasees. The loss of the $7500 tax credit is one of the main reasons I didn’t lease a Bolt EV and went with the 2017 FFE instead. Another thing that turned me off on the Bolt EV was that it did not have adaptive cruise control.

I was very excited about the Bolt EV but now i’m very happy with my 2017 FFE. GM missed the boat in my book on both options and leasing on the Bolt EV. I’m disappointed about not getting a Bolt EV but for me the Bolt EV was not worth the cost especially when I could get a 2017 FFE at half the price.

Another thing that might have turned my is if the Bolt EV had some real towing capacity. The FFE is not rated for towing either but the gas models in Europe are. The FFEs, as are all the Focuse models, are tough little cars and the trailer hitches bolt right to the frame, not to the bumper mounts like on the Bolt EV.

Lease rates are all about residuals.

Do you understand the effect the $7500 tax credit GM is “stealing” affect residuals?

I understand the lying GM argument. GM cuts out the tax credit rebate but raises the residual to lower lease payments. The lease payments still aren’t that low and if you want the car after the lease GM has no incentive to give back the tax credit they stole from the leasee by lowering the residual.

Total deception on the part of GM Financial. GM should give full tax credit up front and list the true residual value. By contrast Ford currently has a low residual on the FFE but also offers a $10,500 credit on a lease.

“Sales of the Chevy Bolt have been below expectations.”
Who’s expectations? Myself and others predicted about 22K production Bolts/Ampera-e for 2017. That seems about right still. GM said *IF* they needed to, they could make up to 30K vehicles at Orion. People went ape-s*** saying GM needed to prepare to make 50K or more. GM, knowing their market and their own production plans better than others, was of course correct.

Wait for the rest of the rollout, and wait for lease deals, but either way they are meeting the expectations I had. Shame on you if you had delusions of 100K in sales.

Side note: Ruess had said they are continuing to work on cost reduction (remember they cut $10k on the Volt). This will help when the tax credit expires, or for those who don’t get a tax credit.

Take every Bolt EV built for the US, they sold what, 55% of them while the remaining 45% sit on the lot?

Someday soon college kids taking economics 101 will do a supply and demand case study on the M3 vs the Bolt EV…

“GM said *IF* they needed to, they could make up to 30K vehicles at Orion.”

Kdawg, I’m sure GM appreciates the advocacy you’re giving them (or at least, they should), but here you are obviously trying to promote propaganda, not facts.

An LG Electronics/LG Chem spokesman said that GM expects to sell “more than 30,000” Bolt EVs in the first year of production. I think that’s pretty clear evidence that this was GM’s target. Not 20k; 30k, or more precisely, slightly in excess of 30k.

And furthermore, a GM spokesman was quoted as saying that GM could ramp up Bolt EV production to 50k if they needed to. Not 30k; 50k.

Advocacy is all very fine, but could we please stick to actual facts, or at least actual on-the-record statements from company spokesmen.

From the article you linked:

“According to, GM and LG Chem will be ready to deliver more than the anticipated 20,000-30,000 Bolt EVs, provided demand exists”

Like I said, they will prob end up in that window. My expectations were 22k in 2017.

The Bolt is a terrific car. That said, I do agree with some on the site that GM simply doesn’t “hype” the car. The commercials show a Bolt but it is never even mentioned by name (the Volt has never been in a commercial as far as I know). Tesla only offers a couple models of their cars and they in turn will “hype” the heck out of them giving them a cool factor which leads to sales. If GM put just put a little marketing into the Bolt, they would sell a ton but instead still focus on the Silverado.

I think you have your names confused (admittedly easy to do). The Volt has been in multiple commercials including a high-profile Super Bowl spot a few years back. The Bolt, on the other hand, I have never seen in a commercial.

The Bolt was in the national commercial touting Chevy’s awards for the year. But none of the vehicles were actually named in it.

Tesla doesn’t do any advertising at all.

Tesla doesn’t need to Advertise! They can’t make cars fast enough to meet demand yet, after ramping up for 5 years!

Oh, and one Tweet from Elon, multilpied by 1000’s of Twitter retweets, FaceBook Posts, an EV Blog Stories, plus Auto Section Stories in 1000’s of local city newspapers, = More High Value Advertising than GM Can Buy, in New York Times or Washington Post (as recently mentioned on

“Truth of the matter”? To try to claim that GM is somehow not being honest about the closure of Orion plant is really poor writing.

It would honest to note that GM extended the summer shutdown of multiple plants, all that build passenger cars. Passenger car sales at GM have fallen by a large amount and rather than flood the market, it shuts down production.

What is the vast majority of Orion’s production? It’s the Sonic, and the sales of the Sonic are off by nearly 40% (and would be 50% or 25,000 vehicles if extrapolated over a year). Even then, Sonic sales this year is over twice the sales of the Bolt.

The decision about Orion production has always been based on the Sonic.

Yes, this article leaves a lot to be desired. Reads like an Electrek GM hit piece. Tsk tsk

There’s a lot of people highly emotionally invested in the Tesla M3 being the penultimate winner, if such a thing exists.

The reality is that GM doesn’t have the kind of speculative investment spike that Tesla has to keep it going. It has to show profits and can’t take risks. They’ve done excellent engineering in the Bolt/Volt. The Volt convinced me to own a domestic car for the first time in my life and I’m very happy with it. But they are keeping production levels low because they make way more money on their ICE cars.

The Volt and Bolt are not compliance cars, they make too many of them and sell them in too many places for that to be the case. They are cars made “just in case” — a beachhead in case the market truly swings EV. In the meantime, they make a lot more money selling Equinoxes and Silverados and that’s their obligation to their shareholders. I wish that wasn’t the case, but no amount of whinging on our part is going to change that. Musk’s shareholders want him to make big risks in hope of big payoffs. GM’s do not.

GM Bolt or Volt drivetrain engineering may be spectacular, but bells & whistles found even in much cheaper contemporary cars from Honda or Toyota are lacking. E.g. ACC, lane keep assist, power seats (!), HUD, even seats providing acceptable comfort level to everybody.

I can’t blame GM to much after all. After you put in 1000 lb $10k battery, and given up on Japanese and European markets (lost reputation long time ago) that would show more appreciation for smaller cars, you need to do heavy cost cutting somewhere.


Thank you for that reality check!

I think you’re bang on the mark in everything you said there. Unfortunately this does need to be repeated often, on EV enthusiast sites. We EV advocates occasionally need to be reminded of where reality lies… and we should keep at least one foot in it!

penultimate=last but one in a series of things; second to the last (Google)

So who would be the last one standing? ; )

Then Proterra!


So having 110+ days of Bolt supply vs the 70 day desired has nothing to do with the slowdown?
I will say it again… matters to Americans! It is not the price that’s the problem here. In my area the delers have hundres of them just collecting dust while only having few Volts. Change it!

Okay, I’m tired of hearing why people “think” the Bolt EV is not selling. Did or did you not not buy a Bolt EV. I stated why I made my decision, what were the factors that influenced your decision.

I’m trying to buy one but can’t get one. They are back ordered here.

Very simply put the Bolt EV is selling. The Sonic which is built on the same assembly line is not.

Truth. But not the one certain readers here want to hear.

I ended up buying a Volt because waiting lists for Bolts here (Ontario) are into next year and the dealer (who loves EVs and is a big seller of them in the area) in all honesty just couldn’t have gotten me one.

But Bolt will be top of the list for consideration when we replace my wife’s car next year.

Ryan, why don’t you understand? California is the ev Meka and they are NOT SELLING HERE! They just sit on dealer lots collecting dust. I can send you photos if interested. I’m shopping for a Volt so i have been to many delers here in SoCal. The car is to fricking dorky!

No BEV yet.
Normal purchase would be in 2019. Only reason to buy early would be get a tax credit.
I have a Model 3 reservation, planning to get the base model, although I’d get a larger battery if the tax credit would cover it. Model 3 doesn’t look ideal but I’m happy to make a one-and-only purchase to buy from Tesla over other automotive manufacturers.

If Tesla doesn’t deliver on the Model 3 I’d defer until 2019 see what there is out there. A lot’s going to change in the next few years, and I’m neutral-to-negative-to-no-freaking-way on other manufacturers.

I was excited about the Bolt initially but GM dragged out the release so long that they still aren’t available in my area. If it had been available nationwide, I might be in one now.

But since they didn’t, it makes more sense for me to wait for a Model 3 around the same price. I much prefer that car over a Bolt, for too many reasons to list. And for some reasons that don’t have anything to do with the car itself.

Anybody want to turn up at the gate and make them an offer?

This is solely a story about Spark sales and inventory, not Bolt, and the headline is misleading. It just so happens that the Bolt is made in the same factory, and they couldn’t justify building Bolts only in that factory I imagine.

Bolt sales might be slow in some places where there’s lots of competition or they didn’t price it well, but they are sold out with waiting lists in others. I don’t think there’s a truly valid “Bolt has sluggish sales” story, no matter how much Tesla fanboys want that to be the case.

I think it is true that GM is playing cautious with the Bolt in general. They have a good vehicle but profit margins on it are low if they have any at all. And they don’t have the luxury of selling a high priced luxury vehicle like Tesla does. Even a base model M3 will end up coming in higher price than the Bolt and is really competition for BMW 3 series etc.. I admire GM for making a product that a middle class person could afford, just too bad they’re not making them in volume and their dealerships are mostly idiots.

Bolt base MSRP: $37,495. 0-60: 6.5s
3 Series base MSRP: $33,450 0-60: 7.1s

If Chevrolet isn’t thinking of the 3 Series as competition, then they have a problem.

I think you meant Sonic, although Spark sales have similarly tanked. Like all sedans and compact cars lately.

The Bolt base price is $36,600. There will be a meager (if any) difference between it and a Model 3. The Premium trim may even be more costly than the Tesla.

And this right here is why Bolts aren’t selling.

Once actual pricing and features come out on the Model 3, then I think people will be emotionally freed up to make a decision.

I bet the premium for a Model 3 is higher than most people are expecting.

Initial Model 3s are likely to be sold only with the larger battery pack and so will not be $35,000 cars, rather more likely to be $45,000 cars, retail.

And on the Bolt we are already hearing of dealer discounts being commonly $3-4k and up to $5k. I expect a retail price reduction for the new model year.

So I don’t think we’ll ever actually see Model 3s selling for the same price as the Bolt despite the apparent similarity in prices advertised at the moment.

You make good points and may well be right. I have owned a Leaf for 5 years and have test driven a Bolt. Overall, I still prefer the gen 1 leaf to Bolt based on size and comfort. I also think the Bolt needs to come down in price. Nonetheless, I will be in the market in the next 10 months and I will cross shop the Bolt, new Leaf, Volt, Ioniq, Model 3 (if possible) and anything else that comes along.

They should move production to Ontario. Plenty of eager potential buyers in Canada on wait lists for them. Lower Canadian dollar means lower labour costs. And the Ontario gov’t would probably give them a sweet tax break or subsidy as incentive.

Ship them to Oklahoma, Ive been patiently waiting for mine!

Drive to DFW area in Texas. You can buy one at several dealers here. 🙂 You should be able to drive it back with only a single charge along the way.

Or you can wait until August lol.

Or buy one from California, reports of dealers giving you $5k off so add $500 for shipping and you’ve saved a boatload vs an OK dealer…

This issue can’t be “just about the Sonic” as many people have stated. Otherwise they’d just stop making the Sonic and keep making the Bolt. Trouble is, the Bolt isn’t selling as well as they’d like either. The thing I don’t get is why they won’t supply the Bolt to the areas of the USA that don’t have them, or Canada, or Europe. There are plenty of waiting customers in all of those places.

And by the way. I just saw a Bolt EV in person a few days ago at an EV meetup. I sat in it, talked to the owner. I was impressed. I think GM is currently making the very best EV that can be bought without a Tesla name badge on it. And they are also making the very best PHEV that money can buy, period. GM has two very good products to sell, but as many have stated here, don’t seem to be all that interested in selling them.

That’s not cost effective

It’s not cost effective, because they’re not selling enough of them. Had they started with HUUUGE plans to sell Bolt by the billions, the cost would be spread out and they could’ve made MSRP much lower, as low as $26K pre subsidy, or under $20K pre subsidy with 30 kWh battery, further spurring demand.

He was being sarcastic. Point being you would have to keep the factory up and running which will cost close to the same as it would have to keep it running when it had more shifts.

Another way to say it is that greatest savings accrue when the factory is shut down completely.


“It’s not cost effective, because they’re not selling enough of them.”


That’s right Spark. I studied the UBS report. Fact is they make 7500$ back on each one they sell. The more they make the lower the price per car on their indirect costs.

Typical GM management.

I hope Musk doesn’t get shot. He’s the only one interested in making EV’s a success.

You are presuming that you can simply create demand by increasing supply. That’s not how it works, and if cutting your price by $10k really increased demand that much, the Volt would be one of the top selling passenger cars in USA.

I’m talking about lower price, not simply increasing supply. If Bolt is $26K pre subsidy ($16K post subsidy in CA), they won’t be able to keep up with the demand. People who buy corollas or even Yaris will take notice.

But even if $30K pre subsidy ($20K post subsidy in CA) assuming UBS is accurate, it will still sell out as it will be the quickest car in the world at that price. It’ll basically kill sales of Cruze (and Prius and Corolla and Golf and ..). It would basically redefine what a compact car should be.

I agree. People keep making the mistake of criticizing the Bolt’s styling, etc. The reality is there’s nothing wrong with the Bolt. The Bolt is a great car. The problem is the price is simply too high.

What I’m hoping is that the release of the Model 3 and the new Leaf will motivate GM to be more aggressive about competing in the EV space. If they can cut the price of the Bolt down to $30K pre-subsidy then they can sell a lot of cars.

Ironically, with the way Sonic sales are going right now it wouldn’t take a whole lot for the Bolt to eclipse the sales of the Sonic. After all, the Sonic is currently only on pace to sell a bit over 30K units this year (maybe things will look better i the second half). It could be that GM ends up with an additional incentive to push the Bolt to take up otherwise idle factory capacity.

If GM can just cut the price of the Bolt by $10k on a whim to become the fastest selling car in the country, why can’t Toyota implement equally huge cuts on, say, the Prime and make it all for naught? I mean, if we’re willing to start taking a bath on profit margin to get “economy of scale,” other automakers can do that too.

But more to the point: I reject the fundamental premise that a $10k cut will somehow make Bolt sales explode. As I already pointed out, the Volt has had a similar price cut already and the sales volume has not exploded.

Furthermore, as a point of reference: a few years ago, Leaf leases in GA were literally free after rebates and it still wasn’t the top selling car in that state.

EVs have many market challenges other than simple sticker price.

There’s no way they’d shutter all Sonic production and switch to Bolt. The production capacity of the factory is way too high, unless they totally shifted gears and decided to make 10x as many Bolts. I’d love to see that, but that’s not going to happen.

Industrial production is hard.

” I think GM is currently making the very best EV that can be bought without a Tesla name badge on it. ”


Your kidding right? They engineered a superior power train and put it in a small little compact. Americans don’t like small little compacts that’s why the Sonic isn’t selling.

No, I’m not kidding. Name me an EV that is currently in production (not a PHEV) that is a better product than the Bolt EV, but does not have a Tesla name badge…

I prefer the current Leaf. It has more interior room, better interior materials and is far cheaper.

The Leaf has a terrible battery in both capacity and thermal management. Comparing a Leaf to a Bolt is like comparing a Chrysler 300 to a Model S and talking about how great the cupholders in the 300 are.

Wow, them thar sum righty nice cup halders!

I don’t know how you figure the interior of the Leaf is better. As far as I can tell the interior of the Leaf is basically equivalent to that of the Bolt or Volt, or for that matter something like the Honda Civic. They all have a passable, but not especially noteworthy interior.

Camry’s, Accords and Malibu’s aren’t selling either. Technically the Bolt’s form factory might be helping it at this point. If they added AWD I think that would add to the CUV aspect regardless if the option is selected that often.

Exactly. The Bolt is almost identical in size to the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore. Both of these vehicles are selling quite well and the segment is growing. While sedan sales have dropped like a rock.

I saw a Honda HR-V today.

It looks a lot like the Bolt. Including the dumb wheel arches. And it’s only a little larger outside. Probably smaller inside.

I don’t think GM missed the mark much on shape and styling. Maybe on size a bit though I guess.

AWD would be a plus, but I think the Bolt also needs higher ground clearance for it to truly be viable to use on dirt roads.

Yep, GM would be well advised to build a CUV off the Bolt platform that offers AWD, slightly lifted ground clearance, and slightly stretched over the rear wheels for increased cargo.

That vehicle would compete squarely in the most popular vehicle class.

The slight stretch in the rear would also help accommodate the addition of a drive motor for the rear wheels.

For the Dealer Ordering month of July, Bolt availability was scheduled to apply to all states rather than only 19 states. Does the decision to satisfy orders with the production pause indicate that 50-state demand isn’t strong, or does it simply indicate an unwillingness to lose money at a higher rate by producing and selling more Bolts than the compliance states market demands? Whatever the case, Mr. Musk’s predictions about GM are ringing true…

Read the article. The shuttering is about Spark sales not Bolt. It’s s***** that it’s impacting Bolt production though.

Ryan, you keep writing Spark where you should be writing Sonic.

This is more about Sonic demand and supply than the Bolt. They just happen to be built in the same facility/line. If you have no need to build Sonics because of over supply. You don’t want to crank out 50 Bolt/hour as your sole build going down the line.

Only 6 available within 100 miles of Austin TX. And those might not even be available.

Time for GM to wake up and get real on the pricing. I don’t care what options it has in it, most americans aren’t going to pay more than $30k for a car the size of the Bolt. So, the price of a loaded Bolt, after tax credit, can’t exceed that. If they can’t do that directly, then they need to do it via lease incentives.

Their other option was to make an Electric SUV, which americans would be willing to spend more on. But, they seem unwilling.

On the plus side, it looks like I’ll be getting a fire sale Bolt in the not too distant future when they end production completely!

You’re correct, but after 7500 federal tax credit and some state credit. Price for Bolt is around 25000.

MSRP of a loaded Bolt is low 40s. Most of us don’t get significant state credits. So, after federal credit, that’s mid 30s. Price needs to come down at least $5k. Even then it’s a tough sell to normal people.

The Bolt might work in Europe and other areas where people like small cars. But in the US, people want mid-size SUVs.

Why do “normal people” require loaded EVs?

To start with, no one posting on an EV site is “normal.” Normal people don’t have the patience or interest to understand an EV, nevermind buy one. The people that do buy also tend to have above average incomes/wealth.

A normal person is stretching their finances to buy a $30-40k car. If they’re going to do that, they don’t want a stripped model.

So, to get normal people to buy a Bolt. It needs to be at $30k with an upper trim level.

I don’t think the trim is the issue as much as the reality of the var being an EV. If someone is stretching for a car, they don’t want to end up with one that has a 200 mile range. They want a gas car with an effectively unlimited range.

EVs haven’t reach the point where they really appeal to “normal people” at this point. Range is part of the equation. The next part is price. The third part is probably recharging speed/recharging network coverage.

The Bolt meets one of those three objectives. It fails price. Charging network is still a work in progress.

What concerns me about the launch of the Model 3 is that while it meets 2 out of 3 of those objectives, it still fails affordable pricing.

Model 3 gets a pass on pricing because it is being built and marketed as an entry-level sport-luxury car competing with the BMW 3 series and Audi A4. It’s priced right in line with those BEFORE the federal tax rebate, so after rebate it will be a fantastic bargain.

That’s why it has 400,000 people in line to buy one.

The reason I’m on the market for another EV is because I got distracted while driving my Leaf & rear-ended another car. Because I don’t want to make the same mistake twice, I won’t consider the LT version because it doesn’t have the forward-looking sensors for ACC/collision warning.
To get the Driver’s Confidence II package, I need the Premier with the fancy InfoTainment system.
(I agree-why do I need to buy the rest of the fluff to get what is available on all Toyotas?)

I think a part of this is that the GM dealers really don’t want to sell either the Bolt or the volt because the fact that electric cars require essentially zero maintenance scares the hell out of them because servicing of ICE automobiles is their primary profit stream.

If GM really wanted to sell Bolts, they would educate their dealers. Supposed to be rolled out to all states in June. I looked at a local dealer’s web site and found no mention of the Bolt. I called them and asked them if they had any in stock. Volts? the lady asked. No, Bolt with a B. They receptionist had no idea what I was talking about and put me on hold for a sales associate. After a 5 minute wait, I hung up.

GM should take the Bolt EV chassis and drop a small delivery van body on it. What a great little city runabout that would be!

I think we shouldn’t minimize the reason GM gave – weak Sonic demand. Since the Bolt is build on a flexible line along with the Sonic. If the Sonic isn’t selling well you don’t want to dedicate 100% of the line to just build Bolt’s because then you oversupply Bolt’s at that point.

So what do you do? You halt all production wait for inventory to go down then you start with a 3-1 mix with the Bolt to Sonic builds.

As much as a big deal everyone is making – GM normally shuts down plants in the summer for several weeks because of traditional low vehicle sales this time of year and model change over.

“If the Sonic isn’t selling well you don’t want to dedicate 100% of the line to just build Bolt’s because then you oversupply Bolt’s at that point.”

Except the Bolt EV is already oversupplied in GM’s inventory. The article plainly says:

“Reuters adds that Bolt inventory is now at 111 selling days, up from 104 in June. That’s way over GM’s target number of around 70 selling days for its vehicles.”

Those people who are telling other people here to read the article… I don’t think they read the article.

Also, there is a glut of Bolt inventory in CA. If they aren’t buying it in expected numbers then that’s a problem.

It’s a well-engineered EV that’s saddled with poor styling and an interior that is too cheap for a $40K car. And the seats are garbage.

While I know the rest of the country doesn’t have many (or any) Bolts, the reality is that California basically sets the pace for EV sales and sales there haven’t exactly taken off. There is really NO reason to believe the sales pattern in the rest of the U.S. will be materially different. Sure, they will be additive, but it’s not like we are going to see a “Holy cow, sales have taken off in Toledo!” moment. The big question is simply: Why hasn’t it sold better where there IS inventory (i.e. CA)? As others have stated, you can’t be a “one hit wonder” (i.e. long EV range in this case) and expect to sell. The form factor (aka: Tall Honda Fit, Sonic-esque, etc.) at this price point is a huge detractor for many buyers. Heck, it’s been true for a lot of plug-ins to date. Buyer walking on to dealer lots would see a Nissan Leaf and compare it to a Sentra, or a Volt and compare it to a Cruz…the same is happening with a Bolt and Sonic. They obviously can’t change the form factor now, so the only trigger they have left to pull is “reduce the… Read more »

They sell very well in California. I see between 3 and 5 a day not counting my own, any at the dealer lots or the other one that parks in the same parking lot as me at work.

Dealers advertise them on TV and the radio. And people do buy them (or at least lease them).

I don’t disagree that people judge the car by the external size. I would have argued with you before it came out but now that I have one I’ve seen it in action a lot.

M3-Reserved, Niro-TBD -- Spark leased/Fiat leased

Cause we’re all still in our cheap Spark EV and not ready to increase our monthly $100 to $300 for stepping into the Bolt.

Drop the lease pricing to $150-200, and you’ll get a fairly large bump in sales. GM just isn’t ready to do that yet and probably wanting to see the demand overflow from the Tesla 3 before going that route.

The 111 days inventory and the shutdown of the plant being due to the Sonic sounds like GM intentionally built out a lot of Bolts to build up inventory to last through the shutdown. It’s probably why they opened national orders a little early too, so that dealers could order and receive cars from before the shutdown.

It’s too bad Bolt sales aren’t enough to make it profitable to keep the factory open. But given that it isn’t, building more before closing to build up inventory is the next best thing.

That sounds right.

There’s also the not-small issue of LG building much of the heart of the Bolt, so even if GM wanted to dedicate the factory to Bolt production, flood the market and drop the price, they likely have no ability to do that because of unavailability of battery, infotainment, etc … from LG without a lot of prior notice.

That sounds like a reasonable explanation. I’ve done the math previously, and shown where GM needs around 5-6K units in order to do a proper national launch, so the inventory numbers are not actually out of line.

It is still one of the top selling EV’s in the US, so I don’t see the point in worrying about sales at this point. It will take well into Oct/Nov, possibly until the end of 2017 to really get a good measure on how well the full national rollout went. EV sales are notoriously back-loaded towards the end of the year. There is still plenty of time in the year for plenty of Bolt sales.

They could ship the whole inventory to Norway, and it would be sold within 2-3 days. There are over 4000 reservations for the Ampera-E, and a few hundred were allocated for 2017. Same goes for South Korea…

It’s much more likely that they don’t want to sell so many this year as there other sales are also down, which means that GM requires less ZEV credits than last year. When selling the already produced ones next year, they have to produce even less EV next year. When thy continue this game until they sell no more cars (ICE) at all and go belly-up, it is also fine (granted, workers and shareholders would disagree, but China, and the planet in general will probably not be unhappy…)

I think the sale of Opel may be complicating the European sales strategy. As someone on another EV site pointed out to me, GM literally has no incentive to boost the Opel brand at this point.

To be completely honest, I wonder if GM didn’t pull the plug on Opel at the wrong time. EVs are selling really strongly in Europe. they could have repositioned Opel as a primarily electric brand, rather than selling it off. Oh well.

GM is constrained in Bolt production by the availability of the many LG parts that make the heart of the car, so there’s no way they can just keep running the factory cranking out Bolts full-time.

Sales of the Bolt are somewhat slower than GM would like, I’m sure, given the bloated inventory, but I think they will be able to cure that with the nation-wide roll-out combined with some substantial dealer incentives.

Still the slower than expected domestic sales likely will prevent GM from taking the option of increasing Bolt production as much as they might have. I expect that at some point earlier this year they had the option to ask LG to crank up production of parts, but did not do so because of the swelling inventory. Though this theory does beg the question of why they wouldn’t satisfy foreign demand for the car …

My wishlist for the 2018 Bolt:

1) Standard DC quick charge.
2) Price drop of $5,000
3) Improved seats
4) Adaptive cruise control included on Premium

Price is the most important thing to increase sales. Comparable hot-hatches like the VW Golf GTI sell for $25,000 retail and that is where the Bolt needs to be priced after including federal rebate. $5k retail price drop gets you there.

I’m not in the market for a new car, but I’m looking forward to seeing the deals that will be available on the 2017 Bolts this fall, as well as what if any changes GM makes for the 2018 model year.

I might be looking at a used Bolt in a few years if they prove to be decently reliable. I love the design and performance, and I have a pretty skinny butt so I don’t think the seats will be a problem. 😀

Amen! Fixing the seats should be at the top of their list. And, a $5k price reduction is a must if they care about competing.

I like GM, but they need to step up their game. No one ever thought Apple would be bigger than grand old IBM. Apple stumbled quite a bit, but they kept innovating and eventually dwarfed everyone else. Tesla may do the same. If the Model 3 is a success in a year, GM and every other legacy automaker is in big trouble.

I don’t get it. Are Bolts made in different locations? If so, then I would understand the shutdown. However, if this is the only place Bolts are produced, then this shutdown makes no sense as the rest of the world is completely out of inventory.

Certainly, in Canada, you’d be lucky to even see a Bolt in dealer lots.

I think there is something else going on here. Maybe it’s a profit/loss problem.

Orion Assembly is the only place Bolts are made. So while it is down for a few weeks they won’t be assembled anywhere at all.