Chevrolet Volt January 2014 Sales Fall To 2 Year Low – 918 Copies Sold

FEB 3 2014 BY JAY COLE 29

"Live The Future" - Chevy Volt Ad in China

“Live The Future Now” – Chevy Volt Ad in China

Selling plug-in cars in December is about as easy as hitting the ‘snooze’ on your alarm clock on a Monday morning.  Selling those same cars in January is another matter – just call it the federal rebate effect.

Note To GM:  Build. More. Volts.

Note To GM: Build. More. Volts.

On the other hand, those year-over-year “comps” to beat aren’t so tough either.  Yet GM sold only 918 Volts, the car’s worst monthly showing since January of 2012 when 603 were sold (and also the last time less than 4 digits were moved).

Those 918 sales represent 19.5% decrease compared 2013 when 1,140 left dealer lots.

And while we thought that new production may kick into high gear at GM’s Hamtramck facility, that really didn’t happen as national inventories continued to hover near 12 month lows – which means besting February 2013’s surprising 1,626 sales level might also be more than a little tricky.

Again on the technical ‘plus side,’ GM also had some difficulties managing Volt inventory in early 2013; meaning Spring is the company’s best opportunity to put once again put some distance between 2014 and 2013 results.

Despite being the best selling plug-in vehicle in the United States last year, inventory issues late in 2013 meant that Chevrolet actually sold less Volts that in 2013 than the year prior (23,094 vs 23,461) … a result we are sure General Motors does not want to repeat.

Also of interest:  GM sold 41 copies of the Volt-based Cadillac ELR in January.

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29 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt January 2014 Sales Fall To 2 Year Low – 918 Copies Sold"

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The result isn’t surprising given the super low inventory. The most popular East and West coast dealers than usually have over 50 Volts in stock have zero, or close to it.

Demand may be lower too with all the plug-ins for sale now, who knows.

Given how GM led the charge with the Volt, and created such a great car, it’s frustrating to see low volume and also no new models with the Voltec drivetrain (sans the limited production ELR)

Yes, I checked the closest eleven dealers near me and there is only 13 in stock. One of the dealers used to carry at least 6 by itself. That combined with January being a traditionally slow month.

If you want a PHEV, the Volt is still the best car for the job and at its current price point you actually get more bang for your buck. I hope GM gets back on track with Volt production.

So, Dave, what’s the difference between “price point” and, simply, price?

The only true explanation, the Volt sales numbers do not generate the profit that other cars produced out of Hamtramck plant. As such look as the Volt to be something produced ONLY when the inventories of the other models are satisfactory.

LOL. 41 people bought the Cadillac ELR!!! Wow. Can’t believe there are that many people who would fall for it. 🙂
No worries of GM taking over the EV market.
LEAF has been outselling the Volt for most of a year. Can finally say it’s outselling the Volt for 2014. I don’t expect GM to ever catch up. Heck you could bundle all “three” GM electric and somewhat electric vehicles together and you still can’t match Nissans sales. Volt + ELR + Spark EV.

What is the point of this post?

kdawg, it would seem that selling 1200 Leafs is an achievement of note. LOL!
I think the fanboy is strong in this one!

“What is the point of this post?”

My guess is to GLOAT and ‘rub-it-in’ as he is a Leaf owner.

And that’s moronic: while we should obviously look at sales percentages instead of absolute numbers, it’s seems a reasonable first guess to assume that most of the lost Volt sales went to non-plug-ins — vehicles using MORE gas.

Why an EV owner would think this is a good thing puzzles me. Like PHVs would somehow be a threat to EVs?… [rolls eyes]

Why would “GM taking over” the EV market be a “worry” for you? Lol sounds like you have some weird issues David.

What kind of Americans root for American companies to fail?

Well, the dealer drought of 2014MY Volts is over! Stingray in Tampa has their very first 2014MY Volt, so the sales of Volts in February will set a new record!

Well, maybe not, but US Volt sales/leases will be better than January’s figures.

Volt inventory has been in the 2550 to 2640 range for most of January and has only started rising in the past 2 weeks. Right now there are 2823 Volts in the Cars dot com inventory and it seems to be trending up steadily. If GM chooses to build enough Volts to get the inventory back above 3,000, they will be able to get their sales back above 2,000 a month.

The Leaf inventory has been setting records nearly every week. It is up to 3800 now, which is not bad.

GM has chosen not to build or sell a lot of Volts since June. It is hard to avoid the thought that they must not be making much money on them. Hopefully the economies of scale will continue to appear and they will ramp up Volt production over time as production costs continue to drop.

“…a result we are sure General Motors does not want to repeat.”

Such a faithful bunch, you guys are.

The numbers are the numbers, 918 sold in January. I would like the Chevy Volt to succeed, it isn’t. The gas-powered Chevy Cruze, Volt’s sister car, has its best ever January sales with 16,828. Even with as much as $10,000 in govt credit (in some states Fed & state combined) the Volt just isn’t taking off. It isn’t inventory, its lack of demand. They are not selling. If it was a lack of inventory the price of Volts would be increasing

Until, and if, we ever get battery technology to be competitive with fuel storage, the EV market just won’t be anything but a niche market. That may be decades off.

The Volt first went on sales in Dec 2010. This is three years later. Sooner or later economic reality has to catch up with GM.

Yet, somehow the Volt was the biggest selling plug-in last year. And yes, inventory does make a difference, look at the Leaf last year at this time.

wags, you say “It isn’t inventory, its lack of demand.” But the months when there was a reasonable inventory, the Volt has sold well. The Inventory finally got decent in June and from June to December the Volt averaged sales of 2277 a month. Not great but pretty good, especially considering that the inventory in November had already dropped way off.
Now inventory has been around 2550 in January and the sales numbers aren’t good. There is definitely a relationship between lack of inventory and lower sales. Think about it, there are 2200 Chevy dealers and only 2550 Volts spread out between them and we are surprised that only 918 Volts sold in January? I don’t think so.

It really depends on why the inventory is down.

If GM have slowed production because they are not making money on the volt then things don’t look great for the volt but if they have slowed production because they are kitting out the factory to double production then I suspect we are in for a cracker of a year. The middle option, that I think is most likely, is that there is some sort of artificial constraint on production, like a shortage of a parts cause by high sales of its sister car or a shortage of whatever goes into the electrodes that both Nissan and GM use. What is really encouraging is that there have been no images of airfields full of unwanted cars, low inventory means at least the cars are shifting and they are shifting across the board all the way from Porsche to Smart.

Can’t blame me … I bought my 2013 Volt two weeks ago today! 🙂

IMHO there are several contributing factors…

1) Supply is constrained as some have mentioned, hence less visibility. I suspect GM stopped delivering 2014’s until the 2013’s are cleared out.

2) People still don’t understand what is special about the Volt because GM has done a poor job communicating it.

3) The Volt 4-passenger hatchback form-factor has limited appeal.

4) Most people are not aware of the federal/state incentives, even in my state where they total $11.5K.

I will be more worried after the summer drop which CA will run out of Green HOV stickers…

Could any of the drawdown be based on the launch of Volt 2.0? I can’t see GM phasing the Volt out, or at least the Volt concept, with outgoing CEO Ackerson mouthing not long ago about a “moonshot” car on the near horizon that’s based on the Volt idea. There is not much daylight between what a 2014 & 2011 Volt is. Perhaps when they launch the new car (later this year?) they don’t want ’14’s rotting on dealer lots?

Doubt a new one would launch later this year. Even if they were trying to keep things hush hush to not jeopardize sales, seems like more things would have leaked out by now with some test mule cars and what not.

As a satisfied Volt owner (Dusty on Voltstats) I go back to my original argument…

GM has a car that is a MASTERPIECE, but GM has a message that is a MESS.
No advertising (duh) plays a very big role in lackluster sales. What part of “advertising” does GM not get?

And this right-winger will happily argue with any right-wing loon about the merits of the Volt.
20,600 miles and less than 8 gallons of gasoline used in the 19 months I’ve owned my Volt.
And as a war veteran, I’m repulsed that young American men and women go off to die in the armpit regions of the planet where we export $400 billion of American wealth, where terrorists are grown (Google “State sponsored terrorism Saudi Arabia”) What part of that does Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Neil Cavuto and Sarah Palin not understand?

Do these numbers include leases? I imagine they do, but if not, that’s a large thing to take into consideration here. The lease is the better deal for most people here in California. I just leased my 2014 Volt three weeks ago. (I love it by the way!). I know two friends who didn’t really know about the car, but now that I’ve leased one and written about it on Facebook are considering getting one themselves. Really, I imagine the issue at the bottom of this is that people still don’t understand the Volt. They don’t understand what it is and what it can do, and just how great a car the Volt is. You can drive most days without using any gas, but any time you need to take a long trip, you can use gas. How much simpler could it be? Yet people just aren’t aware of its existence. This is an issue of marketing. When GM really starts to market it with sexy and smart ads, and then goes big on production, this car will take a huge share of the US market. GM is either scared to do so, for fear of losing money on their… Read more »

Yes, the ‘sales’ figures are inclusive of all transactions that happened during the month.

Congrats on your new Volt.

Yeah I agree it seems pretty simple but it is funny how many people have no idea how you can truly drive most days w/out any gas. Despite shorter range for winter temps, in January the only days we used gas was on a weekend trip to the coast. Then there is another smaller subset that has no idea you can take a long trip (planned or not) regardless of when you may be able to plug in next. Yes, this is an issue of marketing.

I would not hold your breath about ‘when GM really starts to market it’. They have had years to get that right so why would it suddenly change? Maybe the new CEO will get it.

Inventory is no excuse. You can come up with the best idea, design as well as the best built product but you have to execute in other areas. This includes marketing which has been questionable for a long time, as well as having the capability to profitably build the amount of inventory you need. It is the same thing I said when people were blaming Leaf sales on poor inventory. C’mon both cars have been out since 2010 that should only be an excuse the first year, if ever.

Are you a Volt driver Nate? Just curious.

I get the Volt. What I don’t get is how the bowtie dealerships in the midwest sell it like any other car in stock. You’d think they try a different tact. This negotiation scheme turns buyers off. That’s why they are not getting sales. It doesn’t help that lease deals currently result in near $400.00/ month payments.