Chevrolet Volt Sales Soften A Bit In July – 1,788 Sold

AUG 1 2013 BY JAY COLE 26

Solar Canopy Charges Chevrolet Volt's Outside Hamtramck Facility - Few If Any Volts Were Produced At DHAM This Month

Solar Canopy Charges Chevrolet Volt’s Outside Hamtramck Facility – Few If Any Volts Were Produced At DHAM This Month

For the second time in as many months, GM outpaced the yearly averages and sold a significant amount of Chevrolet Volts.  For July 1,788 Volts were moved off dealer lots.

More Than 1,700 US Consumers Chose The Volt In June, Good For 2nd Best In The Nation

More Than 1,700 US Consumers Chose The Volt In June, Good For 2nd Best In The Nation

Unfortunately, that was 910 units less than last month when GM sold 2,698 copies.

July’s result was also off 3.3% from 2012, when 1,849 Volts were sold.  Year to date, GM is up 9.2% on 11,643 sales.

And if you are into the sales competition for best selling plug-in in America, the Volt just barely fell into 2nd place on the year-to-date leaderboard, as their main competition from Japan in the form of the Nissan LEAF sold 1,864 EVs….which was also a bit of a pullback from their June sales mark of 2,225.

  • Nissan LEAF – 11,703
  • Chevrolet Volt – 11,643  (-60)

It should also be noted when comparing the results to date with last year, GM sold a massive 12,795 units in the last five months of 2012, for an average of 2,559 per month, so some tougher comps are ahead for the 38 mile EREV.

As for the ‘next’ model year of the Volt, Michelle Malcho at Chevrolet Communication told us last month that”

“We will announce pricing mid to late August for the 2014 Volt”

Many people (including ourselves) expect GM to take a more aggressive stance when it comes to the base MSRP on the 2014s to spur sales, especially in the face of a cheaper Nissan LEAF starting at $28,800 and the incoming “80 to 100 mile” electric BMW i3 next year from $41,350.

The BMw i3 REx Will Be The First Vehicle To Seriously Enter The Volt's Market Segment When It Becomes Available In 2014

The BMw i3 REx Will Be The First Vehicle To Seriously Enter The Volt’s Market Segment When It Becomes Available In 2014

The BMW i3 REx  option also allows the BMW to perform similar (albeit in a limited way) to the Volt by giving it additional miles on gasoline.  That option will retail for $3,950 more.  We recently did a little comparison of the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 REx here.

As for production, GM decided to buck the industry trend two months ago and no longer report production at their facilities (much to the industry and supplier’s chagrin), so we can’t tell you exactly what when on at the Volt’s Hamtramck facility.

However, we can report that DHAM did come back online July 15th this month after a two week summer shutdown, but it looks like no Volts were produced this month as nationwide inventories dropped by almost exactly the amount of sales – go figure.    This was likely due to the fact GM is still carrying 120 days inventory of 2013 Volts.

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26 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt Sales Soften A Bit In July – 1,788 Sold"

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I was told they would not announce the 2014 price until late October (because they don’t want to hurt the sale of 2013 model) and the best price is probably $37,499. I notice that the sales in California has been very very soft in the last few months, yet GM gives away generous discount to just about anyone in the metro DEtroit area to move them off the lot!

If your brother’s girl friend’s cousin’s uncle’s brother in-law’s half-brother is working as a GM supplier, you can get GM employee discount on Chevy Volt and other hard-sales, but not on the popular models. So you get the point why Chevy Volt has been near empty in the Detroit area.

The sales prospect for 2014 will be even worse, because people are expecting much cheaper 2015 chevy Volt!

The price announcement (whatever it ends up being) could very well be delayed, it actually has been push backed twice already this year.

All I can say is I talked to Michelle Malcho at GM last month and she told me ‘mid to late’ August.

Folks shouldn’t be shocked if 2015 Volt is the last one. With D2XX Cruze delayed one year and absolutely no peep from Detroit, and no masked mystery Volt seen at Milford testing nor on public roads…. The writing may be on the wall for gen 2. In other words – there may be no gen 2, or there may be a gap of 1-2 years where no Volts are produced. Toyota lost mucho dinero on 1st gen Prius and 2nd gen made up for that by being wildly popular worldwide and selling over 1 million units. I do not believe GM has similar resolve to make Volt work – the profiteers at GM still rule the roost, and GM is a large pickup truck, SUV and CUV company. That is what they do. That is what they know. Folks in bankrupt Detroit are stink-faced when they discuss “disruptive technology” Tesla. They don’t want to be forced to follow suit. They get all cheery when folks talk oil sands and new U.S. drilling. It’s hard not to think that those Orlando mules being photographed all over with Saturn Vue PHEV-sized battery packs and no plug are GM’s future in electrification. They’re… Read more »

Your assessment is probably right on. Remember, we only need one true disrupter and that is Tesla. I have been focused on this segment as my transportation needs have changed and have taken on a much more serious nature that supersedes the same old car game. Tesla’s disruptive and innovative purchasing system, when adopted, will force the industry to truly innovate. I cringe at the thought of dealing with dealers who’s level of awareness is subpar, as my recent experience in asking the owner of a new ford dealership about their C-Max Energi line, how disappointing.

Only time will tell if Tesla is purely hype or real, no one know how they battery will perform over 5-10 years. One recall will send their stock to plunger 95% in one day!

There will definitely be a Gen 2 Volt. All the automakers see the writing on the wall and depleting oil supplies mean their business will be changing. Yes, they’ll continue to sell profitable trucks & SUVs for as long as possible but they also have to create new efficient vehicles for the future. Between CAFE requirements and higher oil prices, the days of V8s are long gone. So although the Volt is not a profit center now, they need to have it ready for when higher gas prices make these types of vehicles much more popular.

Psst, any word on the Spark EV sales? It could explain the Volt sales numbers as a portion of those who considered the Volt may have decided to go full-blown EV in July.

Hey Taser,

Working on it…like some of the other OEM results, I have to get those numbers myself direct from an exec – I’ll update the plug-in sales scorecard for July when it happens.

Got ’em – 103 Chevy Spark EVs were sold in July

At that rate (which is very low) they’ll still satisfy their CARB requirements. I really think that the sales will not take off until DC fast Charge option arrives.

That is a little disappointing but it could be a supply limited vehicle at this point. I think the Spark EV is a winner. A fun, fast, and inexpensive little commuter electric vehicle.

Please focus on PHEV and compliance vehicles and leave real HEV to real companies like Toyota. I will be surprised if GM can survive past 2018!

Toyota was happy when Bamster bailed out UAW mafia, enduring a competitive advantage for Japanese car company.

Volt is the best looking “EV” out behind the Model S

GM is still paying a price (literally and figuratively) for the 40-mile battery range. If battery prices had dropped even quicker than they have, they’d be able to slash a few more thousand off the price and make the Volt a lot more competitive, which would be a plus for both sales and perception of GM, PHEVs, etc. I think the future of the Volt is a contest between the declining battery prices and GM’s willingness to stick with the product.

Speaking as a Leaf driver and someone who thinks we desperately need to electrify our transportation, especially in the US, I hope GM has the patience and courage needed to keep selling and improving the Volt. More vehicles with plugs = better for everyone.

Keep in mind GM still needs electrified vehicles like the Volt and Spark in order to meet their carb requirement. They’re better off selling 1,500 Volts per month at a small loss than they are having to buy carb credits from Tesla.

The Volt is still putting up 1500+ #s month over month, and outselling all of the competition except the Leaf who is neck & neck. This is impressive to me, considering how much competition there is now and the saturation of the EV market. That means GM is converting non-EV people over to EV’s, and non GM people over to GM.

Also note, out of the 31 months the Volt has been for sale, this is the 8th highest month.

My gut instinct is that people wanting Volt are in a holding pattern due to imminent 2014 announcements. Either the want the new one at the new MSRP or looking for a 2013, which is basically unchanged for 2014, at a deep discount.

I disagree that Volt is a goner. Why do ELR?

It all boils down to capital investment and being able to absorb the risk in the short-term to derive profits in the long-term Ford has not created a ground-up EV platform (due to costs and risks) and worked with a OEM supplier for the EV components and technologies NIssan is betting on a global strategy and sharing the risks between Nissan and Renault. Plus Nissan sees the Leaf as a way to increase brand awareness and it has worked. Chrysler – MIA despite the Fiat 500 BMW – Has the profits to invest in a global strategy (platforms, technology, engines, etc.) and will spread the R&D across all the BMW family brands Mercedes: Hybrids and more Hybrids AUDI and the VW Group: Testing the waters, confused, not ready to bring a product to market. Will see PHEVs in established new vehicles on next gen platforms GM: Not prepared to invest large capital on dedicated platforms or across the board EV strategies. GM has still has too many global brands and vehicles that ARE NOT leading in their segments. A swift economic downturn and GM will be in trouble again. Despite the Spark and the Cruze in the US, GM is… Read more »

“Despite the Spark and the Cruze in the US, GM is very susceptible to fuel price swings.”
————

The Sonic gets 40mph hwy. I see lots of these on the roads around me.

“GM: Not prepared to invest large capital on dedicated platforms or across the board EV strategies. ”
—————
They have started to put e-assist into more cars. They also spent 1billion+ on the Volt?

If the Volt doesn’t get a Gen 2 vehicle, then we will know “Who killed the electric car?”

The answer will be “The american car consumer”

and, that will answer another question….I will be buying mine at the end of the lease instead of trading for a Gen 2 and it will probably be my last GM car.

I think GM is between a rock and a hard spot. They need to dramatically reduce the price of the Volt. Gen 2 is mostly about cost reduction that will allow a price reduction and remain profitable. If Gen 2 is not ready yet, they will either have to sell 2014 Volts at a significant loss, just to keep market share, or let 2014 sales fall off and see if they can recover in 2015.

The other half of cost reduction is quantity. If sales were doubled, how much cheaper would GM be able to purchase the current battery? I am sure GM has gone through the numbers and decided that the cost savings would not be high enough to support the lower selling price.

Price is not the only thing that sells cars. Reading about the issues other plugins are having why isn’t GM advertising how reliable the Volt is? Why isn’t GM offering test-drive events? Why isn’t GM improving the non-electric aspects of the Volt? Why isn’t GM openly fighting the incessant slander and bad press being spewed by the slimy media?

GM cannot expect people to believe in the Volt if they do not themselves.

If I remember correctly, there were about 8100 Volts in dealer inventory at the beginning of July. This would mean about 6400 in inventory at the start of August. Given trailing sales data that equates to about 105 days of inventory. I see what was done here using just last month’s sales rounded down and/or days round up to project days of inventory. Strange, I don’t see consistency in the historical time frames used (all over the web and media) to project days of inventory for the Volt. Invariably, I see disadvantaged timeframes used.

Hey Koz, I probably should have added this into the story, GM looks to have had a little over 7,000 on the last day of July this year in inventory. There is some factory to dealer transit things I guess happening that allowed inventory to still arrive after the plant was closed first of July I guess, or lag in reporting (not sure) what it is.

I was basing the end of July inventory off the story comment that inventory went down by nearly the same amount as the number of vehicles sold. With 7000 left that can be fairly equated to 120 days, even though if I were forecasting production internally for GM I would factor in seasonal data too.

I suppose they’ll announce 2014 pricing when they start 2014 production. Since pretty all of the cometitive pricing is known now, the only reason not to announce now would be a price drop.