Chevrolet Volt Sales Weaken In The US For September – 1,394 Sold

OCT 1 2014 BY JAY COLE 22

Sales Of The Chevrolet Volt Remained Strong In The US For September

Sales Of The Chevrolet Volt Fell In The US For September

GM Talks About Camouflaging 2nd Gen Volt Mules Here (Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah And Mule Shown)

GM Gave A Talk About Camouflaging 2nd Gen Volt Mules This Month (Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah And Mule Shown)

Heading into September, Chevrolet had given themselves the opportunity to become the only US plug-in automaker to post a month-to-month gain for all of 2014.

Unfortunately, faced with having to best a very strong August, in which 2,511 Volts were sold, Chevy came up more than a bit shy in September by selling only 1,394 copies.

As compared to the 1,766 Volts sold this month last year, the Volt was off 21%, despite a national $269/month lease deal that has been running over the summer.

For the year 14,540 Volts have been sold which is down 13% over 2013 when 16,760 cars were sold.  All-time, the Chevrolet is still the best selling plug-in for America with 69,092 sold to date.

Our earlier question of “Why the heck is Chevy building so many darn Volts this summer?” (after well more than 10,000 had been available in August) was answered as General Motor’s idled the Volt’s Hamtramck Michigan in late August…and plans to keep it that way until the middle of November.

GM Put Earlier Announced Funding For 2nd Gen Volt (+friends) To Work In September

GM Put Earlier Announced Funding For The 2nd Gen Volt (+friends) To Work In September

The reason for the shutdown?  Putting to work some of that previously announced $384 million dollar investment into the facility to prepared for the next gen Volt (due out in mid-2015), two other Voltec-based plug-in models … and a great big whale of a Cadillac that we will never mention here again.

Also of interest this month we learned from GM’s Powertrain Executive Director, Larry Nitz, that the next generation of Volt will be “better in every way”, at least according to what GM thinks the customer wants.  So more range, efficiency and performance, but apparently not faster charging options. (full story + video)

Separately, GM announced that there will be no 2015 Cadillac ELR as the company is still putting a lot of cash on the hood of the premium extended range car to clear out 2014 inventory.

But, not to fret if you are an ELR fan, it will return at some point in 2015 as a 2016 model year car – complete with “engineering enhancements“.  The new 2016 Cadillac ELR will debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

During September, GM sold 111 Cadillac ELRs, after selling a record 196 in August

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22 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt Sales Weaken In The US For September – 1,394 Sold"

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People are in a holding pattern. Sales will jump with the Volt 2.0 and the forthcoming price cut for the Volt-lite.

Do we have any further confirmation that there really will be 2 versions of the Volt?

The Volt’s story is so frustrating. It runs counter to the EV market as a whole. I really hope that internally GM is just gearing up for their second generation, and will give it a huge push (including dealer incentives).

GM made the Volt pretty much the only vehicle that didn’t get 0% 72 months loan incentive during their September sales event, which I’m sure played a role. When pretty much every other model has such an incentive in the dealership, why would people go with the Volt? Sigh.

Well . . . that is business. At this point, the Volt is probably still a money-losing project to develop their cars of the future. So they are going to put the incentives on their more profitable models.

“Money losing” is a misnomer here.

Changing the core technology of a 100-year-old business is a long-term investment. You don’t evaluate it short-term. Doing it short-term turns “money-losing” into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But apparently many people at GM leadership since the Volt’s launch have shared your short-term view, which makes it even harder to succeed.

I wonder whether CEO Barra has worked on changing this self-destructive mindset. If she did, the route chosen seems to be putting all the eggs in the Gen 2 basket. Risky but they should succeed if they really put their heart and mind into it.

+10. Even if GM is losing money at this point, that is completely in line with Marketing 101 for new product development and the product lifecycle. We’re still in the introduction/early adopter stage.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Volt marginal cost of manufacture is about $10k less than MSRP. If GM wants to ‘lose’ less money then they need to sell more Volts, as well as widen the platform to more customer-pleasing platforms.

GM also does not want to waste EV credits on the “old” model. That probably explains the lack of incentives.
The dealer closest to me does not even have 2015 MY on the lot.
I bet most of the sales came from people at the end of their lease. Everybody who can waits for V2.

There are sure a lot of Volts sitting in inventory if they indeed intend on saving tax credits for gen 2.

If the cars are built, they’re gonna burn up credits. GM is just doing a piss-poor job of marketing their highest-conquest product.

Andrew, the reason there are a lot of Volts in US inventory is that GM shuttered Hamtramck to re-tool for the new CT6 and to do some improvements to make production of the Volt/Impala/Malibu cheaper. So they built up to 9000 in late August, closed the plant to re-tool and won’t re-open until Thanksgiving.
I am hoping that it will also mean that the Gen II/D2UX Volt will come sooner rather than later but have nothing to base that on.

People starting to wait for the upcoming models I suspect.

I don’t know how big a factor that is. Most people don’t follow the car industry that closely.

I think it has more to do with what ClarksonCote said in that GM made the Volt pretty much the only vehicle that didn’t get 0% 72 months loan incentive during their September sales event. Also, wasn’t it truck month again?

I’m pretty sure Volt buyers do follow the internet.
And of course they’d want better battery, more room, and it looks like a more aerodynamic body.

I’d wait.

Illuminating anecdote: our friends here in Seattle are looking for an EV. The woman has a 70-mile one-way commute, with guaranteed L2 at her work, but a hairy street-parking situation at home.

The Leaf was their default choice, but after pondering an L2 installation near the front fence, what to do if the 25 feet are not enough, etc. etc., it dawned on me that the Volt is their best bet right now.

They were quite shocked by my suggestion. They thought the Volt is a big, ugly, unwieldy monster. I told them that AFAIK and according to all reviews, it is an awesome car and will get them 40+ miles of the way electric, plus using a trickle with an extension cord is an easier (and cheaper) affair than all that front-fence L2 mess, and it’ll fill their battery up by morning. Plus great deals on the 2014. I think I got them to consider the Volt more favorably, but who knows if they’ll even find a local dealer who even wants to give them a good deal?

It was a demo for me, how poorly GM has handled the Volt’s image.

Still outsold half of all toyota models last month.

“It was a demo for me, how poorly GM has handled the Volt’s image.”

Don’t you think this has something to do with Volt being the political punchbag since the 2012 elections? Don’t you think this have something to do with the face that Volt has been an EV punch bag for EV haters? Don’t you think this have something to do with Volt being the punch bag for GM/bailout haters?

Considering that Volt has been the most politicized car in the recent history. Are you surprised?

Even the EV community are split on the Volt. Some of them hate the Volt being called an “EV”. Some of them still hate the Volt b/c it is GM and EV-1 history and Some of them still hate it b/c GM tries to sell it as an EV without anxiety.

Which car is MORE hated by both sides of the aisle? NONE.

Considering that all, Volt is doing pretty awesome.

“They thought the Volt is a big, ugly, unwieldy monster”

How is that having anything to do with GM when the potential buyer never even looked at it with their own brains.

Is LEAF classified as a bigger car?

So, I guess that says something about some of the “potential” LEAF buyers, doesn’t it? They already hate GM and all of its cars….

Thx Assaf

The Volt really is the most under appreciated car in history.

A used Volt will be a great bargain…..and such a nice car with a battery that will live forever thanks to the engineers at GM.

Here’s to hoping Mary will help us out.

I let a $1k Sept-only “private offer” expire, as well as walking away from a full credit card allowance (1k Volt, 3k ELR). If it weren’t for space reasons, I still would probably would have waited.

60 miles of range may be unlikely, but it would royally stink to get 40 AER, and then see that happen. I’m betting they’ll figure out better cold weather efficiency in more than one way, too.

The ELR number. What a negative surprise? It wasn’t fewer dealers advertising those discounts. From my eyes, it was more.

“… and a great big whale of a Cadillac that we will never mention here again.”

It seems you spoke too soon, as said Cadillac is also going to be a PHEV. Makes more sense now why it’s being built at Hamtramck.

How can anyone expect Volts to sell when Chevy refuses to advertise them and refuses to require dealers to know how the Volt works.Salesmen know almost nothing about the car and can not answer any questions you ask them. Chevy couldnVt cae