Chevy Exec Says Banking On Tesla Model 3 Delay Is “Not In the Cards”

Chevrolet Bolt: Tesla Model 3 competitor


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

Reportedly, Chevrolet has no interest in marketing the Bolt to take advantage of Tesla Model 3 production shortfalls.

Despite market research showing “a pretty healthy number” of people cross-shopping the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet has no intention of trying to lure reservation holders away from Tesla during its production bottleneck. Chevy’s marketing director for cars and crossovers told Automotive News:

“It’s not in the cards.”


Chevrolet Bolt EV

This was the response brought forth when Majoros was questioned about taking advantage of the void created by Model 3 reservation holders having to wait as long as three years for their cars (this situation especially applies to people who plan to wait for the $35,000 base model, which won’t even be produced for quite some time).

Though the Bolt and the Model 3 are very different cars in many ways, they share some key qualities that appeal to many EV shoppers. Both provide notable performance, have a “long” all-electric range, and come at a reasonable price.

Let’s qualify those statements just a bit. Pricing is about the same, although the current version of the Tesla Model 3 is more expensive ($44,000) and, as stated above, the base Model 3 is not available. While the Bolt has been lauded for its driving dynamics and acceleration, most reviewers find the Model 3 superior in that department.

Regardless of these cars’ similarities and differences, it has already been proven that many Model 3 reservation holders seem willing to wait. Mike Ramsey, an analyst at Gartner Research told Automotive News:

“This model is very simple. It will stick around for quite a while with the way it looks. It has an exterior design that ages well.”

Tesla is well aware of the situation, though still attempts to steer customers toward the Model S. The automaker said in a public statement:

“We’re very appreciative of our Model 3 customers, who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars.”

Nissan LEAF: Tesla Model 3 competitor

Perhaps the 2018 Nissan LEAF will have to capitalize

However, there are certainly people canceling their reservation, or even looking for a car in the interim. Potentially, a Model 3 reservation holder could get into a Chevrolet Bolt now, keep it for two years (or even three), and then move into their Tesla. The federal EV tax credit will run out soon enough for both automakers, so moving forward now may be in the buyer’s best interest.

Chevrolet sold 23,297 Bolts in 2017 and ended the year with a record month, delivering more than 3,227 vehicles. This is surely not amazing by traditional standards, but it’s clear that people like the car. In fact, in terms of U.S. monthly sales, it outsold the Tesla Model S five times last year. The Bolt was also the second-best selling EV of the year as a whole, only exceeded by the Model S.

We have no indication yet how the Tesla Model 3 will fare against the Bolt for monthly sales since Tesla only delivered 1,060 Model 3s in its record month of December. It may still be a while before Tesla is able to produce enough of these cars to have a level playing field. Barclays analyst Brian Johnson believes that 2018 may be much the same as 2017 with regards to Model 3 production. He told investors:

“While one would assume the ramp to steadily increase, in reality the ramp is likely to be lumpy, with weeks of downtime/low production as Tesla addresses bottlenecks — only raising production once bottlenecks are solved.”

This may be a bit far-fetched since Tesla has proven it can make thousands of Model 3s in a month’s time. However, we still have no way of knowing if the bottlenecks are solved and what issues may arise as the other configurations go into production.

According to a recent report by IHS Markit, it’s actually easier to get BEV buyers to switch brands than it is to do the same with traditional cars. Brand loyalty doesn’t seem to matter as much, and buyers are more willing to shop other models aside from their top choice, as long as it’s another BEV.

So, why won’t Chevrolet capitalize?

While Majoros explained that the Bolt is “naturally attracting some Tesla buyers,” he wouldn’t give any further details. Senior IHS analyst, Stephanie Brinley, concluded:

“GM is rolling it out the way that they want to. GM’s strategy for Bolt is much broader than immediate sales in the coming months.”

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla

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125 Comments on "Chevy Exec Says Banking On Tesla Model 3 Delay Is “Not In the Cards”"

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Robb Stark

GM can’t dramatically ramp up production of Chevy Bolt to dent Tesla’s Model 3 reservation list.

Even if there are a large number of Tesla Model 3 reservation holders willing to buy a car with inferior driving dynamics, acceleration, front seat comfort, access to the Supercharger network etc etc etc.

GM doesn’t have enough batteries. GM could manufacture all the glyders it wants but can’t deliver 100s of thousands of EVs without a lot more batteries.


It’s not only the batteries, but the whole car. It surely wouldn’t be hard to ramp up production to 100k a year, or even more, within a reasonable amount of time at least (and it’s already too late for that, unless Tesla runs into even more delays).

But then they would be stuck with supply deals and production capacities, that won’t be used for the next years, once the Model 3 is out. And the field seems to get even more crowded next year, with the 240 mile Kona/Niro, the 225+ mile Leaf, VW ID, their own Buick.

So the best idea from a financial standpoint is to bank on continuous demand, not short term spikes. There is nothing worse than having unused tooling and under fulfilling supply contracts.


The more likely reason is that GM is not desperate for a few extra sales. A few extra sales is not the difference between solvency and disaster the way it is for Tesla. They know their demographic quite well and know who to market to. The acquisition cost for someone who is just leasing a Bolt because they can’t get a Tesla is not really worth it in the grand scheme of things because they know that those people aren’t going to renew their leases in a couple of years.


The more likely case is GM is LOSING Auto Sales Today, from buyer’s holding off for the Tesla Model 3.
-The Bolt isn’t going over 30,000 a year.
-Car sales are down across the board.
-SUV and Pickup sales are still up, but, most buyers don’t know that Tesla will be coming out with the Model Y SUV and Pickup, and that these are 4 years off.

When the Model Y is 1 year off expect a Sales Downturn in SUV’s too.


The industry is also losing auto sales from the 3 year old Tesla S CPO now coming off lease.


As a matter of fact, you can now get a CPO BMW i3 REX for $22,000. At that price, the car literally pays for itself in fuel savings. These cars are starting to move off used car lots quickly.
Too bad even BMW is only building 30,000 a year.

Time for CARB to require a bigger number, like 60,000.


CARB is worthless now.
They are pretty much gutless, and it is nations like Norway and Sweden that are forcing the ICE vehicles to drop.

Kind of sad. CARB actually helped American cars clean up, and if they were to keep their backbone that they once had, they, combined with other nations such as Norway/Sweden/etc, would force EVs all over.


carefully planted post


You need a dose of reality. Even if the model 3 delivers all 400000 cars and gets current in 2018, that would represent less than 3% of the US auto market much less the global auto market.

The reality is that Tesla will likely deliver about 30000 model 3s in 2018, which will put them about on par with the model S or the Bolt. That would represent a 30% growth yoy at the corporate level, which is achievable if they focus on production instead of talking up fancy rockets and AI.

Get Real

That is your wet-dream fantasy Dan, that Tesla “only delivers 30,000 model 3s”?

And, you picked that number because you can’t believe that Tesla can’t make and sell more Model 3s then Chevy sells Bolts!

Dream on troll.


That would be a 300% growth rate of what they’ve shown the ability to do so far. I’m being generous. You’re the one trolling an article which has nothing to do with Tesla.


30K model 3s for the year? Huh.
Far more likely,they will clear their 400K, with another production line being started in Europe.
In fact, everything indicates that Tesla is speeding up the line constantly, including suppliers saying that they are being told to finally raise their supply numbers.

Now, what is funny is that MS, continues to outsell the bolt. MS is a SUPERIOR car, but also double the $ of the bolt. And yet, with a fraction of the sale area, MS alone continues to outsell.
Once M3 production is up to 10K/week just in CA, I have little doubt that their demand will be 20K/week in America ALONE.

And Bolt will likely remain belows 50K/year, if not 30K/year.


400k in 2018? Bwahahahahaha….

That is a 10,000 weekly build rate for the entire year. Even Elon is only talking about a max 5000 a week in June. For reference, their average in december was 250 a week.


I’d say 30K is more likely than 400K, if for no other reason than that 400K is completely impossible. 30K could at least theoretically happen if production were to go really badly, even though I think it’s unlikely. I could see around 60K as being somewhat plausible, albeit it’s still lower than many would hope.


Truth be told, GM dealers would rather sell you a ‘gas burner’ anyway. The dealers are still hawking gassers, especially PUs and SUVs where the margin is high. Most don’t care about pollution, obsolete drive lines, smog or any of that stuff. They just sell rootin’ tootin’ pollutin’ Detroit Iron.

Justin Benson

It’s already at a runrate closer to 40,000, so this point seems odd. Bottom line is you don’t need to market. Every Model 3 wait Lister knows exactly what a Bolt is and how to get one. They’ll come if they want to. No need to waste marketing dollars for awareness when you already have it.


“Every Model 3 wait Lister knows exactly what a Bolt is and how to get one”

False. I have spoken to some with Model 3 reservations who were unaware that GM made a BEV at all (they knew about the Volt, but not the Bolt).

But your point stands that if these people got frustrated with the wait, they could at least look at the market. It’s not hard to find the Bolt if you’re looking at the EV market. Frankly, it’s still the only affordable long-range BEV available for immediate purchase. It will remain in that position for several more months.


The truth is Tesla’s sales are so small that the other car manufacturers have barely even noticed them. Maybe the luxury manufacturers like BMW have. GM hasn’t at all.

This idea that the whole car industry is just quaking in their boots over what Tesla is going to do is just ridiculous.

Car sales being down has nothing to do with Tesla. It’s just a cyclical industry.


Dan said:

“The acquisition cost for someone who is just leasing a Bolt because they can’t get a Tesla is not really worth it in the grand scheme of things because they know that those people aren’t going to renew their leases in a couple of years.”

I don’t think there is a single auto maker in the entire world that thinks this way. They all think that if they can get someone to drive one of their cars, they have a good chance of having a customer for life. And you know what? Often they are right!

The reason GM doesn’t want to increase production of the Bolt EV, even if it could, is because it’s not making much profit off the car. Why would GM spend more resources on a car that’s likely making only a razor-thin profit margin? Far better, from their perspective, to put more resources cranking up production of their best-selling gasmobiles, and advertising those to increase demand.


Or they may be focusing on their next BEVs which should be more popular SUV/CUV styles and sizes.

Volt owner

I’ll give Musk credit for bringing EVs mainstream. Oh and certainly his masterful marketing.
But certainly not for any of his timelines as I’m sure 2018 will be marginally better than 17. Lots of hype, not a lot of product. Don’t even get me started on it’s “autopilot” system. They should be ashamed of that misnomer. A camera based system that’s supposed to be safe riiiight. Any of you Tesla owners know that in the owners manual it states that you need to stay in full control of the vehicle and that as more miles get accumulated from owners the system will be refined. “Beta” testing from owners. Just don’t be beta testing your accident waiting to happen near my family.
They do look good and they’re fast….
Hopefully they will produce more than a few thousand a month, divided by 400000. Eww that is a few months wait. I’m enjoying my EV now. By the time my 4 year lease is up those 400k M3 MIGHT be completed.
You guys enjoy your Tesla kool aid while waiting for your car but you’ll probably see folks on mars before that happens. Oh that’s a different promise….


As long as GM does not have real margin on thoses Bolts why should they try hard to sell more?


With the Volt & Bolt Sales combined GM has more than enough Carbon Credits to offset, Comply & Fulfill the GM Agenda to keep on Building more Big Gas Guzzlers.


TrueCar has the Bolt LT selling for $29,950 in Northern Virginia and for $31,500 in LA CA. If this is even close to accurate, then GM is not going to be bothered too much when the tax credit goes away.


Exactly. I think this is the point most people don’t get. The price of the Bolt will just decrease to the with tax credit price. So the Bolt will end up about $30k. That will allow room for the Buick CUV.


That actually is a really bad sign for the Bolt. That means that they are currently having to discount down to the low 20K’s after rebates in order to sell them.

When the rebates go away, there is no way they can cut ANOTHER $7500 off the price on top of the current discounts.


Sure they can. The Volt has dropped nearly $10k since it was launched. I expect the eventual MSRP of the Bolt to be under $30k, with incentives dropping it to mid j20’s. Maybe after 5 years, MSRP will be mid 20’s.


EVShopper — you seem to be missing the point that the incentives are going to start to sunset this year.


Honestly, the build quality of the Bolt is that of a low to mid 20s car. It’s a Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla or VW Golf. I expect the target is eventually for the car to sell in that price range as battery costs come down.


“GM’s strategy for Bolt is much broader than immediate sales in the coming months.”

This is a point that I think we (the EV enthusiasts) often forget. We are so focused on Tesla leading the way, that we ignore the fact that legacy OEMs have a very different view on the market.

I’m glad that GM isn’t getting swept into the Model 3 craze. The Bolt is a great car, and it will stand on its own if GM will let it. I just hope they do.


+1 From the get-go, it is clear GM saw and continues to see the bigger market picture when planning the Bolt. They specifically did NOT design their first long-range EV as a performance sedan. They went for the micro-people mover, perfect for exploring the market potential both for global families (especially in China) and commercial taxi-services and autonomous services world-wide. It will have longer market legs and more global selling and profit power than the Model 3.

GM can afford to be patient – the mark of a great hunter.


Alternative view:

GM chose to make its first BEV made in more than test market numbers a compact hatchback, which is a segment in which GM has no cars which sell well. In other words, it consigned the BEV to a market niche which will minimize competition with its more profitable gasmobiles.

There’s a strategy here, all right: The strategy is for GM to develop its EV tech while minimizing its costs in making the cars, until such time as PEVs (Plug-in EVs) become as profitable to make and sell as its gasmobiles.

From a business perspective, this is entirely understandable and rational. But from the perspective of an EV advocate like me… it sucks! BOO GM! 🙁


Your alternate view still fits in the same narrative. The difference is if GM releases a Buick CUV based in the Bolt’s underpinnings then your basis is wrong.




“GM chose to make its first BEV made in more than test market numbers a compact hatchback, which is a segment in which GM has no cars which sell well.”

Obviously GM is limited in how many they could produce at the moment, so we don’t disagree there.

If you are suggesting this was a deliberate attempt to hinder sales, I disagree. The Bolt was deep in development when GM’s small and compact vehicle sales had peaked and SUVs were trending downward.

But since that 2013-2015 high point, sales of small cars and sedans have fallen industry wide while small crossovers such as the Trax and the Encore have grown significantly over the same period.

Sonic Sales 2014 93,518 / 2017 30,290 (hatch and sedan)
Spark Sales 2014 39,159 / 2017 22,589 (hatch)
Trax Sales 2014 739 / 79,289 (bolt-sized crossover)
Encore Sales 2014 48,892 / 2017 88,035 (bolt-sized crossover)

If it was a deliberate attempt to hinder sales, they would not be going through the effort to call the Bolt EV a crossover. 😉 Plus, all future GM EVs in the pipeline are SUVs and crossovers.


It’s interesting that the Bolt could very well outsell it’s gas equivalent (Sonic) this year.


I think they went with a small car for the same reason the EV1 was a small car. For decades the formula for maximizing range in an EV was to start with a small car to minimize battery size.

Think back to the Mahindra Reva, or Aptera, or the Think! EV. Small and light was the mantra for getting EV’s on the road.


Translation: GM doesn’t plan to compete with Tesla.
Shareholders must be overjoyed.

Someone out there

No, the real translation is that they see Tesla for the joke it is.


No one’s laughing at BMW and MB.
Tesla now has 20 Billion Dollars in Assets on it’s balance sheet, with the most advanced battery and assembly factories in the world.
You’ll have to define “joke” for me.


Just so we’re working with the same set of “facts”, this article states:

“Automotive experts say GM’s battery and EV group is one of the largest in the world, rivaled only by Toyota Motor Corp in Japan and Daimler AG in Germany.”

Tesla is not the top dog when it comes to battery research and testing facilities or technology.


Tesla doesn’t need to be “top dog” in battery research; it has its partner Panasonic to do that for them.

Panasonic is by far the #1 EV battery seller in the world, thanks in large part to Tesla.

And if Toyota has one of the biggest battery research divisions in the world, they must be wasting an awful lot of money on salaries of people who aren’t accomplishing much. Toyota keeps talking about delaying making BEVs until they get solid state batteries… and keeps pushing back the year in which they expect to put those batteries into their cars.

I don’t know how “big” Panasonic’s battery R&D lab is, but from the standpoint of results, and from the standpoint of quality rather than quantity, it seems to have Toyota’s research lab beat all hollow.


Toyota has sold 8 million cars with traction batteries.

I don’t know if anyone else is even at a million. Tesla recently cracked a quarter million.


Toyota clearly had the lead, they just decided to squander it due to the stubbornness of their CEO.


Actually, Tesla is doing their own battery research. They were originally planning on doing their own cells,but I suspect that Panasonic has pushed to keep the partnership going and that Tesla is focused on cars,utility batteries, solar, etc, so, this is a win-win-win for all.


Tesla has people like ie: John B Goodenough , (Inventor of the Lithium Battery)& Braga from U of T etc: , among other Researchers, who invent research Develop new Battery chemistries and make working Prototypes for Tesla to assess. All the different chemists bring their Latest findings to Tesla because they are the biggest consumers of EV batteries .


You weren’t going with Reuters facts. You were going with their narrative. Production is relevant. Ingredients are becoming more relevant, than technology. Who has secured them. Who hasn’t.

Get Real

The real translation is that some troll out there is a joke with his serial anti-Tesla fantasies.


“Someone out there” said:

“No, the real translation is that they see Tesla for the joke it is.”

Looks like you need to change your screen name to “Some Tesla hater out there”.

I don’t think there are a lot of people in the automotive industry who are laughing at Tesla. And if there are, then their laughter must sound pretty hollow!

From Forbes: “Why Tesla Is Beating GM, Nissan and Ford”


If Tesla is a joke, then why are MB, Audi, Lexus, VW, etc not laughing at Tesla and just ignoring EVs?
Why do we read CONSTANTLY that the manufacturer claims that they have the PERFECT Tesla killer (their words, not the journalists) and then it almost always turns out to be nothing more than one of their ICE cars converted horribly into an EV, and it does not sell well?

Mark C

Why should they try and market it to draw Tesla reservation holders? I’ve not seen a Bolt ad on TV or in newsprint since the car launched. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to spend that ad money for no return?

While Tesla is/was in anti-sell mode for the Model 3, GM has been hiding its EV/EREV from the public in most non-CARB states from day one


The showed tha ad they made with the BC family driving their Bolt on a camping trip here on Canadian tv during the coverage of the junior hockey world championships. Its a pleasant ad but no mention is made of the car by name or even that you should go to a dealership for a test ride, because you can’t, most dealers don’t have any. Not exactly aggressive marketing. No GM seems more interested in the self driving ride hailing future for the Bolt than selling them through dealers


That is so true.
GM does a lot of Sunday Football auto ad’s.
I’ve never seen GM advertise the Volt or the Bolt on Sunday.
Am I wrong.

I guess we’re all just disappointed GM isn’t innovating.
They have the engineers.
The Volt is an engineering marvel.
They just don’t have the corporate leadership.
No one want’s to see GM layoff’s or more jobs moved to China.
But, GM management doesn’t seem to have a problem with either.


If they wanted to sell more they’d package the federal credit in the lease. Same story for Pacifica and Clarity PHEVs.


Popular common misconception…Overall, the total cost of a Bolt EV lease compared to the MSRP is extremely favorable to the customer…While they don’t offer a full $7500 off of CCR, they inflate the residual (more savings for the customer) and lower the money factor (interest)…

Nov 16 was reported you could get a LT w/DCFC which stickered at $38,2XX for $0 drive off and 35 payments of $245…Then you could get about another $1500 off if you elected to prepay in full up front, for a total lease of under $7100 plus you could still qualify for State/Costco/Utility incentives…


In other non-news GM/Chevy is not interested in marketing their plugin vehicles.

So why would “normal” people be interested in buying these from a company not interested in selling them?


That’s quite the leap you made there. A little silly to say that about the company that sold 2nd most EVs in the US last year.


Second to the much more expensive Models S/X while Nissan stopped making and ran out of Leafs, BMW catching up and Hyundai, Mitsubishi and VW couldn’t muster enough supply for the US as they sell the Ioniq, the Outlander PHEV, and the eGolf/GTE like hot cakes abroad…

Imagine how many more GM would have sold if they actively promoted the Bolt EV, the Volt, and the CT6 PHEV? The sole reason they sold as many was that they are great plugins and have had a strong following. As competition heats up they will stop sell themselves (i.e. the Volt).


I cancelled my M3 reservation and purchased a Volt in October 2017. My old gas guzzler Volvo I intended to replace with the M3 needed extensive service and I didn’t want to pay the $$ I had set aside for the M3. My local Chevy dealer had heavily discounted Volts. Together with the tax credit I paid probably less than 60% of what I would have paid for the M3, and the Volt fits well for my daily commute (24 miles per day). For some people switching to a Volt / Bolt from M3 may make sense.


That’s smart shopping/buying.


“I cancelled my M3 reservation and purchased a Volt in October 2017”

Sounds appropriate! My wife is mostly considering the Model 3 and a new Volt to replace her 2013 Volt.

If Chevy wants to woo Model 3 buyers, they should do it with a Volt!


If Chevy wanted to woo Volt 1 owners, they should have fixed the poor A-pillar visibility and thinned it down when they had the chance. That, or the c-pillar blind spot, or the rear leg room.

Otherwise, fantastic car.


Getting out of the gasser and into the Volt at a discount was the right choice instead of waiting. Besides, it is a car purchase, not a marriage. You can always get that M3 for your next car some day in the future. They will make more after the wait list is done.


To be fair, even marriages aren’t exactly permanent in this day and age. I’m sure some people have a car that lasts them longer than their marriage.


LOL!! Good point. Maybe I should choose something more permanent for my example of something permanent…..

Bill Howland
I agree with Brian that GM doesn’t ‘pick fights’ with others unless it felt it had a clear advantage. The ‘3’, being released SO MUCH LATER than the BOLT, actually makes the ‘3’ viewed nowadays as the much more ‘modern’ car!!! The only place where I see Chevy has ‘picked a friendly fight’ is with the Silverado/F150 choice. Chevy clearly saw the unprotected aluminum bed was something their plain old steel bed could Capitalize on for people who use pickup trucks for what they are designed for – a heavy duty WORK vehicle. It made the point that a Silverado can go to WORK every day with no significant damage. AN F150 would need a heavy bed liner at a minimum to survive as well, and is an additional expense not needed with the Chevy. Since they make so much money on trucks, it was a wise ‘fight’ to pick. The Bolt / ‘3’ comparison is not so compelling at all since the ‘3’ seems to win on styling and features. The Bolt’s only saving graces by comparison is that its utilitarian ‘soccer mom’ styling is more space efficient, and it may possibly be a more reliable car than the… Read more »

Chevy did try to capitalize on the aluminum bed with attack ads, yet the F series still sold 50% more vehicles than the heavy Chevy…


One thing that is overlooked is the GMC Sierra, which is the Silverado’s twin…The twins outsold the F150…

Bill Howland

“Touche!” ..

Yeah I bet the ads with ‘real people’ -actually the Spanish language versions were equally ‘fun’. – are the basic “HARD SELL” advertising which I always enjoy compared to the 95% ‘soft sell crap’ we usually get.

Tell me why I should buy your car – I’ll figure out the rest of the stuff myself.

Well done Chevy/GMC.


I always wonder about the claim of the F-150 being the top selling truck. What trim level? They have so many variants of the F-150, that it seems hardly fair to call the bottoms of the line small truck the same name as the top end super crew huge bed, or the f150 “Raptor” off-road package. An “small” F-150 starts about $27k but a fully optioned large trim level can be like $70k. But they all get lumped together as F-150 sales.


GM has a long history of attack ads and often fails in the process which appears to the case with the beds…While the F150 bed was punctured more, the Silverados steel bed was also punctured/permanently damaged…

Remember the Volts first two attack ads? Claimed the PREVIOUS generation, not the current generations batteries weren’t advanced…Yet the CURRENT generation batteries were…Then the Leaf attack…You’re in an elevate and without any warning, it abruptly stops and leaves you stranded…Not only was the premise a head scratcher (An EV will leaving you stranded without warning) but they incredibly shot themselves in the foot in the process…An attack on EVs was an attack on their own Spark EV which was for sale at the time and most people in EV circles knew the Bolt EV was coming…

Manny jones

Point blank a chevy bolt is close to a prius is not a tesla model 3 no wear near. #facts#


Disagree. I’ve driven a Prius. The Bolt is a blast to drive, the Prius is a chore.

Of course I cannot comment on the Model 3, having never even seen one in person let alone drive one. But I’m sure it will be a better car overall, as it should given its significantly higher purchase price (when similarly equipped)


Yeah, Prius is lethargic as hell. I’d put the Leaf more in the category of the Prius. Only being an EV the Leaf is still decidedly superior in driving performance.


The m3 seems more modern? I saw one a few days ago and it looks like a very half-assed wanabe model S coming up short on a 7 year old car. Seems less modern.


While I don’t share your negative opinions of the Tesla Model 3, at the same time I am also scratching my head at Bill’s claim that the TM3 appears “more modern” than the Bolt EV just because it didn’t start appearing in large numbers until a year later.

I think the TM3 does point to the future of auto design. It’s about time that auto makers let their PEVs be truly different from gasmobiles, and once again Tesla is leading the way.

But Tesla’s innovation has nothing to do with the TM3 coming out 6 months or a year later than the Bolt EV. Making everything in the car work well together, and intuitively, has long been Tesla’s forte; it’s probably the biggest reason why the Model S won more “Best Car of the Year” awards than any other car, ever. It’s not GM’s forte, and that’s not likely to change.

In disruptive tech revolutions, innovations don’t come from old established market leaders like GM, or Kodak. They come from new fast-growing “young Turk” companies like Tesla.


It’s funny when someone brings up Kodak as “missing the boat”. They invented the digital camera. They were also big in digital cameras as well. The problem was cell phones with cameras replaced standalone cameras for most of the market accept on the high end. This would be like GM going all in on electric cars and someone invents an anti gravity device leading to flying cars.

Chris O

So, why won’t Chevrolet capitalize?

Well maybe best not to remind people that for Bolt money they could have the rather more glamorous Model 3. Except nobody pays MSRP for Bolt, they tend to go for at least $4K below that which does make them competitive if not necessarily very profitable (in the sense of losing money on every sale) for GM: another reason not to encourage sales too much.


Yep, anyone paying MSRP for the Bolt (or most any car really) is getting hosed.

Someone out there

GM is focused on the future, on the development of the next EVs. The Bolt is old news by now. It has served its purpose as a technology demonstrator and experimental platform, now it’s time to take this platform forward.


Oh Brother.


Wow, I need to put on my hip boots; the bull pucky is getting pretty deep in here!

I take it you work for GM?


What he said is true. It’s not like the designers of the Bolt are still looking at the designs changing things. That boat has sailed and the car is being manufactured. The design team is using lessons learned for their next project.

Six Electrics

Nitpick: the current Model 3 starts at $49K, not $45K. Add Autopilot, paint and wheels and it’s up to $56.5K.

Murrysville EV

GM isn’t interested in losing more money – that’s why they’re not pushing the Bolt.


GM will sell around 20k Bolts next year too.
The Model 3 will surpass Bolt sales every month of 2018, and just continue to pull away, surpassing total Bolt production this Summer.

GM can afford to make 20k/year, since they are losing money on them, but they can’t afford to make too many more. Incentives on the Bolt are around 21%.


I surely hope Tesla’s Model 3 outsell the Bolt every month this year. Because if it doesn’t it a fail on Tesla’s side. Tesla’s sales will not get any easier in 2018 with the new EV’s coming out and 2019 is going to start the flood of EV’s on the market.


Personally I think the Bolt will surpass 30K in 2018. Model 3 will sell more, but how much depends on how many end up being produced, and how soon.

Six Electrics

Note that the Bolt was best selling US BEV in Q4. I predict the same for Q1 of this year.


Sure thing Not-Nostradamus.





Yep, that’s even better.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous



It could very well happen if the Model 3 ramp goes slower than expected. I don’t know how anyone could say with certainty that the Bolt won’t outsell the Model 3 in Q1, when we’ve already witnessed such a slow production ramp.

Someone out there

Yep. Here’s another prediction: Tesla’s 5000 cars/week will be postponed to Q3… and to Q4


Tesla claims they exited Q4 17 at greater than 1000 3’s/wk, and are aiming for 2500/wk for current. Assume they average 2000 throughout this quarter. That’s ~26000 3’s for the quarter, which is only ~12k vehicles from the 200k tax cutoff. Is it a stretch to assume they’ll deliver 12k Model S/X? Q1 ’17 deliveries was a shy over 10k.
I think Tesla is intentionally delaying (public) ramp until Q2.


It really boggles my mind that any informed person would suggest Tesla is delaying the ramp up of the TM3! Did you not read the report that Tesla pulled so many engineers and other personnel off building the MS and MX, in order to push harder on ramping up the TM3, that MS and MX production fell off by 10% in the last quarter of 2017?

Tesla can easily delay passing the 200,000 unit mark for U.S. sales, by simply shifting more deliveries of the TM3 to Canada and overseas. Intentionally delaying the TM3 ramp up is quite literally the last thing Tesla would do!


Tesla did not exit Q4 at >1000 Model 3s per week. They have different parts of their lines briefly run that fast at different times. That’s why you have to “extrapolate” to get to 1000/week.

They’ll do 10-15k Model 3s in Q1 and cross the 200k threshold in April or May.


That, seems about right.
I would up that to 15-20k, by the end of the 1st quarter. YTD production.


I agree with you on Model 3 production for Q1. And most of that will come in late February / March.

But! They’re making progress.

And they’re going to embarrass every other EV on the market this year even if expectations are not met.


Yeah. I suspect the Model 3 will outsell all other EVs for 2018.




I highly doubt that. It will be outsold by the Model 3 in Q1.

But it’s very possible that the Bolt does take January and maybe february by a hair… although that is not very likely.


Here’s a point of interest. I won’t comment since that might dissuade people from reading it.


Some propaganda you have there.


The opportunity that GM is wasting is not against Tesla it’s against Toyota. Tesla competes with Mercedes not Chevy. There are hundreds of thousands of Prius owners out there who have never had a reason to consider buying a Chevy until now. Prius owners don’t care about style, if they did they never would have bought a Prius, but they do care a lot about carbon footprints. The Volt has twice the range of the Prius Prime plus it’s a lot peppier. Toyota has no answer for the Bolt for at lest two more years. GM should be aggressively using this window to reclaim buyers from Toyota, they won’t get another chance because in two or three years the window will close forever.




GM won’t (and hasn’t) produce the Bolt past the number of cars required by jurisdictions to comply with ZEV mandates i.e. Compliance Car Only


Actually, GM has definitely already exceeded compliance requirements for several years going forward.


Well, that’s what Elon Musk claimed, but according to figures posted on the InsideEVs Forum by WadeTyhon, that’s simply not true. According to Wade:

“…for 2018, in California, GM only needs to sell ~3,000 Bolts in order to be compliant and avoid paying fines or buying credits from other automakers.”

You can see WadeTyhon’s remarks in context, with a lot more facts and figures, here:


as @menorman and @Pushmi-Pullyu have stated, you are incorrect in this point.

They have far outsold what will be needed for compliance – well into next decade even if they stopped production on the Bolt and Volt today.


Looks like Tesla is poised to hit 200k at start of Q2 though, whereas GM is lagging a quarter or two, somewhat to their advantage as far as final selling price


As of the end of 2017, GM and Tesla are pretty much in a dead heat in terms of EVs produced toward the Tax credit expiry (with GM beating out Tesla by about 6000).

It really ultimately depends on how well Tesla can ramp up Model 3. Based on their current predictions and if X/S sales stay flattish, they would hit end of Q1, but it would make better sense for them to hit it at the beginning of a quarter, so they might ship more to Canada or overseas so they hit it just at the beginning of Q2.

If GM sales of the Bolt and Volt (plus some small contributions from the Cadillac CT6 plugin), stay flat, then they are looking at the very end of Q2 or the beginning of Q3, and again, they could play the numbers to make sure they hit the beginning of Q3.

But if Tesla fails to significantly ramp up TM3, and GM continues to increase Bolt sales, they could end up crossing the line about the same time.


Well, duh. GM is not only dependent on LG Chem for the Bolt EV’s batteries, it’s also dependent on LG Electronics’ new automotive division for the entire EV powertrain in the Bolt EV!

It’s not like GM can just turn a knob and crank up production, even if they wanted to. They have a contract with LG for delivery, and they would have to change the contract to be able to increase production. Since LG Chem is, or at least was, requiring orders two years in advance for its battery cells, it seems rather unlikely that GM would be able to increase production this year even if they wanted to.

Sean Wagner

Precisely. And – beyond contractual obligations – LG is now in a position to pick whom they supply – ie. those who pay the most. Quite a good play.


Unless that was already baked into the agreement.


Perfectly stated, thanks Ron! This was bugging me too.


“could get into a Chevrolet Bolt now, keep it for two years (or even three)”

With GM leasing, for whatever reason they tend to only lease the Gen2 Volt and the Bolt EV for a minimum of 36 months and often their national offers are for 39 months…For GM, 24 month leases are often reserved for “clearanced” models…


GM culture clearly hates Tesla, there is example after example of an Exec making on the record statements throwing shade at Tesla…So to offer a “TM3 lease conquest” would require advertising for Tesla…There’s also the problem of VALIDATING a Tesla reservation since after you reserve you get an email without any specific reference number so accepting that would mean a lot of folks could photoshop a reservation…For regular lease conquests, they require a lease statement which has your account number which they supposedly verify is valid…

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I know mine will not be well received, but I don’t care because after all it is “my” opinion. I prefer the Bolt to the Model 3. I have my reasons and I’ll share them. 99% of the time I use a vehicle for local “around town” duty. I concede that Tesla’s supercharging network is a superior selling point for those that may travel, however I think most people confuse their perceived need with their actual need. Myself, since 99% of my driving is local, I do not need a vehicle that can use Tesla’s superchargers. Even with the Supercharger, using a Tesla for traveling still is less convenient and requires extra planning compared to a ICE vehicle. On the rare occasions that I do travel, I like to use my 31′ Forest River Sunseeker, which can be refueled in less than 5 minutes, has an on-board galley for meals, an on-board restroom for bodily function breaks, and on-board sleeping quarters. On my RV travels, I do like to tow an electric car behind me for local trips while glamping. The Bolt weighs a little over 3600 pounds which is a good weight… Read more »

Good for you! Especially with EV’s, Your Mileage Will Vary, and knowing what your own personal needs are is the first step to finding the right match. It is good to see you did your homework and found the right car to meet your own personal needs!

GM is smart not to get into a negative toned speculative short term ad campaign. They are better off staying positive and just showing off all the positive aspects of their product, and let the customers decide. The facts are that if you set aside the TM3, the Bolt is hands down the longest range affordable pure EV available today. They should just sell what they’ve got, and continue to keep opening up more markets like they’ve been doing all through 2017 with opening more markets in US states. Opening sales to all of North America would put them on the path to a potential 40k-50k year of sales. Just let that happen naturally using a positive ad campaign, and meanwhile get the next 2 of the 20 planned new models of EV’s ready to market in the next year to year and a half. That should always be the long term plan, grow through providing more market choices. Then when somebody complains “it is too small” or “it looks like a Sonic” or whatever somebody’s personal tastes are, just have another EV option that they can point to. Make sales by meeting the needs of customers by giving them… Read more »
From the article: “Battery experts said the full cost of a GM battery pack, such as the one used now in the Bolt EV, is $10,000-$12,000, or nearly one-third of the car’s $36,000 sticker price. ” It is interesting that they talk about sticker price, when we all know that GM can’t sell these for full sticker, and that GM has to split the sale with dealerships. GM only gets wholesale price for their cars, not sticker price. And then GM has to pile incentives onto the hood, either directly as customer incentives, or indirectly as dealer incentives. So once you back out the dealership share, and go back to wholesale, and back out incentives, the battery cost quoted make up closer to 40% of what GM actually pockets for themselves. Adding to the problem is that not only does GM get knee-capped on the sales price, they are also jammed into supplier contract prices on the back end. GM is stuck with the contract price that LG sticks them with for batteries, and the other roughly dozen other major systems that LG supplies. So as they are squeezed for price on the sales/wholesale/incentive side, they face a brick wall… Read more »

The points you are making are somewhat murky to me. I don’t really get what you’re saying other than “because the battery is so expensive it’s hard to make money on this car”. Although, I’m not going to try and figure out how much (or if) GM makes on a bolt, I’ll counter your point that “because this car has a large battery it’s not as profitable” by saying that the manufacturer is also on the hook for warranty issues. So a car that has less to go wrong, could be another way for GM to make money on this car, in an indirect way.