Q4 Chevy Volt And Bolt EV Deliveries, Plus December Breakouts

Chevy Bolt EV

JAN 3 2019 BY WADE MALONE 56

Chevy Volt and Chevy Bolt EV have a solid 4th quarter.

Because General Motors no longer reports monthly sales reports in favor of Tesla-like quarterly reporting, InsideEVs’ monthly Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Volt delivery numbers are estimates.

We consider this information important to our readers and have decided to provide the best estimates we can. Our numbers are primarily based upon daily inventory tracking, as well as accounts from buyers, dealers and other sources. At the end of each quarter we revisit our estimates once we receive final quarterly numbers from General Motors. Any updates to sales numbers will be made at that time.

If you have been following this sales report for the past few months, you know that Bolt inventories in the U.S. were weak throughout the entire 2018 model year. GM had been prioritizing exports of the popular electric hatchback, particularly to South Korea. So much so that 2018 international GM plug-in sales eclipsed domestic for the first time ever.

In the 3rd quarter, sales improved with Chevrolet reported deliveries of 3,949 the Chevy Bolt EVs and 5,429 Chevy Volts.

In the 4th quarter, sales for the Bolt have significantly improved as the automaker again focused on the American market and increased production of the popular electric hatchback. For the fourth quarter, Chevrolet reported 6,212 Chevy Bolt EVs and 5,063 Chevy Volts were sold.

Because our estimates are primarily based on inventories, we are reliant upon dealers and third party websites to maintain accurate inventory information.  Most months this leads to a relatively accurate breakdowns of sales. However, this quarter it resulted in November estimates for the Volt that were too high.

There was indeed a sales spike in November for the Volt but not as high as inventory drops had indicated. We have made our final end of quarter adjustment to the monthly breakdowns of both models.

By the end of the month, it was clear that both models would see a sharp drop off for December. InsideEVs estimates that 1,412 Chevy Bolt EVs and 1,058 Chevy Volts were delivered last month.

Gen 2 Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt inventories are at a 12 month low.

These sales estimates are consistent with General Motors confirming to InsideEVs several months ago that they will be crossing the 200,000 threshold in Q4 of this year. This milestone was most likely hit in early December. Chevy buyers should have access to the full $7,500 tax credit until at least April 1st, 2019. Although depending on IRS rules, the refund might be available until July 1st, 2019.

Unfortunately this buying spree over the past two quarters has devastated Volt inventories.

By December 31st, 3,353 Bolts were at or in transit to dealers. The Volt dropped like a rock to a mere 1,613 units. These inventories were down from yearly highs of 4,500+ during the quarter.

CHEVY BOLT

Chevrolet Bolt EVs - finding more US driveways every month!
29 photos
The introduction (and US reception) of the Chevy Bolt EV has pulled forward GM's 200,000th sale by at least a year (now expected in Q2 2018) Chevrolet Bolt at the recent GM Official autocross event near Detroit. Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV The best option overall is generally to drive at normal speed Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Chevrolet Bolt EV:  Lots of useful room inside...and a fair about of standard finishes Bolt Interior Chevy Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV - right-hand-drive?! Chevy Bolt rear seats The rear seating area offers plenty of room for passengers Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

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56 Comments on "Q4 Chevy Volt And Bolt EV Deliveries, Plus December Breakouts"

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Before Tesla released their numbers yesterday, I thought it was a sure bet that we’d blow past 50K for US plugins in December. Shifted my estimate down to 49K when Tesla’s numbers came out. Now with GM’s numbers, I’m thinking maybe 46K… except I kind of feel like lowering it even further… if Volt and Bolt stumbled, why wouldn’t I expect the others to stumble, too? Will it come in under 44K? Will it not even end up beating September?

Didn’t GM hit their 200K sometime in the recent past? From what I can tell, other manufacturers haven’t, so we may see decent, or even great figures for the rest of EV’s …. not that it would matter much in the overall count.

Sales indicate that they crossed 200k this past quarter. However, buyers should still have full access to the tax credit until at least April 1, 2019. That should have boosted GM sales if anything. And it did for the Bolt this quarter.

When the Volt had healthy inventories in October and November sales were looking strong. But there were very few new Volts sent to dealers between mid-November and the end of December.

Why didn’t they even attempt to stretch it to January and preserve the credit then? What’s the point in delivering 2,000 too many cars?

Because it matters very little when you won’t be producing cars in any numbers beyond compliance.
GM never had plans to mass produce the Bolt and every months production numbers are simply more proof of that.
Sure they would love to see the tax credit extended but only because it makes the car less expensive, so people may actually buy them, but not in great numbers, because they’re aren’t that many being produced.

You still believe in the field of dreams, “Build them and they will come…” ?? Building in large numbers doesn’t suddenly produce large numbers of buyers.

That’s what doomed the old GM. That, and tossing thousands of dollars of cash on the hood to juice sales just for the sake of inflating numbers.

Making inferior products had a lot to do with it to. Covering up flaws in vehicles which led to numerous deaths, dismemberments, and other tragic results, which are now being adjudicated, may have had some bearing on their bankruptcy too.

They still do put thousands on the hood; particularity for leasing…

The Model 3 does not have the same problem. You’re trying to put words in my mouth. You guys are so laughable. For the longest time it was GM will up production once things get rolling, and now the Bolt, GM’s only ev, has fallen flat, as I have repeatedly said it would, and the Volt is dead car rolling, which I also predicted..

I’ve been continually derided for calling the Bolt compliance, which it is, a better compliance car, but that is all. Dealers don’t want to sell it, it’s not attractive, the seats are crummy, the suspension is inferior, the ride harsh, good drivetrain though, the part of the car they did not make, anyway, GM only wants to market it for ZEV credits, it’s a money loser that was never intended for mass production.
GM is full of crap. Their future plans are ludicrous and complete fabrications, in regard the ev revolution, and what part they will play in it.
Certain individuals who grace these pages will only tout the GM line, no matter how ridiculous it is. so what they have to say is inherently suspect. I include you in that grouping.

Answer me this oh, automotive guru… why did GM bother to make the Bolt at all if all they wanted was compliance? They could have made the Spark EV, or the Volt unchanged nearly forever and saved A LOT of money. It really would have helped their bottom line. You assertion that GM just made the Bolt to be a compliance car makes zero sense.

I’m sorry you’re bitter on GM, I don’t know why, but it is what it is. What I really wonder is, why you click on these articles about the Bolt, or Volt, or GM’s future plans and post all this stuff? Is it ego? Are you fishing for likes?

Anyhow, I enjoy my Bolt every day and pretty much anyone else that actually bought one does too. Thank you GM for building such a great “compliance car” in a timely manner and at a price I could afford at your own great expense.

I think people take issue with “compliance” as it is used as a bad word at many sites. The Bolt EV is compliance in the sense they emphasize the credits selling it, but it is not like Kia and Hyundai because they actually sell (and stock) it in all 50 states. Not just compliance states.

It is a unique designed EV (unlike the Focus EV for example). Even Tesla used compliance to get money to help get started initially. They really played the compliance credits offering swapable batteries and such (which magically disappeared after credits went away for that feature).

But I would argue that the problem with the Bolt is that it isn’t really extremely available in the first place.

Right now (1 -’19) there are about 100 new Bolts on Portland lots, discounted $4,000. That brings a Premier down below $40k, but not many will pay that instead of a M3. Last month sales were better with a few more thousand off, so I think they have plenty on hand.

They overproduced the Bolt EV for the US market. To sell the volumes they have (23k last year, 18k this year) they had to discount it heavily, like 15 or 20% off MSRP before tax credits. It will sell in other markets (Korea, Europe, Norway, etc), but has issue in the US. It just isn’t a car at a price point people are willing to pay. People perceive it as a compact hatch, and the premium compact hatch market in the US is non-existent (especially when your premium priced compact hatch doesn’t offer premium features).

You are exaggerating the discounts offered on Bolts. Yes I’m sure some people are getting 15-20% off msrp, but that is not typical. I bought mine in June in Massachusetts. Best deal I could find anywhere on an actual car that was actually on a dealer lot and for sale was 10% off msrp.

You are right that people aren’t willing to pay the asking price, but that is ignorance, not because the car isn’t worth it. Run the numbers on 5-year total cost of ownership.

The Bolt, at 10% off msrp, is identical in cost to any hot hatch, which is what it is. A sleeper hot hatch. Acceleration is identical to VW GTI at all measures: 0-60, passing time, and 1/4 mile. The one-pedal driving, low cog, and silent, ultra smooth drivetrain more than make up for the basic suspension and narrow seats (which I find perfectly fine, BTW).

For GM the Bolt EV and Volt are not the end all be all of sales for them like the S, X and 3 are for Tesla. For GM these car are basically rounding errors.

I have just checked the largest Chevy dealership in the area, and they are advertising 10 new Bolts, @ $5-6K below list. This does make me scratch my head …

It just shows that there are plenty of Bolts for anyone that wants one. There is no big GM plan to limit it to a “compliance car”. It just turns out the the average car buyer isn’t convinced yet on the value of a BEV and aren’t willing to “stretch” to get one. Meanwhile, it also turns out that the BEV enthusiasts that are sold on the concept, tend to be people with higher incomes and higher demands and are willing to stretch as long as the vehicle is amazing with all the creature comforts. Bottom line- GM misjudged the market. They went after Prius and Leaf buyers when they should have been going after BMW and Audi buyers. Who knew? I thought the Bolt would do better too, but it turns out most EV fans are wealthy snowflakes who talk a big game of getting off oil and reducing carbon foot print, but in reality it’s not the number one priority. Status and comfort are and they’re willing to wait however long for it. Anyhow, I’m super happy GM screwed up and misjudged. I have enjoyed driving all electric for almost two years now and if not for the… Read more »

Looks like Bob Lutz may have had the right of it after all. As you may recall, he originally wanted to make an expensive EV supercar to compete directly against the Roadster, but one of his lieutenants convinced him that the Prius was the more important threat… so the Volt was engineered to compete in that segment instead.

GM made EV super car (or super eco car) back in 90’s named Impact and look what happened.

Check the fine print. Many dealerships out there now list all of their cars on their website with prices that include every single factory incentive possible, even if they directly contradict each other. Like including both a discount for conquests from competitors, and also discounting the price with a discount for returning a leased car from the same company.

Trust Malone and the brothers Loveday. They gave their pre-estimate of 48K. They usually don’t show their hand unless it is pretty close.

Its sad to see the likes of Nissan, GM are not really into EVs even after almost 8-10 years of their first models (Leaf and Volt).

Nissan released Leaf in 2010 and from then battery prices are down rapidly ($11,00 to $150) but Leaf capacity is just grown from 24 KWh to 40 KWh in 2018. It still does not have proper battery management system. Leaf is still the only BEV car they make.

GM did a great job with Volt and it was released in 2010. They improved the range but they are killing it off soon. There are no proper updates for Bolt BEV even after almost 2 years.

Honestly, Nissan and GM had a great chance of ruling EV market but they are not really interested in them. Leaf and Bolt may be first to market but they are still compliance cars IMO.

I think Nissan also has a small E-van (not in the US, though).

Absolutely. They’ve gone nowhere in 8 years. Really pathetic. Just shows that Tesla is still the only game in town unfortunately. The American and Japanese automakers are a lost cause. Maybe VW and some other European makers are serious.

Isn’t Tesla an American automaker? Why is it unfortunate that Tesla is the only game in town? Aren’t they also super awesome? What are you complaining about?

GM’s new motto: A Silverado icing every Supercharger.
Despite their the protestations that they are all in with evs, the proof is in the pudding, and though the recipe calls for evs, they substituted BS instead.

What are you so bitter on GM for? Go get a Tesla and be happy. Why do you care what GM does?

GM trolls gonna troll!

Onward GM soldiers, marching as to war.
With the GM banner flowing on before.

Yeah – if they keep following the Great Brains they’re gonna lose. We’ll see.

I don’t and no else should care either.

If they’re gonna start ICEing our superchargers, then I do care, and I’m not just going to be happy.

Who’s they?

If GM had built a small crossover variant of the Volt using Voltec tech with a decent interior and moderate performance (sub 7 second 0-60 and at least 45 miles of AER) and priced it reasonably, they could have had a modest sales hit on their hands. They chose to do nothing. Then they delivered the mundane Bolt with poor interior quality, pokey fast charging and horrible seats. Kind of an intentional own goal. Screw GM. I like my Volt but I want to own a car built by a company that likes cars. GM is a leasing company now, not a car company, or so it seems. My next car will probably be a used Tesla 3 (though not one of the early builds) in a couple years. My Volt is 5 1/2 years old and paid off. Runs like a champ. I am going to keep this car for at least another 2 years. Sell it when it is 7 or so years old.
I wish the engineers that designed the Volt were the people running GM.

The critical part in your statement is “price it reasonably”. Throwing in a 20kwh battery, EV components, etc… already price it several thousand more than an all ICE vehicle. That makes it a hard sell.

As much as anyone complains about the Bolt, nobody else has shipped any 200+ miles BEV for under $37K so far. GM has been doing it for over 2 years now!

Stop your whining. Facts are there. Bolt is still the ONLY game in town regardless of all the stupid whining from the EV community from the last 2 years.

My 5.5 year old Volt is still a better car than a brand new Bolt. And that is sad. I can roadtrip longer with no compromises at a slow charging station, I can sit in a car that fits like a glove (I am 6’4″ and 210 pounds so roomy is useful) and have friends happy to ride in it with me without a painful Bolt-ache developing after half an hour or so.
The Bolt could have been a nice car, but GM gave it a clown car look, slow charging, horrible seats and a plastic interior only a mother could love.
That ain’t whining, dude, that is reality.

A 40kWh 2018 Leaf costs less than a 24kWh 2011 Leaf. That’s where the savings went.

The number of commercials I’ve seen for the Chevy Bolt in California is exactly zero. Pathetic marketing effort by GM.

How many Tesla commercials have you seen?

That made me smile 🙂

Good One!

Absolutely agree. I love my Bolt, but GM has dropped the ball. This is why they’re currently known as the company that just laid off several thousand factory workers, and not the company that’s reinventing itself around a modern driving experience.

They laid off workers from the factory that build cars that GM advertised all day long…

So, ads don’t work, do they?

They haven’t advertised the beautiful Impala for years – also to be discontinued.

How many Tesla ads have you seen? I’m pretty sure it’s the same number. Why does the Bolt need advertising to sell, but the TM3 does not? The Bolt’s sluggish sales has nothing to do with lack of advertising and spending money to advertise it only adds to the losses.

1. A Tesla is fast and sleek. 2. The short sellers and their sky is falling babbling, free publicity. 3. Elon Musk has star appeal. He does and says crazy things at times which gets plenty of more free publicity.

You have to consider the price. Tesla 3 at $50K (no subsidy) is roughly on par with $50K BMW / Mercedes. Bolt at $37K (or even $33K, both no subsidy) is highly lacking against other cars in that range. Only the “people in the know” who know about subsidy savings go for the Bolt, not so much for general public.

But for those “in the know”, Bolt is a fantastic value until Apr. I doubt there will be many 200+miles EV with hot-hatch performance for $23K any time soon.

Yes, fantastic ev for the price…there is only one bad thing about it and that’s exactly what’s holding sales back.

Agreed. People with more money are willing to spend it on the concept of an EV – read higher priced Telsas. Others, where their car is truly their means of transportation, are going to go with something they know, trust and fit their budgets – CUV’s.

Why hasn’t anyone praised these great-looking, EV-driving ladies?

My 2013 Leaf is a chick-magnet (j/k).

There are almost no Volt inventory anymore.

I seriously doubt GM is going to crank out much 2019 Volt between now and April.

So, if you want one now, better grab one before it is gone.

True, US inventory of Volts is still down. Just 1444 available in US on Cars dot com. Pity.

The Bolt is a great car for small areas, like South Korea. In the USA, we will get a Bolt for limited driving locally, but a Volt for other. Living as I do in the North East USA, 53 miles summer and 43 winter, won’t do it all, but still I drive my Volt over 90% on electricity. My Volt covers the other driving seamlessly on gas without recharging, is the best hybrid around, and is the best technology ever invented for doing this. I can pile grand-kids into my Volt and drive wherever their soccer is and not even think about recharging, whereas if I have to worry about recharging, that becomes the main thing I have to worry about. I cannot leave grand-kids stranded, so I drive a Volt. On the other hand, most of our cars driving most of our miles on gas is destroying the planet our grand-kids will inherit. Within their lifetime, the oil that remains will be priced so dear, they will have to limit it’s use anyway. Why not limit it’s use now, without pain? Buy a Volt and charge it at home at night as I do, using a supplier that provides… Read more »