In April, Chevrolet Leased 865 Spark EVs, Sold Just 55


Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet Spark EV

As we reported on May 1, Chevrolet Spark EV sales skyrocketed to a record-high of 920 units in April.  We attributed high sales to the Spark EV’s killer lease deal and, as it turns out, our guess was spot on.

Annalisa Bluhm from Chevrolet communications told Autoblog that 94% of the 920 Spark EVs sold in April were retail leases.  That works out to 864.8 leased Spark EVs, which we’ve rounded to 865.  That leaves just 55 Spark EVs that were sold in April.

Bluhm stated:

“In those states which offer Spark EV, you can get a 1LT Spark EV for less than a 1LT Spark, with more features. Factor in that you will save approximately $82 per month by abstaining from gas, and it’s easy to see why people went crazy for the Spark.”

We prefer the term bonkers, but crazy works too.

Source: Autoblog

Categories: Chevrolet

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21 Comments on "In April, Chevrolet Leased 865 Spark EVs, Sold Just 55"

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Now imagine if that was available in all 50 states.

That is… crazy, how some companies will go out of their ways to sell at loss when they can make some profit if they tried.

Fortunately, EU standards will require high enough percentage of xEVs so that making them unprofitably wont be a possibility.

Sadly EU driving cycle test is… more prone to cheating or more politically correct “optimizing for passing the test”.

But then no matter what, 20-30 xEVs mean HUGE market for battery suppliers to conquer, so investments will follow, even if per car technology quantity will be small.

And hopefully that will enable used xEVs market for eastern part of EU.

Anyone actually tried to project what will happen in other markets when EU regulations will eventually take effect?

Surly at least for major EU OEMs “compliance” cars wont make sense any longer after that.
(Why sell not-so-profitable car when one equally good at earning CARB credits can be sold with some profit?)

Your whole comment builds off a false premise: They’re not selling at a loss, This has been confirmed multiple times.

Stop trying to confuse me with the truth!

ClarksonCote, not exactly sure what you are referring to on your statement, but lease counts as sales, and each one of those leases, if they are all on the advertised price, it HAS to be a loss for each one sole (lease).

The total payment comes up less than $5600, on a vehicle that retails for some $27K. Depreciation is roughly less than 48% – and even worse in this case due to the incentives and the longer lease term, but let’s be generous, 50%.

Thus, lease payment, which really covers depreciation of the vehicle price, is around $13.5K (in reality, should be some $15k or more).

You are looking at a significant difference there. The financial arm od GM will take a big hit there on per vehicle sold basis.

Londo Bell debuted in the anime movie Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack.

In Super Robot Wars, Londo Bell is often the name of the protagonist force. The label is given to the Mobile Suits and other Super Robots that are appointed by the Earth Federation to protect the Earth Sphere from rogue factions.

So what robot force do you identify yourself with? My take is that Londo is a paid troll or just works for someone with interest in the energy industry ( read: oil and natural gas ). Maybe you just own energy stock?

At any rate, I with trolls like Londo Buddy would just go away silently into the night. They don’t add one iota of value here with a single word they say.

Yup, make a whole lot of sense into explaining why GM didn’t lose money on those leases, because, I guess, trolling means I was right and your feelings were hurt…

It’s a simple question on how GM did NOT lose money on those lease as stated by CC, so unless you have some numbers or facts to present, it is best for you to hush…


Well, the financing arm is separate from GM right? GM gets the money for the sale, and the financing arm (which is not an arm anymore, really a separate entity) assumes the risks you’re referencing. That’s no different than any other leasing deal on another vehicle. GM has positive margin on each one of these “sales” (be it lease or purchase).

Additionally, we already know that the Spark EV has covered the CARB ZEV credits through 2020 and then some, so this explosion in sales wasn’t some “loss taking to meet compliance” like some would want to believe.

Well, ClarksonCote, I can’t be sure that you’ve built your argument on a false premise, as someone stated above, but at the least I think you’ve jumped to a conclusion, probably a false one, and maybe more than one.

For example: If those States in which the car is offered have rebates which reduce the buyer’s price, then Chevrolet isn’t losing money on selling the car at a lower price in those States. The Federal tax rebate may also reduce the buyer’s price, again without lowering the amount Chevy gets paid.


ClarksonCote said:

“…we already know that the Spark EV has covered the CARB ZEV credits through 2020 and then some, so this explosion in sales wasn’t some ‘loss taking to meet compliance’ like some would want to believe.”

But if selling more Spark EVs gets GM more carbon credits, they can sell those credits to other companies for a profit. Just like Tesla does.

It was only recently that I saw an explanation in a comment at InsideEVs that explains why EV makers make leasing their vehicles so attractive: Because that way, the auto maker can “sell” more EVs, and they get the full value of the carbon credits even for a lease. Also, if the “bank” financing the lease (technically the actual owner) is GM Financial, then GM gets the full value of the Federal tax rebate, even if the lessee wouldn’t qualify for 100% of that.

Your claim that GM Financial is no longer a subsidiary of GM doesn’t seem to pass a reality check, either:

Hi Lensman,

To my knowledge, all leases go through companies like Ally now, which once was part of GM, but now trades publically and is no longer part of GM in any way. I could be wrong though, but I don’t think so.

Regarding the credits, you’re right that they could sell them, however my understanding from Jay here at InsideEVs is that they do have positive margin on these vehicles, and were able to decrease price from the new LG Chem Spark EV contract changing from the A123 battery contract, and not because they’ve decided to take a loss.

“They’re not selling at a loss, This has been confirmed multiple times.”

It has? Any links? I would suspect it is sold at a slight loss for the CARB ZEV credits.

Yeah, the heavy leasing does make sense. These econobox EVs don’t really appeal much to rich people. And non rich people generally don’t have the income to take advantage of the full $7500 tax-credit. So people lease the cars, the lease company takes the tax-credit and passes the savings in the form of a lower lease price.

And people will buy them used when they come off their leases.

To claim the full $7500 tax credit one only needs a taxable income of roughly $47,000. Not exactly a one percenter.

Well . . . maybe if you have no deductions. But if you are in the market for an EV, you probably own a home where you will install a charger and thus you are taking the big home interest deduction.

for this price, I can lease a spark, install an inverter for my house and use this as my “powerwall”

or just buy a battery pack from a wrecking yard.

I wonder if the huge sales of Spark EV is what hurt sales of the Nissan Leaf last month.

How do how can I get my hands on one in Florida? I’m ready to buy or lease one now!

Come to Maryland, then drive it to VA and put it on the auto train.

Is this deal still on? Thought it was over end of April.