Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors is gearing up for national sales of its new 2017 Volt, at the same time as it's prepping for the release of the 2017 Bolt EV by the end of the year. The company's marketing boss for both models, Darin Gesse, sheds some light on the plans.

Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

Gesse said that the main goal is to target the right audience. Those specifically being people that are similar to current Volt owners. A few TV commercials have hit the national airwaves but Gesse admitted, "our customers don't really watch TV."

Instead, the focus will be online, in print publications, and on billboards. GM has found that most Volt buyers are hardcore enthusiasts that may trump the knowledge of dealership employees.

The primary information that will be reiterated about the Volt are the most notable and necessary facts:

  • 53 miles of all-electric range
  • 420 miles of total range
  • 1,000 miles between fill-ups
In regards to the Bolt EV, similar emphasis will be placed on range, which rings in at 200 miles. Price of $30,000, after the rebates, will also be key. Since 70 percent of Volt owners are new Chevy customers, the company is looking at the Bolt EV similarly as a "halo car".

Chevy has committed to only allowing dealers certified to sell EVs access to the vehicles. In order to provide the best customer transactions, the company is videotaping top salepeople and sharing this information with dealers. Gesse refers to the sale of an EV as "a discussion, not a sales process." He goes on to explain that:

 "These are not typical Chevy customers," and that "The best way to explain the Volt is to experience it."

Another avenue that Chevy is looking into is delivering vehicles directly to interested buyers' homes, so that they can see it in their own driveway and are assured a test drive that is convenient for them. GM is also pushing dealerships to use Volts as loaners when possible.

The 2016 Malibu Hybrid  is going on sale soon as well. It is a mid-size sedan with a Volt powertrain, but is NOT a plug-in. One of the primary aspects of the marketing plan is that Chevy will stress:

"Three great electrified products for three different use cases."

Gesse made it clear that the official marketing process is still in the planning stages. Ideas are being pitched and considered, but nothing is yet set in stone.

Source: Green Car Reports