The electric hatchback returns, rises 300% from March 2018.
In the summer of 2018, InsideEVs first predicted the drop in Chevy Bolt EV inventories and sales for the U.S. market. We speculated that the primary reasons for this was a focus on exports to Canada and South Korea. This ended up being correct, with South Koreans scooping up nearly 5,000 examples by the end of the year but North American sales suffering as a result.
Inventories in the United States did not return to healthy levels until late in Q3. Thankfully, General Motors announced an increase in Bolt EV production to better serve North American and global markets:
U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.
“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.”
So far it seems as if the company has followed through on their promise. Heading into April, American inventories and sales of the popular electric hatchback are holding steady. At the same time, South Korean deliveries are up over 300% from March of 2018.
GM Korea monthly sales up thanks to the Bolt EV's return.
After a slow start to the year, total domestic sales are up in March thanks to the return of the Bolt EV after an over four month long absence. GM Korea says customers are "demonstrating a steadfast market response" to the car. It is unlikely that this three-fold increase will continue for the full year. However, such a strong start indicates 2019 sales are likely to exceed 2018 levels.
GM Korea Vice President of Vehicle Sales and Marketing suggests that the Bolt EV will be a tent pole for the brand. "Our major Chevrolet models, including the Spark, Malibu, Trax, and Bolt EV have been doing well as we introduced our customer-oriented pricing policy at the beginning of 2019."