Next-Generation Chevrolet Volt To Be Sold In South Korea Starting In 2016


2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

2016 Chevrolet Volt – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

With Europe and Australia officially out, we speculated that the next generation Chevrolet Volt would not be sold outside of North America.

Turns out, we were wrong.

General Motors has just confirmed that the next iteration of the Chevrolet Volt will be sold in South Korea starting next year.

Perhaps the new Volt is entering this market as production of the Chevrolet Spark EV in Changwon, South Korea has turned that country into the #1 seller of the model, and GM hopes that success will extend also to the new Volt.

Press blast below:

GM Korea to Launch New Volt in S. Korea Next Year

ILSAN, South Korea — GM Korea, the local unit of U.S. automaker General Motors, said Monday it will introduce the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to the South Korean market next year, showcasing its state-of-the-art green car technology to local customers.

The second-generation Volt, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in January, can travel for about 80 kilometers on a fully-charged battery alone, and the range-extending gasoline engine pushes the driving range to more than 650 kilometers, according to the company.

The Volt, which was first launched in 2010 in the United States and later in the European market, runs as a 100-percent battery-powered electric vehicle until the battery drops to a certain level, when it then switches to an internal combustion engine. Some 75,000 units of the model have been sold in the U.S. market since its debut.

“Our goal is not just to keep up the (electric car) trend, but to lead it and that’s why I am very pleased to officially announce the new generation Volt will be introduced in South Korea next year,” GM Korea chief executive Sergio Rocha told reporters.

Other details, including the exact date of the launch and the price, were not disclosed.

“Volt will be a gamechanger in the domestic market with its industry-leading electrification technology and outstanding features,” Rocha said during a media event held on the sidelines of the International Electric Vehicle Symposium that kicked off in Ilsan, west of Seoul, earlier in the day for a three-day run.

Although not a pure battery-run car, such as Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co.’s plug-in electric vehicle LEAF, company officials said the redesigned Volt is “practically” an electric car with its range-extending technology.

“Because the next-generation Volt will have more electric energy in the battery, and the drive system is more electrically efficient, we expect 90 percent of all trips to be pure electric, so to me, it’s extremely practical, said Larry T. Nitz, executive director of General Motors.

Although GM Korea anticipates the new Volt to “play a key role” in helping the country’s goal of popularizing electric cars and reducing carbon emissions down the road, the automaker said it does have any plans for local production.

“We are not considering producing the next-generation Volt in South Korea, we are pleased, and we are happy, with the production of the current Chevrolet Spark EV,” Rocha said.

GM Korea currently manufactures some of its Chevrolet Spark city cars at the carmaker’s Changwon plant, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The GM Korea chief denied media reports that General Motors is looking to reduce its production here and relocate most of its manufacturing facilities to India because of rising labor costs in South Korea.

“That is what we are not going to do … yes, we are much concerned about labor costs, but not only GM in Korea, but in the whole industry,” Rocha said. “We are cleaning the Changwon plant to build the new generation of the global Spark.

Categories: Chevrolet


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14 Comments on "Next-Generation Chevrolet Volt To Be Sold In South Korea Starting In 2016"

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I don’t know much about the Korean demographic. It seems a bit surprising to me that the Volt would enter this market and exit other foreign markets. But I defer back to my first sentence. 😉

If they would have marketed the Volt right, it might also have sold elsewhere. In Germany they had a big campaign at the beginning, the there where those crash test problems in the US. They halted production for 6 months and never made a marketing campaign again. Most people forgot it existed and keeping the price at 45 thousand euros for too long, didn’t help ether (the range extended i3 is about 39k). Even when the price was cut to 38k, nobody even knew. Maybe they where ashamed and didn’t want to publicly announce that the Ampera was a failure.

“If they would have marketed the Volt right…”

I think that statement rings true the world over. The marketing has always been awful or absent. Hopefully they have some new “Gen 2 marketing” to go with the Gen 2 Volt.

Will not be sold in tiny Europe but will be sold in huge South Korea.

This is as weird as their 4.5 seating.

I suspect that the Volt will be reintroduced into Europe as the price of oil goes back up.

Nice.. Imported from Detroit.


Interesting … German buyers have a bias for local auto brands, and in Korea this bias is much, much stronger.

So I am curious if GM has plans to manufacture Volt in South Korea, just like the Spark.

I tell you one thing, Chevy has a pretty heavy advertising presence in Korea. My wife listens to Korean radio broadcasts on her phone, and every commercial break there is a Chevy ad in the mix.

I don’t get this. They need to make international model to comply with all UN WP.29 regulations, but then they will sell it only in South Korea?

It’s not cheap to design and certify model variant according to different set of regulations, and that would be valid point for selling only in North-America. But once they have taken all necessary steps to have international model on market, they should be able to sell it in all countries that have harmonized WP.29 requlations, e.g. in Europe.

I suspect it’s a battery-production constraint. They don’t have enough batteries initially for all world markets.

They can either setup a quota per market, or sell it in one market without artificial constraints. I think they’re doing the latter for now, until there’s more battery-production capacity available.

Korea has Left Hand Drive cars, so they get to be lucky 🙂
I wonder if other LHD countries will grey import them?

Spark EV has been outselling ICE version in Korea, thanks to $20k+ in gov subsidies for EVs. GM is demanding the same kind of subsidies for Volt and I suspect they’ll get it.

Bingo… subsidizes… plus the affiliation with Spark EVs made in Korea.

Hey, stranger things have happened!