Unsold Chevrolet Bolts Now Arriving In Volume In California

10 months ago by Eric Loveday 95

A new Chevy Bolt EV pops up in Palo Alto, CA and gets a boost alongside some plug-in friends (via IEV reader Jeffrey P)

A new Chevy Bolt EV pops up in Palo Alto, CA and gets a boost alongside some plug-in friends (via IEV reader Jeffrey P)

In late December, when Chevrolet Bolts began arriving in California, dealerships had pre-arranged sales of basically almost all Bolts before they even hit the lots.

Chevrolet Bolts On A Truck Bound For Toledo, Ohio Where They'll Be Transferred To A Train

Chevrolet Bolts On A Truck Bound For Toledo, Ohio Where They’ll Be Transferred To A Train

Now, word is that some unsold inventory is finally arriving in California…in truckloads, or as Forbes says:

“A phalanx of Bolts — the just-released 230+ mile range $37K MSRP electric crossover — were already spilling onto the lot. The spillover had just started to happen, according to the salesman. Until a few days ago, Bolts were being purchased as fast as they arrived.”

That’s good news for potential Bolt buyers who will now have the opportunity to check out more than just the demo Bolt at the lot.

Forbes visited Rydell Chevrolet, a Los Angeles area Chevy dealer who is believed to be the highest volume Volt dealer in the U.S.

Forbes adds:

“And beyond the Bolts was an inventory of Volts that extended to a vanishing point. I counted about 15 Bolts (including those waiting to be picked up by buyers) and was told that there were roughly 60 Volts on various Rydell lots.”

The Forbes articles goes on to explain that your experience will vary from dealer to dealer. The author recounts a recent visit to a Chevy dealer in the Philadelphia area. That dealer had just one Volt on the lot.

Back to Bolt inventory…Production has been ongoing since October, so we really do expect to see Bolts in volume throughout California and Oregon and hopefully sales figures for January confirm that inventory is in place and the Bolt is an early hit.

Really, this is an ideal time to launch as new all-electric car, as it opens up the car for wider availability as January is traditionally known as the ‘graveyard’ month for EV sales after the December year-end federal incentive rush (check out previous year’s month-by-month totals to see what we mean on our Monthly Plug-In Scorecard here).

Sources: Forbes

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95 responses to "Unsold Chevrolet Bolts Now Arriving In Volume In California"

  1. Steve says:

    But but but…. “compliance car!” LOL.

    Glad they’re being produced in volume.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Now the anti-GM trolls will shout “Look! The Bolt’s a failure! Tons of unsold inventory sitting on lots because no one wants to buy their crappy compliance car!!” Lol

      1. vdiv says:

        As an “anti-GM troll” and a “Tesla fanboi” I have to respond to that. That was all the pent up demand for the Bolt? A few thousand units? So it’s already time to dig up some discounts and throttle down the Orion factory line then :p

        1. Texas FFE says:

          Inventory doesn’t catch up to demand until inventory equals about 2X monthly demand. As far as I know inventory is still lagging monthly demand and we are not even out the first two introduction states. It’s going to be a long time before GM lifts off of the Bolt production throttle.

          1. vdiv says:

            Oh yes, a lot of people on the East Coast not as entrepreneurial as bro1999 are waiting impatiently to drive the BoltEV and take it home. It will be here just for the warmer weather.

          2. Nix says:

            ^^^ What Texas FFE said.

            Dealerships like to sell what’s on the lots, so NOT having a month or two of inventory on the lot would likely HURT sales.

            We want to see a national inventory of around 3K to 6K cars once they start 50-state sales. That will be the healthy inventory number, with a significant amount of that inventory being in California.

            They are on the right path.

        2. Viking79 says:

          GM sells cars differently than Tesla. My guess is these won’t sit on the lot long.

          A key point is GM did a limited state release, which means they flood their biggest markets first. This reduces price gouging by dealers, and in fact people can pay less than MSRP for a Bolt EV. There is no shortage of Bolt EV cars only because of the release that sites like Electrek.co claim are because GM doesn’t want to sell cars. They are going to bite their tongue.

        3. John Samuels says:

          Rumor has it that up next for Bolt powertrain components is a small CUV, followed by a small delivery van and then possibly a Postal Service vehicle for general mail delivery to replace the thousands of Grumman units in the field. One thing is certain – GM has big plans for the production line at Orion.

          1. John says:

            As far as mail trucks…Unlikely:

            “Out of the fifteen companies that qualified to submit proposals, the six that were chosen are AM General, Oshkosh, Utilimaster, VT Hackney, Turkish commercial vehicle builder Karsan, and India’s Mahindra, which has a major technical center in Troy, Michigan.”

            http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2016/09/23/us-postal-service-picks-finalist-to-build-next-generation-mail-truck.html

        4. Terawatt says:

          I’m sure Tesla plans to take much more than a month to cover the first of fifty States and then longer still to cover the rest of the world, and have fanbois claim this is a good thing..!

          If I can buy an Ampera-e in Norway this year I’ll be happy. But they say it sold out for 2017 ca mid-2016.

          Here’s to hoping the Bolt tops the EV chart and make an appearance in the general tol sales charts. ??

        5. bogdan says:

          U just don’t get it, do u?
          GM is selling through its dealers! U know how that works?

      2. vdiv says:

        BTW Congrats on your first BoltEV in Maryland 🙂

        https://bro05.blogspot.com/

        1. bro1999 says:

          Thanks man. 😉

          Pretty sure I am the record holder for “Most eastward Bolt” at the moment, as well as the only customer-owned Bolt on the East Coast. At least for another few weeks.

          1. Jean-François Morissette says:

            I hear that the first one are coming in Quebec next week!

            1. At the Electic Vehicle Society meeting tonight, we should be getting an update from one of our members who ordered a Bolt EV here in Ontario!

              If your near Toronto, come on out! Register – follow the link on the agenda at the home page – http://www.evsociety.ca

              1. Found out last night, our Electric Vehicle Society member is getting his Bolt EV this week!

                Hope to start adding a ‘What EV’s are our Members Driving’ section soon! See http://www.evsociety.ca for meeting and other info!

            2. Threader says:

              Go to Chevrolet Canada and use inventory locator for Bolt. There are 2 blue and one white near me already.

          2. AlphaEdge says:

            Thanks for the blog posts! Love reading about that stuff, especially any local long range trips that you make.

            The final wait must of have been frustrating. Nice that you got it now. Woo hoo!

          3. Nix says:

            Congrats bro1999!

            Just read your blog. What an epic trip to get there. Hopefully the storms rolling in this weekend don’t further delay driving gratification!

            if it isn’t one thing, it’s another…

  2. jelloslug says:

    The more the merrier!

  3. alex says:

    Unsold inventory should give answer about customer deposits. Between 5 and 7 thousand it looks like.

    This is good news. Now those who can’t afford Tesla don’t need to envy. They can buy Bolt.

    1. Scott Franco says:

      It isn’t 400,000, that is for sure.

      1. bro1999 says:

        Faraday Future has netted over 60k deposits for their FF91! OMG, cancel the Bolt!! There is no demand!

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      I got a Volt until I can afford a Tesla. At least my Volt looks sick. Bolt is simply alright looking with sport rims.

  4. bro1999 says:

    451 Bolts for sale in the country according to Cars.com

    I believe the number was in the low 300s last week. If it is true that truckloads of Bolts are arriving in CA (and OR now), seems they are still getting scooped up at a pretty decent pace. Will be interested in January numbers. What’s the record for EV sales in January for a single vehicle?

    1. bro1999 says:

      Looks like the current January EV sales record is held by the Leaf with just over 1,200 units.

      I have a feeling the Bolt is gonna obliterate that mark.

      1. The Prius Prime could also throw out some good surprises, too!

        News wise, it is keeping a low profile, but it lead off with a great 1st month, about doubled that in its second, and is quietly heading into its 3rd month now!

        I see the 2016-2017 Volt might also get some increased sales, from those who like the Bolt, but still get fearfull over long distance (GM coined) ‘Range Anxiety’, and switch to the Volt.

        1. Spoonman. says:

          FFEs are being hugely discounted to make way for 2017s as well. I texted with a Maryland dealer yesterday to confirm that their $18,350 price on two new 2016s was before tax credits.

          1. SAC says:

            Sorry for my ignorance, but what is an FFE?

            1. René Labrecque says:

              Ford focus Electric.

            2. Terawatt says:

              A fugly compliance car from Ford, the legacy of the famous Nazi Henry Ford. ??

              It’s funny cause it’s true!

        2. menorman says:

          I’m sure the Volt being cheaper than the Bolt also helps, especially since they’re both eligible for the same amount of subsidy. Realistically, almost all the Bolts listed have an MSRP of a decently-appointed Volt, so the Volt almost certainly represents a better value proposition for many people.

      2. Nix says:

        I’d predicted 2,000 units for Dec 2016 sales, based upon a full month of sales. I was way off because sales didn’t begin as soon as I’d hoped.

        But I’ll go out on a limb and still hold that prediction for the Bolt’s first FULL month of sales, despite it being January instead of December, and massive storms across many parts of California. That might be a bit aggressive considering how much fewer EV’s typically get sold in Jan, but I’ll stick to it.

    2. Texas FFE says:

      Autotrader.com is showing 828 Bolts.

  5. shane says:

    These are likely being picked up or shortly will be picked up. Lots of people have been waiting to pick up one buts felt that the dealerships already had deposits or so on. his gives the average lot browser the opportunity to grab one.

  6. heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

    With Bolt, Prime and X in the wild, I expect January 2017 sales to even exceed February 2016 sales.

    Let’s say 3000 just from those three models.

    This will be a goodyear! With space!

  7. ace volt says:

    Looks like Rydell is already discounting Bolts by $1000.

    http://www.chevynorthridge.com/VehicleSearchResults?make=Chevrolet&model=Bolt+EV

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Competition is good!

    2. jim stack says:

      They need to have the OPTIONAL DC Fast Charge Port. Maybe we can import one to Arizona( we aren’t a card state) so I can HEAT test it. The SPARK EV does great with ZERO capacity loss after 3-4 years.

    3. Nix says:

      Rydell and Keyes both announced they would discount the GEN II Volt before they were even built too. They were giving discounts to Volt GEN II buyers before GM had even announced the price.

      Their pricing doesn’t reflect at all upon demand. It is a reflection of the long ongoing competition between those two dealerships to plow through massive volumes of EV’s.

      To which I say, good for them!!

  8. Spark-Fiat-Leased M3-reserved - Bolt - TBD says:

    Good to see volume deliveries.

    Discerning buyers are going to wait. They don’t pay MSRP. Especially lessees like myself used to Spark pricing. Not going to give up our sub $100/month lease for $300+/month Bolt.

    Have time on our leases to decide and watch the timeline of Tesla since we’re not out until 4/2018 and still have our ICE backups.

    1. cmina says:

      The car isn’t worth it’s MSRP so, yeah .. “Discerning buyers are going to wait.”

      1. bro1999 says:

        “its”, not “it’s”, as “it’s” is a contraction for “it is”. Your welcome for the free English lesson

        First rule of trolling: have impeccable grammar.

        1. bro1999 says:

          And of course I used the wrong “you’re”.

          *facepalm*

          1. vin says:

            No worries bro, your not a troll!

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              It’s “you’re” !! I’m LOLing over here 🙂

              1. Kdawg says:

                One day, you guys will be as good as me, and never make misteaks.

                1. G2 says:

                  Mmmmm; misteaks.

        2. ffbj says:

          Having written the rule-book on being a Troll, not a bad read btw, you should know.

          1. bro1999 says:

            Sorry, haven’t read *your* book yet.

            1. Taser54 says:

              It’s the one with the gold spine

      2. AlphaEdge says:

        > “The car isn’t worth it’s MSRP”

        We can debate all day, what it’s “worth” to people. It’s “worth” what people are willing to pay for it. Let the market decide.

      3. Nix says:

        Of course MSRP exaggerates the value of a car. That’s why it’s only a “Suggested” retail price.

        Very few cars get sold for full MSRP.

        The real value of the car is Invoice Price – Holdbacks + Dealer Costs. Which is always less than MSRP.

    2. unlucky says:

      Dealers said they expected to be ‘dealing’ on Bolts in March. And that was before any arrived. So if you feel lime you need a discount you should be able to get one before April.

      Only way you’ll get a $100 leAse is by paying a lot up front though. This isn’t a Spark EV.

  9. Still wondering how a Bolt EV would do for my Road Trips! I should do OK for my Quarterly 4 hour drive up to Bracebridge, ON, but it might still be tricky for a run to Wisconsin or Orlando!

    Need to do some trip planning with Google Maps and http://www.plugshare.com yet! Filter for CCS first.

    1. ffbj says:

      It’s not a cruiser. Really the only downsides, besides the looks, are comfort and lack of a charging network. I think they were designing it as a commuter city runabout not a long range traveler. Seats get uncomfortable after a while, and no charging network in place are things that would dissuade to use the Bolt for the purpose you mention imo.

      1. bro1999 says:

        I find the seats fine. I know what people are talking about as far as the seat comfort, but it doesn’t bother me.

        As with all things, your mileage will vary. People literally need their butts in the seat to find out for themselves.

    2. Kdawg says:

      If you are going to drive from Ontario to Orlando, why not just rent a car and put the miles on someone else’s vehicle?

      Or is there an issue crossing the border?

    3. SilveradoCyn says:

      Robert, If you are going to Orlando consider using the Auto-Train from DC to Orlando. Its much easier than driving and you won’t have to map out charging locations.

  10. ffbj says:

    The article quotes people as mixing Volts and Bolts, using words and phrases such a spillover, phalanx, in volume, implying large numbers.
    Your mileage may vary. Plus Forbes is inclined to write a positive article.

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that there is huge pent up demand for a long range more affordable ev, since Tesla showed that over a year ago, when it received over 400k sign-ups for the Model 3.

    But good for the Bolt I hope they sell them as fast as they can make them, but I don’t think they will. Meanwhile just watch the numbers, they will tell the real story. In a month or two the hyperbole will be quashed.

    1. ffbj says:

      almost a year ago, Tesla showed, not over, sorry.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Note the Bolt EV concept was shown over 2 years ago. It’s now in the hands of real world drivers. We haven’t even seen a production version of the Tesla Model 3…

        1. Nix says:

          It is getting close to a year since the Tesla M3 prototype was first shown. M3 volume production is scheduled for the end of this year.

          What exactly is your point?

    2. realistic says:

      Yes, the excitement (“hype”) will wane, no doubt. But I think the 30k-ish delivery expectation hinted by GM will happen. The ~100-mi EV choices that litter the “compliance” category are going to be discounted to the point that even the enthusiastic dealers will tire of having them on the lot, and Bolt will absorb a majority chunk of that modest market. A thousand or two here, a couple of hundred there, and the projection of 30,000 production will be sold.

  11. goesto11 says:

    Bolt prices are too high right now. Very few if any discounts so you need to purchase for it to make sense. Even Costco invoice pricing, is not honored at local dealers. My quote yesterday came back from dealer at full MSRP, not Costco advertised price.

    Leases are currently being quoted at $350- 539 per month by greedy dealers marking up MF and doing their usual stuff.

    Once they have reasonable leases the cars will be in demand. I think they will continue to build up inventory on dealer lots until leases are attractive – hopefully that happens soon.

    1. Lawrence says:

      That’s a serious issue. $350 is a terrible value already, north of that and I’ll undoubtedly look elsewhere when my eGolf’s lease is up. At $539, I’d seriously consider paying the extra and getting a Model S.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      So MSRP is too much? Hope you’re not looking for a Model 3, Tesla doesn’t discount.

      1. Lawrence says:

        Not concerned about the MSRP but in this situation it’s about the dealer asking price being over MSRP. A 3 year lease on $30k should not be above $350. At $539, we’re now at a tipping point where it makes sense to look at a Model S which is a $60k car with a lease rate of $791.

        1. Rich says:

          Part of the reason the lease price is so high is because GM Financing is pocketing $5,000 of the $7,500 federal tax credit. GM Finance is only passing $2,500 to the customer through a cap cost reduction.

    3. Nix says:

      No problem, just wait a few months.

      I’m just damn happy that we aren’t seeing stories of dealers slapping huge markups on them, like they did the first gen Volt!!

      Paying MSRP in the first full month of sales is way better than being forced to pay “additional dealer markup”. We should be happy, not complaining.

  12. realistic says:

    “Leases are currently being quoted at $350- 539 per month by greedy dealers marking up MF and doing their usual stuff.”

    …and here is EV pop-economics writ large, and the reason why the industry will not make sense in large production quantities. The idea that prices can be sustainably strong is EXACTLY what you want to see.

    If the car is in high demand, then demand should reflect profitability all along the value chain: supplier, integrator/manufacturer, and distribution. The best thing that can happen to EVs is demand strong enough to justify opportunitic pricing. Nothing will expand the scope of participants in the industry faster than that.

    1. Nix says:

      If you don’t like the lease terms, buy it outright. You don’t have to lease.

  13. JeremyK says:

    This really DOES makes so much sense. Why have Bolts going unsold at less enthusiastic dealerships in states that are not EV friendly, when you can have an ample supply in states with the best incentives, infrastructure, dealership training, educated buyers, etc.

    1. meetoo says:

      15-20 Bolts at my local dealership in Bay area available for delivery today – according to salesperson.

    2. realistic says:

      “Why have Bolts going unsold at less enthusiastic dealerships in states that are not EV friendly, when you can have an ample supply in states with the best incentives, infrastructure, dealership training, educated buyers, etc.”

      Indeed. In fact incentives are by far the biggest boost to plug-in sales, and for manufacturers to be repsonsive to that is entirely rational.

    3. menorman says:

      I agree that Bolts sitting unsold in unfriendly states is a waste, but I think that GM should at least allow people in those unfriendly states who are truly interested in it to place orders for it. I’d rather see those sales made over them just sitting on a lot here in CA, even with how EV-friendly we are.

  14. Scott Franco says:

    I picked up my Bolt yesterday.

    1. Taser54 says:

      ^^^strong post

    2. Nix says:

      Nice!! Just out of curiosity, what options did you get?

    3. Rich says:

      Congrats!

  15. William says:

    Bolt is a good car, my neighbor just received his.

  16. Mark C says:

    Wow, is Chevy quick. Already filled their reservation list…. /sarc

  17. danpatgal says:

    I just got a call, here in Maryland, that I could put in my official order (I put a deposit down just a few days ago, after reading the GM roll-out schedule, with MD up next). I guess it means I could get in in the next few weeks, but, as others have said here, probably not at any kind of discount.

    Given that I paid nearly MRSP in 2012 for the iMiev, I probably count as an EV sucker. But, I’d much rather be a sucker for EVs, than for a zillion other things.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      You paid a difference to make a difference.

      It’s the EV pioneers that are driving this “revolution”. Without you guys, their would be no current and future market.

    2. Nix says:

      I call it leadership. Thanks for paving the way for others!

  18. Mort neff says:

    Shame on GM and CA.

    CA mandate is costing the rest of the US as usual. CA customers should pay the proper costs.

    The rest of the US is loosing out on tax savings too.

    1. DonC says:

      Residents of all CARB states will get the same deal. And since any state is free to adopt the CARB rules, it’s not CA’s fault that other states have choosen not to do this. You can’t force people to embrace clean air.

    2. realistic says:

      CARB rules are the major reason why EVs exist in maeningful quantities at all. You should be thanking them.

    3. DJ says:

      Don’t hate on us because your state sucks thank you very much!

    4. unlucky says:

      What are you talking about?

      What did GM or California do here to cost you money?

      I find it hilarious that someone in another state thinks California is costing them money. It’s can easily cost $1000 to register a new car in the first year in California. What are you paying? California isn’t getting some kind of free ride.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Geez. now the critics will say that “see Bolt sucks that nobody wants it”.

    Just 1 week ago, critics were complaining that GM’s 30K/year goal was too low.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

  20. CAB says:

    The only plus I see for us Texas residents on our AUGUST Bolt availability (ugh!) is that perhaps

    a.) there will be more deals and…
    b.) perhaps the 2018 model will be announced with extra features (adaptive cruise as an example).

    Still, I didn’t anticipate waiting 8-10 months just to test drive one, sheesh.

    By then, the arrival of the Tesla Model II will at least be a little less murky too (note: I have ZERO faith Tesla will deliver in volume on time, but maybe the extent of the delay will be better understood).

  21. Bolt-TBD - come one $200/month! says:

    I’m all for a cheaper 200+ mile lease. I’m hoping that it will come, but GM can simply sit on the these $350/mo lease deals as there’s really no EV competition.

    The really interesting part will come WHEN the M3 finally arrives and offers NO discounts and is cross shopped with the Bolt directly.

    I’m sure there’s a fair share of people like my parents who will get the M3 just because and dish out a premium for it.

    There is no subsidized lease program for Tesla, so you’re looking at $500+/mo vs $300/mo comparisons.

    It’ll be interesting to see how GM plays this. If they want to OWN the market, they really can subsidize this down to $200/mo and take over the entire EV market in short order

    1. CAB says:

      Interesting point, and it’s actually playing out somewhat similarly with the BMW i3 REX and Chevy Bolt right now.

      The Bolt is “cheaper”, but BMW seems to be cutting cheap lease deals for the i3 Rex. Both cars can likely achieve 100% EV driving in day-to-day driving situations, have similar footprints and utility, and can travel longer distances (the BMW uses gas, but is more flexible on refueling). Folks might “prefer” the Bolt EV, but struggle to get past a $150-$200 month lease delta….probably worth a write-up here on Insideevs.