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Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt

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On: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt

The Chevy Volt may not have been the biggest product flop of 2011, but it wasn't exactly a runaway success either. GM fell about 2,400 units short of its original 10,000 goal, and the Volt was the subject of some seriously bad publicity in the form of a battery fire and NHTSA investigation. As Chevy moves on to year 2 of the Volt, it has a new problem on its hands: Its own network of dealers don't want to stock it.

According to Automotive News, GM is having trouble distributing Volts to dealers around the country. A GM spokesperson blamed the down orders on the ongoing NHTSA investigation, but some of the admissions from dealers indicate a deeper problem.

Brett Hedrick, a California dealer, turned down six Volts in December. He told Auto News: "Thinking we need six more Volts is just crazy. We've never sold more than two in a month."

Even before the NHTSA investigation, the Volt was slow to sell. An August report published by the National Legal and Policy Center indicated that despite GM statements of being nearly sold out of Volt models, local dealers had several models sitting in their inventories.

It may offer the best compromise of green driving and range, but the Chevy Volt has suffered from several negatives. Its $40,000 price tag is well above both fully electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and comparable gasoline models. Americans may like the idea of a series hybrid, but many simply cannot justify spending that much of an up-front premium on the Volt.

Though Chevy issued a fix for the battery problem and the NHTSA supported the fix and closed its investigation, the issue created lasting publicity problems for the Volt - and possibly electric cars in general - that may hamper sales for the near future. GM has backed far off an original production goal of 60,000 Volts and now says simply that it will build as many as customers want. So far, that doesn't look like it will exceed last year's 7,671 by all that many.

GM is still banking on series hybrid technology, though. It's developing a Cadillac ELR model based on the hybrid powertrain underpinning the Volt. The automaker is currently losing money on every Volt sold and hopes to use the second model to move toward profitability.

Of course, it will need to actually sell them first.




Comments

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Sami18 | 2:18PM (Fri, Jan 27, 2012)

Its crazy to hear this but alot of people that i know aren't happy with the volt's price tag and the fire problems it had but i think over the years people will come around. Automakers are always looking for new technology and upgrades so i dont think this will be a issue for long.


reply

Stephy21 | 3:03PM (Fri, Jan 27, 2012)

I have never seen this happen to any automaker in a long time. This could be a big down fall for GM.



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