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Over 2,500 volts sold in August

Things are starting to look up for General Motors and the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle. The Volt has scored its biggest sales month ever during August. Chevrolet was able to sell more than 2,500 of the plug-in vehicles according to GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho. 
"We are seeing sales momentum continuing to build for the Volt, especially in key markets — California, Michigan, Illinois and Florida," she said.
"We're starting to see other markets grow, as well. As with a lot of first-generation technologies, it takes time to build customer awareness."
Prior to August, the best sales month ever for the Volt was March with 2,289 units sold. Cumulative sales for the Volt in 2012 are coming very close to the sales numbers Toyota put up with its Prius hybrid in its second year of production. Toyota was able to move 15,600 Prius vehicles for all of 2001, the second-year that car was available. Through August, 13,300 Volts have been sold.

GM also announced that it would stop production of the Volt at its Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant for four weeks while the plant retools. GM says that the company built ahead for Volt production anticipating the shutdown and will have enough vehicles on hand to meet customer demand. The assembly line will close down on September 17 through October 15, as GM gets ready for production of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala to begin at the plant.

Chevrolet Volt [Image Source: TECHVEHI]
This plant has been idled two times this year already due to low demand for the Volt. At least this time demand is remaining high. General Motors sold 10,666 Volt automobiles during the first seven months of 2012. That is a 270% increase from the same span of 2011.
GM had previously forecast the sale of 45,000 Volts for 2012 and abandoned that number saying instead that it would match supply to demand.

Sources: The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press

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And yet
By FITCamaro on 8/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 9:26:38 AM , Rating: 4
I wouldn't mind having one at all, its just a little expensive.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: And yet
By Brandon Hill on 8/30/2012 9:29:43 AM , Rating: 3

RE: And yet
By Amedean on 8/30/2012 9:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Because......well this will give you a clue.

Point being, he lives in his mom's basement and does not drive.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 5:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I drive a 2005 SR5 prerunner Tacoma, I'm the original. Since I hold onto vehicles for a long time I want solid reliability. So far Toyota has delivered, I haven't had any real problems. I was a mechanic at a Nissan dealership for a while and know a thing or two about cars, almost all of the mechanics at this Nissan dealership drove Toyota's by the way.

RE: And yet
By GulWestfale on 8/30/2012 5:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
german news sites are saying that GM is stopping production due to slow demand, which is not only affecting the volt, but also its european twin, the opel ampera.

RE: And yet
By Flunk on 8/30/2012 11:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
They tend towards soft suspensions and couch-like ride characteristics.


RE: And yet
By Flunk on 8/30/2012 11:02:59 AM , Rating: 2
But to be fair so do Toyotas and Nissans.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 5:51:55 PM , Rating: 1
Nissan maxima and infinity G35's are in no way shape or form boring float over the road living room couch models.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 4:49:25 PM , Rating: 1
They are starting to get a better reputation from professional review sites, but I worry about reliability. With the cost of cars and the cost of repairs, I want to be 100% sure I'm buying a reliable car.

RE: And yet
By BSMonitor on 8/30/2012 9:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
Well, gas in Michigan just past $4.10 per gallon for the first time since I cannot remember when.

So we'll see. Hurricane season and "short gasoline supply" might push EVs again.

RE: And yet
By Chadder007 on 8/30/2012 10:33:45 AM , Rating: 4
what...."short gasoline supply"? You know thats B.S.

RE: And yet
By BSMonitor on 8/30/2012 11:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
Hence the quotes my friend...

RE: And yet
By Ringold on 8/30/2012 11:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
They're usually a good little bit higher this time of year, plus continual year-over-year growth in demand from developing countries, and one of our larger refineries offline for what sounds to be a good little bit..

But yeah! Lets blame imaginary market manipulators. :P

Same site has data showing the drop-off in production, too. Can also see where the recession dented demand, and thus production, in recent years too. Supply and demand are both fairly inelastic, so even small variations...

But yeah, easier to blame boogeymen.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 5:56:28 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly if the global economy was booming instead of just dragging along the oil supply would be tighter then it is now. If you see $4 gas right now think what it will be like if the economy steps into gear.

RE: And yet
By NellyFromMA on 8/31/2012 11:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you were downrated for this particular comment as you're absolutely right regarding the price of gas now. It stayed low through the summer despite the Iranian straight of Hormuz drama because Obama released barrels from the reserve to stave off a sharp rise.

The reality of the situation is the only reasons gas prices ever went down was because of the newly coupled relationship between the quality of the American economy and gas prices. When we plummetted in the 2008-2009 era, there was a sharp rise followed by an eventual tank (remember the bottom out towards 1.50 2009-2010) that was because of the economy having tanked. As it recovers, so too will the price.

You're right on that. This is a large part of why are economy is in low gear right now. Gains in the economy will directly lead to gains in gas prices 3-9 months out.

RE: And yet
By Mint on 8/31/2012 11:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
You are right, but in the end OPEC is in full control of the price of oil. The US could double its production and consumers would only save a bit on shipping costs because OPEC would cut production in concert to keep margins high.

Of course, it'll be great for the trade deficit to boost production and/or cut consumption, but don't for a second think that OPEC will accept, say, a $60/bbl price when they could cut production by 5-10% and get it back to $100/bbl.

On the flip side, they want to keep people addicted to oil, so they're not going to let it get up to $200 for any sustained length of time. That would be a green light for EVs to enter mass production.

RE: And yet
By sigmatau on 8/30/2012 9:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
It was higher in 2005 during Katrina, by a bit.

RE: And yet
By piroroadkill on 8/30/2012 9:45:47 AM , Rating: 3
Eh, most people would probably want it, it's ideal for many uses. If you need space for more than 4, or more haulage capacity, then you'd have to look elsewhere. But for a commuting and general use device, there's no question they've hit the mark in terms of a balance of tech, but it just costs too much.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 5:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure these are hatchbacks so its pretty easy to toss in a set of ski's, bike, or maybe 42" TV.

RE: And yet
By tayb on 8/30/2012 10:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be a bad car if they knocked $10k off the entry price. I'll probably save as much as $800 on fuel with the Volt compared to my current car but I'll spend about $9,000 a year for five years on the auto loan. I'll have to drive the car for many decades to break even.

If you are in the market for a new car, you live in a house, and your commute is never more than 30 miles it isn't such a bad deal. The Prius models are still better options in terms of net money in your pocket but it isn't outrageous.

RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 5:58:24 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah if your not in the market for a new car its almost always cheaper just to drive what you have into the ground.

RE: And yet
By Mint on 8/31/2012 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have to a commute under 30 miles, and if you drive more you'll only lose a little compared to a Prius (which has nowhere near the same level of ride quality) and gain over almost every other car. You will save $800/yr, but someone who drives more will also save $800 a year also, if not a bit more.

What car would you buy instead of the Volt? Few average more than 35MPG combined, and it'll likely have to be about $25k to match it in features and ride quality. It's only the people with a short commute who will save less.

I think if you add up the savings over the lifetime of the car, it's a pretty clear win after the credit. Even if you sell it in 5 or 10 years, it should have a higher resale value, as the next owner is also going to save.

To me, the biggest problem is the Volt's looks. It just isn't that attractive, even among the rest of GM's lineup.

RE: And yet
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: And yet
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 6:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, it would be tough to drop the cash for a volt when you can get a super fuel efficient BMW 3 for the same price.

RE: And yet
By KnightBreed on 8/30/12, Rating: 0
no demand
By Captain Awesome on 8/30/2012 10:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
There's no demand for the Volt because it's expensive and ugly. If they made it look like it's concept version (a mini Camaro) then they'd sell a lot more.

RE: no demand
By BSMonitor on 8/30/2012 11:14:45 AM , Rating: 2
Problem with making it look like a sports car is that it would perform nothing like a Camaro on the road. And buyers would feel like, WTF

RE: no demand
By StanO360 on 8/30/2012 3:52:48 PM , Rating: 3
The whole Chevy line looks old fashioned (as bad as Toyota and Honda). Bottom line, the numbers never crunch unless you have the perfect situation.

Of course we have all paid a huge cost for this car already. Car subsidy, tax subsidies, battery subsidies, union subsidies.

iGnorance is a bliss or is it?
By Lisbona on 8/30/2012 9:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
Chevy Volt is not your average car (vehicle) if you please. When you think and see Volt you deal with extraordinary piece of American engineering and know-how that many domestic and foreign car maker won't much any time soon (BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Honda, etc. are slowly reverse engineering Volt now and I leave you to ponder why is that) so ranting about this car and cars of that class is like advising someone to pass on engineering degree form MIT (you feel me geniuses). Fact that Marketing Department (Least competent but most influential department in car making industry) gave go ahead for Volt deserves big thumbs-up.
Enjoy ingenuity and diversity in car industry and let technologies serve us consumers in the best possible way. But remember we need to hold us to highest possible standards because if we didn't we'd sill be driving cars making 5 mpg, without seat belts, safety glass or crushable safety chassis.

Thanks for reading if any ... and good lack in your research quests 'cause there is nothing more discouraging like no quest ...

RE: iGnorance is a bliss or is it?
By Jeffk464 on 8/30/2012 11:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
You sure the platform/chassis was engineered in the US?

RE: iGnorance is a bliss or is it?
By Lisbona on 8/31/2012 6:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Purpose of shared platforms and chassis in modern car making serves different purpose (short development and production process of new cars, better profit margins and maybe less expensive end product for us consumers). When it comes to Volt it is something else completely that makes this vehicle tick.

And yes this platform was developed by GM Global Vehicle Development that includes US, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Lease Deals
By btc909 on 8/30/2012 11:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason is the heavy lease deal promotions. Locally in my area you can lease a Volt MSRP $40,330 for $219 + taxes per month.

RE: Lease Deals
By Mint on 8/31/2012 1:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
This is how EVs show their true advantage.

Lease rates reflect residual cost. If a 5 year old gas-only equivalent of the Volt cost $9k, for example, but the prospective buyer notes that he'll save $800/yr by choosing a Volt, the latter is worth more (and much cheaper than a new EV). Plus, he knows that if he sells it again in 5 years, he'll get more as well, provided that the car lasts the average 15+ years. So a 5-year old Volt may be worth $15k, or $6k more than the gas equivalent.

Leasing lets the manufacturer calculate all this. It's better for them because the risk-adverse consumer wants quicker payback (even though putting those savings into a bank account will earn less over 10 years).

This is also why the Volt is popular among corporate fleets. For well traveled vehicles, they would rather pay $250/mo + electricity instead of $200/mo + $65/mo in gas reimbursement.

great savings?
By DockScience on 8/31/2012 5:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt's 30 mile electric range before requiring an overnight recharge means that you can save maybe 1 gallon of gas per day.

That's zero savings for $20,000 extra invested on a car with a maximum 10 year lifespan.

RE: great savings?
By Lisbona on 8/31/2012 6:43:45 PM , Rating: 2 & the rest is in simple math arithmetic

Best quarter?
By Silvergoat on 9/3/2012 3:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
If they just had their best quarter, then why did they just shut down production yet again?

By faizyab on 8/31/12, Rating: 0
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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