Pre-production Chevrolet Volt  (Source: General Motors)
AutoNation isn't down with $20k markups on the Chevrolet Volt

It's no secret that the Chevrolet Volt is generating a lot of positive attention from those in the automotive industry (not to mention prospective buyers). The vehicle has also had its share of criticism, with the latest dustup surrounding the vehicle's price tag.

The base model Volt is priced at $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit while a fully loaded Volt will run you $44,600 (before credit). Many people, including our readers, balked at the relatively high price tag for a Chevrolet-branded compact sedan. The pricing concerns became even more apparent when it was revealed that some dealerships were charging a $20,000 markup for the vehicle.

AutoNation, a Florida-based company which owns 230 dealership in the U.S., has thrown its two cents into the debate. The company owns 27 Chevrolet dealerships across the country and recently told Edmund's Green Car Advisor that any of its dealerships that charge over MSRP for the Volt will face immediate contract termination.

It should be comforting to potential customers that AutoNation is taking such a firm stance on this issue, but the few dozen Chevrolet-branded dealerships that the company owns is a just a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of Chevrolet dealerships across the U.S. AutoNation's 24 Nissan dealerships should also take note; the same termination policy also applies to the MSRP of the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

The Chevrolet Volt has an onboard lithium-ion battery pack which can power the vehicle for 40 miles (under ideal conditions). Once the batteries have reached a pre-programmed "maximum use" state, the gasoline generator kicks in to power the vehicle for another 300 miles.

The $32,780 (before credit) Nissan Leaf, on the other hand, only makes use of a lithium-ion battery pack and has no generator backup. As a result, once the 100-mile range of the vehicle is exhausted, you had better hope you're near a charging port or be prepared to call a tow truck.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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