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A Sylmar, CA Chevy dealership is among those price gouging on the new Volt. Dealers are marking up the Volt by $5,000-$10,000 on eBay auctions. Offline one Florida dealer is reportedly asking for an incredible $25K above the MSRP.  (Source: eBay Motors)
A number Volts are selling at $5,000 or more markup -- one dealer is reportedly asking for $25k extra

General Motors' 2011 Chevy Volt is the first EV from an American automaker to debut under $50,000 USD.  Priced at $40,280 before $7,500 tax credit, demand for the EV is very high.  Despite increasing production in response to demand, GM will likely only be able to ship 25,000 of the vehicles this year.  While it promises more production next year, some "green-minded" customers can't wait to get their hands on the vehicle.

Dealers are looking to take advantage of this situation by offer the scarce Volt vehicles at anywhere from a modest markup to a giant one.

One Michigan dealer listed a "Buy It Now" Volt on eBay Motors for $46,923 USD -- a markup of $6,643 USD [1].  Another North Carolina dealer actually tried to resell a Volt it bought from a Maryland dealer.  That Volt was marked at a cool $49,900 USD -- a markup of $9,620 USD [2].  Neither of these vehicles sold (note: links will expire in about a month).

But these examples pale in comparison to a Florida dealer's incredible asking price of $65,590 [source].  We'll save you the math -- that's a markup of $25,310 USD.  

We've been following the Volt since its days as a concept and we absolutely give GM praise for following through and delivering on its ambitious design.  That said we're not sure who would shell out an extra $25K for a Volt.  If current auctions are any indication, most people aren't interested in buying the vehicle at that high a price.  But if P.T. Barnum is to be believed, the dealer may eventually find someone out there who would be willing to pay that much for it.

Currently a third Volt auction ends Saturday on eBay [3].  That Volt, located in California, is offered for $47,700 USD, a markup of $7,420 USD.

GM will be building 60,000 or more Volts next year, so if you don't want to pay a markup, you could always wait.  

The company claims it isn't happy with the markups.  But Chevy Volt marketing director Tony DiSalle tells Ward's Auto in an interview, "there isn’t a mechanism to prevent that from happening."

Price markups are nothing new, but on EVs and hybrids they're an especially sore spot as customers already are paying a premium for the fuel-efficient technology.  

The Chevy Volt's price markups are similar to markups that some Toyota dealers were placing on Prius hybrid vehicles back in 2009, when the new third generation models first were shipping.  While the Prius markups were a bit subtler in that most Toyota dealers didn't blatantly post them to eBay, they were occurring nationwide.  We did a report on this practice and caught one dealer in the act.  While the 2010 Prius was a much higher volume vehicle, its similar respective demand per volume offers parallels to the Volt.

The Volt's key competitor is the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV, which went on sale in early December.  The Volt's key advantage is that it has a backup fuel take, greatly extending the range.  The 2011 Nissan LEAF EV is optimistically rated to deliver 100 miles on a charge under good conditions.  Another disadvantages is that Nissan is only selling and service LEAF EVs in a handful of "green" states -- California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee.

The LEAF's big advantage is that it is priced a $32,780 USD before tax credits in the U.S.  Nissan has been less specific about its production plans, but it says it will fulfill all reservations placed in 2010 by September.  Given that it claimed 20k reservations and that only 4 in 10 of those who placed reservations are reportedly following through with a purchase, this would indicate -- with the inclusion of conquest sales -- shipments of anywhere from 10,000-15,000 by the end of the summer.  This places Nissan's production slightly above GM's current levels.



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RE: We never learn...
By jharper12 on 2/18/2011 12:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
Chevy wasn't failing, GM was failing. Chevy is/was a good brand in a company dragged down by too many mediocre or bad brands. Don't bring the bailout into this, this is about car quality. The Volt is a remarkable car for it's subset. Want an electric car? It's this or the Leaf. The Leaf costs $8k less, and once you're out of juice you better have AAA. The Volt you can drive from one coast to the other. Basically, with the Volt you can own one car... pretty sure you can't buy a new car for $8k these days, so that sounds pretty good to me.

Agreed and amen brother to the dealership losing it's franchise though, wish they could actually do that.


RE: We never learn...
By chick0n on 2/18/2011 1:54:23 AM , Rating: 1
So, basically you're comparing a Hybrid to a True EV.

Leaf's 100 miles is not bad at all. Nissan even said it in the very beginning --- their targeted "customer" is the people who lives in the city. Not suburb, not country side, not in a farm, not for people in the middle of nowhere.

but GM on the other hand, keeps on lying about how wonderful the Cruze ... oh I mean Volt is going to be a pure EV, blah blah blah, but then when they found out they can't build anything right, so they just snap an ICE into the car and "oh yea, we got the car out, look, its nice!" and Since GM is still Government Motors so yeah the Government just grant it a "EV" title.

Chevy is a brand name, but they all roll outa the same assembly line so yeah all GM made cars are garbage. My friend fix cars for a living so yea he knows what is garbage what is quality.

Anything made by GM means FAILED.


RE: We never learn...
By jharper12 on 2/18/2011 7:42:27 AM , Rating: 2
So, just to be clear, I cited facts, you cited "my friend fix cars for a living."

How about this, you worthless idiot. The Volt only uses about 55% of battery capacity to improve battery life, which means if they started using the full battery they could expect a range of what? 45 to 90 miles. How much does that generator weight? I don't know, but I know the battery pack with temperature controls and all weighs 400 lbs, so if they took out that generator and added more than the current 288 cells they could EASILY hit the range of the Leaf. The POINT is that the Leaf is incredibly niche. Most people in the US care about being able to drive more than 100 miles at a time with their car. Further, most would rather be able to forget about plugging in at night, once in a while, after a hard day at work and just operate with gas the next day.

By the way, my friend is a Master Tech, L1 Advanced Engine Performance, and had all of those certifications before the age of 25. He drives a Chevy. You know, that car company with more consumer digests best buys than any other brand. That company with the Motor Trend Truck and Car of the Year. The company with a compact car that has 5* safety rating this year, which only Hyundai also managed this year. The first company to offer remote start, tire pressure monitoring, and basically control of your vehicle via your smartphone. Yeah, that company. By the way, the Cruze was structurally tested for over 600k miles, and durability tested for over 4 million miles. I guarantee you that's more than any other compact car out there.

Your turn, start citing facts outside of, "My friend fix cars" and maybe I'll start taking you seriously.


RE: We never learn...
By Just Tom on 2/19/2011 12:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
Right, a plug in electric in the city. Where most people do not have garages and the ability to plug in their cars. If that is really their market Nissan is dumb.


RE: We never learn...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 7:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
It is the Volt of a plug-in parallel hybrid. The Volt is not the same class of vehicle as the Leaf at all. It is the Leaf or a Tesla, or the Volt or a 2012 PHV Prius.


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