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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: following through???
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 7:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Feel better now? Next time, try decaffeinated.

RE: following through???
By jharper12 on 2/18/2011 7:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
Snappy reply, no substance. What's the matter, don't have anything real to say about my post? Next time try responding with a well thought out counterargument.

RE: following through???
By rikulus on 2/18/2011 8:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think he didn't say anything "real" about your rant because all of the points had been made several times in the posts above.

1. The Volt is absolutely, positively not solely propelled by electric motors with a generator as backup power only. That was the original announcement for the car, but then GM developed a fancy planetary gear so the ICE could assist directly in propulsion. GM thinks this is a better solution. Maybe it is. But it's pointless to fight that it is generator + electric motor only like a locomotive, because it is not.

2. To argue that $8k more and more weight, etc, is great because this car is more useful than the Leaf is silly. It's the same argument people give for driving their kids to school in a Suburban... someday I might need to pick up three wash machines at Home Depot - how will I fit that in a regular car?! I might need the volume some day. Yes, a Leaf driver might need greater range some day, but that doesn't mean they should buy a Volt. Lots of families have two cars, if one can be a Leaf to commute in and the other used for long trips, doesn't that make more sense than the extra price of the Volt? Even having to occasionally rent a car... $8k can go a long way in car rentals. And this all gets amplified if the Leaf is more efficient on electric than the Volt is due to weight or less complexity.

RE: following through???
By gregpet on 2/18/2011 1:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
The Leaf is a joke. I think Nissan has delivered like 25 cars since they introduced it (something that Dailytech has failed to report). The only reason that Nissan MAY be able to deliver all the cars that are on their waiting list this year is because so many people are RUNNING away from it...

RE: following through???
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 10:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Substance: The Volt is a plug-in parallel hybrid, nothing more. As such, it gets about 41 mpg based on electric range and gas range combined. Yawn.

It is not in the same class of vehicle as a Leaf. The Leaf is in the same class as the Tesla line, just less expensive.

The Volt is slightly more advanced than the current Prius technologically, but not as to fuel efficiency. When the plug-in Prius comes out next year, the Volt will still have longer battery-only range, but the Prius will have even higher MPG overall than its current 50 mpg. The Prius will also still cost much less. I think I said all this in the previous post.

RE: following through???
By gregpet on 2/18/2011 1:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm. The new Prius Plug-in won't cost "much" less. Toyota has already announced it will be in the mid $30's. And as you point out you get alot less range...

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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