One of the most anticipated of the green
vehicles in the last several years was the Chevrolet Volt that first popped up
in 2007 as a concept. The Volt is an extended range EV that has a gasoline
generator to help drive the wheels and charge the batteries when the car runs
out of battery power. The Volt is on sale now and is doing well according to
The Detroit News reports
that consumer sales of the Volt dropped in April in part because GM increased
the number of demo cars on the ground at Chevy dealers. The strategic move to place
more demo units on the ground at dealers rather than selling them to
customers clamoring for the Volt was calculated.
Chevrolet marketing director Christi Landy said,
"It's tough to limit the number of Volts for sale to potential customers
when demand is so strong, but the Volt has value to the Chevrolet portfolio
well beyond incremental sales." Landy continued, "Our Chevy dealers
will keep their Volt demo units for six months, and then they sell these units
at the conclusion of the demo period."
GM has already noted that it expected to sell 400
to 500 Volts in April, down from 608 units it sold in March. The difference is
that GM delivered about 300 Volts to dealers last month for demo cars. Those
300 cars would have presumably sold, making April a growth month for sales.
GM believes that even if buyers drive the Volt and
then buy another vehicle, the Volt will boost brand perception.
GM still expects to build about 15,000 Volts
this year – so far this year, it has built and sold 1,210 Volts.
The Volt has proven popular thanks to its ability
to travel on battery power alone and the fact that owners have no range anxiety
as they might feel with a traditional EV. Chevy boasted last month that the
average Volt owner goes 1,000
miles between fill ups.