Chevrolet Blames Low November Volt Sales on Lack of Inventory
December 4, 2012 1:13 PM
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Strong demand for the Volt partly to blame for inventory issues
Chevrolet has been doing surprisingly well with sales of its Volt extended range electric vehicle. In fact, Chevrolet has repeatedly set sales records for the Volt this year. Back in August, Chevrolet set a single month
for the Volt and then beat that record again in October.
In November of this year, Chevrolet sold 1,519 Volt vehicles, which represented a 33% increase over November of 2011. However, the number of cars sold in November was roughly half the number Chevrolet sold in October and September when the company sold 2,961 and 2,851 Volts respectively.
Chevrolet says that the problem with sales declining isn't that demand for the vehicle is waning; it's that demand is too high. Part of the reason sales declined so much in November was due to low inventory that was felt particularly hard in California.
According to Don Johnson, Chevrolet VP of Sales and Service, the California market where GM sells 34% of all the Volts it produces recently had only an 8-day supply the vehicle. General Motors has been able to up production of the vehicle and currently has up to 23 days supply for California and about 60 days across the US. According to Johnson, that volume level is ideal.
General Motors has sold 20,828 Volts so far this year.
Another potential issue that could have contributed to low supply of the Volt was that the assembly plant where the Volt is produced was idled to retool for production of 2014 Chevrolet Impala. That plant idling combined with stronger-than-expected sales led to problems with inventory.
While General Motors struggles with supplies for its popular Volt, competitor Ford is doing very well with its new C-Max plug-in hybrid. Ford reports that it has sold 8,999 C-Max hybrids and
C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids
in only two months. The most popular region for the car is Southern California according to Ford.
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RE: Half truths and lack of info
12/5/2012 2:22:29 PM
There is a lot of factory idle drama.
I just want to point out the innovation Ford has done with their new Fusion. They have a modular factory and the ICE fusion, hybrid fusion, and plug-in hybrid fusion all share parts and are all put together in a similar fashion on the assembly line. So Ford will not have to idle the plant if the hybrid or plug-in hybrid aren't doing so well (gas goes down), they can simply switch to the ICE model and if gas goes up, etc etc. There will be a bit of down time, but nothing like what GM has to do.
GM basically has to guess the demand with the Volt factory, and that is a fail strategy. They either have too many or too few.
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