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Dealerships don't want to spend more on tools needed to service the Volts since sales for most are down

Select Chevrolet dealerships around the U.S. are ditching the Volt after General Motors (GM) hiked up the price of tools to service the vehicle.

Last year, dealerships spent $1,800 to $2,800 on tools that are required to service each Volt plug-in hybrid. However, GM has raised the price of these tools to $5,100. The reason? A battery-repowering tool that removes and ships sections of the Volt's huge 435-pound battery for repair instead of shipping the whole thing costs dealerships about $4,735. This makes up the bulk of the tool costs while a few others are needed as well.

Due to this price hike, some dealerships have decided to stop selling the Volt altogether. Some say their overall Volt sales just don't justify the additional cost.

Allyn Barnard, owner of Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, New York, is among those who feel that way. He has only sold five Volts since the vehicle's launch in late 2010/early 2011, and doesn't see the point in paying over $5,000 for the tools needed to service them.

"Going forward, the profitability would be really hard for us to justify the expense of the repair tools," said Barnard.

The Volt may have had a bumpy start with a few production shutdowns and issues with lithium ion battery fires during National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, but sales of the Volt have been very impressive over the last year. During the first seven months of 2012, GM sold 10,666 Volt extended range electric vehicles for an increase of 270% compared to the first seven months of 2011.

However, Chevrolet then had a low November sales month due to low inventory. Chevrolet sold 1,519 Volts in November 2012, which represented a 33 percent increase over November 2011. But the number of cars sold in November was roughly half the number sold in October and September when the company sold 2,961 and 2,851 Volts respectively.

Chevrolet said this is a good thing, though, because it means demand is higher than expected

As of December 2012, General Motors had sold 20,828 Volts for the year. 

Despite these excellent numbers (Nissan was hoping to sell 20,000 Leafs in 2012, but fell way short), about 70 percent of Volt sales are generated by the 300 top-selling dealerships. There are about 2,614 dealerships certified to sell the Volt.

Source: Automotive News



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RE: Volt shmolt
By BillyBatson on 1/2/2013 8:30:41 PM , Rating: 1
No my friend did not do the proper research he bought into the hype like many volt purchasers did. So the car is ONLY made to be driven less than forty miles a day? That's news to me I wonder why they even bothered to add a gasoline engine. As for conveniences not present in other similarly equips vehicles, like that? The battery and electric motor and? what does it have that other vehicles in the same price range don't have? His car doesn't have anything my cheaper Ford Edge with Sync doesn't have or any other similarly priced vehicle.


RE: Volt shmolt
By Acupuncture84 on 1/2/2013 9:10:47 PM , Rating: 1
Lets see. The car has four camera, two on each side, one in the front and back, that allows for collision detection and lane departure assistance. I can start my car from my cellphone, On-Star can beam directions directly to my nav system, not to mention about 100 other things that I will list later on. Time for dinner = )


RE: Volt shmolt
By BillyBatson on 1/2/2013 10:29:08 PM , Rating: 1
"hundreds of other things" lol so your car has HUNDREDS of features that cars in its same price range don't have? Wow I didn't know Chevy was so futuristic! Power seats? I've never heard I that before! Floormats sheesh I wish my car came with those. Open your trunk keyless I wish I had that... Oh wait I do. You can't go calling standard features on a forty-k car as anything but what they are, standard.


RE: Volt shmolt
By RDO CA on 1/2/2013 10:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Lets see here--I think I will buy an electric car but don't give any thought to having a outlet to plug it in. Maybe he thought the electricity would just come out of the air. I have a Volt with about 11,000 miles and 10,000 of them are battery miles and 1,000 from the gas generator. On gas the Volt gets about 40 mpg. I always plug in to 110v and it will charge during the night. About 78% of the people drive 40 miles per day or less so for a lot of us it works well and if your not one then buy something else.
Great car that handles nice as the batttery is low and it has good torque (273ft lbs.) at 0 rpm.
It has a gas engine so you can use it as a first car and drive across the country or 40 miles a day as I do.
I agree that GM somestimes pulls dumb moves but this is not one of them.


RE: Volt shmolt
By Dr of crap on 1/3/2013 8:52:21 AM , Rating: 2
You'd better put something in that tank to stabilize that gas that doesn't get used.

That is the next thing that Volt owners will find - E10 gas sitting in the tank not being used will cause problems.

Now try E15 - even worse.


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