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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: For Pete's sake
By JediJeb on 1/2/2013 10:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The tides are shifting, and gone is the retarded rhetoric of "bigger is better," where soccer mom's are driving gigantic SUVs that get 12MPG, instead of sensible smaller vehicles that get double or triple that.


But the savings are less when it takes two or three vehicles to carry the same amount of kids and equipment as the one larger one can carry.

When one vehicle can carry 7 people and their sports gear, why use several to do the same? Of course I don't believe that everyone who owns an SUV really needs one, or that they should be using them just to run to the grocery but there are uses for them sometimes.

While I wouldn't mind having a more fuel efficient vehicle I can't justify owning two, especially something as expensive as a Volt. I also need to tow or haul large loads at times, how much can the Volt tow?

The Volt has only proven that a small set of consumers want that type of vehicle. While it is good for some, it isn't good for everyone. Honestly once they can make EVs down in the $20k price range while giving them at least a 200 mile range or have them range extended like the Volt then they will have a better chance of becoming main stream.


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