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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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Who buys the Volt?
By Norseman4 on 1/2/2013 11:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen that the Volt has good sales numbers. I've also seen cost analysis' showing that the Volt, itself, is at best a break even product. (Only considering materials to construct a single vehicle, not the previous R&D expenditures.) I've also seen reports of government agencies, state and federal, requiring the purchase of the Volt for their fleet.

If the Volt sales showed a breakdown of private vs public sector sales, possibly showing state vs. federal as well, then I think the sales number total may not be as impressive as it looks. (Then again, maybe that's why that breakdown is not generally available.)

Personally, I buy Ford one one of the many foreign names that also manufacture in North America.




RE: Who buys the Volt?
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/4/2013 2:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
What the hell are you talking about? Ford is an American company.


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