Chevy plans to place Volt into service as demo vehicles

by Ernie Hernandez on May 2, 2011

Chevrolet Volt

Volt’s to go to dealers, not customers

General Motors has decided to take a different tack with the Chevrolet Volt – Halo car.

A “halo car” is one that will draw consumers in, even those that have no intention of purchasing one, just to check it out. Chevrolet has determined that almost nine of ten customers who traded a vehicle in on the Volt are new to the Chevy brand. So Chevrolet has decided to take as many as 2,000 Volts out of the hands of consumers and put them into the hands of dealers by the end of this year. The dealers will have these units as demonstration vehicles for six months and then sell them. The hope is that prospective Chevy customers will either order a Volt or buy some other fuel efficient product out of the dealers current inventory. Ultimately, Nissan will do the same of course. But Nissan is trying to get 20,000 vehicles into the hands of customers by September, so it is unlikely that dealers will see demo LEAFs before then. There are anecdotal reports of some Nissan dealers that have had customers refuse to take delivery for whatever reason when their car came in, so the dealer kept the unit rather than selling it, in order to use it as a demonstration vehicle.

Nissan is also seeing a large number of non-Nissan owners moving to the brand to become LEAF owners. LEAF registrations re-opened yesterday to new potential LEAF buyers. Nissan has released no word yet on the number of registrations received as of yet. We expect to hear something before long.

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