Volt demand not as robust as hoped
Volt sales just don’t seem to be catching on, as Chevy moved 302 Volts in August. We think that it comes back to the basics that moved many away from considering it as an alternative – it costs too much and it only seats four.
New technology is always a draw for many. Many, many consumers want the latest and greatest and are willing to pay up for it. While we don’t fit into that category with some things, we admit to the lure of new toys that we don’t really need sometimes. When the toy is a phone or a tablet computer for a few hundred dollars, or even a television for a thousand dollars, we may say that we must have it. But the Volt isn’t just a toy, and it costs over $40,000 and may not satisfy all of your driving needs because it won’t hold enough people – well then you might have a problem.
Nissan seems to be doing reasonably well with LEAF sales. August saw 1,362 LEAFs being delivered with 6,187 sold year-to-date. Nissan’s target is 12,000 by year end, which would require an average of 1,500 each of the next four months. This seems achievable. Chevy’s goal of moving 10,000 Volts by year end seems less attainable now. GM only has 3,172 out the door so far. Almost 7,000 in the next four months? Not likely at this point.
While personally, we favor the LEAF over the Volt, we would really like to see the Volt doing better than it is currently. The more alternative electric and hybrid vehicles (plug-in or not) on the road, the greater the general awareness that these are really transport devices that could be used by anyone doing almost anything. So if you are talking to anyone that seems genuinely interested in your LEAF, but it just won’t work due to range requirements of their situation, recommend that they consider the Volt. It’s not in any of our interests to see Volts languishing on the lots.