Chevy Volt Sales Catching Fire

September 18, 2012

We already knew that the Chevy Volt is selling more units than Toyota sold Prius’s at the same stage of development – GM is also selling more Volts than it sells Corvettes.

It turns out that, not only are half of Americans unwilling to take responsibility for themselves, — They’re buying Commie French Obama-Cars in greater and greater numbers. Could these be those snotty “smart people”?

Detroit Free Press:

General Motors confirmed today that it expects to sell more than 2,500 Chevrolet Volts in August, a monthly record for the extended-range electric vehicle.

The Volt, which has been dogged by political rhetoric, won’t meet the automaker’s original sales projections of 45,000 vehicles in 2012. But the company backed off those projections several months ago – and the car has outperformed its chief competitors, including the pure electric Nissan Leaf, whose sales have plummeted.

GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said the company would sell “well over” 2,500 this month.

“We’re really seeing momentum continuing to build,” Malcho said. “As people see their neighbors have one and as they start to understand the technology and are able to drive it, they put it into their consideration.”

The automaker sold 10,666 Volts in the first seven months of the year, up 272% from the same period in 2011. Its previous best month for the Volt was 2,229 in March, which was soon after California drivers were allowed to drive the Volt in carpool lanes without a passenger.

Californians are buying one-third of GM’s supply of Volts, but Malcho said other markets are showing strength too. Michigan is one of the vehicle’s strongest regions.

“We’re really seeing these other markets starting to take off and grow,” she said.

GM confirmed that the sales record includes 2012 and 2013 Volts. Malcho said the 2012 was not being discounted to accelerate the transition to the new model.

Green Car Reports:

Following a grim year of adverse press, the Volt seems to be finding its stride. Last month, 1,849 Volts were sold, and this month’s sales bring the Volt’s 2012 total to 13,497.

GM still plans to suspend Volt production at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to match supply to sales, and add tooling to assemble the 2014 Chevrolet Impala there.

But at least for the moment, it appears that Volt sales have surged to new heights. This month’s total of 2,831 is the highest-ever monthly volume for the Volt since it went on sale In December 2010.

8 Responses to “Chevy Volt Sales Catching Fire”

  1. rayduray Says:

    At $40,000 per copy, this hardly seems like a sensible solution to anything, let alone the climate crisis.

    Behind every GM Volt there stands a coal fired or natural gas fired power plant, ready to spew buckets of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    The Volt seems like a solution to the wrong problem. And a very costly one at that.

    ***
    I would never dream of buying a GM Volt. Today the best volts are in German bike batteries.

    But I do harbor the lust of youth for this sort of a solution to the utter stupidity of American suburban design idiocies:

    A friend of mine has just built a 66 volt unit, top speed about 45 mph in about 6 seconds without human pedal assist and a 40 mile range. All for $2,200. OK, he didn’t pass the NTSB crash test. Granted that gives us DIY guys an advantage over GM.

    But let’s face it, sedans are for wimps.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      “40,000 dollars a copy…”

      By by your logic, no one would ever have bought a computer, a cell phone, or a flat screen tv, much less a wind turbine or a photovoltaic solar cell. Do you realize you sound like Sean Hannity?

      Right – we should not be so dependent on cars.

      Here’s my idea. We have to live in the world as it is, not as it should be, and people have cars.
      Even with a crash program to develop mass transit in this country, ..say with some kind of herculean, manhattan project/apollo type intensity that is not currently on the horizon – in 20 or 30 years, if we got to European levels of mass transit – we’d still have a lot of cars in the mix.
      Rght now, they still run on liquid fossil fuels. that has to stop.

      Instead of buying into the bogus, nonfactual Rush Limbaugh logic – “Behind every GM Volt there stands a coal fired or natural gas fired power plant” – how about looking at the actual, real world facts, and starting with the idea that we can make this work, rather than that “we are doomed”?

      • rayduray Says:

        Hi Peter,

        Re: “We have to live in the world as it is, not as it should be, and people have cars.”

        The American transportation system is the result of somewhat flawed decision-making and not due to inevitability.

        I believe the Interstate highway system, on balance, is a good thing. It is largely efficient and useful.

        However, I’ve had a change of opinion regarding the way that the interstate system was imposed on our cities. Years ago I read Robert Caro’s magnificent biography, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses And the Fall of New York” http://tinyurl.com/98h3o7y

        When I read the book in the late 1970s I saw Moses as a willful creator of the future. Today, I see him as an arrogant technocrat with little understand of the intricacies of cities. Moses was responsible for more destruction of the lively inner neighborhoods of New York than any other man. He did so for the sake of extending modern highways from the centers of money and power on Manhattan and extend these tentacles out to burgeoning suburbs especially on Long Island. What was lost was the soul of much of the Inner Boroughs.

        This pattern was repeated across America, with stunning levels of careless destruction of inner city neighborhoods in order to cater to white flight. A very famous example was the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco. This wrap-around freeway/traffic-jammed moving parking lot put the City into an utterly unnatural corset and stifled city life. After the Loma Prieta earthquake it was decided to tear the Embarcadero Freeway down. This was resented by the car culture types. It was resisted by suburbanites who thought it might take them an extra three minutes to get to the office in the Financial District. But the wise and thoughtful neighborhood activists won that round. And created a magnificent urban renaissance. No longer was San Francisco girdled by a hideous concrete monstrosity. It has an on-grade roadway with generous provision for people, my friend. Not for corporations’ cars crowding to the point of failure night after night in 1 mph traffic jams imprisoning the city in smog and metal cans.

        I’ve seen our obsession with personal car dominance of our urban/suburban/ex-urban planning, and it is a cancer on our land. In this regard, I’m far closer to James Howard Kunstler than I am to Sean Hannity.
        http://www.kunstler.com/books.php/

        It is time to come to our senses about stupid transportation systems. Simply replacing the petroleum based fleet of inefficient vehicles with ones powered by electricity does nothing to create a viable transport system of the future.

        Frankly, I’m a little ashamed of this nation. While the Chinese have created about 30,000 miles of modern high speed rail transportation in the past decade, we dither. We’ve created zero miles of true high speed rail. This should shock Americans to realize how far we are falling behind world standards with our obsession with the automobile.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          I’m in agreement with everything you said.
          My point stands, tho, that even a manhattan project to build new rail etc will not free us from automobiles in our lifetime. Therefore there must be an answer, and there are actually some positive directions that we can go in.
          Electric and hybrid vehicles are among them, and the market is going to make them happen, so we might as well make it a win for our planet and our grandchildren. Seems better than shaking my fist and gnashing my teeth.

          • rayduray Says:

            Hi Peter,

            Re: “I’m in agreement with everything you said. My point stands, tho, that even a manhattan project to build new rail etc will not free us from automobiles in our lifetime.”

            Of course we will have automobiles for the foreseeable future. I simply believe that as a civilization, we need to come to our senses and not have our security moms driving 6,000 pound SUV gas-guzzlers to the mall to squander wealth on consumption which adds nothing to human happiness at unsustainable cost to our planet.

            Our American culture is the most attractive on the planet. It’s also the most wasteful, barring certain small oil saturated monarchies in the Middle East.

            Our American culture is maladaptive to the world we are facing. For example, there’s a tremendous resentment among the general population to being told they should put on a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat and squandering energy so we can show off our tans far into the winter months. Jimmie Carter proved that, much to his chagrin.

            My point is that replacing an oil based car fleet with one powered off the grid doesn’t address the fact that Americans are obese, don’t get enough exercise, and would be far happier and longer lived if they walked more and rode bikes more. I’m guilty of being overweight myself, but I still am quite proud that 90% of my transport is on a bicycle or walking. I’ve consumed about 3 gallons of gasoline for my truck in the past three months. I’m doing my part to balance the planet from the mindless wastefulness of the average American consumer.

            ***
            Two final thoughts about GM and the Chevy Volt.

            1) A few years ago I shared “Who Killed The Electric Car” at a public screening. I was absolutely appalled at the arrogance and stupidity on display regarding the management of GM. They willfully set back their research on electric vehicles by years. I have a continuing antipathy to the upper echelons at GM, whom I regard largely as pampered troglodytes.

            2) Is the Chevy Volt competitive? Here’s what I’ve turned up just now: “The Chevy Volt starts at $39,995 and can reach $45,000, though many buyers will be eligible for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit and various state, regional, local, and corporate incentives, both financial and otherwise. The new Prius Plug-In Hybrid starts at $32,000, but is eligible only for a $2,500 Federal tax credit. And the base model of the Toyota Prius, known as the Prius Two trim level, starts at $24,000, with a nicely equipped top-of-the-line Prius topping out around $34,000.” http://tinyurl.com/8kfzjlx

            So what I meant to say all along and will finally say is that I have no objection whatsoever to electric cars (I’ll bike in the sunshine, take the car in the rain and snow). What I resent is someone waving the flag in order to sell something at a price that appears to be significantly inflated beyond a fair price. I have friends who own Toyota Priuses and they are very satisfied with their vehicles. I don’t know a single person in Central Oregon who would consider spending an extra $10,000 or so, just to have an American nameplate on a car. GM has not been loyal to us. Why should we be loyal to them?


  2. […] We already knew that the Chevy Volt is selling more units than Toyota sold Prius’s at the same stage of development – GM is also selling more Volts than it sells Corvettes. It turns out…  […]

  3. miffedmax Says:

    I’m actually a bit of a gearhead. I like having a car, and I enjoy the convenience, the freedom and the actual experience of driving. Having said that, I am fascinated by and greatly in favor of any technology that enables me to continue to enjoy owning a car.

    Whether it’s more efficient gas engines, clean diesel, hybrids or all-electrics, (or as I personally expect, a mixture of all of the above depending on personal/business needs), supporting this new technology is the way to go. (My own gas buggy is classified as a near zero emissions vehicle because of its advanced exhaust system).

  4. andrewfez Says:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/05/10/wikispeed-how-a-100-mpg-car-was-developed-in-3-months/

    Once the demand for game changing rises, as a function of the rise of the price of energy for the average fella, I think we’ll see lots of surprises. I think the internet itself, something probably not foreseen by the average 1970’s fella, plays a huge roll in how energy and efficiency plays out, going forward (see the article; information exchange seems to have become 100’s fold more efficient…).

    There for a few weeks, I was freaking out after having watched some of Post Carbon Institutes ideas. I’m not discounted the message – it’s a positive pressure in the right direction. But just looking around at how energy INefficient our lives are, it just seems that there is huge room for ‘game changing’ growth in efficiency, and if the rate of ‘efficiency growth’ rises faster than that of energy use (as a function of middle class population growth) I think we might just do OK for ourselves.

    It almost seems that this could be the case as efficiency begets efficiency, and renewables beget renewables, allowing for exponential growth secondary to positive feedback loops: As renewables take a greater part of the economic market share, there’s less money for smear campaigns against them, the voices of coal miners to sound out fears of fossil job losses grow smaller, etc… In short: resistance for change falls, creating more change, resulting in less resistance, allowing for more change. Another loop could be that a country or state seeds its energy portfolio with wind, then more turbines are made by its industry using wind energy, creating more wind energy. Another one is renewables create less energy commodity speculation, allowing for an economy’s energy portfolio prices to correct towards a levelized cost, allowing less volatility, creating greater economic efficiency, and therefore a higher demand for renewables. Renewables are less susceptible to global demands for energy, which translates to smaller positive pressure on trade deficits, and a smaller need for military use to guard resources, which again helps the economy, and thus should increase the demand for renewables. These are really rough, over simplifications, and they do have to fight against diametric positive loops, but those are the ideas….

    One part of our society that is lagging in efficiency and is probably creating a significant drag to our economy is tractor-trailers. I’ve heard their efficiency has not increased since the 90’s. However CSX is seeing more and more stuff being transported by rail boxes, which is compensating their loss of income from the diminishing coal industry…


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