The 2011 Chevrolet Volt first reached dealerships in Washington DC, California, Texas, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia and the Metro New York City area but as the next wave of regional deliveries begins, Chevrolet dealerships in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington have received more than 700 Volts to use as demonstration models.
Alan Starling, owner of Starling Chevrolet in St. Cloud, Florida told GM that even though they have been in business for “a long time”, having the Chevrolet Volt on the lot has brought in new faces. GM even went so far as to poll the current owners of new Chevy Volts, asking them how long it had been since they had visited a Chevrolet dealership. More than half of them told GM that they hadn’t been in a Chevy dealership in more than ten years and a third of Volt owners had never visited a Chevy dealership prior to showing their interest in their new Volt – proof positive that the Volt is not just offering current customers a chance to save at the pumps but it is also attracting new faces that wouldn’t have previously considered Chevrolet.
While the Chevrolet Volt has been slow to sell compared to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, General Motors reports that the Volt is helping the company in more ways than just basic sales units. GM has found that many prospective Volt-buyers are considering the Volt but they are also considering the far less expensive Chevy Cruze – which offers impressive fuel economy numbers at a significant difference in price compared to its electric sibling. While the Volt can offer a range of roughly 35 miles of gasoline free driving for an eMPG of 93 miles per gallon – numbers that are ideal for those who do mostly city driving – the 37mpg of the Volt when not on electric power may not be so appealing to some consumers. However, with the Chevy Cruze Eco offering 42mpg on the highway and a price tag well below that of the Volt – some who begin by intending to buy a new Chevy Volt are instead going with the cost effective Chevy Cruze.
However, as the Detroit Hamtramck plant where the Chevy Volt is produced has returned from a planned month long downtime for a model year change and retooling before the workers begin ramping up to a production of 150 Volts per day, four days a week. Once the company gets more Volts into showrooms around the country while pumping out the new electric vehicle with a range extending gasoline engine at the rate of 2400 a month, Chevrolet should stand a much better chance of keeping up with the far cheaper Nissan Leaf.
Other GM News:
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GM confirms Chevy Volt-based Cadillac ELR with videos and pictures
GM confirms the Cadillac XTS and ATS for 2012
Chevy Cruze helps GM lead the industry in July 2011 sales
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