The Chevrolet Volt
Patrick Rall's picture

Chevy Volt on pace to set new monthly sales record in August 2012

While we likely not have the official August 2012 sales figures from around the American auto industry until early next week, a GM representative has stated that the Chevrolet Volt is on pace to sell over 2,500 units – marking the best ever sales month for the electric Chevy along with the best sales month for a single EV in the US.
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While speaking with the Detroit Free Press, General Motors spokeswoman Michelle Malcho stated that there would be more than 2,500 Chevrolet Volt EVs sold in August 2012. This is a mix of both 2012 and 2013 model year Volts; combining to beat the previous monthly best which was set in March 2012 with 2,289 Volt sedans sold. That boom in sales came shortly after the state of California announced that single drivers who were piloting a Chevy Volt could use the less congested high occupancy vehicle/ carpooling (HOV) lanes. Non-approved vehicles are required to have at least 2 (sometimes 3) people in the vehicle to use carpooling lanes and violators can face fines in excess of $481.

This latest boost in sales could be attributed to the arrival of 2013 model year Chevy Volts in dealerships around the country, with the newest model year receiving an “EV Hold Mode” that helps to keep the battery charged when on the highway. The 2013 Volt also offers a slightly longer overall driving range of 380 miles (+1), a longer all electric range of 38 miles (+3), and an improved fuel economy figure of 98 MPGe (+4). The 2013 Volt also comes finished in less contrasting black paint with the roof being the most noticeably body-colored portion of the vehicle. No matter what color Volt someone purchased in 2012, the roof of the car was black but for 2013, the roof will match the rest of the car. Click here for more on the changes made to the 2013 Chevy Volt.

According to General Motors, Californians account for roughly one third of the new Chevrolet Volt EVs sold in the United States but other markets – including the Volt’s native state of Michigan – are showing strong growth. The addition of the highway (EV Hold) mode should make the Volt more attractive to those drivers who begin the first part of their commute with a long highway drive followed by city driving as, with EV Hold mode, that driver will still have plenty of battery power left when he or she gets into the congested city setting.

In addition to setting a “personal best” and a new overall sales record month for an electric vehicle in the US, the 2,500+ new Chevy Volts sold this month will help the Volt continue the brutal beating that it has handed to the Nissan Leaf throughout 2012. While some people who are more in favor of a pure electric vehicle are quick to point out that the Volt isn’t a pure electric vehicle so it isn’t a fair comparison but when Nissan was beating the Leaf last year, those same people were all about pointing out how badly the Leaf was beating the Volt. Through the first seven months of 2012, Nissan delivered just 3,543 Leaf EVs in the US. GM sold 10,666 versions of the Volt in that same period of time. Should GM sell 2,501 Volts in August 2012, they will have sold over thirteen thousand copies of the electric Chevy this year – putting them on pace for over 26,000 Volts sold in 2012.

The news of a record month for the Chevrolet Volt provides proof to the critics that General Motors’ planned downtime coming in September and October is not due to lack of sales or interest in the high tech electric Chevy. GM has stated that the September 17-October 15 production stoppage is to allow the company to retool the plant for the launch of 2014 Chevrolet Impala production and a record month for Volt sales provides concrete proof of that statement. Click here for more on the planned downtime for the Hamtramck assembly plant.

Stay tuned to TorqueNews for all of your automotive news coverage including a monthly in-depth look at the sales battle (well, it used to be a battle) between the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

Source: The Detroit Free Press


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Comments

2500 units is fairly meaningless with respect to any other model of car made. There were approximately 282,000 mid sized cars sold in August 2012. volt will be 1% of that figure. If you remove the $18M in government funding this number would be significantly lower. And in fact the plant shutdown does indicate that volt sales are no reason to keep the plant running and there is more than enough inventory to meet this very, very lackluster demand. Keep the glowing headlines coming - the choir wants more good news.
I suspect the plant shutdown has as much to do with 2013 retooling as it does over-abundant inventory. GM is likely done with 2012 Volt model production and gearing towards next year.
$4 per gallon is the main reason 2,500 Volt's have been sold this month. People finally get it. Keep your money, go EV!
The Prius sold about 15,000 annually nationwide in its second year (2001) in the US. The Volt is at 13,000 with three months to go in its second year.  p.s Toyota got subsidies for fuel efficient cars from Japan, there is no such thing as "free market", at least not yet. Toyota sells more than 10,000 Prius vehicles a MONTH now in the US.