Chevrolet Volt Sales Slip In April


General Motors has announced April sales results and despite growing inventories, the Chevrolet Volt had a poor month, selling only 1,306 units.  That’s down from March, when the Volt sold 1478 units.  In 2013, Volt sales have been very inconsistent starting the year with only 1,140 units sold but picking up steam in February and March, only to see units dropping off.  in March and April.  By contrast, Nissan Leaf April sales climbed 420% to 1,937 units but still fell short of its best-selling month of 2,236 units.  Explanations for the decline include cheaper gas prices and cost.  In January 2013, Nissan dropped the price of the Leaf to $28,800 while the Volt remains overly expensive.  However, there has been talk about a sharp decrease, as much as $10,000 in price, when the 2nd generation Volt makes its debut in 2015.  In March, GM North American President Mark Reuss said that the big price cut in the Leaf was having some impact on Volt sales.  He reiterated that statement on Twitter.  The fact remains that there are still drawbacks to both vehicles.  Although the Chevy Volt is a lot of car and can travel unlimited distances with electricity and using the on-board generator, it is a small and expensive car for the mass market.  A fully loaded Volt with all the incentives will set back a consumer $40,000.  And even with incentives, a lease still runs over $450 per month.  The Leaf on the other hand, while far less expensive, suffers with range anxiety. Anyone purchasing or leasing the Leaf must be very careful not to over extend their trip or risk having to push the car home.  The electrical infrastructure, needed to support EVs, is simply not there yet.  There is no guarantee while traveling with either car that a driver will be able to locate a charging station.  Until that happens, the appeal for these cars will remain fairly limited.  On a personal note, I have 24,000 miles (38,600 km), on my Volt and have not had a single issue or repair other than the recall due to the fire scare two years ago.  It should be noted, the fire danger was never proven.  I have also yet to change the oil in the generator or do any other real maintenance on the car.  Still loving my Volt more that two years after I purchased it.

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