Chevy Volt Unlikely to Live Up to Sales Expectations

Chevy Volt Unlikely to Live Up to Sales Expectations

The Chevy Volt works as a car and as a green transportation solution, but as a business case it’s less sound. Helped by massive tax incentives to make the $41,000 entry price a more attractive number to consumers, GM insists demand for the car is strong, repeatedly announcing new plans to up production numbers. That, however, may not be the case moving forward.

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson commented last week that he intends to sell 25,000 Volts this year, followed by 120,000 units in 2012 – double the originally forecasted and already optimistic number.

A recent look at the auto market by the analysts at TrueCar revealed that currently no car on the market priced at over $41,000 sells at a volume that high. There is, however, one truck that fits the bill, the Ford Super Duty.

For argument’s sake, thanks to those tax incentives the Volt doesn’t cost anywhere near $41,000 currently, but that taxpayer funded reserve is set to run out once GM reaches the 200,000 mark.

In comparison, Toyota has sold just 120,000 Prius models in only three years, priced at a more modest $25,000.

[Source: Automotive News]

Read AutoGuide’s Chevrolet Volt Review Here

  • Jim

    “In comparison, Toyota has sold just 120,000 Prius models in only three years”

    Not sure where you got this number. From 1998-2000 Toyota sold 52,000 Priuses (Prii?). In 2009 (last full year of numbers I could find) Toyota sold 144,00 Prii in the U.S., and 404,000 worldwide.

  • CMutt

    Looking at the volume of cars priced > $41k isn’t a great comparison. If you can drive < 40 miles/day, you'd never buy gasoline. Average the traditional 15k in miles/year and @ $4/gallon the Volt will save $2k in gasoline costs per year. Own for 5 years and your $41k purchase actually costs the equivalent of a $31k 30-mpg conventional gas vehicle over that same period. What if gas goes higher than $4/gallon? Own for 6 years instead of 5? Factor in federal and state tax credits, the use of high occupancy lanes, and one could easily argue the Volt is THE car to buy in places like California (which isn't a small market by any means). Leasing one could be cheaper still..

  • Andy

    They will sell.

    I bought one on the spot and I have never spent half that much on a car before. This is worth it for me and it is not like driving any other car.

    To me all the ordinary cars in this price range are too boring. I would never pay that much for styling or a few luxury features, but I would pay it to be able to use a completely different propulsion system.

    I am also purchasing a solar system so that I provide all the energy for the most trips.

  • Khadgars

    This article is full of fail.

    First as you said, the cost is actually 33.5k after rebate but you make the assumption that GM will not be able to get the price down after 200,000. It’s funny you said that because getting the cost down as well as meeting demand is the primary reason for the increase in production on top of having verified the quality of the volt. If GM gets close to selling 100,000 volts next year they will have no problem reducing the price.

  • Sam

    Volt would be way better choice than Prius. Prius is too tiny, fragile and labors if just 3 average men are riding it. Last time I and two of my friends drove Prius to the stadium, the Prius was laboring and Jo was driving as though every part of the car was made of glass. We all hated the experience.

  • Brad

    I think the author is not seeing the big picture. It is 2011, not 2001. There is a real chance gasoline will reach prices not before seen in the US. Can the author guarantee me that gas will stay under $5.00 per gallon until 2016? I didn’t think so… He also underestimates the share of middle and upper middle class people (like me) who actually are willing to make a personal decision that in one fell swoop (a) helps reduce US oil dependence, (b) ends my weekly trip to the gas station, (c)curtails net carbon emissons, (d) keeps America competitive in the high-tech manufacturing & green industry game. And no, I do not work for GM, I just think these are simple facts and I am buying one.