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After what’s been viewed as something of a perfect storm; tremendous hype, followed by lengthy gestation and then a spate of highly publicized safety issues, it would appear the Chevrolet Volt’s chances for long-term success might be hazy at best.
So far, sales have failed to meet GM’s originally projected estimates: In 2011 the company had planned to deliver some 10,000 units, though by the time the dust settled just 7,700 units had found owners. That said, new numbers for February have emerged that show a sales gain of almost double the number of Volt deliveries compared with January 2012 (1,023 versus 603).
Despite outselling the Nissan LEAF last month, GM still recognizes there’s still a lot of work to do in order to restore the Volt’s reputation. “It’s a tough road, but we’ve got to do it,” GM North American President Mark Reuss said.
Last month, to help regain Volt sales momentum, the company announced the availability of a California LEV emissions package that finally qualifies the car for single occupant status in the state’s HOV lanes. Chevy also modified the battery packaging to reduce the risk of coolant leakage and potential fires.
Nonetheless, GM is being cautious about Volt sales moving forward, abandoning its previous estimates of 45,000 units for 2012. Instead it said it will build enough examples to “supply to demand.”
[Source: Detroit News]