Chevy Volt Sales Still Suck

It’s been a rotten year for Government Motors and I’m pretty sure it’s now not just conservatives that are questioning the bailing out of this failure of a company. Especially since a new report shows a “history of failures” at GM and lawyers are starting to smell blood in the water.

At the risk of pouring salt in this gaping wound, let’s see how sales are doing for the Chevy Volt – the car that was heavily promoted by the Obama administration after the Federal Government bailed GM out.

Not so good when you compare Volt sales with its chief Electric Vehicle (EV) rival the Nissan Leaf.

leaf vs volt

And these poor sales numbers for the Volt can’t be blamed on an overall downtrend in US auto sales. US Auto sales have been on a steady increase since early 2013 but Chevy Volt sales have been going in the opposite direction during that same time period.

us sales vs volt

We can also see that the plummeting sales numbers for the Chevy Volt aren’t because people are moving away from EV’s. Nissan Leaf sales have followed the trend of overall US Auto sales and increased at a similar rate.

us sales vs leaf

The recent GM recalls and the pitiful sales numbers for the Chevy Volt provide yet another example how the Federal Government does a lousy job of picking winners and losers.

There is only one entity that has the power to pick winners/losers and dictate what products and services companies provide and that is the Free Market. Any attempt to usurp that all powerful force is always met with complete failure.

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8 Responses to Chevy Volt Sales Still Suck

  1. Wolf says:

    GM had terrible quality issues as witnessed by the multiple recalls we saw, and I agree, it has not been a good year for them. Yet, sales seem to be fine, at least according to GM’s own postings at:
    Here is an excerpt from that link:
    DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 284,694 vehicles in the United States in May, up 13 percent compared to a year ago, marking the company’s best May in seven years and its best total sales since August 2008. Retail sales – vehicles sold to individual buyers – were up 10 percent while fleet sales were up 21 percent. GM expects to increase its total market share year over year.
    “The momentum we generated in April carried into May, with all four brands performing well in a growing economy and 17 vehicle lines posting double-digit retail sales increases or better,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations.

    Thanks for posting the graph with the Volt sales numbers. Just eyeballing the graph, sales seem to amount to 1,500 per month, which is just 0.5% of total sales. Not much of a percentage, but we have to be aware that this is a niche car. Nobody will drive it in Alaska or in Florida, where excessive amounts of battery energy will have to go to heating or air conditioning. So yes, it’s a car for the moderate climates and will never be able to compete with a large SUV or pickup truck in terms of popularity. It would be interesting to see how many Corvettes were sold. Compared to the Nissan Leaf, the 1,500 per month look relatively good. I don’t have the raw data, but it looks like the Leaf sells somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 a month. The trend is peaking sharper in April compared to the Volt’s, but in terms of numbers both cars are in the same ball park. If the Volt’s 1,500 is a failure we should be fair and label both cars failures. So, go ahead and slam Nissan, too.

    I have to say, though, that when I first got my Volt 18 months ago, I saw another Volt once every week. Now, I see two or three Volts a day. Is it just my area that favors this car? BTW, I live in Orange County, CA, a very conservative area. It seems like these liberals are penetrating this area, too…

    Despite all the debate, I could not help but smile when I filled up my Volt for $35 after driving it for two months, watching others at the gas station fill their gas guzzlers for what must have been $80 and more and knowing that they visit the station almost weekly. I am averaging close to 180 miles per gallon, even with frequent trips to LA during which I have to use the gasoline engine. Except for one oil change, tire rotation, and a software update I had no maintenance with this car. Not bad for Government Motors.

    • cosmoscon says:

      Thanks as always for taking the time to stop by and comment. My point of this post can be boiled down to the last 2 graphs. Over the past year the Leaf sales have increased at basically the same rate as overall US car sales but the Volt has had a very sharp decrease over the same time frame. I’m glad you like your Volt but it appears the rest of this niche market prefers another option.

  2. Who made your charts? Bubba? and what type of car do you drive? have you been to the creationism museum ? what other organizations do you belong? Do you know John Birch? will you boycott the Federal Highways? can’t wait to read your health care article and npr rants.

    • Wolf says:

      Hi touchdownohio,
      let’s stick to the facts. I don’t doubt the graphs that Cosmocon posted, I just think that there are several ways to interpret the data depending on which side of the spectrum you are 🙂

      • and you want an American electric car to fail because ……?

        • Wolf says:

          of course not. I drive a Volt myself and I would be more than happy to see the Volt take off and sell like hot cakes. The Volt is a big gamble by GM due to the high development cost. When they announced the Volt, the battery supplier had not been selected, and it was not even clear whether there would be a battery capable of delivering the specs. Early on there were many critics who said they would drop the Volt soon after or even before it hit the roads. I am glad they stuck to their plans. But, still today, there are not too many Volts around. I heard GM is working on an improved Volt 2, but if the original Volt did not sell more than 100,000 what are the chances Volt 2 will be a huge success?

          • the 1st 17 attempts to cross the Atlantic failed; Ross Perot’s brilliant idea failed 57 times; “Persistence and Determination are alone all powerful”

      • we need electric cars …. did you read [who killed the electric car?] answer: the big oil barons

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