What everyone suspected is true – Chevy Volt demand has been held back in anticipation of the 2016 second-generation’s release, and October’s sales verify this.
The floodgate was opened last month with first 2016 model sales in 11 states following California’s zero emission vehicle rules, and Chevrolet documented just these 2016s in a limited market exceeded September’s 949 nationwide Volt sales by 40 percent.
Overall, General Motors reported October Volt sales of 2,035 units – a 41.4-percent year-over-year increase. HybridCars.com has further learned from GM that of these, 1,324 cars, or 65.1 percent of the October total, were 2016 second-generation Volts.
Of the remainder, 662, or 35.5 percent were 2015s, and 49, or 2.4 percent were 2014 model Volts.
Chevrolet has chosen however to release the Volt only in the 11 states this year. California has been its traditional stronghold market, so in any case this and other first markets would have represented a greater proportion of sales on a national basis.
Next spring, Chevrolet says it will release to the 39 remaining states the next-generation Volt as a 2017 model year.
How the Volt will sell going forward is open to further speculation. It would appear certain that some of the first sales were from people waiting for the 2016 to arrive.
Chevrolet’s challenge going forward is marketing the 53-mile-range extended-range EV.
With nearly a half decade on the market now, and having passed a gauntlet of pushback from several fronts in the U.S. and abroad, the Volt has returned showing GM does believe in the product, it has said.
To be sure, there are no other plug-in hybrids with true coast-to-coast driving potential that have the electric range the Volt does.
Will the second go-around see forgiveness, among whom it may concern, and an open mind among consumers who may finally discover the Volt as relevant for them?
Time will tell.