August Chevy Volt Sales Down 30 Percent; Bolt EV Has Best Month on Record

Today General Motors reported modest August sales for the extended-range Chevy Volt while the up-and-coming Bolt EV saw an incremental gain to a new high.

The Volt’s 1,445 sales were down 30.6 percent from 2,081 sales in August 2016, and the Bolt EV’s 2,107 August 2017 sales were ahead of its previous high of 1,971 set in July and its highest since its December 2016 launch.

This said, qualifiers are in order. The Volt, poorly advertised, has long suffered a disconnect with the general buying public, especially in a time of cheap gas.

Bolt EV sales this year: Jan.: 1162; Feb.: 952; Mar.: 978; April: 1,292; May: 1566; June: 1642; July: 1971; Aug.: 2,107.

The Bolt, all-new and receiving lots of reviews this year as the EV that beat Tesla to market with a 200-plus-mile range EV for mid 30s, is gaining traction as word gets out it is a well-engineered and effective car.

How high the Bolt goes into the 2,000s in months following remains to be seen, but Michigan-based analyst Alan Baum says it is unlikely to break out significantly higher.

Both cars are projected to sell low to mid 20-some thousand units this year, but to be sure, the Volt is down from its record 3,691 sales in December 2016 – and many a month when it sold in the 2,000 range.

SEE ALSO: September Will Be Great Month For New Plug-in Vehicles

The Bolt EV starts at $37,495 before a $7,500 federal tax credit and potential state incentives. The Volt starts at $33,995 with the same incentives available.

Both cars may therefore net into the effective mid-20s-low-30s price range of the best-selling hybrid, the Toyota Prius which had almost 40,000 sales through July compared to the Volt’s 12,450 and Bolt’s 9,563, but both Chevrolets are for now limited.

Given the reliability track record for the Volt’s electrified powertrain which passed along lessons learned to the Bolt, one might say the cars are under-appreciated.

Other realities include the Tesla Model 3 is ramping up and creating huge interest, Nissan will be revealing its generation-two Leaf next week, and numerous other choices are available or on the horizon.


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