Has the first-generation Chevy Volt’s lame duck status been cemented with the revelation of the 2016 replacement last month?
If 542 units sold – the worst since August 2011 – are any indicator, this could be the case.
Actually, January was a weak month for others including the unofficial – and now often contested – rival of sorts, the all-electric Leaf, which also failed to set any new form of sales record, and sold 1,070 units.
The Volt has been declining, and last year finished down 18.6 percent compared to 2013’s 12-month tally.
It does retain a slim hold however on its claim to most plug-in sales since launch with 73,899 sales versus the Leaf’s 73,392. The Leaf however sold double the Volt in round numbers December and January – 3,102 vs, 1,490 and 1,070 vs. 542 respectively.
Odds are good the Volt may cease to be America’s top-selling plug-in by February … until the summer or later when GM rolls out the 2016.
The shoe may then be on the other foot when Nissan will have a more-dated product – as dissimilar as an EV and an extended-range EV may be, both are classified as plug-ins, and they have traditionally been compared since both alternatives launched December 2010.
The new Volt however looks seriously improved. GM is putting the final touches on the pre-production show car pictured and emblazoned into the imagination of patiently waiting Volt buyers.
Its 50 miles EV range may be enough for drivers to go 90 percent of the time on electricity alone, GM says, basing this on OnStar telematic data from past drivers who go 80 percent.
We expect the market will take many more twists and turns as emerging-tech cars push ahead in the face of cheap gas and with heavy regulations and growing demand prodding them forward.