October Volt And Leaf Sales Continue To Twist And Turn

General Motors reported sales of 2,022 extended-range electric Chevrolet Volts for October – up by more than 11 percent over September but down compared to October 2012.

Contrasted against Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, the Volt had a much better month being that the Leaf’s sales of 2,002 units in October improved with not quite a 3-percent gain over September’s 1,953.

However, the Volt’s progress from October this year to October last year was far below the Leaf’s – the Volt was actually down by a higher percentage than the percentage by which the Nissan was up.

Specifically, comparing October 2013 to October 2012, Nissan was up around 26 percent but the Volt was down by close to 32 percent.

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Thus as a measure of longer term progress, Nissan is at the moment having a better time of it, but how does one accurately slice this info?

With regard to pushing forward for a new genre of car, it might not be a stretch to say Nissan did OK in the battle (sales in October 2013) but it’s doing much better in the proverbial war (exceeding last year’s watermark by more than one quarter).

And, keeping to the same comparison, Chevy did better in the battle (sales in October compared to September), but is losing ground in the war (year over year sales down nearly one-third).

Chevrolet brand-wide sales: Oct. 2013 vs. Oct 2012.

Chevrolet brand-wide sales: Oct. 2013 vs. Oct 2012.

The Volt’s sales are also a notable exception to an otherwise up-trending month for the Chevrolet brand.

General Motors reported a 14.7 overall increase for October with some new models like the Corvette, Malibu, Suburban and Tahoe pulling up the ranks and most Chevrolets saw positive year over year increases, but the Volt stands out like a sore thumb – in the red.

This said, while Nissan is indeed doing relatively better, one might also say the Leaf had almost no where to go but up this year as it was lagging greatly in 2012 while by comparison the Volt looked like the big dog last year.

For the entire calendar year of 2012, Chevrolet sold 23,461 Volts, whereas Nissan sold but 9,819.

So last year could be said to have been Chevrolet’s year to shine and this year is Nissan’s year to catch up.

As for this current calendar year, through October Nissan has sold 18,078 Leafs and Chevrolet has sold 18,782 Volts.

So bottom line is both automakers are neck and neck for this year and the bigger picture is they’re pushing new-tech cars into the public against entrenched technologies and in the face of presently inexpensive gasoline.

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Both new-tech cars were launched not especially long ago in December 2010.

They have both established a solid foothold, and depending on how you analyze the numbers could be said to be both holding down the fort in some respects and ultimately gaining ground, whether obvious to some or not.