It was a month of sales records for General Motors in August, including for its Chevy Volt which smashed through the 3,000 unit ceiling for the first time with 3,351 units sold.
Earlier this month, GM announced it had reduced the Volt’s MSRP to $34,995 before potential federal and state subsidies.
Previously Chevrolet had been discounting 2012 and 2013 model year Volts, and as of this month sales have been a combination of mostly 2013 and 2014s also coming to dealers.
One of GM’s executives said GM chose to drop the price because of the usual reasons and a unique one to Internet shopping.
The usual reasons were to compete with the Nissan Leaf – which this month also set an all-time record – and other alternative plug-in cars. GM also cut the 2014 Volt’s price because its production costs have been reduced enough to justify it.
Another less-commonly heard reason is a $35,000 arbitrary cutoff GM cited that Internet shoppers select as their maximum threshold.
Although the Volt at the previous just-under-$40,000 price could make this threshold with subsidies taken out, it was being passed up by buyers who did not know these ins and outs for the new kind of car playing by new rules.
At any rate, the Volt has crossed over by more than a full 10 percent beyond its previous best sales month since its December 2010 launch.
Sales this year have lagged behind generally more robust sales in 2012, and to be sure the Volt is doing better at the moment, but as they say a rising tide raises all boats.
General Motors also reported a total 22 percent increase in retail sales across all its divisions in the U.S.
The company reports that its sales last month were the highest of 2013 and the best since September 2008, when the global financial crisis began to accelerate.
Other cars that set all-time best records were the Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Sonic, Cadillac XTS and Buick Verano.
“The second half of 2013 is off to a very solid start for GM and our model-year change over and new product launches are going smoothly,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations. “We have a lot of momentum and we feel good about the direction of the U.S. economy as we prepare to launch even more new products.”
When or if GM will announce further Voltec models remains to be seen however. To date the Volt and pending 2014 Cadillac ELR designed as a concept alongside the Volt and finalized after the Volt’s launch are GM’s only commitment to the plug-in hybrid technology.
GM says a next generation Volt will be introduced, and fans who claim going months without visiting a gas pump – and who are now able to buy the car in the middle $20,000 range – generally look forward to hearing of more variants to come.