Skip to comments.Chevy Volt May Sales Dismal - Ad Spending Ineffective
Posted on 06/01/2012 11:16:03 AM PDT by jazusamo
General Motors reported that Chevy Volt sales for May came in at a paltry 1,680. To put this in perspective, GM sold 29,579 Chevy Malibus during the month. The funny thing is, I do not recall seeing as many TV ads for the Malibu as I have for the Volt. While GM's ad strategy (which has seen the company discontinuing advertising on Facebook and the Super Bowl) has received much attention, auto journalists and analysts do not seem to want to question the reason why GM is spending such a disproportionate amount of money advertising a vehicle that is losing money for the company and its shareholders.
GM did not think that spending $10 million annually on Facebook was leading to enough additional sales to justify the expense. Based on the amount of ads I see on the Volt, I would guess that the company is spending at least that much per month on advertising for the Volt. The ad cost per Volt sold must be in the thousands of dollars. Why is GM continuing to be so free with marketing dollars for the Volt as it makes a commitment to improve efficiency of its advertising budget and why isn't anyone questioning the move?
The decision by GM to continue to hype the Volt despite the low demand can not be based on economics. I am aware that Volt owners seem to love their cars, good for them. But let's face it, the car did not live up to the hype and sales rates are no where near enough to meet GM's goal of selling 45,000 this year in the US. The fact remains that the Volt is representative of the Obama Administration's commitment to green energy initiatives that have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Shareholders of GM deserve to know if the company has its priorities straight as share price continues to suffer and the company appears to have political motivations by focusing on a "green" vehicle that is costing both taxpayers and shareholders money.
GM continues to function as Government Motors with odd priorities and shady deals that seem to award cronies like CFO Dan Amman's wife at advertising agency, Mother New York. Shareholders should be concerned that GM seems to have an agenda that does not place profits ahead of politics. And the continuing dismal sales of the Chevy Volt warrant congressional debate regarding the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars to promote vehicles and technologies that the majority of Americans do not seem to want or can not afford. The Chevy Volt, not unlike the Obama green energy initiatives, is more and more appearing to be a misguided and costly idea. Neither is helping with the country's economic, environmental, or energy issues.
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.
How many people are willing to spend $45 K for a special version of compact car? If you are enviro one can buy a Prius as penance for a much lower price.
Useful, of course, but the technology has just not made enough progress for me to drop >$10,000 on one.
Even if it was free, I wouldn’t allow one of those firetrap/POS in my garage.
The sales so far this year shows they won't even sell 50% of the 45,000 projected.
The ads for the Dolt are lousy to boot.
They way things are going, we may all be driving Volts, as that will be the only car allowed to use the highways, per the EPA...................
Have they sold enough to count with one finger yet?
Last time I checked a grand total of 1 Chevy Volt had caught fire. And this happened to a test vehicle after a collision test.
Everyone in Obama’s administration should be forced to buy a Volt, especially Secretary of No Energy Chu. (Maybe we’d get rid of some of them in the ensuing explosions.)
Obviously they need to double the price to meet the revenue goal. That should do the trick.
Or... buy a Volt, get a Vette (the only GM car I'd buy) free...
“...after a collision...”
That’s one too many for me. Sure, it’s not a Ford Pinto, but it’s possibly a ticking time-bomb, if left uncorrected. Who knows what’s being hidden from the public about those electric cars’ safety? I’ve read about rescuers fear of cutting hi-po cables with ‘Jaws of Life’ in removing crash victims, etc.
“Last time I checked a grand total of 1 Chevy Volt had caught fire”
I have a particular fixation with the Volt, and its drawbacks (heck, I’m paying for it). So here goes, concerning fire:
At least 3 Volts caught fire after crash testing, per NHTSA:
As a result, GM recalled the ENTIRE FLEET...and even offered a buyback of the cars.http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/gm-recalling-chevy-volts-prevent-battery-fires-164320241.html
Note some of the language in the article: “toughen the protection around its battery pack”, “prevent fires”, “adding steel plates around the battery pack”, “add a sensor to watch coolant levels for the battery’s temperature controls and a new cap to prevent coolant overfilling”...sounds like there may have been a fire hazard.
There are also two house fires, in which a Volt is a possibility - one in Connecticut and one in North Carolina.
In both cases, GM has been quick to say it wasn’t the Volt...but the actual car is only part of the equation. Nobody knows for sure why these houses caught fire; and, electrical overload has not been excluded.
And the Volt charging cord has been suspected by others of being dangerous: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/chevrolet-volt-120v-charging-cords-to-be-replaced-by-general-motors/
And, in general, battery powered cars have had problems. Ever hear of the GEM electric truck? Here’s one on fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nYQBCg8IQY&feature=player_embedded
Do you remember Neil Young’s ‘LincVolt’ that caught on fire?
A few months ago, GM had an explosion at a battery testing facility...they immediately put out a statement that it wasn’t a Volt battery. O...K...but a rechargeable battery still exploded, and caused $3 to $5 million in damage.http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/18/gm-battery-lab-explosion-cost-could-reach-5m/
Heard of Fisker? They recalled 200 cars because of fire fears...but the details of this make me shudder. Fisker’s recall said some hose clamps in the cooling system were put on wrong. If you work on cars, you know that all rubber hoses will eventually fail...and it is not encouraging to hear that hose maintenance is required to prevent disaster.
We will undoubtedly hear more about fire problems with the Volt, as the fleet ages. More cords will melt during charging. More batteries will vent flammable gases as the cases age. More critical cooling components for the batteries will fail.
Alot of stuff has to go right, for a Volt not to catch fire...when today’s Volts become ten year old beaters, that is going to be a problem.
Just my humble opinion, of course....but I predict a fleet buyback by 2016.
Why should post-bailout shareholders be treated any better than the pre-bailout sharholders?
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