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Some Chevy Dealers Pull Plug on Volt 2012 Sales Well Below Goals
National Legal & Policy Center ^ | January 7, 2013 | Mark Modica

Posted on 01/07/2013 9:17:53 AM PST by jazusamo

Volt and Akerson

The final tally is in for 2012 Chevy Volt sales. The good news (which is what most headlines will trumpet) is that sales for General Motors' flagship green vehicle tripled from 2011's paltry 7,671 to a slightly less paltry 23,461 in 2012. The bad news is that the number is almost half of GM's sales goal of 45,000 in 2012 for the Volt. The further bad news is that the Volt has so little demand in most regions that some dealerships are refusing to pay for required tools to repair the vehicles and are choosing to cease selling the vehicles instead.

To put the sales figures in perspective, Toyota's hybrid Prius family achieved sales of 236,659 in 2012; over ten times that of the Volt! You wouldn't know that from the amount of hype the Volt has gotten compared to the Prius. Furthermore, taxpayers had to foot the bill for over $150 million in federal subsidies ($7,500 per vehicle) for the Volt for it to reach its unimpressive sales figure while the Prius needed no support to smoke the Volt's performance. On a monthly basis, the Prius sold over 20,000 units in December while the Volt still could not even break the 3,000 mark. Approximately a third of Volt sales are in California, where the vehicle receives favorable HOV lane treatment and most of the sales have been driven by subsidized leases.

The Volt is offered by about 2,300 Chevy dealerships, making the average amount of cars sold per dealership about one a month. While GM's Obama-appointed management chooses to maintain an illogical focus on the money-losing Volt, some individually-owned dealerships are deciding that selling the vehicle just isn't worth the investment. A gas2.org article points out that some dealerships will not spend the required approximate $5,000 for specialized tools (which lower the risk of electrocution and fires) for the Volt and would rather just not sell the car.

The $5,000 required investment comes on top of an initial amount of about $5,000 that was spent on tools for the Volt. Many dealerships have sold only a few Volts in the two years they have offered the vehicle, barely even recouping the original tool investment, if at all. The decision to not spend another $5,000 for a vehicle that sells in such small numbers seems to be a logical one based on economics rather than politics, something GM should take a lesson from.

It is harder to figure out why auto manufacturers like GM would focus on plug-in electric vehicles rather than conventional hybrid technology as they try to reach higher EPA fuel economy requirements than it is to figure out why Chevy Dealerships would choose not to sell Volts. Consumer Reports recently reported that hybrid technology offers the better value. Despite the clear evidence that consumers prefer standard hybrids over plug-in vehicles, GM has chosen not to compete directly in the sector that includes the Prius (which sells 20,000 vehicles a month) and instead will focus on competing against cars like the Nissan Leaf (which sells less than 1,000 a month) as admitted by product chief Mary Barra in an autonews.com article .

Let's look at why the Prius is so much more popular than the Volt and why Consumer Reports says that conventional hybrids offer the better value. The new hybrid Toyota Prius C starts at under $20,000 and gets about 50 miles per gallon. Compare that to the Volt which starts at about $40,000 and gets approximately 30 miles per gallon after traveling about 35 miles on an electric charge. You pay double for a car that needs to be plugged in all night to save a maximum of less than a gallon of gas a day! Factor in the cost for electricity and you can save a bit over a dollar a day in gas (neglecting the fact that the Volt requires premium fuel) for the mere investment of an additional $20,000 compared to the Prius. Of course you will only be required to pay $12,500 of that premium as taxpayers are on the hook for the other $7,500 so you can break even in about 25 years if you choose the Volt.

The only reason (other than political influence) I can see for car manufacturers to offer money-losing vehicles like the Volt, which do not have wide consumer appeal, is that it is increasingly difficult to reach rising fuel economy requirements without having vehicles offered that are rated in the 90 mpg range and above. The problem with the rising EPA requirements seems to be that manufacturers don't have to sell a lot of the high mileage vehicles to the public; they only have to offer them.

The formula for calculating Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) is complex, but in general, manufacturers get more credit for offering vehicles with high MPG ratings than actually having them sell in large numbers. Extra credit is given for offering plug-in electric vehicles, adding to the incentive to offer these types of vehicles over choices that might make more sense. A cynical person might suspect that some lobbyists from firms that stand to profit (like those that build charging stations) from a new plug-in segment might be influencing the illogical focus.

As manufacturers continue to develop vehicles that get high mpg ratings but do not sell, the public's price tag goes up. Not only is taxpayer money wasted in tax subsidies, the cost of all vehicles goes up as automakers must make up for the losses. Worst of all, the nation's dependence on oil is not being greatly reduced if the high mileage vehicles that manufacturers are forced to offer don't actually sell.

It would be a lot more logical if CAFE standards were based more on how many vehicles were sold rather than how many vehicles were offered and if extra credit wasn't given for building politically-favored plug-ins. The MPG requirements could be reduced and automakers could focus on building vehicles that are more fuel efficient and that the public will actually buy. Based on the political circus and illogical focus that we have had thus far from government's green agenda (like the Chevy Volt), it does not seem likely that our government has the sense to see just how ludicrous it is to force auto manufacturers to build cars that will not sell and then have taxpayers foot the bill. But one can still hope.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: chevyvolt; gm; governmentmotors; prius; taxcredit
The public gets ripped off from all sides on this fiasco.
1 posted on 01/07/2013 9:18:06 AM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo; windcliff

I’m shocked. /s


2 posted on 01/07/2013 9:19:07 AM PST by I Drive Too Fast
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To: All

Working link:

http://nlpc.org/stories/2013/01/04/some-chevy-dealers-pull-plug-volt-%E2%80%93-2013-sales-well-below-goals


3 posted on 01/07/2013 9:19:07 AM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: jazusamo

Great. This kind of news usually encourages the Fraud to double down on his stupidity.


4 posted on 01/07/2013 9:23:41 AM PST by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: I Drive Too Fast

I actually saw my first one yesterday. What a ugly car.


5 posted on 01/07/2013 9:23:55 AM PST by windcliff
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To: jazusamo

The problem is the government subsidizes this abortion with tax payer dollars so it is not a personel investment they expect to see a profit from, they sell a product no one wants, no one can afford and the dealers cant fix because the tools cost to much. Once again the dabble where they have not a clue, nor do they care! This like the green solyndra election payoff scam and many other criminal scams conducted with our money and still they want more of our money thru tax hikes. They all need to be brought into the townsquare and burned at the stake. Have you heard from your liberal friends yet? They should be paying their increased Obama taxes. If they did and they open thier traps just tell them they have to pay thier fair share!


6 posted on 01/07/2013 9:35:18 AM PST by ronnie raygun (Being Breitbart, Lexington / Concord, America's first gun grab attempt)
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To: jazusamo

And many of those ‘sales’ were government fleet sales.


7 posted on 01/07/2013 9:36:26 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: Darksheare

Yep, subsidized government sales and many subsidized leases to the public.


8 posted on 01/07/2013 9:41:36 AM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: jazusamo

But they get logged down the same and then touted much like Mike Manns hockey stick graph, now in the twentieth generation of his recent revisions.


9 posted on 01/07/2013 9:44:24 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: jazusamo

I understand the prius creates large amounts of hazerdous waste to manufacture. Does anyone know if the volt causes the same issue?


10 posted on 01/07/2013 9:57:37 AM PST by V_TWIN (obama=where there's smoke, there's mirrors)
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To: V_TWIN; jazusamo

Yes.
It does.
The battery has hazardous waste for one.
Any electric vehicle has such an issue.
Gets swept under the rug, after all it’s a green vehicle”.


11 posted on 01/07/2013 9:59:48 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: jazusamo

This article leaves out a few facts. Hybrids got tax subsidies and sales were very slow when they first came out. There are more plug in vehicles coming out in the next few years . The C-Max plug in version can’t keep up with demand.The 2013 Leaf will be an improvement over previous years at the same or lower price. Nissan is serious about making a successful EV car. The car and batteries will now be built in Tennessee. It will be to everyone’s benefit if EV cars succeed. The Tesla S Model can go from 0-60 in 4.4 sec with up to a 250 mile charge. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2016 Leaf will do that at a third of the price. Like a broken clock liberals have been right twice in this countries history and they both involved automobiles. Car safety and emissions.


12 posted on 01/07/2013 10:00:00 AM PST by willk
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To: jazusamo

Chevy Volt Deathwatch Ping.


13 posted on 01/07/2013 10:12:34 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: willk
I'm skeptical on costs and ranges of plug in EV's. I believe a huge breakthrough in technology will have to take place to get reasonably priced EV's along with appreciable incresed range.

Government Stimulus Can't Overcome 100 Years of EV Battery Shortcomings

14 posted on 01/07/2013 10:27:42 AM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: jazusamo

I’m looking at ‘13 fusion hybrid. Maybe energi sedan. Considering es350 but don’t want to pay that much.


15 posted on 01/07/2013 10:34:16 AM PST by Morris70
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To: jazusamo; willk

I’m severely skeptical of EV range, NY state gets cold at times, and batteries tend not to function well in the cold.
And range would suffer.

As for teh Tesla, if teh battery runs out fo juice, it bricks.
Replacement battery is 40K bucks, and MAYBE you wil have a working vehicle.
And that 40K is all out of pocket, not covered by warranty.
Yet in an interview with Jay Leno, Elon Musk claimed that Tesla doesn’t care about how little battery juice is laft.

Don’t trust Musk, he’s a slurper of taxpayer funding which he then risks instead of his cash.
In other words, the socialist economic model of ‘business’.
-He stick the risk onto others in exchange for preferencial business treatment.


16 posted on 01/07/2013 10:45:12 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: jazusamo

It’s a Volt Revolt.


17 posted on 01/07/2013 10:45:29 AM PST by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber! (50 million and counting in Afghanistan and Iraq))
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To: Darksheare
Don’t trust Musk, he’s a slurper of taxpayer funding which he then risks instead of his cash.

Couldn't agree more, you're dead on the mark.

18 posted on 01/07/2013 10:50:36 AM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: jazusamo

Sadly, he has his fanboys that do post here.
Ran across one the other day.


19 posted on 01/07/2013 10:52:22 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: Darksheare

Thanks, got an ecohippy across the street who’s set on buying a volt, can’t wait till he does so i can show him how eco unfriendly it is.


20 posted on 01/07/2013 11:03:16 AM PST by V_TWIN (obama=where there's smoke, there's mirrors)
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To: V_TWIN

“It’s a green vehicle because it moves the pollution from the vehicle to some other place out of sight out of mind!”
*snicker*

welcome.
Have an eco-hippy here who has a black Volt.
She “drives” down teh middle of the road with a cellphone plastered over her left eye using her right arm.

Amazing nobody is dead yet because of her.


21 posted on 01/07/2013 11:11:49 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

22 posted on 01/07/2013 12:34:38 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: windcliff
I actually saw my first one yesterday. What a ugly car.

It will be replaced by a Trabant filled with AAA bateries:

23 posted on 01/07/2013 1:38:59 PM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: jazusamo
Let me be the first FR member to tell you something shocking--this week I'm taking delivery of a 2013 Volt.

I've been a member here since '98 and take a backseat to no one on conservative issues, so why am I going against the overwhelmingly negative response from my fellow conservatives and buying this car?

First, the Volt is an amazing piece of engineering. It's the first true practical electric vehicle designed for the way most people drive. The clincher for me was the fact that its all-electric range of 40 miles is adequate for most of my daily driving needs. I can charge up every night and then I'm good to go all day in all electric mode. In doing my early research, I found that 80% of drivers in the U.S. have a commute of 40 miles or less, so that's a big market for this car. This means that, theoretically, you'd never have to buy gas for most daily driving.

Second, the performance of the Volt is outstanding. Electric drive generates tremendous torque off the line, which makes this a very fast and sporty car to drive. No, it's not a Corvette, but 0-60 is a respectable 8.5 seconds, about the same as most gas-powered sedans, and good enough for me. I also really like the fact that it's quiet too--perfectly silent at idle, and extremely quiet overall due to electric drive and optimized aerodynamics which virtually eliminates wind noise at higher speeds.

Third, I think we as conservatives have been grossly unfair to this car, and to GM. I take a backseat to no one in my negative response to the way Obama stiffed bondholders and gave preferential treatment to the UAW in the GM bankruptcy, but the fact is that whoever was president was not going to let GM and one million auto industry jobs go down the drain. Hopefully after decades of mismanagement GM will turn itself around, and after driving imports for 30 years I'm giving them another chance because of my interest in this car and its technology.

Fourth, the Volt development program, including the $7500 tax credit, was started during the Bush administration, so the implication that this was some kind of Obamamobile is false.

I'm looking forward to a long and happy experience with this car and think the technology behind it holds great promise for the future. I think that many people, including those here on FR, after doing extensive research on the Volt, would reach the same conclusion I reached.

Flame suit on, so let the fun begin ;)

24 posted on 01/07/2013 2:52:53 PM PST by NetLiberty
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To: NetLiberty
The Volt is UAW build....they could give me the car for free...

I won't take it...

25 posted on 01/07/2013 4:46:34 PM PST by Popman
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To: NetLiberty

Congratulations. The Volt is a really nice car. People who say it is a overpriced Chevy Cruse don’t know what their talking about. I’d hate to see liberals take over the EV. I don’t want to see those stupid Coexist bumper stickers on them too. I don’t want the libs getting all our tax rebates either. I recommend Freepers go test drive a Leaf or a Volt and then pass judgment. I think you will be surprised.


26 posted on 01/07/2013 4:47:39 PM PST by willk
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To: jazusamo

Coal fired cars. /laugh


27 posted on 01/07/2013 5:19:44 PM PST by MaxMax (Gun free zones was the invitation to gun bans)
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To: NetLiberty; willk
I've been a member here since '98 and take a backseat to no one on conservative issues

So what does that have to do with an overpriced car that R&D has been subsidized by taxpayers and the sales are subsidized by same?

It's the first true practical electric vehicle designed for the way most people drive.

Most people?

If that was the case the sales would be in the hundreds of thousands per year instead of the low tens of thousands.

Second, the performance of the Volt is outstanding.

No argument there but there are many cars with outstanding performance.

Hopefully after decades of mismanagement GM will turn itself around,

I don't disagree with that but the government should have let a normal bankruptcy take place instead of bailing out the UAW and screwing the bondholders. Just because GM is a large company doesn't mean the government should have treated them any differently than any other company in bankruptcy.

Fourth, the Volt development program, including the $7500 tax credit, was started during the Bush administration, so the implication that this was some kind of Obamamobile is false.

It may have started in the Bush administration but does it really make a difference to the taxpayers who are supporting this? Obama made a campaign out of bailing out GM and got reelected on our taxpayer money and you say you're a conservative?

I'm looking forward to a long and happy experience with this car and think the technology behind it holds great promise for the future

I wish you luck on a long and happy experience. I only wish the entire program, especially the subsidies and tax credits would not have been payed for by taxpayers. Let companies produce a product that the public wants and buys with their own money...That's capitalism, not socialism.

28 posted on 01/07/2013 5:52:19 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: jazusamo

I’ll miss the Volt commercials with all of those useful idiots talking about how little gas they use. Not!


29 posted on 01/07/2013 7:41:55 PM PST by GoldwaterCountry (Viva Reagan Revolucion!)
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To: jazusamo

Well said, Jaz. I have seen a lot of these so-called conservatives come out in support of the Volt. They sound like GM/Obama Admin. shills to me.

Some of the ridiculous claims they make include ending terrorism by driving Volts, since the miniscule reduction in oil consumed by this country will supposedly stop funding of terrorists. Fox (Fox and Friends in March) went as far as putting up a graph showing how much oil would be saved by selling 30 million Volts. Only 29 million, 970 thousand to go! Amazing what kind of coverage GM can buy with its multi-billion dollar marketing budget.

A message to the shills, be satisfied with fooling the majority of Americans, don’t bother trying to convince those who know better. The boycott of GM products by many of us who know the truth will not be stopped just because people like Bob Lutz say they are Republicans. In fact, being Republican or Democrat has nothing to do with knowing that taking money from taxpayers and GM bondholders and giving it to the UAW (who then helped Obama win reelection) was wrong.


30 posted on 01/08/2013 6:44:14 AM PST by Mark Modica
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To: willk

Thanks for your support! I agree with you that wanting to free ourselves of dependence on foreign oil should be something that we conservatives should be practicing and not only preaching. I wish more conservatives would try to take a closer look at the Volt without throwing politics over it, and glad I’m not the only one here with an open mind on this.


31 posted on 01/08/2013 8:14:09 AM PST by NetLiberty
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