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Dismal Chevy Spark EV Sales Make the Volt Look Good
NLPC ^ | January 10, 2014 | Mark Modica

Posted on 01/10/2014 1:28:22 PM PST by jazusamo

Barra and Volt

The final tallies for 2013 sales are in for the Chevy Volt and its little sister, the Chevy Spark EV. The results are ugly.

While the Volt relies on both a gas engine and electric power, the Spark is actually an electric-only vehicle, assumedly designed to compete with the all-electric Nissan Leaf which had sales of 22,610 for the year. The Spark EV did not compete well, with sales for 2013 coming in at only 589 for the seven months in which it was offered. Chevy Volt sales for the year also disappointed, coming in at 23,094 and down from 2012 sales. The Volt's sales drop came during a year when overall US car sales rose about 8%.

Back in November of 2012, new General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, hyped the Chevy Spark EV and proclaimed that GM would focus on such plug-in electric vehicles in the future. If this is Barra's vision for the future focus of GM, shareholders should be very nervous. Following are excerpts from the Automotive News article with quotes from Ms. Barra on her electrified vision for GM:

General Motors' future green-car efforts will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles rather than conventional hybrid powertrains, product chief Mary Barra said today.

Barra said GM has narrowed its future development emphasis in an effort to defend its leadership position attained with the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. GM will unveil an electric Spark minicar this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

"A major focus for GM's electrification strategy will center on the plug," Barra said via a satellite feed to reporters gathered here for a GM event. She added that plug-ins offer "a unique opportunity to change the way people commute" and that Volt owners "love the ability to refuel at home."

Barra said she has worked with her global team over the past few months to narrow GM's electrification focus. In the past, GM sought to "cover the waterfront" by pursuing myriad powertrain technologies, but that approach is too costly and inefficient, she said.

"We need to make educated bets on which technologies hold the most potential for creating values for our customers and our company," Barra said.

Traditional hybrid technology, a realm now dominated by Toyota Motor Corp., "is important, of course," Barra said. "But we think plug-in technology will play an increasingly important role over the years to come."

So, how is Ms. Barra's bet on plug-in EVs over conventional hybrids working out? Not so well, based on the numbers. Toyota sold over 200,000 conventional hybrid Prius models in 2013. That's about ten times the combined sales for the Volt and Spark EV. And if Barra is concerned with "costly and inefficient approaches," the money-losing Volt and Spark EV are certainly not the way to go.

GM wisely chooses not to talk about the Spark EV. Sales figures for the vehicle were not broken out from total Spark sales on previous monthly sales data releases. The taxpayer-subsidized vehicle's apparent real hidden goal is to help GM meet compliance requirements in states like California.

Shareholders can only hope that Mary Barra does not really believe that plug-in electric vehicles are the wave of the future. Even a recent government report predicts sales to stay in the one percent range of total vehicle sales all the way through 2040. If Ms. Barra's vision for GM truly centers on plug-in electric vehicles such as the Volt and Spark EV (not to mention the new Cadillac ELR which is sure to be a failure ) there will be a price to pay; for both taxpayers who subsidize the vehicles and the GM shareholders who will end up absorbing the losses.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: barra; chevyspark; chevyvolt; electricvehicles; elr; gm; plugins; taxcredit

1 posted on 01/10/2014 1:28:22 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Get it through your head...we don’t want electric cars...they can’t be trusted.


2 posted on 01/10/2014 1:31:17 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: jazusamo
Chevy Volt sales for the year also disappointed, coming in at 23,094 and down from 2012 sales.

I'm sure GM would be very happy if these numbers were for Corvette sales.

Corvette:

2012: 14,132
2013: 17,291

3 posted on 01/10/2014 1:36:38 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

I think they make a pretty good profit on the Corvette. But the Volt (with amortization costs) is more than $90,000 according to one of my car magazines. They’ve been selling them in the high 20’s with up to $12,000 in discounts and taxpayer graft from Washington.


4 posted on 01/10/2014 1:39:07 PM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: jazusamo

I make a motion that China bail Government Motors out next time.


5 posted on 01/10/2014 1:39:19 PM PST by CMailBag
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Yep, they make money on Corvettes and pickups but lose on every Volt sold.

These numbers on EVs should tell them that they’re a money losing proposition.


6 posted on 01/10/2014 1:40:54 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: CMailBag

BUMP that!


7 posted on 01/10/2014 1:42:51 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo
These numbers on EVs should tell them that they’re a money losing proposition.

Yes, it's obvious that the beancounters no longer have any say. Government has overruled them.

8 posted on 01/10/2014 1:47:47 PM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: All

You know things were REAL quiet last week about how all those electric cars worked in that cold snap...


9 posted on 01/10/2014 1:53:28 PM PST by uncle fenders
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

10 posted on 01/10/2014 2:09:10 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo

Side note: Witnessed a Chevy volt being towed wheels down on a tow bar behind a foriegn hybrid on 95 south bound. This rig was struggling along at at least 65 mph while traffic blew by.

These idiots think that they are saving the world one inconvenience to the rest of us at a time.


11 posted on 01/10/2014 2:12:16 PM PST by Recompennation (Constitutional protection for all not ju st selectively for Democrats.)
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To: jazusamo

Volts for dolts! Volts for dolts! Volts for dolts!

Vehicle range

Chevy Volt (electric mode only): 38 miles
Spark EV: 82 miles
Cadillac ELR (electric mode only):35 miles
Nissan Leaf: 75 miles
Toyota Prius (electric mode only): 10-14 miles


12 posted on 01/10/2014 2:21:28 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: jazusamo
These numbers on EVs should tell them that they’re a money losing proposition.

Looks like they will need to buy California ZEV offset credits from Tesla. Evidently Volts don't earn them much in the way of credits since they also have gas powered engines..

13 posted on 01/10/2014 2:22:08 PM PST by EVO X
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

I’ll buy a Vet long before I buy a Volt or a Spark and I will never buy a Vet as long as the Government or UAW own any significant amount of shares.


14 posted on 01/10/2014 2:31:00 PM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: jazusamo

The same counting trick as the Porkulus.

If you still have a job then, it is counted as ‘saved and created’.....


15 posted on 01/10/2014 2:33:51 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot; jazusamo

Ooops, click on the wrong thread.

My apologies.


16 posted on 01/10/2014 2:34:37 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Vehicle ranges
(updated)

Chevy Volt (electric mode only): 38 miles
Spark EV: 82 miles
Cadillac ELR (electric mode only):35 miles
Nissan Leaf: 75 miles
Toyota Prius (electric mode only): 10-14 miles
Tesla Model S: 208 - 265 miles
Tesla Roadster: 244 miles
Tesla Model E: ~250 miles (not in production yet)
Tesla Model X SUV: 210 - 270 miles (not in production yet)


17 posted on 01/10/2014 2:54:51 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: jazusamo

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I wouldn’t buy a car with the name “Spark.”


18 posted on 01/10/2014 3:03:27 PM PST by Fast Moving Angel (It is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine; All
Thanks...It'd be interesting to see test results on the all electrics that were done on the Volt in 25 degree weather and below, cold really has an effect.

Chevy Volt Electric Range Drops to 20 Miles in Cold

19 posted on 01/10/2014 3:15:48 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo
The taxpayer-subsidized vehicle's apparent real hidden goal is to help GM meet compliance requirements in states like California.

Well, there's the answer. Governments decree that a certain percentage of vehicles must meet ridiculous requirements and manufacturers must attempt to meet them if they want to stay in business at all.

I'm no GM apologist but this is life in our Fascist state.

20 posted on 01/10/2014 3:33:48 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: jazusamo

the only things wrong with the Volt/Spark,

is that they cost too much for what they are.
you have to start somewhere.


21 posted on 01/10/2014 3:42:47 PM PST by RockyTx
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To: BfloGuy

Correct, that’s what it’s about but the taxpayer funded tax credit for these electrics is a huge rip off, let the companies and their investors stand on their own and not accept taxpayer subsidies.


22 posted on 01/10/2014 3:48:00 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: jazusamo

“Yep, they make money on Corvettes and pickups but lose on every Volt sold.”

It’s not that simple. Basically, the Corvette, the Mustang, the Camaro SS/Z-28 or any car/truck with a big, thirsty (according to the government CAFE rules) engine subsidizes the Volts and other electric cars. If it wasn’t for the taint of government, I’d actually look at a 30,000$ Volt. As the CAFE goes up, expect “Muscle” cars to get even MORE expensive, a lot more expensive.

This is basically why Mercedes bought Smart, IMO.


23 posted on 01/10/2014 4:24:44 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Fast Moving Angel

I am ones of those that won’t buy a car because of its name. No funky named cars for me! My usual line is....what the heck is a ______? What the heck kind of name is that? Then I snort and walk off. Lol


24 posted on 01/10/2014 4:27:29 PM PST by sheana
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To: The Antiyuppie

You’re correct, it is about CAFE rules as well as 0bama government motors but it can be done with higher mileage gas and diesel cars and trucks that don’t have tax credits funded by taxpayers.

Check my post 22.


25 posted on 01/10/2014 4:41:08 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
Vehicle range

Chevy Volt (electric mode only): 38 miles
Spark EV: 82 miles
Cadillac ELR (electric mode only):35 miles
Nissan Leaf: 75 miles
Toyota Prius (electric mode only): 10-14 miles

The range of these vehicles would be substantially decreased if the heater, defroster, wipers, lights or stereo system were being used. Range would also be decreased by cold temperatures. So if you are driving any of these vehicles on a cold winter night when lights, wipers and defroster would be essential for safety you better have cab fare.

26 posted on 01/10/2014 4:41:44 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: The Great RJ

I think the range in winter for an electric car is the end of the driveway.


27 posted on 01/10/2014 4:46:12 PM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: The Great RJ

Thanks for adding that caveat to driving those vehicles.


28 posted on 01/10/2014 4:46:21 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Corvette sells well for a car of that price range and class. 50K-125k and 2 seaters are not family sedans. As opposed to the Volt the Vette is a proven performance icon. Go check SCCA Super Stock results, every year they are 80-90 percent of the top ten... That Volt is a Dolt and does not belong in the same conversation as the Vette.


29 posted on 01/10/2014 10:26:00 PM PST by When do we get liberated? (A socialist is a communist who realizes he must suck at the tit of Capitalism.)
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To: jazusamo

After shareholders got screwed by the bailout the first time, I’m surprised there are any GM shareholders now.


30 posted on 01/11/2014 7:30:04 AM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: When do we get liberated?
That Volt is a Dolt and does not belong in the same conversation as the Vette.

Sales figures are all about perspective.

Compared to the 2013 Prius, the Volt sales figures are disappointing. Compared to the Vette, they don't look bad.

The MY 2012 Prius sold ~147,000 units in the USA.

But, the first year it was sold, the Prius only sold ~38,000 units worldwide and only 5,600 in the USA.

The second year, ~59,000 units worldwide and less than 16,000 in the USA.

So, compared to the Prius during the early years, the Volt isn't doing bad, especially considering that sales of all new cars are down, even the Corvette.

In 2005, the first year of the C5, GM sold ~32,000 Corvettes in the USA.

In 2010, only ~12,000 Corvettes were sold in the USA.

Sales rebounded slightly in 2013 up to ~17,000 units in the USA.

Even though the C7 has been introduced and the Corvette is considered the crown jewel in the GM line, there is talk of discontinuing it after the 2015 model year.

31 posted on 01/11/2014 8:58:47 AM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: jazusamo
the taxpayer funded tax credit for these electrics is a huge rip off

You'll get no argument on that from this quarter.

32 posted on 01/11/2014 2:54:54 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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