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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Researchers from Edmunds decided to drop their local Chevrolet dealer a line to inquire about staking a claim for one of the first available Volts, and the response was shocking at best and galling at worst. Here's the email, sans names:
Hello *****

Thank you for your online request, as you know the Volt is going to be a very limited production vehicle for the first 2-3 years. Demand is going to far exceed supply for this vehicle, initially our asking price for the Volt is going to be MSRP plus $20,000, we are expecting only receive 9 Volts all of next year.

I will keep you in my customer base for when the Volt comes out and I will contact you with any information as I receive it. We are taking orders right now for the Volt, if you would like more information, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you. Thank you.

***** *****, Internet Specialist
******* Chevrolet
********, CA
You read that right. A $20k markup over MSRP for a 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

As Edmunds' AutoObserver points out, this email exchange took place before General Motors announced its plans to increase Volt production by 50% for 2011, churning out approximately 45,000 units in its first year. But even with that knowledge, would the unnamed dealer still avoid bilking early adopters? We doubt it.

While it's not clear if any other Chevy dealers plan to follow suit, history would suggest that big markups are likely – the Corvette ZR1 initiated this sort of fervor when it was announced, too. On the flip side of the coin, AO sites a report from GM-Volt.com this past June, in which a GM spokesperson is quoted as saying: "We also aren't expecting our dealers to overcharge anyone for this vehicle, either, and will monitor the situation closely when we launch," adding, "we'll be paying close attention when the vehicle launches and do our best to strongly discourage this kind of behavior, as we always do with any GM-branded vehicle."

GM is allowing Volt buyers to lease the plug-in hybrid for $350 a month (with a $2,500 down payment) when sales begin later this year, so it strikes us as odd that someone would choose to purchase a Volt outright if the dealer would tack on such an astronomical amount to the MSRP. Then again, there's the possibility that dealers might only allow purchases, negating the option to lease.

With so much riding on the Volt's success – from GM's long-term environmental program to the political pressures over the federal bailout – the General better get its dealers in line post-haste. If not, the fallout has the potential to stymie the Volt's success before the first owner takes delivery.


  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt passes a trolley while navigating the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt drives near the Golden Gate Bridge while on an engineering development drive in San Francisco, California Saturday, April 25, 2010. The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt navigates the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range on display at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • The first pre-production Chevrolet Volt rolls off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The pre-production versions of the Volt will not be sold at dealerships, but will be used to assure all steps in the production system will meet the quality targets set by the Volt engineering team. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet) (04/01/2010)
  • A Chevrolet Volt battery at the General Motors Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt will offer customers an unprecedented standard 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery. GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation battery testing since 2007. Each Volt battery pack has nine modules and 288 cells. GM designed and engineered 99 percent of the 155 components in each battery. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

[Source: AutoObserver]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 113 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a shame, but there are other dealers. You can choose to go to somebody who isn't charging $20k over sticker. There will be dealers who don't. You may not be able to find one at sticker initially, but time and the market will sort this out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be funnay to see capitalism kill the hippie wet dream! LOL!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lease is so low because GM is keeping the tax credit.. 7500 (or whatever it was), divided by 36 months shaves about $200+ a month off the cost.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Name the dealer, and name the "internet specialist" who quoted the rip-off price. There is nothing to be gained by hiding identity, there.

      As to the Volt itself, it's already going to be a hard-enough sell even after tax credits, which not everyone will qualify for. GM will likely have to take a page from Toyota, and sell the thing at a loss early on in order to gain market share. They can afford to do so, but only at the expense of fewer incentives throughout the rest of the line.

      And... even if you call it a "range extender," it's still a hybrid to millions of Americans who don't know the difference. I don't imagine too many people will spring for a 240v conversion to plug it in and charge in 4 hrs, and anyone who lives in an apartment is outta' luck.

      It's gonna' be the Malibu and the Cruze that put the General back on the map.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would bet their is a snowballs chance in hell of getting that $350 lease.

      Nissan seems to be trying to counter this by allocating cars to customers instead of dealers...
      • 4 Years Ago
      if it's not the UAW out to kill the US auto industry then its the dealers. just like the Jeep dealers adding a $2500 "market adjustment' line item to each sticker on the new Grand Cherokee PLUS mandatory $399 windshield safety coverage and a couple other bogus charges.

      market adjust this Jeep!
      • 4 Years Ago
      60k for this HELL!! NO!! and who ever buys it for that price should not be able to get the government money. If they can afford 60k they can afford not to get the gov money. This markup crap is why the the cash for clunkers didn't work. The dealers knew they were going to lose money on every deal so they didn't deal on a single car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How is this different from what the "evil" drug companies, or what "big oil" does? Making obscene profits.

      Is it different now that GM is owned by the government and unions?
      • 4 Years Ago
      More power to him. Once the A-listers have paid this guy a handsome profit to be first on the block with their new green toy, those willing to wait will likely get a deal.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BREAKING: Volt is DOA
      • 4 Years Ago
      $61,000.00... WOW AND NO...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Volt maker GM will be bankrupt again in two years, closing all Chevy dealerships thanks to the typical car salesmen thieves who lie and steal.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The tesla model S starts at $49,000
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