• Mar 3rd 2011 at 11:54AM
  • 55

2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some Chevrolet dealerships have been warned not to sell the Volt above the $41,000 MSRP, but that hasn't stopped other dealers from marking up prices on Chevy's plug-in vehicle. Earlier this month, Motor Trend reported that a dealer in Florida had a Volt listed at $65,590, and others with stickers ranging from $46,293 to $49,000.

Apparently, this type of price gouging is becoming a trend. Automotive News reports that when Richard Kaufman visited a Los Angeles area Chevrolet dealership intent on buying the Volt, he stormed out when the salesperson quoted him a final price of $46,000. A fuming Kaufman told AN that:
It's morally wrong, and it's not good business. GM not only lost me on this Volt, they lost me for a lifetime.
Frustrated by the whole ordeal, Kaufman rushed to a nearby Nissan dealership and immediately signed up for the Leaf. Anyone else have a story about trying to buy a Volt, good or bad?

Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes, it is hard, but still totally possible to find a Chevy dealer in California who will sell the Volt at MSRP. It took me 2-3 weeks to find one back in August of 2010 as EVERY convenient Sacramento area Chevy dealer REFUSED to even take an order for the Volt and every one at least intimated that there were be "market pricing" when the cars did arrive. (In Sacramento at least some of those dealers are still setting $5000 to $7000 markups, and Consumer Reports apparently paid $5000 above MSRP for their evaluation Volt).

      Anyway, as soon as one actually gets their Volt ordered the GM tracking and delivery process is incredibly transparent and informative. My Volt took longer to arrive than I had hoped because my dealer was low on the totem pole for getting his allocation accepted, but mine was the FIRST Volt he ordered and first received (Jan. 13, 2010, VIN #679).

      I also ordered a LEAF on "day 1" of NISSAN accepting those orders (Aug. 31), and I now have my LEAF also in the garage along with our Volt. The delivery wait, delays, and lack of feedback from Nissan as to WHEN the car would arrive was terrible. I pity every one of those still waiting for their early order stage LEAF cars, as delivery dates have continued to slip from December to January, February (mine was delivered on 17 February 2011 after being projected for early December for the first 2 months after ordering !) and even MAY !

      Ordering the LEAF at a really reasonable price, e.g. up to $1700 below MSRP is not that hard, but ACTUALLY getting the car takes the patience of Job.

      And the Volt really does "work for a single car family/application" and still achieves clean driving for the first 30-40 miles a day, while the LEAF at best is a 80 mile range and in colder climates reports are more like 50 miles.

      I do LIKE both cars, but I would not want the LEAF as my ONLY CAR. It is perfect for around town and short commutes, but it cannot achieve driving range beyond about 75 miles without risking being stranded and there are NOT ENOUGH chargepoints yet installed to truly serve the FULL ELECTRIC car.

      Maybe by 2012, but NOT today, at least not in California.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "It's morally wrong, and it's not good business."

      He is certainly entitled to his opinion. However claiming some moral right to buy a car at a certain price is silly. As for it being bad business, that depends. Did they sell the Volt with the added markup?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder who had to change this guy's diaper after his temper tantrum.

      They have these things called telephones now, allow you to call and ask about pricing before you even set foot on the lot. This guy should maybe get one.

      I'm heartened if the Volts are commanding a premium, because it will show all of the automakers the market for plug in hybrids is larger than their stupid planners thought there was.
        • 4 Years Ago
        if you ever tried to call around, you would know that most dealers will tell you anything to get you down to their lot and waste your time. It's pointless to call.

        They'll even tell you they have cars that they don't actually have and promise any price. When you get there is when the sell comes on.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know you guys want to write dramatic headlines - but he didn't reserve a Leaf. He couldn't have - since the Leaf reservation is closed. What he did was put down his name for on the waiting list of a dealer for Leaf.

      It would be ironic if that dealer gets hold of an orphaned Leaf and calls this guy wanting a $5,000 premium for Leaf ;-)

      • 4 Years Ago
      First dealer I contacted in LA ( I believe it was in Corona ) quoted with a $3000 markup. I'll admit it turned me off from trying to buy the electric car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's one reason why I like Tesla's model of company owned stores. Cut out the middle man, cut out the additional markup, prices are consistent, you can order off the internet.

        I will like them even more when they make a car I can afford.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Some Volt dealers sell at MSRP, or with minimal ADP tacked on.

        Keep calling until you find one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM can not tell a dealer what to sell a car for but they can make their life miserable in other ways to keep them from doing this! They can reduce the amount of financing that ALLY will give them and also reduce the amount of floor planning that they are given to buy cars in the first place. I would also like to see our Government not allow the tax incentives for any car bought above MSRP! Why should the customer get an incentive to buy a car but loose it to a dealer that has poor business practices. I would like to see a web site set up that shows all of the dealers that are jacking up the price on Volts so their customers can know what kind of business they are dealing with. Don't blame GM for this mess many Toyota dealers have been marking up their cars for the past ten years and no one was complaining about them were they?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, the old "it's new so we'll screw you" mark-up... same thing happened when the Miata first appeared... and the MR2... and pretty much any desirable car... maybe GM should have employed the Saturn Dealership Model: one price with no haggling? I mean, you don't haggle with the cashier at the supermarket, do you? And when you go to Starbucks, you don't try to bargain on the price of a latte! Yes, we all know "that's the way the car business works"... and guess what? It stinks!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's like around 5 years ago, if you wanted to buy a VW TDI, West Coast dealers charged a 5000 dollar 'Market Adjustment Charge'. The Eugene and Salem Oregon dealers were the worst about this. Thankfully, there were ways around this bull, but I'd never buy any car from the dealers after that experience.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is morally wrong for someone to be that stupid. Read the franchise law and you will learn that GM has no control over what dealers do.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't be an *sshole.

        Use of the word, "retard" as a disparaging remark is outdated, unkind, inappropriate and it speaks more to the speaker's intelligence (not to mention mastery of the English language) than it does to the subject of the remark.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My folks ordered their Volt (for MSRP) the same week I ordered my LEAF in October 2010. Their Volt was supposed to be in their hands last week, but due to a logistical mix-up is currently in Utah on it's way to Southern California and should be here early next week. My LEAF, which I had originally reserved on April 20th, 2010, is supposed to be delivered in the "month of May 2011". I would not be in the least bit surprised to see that slip to June. Keep in mind also that there was no advance reservation system for the Volt. The advance reservation for the LEAF was one of the big selling points Nissan had in terms of the purchasing experience of the car.

      GM is doing a better job than Nissan at putting cars into peoples hands for a reasonable price. If you're willing to wait, you can very easily get a Volt for MSRP as long as you order it. Nissan's production delays (or rather, prioritization delays due to the Japanese market) may end up costing them the sale as the details of the Ford Focus Electric will likely be out before I purchase the LEAF, and should those details be attractive I'll just wait for the Ford. You should not have to wait well over a hear from the time of reservation for a car that Nissan touts as being the first mass-market electric vehicle. I think Tesla could probably produce and deliver cars faster than Nissan, at this point.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why are there "dealers" anyway? They're just god-awful.

      The car companies' ads are typically classy, while the dealer ads are nails-on-chalkboard.

      Reputations are earned, and the very phrase "care salesman" has become odious. Everyone dreads buying a car because of the dishonesty, ripoff potential, etc.

      Maybe GM and Chrysler should have used their bankruptcy experience to emancipate themselves from the whole dealer oriented business model, moving to a corporate-owned stores only one.

      No more giant inflated gorillas, no sleazy liars, no games in the repair shop.

      Think of how Apple benefited by getting its own retail stores.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was dismissing the Volt. It's excellent technology, I just get frustrated with the constant comparisons with the Leaf. They are two entirely different vehicles. I was very interested in the Volt before Chevy released a lot of the details (gasoline engine engages during most trips to ensure gas doesn't go stale). The problem was, the details trickled out AFTER their huge marketing push of their new ELECTRIC vehicle. My "glorified hybrid" comment comes from the fact that it is a highly refined version of the Prius plugin in. More electric range, but still has a tank. Meaning more complicated components and potential for more repairs/maintenenace.

        The Volt is a fantastic main car for any consumer. Efficient around town and can easily make long trips. The Leaf is a fantastic 2nd car for any consumer. Quick trips and the daily commute to work. The frustration is the constant comparison in the media as if they're similar vehicles.

        Thanks. Please vote? :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        The gasoline engine does not engage during most trips.

        It engages if you go more than 38 miles, if it gets really cold outside and it needs to heat the interior (about 20 degrees many say) or otherwise only once a month.

        Where did you get these alleged details you got from?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It not hard to find a dealer that will sell a MSRP. You just need to call around. I had to fly to New York from Lansing Michigan to get mine. Follow my car at http://voltfansite.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since I cant afford the 33,000 after tax rebate, I can wait for them to stop price gauging.


      This practice is not limited to Hybrids or Chevy or Toyota:

      In high school I worked at a Lincoln dealer prepping cars for delivery. When the Aviator, (Ford explorer) first came out the dealer got 70k for the first few. I can remember a lot of my parents friends asking me why I worked for a company with such bad business principles.

      Now I understand.
      I recently went to a Hyundia dealer to buy one of their redesigned Elantras, about as sharp a car on a person with my budget can own. (I drive too many miles to lease.) On a 15,000$ car the dealer tacked on a 2200$ Market Adjustment, to bring the price over MSRP by 15%.

      48k on the Volt is just about 15% over MSRP.

      I assume this will become standard as gas prices rise and people attempt to get into something Hybrid or not more economical.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Was this recently? I'm in Florida and have been trying to get on ANY kind of reservation list to get a LEAF. Even an orphan reservation that someone gave up but nothing.

      I feel bad for the price gouging going on but the guy needs to calm down. If he's that quick to switch vehicles, he obviously hasn't done his research as the Volt and Leaf are two entirely different vehicles (Glorified hybrid vs true EV).

      Everyone complaining about the Nissan delays versus the Volt are forgetting the whole domestic rollout versus multiple countries. Yes, Nissan isn't handling it in the best way in terms of communicating with their costumers but they are trying to get vehicles to the US, Japan, and UK while Chevy just has the US right now.

      At any rate, here's the part where I shameless plug my entry into the Nissan Leaf video contest and beg for any votes. It only takes a moment:


      and maybe my Hank Hill impression will make you chuckle. Please share with friends if you're so inclined: http://HankHillNeedsALeaf.com
        • 4 Years Ago
        Um, a Volt shouldn't be dismissed as a "glorified hybrid".

        A hybrid is merely a way of stretching out gasoline use, a mechanically complicated method of improving fuel economy.

        The Volt is a way to ELIMINATE gasoline from your daily routine. With the Volt, for daily use, you don't use gasoline at all. And yet unlike the Leaf it retains the option of true long distance driving.

        With a Leaf, you add mid-distance electric range that will go unused in daily driving, while totally eliminating any possibility of long distance driving.

        Acting like the Leaf is a breakthrough while the Volt is a throwback is misleading. It would have been easy for GM to pad unneeded electric range by making the battery bigger, while eliminating the gasoline engine and thus long distance driving. Instead they did the hard work of giving drivers the best of both worlds.
        • 4 Years Ago
        For many drivers with very small daily needs, yes, the volt offers gasoline free driving.

        For drivers with 35 miles or more daily average.... the Leaf is the only option that would allow gasoline freedom.

        And a rental car provides a viable option for long distance travel. And with the huge price difference... renting a car is still cheaper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for your response CraigO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just put a deposit down on a Volt to be delivered next month. Sales price is MSRP! Automation has an agreement with the Feds not to charge over sticker price.
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