"We've been here a long time and the Volt is bringing in people we have never seen before," say Alan Starling of Starling Chevrolet in Florida.
Starling Chevrolet is not alone, says General Motors. Initial buyer surveys conducted by GM apparently show that more than 50 percent of Volt owners had not set foot in a Chevy dealership in the past decade and nearly one-third of the plug-in hybrid buyers never once visited a Bowtie dealer.
GM says the Volt's current availability is limited to only 550 dealers in seven states. Four months from now, the number of dealerships selling the Volt will soar to "more than 2,600." Following a four-week shutdown at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, GM says production of the Volt encountered a "slow ramp up to the current rate of 150 units per day four days a week." That amounts to 600 Volts a week or 3,000 a month, according to GM.
For many, decade-long avoidance ends as more stores offer Volt demonstrations
DETROIT – For Chevrolet dealers in the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic states, the arrival of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range means new faces coming through the doors of their stores.
"We've been here a long time and the Volt is bringing in people we have never seen before," said Alan Starling, a dealer in Starling Chevrolet in St. Cloud, Fla.
Starling Chevrolet is not alone. According to initial buyer surveys conducted by General Motors, more than half of the Volt owners had not been in a Chevrolet dealership in the past 10 years and nearly one-third of Volt buyers never have been to a Chevrolet dealership.
"The Volt is an intriguing proposition that's drawing new faces to Chevrolet dealerships to learn more about the car and re-discover the brand," said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. "To date, the Volt has been available for sale at dealerships in only seven states. In the next four months the number of Chevrolet dealers with Volt's available for test drives and for sale will increase from 550 to more than 2,600."
The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant recently resumed production of the Volt following a four-week planned shutdown for model year changeover followed by a slow ramp up to the current rate of 150 units per day four days a week.
More than 700 Volts are being shipped to participating Chevrolet Volt dealerships in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington for use as demonstration units.
The impact of the Volt can be seen in other areas of Chevrolet's business. Customers searching for fuel-efficient transportation often begin their search with the Volt and end up cross-shopping the Chevrolet Cruze. According to web traffic data on both Chevy.com and Edmumds.com, the Cruze is the No. 1 cross-shopped Chevrolet vehicle with the Volt. Since April, nearly 200,000 visitors searching for information on the Chevrolet Volt also searched for information on the Cruze.
"As far as image goes...the Volt is huge because it's also helping sell the Cruze," said Inder Dosanjh, a Chevrolet dealer in Dublin, Calif.
The Cruze has been the No. 1-selling compact car in the nation the past two months.
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com