• Oct 11, 2011
How bad do people want the Chevrolet Volt? We're not the only ones who don't actually know, if General Motors' president of North American operations, Mark Reuss, is to be believed. Reuss said recently that we'll have to patiently wait until mid-2012 to see how big actual demand for the Volt really is.

Late last week, our buds over at Plugin Cars posed a Volt versus cheaper fuel-efficient vehicles (i.e. the Chevrolet Cruze) demand question to Reuss at a press conference in Los Angeles, CA. Reuss responded, "I can't tell you. I won't disagree with your analysis." That analysis was that buyers are opting for fuel-efficient internal combustion engine vehicles instead of the costly Volt. Reuss continued:
Right around [the second or third quarter] of next year, we will actually know what the demand for Volt is. We sell Chevy cars because of the Volt. I don't know what freestanding [Volt] demand is right now. All I know is the car is very popular and there is a lot of good stuff written about it. It helps Chevrolet as a brand.
Ah, the old "halo car" argument. Volt availability should improve soon, which could result in a sales boost, says Reuss. But even if true demand for GM's plug-in vehicle is low, Reuss says, "I'm not sure it matters. As an industry, we have to keep making cars that people feel good about driving from an emissions and fuel economy standpoint."


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  • 25 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could it be...? Yes, it's our old mate Eric Loveday, with his latest on what a failure the Volt is proving to be! This time, as keen as ever for accuracy, with his carefully checked, first hand, straight from the source, style of journalism, Eric has reported that another journalist, said he asked some questions (unknown) to GM's president of North American operations, Mark Reuss. Luckily, we have Eric to tell us his version of what another journalist says Mark Reuss said. Brilliant reporting! But what GM said is really revealing! (Or not! )" Wait until mid-2012 when the Volt is in full production and widely available to determine sales figures" Sensation! Now, humble readers like me, untutored in the craft of journalism, may wonder why Eric Loveday didn't simply email Mark Reuss, explaining that he wished to confirm the accuracy of the other journalists report, and maybe add some pertinent questions of his own. But, what do I know.....
        sirvixisvexed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I think Loveday made a game out of getting people to call out his bias. More posted comments and hits is still more ad income, and when people who don't like you are actually helping pay your living when they tell you that they don't like you, you may not have a problem with it; if you're slimy.
      hahiran
      • 3 Years Ago
      They just started rolling into Phoenix dealerships in the past week or so and I really like the car, except for the funny plastic touch-sensitive dash. The car, IMHO, drives a bit better than our Leaf, and I really love the Leaf. It seems uncharacteristically well-designed for a Chevy, and my past Chevy rental car nightmares seemed far away as I whooshed through the neighborhood in the enveloping bucket seats (not the seats for 300-pound people that even some of Chevy's current cars are guilty of). My only real beef is that they need tech-savvy people who LOVE the Volt selling them, not the typical Chevy salesperson. The guy who test drove the car with me could have cared less about which car he was selling, and that's a problem for Chevy if they want to move these things, especially after the early adopters buy theirs. If you want to sell a $40K compact, and it doesn't have a BMW badge, then you better make the driver feel like he/she is becoming part of an exclusive club, which they are, and you better stroke their ego. I think Tesla is truly the new American car company with their boutique shops using people who know high-tech cars. Electric cars are the iPhone of cars, and they need to push that cache', not bury it in a typical car dealership full of douchebag salespeople who would just as soon sell you a Malibu or Corvette.
      Sophia
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just got an offer for 5000 dollars off of a 2011 Volt. 2 questions. Is this a good deal? Or is the deals going to get better as the inventories climb (almost 3100 units available) Is this 5000 dollars going to be deducted from my 7500 dollar rebate? Thanks!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sophia
        Nice try Sophia Talk about a shill post. There is NO DEALER offering Volts at $5000 unless it's a 2011 (used car) Give us a break... WOT
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sophia
        If your leasing, I have no idea how the $5k less would play out. But if buying, the $7,500 tax credit is not applied at point of sale. When filing your taxes, if you owe money you can deduct that amount, up to $7,500. If you dont owe any Fed. Taxes you dont get anything. examples... you owe you can deduct $0 $0 $500 $500 $7,500 $7,500 $10,000 $7,500
          Naturenut99
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          forgot this doesn't hold spaces... sorry for the mess above. you owe........you can deduct $0.................$0 $500.............$500 $7,500..........$7,500 $10,000........$7,500
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      We'll definitely see the answer this year and next. All that said, it looks like the GM execs have learned the "Prius money loosing" lesson of the last decade well. This is a big chunk of the future and they're going to stick with it - with battery tech moving so fast it'll pay off for them if they stick with it - and (thank goodness) the execs actually get that.
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        I'd say if they truly learned that lesson, they would be selling the Volt for less then they are now. I'm not a Volt hater by any means, there is even a likelyhood I will end up buying one in the coming years (1~3). If they were more serious they would be selling it for about 35k, which would compete very well with the Leaf and others. I absolutely want them to be a success, but they would do better by dropping the price. They would have a waiting list at every dealer. They would easily make up the difference in the long run.
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          GM and pricing is strange. It's funny to hear the GM president worry that the dealers were making too much money on the car, if they sold the car at too low a price, dealers could charge a mark up and make more then the parent company. Again, that's a short term worry. And pricing too high is a Long Term Problem.
          MTN RANGER
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          There are already waiting lists. Most of the dealers by me have filled their allocations until Spring.
          Naturenut99
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Matt, my point was that there was going to be big waiting lists. Yes there are waiting lists, but nothing liker it could & would be if it was priced better. Closer to the hysteria back in 2004/05 of the Prius. I had ordered mine 2 days after they released it, and even I had to wait 5-1/2mo. When I picked mine up, they said if I had ordered one at that time I would be waiting a year or more. Thats the kind of waiting lists I'm talking about.
      StevenG
      • 3 Years Ago
      I need to post this again, because the author is clueless. At $45k (Loaded) the Volt is CHEAPER than the average car. Its not "costly". Price: $45k Tax Credit: $7.5k Gas savings (for me) over 5 years: $11k = $27k gas vehicle equivalent That's LESS than the average sale price of a car in the U.S. And if you think the Volt competes with the Cruze, or any number of other econoboxes, you're clueless.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saw my first Volt in Pennsylvania! Or, at least I think i did, I only caught the silver and black back end of the car.
      Harry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mid-2012? Heck, GM has painted 6000 2012 MY Volts as of this week, they will be delivered within 3 weeks. Even with the demos, the fleet sales and the foreign sales, by December 3rd we will know how the Volt is going to do at an MSRP of $39,145. How much do you want to bet that the wait list disappears relatively quickly in December when the early adopters pretty much all get theirs? And just for fun, how much do you want to bet that the MSRP drops again by March of next year? I will bet that GM hits most of their production predictions, barely, while looking clueless as they miss the sales projections. GM has built a truly great car, then bungled nearly everything they did thereafter.
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Harry
        People sure are "glass is half-empty" GM will sell at least 5,000 of the first plug-in hybrid ever in its first year in the USA alone, and that will be a PHENOMENAL achievement. Sure, I could wish the glass was more full, the car were cheaper, GM marketing smarter, etc. 2009 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year, 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year, and 2011 World Green Car.
          Harry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @skierpage
          Skierpage, Marco, I couldn't agree more with both of you. The Volt is a great car, but I still get fairly angry about how clueless GM's brass and the salespeople on the lot can be. If they had simply kept the MSRP below $40k a lot of the bad press would have been muted. Can't wait to see when they are going to build the Spark, probably sometime in late 2014. LOL Glass half empty, but willing to change my mind.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @skierpage
          @Skierpage Hear, hear! Well said, but rightly or wrongly GM have their own marketing strategy! IMHO ,2012-13 will be a brilliant year for GM's Volt. The Leaf and the iMev will also prove successful in the EV market, easily reaching sales targets. Tesla is on target, and Fisker is beginning to deliver. 2012 with see Renault entering the market with a sales record from the huge 25,000 unit French government order for EV's, that will kick-start Renaults battery leasing concept. I hope that by 1913 there will be over 150,000 ER EV and Ev's will be on the road. Great days ahead!
      Michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      Actually I would say demand will be high when all of these leased Volts come on their leases. $18,000 is what these things will be worth and thats a pretty good number for a used EV. Now what the dealer tries to sell them for is the question but at least we know the value for negotiation purposes.
      ketchme
      • 3 Years Ago
      Poor poor Marco Polo - so anxious to come to the aid of GM . . . It seems as though his anxiousness to malign the journalist's prose overwhelms his ability to do a quick Google search: http://www.plugincars.com/gm-president-demand-chevy-volt-still-unknown-108134.html So much for innuendo. But what do I know . . . . That said, GM's sales speak for their self. Each model - each month. One needn't wait until 2012 ... or 2015 for that matter, in order to reveal demand. Marco Polo is getting his shorts all bunched up for nothing. If anything - author Eric is telling us about GM's high hopes - at least a year down the road. Maybe less hope if the economy sinks faster? Maybe more hope, if more people start earning over $40K a year? Maybe more hope if more people don't mind a car that seats 4 at most? ... more hope if people don't mind buying premium fuel? That's a lot of "if's". That said, there certainly can't be a single person alive trying to delude their self into believing Toyota has been selling the Prius at a loss for over a decade now. Is there? Really? ... after two million sales world wide? My imagination just isn't that fertile.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ketchme
        @ ketchme. Goodness me, how very clever of you to notice that Eric Loveday cited 'Plug-in cars as his source of information, and how kind of you to provide everyone with a link no less! I hope it didn't take up to much of your valuable time? Well, that must save Eric a lot of work. He can just skim through other websites for articles derogatory to the Volt, and re-post them on ABG! Absolutely in the journalistic tradition of Woodward and Bernstein! Eric's numerous non-event articles (usually sourced from other journalists,) concerning GM's Volt are becoming very banal. Eric Loveday's articles on other subjects, can be very fascinating and informative. But, I am not alone in my observation of Eric's obsession with beating-up stories about the Volt.
        sirvixisvexed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ketchme
        Marco is +5, you are -5
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have no issues with the quality of this article. Reading it, it seems as though the North American headquarter president doesn't have a clue. Seems like he is saying the Volt will allow us to sell more gas cars, which was probably the plan all along. I have little good to say about GM. Nissan's, Goshen is the man, GM's Reuss seems to have little direction when they both speak of their electrified vehicles, the two CEO's seem to be worlds apart pertaining to concise vision.
        Smith Jim
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Reuss' statement sounds like complete common sense to me. They will not know the true demand for the Volt until supply catches up with demand. How can his statement be taken as "clueless"? Ruess doesn't have a crystal ball which tells him things like the future of gasoline prices or the direction of the economy.
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