One Michigan car dealership sells almost one Chevrolet Volt every day, a far cry above the sales at most other dealerships. The reason is that the dealer's staff has been extensively trained on the car, aggressively cross-selling the model and playing up the green connection with two windmills on the property.

According to Forbes, Serra Chevrolet in Southfield, MI – about 15 miles northwest of Detroit – sells about 25 Volts a month. The dealer trains each salesperson specifically on the Volt for at least 12 hours and encourages them to cross-sell the car to customers that come in looking for anything from an SUV to a midsize to a compact. To put a green point on the deal, about 15 percent of the dealer's electric power is provided by two windmills located behind the building.

Some of the other better performing dealers in terms of Volt sales include Maryland's Criswell Chevrolet and Penske Chevrolet in Cerritos, CA, near Los Angeles. Such dealers are helping move a model that struggled for sales last year but has shown recent momentum. In March, the Volt had its most successful month since its late 2010 launch, selling 2,289 units, which was more than triple year-earlier sales.

Chevrolet parent General Motors will release April sales figures later this week.


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  • 53 Comments
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      As I've mentioned before, the salesmen are the front line of the EV/EREV revolution. A salesperson that understands the advantages and disadvantages of the Volt can easily sell one to the right customer. Asking the right questions is the first step to having a consumer possibly adding a Volt into their consideration for their car purchase. The reality is that about a third of the people considering a new car are candidates for the Volt.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        "The reality is that about a third of the people considering a new car are candidates for the Volt." Based on price alone (about $35k net), that probably makes it a candidate for about 40% of the new car-buying crowd. For the other 60%, they probably can't handle the negative cash flow of having to float the Feds $7500 waiting for various rebates. Of that 40%, probably half "need" something bigger for passengers or cargo. And of the remaining 20%, perhaps half of those are looking for something sporty or quick. So that leaves us with about 10% of the car buying population, which is clearly less than the 1/3 you were estimating. Thing is, GM *alone* moves 2.5M cars annually. If 10% of GM's product mix were Volt, that'd be 250k Volt annually, or 6x current Volt capacity. I think that'd be a very fine start in moving things forward.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Voltech will be shared with other models in the GM lineup and across brands.
      Turbo Froggy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to this dealership! I wish more dealerships would step up and push cars that are not only good for their customers but good for the country as well. EREVs and EVs not only reduce costs to the purchaser but reduce dependance on oil, reduce the money sent to oil companies and terroriest nations and are good for the enviroment. Dealerships with ignorant sales people who could care less that they are selling a remarkable vehicle like the Volt or Leaf should really just go out of business. I want their business to go to dealers like this Volt dealer.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aren't most chevy people republicans? I think the dealerships are too. How about someone in the press do a survey of dealerships? Ask the owners of dealerships three questions. 1) Do you believe the Volt is good for America, 2) Do you listen to Rush Limbaugh, 3) Why is the price of gas so high. I'll bet you get standard wing nut answers in the majority of cases. It's likely the dealerships in Michigan see the advantage for the local economy, but it's apparent that if people were trying to sell them, they would be doing better. You see, the american citizen is a follower, you just need to tell them what they think. The republican propaganda machine has been telling them that it is a socialist plot. So that is what they "think"/repeat.
        GR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Exactly. My guess though for this dealership is that it's doing well because it's playing with the proverbial chip on it's shoulder. You hear the Republicans and Fox News talking about how "no one wants the Volt" and that "it's wasting the tax payer's money"...but then these Michigan car salesmen probably know some (or many) of the people that are employed because Chevy is making the Volt. Rush and the GOP talking heads can bash the Volt all they want, but when you see first-hand how cars like the Volt and the Leaf are good for America you kind of want to see more sold.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        "Aren't most chevy people republicans? " Not very likely. Nationally, less than 40% of the population verbally self-identifies as Republican (and less than 40% as Democrat). For a brand which sells as broadly and in in such high volume as Chevy, for them to skew over 50% Republican would be quite a feat. Especially a youth-oriented / youth-accessible brand, which would inherently caters to younger people who trend Democrat.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX pearlie I think among the Dealers themselves there well maybe a high proportion of Republicans. Not so much among the younger sales staff, who would tend to represent the community the dealership is located. But not all Republicans, are opposed to the Volt, or even the Automobile bail out. Many conservatives are angry that the US has been reduced in economic wealth and confidence. The split in conservative thinking has come from not being able to inspire the old Regan alliance of Blue collar patriots, aspiring middle class and affluent. There is in the US a type of Conservative not found elsewhere in significant numbers. Blue collar conservatives, fundamentalist religious right, and anti-federal cranks like the Tea Party. These folk are only a small percentage of US conservatives, but they organise well, and shout the loudest.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Interestingly enough a poll of Volt owners on the gm-volt website lists: Democrat/left leaning 53% Republican/right leaning 41% Don't care 6% http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?7466-Poll-Volt-buyer-political-leanings&highlight=liberal+conservative
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Any dealer who isn't a complete moron will realize that republican or democrat, the money both have is green. If I was a slimy car sales weasel, and I saw a dope smoking Birkenstock wearing tattooed long haired FM listening too good time rock and roller, and was ready to hand me money for the volt, I would hold out my hand, accept the money, raise a fist, say, 'fight the power!' and, 'thank you, come again!' I would even help him put an Obama sticker on the car. One does one's job and makes the customer happy.
      Canada123
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny what happens when you really try to sell something. My first trip to a GM dealership to see the Volt ended with me being told that no Volts were available because production was stopped so "the bugs could be worked out". I complained to GM Canada about the answers I was given by the dealer, and got a giant shoulder shrug in response. It really made me question GM's commitment to the car. Dealers lke this prove the car can sell well. Way to go Serra Chevrolet! GM take note!
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey Dominick! Comparison of prices on regular models vs. hybrids. This takes into account options, so more of an apples to apples comparison. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57424518-48/the-hybrid-premium-how-much-more-does-a-hybrid-car-cost/?tag=cnetRiver Now, if Gary writes the article: 'auto makers sniffed that the prices weren't much different. Says Alan mullaly, crowing over comparisons, with a silly smirk, and arrogant lift of his head, 'we factor in prices and engineering that stupid consumers are simply too dumb to understand.'
      2012 ZR1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually like the Volt (more or less) even if it is hippy-lectric
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      With leases at $349 a month (a huge Chevy dealer on the way to Tampa still has a giant flashing advertisement on the marquee) it is a great deal.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Definitely a great deal! I've personally never leased a car, but I suspect there are additional fees / payments / insurances on top of that. Nevertheless, if you drive less than 40 miles per day, the gas savings could offset a big part of these payments.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          @Nick, Robb, Ezee, You the owner, receive the tax benefit. The dealer can't benefit from the tax break as he is neither offering the lease, nor owns the car. 'Leasing is just another method of finance. The Finance provider, retains the proprietorship, but the ownership, and all legal liabilities vests with the purchaser. The difference is that you pay the 'deposit at the end, instead of the beginning of the payment period. The is an erroneous impression that you can hand the car back at the end of the rental period. Well you can, but if you read your agreement, you must either pay the full residual payment, regardless of the value of the vehicle! leasing is not renting ! This is not true of special leases, which specify that the vehicle must be returned to the proprietor. These are non-equity leases. (Rental agreements like for the BMW MINI E.) GM's residuals are higher and GM Credit is lowering the interest rate to increase sales. (Check the extras and additions especially taxes) .
          Rob Mahrt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          My guess, from what EZEE is saying below, is the low lease price is being driven by 2 things, first if you lease I assume the dealer can claim the $7500 tax credit for "purchasing" the car. Also, This is telling when it comes to expected resale, the dealers are making a bet that a Volt that's 3 years old and with 40k miles on it is going to be worth more than that Lincoln or Lexus. Good stuff.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          At Rob Actually, I had not thought of the $7500. Anyone have any idea on how that works with a special deal on a lease? Would love to know....
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          Actually, I looked it up (far be it from me not to list sources or just express opinion without actual fact...) A Lincoln MKZ, which is $34K, leases for $349 a month. A Lexus (forget the model), which is around $40K, leases for over $500 a month. The $349 is a really, really good deal. There will be some cash down, plus insurance (they really want that, as they want their car back if you don't decide to buy), but you would do that with any car, regardless of type, lease, buy, etc.
      • 2 Years Ago
      People also need to understand you can get far more than 40 miles per day on electric. We get about 55 miles per day during the week and have done over 100 on the weekends. How? We drive 2 and from work. That is about 40 miles. Then plug back in at home. Typically we have an evening errand or healthclub trip or kids activity. So we usually get 1 to 1.5 hours of charging b4 we run out. That gives us another 15 miles of electric for local. On weekends it is a lot of in and out. Just make sure to always plug in when home. We have also found many lots/garages with chargers in the Chicago area. That gives us even more.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had an interesting experience at Honda. Sales staff tried to dissuade me from buying an Insight, tried to push me into an Accord, or a Civic. Is the staff out of sync with the parent company?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        @map I had a guy push the warranty thing once, and I got pissed but let him string me along on all of the reasons I needed the warranty. Stuff breaks, one repair and BOOM! I finally stopped and said, "why would I buy this piece of junk then?" now, went to another dealer, got the same car, and drove it to 180,000 miles (I did my research so I knew it wasn't junk ahead of time) but I figure, 'why reward ass-hole-ish-ness?'
        mapoftazifosho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        This happened to me at Toyota. The finance guy tired to sell me gobs of additional "hybrid warranty insurance, made hybrids sound unreliable, and that I should just buy the regular one if I don't drive more than 15k miles per year. I walked away from him and called my bank mid-discussion. Secured BETTER financing through them. The guy was a dick and I wasn't going to deal with him, but I liked the rest of the dealership and my sales associate. I still bought the car from them, but dealers need to push these idiots out...ASAP!
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        years back when I was looking at cheap cars (I was poor them) I was down to a Pontiac lemans and a ford Festiva. I called a ford dealer and asked the price. Of course, he wanted to see me, and not actually tell me. I told him, 'I am ready to buy now, if you can get it for me at $150 a month.' he delayed. I persisted, and finally he says, 'you can't get one for up under $10,000!' I was ready to go to the Pontiac dealer, when I called one more ford dealer. I told him of the situation, and he said, 'I can do it.' the car rang in at $7k and change, and I drove off with it that day. Moral of the story, some dealers are morons. The dumb part for them is, in the case of my Beloved Ranger, when I went to buy, the really cool older guy was in the middle of a sale, so he told me of another guy who could get me my truck. Since he had been so helpful and so NOT Dickish, I waited over 45 minutes, so I could buy it from him and he got the sale. Moral, don't be a dick and get the sale.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another reason not mentioned in the article is that a lot of Canadians are buying from that dealership (right near the border) since the Volt is very hard to obtain in Canada.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        Hmm . . . can they do that? They probably have to pay some taxes to bring it over but I guess that might explain it well.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I suspect they'll have to pay the difference at the border crossing.
          Julius
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Heck, right now the Canadian Dollar is stronger than the greenback, so it actually might make some sense buying it in the US, taxes and all.
          Ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          You would have to pay the Canadian taxes to import it, but NAFTA should allow you to buy in the US at US prices. It will still be a headache to get all of the paperwork together.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Anyone here familiar with taxes going into Canada? Even with the positive exchange rates, Canadian cars are way more expensive (Canadians are pissed about it too). The differential may still be in their favor....
      pedholm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Finally saw one on the street. I give credit to GM for doing something so revolutionary, but the styling is representative of the worst of the 80s.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      meh. the car is still overpriced and overweight (the two are not unrelated) it wont get us the transition
        hodad66
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Weight? I guess but you sure can't tell by driving it! This thing scoots in and out of traffic, corners wonderfully and has exceptional fit and finish!
        LiteNRG1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Have you even driven a Chevrolet Volt?
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Retard, the car is sold *AT COST* and EREV *IS* the very definition of "transition to EV". The idea that you're downplaying this is completely laughable. This is the most successful EV in American history precisely because it's reasonably priced *and* usable. You have no clue about EV engineering, just another greentard EVtard expecting for pie-in-the-sky unobtanium for free. GTFO.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Dan is hardcore in his beliefs. Hence, the Happy Dan and Dan's Holy Wrath of God auto reviews. Dan and I probably disagree on 96% of stuff, but gratuitous name calling... Besides, overall, light weight and aero are two keys, and being a very cheap person myself, I cannot Ick on the 'cheap' rule. Some of his views may be unrealistic for short term car building, but he could certainly counter (with accuracy) that the auto makers have dicked around for many years on older, heavier outdated technology. Whereas some have threatened to smash my face with a baseball bat, Dan just keeps his low level fury to low level fury.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Yeah, sometimes he pushes me over the edge as well.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Your language is also deeply hurtful for those, for instance, who may have children with disabilities. For you, their condition is a term of reproach. Do grow up, and learn to behave in normally respectful and sensitive manner.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Your language is unacceptable and disrespectful for those with physical and mental difficulties. I have contacted ABG and will if needs be directly contact AOL, who for persistent offence can inform your ISP.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          For your information "retard" is a completely acceptable way of noting that someone has made an unbelievably stupid and mindless statement. It is NOT a slur, or even comparable in usage. When you use the N-word on a black person, that's denigrating someone because of their race. And the same applies when using other language against race / creed / gender / ethnic / sexual orientation. If Dan wants to admit he's a *actually* mentally retarded, medically diagnosed as such, then the situation would be somewhat comparable to the race / creed / ethnic / gender / orientation. I'll call him something else when he makes an imbecilic, moronic, retarded comment that reveals his lack of normal intelligence. And since you're so against calling a retard a "retard", what precisely would you prefer, tard? sped? what? In the mean time, stop going "full retard" on the label until you have an intelligent proposal, rather than just whining.
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