2011 Chevrolet Volt
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Here's another way to think about the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid: as a raging good deal.

Writing at the Motley Fool, Chris Baines says the Volt just might be underpriced because its monthly lease payments, through Ally Financial, are quite competitive to those for a Toyota Camry. More importantly, Baines says, Volt lessees may be able to make a profit off the car after the lease period expires.

Volt drivers can lease the car through Ally Financial at rates starting at $369 a month. Comparatively, Toyota is charging $289 a month to lease the Camry, whose base price is "a little over half" the Volt's base price, according to the Fool. The trick comes in what Baines sees as an incorrect residual value that Ally is estimating for the Volt, writing:

If the value of the car at the end of the lease deviates significantly from the agreed upon residual value at the beginning of the lease, you can win big. The one big difference is that you're contractually obligated to exercise one of these two options with a lease, whereas with stock options you aren't obligated to exercise either.
And in the case of the Volt, the potential for the price to differ from the agreed upon residual value is huge. [...]
Yes, this is speculating and not investing. But the point is that with the Toyota Camry you don't even have the possibility of making money. With the Volt you do. [...]
If Ally has set the residual value too high (as I suspect) then the lease payments may be too low. By contrast, if they've set the residual too low then lessees will opt to buy the cars for less than Ally could have resold them for
.

Perhaps others are seeing the Volt this way, too. Chevy parent General Motors earlier this month said May sales of the Volt totaled 1,680 units, more than three times year-earlier figures. Through the first five months of the year, GM sold 7,057 Volts, or about 600 less than the automaker sold for all of 2011.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      Your headline reads "...reisual estimate" I assume you mean residual? Anyhow- I like the takaway 14,000 Volts a year. Although many of us would wish the figure was higher, It's None too shabby. We looked at the Volt, and like many ended up with the Cruze LS1. Great mileage, good price, pretty good car do far (only 6 months in) I think we would have gotten the volt, but for us, the price premium (and having to wait for the tax rebate) was a bit much for the type of use, and small amount of driving we actually do. I think the sweet spot for these types of cars is 7-12k lower at time of purchase- and I have no idea how the carmakers are going to do that... but somehow it has to be done to get this babies more mainstream.
        nsxrules
        • 2 Years Ago
        Even 14K this year is a huge letdown as the original goal was 60K which was then lowered to 45K and not they are on pace to sell around a 1/3 of that. As far as the lease, the reason it is so cheap is because GM isheavily subsidizing it. Many automakers do this.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        Actually, the Chevy Volt has a good chance of selling 20k cars this year. Sales pace has accelerated, and there aren't any more slowdowns planned.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          PR, yes. That is why Dec 2011 is still the highest month for Volt sales.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          The Volt also will have an end-of-year sales bump due to the tax reasons that will likely lead to a huge December sales number. Sales numbers for the first few months of the year will be a poor predictor of the full year of sales because of this. 20K may even be too conservative of an estimate.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Actually, March 2012 is the high water mark for Volt sales. Dec 2011 was the HWM for CY2011. I would not be surprised to see 2500 Volt sold Dec 2012.
        • 2 Years Ago
        So typical of any Libtard. Whats is REALLY important is spelling and punctuation... Nothing at tall to do with Govt Motors and it's Demoncrat handlers have colossally failed and as this article directly points out this car is junk (when the UAW own the company what do u expect) and will lose ANY value much sooner and more drastically than the lender assumed. Only a moron or a Democrat (which is the same thing) fails to see this reality. Go snort some more Unicorn farts now, k...
          David
          • 1 Month Ago

          U sir are a fool and a moron.

          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          It's not a Unicorn, it's a Quadricorn.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do you get this low lease rate? In my State/Area it's double.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What this really means is that they have to cut the cost of the Volt artificially low compared to the sticker price to sell the pieces of junk.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        Can you give us a link to your conclusion this high tech vehicle is a "piece of junk"
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      they got the fool part right
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well....just enjoy it while you can. By using mostly electricity, you can keep the monthly expenses low.
      @bobbleheadguru
      • 2 Years Ago
      I opted to lease a Volt. However, after having the car for 8 months, I wish I had purchased it... because I like the car so much. I am not sure I will ever go back to a conventional car. Higher payment is completely offset by fuel savings including electricity. Same $ outlay per month. It is just that more goes to the payment and less to Exxon.
        Smurf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @@bobbleheadguru
        I kind of feel the same, so I am putting all the money I save on gas into savings, so I have enough down payment to buy at the end of the lease in case I want to. I may buy a 2015 Volt, depending on how many improvements GM has made by then. I'm trying to put away as much money as I can to give me choices in 2015. For now I am simply enjoying a vehicle that is fun to drive and uses little or no gas most of the time.......
        • 2 Years Ago
        @@bobbleheadguru
        Yea, all is great now. Just wait till Obama policies cause rolling blackouts due to electricity shortages due to EPA over regulation of coal and just plain Liberal insanity. Or in a couple of years as the batteries efficiency begins to drop. How much will battery replacement cost? Where are you going to sned the old battery? Yea, go ahead sniff that unicorn fart now, while you can, cause it aint gonna last, fool.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          The only time there have been significant rolling black outs in recent years was due to the (literally) criminal conservatives at Enron.
          Smurf
          • 2 Years Ago
          You can live the dream or live in denial. You have obviously chosen the latter. You have that choice in a free country. I have but one request. Please don't vote in the next election...
        theflew
        • 2 Years Ago
        @@bobbleheadguru
        I agree. I leased my Volt as well, but in hindsight I should have leased it.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Surely you can both just pay the residual at the end of the lease?
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fair enough. It seems daft that you can't continue to benefit from the subsidy, as it still remains at one per car. The US subsidy system is pretty screwy, here in the UK it simply comes off the price of the car, regardless of your tax status etc, so it would presumably make no difference at all if you initially leased the car.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      @bhg: You can negotiate the buy-out, you don't have to pay the full residual. It's likely your lessor would negotiate the $7500 away since they already got that money from the government.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree Rich, you're an idiot!!
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      Somehow in the lease, the $7500 subsidy is being utilized...it has to be. Can anyone confirm this?
        Smurf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        I did the Ally lease option. Ally took the $7500 tax credit for themselves and gave me a lower lease payment because they can sell the car for $7500 below the residual value and still make a profit. Did Ally base the lease payment on the residual minus $7500? Probably not. I'm sure they took a little extra profit off the top. But, the residual on the lease itself did not factor in the $7500. This residual was based on the actual expected value of the Volt at the end of the 3 years.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        The lease company who technically buys the car from the dealership gets the tax incentive, and passes some or all of the $7,500 back to the consumer. How much you get of that $7.500 back in the form of lower payments is determined according to how much the lease company chooses to pass on, and how much they choose to keep for themselves. The actual price the lease company pays to the dealership is not public information, so it impossible to calculate how much of the subsidy is passed back to consumers.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Yes, Ally == GMAC. But it operates as its own entity similar to how independent GM dealerships operate as a separate entity from General Motors itself. They all fall under the GM tent and have direct ties, but they are separate companies in terms of operation. GM sells a Volt to a dealership who then sells the Volt to the lease company, who then services your lease and will own the car at the end of the lease. At the end of the lease, you get first option to buy from the lease company. The dealership your return it to gets 2nd option to buy it from the lease company. 3rd option to buy are all other GM dealerships across the US on a dealer-only internal auction site. If none buy from the lease company, then Ally sells it off to licensed dealers using Manheim auctions. And just to wrap up the whole thing, at many dealerships you can have your lease handled by a lease company other than Ally. You may or may not get a better deal from other lease companies, and you may or may not be treated as well upon lease return when they start charging you fees for every little ding and scratch.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Ally is just the new GMAC isnt it? Or at the very least a division of GMAC.
        ViperRT10Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        It is built into to the residual.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ViperRT10Matt
          Yes, that is true. Pretty much how you get the lease payment down to $350/month.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ViperRT10Matt
          Yup, and that $7.5k reduction is why the Volt lease looks so good comparing MSRP against a Camry without a rebate factor.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Add me to that list. In my case, the "lessee's remorse" starting setting in almost immediately after I drove it home from the dealership. I now really, really wish, just six days after delivery, that I'd bought. Oh well, I'm just hoping that there's an even BETTER Volt for MY2016. And the lease terms were very good. But... having said all that... unless I'm offered a different deal of some kind, I won't be buying the one I'm driving, at the end of the lease. The buy-out price is just too high. It'd be like buying one for sticker - $1500, but then getting no tax rebate. Which just makes no fiscal sense to me.
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