2011 Chevrolet Volt
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It's like having a ringside seat without having to shell out for the tickets.

The Christian Science Monitor is the latest to weigh on the perceived "success" or "failure" of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid, and we can now add that publication to the list of those that consider the car a "success."

Truth be told, the CSM had a tailwind here, as its editorial was written by John Voelcker of Green Car Reports, who called out some other publications, notably Forbes, for blasting the vehicle and the way General Motors promotes it.

As was pointed out by an AutoblogGreen reader recently, through August, the Volt has outsold about half of the approximately 260 light-duty vehicle models available in the U.S., including the BMW 7-series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Lexus RX 400h and CT 200h hybrids. In fact, the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid were the only alt-fuel vehicles to outsell the Volt. So, if the Volt is a flop, then so are half the vehicles on dealers lots right now.

Last week, a Forbes piece said GM is manipulating its sales numbers. Forbes contributor Patrick Michaels accused GM of "giving away rent-a-Volts" to inflate the Volt's sales numbers to a record high 2,831 units last month. Michaels also alluded to recent reports that the Department of Defense will buy 1,500 Volts, calling such a purchase a "scam" by the U.S. government.

We breathlessly await GM's September sales figures for the Volt, which is due out next week. And the ensuing rhetoric, of course.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 81 Comments
      Onixfiero
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess its ok for toyota to use the same strategy of loosing money on every prius they sold in its first couple of years so they could own the market but not ok when gm does it. It amazes me how americans are so quick to turn on their own and suck up to the imports because thats whats trendy at the moment. The volt is the best solution to the ev car. Why would so many manufacturers be developing similar vehicles if it wasnt.
      wanna
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish they would license tech out to company that can build a decent looking car that isn't the size of a cavalier or carolla. At a minimum it should be the size of a malibu
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not only that but, the Volt at $45,000 is not a cheap car. Because that's it's real price with options.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Options are not as necessary on this car as they are on say, a Prius C. At $19k, the Prius is pretty 'base' whereas the Volt largely has most everything people want.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Lot's of people buy the base model at $40k. Mine was $42k.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        The "real" price... is what most people can get it for. It may not be instantly profitable.... but if manufacturer, GM is willing to amortize costs over more years, or more platforms... then that IS THE REAL PRICE!
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        What the heck? -6? Good car or not, it isn't cheap. The leases are great, however. Shocks me more people don't lease them - no downside. But everyone calm the eff down. Ford spoke truth. Get the price down, and GM will sell a billion.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        The "real" price... is what most people can get it for. It may not be instantly profitable.... but if manufacturer, GM is willing to amortize costs over more years, or more platforms... then that IS THE REAL PRICE!
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Do you know what the word 'option' means?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Prius? Not even close to a best-selling model... http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/the-top-100-best-selling-models-in-the-world-hint-the-hyundai-elantra-is-actually-not-millionaire/
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stories on the Volt are getting old, as they are reported upon daily. Be it those evil doers who's opinion is different than ours (even if they are Nobel prize winners on climate change), or those who blaze with the glory of god, who may pint out an ingenious design of the Volt's rear seat floor mat, the stories are numerous and vast. As such, leave it to me, everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood right winger, to add creativity to the Volt Worship, poetry (what, poems? He fancies himself a poet?), with a Volt flair: Forgive me Chevron for I have sinned It has been three months since my last visit But do not fret for I have a grin. As I fill my tires with your Air Its only fair, to explain I am here with free rein For I have used my brain To break your oily chain. Not only do I still travel On roads both paved and gravel In pursuit of the Suburban survival But I now roam further still Adding miles in joyous celebration Of my gas station salvation No longer must I wait In long lines full of hate For the juice from Kuwait For now I plug straight in To your oils next of kin. It was an epiphany you see The day I first drove my Volt with glee The midnight ranters with their Orwellian banter Have it backwards you will agree Only a new Volt can set you free!
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Brilliant.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Very nice.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Next up, will be a haiku....
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Gesundheit! Bad. I know. Forgive me.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Rick: Japanese very much prefer Japanese products. The Volt is not a Japanese product. Additionally, there are huge electricity shortages in Japan right now because they've shut down virtually all their nuclear plants. It's going to be hard to sell plug-in cars when people are being told to use less electricity. Those figures you quote don't seem accurate. They don't list the LEAF at all even though it sells hundreds a month.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Japan effectively locks the JDM to outside sales, so you don't see a lot of non-Japanese product sold. It is not a level playing field.
          Rick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Japanese don't have any Volts in their sales charts, the top 100 best selling cars, are 100% all Japanese car companies. Prius is No3 in the Japanese Top 100, what is it the Japanese people don't like about the Volts, to not even buy one of them? Top 100 Best Selling Japanese cars (100% all Japanese Car Co) What no Volts? http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2012/09/26/japan-by-version-august-2012-mitsu-mirage-toyota-auris-up/
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      "GM's September sales figures for the Volt" I predict 2400.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Mmmmmm, I am going or 2409
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          You b*stard! :D
          Naturenut99
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I'll add one also, since I will be receiving mine today ( already been driving a loaner Volt for a week )
          Naturenut99
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          It's official. I now own a 2013 Volt. Add +1 to your estimate.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Is this The Price is Right now? ill go 2410, the one I just ordered being the one added to your number :-)
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Most owners seem to be guessing between 2000 and 2400. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17131-Post-your-September-U.S.-Sales-Guesstimates-Here!&highlight=september+volt+sales
      nntt01
      • 2 Years Ago
      "So, if the Volt is a flop, then so are half the vehicles on dealers lots right now." The issue is not whether it is outselling other cars, the issue is whether it is meeting it's forecast. I doubt the BMW 7-Series came out of the gate proclaiming it would sell 50,000 units per year. Please recall this was GM's projected volume for the Volt, and the volume that the White House assumed when they compiled their "1.5 million EVs" on the road report. If BMW was only targeting 5000 units and they sell 5000 units, then it's probably safe to say it's a success for them. If you project to sell 50,000 units and you are barely selling half that, then...
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nntt01
        Are you talking about the 1-Series BMW that was projected to sell 10,000 cars a year, but only sells around half of that? Are you calling the BMW 1-Series a failure?
          throwback
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          If the 1 series is not meeting it's projected sale volume then yes, it is a sales failure. That does not mean BMW is not making money on the 1 series since it shares many parts with the 3 series.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          throwback: And the Volt shares many parts with the wildly successful Cruze! So we shouldn't be talking about how the Volt is a money loser then, right?
          nntt01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Sometimes, no matter how great a product is, the market rejects it. Certainly the 1-series and the Volt are both technically advanced vehicles with leading edge designs and technologies. I would consider both to be "great" cars. But a target should mean something. By making an announcement with an established target, you are projecting to the world what you define as success. If you don't deliver on that announcement, the burden is sort of on you to own up to it. Otherwise you risk your credibility. Why would you make an announcement if the target were meaningless in the first place? Why would anyone listen to you in the future, if your targets were not meaningful.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nntt01
        Why is the Volt the failure and not the person making the projection the failure? Yeah, certainly GM wishes they sold more. I'm sure that is true of all their cars. But just because it didn't meet a certain projection in a certain time-frame doesn't make it a failure. I've been saying for years that these projections have been over-optimistic. The only think that will make the plug-ins sell better is when they are cheaper and/or gas prices shoot up. But that doesn't make them a failure . . . all it means is that the market is getting rolling a little slower than the optimists believed. The writing is on the wall . . . more cars are sold in China now than the USA. Meanwhile, the oil production from the cheap easy oil sources (such as Saudi Arabia, Texas, etc.) is depleting. We are resorting to using more tar sands, more 'tight oil' obtained with expensive fracking, and more ultra-deep water oil. More demand, less supply = oil prices will continue going up over time. So go ahead and crap on plug-ins all you want . . . but you'll be driving one some day.
          nntt01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Just to be clear, my response is not crapping on plug-ins, it's crapping on a poor target which has now created this whole conversation. Let's run an alternate scenario. 2010: "GM projects initial Volt sales at 15,000 units a year" Sept 2012: "Volt Sales of 2500 a month are doubling our expectation! Take rates for PHEVs far outpacing targets" Under this scenarion, do you think this article would have been written? Setting an overly optimistic target is coming back to bite GM. They set a goal, and to be honest the car is not meeting that goal. Now people are jumping up and down saying its a failure. What can we expect? That was the goal? Regardless of the technical merits of something, reaching half a goal hardly portrays success. Before reaching for the megaphone, remember that words matter. Be conservative in your projections, and as an old boss used to say "Don't write checks you can't cash"
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      With any luck, the 200k units will be reworked so that it's a total pool of a few million, allowing first movers to take the lion's share. After all, the point is to build the market. That said, GM probably won't hit 200k units for another 2 or 3 years, allowing the 2nd Gen Volt cars to get going.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      After 200,000 units sold.... there will be other vehicles sharing the Voltec platform too. And after all that, the R&D funds can be amortized properly to reflect the truer cost of the Volt.... which should be less than the sales price right now. That is why I laugh when people think they KNOW what it costs to produce a Volt today. GM doesn't even know, it is a moving target that changes as more Volts are sold and other platforms come online. Selling 200,000 Volts in the FUTURE, actually changes the Cost of the Volt TODAY. The costs today are unknown. Unless you estimate the number of sales and other platforms, for the future.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      My concern is that GM (and Nissan) could be in trouble once they reach 200,000 units and the tax credit phase out kicks in. Once that happens, the competition will have a huge advantage. Of course, once they reach 200,000 units, if they rip out the battery pack and genset and replace it with a fuel cell, there will probably be another tax credit to chase after.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well thats the whole point, right?
      me
      • 2 Years Ago
      they "forbes aka far right wingers" hate Obama sooo they hate GM or anything that Obama has dealings with. heck Obama breaths air soooo the nutjobs hate air lol
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