Turns out, the recent $5,000 price drop on the 2014 Chevy Volt wasn't just a reaction to the rapidly dropping prices of plug-in vehicles all over the place. Instead, it was a carefully calculated response to the way we use the Internet. So, good job everyone.

Turns out, people searching for cars online tend to search more for cars under $35,000. While the Volt – after federal tax incentive – could be had for under that level before the price drop, the actual MSRP, the number used in the results, was almost $40,000. The new price tag starts at $34,995, which you may notice is, hey, under $35,000. As General Motors vice president Chris Perry told Wards Auto, "The market dynamics are changing, there are savings (we) have identified and then there are consumer habits at some of the shopping websites. Their cutoff has always been $35,000 and below, and we were always above that." In other words, Internet shoppers wouldn't see the Volt in their results. And that, if you're trying to sell cars, that is a problem.

There are other factors that played in the price drop, including cheaper components. Looking down the road, we don't really know what what next-gen Volt will bring, but it's fairly certain it'll be even cheaper and better. We're guessing that will return a lot more hits.


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  • 17 Comments
      Smurf
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like GM is starting to figure out its target market for the Volt and is adjusting the price to fit within that target market... GM is not there yet as far as Volt pricing, but it is a step in the the right direction......
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      And then when those people who search for a "Car under $35K" realize that they get a $7500 tax-credit and they'll save $1500/year in gasoline costs . . . . well . . . I think GM will nab some customers.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the frequent comments I hear over at GM-Volt dot com are from people who have no regrets about paying more $ to be early adopters. I'm not an early adopter, I'm a mid-adopter. I got my Volt two months ago. There are already people getting better deals than I did. That's OK, I still have lower cost of ownership than a Prius C or a Smart Fortwo, or even a five year old Honda Fit according to http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html The only car that has a lower five year cost than the Volt, according to the Edmunds "true cost to own" calculator, is the Nissan Leaf, which is my wife's car.
        Smurf
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim1961
        I was one of those early adopters. I knew I would have to pay more first time around, but it was worth it. I also have no problem with people getting a much better deal now. That is part of being an early adopter. I took some of the sting out of the high cost by leasing instead of buying. I want to see the trend of lowering Volt prices continue, so my next Volt will be considerably more affordable.. Second time around, it is a different story. I expect to get a good deal next year when my lease is up. If not, I won't buy.....
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim1961
        @ Jim1961 A Volt and a Leaf, Well done ! I'm and early adopter, and I realize that as all new technology improves and develops, it becomes integrated into volume mainstream production, causing the price to decrease. But sitting around not buying technology just because at some point in the future the price may reduce, simply means some people will never buy anything !
      HVH20
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've been looking to take advantage of the 2013 Volt pricing. Searching just about every dealer in the area, for a base model Volt the lowest I can get out the door is about $32,900. On the flip side, the 2014 Volts only end up being $1600 more out the door. Thats hardly a discount for model change over. GM better throw some big big cash at these next month so they dont rot on the lots like some 2012s.
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @HVH20
        There are only 191 new 2012 Chevy Volts in the US according to Autotrader. And most of those are probably demos that will get sold as used eventually. There are right around 5,000 2013's though (if you use Cars.com, 4,000 if you use Autotrader), and it will, as you note, be interesting to see what kind of incentives GM comes up with over the next several months to move them.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      This weekend GM CEO Daniel Akerson discovered the internet. According to him, "The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        LOL. That Ted Stevens quote gets me every time.
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Turns out, people searching for cars online tend to search more for cars under $35,000...said a NSA spokesperson"
      Ziv
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is a good thing it took GM just 3 1/2 years to realize this! They might have wasted decades selling fewer Volts if they hadnt been so quick to realize that the MSRP is important! Sarc/ I am still ticked that GM chose to set the base MSRP over $40,000 for the first Volts. They sold less than 500 of them, Reducing the MSRP would have cost GM less than a million dollars and would have kept the first news articles from being "Volts cost more than $40,000!" GM has some of the greatest engineers in the world, but their MBA's and their CFO are pathetic.
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      QUICK, LET'S ALL DO INTERNET SEARCHES FOR $20,000 AND UNDER!
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will not read this. You can't tell me what to.
      AeroNut
      • 1 Year Ago
      Problem solved! Go home everybody, nothing more to see here. The Volt was always a winner of an idea it's just that the Interwebs search forms conspired against it. Expect sales to take off like a rocket in three, two, ... uh Houston we have a problem.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      I look forward to the day GM offers a pure electric volt. Why they don't offer a choice of power-trains is beyond me.
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        They do have a BEV, the Spark EV. Hopefully it will be sold all over the US within a year, but I am not holding my breath. I don't think it would be as easy to retrofit the Volt into a BEV as it seems at first glance.
      spacycake
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uups, BMW forgot to consider this when they priced their i3 at 41,000$... How will it sell?
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