Chevrolet Volt in red – Click above for high-res image gallery

Whenever automakers introduce some substantially new technology, the dealer network has to be trained to provide sales and service. Very often, this is mandatory before the dealer is allowed to sell any cars. Such is the case for Chevrolet dealers that want to handle the Volt when it goes on sale in December. Initial supplies of the Volt will be restricted to California, Michigan and Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Texas, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Since Chevrolet invited dealers to sign up for certification last month, about 600 dealers – about 90 percent of the outlets in the initial sale regions – have signed up. Certified dealers will have to install Level 2 charging stations for the Volts while sales staff will learn how the extended-range EV works so that they can explain it to customers. Service technicians will have to learn how to diagnose and repair the cars. Initially, if there are any battery-related problems, they will be replaced and the batteries will be sent back to the Brownstown plant to be checked. Eventually, dealers will be able to service the electronics and primary modules in-house.

Photos by Sam Abuelsamid / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: General Motors]


More than 600 Chevrolet Dealers Prepare for Volt Customers


Detroit – More than 600 Chevrolet dealers in launch markets have begun preparing for the launch of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability.

"About 90 percent of our Chevrolet dealers in launch markets to date have requested to become participating Volt dealers," said Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt product marketing director. "The response exceeded expectations given the extensive training requirements. There's obviously a lot of enthusiasm for the Volt's arrival later this year."

Chevrolet dealers in California, Texas, Michigan, the Washington, D.C. area, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were invited to join the Volt program earlier this month. The dealers are required to take part in an extensive training program focused on the sales and service elements of the vehicle. Participating dealers also are required to have a Chevrolet Volt on their lot for potential customers to test drive

"As soon as we got the final word, we signed on," said Steve Waersch, general manager of Pohanka Chevrolet in Chantilly, Va., near the nation's capital. "Our waiting list compiled over the last year and a half to two years has no less than 50 names on it. In the last month and a half, we've been getting four or five inquiries a week."

The Chevrolet Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a full range of climates and driving conditions. It has a total driving range of about 340 miles and is powered by electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a range-extending engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank of gas.

The Volt will be on display next week at Plug-In 2010 in San Jose, Calif.

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