October 23, 2014

Chevy Volt production stopped as sales falter

Chevrolet Volt on road

Chevy Volt production halted

General Motors has announced that they’re halting production of the range-extender Chevrolet Volt as sales falter.

The Chevy Volt is General Motors’ car of the future (and sister car to the Vauxhall Ampera) with a range extender engine and the ability to run on a plug-in charge. And GM proclaimed it as the future of the company and did everything they could to keep costs in check.

Despite that, the Focus-sized Chevy Volt cost $41,000 (the Ford Focus starts at $18k in the States), and anyone with a brain can work out that it would take substantially longer than the life of the car to recoup those huge extra up-front costs in fuel savings.

But GM has pushed ahead with the Chevy Volt and predicted big sales. Although it seemed like PR flim-flam to us, GM announced as recently as the summer of 2010 that they were doubling production to 45,000 Chevy Volts in 2012 (despite the original target being set at 60,000 in 2009 – how did that work?). But now reality has struck.

In the first two months of 2012 GM has sold just 1,626 Volts and currently hold stock of 6,300 units, enough for the next six months at current sale rates – always assuming those already feeble sale don’t fall further. So GM has done the only thing they can (short of making a huge loss on every Volt by selling at competitive prices) and shut production until April 23rd.

It seems American car buyers can do the math.

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  1. Why is GM sill pretending to be a car company? After handed $60 BILLION they still make JUNK. For $40K, a used certified Audi DIESEL, or VW DIESEL. 45MPG, and actually enjoy the drive in a real car! GM, no business trying to be in business.

    • Joe Mouris says:

      I must be that person without a brain then. All that is needed is for the petrol costs to go up to a similar level as it is in Europe. Currently the petrol price in the USA is only about 0.92 USD per liter. Compare that to around 2 USD in Europe.

      Over a 10 year life span of the car, you would need a petrol price of about 2.50 USD per liter to play even. We will reach that in Europe in 2 to 3 years with the current rate of increase in petrol prices as averaged over the last 5 years.

      Maybe when the USA stops invading the middle east for oil the prices will go up.

      As for enjoy driving a real car. 0-60mph in under 9 seconds sounds good to me.

      • Cars UK says:

        As we’ve said often, the range-extender is the only really half-sensible way to get tangible benefits from an EV. But…

        The Ampera will probably only do 20 or so miles on its batteries. One they’re done and dusted the Ampera will do just 44mpg. A new 1.0 litre Ecoboost Focus will do 59mpg, a 1.6 litre diesel will do 67mpg and even a 2.0 litre diesel Focus manages 59mpg. All are around half the price of the Ampera.

        We understand your logic, but we’ll have to agree to disagree.

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