The second generation Chevy Volt is a hit with buyers. In April, Chevrolet sold more than twice as many Volts than it did in April of 2015 — 1,983 vs. 905. Of course, last year at this time lots of potential Volt owners were keeping their wallets in their pockets, waiting for the new version of the car to arrive. The Volt has now sold more cars in the US than the Nissan LEAF. The numbers are 94,720 for the Volt and 93,309 for the LEAF, according to Inside EVs, which keeps careful track of such things.
Gas2 readers are familiar with some of the issues customers have had with Chevrolet dealers, many of whom are poorly trained about the product. Some of our readers have actually encountered dealers who did not know the cars have a battery and are supposed to be plugged in! We have taken our concerns all the way to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. Barra got her customer care team involved.
@SteveHanleyRI Glad Customer Care connected with you. Our customers are our top priority, and they deserve the best experiences.
— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) April 1, 2016
Several of our readers have been in contact with customer care to vent their frustrations. It makes no sense to spend billions building a car with transformative technology and then have clueless dealers torpedo all that hard work because they are still locked in a 20th century mindset. Chevrolet is aware of the problem and is pedaling as fast as it can to get its dealers up to speed.
One of our readers e-mailed today to say that Chevy has offered him a $500 credit when he buys his Volt later this month. What is it they say about the squeaky wheel? Chevrolet has also offered to loan me a new Volt to drive for a week. Naturally, they hope I will say nice things about it here on Gas 2 once my extended test drive is over. I doubt they have anything to worry about there.
Everyone in the automotive universe is wondering what effect the Tesla Model 3 will have on the market for electric cars. Tesla announced yesterday it is moving up its target of selling 500,000 cars two full years from 2020 to 2018. Buoyed by the incredible number of reservations it has received for the Model 3, it has already decided to make its Gigafactory even larger than planned.
Chevrolet has a rather snarky response to all that. “We don’t need [pre-orders] to begin building our products…We’re really excited to offer it when it goes into retail production at the end of this year to those that have expressed interest.” Are they perhaps whistling past the graveyard? Their expectations for the Bolt, due out later this year, are a tenth of what Tesla expects for its Model 3. How come the big company is thinking so small and the little company is thinking so big?
Photo credit: Inside EVs