The initial roll out of an all-new vehicle usually happens gradually. Take the 2008 Challenger, which was intially only available in its top-most trim level, the SRT8 6.1 liter Hemi V8. It was a lot of car, and cost over $40,000 brand (though many people paid a lot more than that). Chrysler sold just 7,199Challengers in the first year, a modest amount, though enough to keep the car going.
Another car faces a similar hill to climb, the Chevy Volt. Early estimates place the car at just 10,000 units for the first year…though GM hopes to ramp production up to 60,000 units by 2012. Possible, or too optimistic?
60,000 Volts by 2012 is the maximum production capacity GM will have for the Volt, which is based on a heavily modified Chevy Cruze platform. So the production capacity certainly is there…but two years from now, will GM actually be selling 60,000 Volts annually? With a price drop to around $35,000, I could see it happen. Yet GM faces a very unique problem; there is no car in its lineup anything like the Volt, or in the Volt’s price range.
I still have this sneaking feeling Volt would have had a better time selling the Volt as a Buick or Cadillac to justify the $41,000 price point. It is the same price as a well-equipped Camaro SS, and just $10,000 shy of a Corvette. Even a maxed-out Impala LTZ (Chevy’s top full-size sedan) is less than $33,000, which is the Volt’s price after the tax credit. That tax credit won’t last forever though. I can see GM selling 60,000 Volts every year if the price hovers around the $30,000 mark…but if they can’t bring it down by the time the tax credit expires, many people might not take the bait.
Thank the Volt has what it takes to max out its production capacity?
Source: The Detroit News