Are dealerships selling Chevy Volts to one another, boosting sales and stealing the $7,500 tax credit? No, they aren’t, but a recent right-leaning piece accuses Chevy dealers are doing just that, with ZERO proof to back it up.
Mark Modica, writing for the right-leaning think-tank The National Legal and Policy Center, penned this piece, “Are GM Dealers Gaming Chevy Volt Tax Credit?” Using the hard-facts websites of Autotrader and eBay, Modica determined that, not only is the Chevy Volt not selling, but dealerships are also trading low-mileage Volts to one-another to resell at market value, keeping the $7,500 tax credit for themselves. It has all the makings of a government-backed automaker scandal.
Only it isn’t. As awesome pieces penned in Jalopnik, Automotive News, and The Truth About Cars demonstrate, Modica’s “proof” actually supports the GM line that Volt demand outpaces current production. Of the 18 used Chevy Volts for sale, several of them are in states where the Volt is not yet for sale…meaning the only way for a dealership to get one, is to buy it from another dealership. Simple logic that somehow escaped Modica. Also consider that GM has been delivering about 500 Volts per month, and as of today the Volt factory is shut down to retool, in order to deliver more Volt production.
So what about that scam thing? Dealerships keeping the tax credit for themselves? It is true, the rebate does not apply to used Volts, only new ones. But once a Volt leave’s GM’s soon-to-be-solar-powered factory, the cars are in the hands of dealerships. And whole GM has done an admirable job of keeping the MSRP price down, it is ultimately out of their hands what dealerships do with the cars once they have them on the lots. That’s what even used Volt’s are going for around $40,000, and there have been Volts on eBay with prices well over $60,000.
GM has made some bold claims about how many Chevy Volts it expects to sell, and if they don’t meet their estimates, you better believe that certain political groups will jump at the chance to declare the Volt a failure. But as for right now, it’s just too soon to tell, though early signs are promising…depending on who you ask. But with demand exceeding supply of both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf (which still has thousands of orders left to fill) Modica’s argument is way off base.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.