September 4, 2012

I WONDER IF WE’LL HEAR A LOT ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS AT THE DNC? Chevy Volt production to be suspended for a month.

UPDATE: Pushback from Volt-owning reader Matt Hennessy:

Volt sales hit a record of 2831 in August, beating out the following GM products:

Buick Lucerne – 10
Buick Regal – 2072
Cadillac DTS – 11
Cadillac Escalade – 1264
Cadillac Escalade ESV – 742
Cadillac Escalade EXT – 183
Cadillac STS – 7
Cadillac XTS – 2158
Chevrolet Avalanche – 2294
Chevrolet Aveo – 1
Chevrolet Caprice – 731
Chevrolet Captiva sport – 2464
Chevrolet Corvette – 1210
Chevrolet Spark – 2630
GMC Canyon – 702
GMC Savana – 1545
GMC Yukon – 2211
GMC Yukon XL – 1594

Plus, the lease deal in August was pretty attractive.

Also, the NADA used guide price for a 2011 Volt is only 10% below the post-subsidy price. I’m pretty glad I got mine, as well as having been able to claw back some of my 2011 taxable income (and I was able to get all $7500, since I currently get no benefit from mortgage interest, child tax credit, or state tax deductions/subsidies). The fact that it cost GM (and taxpayers) more than they sold it to me for just makes it a better deal for me.

Enjoy $4 gas!

Well, I drive a hybrid so it’s not so bad.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ron Binns emails:

The Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Cadillac STS, and Chevrolet Aveo were all discontinued in 2011; one would hope their sales would be low, since GM has been holding on to them for over a year. The GMC Canyon was discontinued as well.

The Chevrolet Caprice is only available to law-enforcement agencies (it’s not sold to the public), and the Chevrolet Captiva Sport is sold only to fleet buyers, so it’s unsurprising that they haven’t been selling as well as a massively-hyped car sold to the general public. The Chevy Spark is only available in 18 markets, and was on sale for 18 days.

And further, when you consider that the GMC models are nothing more than spiffed-up Chevrolet offerings (the Avalanche and the Yukon are identical, and together easily outpace the Volt), and the Volt is only offered by one marque, the list becomes even weaker, because the remaining GMC models are selling quite well under their Chevy badges. The Cadillac Escalades (all three versions) are lightly reworked versions of Chevy and GMC models.

Eliminating them, we’re down to only the Buick Regal and the Chevrolet Corvette. Somehow, I don’t think that GM ever conceived the Corvette as a volume vehicle. Hyping the Volt as “selling more than the Buick Regal” doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as the list your correspondent compiled, does it?

And reader Tony Goodhew writes:

Hey Glenn,

You’ve probably had a ton of mail on this but I thought I’d share the August truck top 3 with you:

1. Ford F-Series – 58,201
2. Chevy Silverado – 38,295
3. Ram (all) – 25,215

I think it’ll take a while for the Volt to charge up to those numbers.

37 MPG isn’t at all bad (What PopMech measured with the engine running) but given the 30-odd mile range that they got off battery and the fact that I can drive my truck over another 100K miles before we’ve spent equal money I think I’ll stick with my 2003 F-150 (which I bought surplus from WA State for $6k).

Now there’s a deal. And reader Chris Jonkman emails: “Matt’s email is not proof of the success of the Volt; it is simply a better illustration of the failure of GM. The 20th bestselling car in August according to http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html still sold almost 16,000 units. The fact that GM has that many models at sales levels that pathetic is not a reason to celebrate the use of our tax payer money.”

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