The 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-rage electric has done more to spark consumer interest than GM apparently originally anticipated.
In a GM release Thursday, Jan. 27, the automaker said it will speed its nationwide rollout of the car so that Volts are available in all 50 states by the end of this year. And CEO Dan Akerson said the company would increase production from 10,000 to 25,000 by year-end.
Heightened consumer interest prompted production increase
There hasn't been this much excitement over a new GM product intro in quite some time, according to industry watchers and this reporter. Make that potential new GM customers. One Maryland dealership, Criswell Chevrolet, says they're seeing 10 to 15 customers a week coming in just to see the Volt - and most of them currently own a non-GM product.
Harry E. Criswell III, president and owner of Criswell Chevrolet, says these customers "are seriously considering buying a Volt...and now have Chevy on their shopping list because of the Volt."
About the accelerated Volt rollout
Chevy Volts have already been delivered to customers in Washington, D.C., California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Michigan customers will take delivery of their Volts this spring.
Customers across the U.S. will be able to order a Chevy Volt from participating Chevrolet dealers beginning in the second quarter - April. Third quarter deliveries of Volt will go to Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.
The balance of the states will get Volts in the fourth quarter, according to GM's new rollout plans.
Volt awards to-date
Chevy products that gain a lot of recognition in the form of awards traditionally raise consumer awareness. Chief among them are big annual awards such as the Car of the Year from Motor Trend magazine, as well as other major automotive publication awards.
But for an extended-range electric? Now that's quite a sea change.
So far, Volt has captured the following awards:
For more information on the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, see The Car Connection review where editors give it an overall 8 (out of 10) rating.