2011 Chevrolet Volt on test in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2011Enlarge Photo
It’s no secret that Chevrolet Volt sales have been constrained due to availability. That, and the fact that dealers were eager to hold onto their single demonstrator Volt, if they had one, in order to bring traffic to the store.
Now that General Motors has decided to allow dealers to sell their Volt demos, consumers who’ve indicated they’d buy a Volt if one were available, can have their opportunity.
Why the sudden change in policy? There’s the magic number of 10,000 Volt sales at stake here. That’s the total GM targeted to sell for the 2011 calendar year. Through the end of October, just 5,003 Volts had been sold, 1,103 of them in October alone, the Volt’s best month to-date. That still leaves a deficit of 4,997 sales to make up by year’s end.
Not altogether impossible, but it will still take some doing. By freeing up roughly 1,800 Volt demos at some 2,300 Chevrolet dealerships nationwide, that puts about 4,100 Volts in inventory, and ready to sell. There are currently around 2,600 Chevrolet dealers around the country participating in the Volt program, but not all of them have a Volt demo in inventory.
GM spokesman Rob Petersen told GM-Volt.com that the decision to sell Volt demos is strictly voluntary on the part of dealers. They can sell the demo if they want to, but they don’t have to.
As for pricing, would consumers benefit from a slight price reduction, due to the fact that they’d be buying a Volt with a few demonstrator miles on it? Also, there are some Volt graphics on the demos which would have to be removed.
To answer the pricing question, Petersen reiterated what is company mantra, “We’re steadfast in communicating to our dealers that they should be selling the Volt at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.” But Peterson also added that “they’re independent franchises and that gives them the flexibility to do what they need to do.”
Now that 2012 Chevy Volts are being built, the rush is on to see if GM makes the 10,000 sales by the end of December.