General Motors dealerships can opt to sell their Chevrolet Volt demonstration models to raise the availability of the plug-in hybrid. GM sent out the notifications to its dealers today. In the past, the company has required dealers to maintain at least one Volt as a demo model to allow customers to experience the innovations as well as to stir interest in other fuel-efficient models in the showroom like the Chevrolet Cruze. The decision to let go of the 2,300 demos on dealer lots comes as the company is facing a steep curve in meeting its closely monitored goal 10,000 Volt sales this 2011.
Through October, the company had sold 5,003 units. Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, has mentioned the 10,000-unit goal. He also underlined the need for the company to lead when it comes to innovation and to spread the Volt technology across the company's brands. GM released the Volt in December in only seven markets.
Since July, the company has been rolling out the vehicle across the nation, and it is now close to its goal of 2,600 dealers in all states. However, many dealers have only received one Volt and must keep it as a demo version.
GM has mentioned in a memo sent to the dealers that many of them have requested to sell the demo version in order to meet customer demand. Spokesperson for GM, Tom Henderson, stated that the company is "giving them the choice to satisfy their customers and the flexibility to meet pent-up demand." This move will boost the quantity of Volts available for sale from 1,800 to 4,100, Henderson disclosed.
There are also 1,100 units that are currently in transit. The company will reimburse $1,500 to the dealers as compensation for the depreciation and for the cost of removing some decals from the demo models. Henderson further stated that in order for the dealers to qualify for the payment, they must sell their demo vehicles by January 3.
The Chevrolet Volt's unique selling point is the new Voltec propulsion system which masterfully combines electric drive with an equally impressive engine enabling the Volt to travel as much as 350 miles on a single charge.
Equipped with the latest in long-life batteries, the Chevrolet Volt comes with a lithium-ion 5 and a half foot, 435 pound, 198.1 kg, 16 kWh battery which was manufactured in Brownstown Township in Michigan.
Capable of supplying 111 kW/149 hp, the Voltec Propoulsion system uses the batteries’ stored energy to travel from 25-50 miles depending on terrain, personal driving preferences and temperature, all emissions-free.
Covered for eight years or 100,000 mile warranty depending on which comes first, these lithium-ion batteries are rigorously tested and guaranteed to provide durability, performance, quality, reliability and safety. Engineers have tested the battery for over one million miles and the validity testing has been done for four times that amount.
By beating thousands of different specifications, the teams at Chevrolet have ensured their batteries are second-to-none and are 95% designed and engineered by in their in-house departments right here in the US.
GM Executive Director of Global Electrical Systems, Micky Bly, said that in today's evolving energy needs, its customers have demanded a reduction in the use of petrol engines and improvements in electric powered engines. That’s what prompted the company to deliver the highest standards, the most efficient vehicles and a quality that we can all trust.
Once the battery is depleted, the Voltec Propulsion system will effortlessly switch to its extended-range mode which due to the gasoline-powered engine is capable of providing an additional 310 miles due to the journey.