GM sticking to its 2011 U.S. sales forecast for the Chevy Volt

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 4, 2011

General Motors hasn’t revised its U.S. sales forecast for 2011 of 10,000 Chevrolet Volts even if to achieve this target, it would have to sell the same number of units in the last two months as it did from January to October of this year. In October, 1,108 Volts were sold. This is 53% higher than September sales. October represents its best month ever since plug-in hybrid was launched in December.

As of October, 5,003 Volts have been sold. In a recent conference call, Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, told reporters and analysts, “I’ve never given up on a sales target in my life.” He believes that it isn’t the time to surrender, especially with its current momentum.

The sales performance of the Volt is closely tracked since it indicates how consumers respond to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Its sales have been surging after production was boosted at the Detroit assembly plant after a July overhaul. GM has been rolling out the Volt throughout the country after launching it initially in seven U.S. states, including San Francisco and Washington, D.C. GM said that the Volt is now available in 2,200 Chevy dealerships.

This number will increase to 2,600 dealerships in all 50 states by the end of the year. Johnson said that GM has been “deliberate” with how the Volt is rolling out.

This ensures that all dealers are trained on the car’s specific details and it has a demo unit to show to customers. He said that sales will quickly rise as there will be enough vehicles to send to the buyers. He added that GM has a 72-day supply of Volts, explaining that this figure seems high only because plenty of Volts are in transit to dealers. The inventories are expected to decrease within the upcoming months as more vehicles enter the pipeline.

When Chevrolet presented the 2011 Volt, an electric vehicle that offered extended range, it resulted in the worldwide automotive market coming up with a new class. While many of the electric vehicles available in the market have issues when it comes to range, the 2011 Volt does not have this limitation while ensuring that all the benefits of having an electric vehicle are still present.

With its five doors and four-passenger seating, it only took a total of 29 months from designing this vehicle to the engineering, then the building, and finally delivering to customers. Chevrolet says that the Volt is slated to arrive at authorized dealers before 2010 ends. While the standard trim level already is well-equipped, Chevrolet will still be offering two options which are the Rear Camera and Park Assist Package and the Premium Trim Package.

Indeed, the Volt is a vehicle that is a class on its own. It should be noted that the Volt is not a hybrid. Rather it is a unique electric vehicle that has been designed and engineered to be driven no matter what the weather condition may be.

Powering this exciting electric vehicle is the highly innovative Voltec propulsion system from GM. This system is composed of an electric drive unit and the lithium-ion 16 kWh battery pack. With this, and factoring in the terrain, temperature, and driving style, the Volt can be driven from 25 miles and up to 50 miles, on pure electricity.

Should the electric drive system run out of power, there is a 1.4-liter engine that is gas-powered and runs the drive system. On a full tank, it can help the Volt get an extra range of 310 miles. Clearly, this is a good option as the electric drive system will again operate once it is plugged in and recharged. This is what makes the Volt different from many electric-only vehicles.

For these types of vehicles, they cannot run while it is being recharged or when there is no more power like when undertaking a long travel or having power interrupted. GM North America President Mark Reuss shared that the Volt is a vehicle that anyone can have. It has everything one can want like the innovative propulsion system, premium amenities, user-friendly elements, safety features that are industry leading, progressive style, and excellent driving dynamics, he added.

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