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Volt Pricing Generating Negative Buzz

August 5, 2010

Re-Volting Reactions – Part 2

Market and industry responses to the Chevy Volt pricing continues to run highly negative. It looks like an overwhelming number of industry insiders and observers question GM’s decision to base price the Volt at  $41,000.  Below are excerpts and links to the discussion. Some of the best thoughts are in the comments sections to the posts. There are a couple of music treats embedded here too…

What’s it Worth?

Chevy Volt’s Future Beyond the Sea?

In news from the floor at Plug-In 2010 Autoblog Green reports…

Plug-In 2010: Stakeholder, industry reactions to GM’s Volt pricing strategy – it’s a lease thing

by Sebastian Blanco, Aug 4th 2010

Universally, the first reaction was that $41,000 is too high, but maybe that’s a reaction from the bar for plug-in vehicle pricing being set too low by the Nissan Leaf. With the Volt’s pricing structure set the way it is – $41,000 to buy, $350 a month to lease – GM is really pushing people to choose the lease option. Of course, this then begs the question of what does GM do in three years when the leases are up? Does it take all the cars back? Sure, some will be worth analyzing to see how the battery packs held up, but not thousands upon thousands of units. Will GM want to take the used Volts back and upgrade them or maybe sell the packs for use as stationary storage somewhere? Nobody knew the answers, but these were the questions they were wondering aloud. See full post and comments…

Further revolting developments – goo goo g’joob

Bad Buzz for Buyers from the Boyz

If the base price buzz was not bad enough, there’s nasty news that some (unpatriotic?) GM dealers plan to exploit the limited supply of the new Volts to demand high dealer markups piled on the pricey hybrid.

Here’s an excerpt from Edmunds AutoObserver…

Chevrolet Dealer: Want a Volt? That’ll be an Extra $20K
July 31, 2010

By Bill Visnic

A couple of Edmunds.com researchers thought GM’s announced $350 per month (with $2,500 down) lease payment sounded “too good to pass up.” One emailed a California dealer to lease a Volt. You know, sign on the dotted line right now.

The reply they got was, ah, shocking.

Here’s the unaltered text (actual names redacted) of the dealer’s reply:

Hello *****

Thank you for your online request, as you know the Volt is going to be a very limited production vehicle for the first 2-3 years. Demand is going to far exceed supply for this vehicle, initially our asking price for the Volt is going to be MSRP plus $20,000, we are expecting only receive 9 Volts all of next year.

I will keep you in my customer base for when the Volt comes out and I will contact you with any information as I receive it.  We are taking orders right now for the Volt, if you would like more information, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you. Thank you.

***** *****, Internet Specialist
******* Chevrolet
********, CA

Unlike typical gouging for high-demand vehicles, the Volt situation transcends mere dollars and cents and moves into the political realm. Will GM sit on dealers scheming big-time price-gouging on the Volt – a car that features a $7,500 federal tax subsidy funded by the same taxpayers who already bailed out GM?

And what would President Obama think – he drove a Volt last Friday and defended GM’s controversial $43-billion bailout – about dealers demanding an incredible markup for a car that’s supposed to help the U.S. auto industry move into a new era and become self-sustaining again?

The market has proven time and again that customers who pay big markups for in-demand models end up the sucker, so caveat emptor. But dealers clipping the very people who helped keep them in business is a new and ugly twist on an age-old auto-industry phenomenon. See full post…

Bill Visnic is senior editor at Edmunds AutoObserver

Will buyers be fooled again? Green Car Reports has similiar news in their post…

2011 Chevy Volt Danger: Rapacious Dealer Surcharges Could Turn Off Buyers

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran

“We have had a couple indications that some dealers out there are doing this,” GM spokesman Rob Peterson revealed to the Detroit Free Press. “Other consumers have reported positive experiences.”

Unfortunately, GM has no power to stop the practice from happening and recommends customers shop around if they’re being faced with steep premiums on the Volt. Still, it doesn’t appear as though GM will have any trouble selling its first batch of cars. Just last week the automaker announced that it would increase 2012 production of the Volt by a remarkable 50 percent due to strong and increasing public demand.

It’s not all bad news, however, especially for lease customers. The three-year lease price for the Volt will be around $350 a month, with a $2,500 down payment–only a dollar more than the lease for the , despite the Volt’s much higher purchase price. Full article…

EVs may be our best shot at transitioning transportation from carbon base fuel to smart grid alternative energy. But it can’t happen all at once. I mean, we all want a revolution… But, it’s going to take time and it has to make economic sense for consumers along the way, not just feel good for environmentalists.

We are once again on the edge of a new era of personal freedom – thanks to EVs, smart phones and the internet. And this time it won’t just here in the old U.S. of A. Times are changing and this time the whole world will be along for the ride.

All may not be dark for the Chevy Volt. They still have GM’s inspired marketing to drive customers. Just try not to be electrified by this high voltage dance routine…

GM’s official dance routine performed at the LA Auto Show and set to the official song

“Chevy Volt and Me.”

For what it’s worth, I prefer the 1952 Diana Shore ad…

See the USA in your Chevrolet
America is asking you to call
Drive your Chevrolet through the USA
America’s the greatest land of all

Right on!


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