Chevy Bolt EV Sales Plunged 41% During the Third Quarter

Although General Motors announced the company will expand production and sales of the Chevy Bolt EV by the end of the year, sales plunged 41 percent during the third quarter from the same time last year and are down 17 percent since the beginning of the year. And not just Bolt. Every one of GM's brands saw sales decline year over year. The automaker says that it is because they are focusing production for other markets such as Canada and South Korea,  coupled with low stocks in the US. 

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(edited)

You can probably blame this on GM dealers who are not interested at all in selling either the Bolt or the Volt

Edited by Refman
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Bolt is actually a pretty decent car. After rebate or on lease, it’s very affordable. It’s not selling in the US because GM doesn’t want to sell it. Plain and simple. They put zero effort into it. Tesla makes more 3s in 6 days than GM makes all month worldwide. Ads would be nice. Otherwise it is like you make an electric car and then don't tell anyone it exists. 

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I think the Bolt is not priced to be profitable, and that's part of the problem. If it's not profitable they have no incentive to boost production. They have no ads for the Bolt because they already sell enough to satisfy production.

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I wonder what Bob Lutz has to say now? Is it a time to put the Bolt in the  graveyard? 
 

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9 hours ago, Refman said:

You can probably blame this on GM dealers who are not interested at all in selling either the Bolt or the Volt

The dealers do not have salesmen who understand the technology, thus cannot describe the tech features to the potential buyer.  What the salesmen do say is typically wrong. 

For example, I looked at a Volt at a dealership outside New York City.  They only had one man there - only one man! - who had any idea of the workings.  When he finally showed up, what he told me was not correct.  He thought the Volt ran in DC power off the batteries.  Wrong!  Nobody does that: there is a power converter on board that converts the DC into AC, and the drive motor is AC. The salesmen have no clue about power converters. Those guys have no idea what a power converter even is.  He also told me that the IC motor only drove a generator, to recharge the batteries.  Wrong!   GM has this clutch in there that will engage to directly connect the IC engine to the wheel shafts in the event the batteries are largely depleted and the auto is under load, such as climbing a grade.  Also, GM engineers have designed a cut-off of the battery pack at 20% of charge, to avoid having the customer fully deplete the batteries and drive up the warranty claims. The salesmen do not know this. 

If the sales force does not know the product, then it cannot sell the product.  Only the tech-savvy buyers understand the product.  That is a lousy way to build sales volume.  My guess is that the Bolt has the same sales barriers. 

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Jan - I 've heard many complaints from EV shoppers that many GM dealers do not have Bolts and Volts on the premises. Others reported that when there were Volts available that the battery was dead, so any test drive would not showcase the EV only mode.

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(edited)

If you buy your car from a repair shop... are they going to sell you the one with only one moving part in the drive train?   At least Volt's still have an ICE to service.   Bolt's don't even wear out brake shoes much...   Planned obsolescence and service are the heart of industry. 

Plus the same regional companies that own the dealerships tend to have an interest in the gas stations.   Hence the failing effort to produce H cars, so there is still a need to go to the gas station.   No utility for the consumer though- I would only buy a hydrogen car if I could refill it in my garage like an EV.   

Remember, the market-cap of the dealerships is MUCH GREATER than the "auto makers" and they call the shots.   THere is also an anti-innovation mindset because dealers always have inventory they fear getting stranded.   Plus they like to sell used cars as well.  

Edited by Carl Page

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It's hard days for the large car manufactures, they have invested so much capital in ICE powered vehicles they have put themselves in a danger of going under as EV demand ramps up. If you were running one of these you wouldn't be far off retirement (although a few have just gone) would you want to be the one that tells share owners that the company had messed up and invested in what will become stranded assets? Or would you just run the company along to make sure you go with a big fat pay check?

The manufactures are half heartily dipping a toe in the EV market, most not really pushing them at all as it'll mean years of loss and share holders not being happy.

The dealers don't want EV's, they make the money not on sales but servicing and repairs. Modern EV's need far less servicing and even repairs.

It's going to carnage soon for the car manufactures as EV's take hold, especially with debt held by many (makes Tesla's debt seem like nothing). Then come the self driving cars and ownership drops off a cliff. 

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