The Chevy Volt had a difficult time finding its place in the market after its 2011 introduction. With only 7,671 sales in the first year, it’s no surprise hopes were not very high. However, despite a nasty political backlash during 2012 election season from some conservative politicians and electric car media naysayers, the Chevy Volt made a much bigger statement, selling about 30,000 in 2012. GM’s goal is now to sell 20% more in 2013, an increase to 36,000 Volt sales.
GM has struggled in the growing competition between more established vehicles like the Toyota Prius, despite naming the Volt’s gasoline/electric system as the “technology of the future,” with a bold prediction of 60,000 sales in 2012.
It’s probably a little frustrating to see sales at around half that. A Volt owner Consumer Reports survey showed that 92% of respondents were happy with the purchase and would buy one again, so the car’s reputation is growing, despite the negative press.
If Volt sales continue to rise as expected, it will give Chevy the opportunity to spread fixed costs over more product, resulting in lower prices for the vehicle and eventually the whole plug-in market. That’s when sales should really start to pick up, and it will be much less rare to see plug-ins on the road.
Image CC licensed by Michael Gil: Chevy Volt