GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I guess my working hypothesis is that GM is trying to avoid selling too many Bolts at this time. If so, then that would fit with a quick spot-check on three of the dealer websites near me (two in Tucson, one near Phoenix), none of which seem to carry Bolts in inventory at this time.

My question is what others in other parts of the country are seeing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,277 Posts
I guess my working hypothesis is that GM is trying to avoid selling too many Bolts at this time. If so, then that would fit with a quick spot-check on three of the dealer websites near me (two in Tucson, one near Phoenix), none of which seem to carry Bolts in inventory at this time.

My question is what others in other parts of the country are seeing.
Cars.COM shows 2769 available across the nation. Put in a zipcode for any major city in any state with 300 or 500 miles.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
I guess my working hypothesis is that GM is trying to avoid selling too many Bolts at this time. If so, then that would fit with a quick spot-check on three of the dealer websites near me (two in Tucson, one near Phoenix), none of which seem to carry Bolts in inventory at this time.

My question is what others in other parts of the country are seeing.
Local dealer has 1. A lot of Bolts are sold overseas.

What GM says:

Chevrolet Bolt EV Production to Increase More Than 20 Percent

U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.”
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,186 Posts
You don't have to buy locally. Expand your search radius as Scott suggested. You can even have a car flat-bedded to you from another state if they deal is good. The cost for transport is about $1200, or could be less.

When I bought our Bolt last August, I was getting quotes from local, east coast and west coast dealers.

When I bought my Volt, I bought from a dealer in NY and drove it back to IL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
GM just sold 1,621 Bolt EVs in Korea in June (the top-selling EV in Korea that month). By comparison, they sold 1,083 in the United States. My local dealership (Rydell) had over 30 in stock when I checked about a week ago, but they tend to be an exception.

My personal theory is that GM is restricting domestic deliveries of the Bolt EV and Volt in order to not trigger the Federal EV Tax Credit phase out until Q1 of 2019.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
GM just sold 1,621 Bolt EVs in Korea in June (the top-selling EV in Korea that month). By comparison, they sold 1,083 in the United States. My local dealership (Rydell) had over 30 in stock when I checked about a week ago, but they tend to be an exception.

My personal theory is that GM is restricting domestic deliveries of the Bolt EV and Volt in order to not trigger the Federal EV Tax Credit phase out until Q1 of 2019.
Thanks, I hadn't realized they had sold that many in Korea. Looking around I do see this:
https://insideevs.com/south-korean-chevy-bolt-ev-sales-crush-u-s-for-june/

I can't tell what's happening in Europe. Is GM sending Bolts there or not?

It is interesting to see them mention strong demand, and explicitly talk of a "rebuild" of US dealer inventory, but apparently they will not do this immediately.
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/chevrolet-bolt-ev-production-increase/

A point here is to contrast to the Model 3 situation, where Tesla is hustling to try to satisfy every bit of demand, though their ability to do this is limited and their quality control is reportedly bad.

Your theory may be correct. I am not sure what to make of things, but I guess my working theories include:
- concerned about margins on EVs, and so (instead of raising prices) taking longer than needed to ramp up production on in-demand EV, and limiting the ramp-up (and having somewhat pre-limited demand by choice of market niche).
- maybe margins on EVs are ok, but there is over-arching concern about the pace of moving toward cannibalizing sales of fossil fuel vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
I can't tell what's happening in Europe. Is GM sending Bolts there or not?
The way I understand it, the Opel Ampera-E is the same car, made in the same Bolt factory, and exported to Europe and the UK. However, now that GM has sold Opel to PSA, the parent of Peugot and Citroen, that may change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
A point here is to contrast to the Model 3 situation, where Tesla is hustling to try to satisfy every bit of demand, though their ability to do this is limited and their quality control is reportedly bad.

Your theory may be correct. I am not sure what to make of things, but I guess my working theories include:
- concerned about margins on EVs, and so (instead of raising prices) taking longer than needed to ramp up production on in-demand EV, and limiting the ramp-up (and having somewhat pre-limited demand by choice of market niche).
- maybe margins on EVs are ok, but there is over-arching concern about the pace of moving toward cannibalizing sales of fossil fuel vehicles.
What you've just said is why I think it's so dangerous for people to simply default to Tesla group think. The prevailing notion in EV circles seems to be that what Tesla does is best, so everyone should be doing exactly what Tesla is doing. But each company is different, and each company is operating with different constraints.

Tesla just hit the point where they need to produce as many units domestically as they can possibly produce in the next 5 and a half months. They claim the loss of the $7,500 credit won't hurt their domestic sales much, but it almost certainly will. That's why they opened up Model 3 orders to everyone (my guess is that a large number of reservation holders are overseas). Also, they have no upcoming models in the next couple of years, so even if they could, they have no reason to try to stall the tax credit phase out any more.

GM, on the other hand, would have triggered the phaseout in Q3 of 2018 had they maintained domestic deliveries. They already had thousands of Bolt EVs (Ampera-Es) ordered abroad, and some of those foreign markets are time-sensitive (e.g., Korea). And they have at least two more EV models being released that would benefit from the tax credit in 2019. GM has no reason to push domestic deliveries (like Tesla does), so a different strategy is warranted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,476 Posts
Increasing production isn't that easy (as Elon found out) without sacrificing quality or spending huge amounts of money on new production lines. We aren't there yet. Incremental increases are the order of the day although large production increases may be around the corner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The way I understand it, the Opel Ampera-E is the same car, made in the same Bolt factory, and exported to Europe and the UK. However, now that GM has sold Opel to PSA, the parent of Peugot and Citroen, that may change.
Hi - I think stories in 2017 indicated that in the process of transitioning the sale of Opel to PSA, GM was making it either expensive for folks to get a version of the Bolt in Europe, and-or virtually impossible. Prior to price increases, there was indication of good demand.... I'm not sure about after.

When I say that I don't know what's going on with the Bolt in Europe, what I mean is I don't know if GM is, in reality, simply declining to supply more than a token number of Bolts there (under whatever name) or if there is something more complicated going on. I also haven't tried to research and check the numbers sold in that region, perhaps GM has delivered more there than I realize. In the recent brief comments from the company, unless I am mistaken, there doesn't seem to be direct reference to demand from, or supply to, any place other than Korea, the US or Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
None of the 4 largest Chevy dealers near me sell Bolts . . . . but that should come as no surprise, as they don't sell Volts either. I think dealerships must be certified by GM to sell/service EV's and some dealers don't think it's worth the time, trouble and cost as they likely wouldn't sell very many

My nearest Volt dealer is in a small town about 40 miles north of here, but they don't sell Bolts either

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
None of the 4 largest Chevy dealers near me sell Bolts . . . . but that should come as no surprise, as they don't sell Volts either. I think dealerships must be certified by GM to sell/service EV's and some dealers don't think it's worth the time, trouble and cost as they likely wouldn't sell very many

My nearest Volt dealer is in a small town about 40 miles north of here, but they don't sell Bolts either

Don
We have a number of dealerships even in California that refuse to sell plug-in products, and it doesn't necessarily have to do with brand. I know that politics plays a bit of a role (one of the dealerships referring to the Volt as "Obummer's car"), but part of it might due with the perception you illustrated. They might just feel that they can't sell them. However, that has not been my experience, and especially in the cases of the Bolt EV and Volt, they are ideal plug-in vehicles for people living in rural areas. If you check the Bolt EV Stats and Volt Stats website Owners Maps, these cars are well represented across the country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
None of the 4 largest Chevy dealers near me sell Bolts . . . . but that should come as no surprise, as they don't sell Volts either. I think dealerships must be certified by GM to sell/service EV's and some dealers don't think it's worth the time, trouble and cost as they likely wouldn't sell very many

My nearest Volt dealer is in a small town about 40 miles north of here, but they don't sell Bolts either

Don
It's the same situation here. I found exactly ONE Volt for sale in the Baton Rouge metro area and ZERO Bolts in stock. Even the dealer who lists "Volt sales and service" as one of their specialties has none. Where do you live? You didn't complete your user profile so I can't tell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
We have a number of dealerships even in California that refuse to sell plug-in products, and it doesn't necessarily have to do with brand. I know that politics plays a bit of a role (one of the dealerships referring to the Volt as "Obummer's car"), but part of it might due with the perception you illustrated. They might just feel that they can't sell them. However, that has not been my experience, and especially in the cases of the Bolt EV and Volt, they are ideal plug-in vehicles for people living in rural areas. If you check the Bolt EV Stats and Volt Stats website Owners Maps, these cars are well represented across the country.
I like this idea of Volts being a good vehicle for rural areas (it has been for me, in this semi-rural area where I live, as opposed to my Leaf experience, which was not great).

As to the Bolt, I'm thinking "it depends on how rural, and other factors". It would be a good vehicle for me (about 55 miles from the nearest DCFC) but I'm not sure about for others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
Where do you live? You didn't complete your user profile so I can't tell.
Sorry about that - My account got kicked off during that hacking about a month ago and it has taken me 3 weeks to get registered and posting again and I didn't realize my profile information had been lost too - I'll fix that now. I'm just north of Biloxi and the Chevy dealers in Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula are all 'anti-EV' it seems. In the 6+ years we've been driving EV's, we finally got one single public EV charge facility (at the bus station) a couple years ago and now we have them at the mall too . . . . but still nobody selling the cars

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sorry about that - My account got kicked off during that hacking about a month ago and it has taken me 3 weeks to get registered and posting again and I didn't realize my profile information had been lost too - I'll fix that now. I'm just north of Biloxi and the Chevy dealers in Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula are all 'anti-EV' it seems. In the 6+ years we've been driving EV's, we finally got one single public EV charge facility (at the bus station) a couple years ago and now we have them at the mall too . . . . but still nobody selling the cars

Don
Hi -

around the time of starting this thread, I went online to look at inventories of 2 dealers in Tucson and 3 other dealers in Phoenix and nearby, and none of them appeared to have Bolts for sale. 5 dealers and 5 strikeouts? One of these did have Bolts for sale when I was on their lot last year, and demand seemed ok, from my just chatting with people. So, what gives? From what I understand the issue is high demand and low supply. One dealer indicated to me that when they get new Bolts onto the lot, they don't last very long, ... a new Bolt can be had, but it is a 6-8 week order. A used Bolt is a rare beast and one they had last year was snapped up quickly by an out of state buyer.

Just checking Cargurus.com, putting in a Tucson Zipcode and expanding the search to 200 miles on new Bolts, there are three available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
In my case, when I bought the car, I went on the Chevy website to find my nearest dealer, thinking it would be the big one just a few miles from my house. You put in your car model and your zipcode and it shows you all the nearby dealerships that sell/service your car model. None of my 'local' dealers were on the list, so I called them. One of them advertises locally that they sell the "Complete line of Chevy Products" but when I told them I had just bought a Volt, they amended that a bit by admitting they didn't do any EV's

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I guess my working hypothesis is that GM is trying to avoid selling too many Bolts at this time. If so, then that would fit with a quick spot-check on three of the dealer websites near me (two in Tucson, one near Phoenix), none of which seem to carry Bolts in inventory at this time.

My question is what others in other parts of the country are seeing.
Going back to my original question, I think the answer is that, at one or more dealerships there is a good supply, but at many dealerships there is not. Also, GM seemed to acknowledge present-day lack of supply meeting demand, in some areas, in a recent comment.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/chevrolet-bolt-ev-production-increase/

For lack of sufficient information, I"m penciling in a hypothesis that they are choosing not to meet demand in Europe, but that they didn't want to comment on this, and are doing less to satisfy it than in North America or South Korea.

At this point, my next questions and comments are:

1) Are they holding back production volumes?
2) If so, then why?
3) What is similar, and what is different, about this situation if we compare it to 1997-2003?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
For lack of sufficient information, I"m penciling in a hypothesis that they are choosing not to meet demand in Europe, but that they didn't want to comment on this, and are doing less to satisfy it than in North America or South Korea.
They are making deliveries to Europe, but it relatively low volumes. I think it is mostly to do with the sale Opel and not having a sufficient dealership and service center representation to support a car like the Bolt EV in Europe.

At this point, my next questions and comments are:

1) Are they holding back production volumes?
No.

2) If so, then why?
They aren't. There's no conspiracy here.

3) What is similar, and what is different, about this situation if we compare it to 1997-2003?
I suppose you're referring to the EV1 program. To begin with, the Bolt EV doesn't cost GM over $100,000 per unit to build. The Bolt EV is designed to be the average person's only car, and it is available in a number of markets. GM has emphasized sales versus leases with the Bolt EV.

People who leased the EV1 were essentially part of a beta testing program. The cars were never theirs, and never would be theirs. In order for GM to take back my Bolt EV, they would literally need to buy it back from me, and that wouldn't be cheap for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Going back to my original question, [...]
For lack of sufficient information, I"m penciling in a hypothesis that they are choosing not to meet demand in Europe, but that they didn't want to comment on this, and are doing less to satisfy it than in North America or South Korea.
a belated modification to this wording:

"...For lack of sufficient information, I"m penciling in a hypothesis that they are choosing not to meet demand in Europe, but that they didn't want to comment on this, and are doing less to satisfy it than in North America or South Korea. In North America, based on comments here and indeed on GM's own comments as too "rebuild" of inventory, and based on a conversation or two with a dealer, there seems to be evidence that they are failing to meet demand, though it is not clear by how much. What sort of production pace will allow them to rebuild inventory among dealers who choose to carry the vehicle?.

Why would GM ramp up production only by 20%, and even then, taking a bit of time to get there? (It is the opposite situation in some ways, of Tesla, who do not have the mass production experience of GM, who have even more demand and less ability to meet supply than GM, and who have much worse quality control, but who are moving mountains to try to scale up.)

So, my own penciled-in answers for now, to my questions are:

1) Are they holding back production volumes?
2) If so, then why?


- I don't think they are holding back "that" much but I think they are somewhat .... they are arguably "not giving it their all". I suppose their reasons might include presently-worse margins on Bolts than on established gasoline models. My own view is that this is a somewhat dangerous strategy - what if they lose even further the position they had in the space as the first mover in more-affordable 150+ mile BEVs? What if ultimately others, such as Nissan and Tesla, gain a leading competitive position. In any case, regardless of their reasons, I am thinking they could move a bit more quickly and strongly on this. Whether it would be best for them is a separate question and discussion.

3) What is similar, and what is different, about this situation if we compare it to 1997-2003?

- There are obviously plenty of differences now with 1997-2003. GM is not frustrating demand outright, such as by refusing to make any EV1s for sale. There are also some moderate similarities, such as availability being limited to certain dealerships. There is also a similarity in how the discussions play out - one person calls the status quo into question and the answer from many others is essentially "a profit-seeking company would not behave like that". My answer I guess is that sometimes they do, whether because the way of finding a profit is different from what some suppose, or because they are mistaken about the best or a very good path forward toward profit.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top