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If you were GM what would you do about the 2019 model year

5984 Views 56 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  unimacs
In reviewing the state of where the volt sits now in 2018, there are some things that are painfully clear.

Discounts on the volts can be $3k to $6k off MSRP. Then the consumer can take federal tax credit of $7500 and potentially state tax credit too.

All this— and dealers still cannot move the 2018 volts. There are even 2017 volts still around.

The volt is a good car and one of the most technologically challenging and inventive mass market cars ever built. But it’s a compact sedan is an SUV/Crossover world and initial sticker scare of $40k for a Chevy might hurt too. The Bolt cousin certainly didn’t help clarify the consumer space.

So, if you were GM what would you do about the 2019 model year?

Would you simply halt production on volt since you are clearly losing money on each one?

Would you double down on the volt and give it a refresh plus battery boost?

Or would you simply produce a 2019 in small volumes but with minor changes such as new paint colors?
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For 2019 I would try more aggressively advertising the Volt and Bolt EV for a change. See what they do with more exposure.

Every time I open a car magazine these days, I see a full spread ad for the Clarity PHEV. And lately nearly every night when I sit down to watch a Twins game, I see an ad for the new Leaf, multiple times!

Where are the Volt and Bolt EV ads?

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I would rather see the price of the Volt go down as battery prices go down, rather than increasing EV range.

The Volt with ~50 miles of range will allow most people to drive most miles on electricity, with no range anxiety and no need to find a charging station and wait.

Also keeping the current battery pack size means most already have the electric capacity at home for a full overnight charge. You increase the range , and then you create another barrier for those who can't easily afford to upgrade their electrical system. They will have to spend more money to take full advantage of the range.

Lower the price of the Volt so it can become truly available to a large number of consumers. This can be done as battery prices come down, by not increasing the range.

The Prime starts at just over 27k, and even with its measly 25 mile range, that price makes it very appealing. Lower the price of the Volt and market the heck out of it. That may stem the sales losses to the Prius Prime. Adding range and keeping the price where it is won't do that.

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I disagree about price, people aren't buying EVs because they aren't good enough yet not because of their price.
So far this year in the US, the Prime has outsold the Volt by nearly 2 to 1. It has half the EV range of the Volt, but it costs less, even after the smaller tax credit.

So the Prime is being bought at twice the rate as the Volt even though it's half as good as the Volt in EV range.

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3 main factors I think.

  1. Toyota has built a very large Prius following
  2. Price
  3. Reputation of Toyota
So price is one of your three factors, while at the same time, not being good enough in EV range was not a major discouraging factor.

Shoppers didn't go running to the Chevrolet dealer instead even though the Volt is twice as good in EV range. And partly anyway that's due to price. And you can't lower the price of the Volt enough and add EV range at the same time.

GM can mitigate your other two factors a bit with more and better marketing.

You can put a plug-in on more customers radar by lowering the price, not by increasing the range and holding the price.

For environmental reasons, I want to see PHEV's and EV's in the hands of as many people as possible as soon as possible.

So I would rather see GM have a lower price Volt or Volt successor with just enough range so that most miles driven are EV miles. Its gotta have a small enough battery pack to be cheap enough
Best bang for the buck, and for the environment. And sure make it more of a cuv platform vehicle.

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It was only a matter of time before Prius Prime would greatly outsell Volt. Toyota has millions of past and present happy Prius owners and the Prime price differential with incentives -according to a friend who just opted for a standard Prius- is only about $3K. This, in contrast to Chevy with its millions and millions of past owners who have sworn off Chevy forever.
I don't see much of a price cut for Volt in the future, unless GM is early and first in the race for a low-cost, patented, solid-state battery. With Honda, Toyota and others now in the EREV game, the only competitive advantage remaining for Volt is battery range, so, yes, Chevy, add some miles to the electric range asap...... and advertise the car for a change. (that's highly unlikely)
While the current price difference is only 3k, that's going to increase soon, when the Volt starts losing the tax credit. So the larger tax credit on the Volt will no longer mitigate the price difference between it and the Prime.

Adding more range to the Volt will just make that price spread even larger.

It's hard enough to compete with the Prius as it is, with the name recognition and all those who have sworn off GM.

GM should at least try to compete with the Prius Prime, and it's clearly not more range that's needed in order to do so It's price and it's clever marketing and of course continuous improvements in reliability, and features etc. And make it more of a cuv too.

GM can at the same time build a long EV range PHEV for those that can afford it. I just want to see one that many more can afford with just enough range for most people most of the time.

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We don't have to guess anymore, the specs for the 2019 Volt are out. There is no reason to upgrade because the improvements are so minor, however if you were looking to buy a new Volt this year I'd get the 2019 over the 2018. The most important upgrade is a power seat. There is also a 7.2KW charger option, hardly compelling but if I were going to buy a new Volt anyway I'd get that option, it will make a difference when doing destination charging, for home charging who cars if it takes 2 hours or 4.
I saw more details on and this one is a pretty nice little improvement. I know current models can be hacked but better straight from the factory.:

Article with full press release after article:
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