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Hello guys,

I had a good talk with a GM manager and he provided me some info:

1) By SUMMER there will be over 40 Dealers who will be VOLT certified (that's about half of Quebec's dealers.
2) Until now, only 50 VOLT we're allocated in Quebec for 2012, but in march 150 allocations were ADDED. All the Quebec's certified VOLT dealers were called and asked how many they want !! Those VOLT were supposed to be allocated to the Canadian maritime provinces (IPE, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland) !!
3) I asked him if he new what new features would be coming with the VOLT 2013 and he said he did not know, but by MID-APRIL, they will know all the specs (prices, options, etc) !!
4) The 2013 VOLT will begin production at Hamtramck by june 25th !!
5) Take note that the VOLT allocation that he's aware of is only for RETAIL ... there is another independent allocation scheme for fleets.

He told me that the maritime's province has NO provincial INCENTIVE, so GM has decided to give priority to the province's that has EV «goals» and incentives. Also, the Quebec's Charging infrastructure coming this month is closely watched by GM.

He also told me that the dealers will get ADDITIONAL allocations in 2012 for the 2013 MY ...

Also, for GM Canada at least, they want to give priority to the customers who PRE-ORDER a VOLT. He told me that people ordering a VOLT right now will get them by june ... 3 months wait is not too bad ...

Finally, he told me that there is about 8-10 BRAND NEW VOLT AVAILABLE in Quebec right now. And some are BASE MODELS !! He is supposed to send me the list with the equipment, specs and color of those VOLT !! It will be posted on my blog.

He also explained me that when he is at auto shows, lots of people are curious about the VOLT ... but many finds it «complicated» since it's not a hybrid but not a full EV either ... he says that the challenge is to «educate» people about the VOLT ... and that begins with educating dealer's salespeople ...


GM seems to somewhat listen to us ... it's very positive IMHO !!

SLY

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Way to go, Sylvain! This information is awesome!
I like very much the decision to concentrate allocations to Quebec - incentives are helping sales, that's for sure.
The actual inventory of Volts are not very easy to locate. But, still, having below 10 Volts around Quebec doesn't
help to achieve big sales numbers, especially if that inventory is not within easy reach.
The cars.com approach in the states help alot to locate WHERE to find the actual volts around.
Dealers could try some sort of a similar method.

Encouraging! I see progresses!

Francois
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This is awesome info. Part of me wonders why we don't have insight like this for the US. People "in the know" keep amazingly silent. I know jobs are on the line, but plenty of people talk. Good to hear and I'd assume that the 2013 production date would include US models.
 

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Thank you for the post. This brings to mind two important subtleties to the rollout that I think are important to the situation:

-GM either intentionally or by an error in strategy did not identify or did not target local markets with incentives (e.g. Colorado, Quebec, etc). Perhaps they didn't want to draw more of the ire of the libertarian crowd or felt a level rollout was preferable.

-Part of the "slow" sales brought on by allocations and controlled rollout is intentional. This was clearly stated as the intent before last August's shutdown but it has followed since production has ramped up. Perhaps others have thought about this or brought this up before but it is just now occurring to me that GM doesn't want to open up production to first come first serve and blast out 1000 volts per week to satisfy the initial demand only to see sales fall back significantly once that demand is satiated. They wanted steady growth in demand in conjunction with the rollout to be able to build sales momentum to support increasing production long term.

Not a bad strategy and clears the picture up somewhat for me. This also helps explain the 5 week production hiatus. I wish they could have a little more confidence in the Volt's ability to sell itself once in customers hands but they should have a much better handle on these metrics than those of us on the outside.

I still think GM marketing is missing one of the key values of the Volt and that is the quality. The quality of the ride, quality of the design (interior & exterior), and quality of the build. They need commercials like the new one featuring Priya except the person should have traded in a small Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc to get their Volt. They could honestly say "I traded in my 325i to get the Volt and am saving a crapload of money, plus I was surprised to find I enjoy driving it more. All my friends are shocked at how nice it is and how well it drives." Just saving gas and saving money isn't enough to pull people out of $20k cars. Opening their eyes to the fact that the Volt is more equivalent to a $30k ICE lends a lot more to the saving gas and saving money pitch.
 

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Glad to hear we're seeing more Volts shipped to places where the demand is high. Very low electrical prices and very high gas prices is a good combination for electrics of all types.

The point about the incentives is a good one. Nissan made good use of this by rolling out the Leaf in CA when the CARB rebate was $5000. Incentives like this make a big difference in the take rate. In the solar industry the saying is that "solar works best in the right climate, and the right climate has nothing to do with the sun" (it's about the incentives and business climate).

I think most Volt owners would agree about the quality. The Volt is a premium ride. There was a poster this week saying he wished he had gotten an Aston Martin because he thought it had better acceleration was better at higher speeds. That's not a bad data point!
 

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Many thanks for this Sylvain. Thanks as well to all of our friends in Canada for making your voices heard. Finally GM seems to be starting to listen. You are doing GM and all of us a great service IMHO.
 

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Good work Sylvain! It makes sense to send more Volts to Quebec instead of the maritimes, especially with the upcoming charging infrastructure and the available rebate, at least until the price comes down anyway.

He also explained me that when he is at auto shows, lots of people are curious about the VOLT ... but many finds it «complicated» since it's not a hybrid but not a full EV either ... he says that the challenge is to «educate» people about the VOLT ... and that begins with educating dealer's salespeople
I'm secretly looking forward to testing the Volt rep at the Ottawa-Gatineau auto show coming up soon =)
I'll probably end up spending most of my time at the show around the Volts, I have my Volt T-shirt and hat ready to go!

As far as educating sales consultants, it's a must, right now I have one potential Volt client and one guy waiting for his car to arrive with my phone number if they have any additional questions. I think the first waive of customers who know more about the Volt then the sales staff has almost passed, now the staff need to educate people coming in having only heard about the Volt and not much more.
 

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I don't get what people can't understand. Get in, put your hands on the steering wheel and drive. Get home and plug it in like your toaster or your hair dryer. What exactly is so hard to understand?
 
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