[ad#post_ad]There is evidence GM suspected Chevrolet dealers would add a surcharge to the MSRP for early Volt buyers.  Though GM's party line was to tell dealers to "do the right thing," strictly limiting the supply of a car whose demand had been amplified through years of publicity virtually assures early buyers will have to pay a premium.

Though many enthusiasts are annoyed about this, it benefits GM to have a product so hot and so desired that they could sell out the first year production even with this added premium.

Now that dealers have begun to take orders we can finally see what kind of problem this will turn out to be.

Edmunds.com recently reported on a Chevy dealer in California with an allocated nine cars who is charging a $20,000 premium per car. The following email from that dealer was published:

Hello *****

Thank you for your online request, as you know the Volt is going to be a very limited production vehicle for the first 2-3 years. Demand is going to far exceed supply for this vehicle, initially our asking price for the Volt is going to be MSRP plus $20,000, we are expecting only receive 9 Volts all of next year.

I will keep you in my customer base for when the Volt comes out and I will contact you with any information as I receive it. We are taking orders right now for the Volt, if you would like more information, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you. Thank you.

***** *****, Internet Specialist
******* Chevrolet
********, CA

"We have had a couple indications that some dealers out there are doing this," said GM spokesman Rob Peterson. "Other consumers have reported positive experiences."

GM has no direct say over how dealers run their dealerships or what they charge, as they are independent franchises.

"We don't control any pricing at the dealership," Peterson said. "However we have suggested strongly that they keep prices in line with what we have offered."

GM is confident that the pricing they have chosen for the Volt is justified.  “I look at it and say with a federal tax credit, it is $33,500,” said GM's exectuive director of hybrid and electric vehicles Larry Nitz.  “We think there will be a plentiful supply of customers at that price."

“It’s in a market of its own, where else are you going to go to get one of these things? There is no other choice,” said Nitz.  "It’s not like we’re trying to sell two million of these.”

Most dealers in the launch markets are getting ten or less cars in their first year allocation, and most plan only selling them locally to help build their customer relationships. As such, many are willing to sell at MSRP but probably equally many are not.

We at GM-Volt are in a unique position since we likely have the highest concentration of Volt buyers on the Internet.  If you have placed an order or have spoken to a dealer and are getting ready to place an order, please take the poll below, and feel free to join in our Dealer Gouging forum thread .

Source ( Detroit Press ) and ( Detroit Press )

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