As GM moves toward its goals, October was the Volt's top month with 1,108 units sold.

All this year the company has resisted calling it a competition with the all-electric Nissan Leaf, but in case you are interested, the Volt's first month to surpass 1,000 units beat the Leaf’s sales of 849 units.

Nissan has sold 8,066 units since December 2010, thus still has many more of its electric cars on the road than the 5,003 Volts delivered through October – and Chevrolet has just two months to deliver 4,997 more if it’s going to meet its North American goal of 10,000 Volts.



 

In a phone interview yesterday, GM Spokesman Rob Peterson said the company is not stressing, and still intends to meet its most important targets.

“Our goal is to produce 10,000 and our expectation is that there is enough demand out there for those 10,000 units,” he said.

Peterson initially said a couple times that 10,000 units would be produced.

I asked if he meant delivered by the end of the year?

“Yes,” he said. But added GM will only know in December, and he sounded like if GM falls a little short, it will not lose sleep over it, as GM already sees the Volt as succeeding at this point.

Actually, over 10,000 Volts have already been produced by Detroit-Hamtramck so predicting that was a too-easy statement to make – to be exact, the latest calendar-year-to-date figures indicate 10,896 Volts built, comprised of both 2011 and 2012 model years.

Peterson said Chevrolet dealers have a total of around 1,800 Volts in inventory, and 2,300 dealer demos have been placed, with 300 more demos to go this year.

He noted some Web sites have been known to report more vehicles left unsold, but these were an inflated mix that included demos that GM does not count as for sale.

Peterson also reiterated that the company’s priorities are not overly wrapped up in making the 10,000 number, but in getting the vehicle launched fully to all participating Chevy dealers, and refining its delivery process.

Initially the formula GM used to determine what dealers got how many Volts on allocation was – as you probably know – based on market penetration of advanced-tech vehicles, and respective dealers’ overall sales volume.



 

Stating that from the beginning GM viewed the Volt as a showroom draw, Peterson said the next step is a “market-driven delivery process,” whereby customers who want Volts in regional markets are not left waiting as they are known to be now.

GM wants to make sure that “every single Chevrolet dealer should have a demo in place before we put a retail units in there. The reason we do that is we know the Volt has a way of attracting customers ... " he said. "So our priority is on treating it as a halo vehicle and once we reach the nationwide [roll-out] and we’ve got a little bit of experience with the vehicle, we’ll have a much better understanding of how to seed the dealerships with the appropriate number of vehicles.”

For instance, Peterson said one dealership in Minneapolis has 21 Volt orders pending, and its allocation was three Volts.

Going forward, GM wants to refine where the car is selling and meet demand.

While naysayers will do what they do best and say the Volt is falling short, until recently and even now, it has had supply issues of one sort or another.

Just the Minneapolis example alone shows 18 would-be deliveries that could not be counted, and Peterson said GM knows of many other dealers with more orders than cars.

Also known are areas where the Volt is not being well received, no doubt including U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly's Pennsylvania family dealership in which he fired his employee for ordering one GM-mandated Volt . This same representative then declared that this was proof that the Obama administration's attempts to create jobs through green initiatives were not working – at least in his neck of the (back) woods – and that "there is no market for the car."

Of course that's an extreme newsworthy case we thought we'd just drop into this story, but perhaps other Chevy dealers have had difficulty marketing the car, or are all to happy to switch people to the Cruze or other vehicles?

And further along these lines, training is another one of GM's priorities besides merely delivering dealers their new Volts. Training and getting dealers up to speed in all new regions has been part of the work for the new technology, as Kelly's extreme example partially illustrates.

At the request of a GM-Volt reader, and for your review, here are month-by-month sales numbers for this year:

January – 321
February – 281
March - 608
April - 493
May - 481
June - 561
July – 125
August - 302
September - 723
October - 1,108

TOTAL: 5,003

Needed for Nov./Dec.: 4,997 more.



 

Production capacity is not really an issue anymore. Dham was closed for a month in the summer as July’s numbers show.

Other U.S. production numbers of interest are: 2,228 model year 2012 Volts were assembled in October. Of the 2011 initial model year Volts, 4,488 were built. Since reopening the assembly plant, a total of 7,627 model year 2012 Volts were built.

As mentioned, the latest grand total of Volts produced for U.S. market is 10,896, so it’s safe to say around 11,000 cars have been built by now.

GM is staying optimistic also because it says demand for Volts around the country remains strong, and “outrageous” positive feedback has come through a variety of independent sources.