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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Says one dealer, "The Volt has an amazing amount of technology built into it. People who own one are very happy and great ambassadors for the vehicle. As word continues to build the sales will come." In other words, other Volt owners!

As another article pointed out "All in all, Chevrolet Volt owners sound largely like Apple fans. As we have seen from Apple stock, that eventually turned out to be a good thing." Yes, favorable lease rates and 0% financing seal the deal, so GM is definitely helping as well.

Who is holding back Volt sales? Surprisingly (or not), some Chevy dealers.

Even though Texas was forecast by Pike Research in a recent study to be a future hotbed of PEV ownership, a dealer in Texas said in the survey, “We can’t sell them here. The fad has worn off.” Fad??? That says a lot about this dealer.

According to a recent survey, dealers in California disliked the Volt, while dealers in Wisconsin loved it. A California dealer thought GM had talked up the Volt too much and it was hurting sales. “Make a great car and let it speak for itself,” he said. The Volt would sell more if GM did not advertise it? I think not.

So what gives with dealers being all over the map on the Volt?

I suspect dealers who dislike the Volt don't know how to sell it, while those that know how to sell it love the car. At the end of the day, I think much of the heavy lifting is being done by Volt owners via word of mouth, volt-stats, gm-volt, and the like. Sadly I fear too many dealers are simply handling the transaction (or turning buyers off), rather than learning how to sell something that is different than their other cars.

I bet most Volt buyers come presold. I also suspect that some who could become Volt customers are instead steered by dealers into another car because of poor Volt understanding.

http://www.plugincars.com/survey-says-dealers-are-key-chevy-volt’s-success-124692.html
 

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Absolutely agree some dealers are idiots and are ready to rip the consumers. Those who play fair and explain to consumers the +ve of Volt and then explain some more rather trying to skin them - make batter dealers and make profit.
 

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"Most Volt buyers come presold"

I agree. I have not seen much positive in the local press. I live in Tampa, FL and have close to 20 Chevrolet dealers within 50 miles. I hear regularly from 5 of them as I have not yet made my purchase. The other dealers either don't show any Volts in stock or don't respond to emails or web based questions. Unfortunately, I will need to go about 20 miles to find a dealer who's interest indicates some basic knowledge of the Volt. I feel I will need to interview the service techs in each dealership to find one I can trust to service my Volt when it comes time to buy. Yes, I am one of those who comes "presold".
 

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It's political affiliation. Wasn't there the Republican dealer in PA that refused to sell it? We should form a group and begin calling that dealer now to inquire what Volts they have on the lot.....40 people in 40 days...

MrEnergyCzar
 

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Without a doubt, the dealerships are the weakest link. My salesperson, while being very nice and pleasant, knew less than nothing about the Volt. She actually called me to talk to customers one time after I bought the car because she didn't know the answers to the questions they were asking. After they sold me my Volt last September, the other two Volts on their lots sat there for months. This was when it was almost impossible to find one in stock.

And the dealership where I get my car serviced is just a trainwreck. The service department manager actually told me to stop listening to my Volt adviser because, "no one at corporate GM knows what the hell they're talking about." This was because they couldn't figure out which service adviser made my appointment that my Volt adviser set up. You see for service appointments at this dealership, they don't use computers or a shared calendar. Each service adviser is responsible for their own appointments. And if your adviser is stuck in traffic and isn't there, then no one else in the department knows about you or can help you because they're on commission. Because if another adviser helps you, then they would have to split the commission. So you have to sit there and wait for half an hour before anything gets done. And then you ask to speak to the manager, who rants about how no one at GM corporate knows what they're talking about! :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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"Most Volt buyers come presold"

I agree. I have not seen much positive in the local press. I live in Tampa, FL and have close to 20 Chevrolet dealers within 50 miles. I hear regularly from 5 of them as I have not yet made my purchase. The other dealers either don't show any Volts in stock or don't respond to emails or web based questions. Unfortunately, I will need to go about 20 miles to find a dealer who's interest indicates some basic knowledge of the Volt. I feel I will need to interview the service techs in each dealership to find one I can trust to service my Volt when it comes time to buy. Yes, I am one of those who comes "presold".
Ken - just go to Stingray. In Plant City. They have dozens of Volts and multiple good sales guys to deal with. Plus, good prices. I bought mine there. I live in Pennsylvania and flew down to pick it up. 20 miles. Sheesh! ;)
 

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Ken - just go to Stingray. In Plant City. They have dozens of Volts and multiple good sales guys to deal with. Plus, good prices. I bought mine there. I live in Pennsylvania and flew down to pick it up. 20 miles. Sheesh! ;)
Agreed. I also bought from Stingray after my local dealership swung from ineptitude to total pants on fire. They're 350 miles or so from me, but it was totally worth buying from them. I dealt with Al Thompson.
 

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To borrow from H.L. Mencken, no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of an auto dealer. Certainly they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
 

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My dealer is George Chevrolet in Bellflower, CA. Their sales staff was excellent. The only service I have had was the battery box upgrade which, aside from a minor kerfuffle with parts availability, went fine. I would buy from them again any time.
 

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It's political affiliation. Wasn't there the Republican dealer in PA that refused to sell it? We should form a group and begin calling that dealer now to inquire what Volts they have on the lot.....40 people in 40 days...

MrEnergyCzar
Yeah, it was Mike Kelly - Kelly Chevrolet in Butler. I just checked their web site: No Volts in stock. I guess he's a Republican who loves to support OPEC. I could never figure that one out (I'm a Republican).

Great idea, MrEnergyCzar. Anyone reading this board from western PA: Please stop in at Mike Kelly Chevrolet and ask to test drive a Volt. When they tell you they don't have any, ask them if they can find the closest dealer with a Volt in stock, and tell them that they just lost your business!

http://www.mikekellychevrolet.com/HomePage
 

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...
Even though Texas was forecast by Pike Research in a recent study to be a future hotbed of PEV ownership, a dealer in Texas said in the survey, “We can’t sell them here. The fad has worn off.” Fad??? That says a lot about this dealer.
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I think I can attach a name to that dealer!

When I convince my wife to take our test drive, I'd been reading this forum for a while. The yahoo that met us at the dealership we tried told us, amoung other garbage, that the base model Volt only held 5 gallons of fuel. He went on to tell us a lot of other stuff that I knew wasn't true. HE KNEW NOTHING about the car.

I had told my wife before we got there that I was not going to let them know what I already knew about the vehicle or let them play tag between the sales manager and the salesman. I'm glad that she loved the car because I was livid all the way home.

I also e-mailed a Request For Quote to 3 other local dealers. Only one replied. He actually knew what a Volt was. I've yet to meet him since we've done everything by e-mail/phone - including the deposit. So we're buying from that guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is why I think that Volt owners are the best, most experienced sales force GM has for the Volt.

I have talked with at least several dozen people about the Volt. I have given test rides. I can explain how the car works, and more importantly, how it saves me money.

In contrast, we have seen posting after posting where prospective Volt buyers are steered away from the Volt by dealer sales people, or are given bad info about the car. Now, not all dealers or sales people are guilty of this, obviously. But it seems that dealers stuck in the ICE-age are having difficulty making the leap to Car 2.0.
 

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Thanks, I have noticed Stingray seems to have the most knowledgable approach. Glad to hear one more positive endorsement.
 

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The problem with dealerships is that they have no loyalty to their employees. How many times have you purchased a car then gone back to the same dealership several years later and the entire sales staff has been swapped out? We have a good friend who has been selling cars his entire life, currently selling Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge, and he is one of the last of the dinosaur salesman that can actually make a career of the profession.

Dealerships want new blood. With new blood comes new relatives, new friends that might be looking to buy a car from their "hook-up." This is a lot like Amway or Cutco sales, they're constantly recruiting new people to bring in new customers who are friends or relatives of their new recruits. It's a good idea because you reach a lot of different people. The problem is, you cannot create any sort of loyalty to the brand because when the original purchaser goes to buy another car, their "hook-up" is no longer employed at that dealership (or doing something else).

Add in the fact that you can pay the new guy less than you pay the guy who is trying to make a career, then you have even more reason to make loyalty a thing of the past. There are not many dealerships out there that don't do this. It's all about profits and typically when there is profits, there is greed. And greed doesn't make for a good car buying experience!
 

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This is why I think that Volt owners are the best, most experienced sales force GM has for the Volt.

I have talked with at least several dozen people about the Volt. I have given test rides. I can explain how the car works, and more importantly, how it saves me money.
On Sunday we pulled in to a Starbucks and was walking by a table with about 6 people sitting outside, an old guy about 70ish speaks up with a "excuse me sir, I noticed you pulled up in a Volt, have you forgotten how to fill gas...hehehe".

I said..."well...my last gas fill was 2 months ago and the one that I did took 3 and a half months to get there...and I did have to pause for a second and remind myself what grade gas the car took"

Had a table of astonished people, the look on their faces was priceless. The old guy had his mouth open and said, "uh..wow...that is unbelievable, is it a good car?"

"8000 miles and no problems, that ain't too bad"...and we started to walk away and they all thanked me.

My wife said my smile went from ear to ear after that :)
 

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On Sunday we pulled in to a Starbucks and was walking by a table with about 6 people sitting outside, an old guy about 70ish speaks up with a "excuse me sir, I noticed you pulled up in a Volt, have you forgotten how to fill gas...hehehe".
Same thing happened to me at a light, except it was 4 kids in car. They asked how many mpg i was getting...I glanced down and replied back with "170", and they all started hooting and hollering. I've never met a kid that said that it's still powered by coal or complained about my "tax break". This car is here to stay and I can't wait to get another someday.
 

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That so many salespeople are so utterly bereft of knowledge about the Volt is really unfortunate. As stated in numerous threads on this forum, so much of the positive 'buzz' about this car comes from us, the owners. My salesperson was fairly ignorant about the Volt, but was perceptive enough to see that I knew far more than he did, and therefore stopped trying to show me how it all worked. How about this for an interesting poll - "how many Volt sales are you responsible for?" I know for a fact that I've 'sold' at least one. Gave a test drive to an acquaintance during a childrens' party when our respective kids were otherwise occupied. I thought he was just interested from a technical standpoint, but he texted me a few weeks later, with a 'picking up my Volt today, thanks to you!' As many others undoubtedly have, I've given many 'walkarounds' and test-drives, often to complete strangers who are curious enough to inquire. I liken the Volt to the TiVo, one of the original DVR's. The remarkable utility and ease of use of TiVo's was difficult to explain to the uninitiated, but to those 'in the know', it was hard to understand why more people just didn't 'get it'. Same with the Volt. Within this forum, for the most part, we're all preaching to the choir. The challenge is continuing to spread 'the word'. Fortunately, the recent monthly sales numbers seem to suggest that 'the word', despite the unfortunate ineptitude of many Chevy sales folk, is getting out...
 

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It's political affiliation. Wasn't there the Republican dealer in PA that refused to sell it? We should form a group and begin calling that dealer now to inquire what Volts they have on the lot.....40 people in 40 days...

MrEnergyCzar
Your Tin Foil Hat is a little tight today.
 

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Same thing happened to me at a light, except it was 4 kids in car. They asked how many mpg i was getting...I glanced down and replied back with "170", and they all started hooting and hollering. I've never met a kid that said that it's still powered by coal or complained about my "tax break". This car is here to stay and I can't wait to get another someday.

I had two 30 yo ask me at a stop light what I thought of the car. "I love it". They asked how fast? I said "0-60 in 8-9 seconds". They were pleased.
 

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Excellent post, Steverino, I have a similar take on things with the spotty capability of Chevy dealers. The good thing is that despite all, sales are creeping up to levels no electric has ever come close to achieving. I think it's only a matter of time for dealers to 'get it', during which time their progress will mirror the rising trend that Volt sales is bound to take.
 
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