Several sections of Jay Cole's comments about the Bolt EV over the months in various editions of InsideEVs' "Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card" articles have lead me to believe that GM was experiencing unusual problems with the rollout. However, I've gotten pushback to comments I've posted about situation start; comments I've posted to InsideEVs' articles. Jay Cole even responded to one of my comments, disagreeing when I said something like GM had "dropped the ball" (that's a paraphrase; can't recall my exact words) on the rollout. So what's going on? Am I too close to the problem, not seeing the forest for the trees? Are the various problems reported over several "Sales Report Card" articles, usual for the rollout of any new car model? Or do they show a pattern indicating that GM mishandled the rollout, either due to incompetence or -- and I think this more likely -- indicating that they really don't care if the car sells or not? I quote the relevant sections from the "Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card below, with links to the sources. Please note these quotes are cherry-picked to show where problems were reported. Neutral and positive comments about the Bolt EV rollout have been omitted. The following summary is one-sided and decidedly not balanced; you have been warned. Links are provided to the original articles for those who want to read the excerpted sections in their full context. * * * * * From February 2017: Unfortunately, and despite added 3 more states of availability in February (Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia joined California and Oregon), Bolt EV sales fell to 952 moved during the month. And the sales slump didn’t have anything to do with inventory, as it steadily grew over the course of the month, ending several hundred units higher than the month prior and rapidly closing in on the 2,000 unit mark. https://insideevs.com/february-2017-plug-in-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From March 2017: GM noted that inventory was fairly tight on dealer lots in March, with only around 14 days worth on hand. Still, with Bolt EV production having started last October and only ~3,600 sales since then, there was an issue someplace – either at the plant, or with GM management’s production allocation (perhaps production heading to Europe under the Opel Ampera-E badge). https://insideevs.com/march-2017-plug-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From April 2017: ...we did note last month that with the Bolt EV’s “production having started last October and only ~3,600 sales since then, there was an issue someplace” – and that materialized in April. Despite inventories quadrupling, sales increased…but to just 1,292 units. https://insideevs.com/april-2017-plug-in-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From May 2017: Thing improved moreso in May (thanks to a roll-out of the EV into the US Northeast, and deep inventories for the entire month – over 5,000 cars by month’s end), as GM noted a all-time high of 1,566 sales during the month, a gain of 21% from the month prior. https://insideevs.com/may-2017-plug-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From June 2017: Originally, we had [strikeout] been told [/strikeout*] thought tight inventory was holding back sales, but by late April inventory moved deep into 4 digits, and headed toward 5,000 units in May – the result was 1,566 sales. For June, inventory of the Bolt EV touched close to the 6,000 unit level, and again, Bolt EV sales moved higher – up to 1,642 copies, a new 2017 high. With the Bolt EV clearly underselling even GM’s own expectations, the company now finds itself with way too much 2017 model year stock. [* The "strikeout" text formatting was used over these words in the article, to indicate a snarky editorial comment, but sadly that formatting can't be displayed on this Forum.] https://insideevs.com/june-2017-plug-in-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From July 2017: Coming off June’s highest sales level (with 1,642 copies sold), GM promptly extended the Summer shutdown at the car’s Orion, Michigan plant….and then posted the 2017 sales high in July, with 1,981 sales in limited release! And although, there was north of 7,000 copies at dealers or in transit (good for 110+ days worth of stock), GM noted the shutdown was Sonic petrol car related (as sales of the subcompact have cratered over the past couple years). The story of Bolt EV inventory was so prevalent, GM even broke cover and made a statement, pointing out that: “There are only 7,000 Bolt EVs in dealer stock or in transit. Divide that by the number of Bolt/certified dealers and we have roughly 6 per store. That is hardly overstocked.” https://insideevs.com/july-2017-plug-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ From August 2017: ...note, the 238 mile EV has seen increasing sales month-over-month for the past 6 months. Thanks to stronger sales, and an extended shutdown this Summer of the Bolt EV’s production facility in Orion, Michigan (mostly due to plummeting Sonic sales), inventory of the Bolt has leveled off at around 5,000 units, a more manageable number for GM. * * * * * Since, as I noted, those are cherry-picked quotes, it's only fair that I provide some balance by quoting much more positive comments from "Sales Report Card" articles before and after the period in question: From January 2017: GM’s first long range offering completed its first full month on the US market in January, selling an impressive 1,162 copies in California and Oregon (the two states selected for the Bolt EV’s launch before going nationwide later this year). Previously, 579 Bolt EVs found homes in December after the car’s debut mid-month. GM even managed to grow inventory regionally, briefly touching 4 figures during the month, but averaging around ~700 units overall in January. It appears GM has judged the demand (and thus production) for the Bolt EV just about perfectly. https://insideevs.com/january-2017-plug-in-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ ------------- From September 2017: ...after selling 2,107 copies in August, the all-electric Chevy set the bar even higher in September, selling a record 2,632 cars in September! September’s result put the Bolt EV within striking distance (1,046 units) of its stablemate Chevy Volt on the 2017 sales leaderboard – a result which now seems inevitable. Also to note, the 238 mile EV has seen increasing sales month-over-month for the past 7 months. Thanks to stronger sales, and an extended shutdown this Summer of the Bolt EV’s production facility in Orion, Michigan (mostly due to plummeting Sonic sales), inventory of the Bolt has leveled off/decreased somewhat at 5,000 units in August and actually dropped by a few hundred units in September, which is a little odd as the 238 mile EV is expected to be a hot seller into the 2017 year-end. With national distribution widening more evenly over the next few months (and the end of the 2017 tax season – for claiming the $7,500 EV fed credit), we expect to ultimately see the Bolt EV hit the ~3,000 level before the year’s end. https://insideevs.com/september-2017-plug-electric-vehicle-sales-report-card/ * * * * * So what say you, EV fans? I also note a large number of anecdotal reports from would-be Bolt EV buyers who reported their local dealers tell them they had none of the cars in stock despite online inventory saying they do. Hopefully that situation has eased recently, along with reports of increasing inventory. Are these reports, from Jay Cole and others, an indication that rollout of the Bolt EV has been a troubled one, a haphazard rollout with poorly handled inventory and delayed shipments, with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing? Or is this really smooth sailing, with very minor problems being blown out of proportion because we're examining the rollout with a microscope? Or is the Truth somewhere in between? I'd be interested to see what others have to say about the situation; I'd be especially interested in hearing from those who have bought a Bolt EV, and those who tried to get one but ultimately gave up.