Is the Chevy Bolt cannibalizing sales of the Volt

Discussion in 'General Motors' started by Domenick, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Chevy Dealer Talks About Bolt Sales Cannibalizing Volt Sales

    This is an issue that's been raised in the past, and this latest sales report brought it to my mind yesterday. Now, we have the (admittedly anecdotal) perspective of a Chevrolet sales person. What he says makes pretty good sense.

    It seems to me that a lot of buyers are choosing the Bolt over the Volt, because with 238 miles of range, it really fills all of their driving needs the way a Volt would. (In the sense that they see 100 miles as the furthest distance they would ever drive, normally.)

    Volt buyers seem to get obsessive about my burning gas, and now, if they switch to a Bolt, that's no longer an issue.

    Now, GM has to woo new buyers to the Volt, though it seems like they are just as happy to kill it off. Which is kind of a shame, since it's a pretty great car, from most accounts, and the Voltec system could be leveraged into other platforms. (After the Cadillac ELR fiasco, I can see why they'd be hesitant to do that, but I still think it's a reasonable course to pursue.)
     
  2. Counterpoint

    Counterpoint New Member

    I wonder if they might have a car image problem. The Volt was initially advertised as an electric car with gas engine support, and now that the Bolt is out as an electric car that doesn't need gas engine support, it makes sense that people are more inclined to buy the Bolt. And that means the Volt loses its spot as Chevy's "electric car" and doesn't really have another image to motivate people to buy it. So if Chevy wants to sell both vehicles, they're going to need to re-brand the Volt as attractive for a different reason.
     
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  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Good (Counter)point!

    If GM wants to continue selling the Volt, it definitely needs a fresh campaign -- a re-envisioning of its market niche.

    Of course, it looks like it is leaning towards killing it altogether, which would solve the cannibalization problem, at least.
     
  4. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    For me, the decision was easy. I prefer hatchbacks or crossovers. I like spacious cabins.

    We have a 2013 Volt and it is a great car. My wife loves it and prefers sedans.

    But the market as a whole prefers larger vehicles. The Bolt is simply more practical! :)
     
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  5. Jack

    Jack Administrator Staff Member

    I think the volt needs to be more clear about what it is and what it is competing against. Most don't know if the volt is hybrid or all electric, they don't know what to compare it to either. So when buyers learn about the Bolt being all electric and more practical, the Volt easily loses the comparison...

    But if GM heavily marketed the gas part as a benefit as opposed to a shortcoming, AND they often compared it to a prius, then they would separate it from the Bolt and target a better market.

    Let's be honest, if chevy made the Prius and called it a Volt, the Bolt would still be superior. The Volt needs to align itself with something, anything besides the Bolt
     
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  6. Counterpoint

    Counterpoint New Member

    Personally, I'd like to see the Volt re-made into a pure electric in a sedan form factor. I for one am not a fan of the crossover look of the Bolt and would like to see more alternate options to the Tesla Model 3 with similar range that cost less.
     
  7. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I think a next gen "all-EV Volt" or PHEV Volt with a battery pack in the floor would be great. Make it slightly longer and wider so that the interior space feels less cramped.

    I prefer a crossover or hatch but my wife prefers sedans by far. The Volt is a great small sedan but would be better without the battery tunnel running down the center of the vehicle.
     
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Mine is an outsider's perspective, as I don't drive either car. But I was struck by an article from back in 2012 which said a report showed that Volt drivers stop more often for en-route charging than Leaf drivers!

    "Forget Range Anxiety, Chevy Volt Owners Have Gas Anxiety"

    We should take that report with a few grains of salt, since it's from a single EV charging company, and I don't know that the sample size is large enough for it to qualify as a scientifically valid survey. There's also the question of whether there might be something about that particular company's chargers that might appeal more to Volt buyers than Leaf buyers, which might skew the results.

    However, those caveats aside, buyers choosing the Bolt EV over the Volt makes sense to me from this perspective: For many or most people who choose to buy a Volt, reducing the amount of gas they use is an important concern. And for such people, a car with a greater EV range is going to save more gas. Since the Bolt EV has much greater EV range than the Volt, it just makes sense that more people looking at both cars are going to choose the Bolt EV.

    People who aren't concerned with EV range probably aren't going to be looking at either car; they're going to be choosing a straight gasmobile instead.

    Oh, and one more point: The Volt gets a lot of complaints about the back seat being cramped. That's another way the Bolt EV is an improvement over the Volt.
     
  9. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I too am a big hater of the hump. The Fisker/Karma/Revero has one too, but it's dressed up really nice in that car.
     

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