With only one quarter left, sales of the much-balleyhooed Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid are running well short of expectations and lagging the battery cars chief rival, the Nissan Leaf, by a margin that widens every month.
Has the Volt come unplugged or will Chevy be able to make up lost ground with a massive build-up of momentum in the final three months of the year – as company officials insist?
With less than 4,000 sold so far this year and a goal of moving 10,000 Volts for all of 2011, General Motors will need to nearly triple September sales if it’s to hit that target.
“It’s a little surprising” how low the numbers have been, according to Joe Phillippi, automotive analyst with AutoTrends Consulting, especially in line with the steady growth in demand for the Leaf – which is itself going to need a big bump to hit its own 20,000-unit goal for 2011.
Through the end of September, Nissan sold 7,199 of its pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, with sales last month of 1,031. Volt sales totaled just 723 in September, with year-to-date volume at 3,895.