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GM CEO Insists Chevy Volt is on Target

But plug-in hybrid likely to miss 2011 sales goal.

by on Nov.03, 2011

The Chevy Volt is "hitting its pace," says GM CEO Dan Akerson during a CNBC appearance.

After an agonizingly slow start Chevrolet’s plug-in hybrid, the Volt, is finally showing signs of powering up – October sales jumping 50% over the previous month, though the battery car appears all but certain to miss its ambitious target for 2011.

Despite that shortfall – and the fact that is lagging well behind its primary competitor, the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson contends he is pleased with the progress of the Chevy Volt and insists it is on target for its even more ambitious 2012 sales goal.

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The U.S. giant plans to produce 60,000 Chevrolet Volts next year, with 15,000 of them planned for export and the rest aimed at the U.S. market.

“Everything we’ve seen is this thing has been a home run,” Akerson said during an appearance on the cable network CNBC today, the former telecomm exec adding that GM is already “ramping up production” even though it will struggle to meet its 2011 sales target.


Are Volt Sales Unplugged?

Maker needs to charge up demand to meet target.

by on Oct.04, 2011

The Chevy Volt was named North American Car of the Year last January, beating out the Nissan Leaf - and setting in motion a distinct rivalry.

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.

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“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.


California Regulators Just Say “No” to Chevrolet Volt HOV Access and a $5,000 Tax Credit

Senior GM exec sees no sales "impact." Volt to qualify in 2012?

by on Jul.28, 2010

The Chevrolet Volt is moving from prototype to production, but it won't have access to commuter lanes along the way.

Is it a show of favoritism or simply the strict interpretation of the rules?  Either way, buyers of the new Chevrolet Volt will not get the coveted sticker that gives them access to the California’s fast-moving commuter lanes, nor will they qualify for a potential $5,000 state-funded rebate.

But those who opt for another new battery car, the 2011 Nissan Leaf, will qualify for both, according to the California Air Resources Board.  Considering both vehicles will soon go to market with lease rates of $350 a month, it raises the possibility that CARB will, in effect, be lending support to Nissan at Chevy’s expense.

While a senior General Motors official is clearly disappointed, he stresses that some tweaks to the Volt emission system should allow it to qualify for the HOV – or High-Occupancy Vehicle – lane pass and tax break by 2012, a little more than a year after the first Volt rolls into dealer showrooms. (See Single Occupant Honda CNG and Fuel Cell Vehicles Granted California High Occupancy Vehicle Access)

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In the meantime, insists Volt’s program chief Tony Posawatz, “The car won’t have trouble selling,” especially during the first year, he tells, when availability of what is technically known as an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV, will be limited to just 10,000 vehicles.