Chevy Volt Helps Cruze Sales

Chevrolet Cruze
The Chevrolet Volt hasn’t exactly taken off as expected, with only about 4,000 U.S. sales so far, but that’s OK with GM’s top brass, according to USA Today.

That’s because the Volt acts as an important catalyst for the Chevrolet Cruze, one of the top-selling vehicles in the country since its launch last fall. Chevy has sold 187,524 Cruzes year-to-date through September.

"The Volt is leading to a lot of Cruze sales," said Mark Reuss, GM's CEO for North America. Customers are coming in to see the Volt, but “not everyone can buy a Volt,” Reuss said. The Volt has a starting price that’s nearly two and half times greater than the Cruze’s price.

In that respect, you can think of the Volt as more of a marketing device for GM than a revenue generator. In the automotive industry that's often referred to as a halo vehicle. Even so, GM still plans to put 10,000 Volts in the hands of American consumers by year’s end and wants to build more than 60,000 Volts in 2012. The plan is for the Volt to be its own market force, too.

Chevrolet Volt's magic rubs off on sales of cheaper Cruze (USA Today)

Comments 

Amuro Ray

Sad, sad news from green perspective. Major change of "tone" from GM, and seems to me that it is now looking reality in the face.

Next thg u know, "mission accomplished" and Volt is "bye-bye" (already confirmed no new Volt technology from GM for the next 5 years).

What's even worse is that this, in a way, justifies the comparo b/n Volt and Cruze! (Why bother to buy a Volt when we have a fuel efficient Cruze?) Essentially downplaying the importance of electric "power." These are SUPPOSED to be 2 diff vehicles in 2 utterly separate vehicle categories/price range, right?

Now I see why someone was comparing a Sonic vs an Audi A3 in kickingtires a while back...

Somehow GM's always over-promising on this vehicle and under-delivers at the end, from marketing pov :(

GM Insider

GM never intended to have Volt to be commercially viable, in fact, the plan almost get universal rejection by their senior battery scientists/engineers because the cost is too high, and battery performance over 8 years is unknown. They heated the battery to simulate accelerated battery aging, but they can't compress time, so simply test the battery over 18 months on a robotic track CAN'T simulate the performance over 8 years, you will see quite a few people with dead battery after 5 years, especially in the South and Arizona.

The major reason behind this is for PR and marketing purposes, since the future of this vehicle is bleak, several high-profile executives left the company.

GM Insider

Anyway, when the gas price goes to $5/gal, HEV will be selling like crazy, of course there will be more interest in Chevy Volt, but the production is so limited and profit is no where to be found.
Some highly qualified people left GM because they know GM will be in Chapter 11 (or 7) when gas price goes up, but you may ask why GM doesn't get into strong hybrid like Ford and Toyota, two reasons: Hubris (may I call it stupidity?) and patents. GM is so way behind and their long-term prospect is very poor!

Highdesertcat

Do Americans even care about the price of gas? I know that there is a lot of moaning and groaning when the cost of gas goes up, but they don't buy any less of it. Maybe if the Volt actually caught on GM could pay back all the taxpayer bail out bucks. Now, that would be something to behold! GM paying back the tax payers?

Amuro Ray

"Do Americans even care about the price of gas?"

May I refer to a comment from the Mazda 2 fuel improvement posting from late last week...

Highdesertcat

You may! However, do Americans actually buy less gas when the price of gas goes up? People who have to worry about the price of gas should not buy a car. And if they choose to buy a car and the price of gas goes over $5/gal, will they quit buying gas and foot it? Based on the last couple of gas price hikes, I didn't notice a reduction in traffic. I'm not convinced that when the price of gas breaches $5/gal people will rush to trade in their ICE cars for a Volt.

C

People worry about gas price should not buy a car? Great idea. Are you going to walk 15 miles to work while there are absolutely no viable public transportation and it is 10 degrees outside?

Highdesertcat

Exactly my point, C. If you need it, you'll buy it. No matter what it costs. I prefer to drive. I will buy gas no matter what it costs. Both our cars are thirsty. I live 26 miles one-way from the nearest town. No kidding!

Parrots

I live in Texas, and I have seen plenty of Volts already. On my recent trip to San Antonio, I saw two Volts on public roads near Austin.

One day, the Chevy Volt may actually help Chevy Volt sales but since February's "Chevrolet Volt 400" race, that's doubtful ... http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/05/nascar-pulls-plug-on-chevrolet-volt-400/

Bowrider

There is no profit on the Volt because GM sells them at a loss, just like every other manufacturer that develops new technology. Over time, economies of scale are gained and the price per unit goes down, theoretically leading to a profit. I'm not a GM owner but I think some of the comments aren't taking into consideration the fact that GM sells more vehicles than any other auto maker.

C

Highdesertcat,

That is NOT your point.
The point is to point out people will CHOOSE more fuel efficient vehicles because they NEED a vehicle.
It is not like they chose to buy a car, it is more like they are forced to buy one.

Richard Joash Tan

I disagree, AR, because the Volt is the source of the Cruze sales. and it's not really sad for both the green perspective and me.

Geo

Nice try ICE! and you too Colin Bird with USA Today!
Volt sales are sky high as with Chevy Cruze! Cruze made the #1 top selling compact in America this August as well the safest, with a unheard of 5 star rating in its class. The Cruze Diesel...wow,,,didn't see that one coming did you? 46 MPG, rivals VW, and with better build quality. We bought 6 for our company......Absolutely LOVE them!!! Watch out Ford, Honda and Toyota! WHOOPS, TOO LATE!!!

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