GM to sell Volt in your state
The automaker says it will bring the electric car to all 50 states this year as it fights for a share of the ecofriendly vehicle market.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
"We're accelerating our launch plan," said Rick Scheidt, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing, in a statement. "This is the right thing to do for our customers and our dealers who are seeing increased traffic onto their showroom floors."
Volts have been delivered to customers in the five states -- California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Texas -- and in Washington, D.C. Customer deliveries in Michigan will begin this spring.
In the second quarter, deliveries are planned in 11 more states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington.
The Volt is an electric vehicle that can run for 35 miles on a charged battery and another 344 miles on a generator fueled by a tank of gas. Previously, the 50-state rollout was planned for mid-2012.
Rising fuel prices, a tight economy and renewed competition in the sub-compact market have combined to stimulate consumer interest, GM spokeswoman Margaret Brooks said in a recent interview. Subcompact cars today account for about 3.5% of the industry, but GM thinks it will grow to 4.5% in the next two years, with the potential to increase further if fuel prices rise.
GM, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and resumed public trading last year, has been moving away from the trucks and sport-utility vehicles that had previously helped it grow. In the third quarter, GM plans to start producing its new Sonic, the first small car GM has built in the U.S. since Chevette production ended in 1986. The Sonic replaces the Aveo, which GM introduced in 2003.
Rivals Ford, Honda and Toyota have also been pushing subcompacts to draw budget-minded customers. The Sonic is designed to compete with Ford's newly remodeled Fiesta and Honda's Fit.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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