GM is basically giving away Chevy Volts
The automaker is offering as much as 4 times the average incentives.
According to The Associated Press, GM's per-vehicle discount may be more than three or four times the industry average, depending on which data source is used. Patrick Michaels of the Libertarian Cato Institute pointed out that two-thirds of Volt sales were actually leases and that government purchases are distorting the figures.
The problem with the Volt and other alternative-fuel vehicles is that they are still more expensive to own than their conventional counterparts because gasoline prices in the U.S. continue to be relatively low compared with those in the rest of the world. In fact, gas prices recently declined for the first time since July. As the Prius has illustrated, consumers will buy vehicles that don't run exclusively on gasoline if the price is right.
As noble an experiment as the Volt may have been, GM can't continue to produce it at a loss, which Reuters recently pegged at $49,000 per vehicle. Though the automaker denies that figure is accurate, it does admit that the Volt is not profitable. The plant that makes the Volt is currently idle because of lackluster demand. More incentives to move Volts may be in the works.
For now, the Volt appeals to consumers who are motivated to do right by the environment, regardless of the cost. That is a small market indeed.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.
Tom Krisher presented a much more thorough evaluation of Chevy Volt sales in his article a couple of days ago. No doubt, price means a lot. and people driving electric vehicles of any brand,typically are not car enthusiasts except for the few that love new tecnology. The usual envirnmental types couldn't care less about cars in general. But Tom's article points out some real facts and reasons for the Volt, including:
"The Volt is now the top-selling electric car in the U.S. — 7,400 ahead of the Prius Plug-in. Nissan's Leaf is a distant third, and analysts say Volt sales could reach 20,000 this year." He also points out that the gas mileage of teh Volt helps GM attain rediculous new fleet mileage standards and it has develped the technology which can be incorporated in other products in the future.
The Volt haters are generally GM haters. Look at all the facts and don't believe all the noise from the other side. The Leaf, in my opinion, a far less popular vehicle, is among the "flops" because it can leave you stranded with no alternative power backup. For 7,000 dollars more, I' take the Volt if I ever desire to own an electric vehicle.
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Bill Stiritz owns more than 5% of the company, and has experienced an estimated $145 million in paper losses on his investment.
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