For a rock-bottom evaluation of how the Volt is doing sales-wise, one need only look to the so-called “green” cars in North America, among which the plug-in Chevy is ninth place out of around 58 alternative-energy cars whose sales are regularly tracked.
More specifically, the Volt was number one out of seven plug-in cars – or if you include the Fisker Karma, Tesla Model S, and Coda Sedan, which do not see their numbers reported but did not exceed the Volt’s 1,849 units sold, it’s first out of 10 plug-ins and over 60 total green cars.
Further, if the Volt were compared to diesels in July, it sold more units than 11 other models, with only the VW Jetta and Passat diesels selling more units, with 3,787 and 2,171 respectively.
Fox News ran a headline last week saying the Volt is a “best seller” and in fact it is, not just among the very slim number of plug-in cars (the next closest was Prius PHEV at 688 sold), but it holds its own among all North American attempts to replace regular gasoline as a fuel.
Compared to the biggest alternative category, hybrids, the Volt would rank seventh out of around 38 hybrids sold in North America. Cars that outsold it were the Prius Liftback (est. 10,080 sold), Prius c, (3,065 sold), Camry Hybrid (3,197), Prius v (est. 2,810), Chevy Malibu Hybrid (1,938), Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (1,888).
Also worth noting is Inside EVs reported the 30,000th Volt rolled off the line, but many key people who were involved in developing and bringing the car to market are now gone.
As our friend Jay Cole notes, these would be Bob Lutz, Jon Lauckner Rick Wagoner, Fritz Henderson, Frank Weber, Denise Gray and last but not least, Tony Posawatz.
“Thankfully, the new Volt management team, and CEO Dan Akerson, seem just as committed to seeing the Volt through to success as was their predecessors,” said Cole.
Cole – also known as Statik here at GM-Volt – further notes the de facto liaison, Lyle Dennis, moved on from GM-Volt, turned the reins over to VerticalScope and yours truly – but Dr. Dennis is back at it with his and Jay’s new solid effort, Inside EVs, but then you all knew that.
As for the Volt, it also bears mentioning that out of the eight alternative energy cars that outsold it in July (six hybrids and two diesels), the Volt had the highest percentage gain compared to June 2012 of all of them.
Its July increase was only a modest 5.1 percent, but it bucked a generally declining market and the only other cars in this leaders’ list that saw gains were the Sonata Hybrid at 0.2 percent, and Passat Diesel at 1.1 percent.
All in all, not bad. I’ve reported this kind of number comparison here before, but thought it would be good to do it again so we can all keep a reasonable perspective.
The Volt is not a same-class competitor as the Cruze, which some people have compared it to. It is an extended-range EV and fits within a very slim market in which the respective July “take rate” (or percentage of total market share) for these vehicles was, hybrids: 2.75 percent, plug-in electric: 0.26, diesel: 0.83 percent.
Fuel prices have been a major factor in how these vehicles do month after month in what is still a reactive North American market entrenched in old habits. In this new alternative energy market, as the Volt enters its third model year, it has risen to the top 15 percent.
Some had hoped the Volt would take the world by storm. Not everything went according to that plan, but the technology is winning enthusiastic drivers and awards besides. It has yet to see spin-off models, and is a radical departure in the eyes of some, so it may be worth remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day either.
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