General Motors posted a number of records for its vehicle sales in October, but the Volt is just cruising along with 1,439 units delivered.
This is consistent with September’s 1,394 sales, but compared to October 2013’s sales, the Volt was down 28.8 percent.
Calendar year to date GM has delivered 15,979 Volts compared to 18,782 CYTD in 2013.
So what carried the day for GM? Bread and butter vehicles, including the Cruze with 24,289 sold, and up 51 percent over the 16,087 unts in October 2013. And then you have SUVs and trucks led by the Silverado, which topped every model by far with 46,966 units delivered, a 10.1 percent increase over 2013’s 42,660.
Beyond these, Buick had its best October since 2003, GMC Sierra had its best October since 2001, and as a company, GM had its best October since 2007.
“The U.S. economy has steadily improved all year and now we are poised for a stronger expansion backed by an improved job market, higher consumer confidence and lower fuel prices,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “We have a strong hand to play, with the industry’s newest and most complete line-up of pickups and SUVs, class-leading crossovers like the Buick Encore and a wealth of new products in the pipeline.”
One of those new products in the pipeline is the 2016 Volt, due for deliveries second half of 2015. Given that the existing Volt is not advertised well if at all, and folks still do not know how it works, and it may be in lame duck status somewhat now, it may be considered doing alright.
By comparison the Nissan Leaf reported its 21st straight month of sales records of one form or another. October witnessed 2,589 units sold, and with 24,411 units delivered calendar year to date, and Nissan’s EV achieved the most U.S. sales in a year by an electric car, and this is with two months to go.
Other plug-in sales of note include Cadillac ELR, 152; Spark EV, 58; BMW i3, 1,159; i8, 204 – up from 58 September and 9 in August when it was launched.
Then you have Tesla, guesstimated at 1,650 by Autodata. By the way, Tesla’s earnings will be reported tomorrow where we get to see who wins the PR spat between Elon and the WSJ which said Tesla sales are down for the last nine months.
Ford’s Energi cars are on par with the month prior with 644 for C-Max, and 686 for Fusion.
The Ford Focus Electric still has not risen higher in sales though it is a 50-state car now, and just had its entry price clipped a second time, to $29,995 in line with the Leaf. It delivered 186 October, and that’s close to the 176 from September, and less than 254 in August.
Want more plug-in sales? Fiat 500e, 140; Accord PHEV, 34; Fit EV, 23; new M-B B-Class Electric Drive, 98 – up from 65 in Sept., 51 in August. Mitsu i-MiEV, 17; Panamera S E-Hybrid, 97 (NOt BMW i8 eclipsed it); Smart ForTwo 150; RAV4 EV, 97, e-Golf, 1.
And Toyota PiP sold 479.
As readers here know, average consumer memories seem short, and buying decisions appear rather reactive. Americans like larger vehicles, and gas just last week crested below a national average of $3 per gallon, making feeding less-efficient vehicles comparatively less painful.
Nissan knows consumers care about gas prices, and even if the stuff is cheaper than Perrier, it gave gas for free to consumers for its latest ad to hammer home the point that EVs can be cheaper still.
Speaking of Nissan also, it has escaped as much of a lame duck status even if it will eventually be replaced and is as long in the tooth as the Volt – assuming either really are, actually, they both remain relatively stellar.
But Nissan’s 84-mle range EV has had no official next-gen announcements as the Chevy has. It by contrast is being advertised, and Nissan puts out special press releases touting its latest records in the nascent industry.
GM’s effective Volt advertising is the Volt is on its way out, and a new one is around the corner. That message is hitting the national media more than the existing Volt’s still-valid advantages, which GM gave up on trying to push as hard.
Here’s hoping Gen 2 is as super duper as everyone suspects, and then some. We may see some serious catching up at that point – assuming GM can properly support it and this is not just a bone thrown to the fan club it has developed.
Where is that Voltec CUV? If Americans love trucks and SUVs, could a plug-in sell, or not? VIA seems to think so, but with sales growth of the existing 17-20 mpg Silverado, who needs a plug, in perhaps?
What Americans bought most last month.
What ever the case, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and progress is on its way.
Every plug-in car out there is potentially advertisement for the others. Once people’s eyes are opened to any plug-in car, they may think to cross-shop. If GM is fortunate, it might get a few inadvertent conquest sales from people for whom the light bulb goes off after hearing about Tesla or Nissan, then look for alternatives.
Of course the best alternative will be Gen 2 Volt which will come soon enough – or, which is it? Maybe it can’t come soon enough?
Our vote is the former, and note the due-to-be-replaced old Volt was the third-best selling out of 20 cars.