Why the Chevy Volt will sell much better in 2012
HOV lane access will trump non-existent fire worries
Everyone that follows Chevy Volt and plug-in news closely knows that the fire concerns around the Volt’s battery pack have been blown out of proportion. I think even the politicians leading the charge in the Congressional investigation into the Volt know the Volt is safe. This is about politics and the NHTSA’s handling of its Volt crash testing.
Still, the Volt’s image has been tarnished and it is affecting sales in some areas, but 2012 will be a much better year for Volt sales than was 2011.
Why will Volt sales be better in 2012?
Greater distribution will certainly help, but just as with hybrids, there are only a few real key markets for plug-in sales today, and that shouts loud and clear, California! And since the 2012 Volt will soon qualify for HOV, or carpool lane, access in California, interest will jump especially when coupled with all the tax incentives.
Unfortunately, however, I doubt greater distribution and HOV access will be enough to achieve GM’s 45,000 US sale’s goal for 2012. Even if the battery fire had never ignited, GM’s sale’s goals for this year seemed overly lofty without significantly more government help and fleet sales — which I’m not fully counting out just yet. The numbers, however, just won’t add up if based on individual retail sales.
Personally, I’d be impressed with anything over 30,000, which I believe is possible.
Next year will be a much better year for the Volt, but unless Iran can shut down the Straits of Hormuz for an extended period of time, consumers need a bit more time and a few price reductions before a real big uptick in plug-in sales is possible.