Is the future in doubt for GM's sole EV?
Not long ago we learned that the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will shortly become extinct. Not because it’s a bad car (quite the opposite), but rather due to slow sales. In addition, Chevrolet wants more people to opt for the all-electric Bolt instead. Unfortunately, sales of the Bolt have also been lackluster. GM Authority took a closer examination at the Bolt’s sales figures and discovered its numbers have decreased in the US, but have increased in Canada, Mexico and South Korea in the third quarter of this year.
A total of 3,949 Bolts were sold in the US in Q3, but that’s actually a 41 percent decrease compared to Q3 2017 with 6,710 Bolts. In the first nine months of 2018, US Bolt sales have decreased by 17 percent compared to the same time last year.
In Canada, however, Bolt sales improved by nearly 20 percent in the first nine months of 2018 and are up by 50 percent so far this year. Both Mexico and South Korea have similar numbers. But what’s causing Bolt sales to drop in America and steadily increase in those other important markets? The solid competition, consisting of the Toyota Prius, Honda Clarity, the Nissan Leaf, and even the Volt. In fact, Chevrolet sold more Volts than Bolts in the first nine months of 2018 and yet it’s the former that’s getting discontinued?
But the Bolt has still maintained a sales edge against Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3, and Toyota Mirai. And for the record, sales taken into account for the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq include the hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of each vehicle.
But the bottom line is that GM should be at least somewhat concerned here. GM will begin launching a lineup of EVs based on a new platform, but the question is whether there’ll be enough buyers, especially given the Bolt’s declining sales. EVs consist of around 1 percent market share in the US these days, but analysts predict this will increase as automakers, such as GM, launch additional models. But still, if Chevy is beginning to have a hard time selling Bolts, then what does that mean for those upcoming new EVs?