The Bowtie Brand is launching the Bolt EV and EUV on a clean slate.
It's fair to say that Chevrolet hasn't had the easiest time of late with the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. A spate of battery fires led to a recall involving more than 143,000 units - not the exposure GM wanted, especially as it ramps up its EV assault.
But the Bowtie Brand wants you to forget all about the Bolt's recent past after a series of recalls and a production halt while the issues were addressed and, to do so, is relaunching the Bolt siblings with a series of new advertisements for the 2022 models. According to Chevrolet's marketing director Steve Majoros, the ads are aiming to "bring forward the broader Chevrolet EV message." According to Automotive News, Majoros told reporters the TV spots will "put EV ownership angst at ease."
While the upcoming Lyriq, Silverado EV, and battery-powered GMC Hummer models are hugely important for GM's electrified future, the success of more affordable electric offerings is even more important. As such, Chevrolet has dug deep into the marketing department's pockets, shelling out more media spending on the Bolt than any other model, apart from the Silverado.
The adverts, titled "Mom" and "Life Changes" are set to debut on the opening day of the Major League Baseball season. The former shows a Bolt driver on a phone call with his mother and, after an hour, shows the EV has plenty of charge left. The latter exhibits a technician explaining the benefits of EV ownership to a mother-to-be. Neither will address the recall.
"We are not minimizing or making light of the situation. We're going to always be humble. We're going to be sensitive," said Majoros. "But we're not going to overplay that. We have done a lot of work with ... our owners."
Despite the Bolt's recent history, the company's marketing director is positive the Bolt EV and EUV may break last year's sales record of 24,828. Incentives will continue to bolster sales, although they won't be as lucrative as before, said Majoros. This will be a tall order for GM, as the recall scandal is still fresh in the minds of many consumers. What's more, a slew of new EVs has made the segment even more competitive than before.
It's all too easy to blame Chevrolet for the scandal. While it has certainly done its bit to assuage the fiery situation, supplier LG is predominantly at fault. Of the $2 billion cost to recall, the electronics maker has shelled out a hefty $1.9 billion in order to replace the affected batteries. It's not off the hook, though. The NHTSA has announced it will launch a review into the South Korean company, which also produces components for several other automakers.
A brief perusal of Chevrolet's official YouTube channel uncovers new videos all focusing on the Bolt models. At the time of writing, seven are available, all uploaded under the "EV Academy" header. The short clips educate viewers on simple charging techniques, technology such as Super Cruise, and more. A successful relaunch is key to GM's electrified success, as the Bolt duo are the brand's most affordable battery-powered offerings.
Production of the battery-powered pair recommenced this week, with the Orion Assembly facility rumbling to life following a seven-month dormant period, marking the end of the company's longest-known production stoppage relating to safety. With starting prices of $31,500 and $33,500 for the EV and EUV, respectively, GM's smaller EV offerings represent great value for money. But will buyers be able to overlook the large blemish in the Bolt's past? Chevrolet seems to think so, but only time will tell.