False Report: Chevrolet Dealers Keeping Volt Rebate


According to a recent report from the National Legal and Policy Center website, some Chevrolet dealerships may not be, shall we say, being fully honest with customers. Although nothing has been proven, the article's author, Mark Modica, is claiming that some Chevy dealerships are selling Volts to one another in "dealer trades" in order to claim the $7,500 federal tax rebate entirely for themselves. The next step is to sell those Volts as used to private buyers, without the rebate.

Sound bad? Yes. Is it true? No. After investigating a bit more, the National Legal and Policy Center is really a conservative group that specializes in criticizing the Obama administration. Ok, fair enough. However, what Modica fails to note, however conventiently, is that a scheme like this works for dealers only if there's a greater demand for the Volt than there is supply. If demand was really this low, then the used Volts would need to be priced low enough (read: below sticker) to make up for the already used tax credits.

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In reality, the Volt is meeting sales expectations (almost 500 were sold in April) and GM is preparing to temporarily close down the Volt factory in order to retool it for increased production capabilities. 500 doesn't sound like a lot, but GM has kept their initial expectations realistic. In other words, GM is pleased. Nissan, for example, has 20,000 orders for the Leaf. They can't confirm when those orders will be filled due to such high demand. Some used Leafs are selling for $12k above sticker. So yes, buyers are clearly proving there's a rising demand for EVs and plug-in hybrids.

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