Think GM's Volt Is Failing? Think Again
By Ted Reed
DETROIT -- (TheStreet) -- October ought to have been a bad month for Volt. Gas prices were falling. Auto industry wisdom had it that with so many conventional cars closing in on 40 miles per gallon, why would anyone spend $30,000 for a compact? Also, the last month of the presidential campaign reinvigorated advocates of the political construct that anything government does -- particularly saving GM (GM) -- is bad.
Nevertheless, Volt had its best month ever in October, selling 2,961 units. This broke the record, set in September, of 2,851 units sold. That broke the August record of 2,831 units. In fact, Volt sales have increased for six consecutive months. For the first 10 months of 2012, sales totaled 19,309. Sales totaled 7,671 in 2011 and 326 in 2010.
GM said six of 10 Volt sales are "conquest" sales to buyers who previously owned other brands: the top trade-ins are the BMW 3 Series, Honda (HMC) Civic and Prius. But Volt sales will likely slow this month due to low inventory after production is suspended for four weeks to allow for retooling so that GM's Hamtramck plant, where Volt is built, can also build the 2013 Impala.
Volt's price is high because the cost of introducing new technology is high, but "we're working hard to bring it down," Cain said. "Each new generation should bring it down further and keep us on the road to profitability. (It takes time) to get experience with the technology, to get more efficient battery packs. You just can't miracle this stuff."
More at link.