Chevrolet Volt did not fail - not in this ZIP Code
Market for "all-electric future" cracked by the Volt, providing GM with access to a crucial demographic
The Volt may be dead but during its short life the pioneering EV succeeded in ZIP codes that had all but banished the Chevrolet brand.Eight years ago, two upscale areas that I know well in Los Angeles were pretty much solid German and Japanese brand enclaves. Places GM brands had been ousted from years ago.
But four years ago this began to change. Slowly. Some of those car owners traded in their foreign nameplate for the Tesla Model S, some for -- perish the thought -- a Chevy.
The Volt was that good. Designed and engineered in the throes of GM's financial meltdown in 2008 - 2010 by a team led by industry veteran Bob Lutz, GM produced a miracle of sorts. It was well-conceived, well-made and reliable.In the neighborhood where I live, there has been a surge in Model 3 ownership, despite coming with a $45,000 - $65,000 price tag. I've really never seen anything like it -- except for maybe the initial burst of consumer enthusiasm for the Prius.
That's a problem for General Motors and all-electric vehicles like the Chevy Bolt. I donít think Detroit-based GM executives really understand the California market ó where the company has been crushed by Japanese brands. I'm sure GM executives will profess that they do, but they donít (market share proves that).