Zythryn wrote:I suspect a large part of the issue is the GM dealer network.
Many dealers are indifferent to the Volt, while some are downright hostile. A few are enthusiastic, but they seem to be a small minority.
The dealer culture could easily explain it. If dealerships start to dislike a model, it's unlikely to become a success. My previous car, the Mazda RX-8 was a lesson in this.
The RX-8 had some early reliability issues that weren't dealt with quickly enough. One of these was that the engine could easily be put into a non-recoverable flooded condition. This lead to a lot of angry owners coming to the dealerships for relief, and the dealerships not being able to do a lot to help other than purging the fuel, changing plugs, getting the car to run again and handing it back to the customer with the same inherent problem. And of course this had other effects such as fuel dilution of the oil and damage to the catalytic converter.
Not sure about GM culture but for Mazda at the time, the dealerships lived and died by the results of their customer surveys. As a result they weren't particularly happy to see the ratings coming in from the RX-8 owners. As things went from bad to worse, the dealerships actually began lobbying to have Mazda IGNORE the surveys from RX-8 owners. You can imagine how that went over with the owners… And you can imagine just how eager the dealership salespeople were, by that point, towards getting more RX-8 customers on the road. Sales faltered and dropped year after year despite a major mechanical revision for 2009.
On top of this, iirc, there were some issues on how the dealerships were being compensated for certain warranty work.
It's a complex ecosystem and the dealerships are very sensitive as to whether the situation with a model is tilted towards or away from their favor. You can be sure sales will be made to respond accordingly.
Due to EVs being a departure from the norm, the manufacturer has to go to great lengths to make sure the experience is positive not just for customers but for dealerships as well, to overcome the perceived "headaches".
While we've had legitimate gripes about how Nissan has handled certain issues, hindsight may well show that they did a commendable job overall
in ushering in the modern EV.