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Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:39 am
by RegGuheert
In 2012, the Volt outsold the LEAF handily (23,461 versus 9819). In 2013, Volt held a slim lead (23,094 versus 22,610). But this year, Volt is backsliding while LEAF is still gaining: (8615 versus 12736).

Is it simply that the Volt has real competitors in its space while LEAF does not (Tesla Model S excluded)? PiP seems to be eating Volt's lunch now and the Ford Energi product sales are ramping up nicely. Is PiP winning because of the very high gas mileage and high electricity prices in CA? Prii have more utility than the Volt? No offense, but I don't quite understand the appeal of the Ford products. Default plug-ins for Ford lovers?

I do expect LEAF sales to continue to ramp up assuming 2015 battery holds up well and a refresh is coming in the next year or two.

It just seems like Volt sales are waning and I am wondering what's behind it all. And what will it take for GM to recover some momentum in the plug-in arena?

Edit: Adding a plot of LEAF sales as a percentage of Chevy Volt sales (updated through January 2018):

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Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:57 am
by DanCar
Volt is:
1. more expensive to buy
2. more expensive to maintain
3. less interior space.

On the plus side, has longer range.

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:07 am
by RegGuheert
DanCar wrote:Volt is:
1. more expensive to buy
2. more expensive to maintain
3. less interior space.

On the plus side, has longer range.
Agreed, but those things have always been true, yet the Volt went from outselling the LEAF by ~2.5:1 to now trailing by 2:3.

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:07 am
by smkettner
No CA green stickers for the month
GM quality is in serious doubts even if Volt is a great vehicle.

I don't see a big breakout by LEAF yet.... more that Volt is dropping.

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:15 am
by pkulak
GM is not is super-good shape right now...

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:40 am
by MikeinDenver
Recall, Recall, Recall.......

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:49 am
by SteveInSeattle
It's not because of the recalls, if the recalls were a factor June sales would not have been a seven year high for GM. Ultimately it is price, everything sells (even the Yugo) for the right price. If the Volt was only $4,000 more than the Cruze after tax credits the demand would go way up.

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:52 am
by RegGuheert
SteveInSeattle wrote: Ultimately it is price, everything sells (even the Yugo) for the right price. If the Volt was only $4,000 more than the Cruze after tax credits the demand would go way up.
Do you think Nissan getting the LEAF starting price below $30,000 in 2013 was a key accomplishment?

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:02 am
by Zythryn
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.

GM also spent well over a decade belittling hybrids and fuel efficiency, so they need to turn that around.

Their lack of advertising and marketing has been a contributing factor as well. I don't see much better from Nissan though.

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:16 am
by MikeinDenver
SteveInSeattle wrote:It's not because of the recalls, if the recalls were a factor June sales would not have been a seven year high for GM. Ultimately it is price, everything sells (even the Yugo) for the right price. If the Volt was only $4,000 more than the Cruze after tax credits the demand would go way up.


I was just saying what everyone sees that looks at daily news. People obviously still buy junk cars or GM wouldn't be in business.