Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, 10:50 AM UPDATED 12:15 PMBy Auto Remarketing Staff
For Chevrolet dealers in the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic states, General Motors officials believe the arrival of the Volt electric vehicle with extended range means new faces coming through the doors of their stores.
“We’ve been here a long time, and the Volt is bringing in people we have never seen before,” said Alan Starling, a member of the sales team at Starling Chevrolet in St. Cloud, Fla.
GM insisted Starling Chevrolet is not alone.
According to initial buyer surveys conducted by the automaker, more than half of the Volt owners had not been in a Chevrolet dealership in the past 10 years, and nearly one-third of Volt buyers never have been to a Chevrolet dealership.
“The Volt is an intriguing proposition that’s drawing new faces to Chevrolet dealerships to learn more about the car and rediscover the brand,” stated Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.
“To date, the Volt has been available for sale at dealerships in only seven states,” Landy continued.
“In the next four months the number of Chevrolet dealers with Volt’s available for test drives and for sale will increase from 550 to more than 2,600,” she went on to say.
GM highlighted the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant recently resumed production of the Volt following a four-week planned shutdown for model-year changeover. That event was followed by a slow ramp up to the current rate of 150 units per day four days a week.
The company mentioned more than 700 Volts are being shipped to participating Chevrolet dealerships in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington for use as demonstration units.
The OEM went on to stress the impact of the Volt can be seen in other areas of Chevrolet’s business.
Officials think customers searching for fuel-efficient transportation often begin their search with the Volt and end up cross-shopping the Chevrolet Cruze.
According to Web traffic data on both Chevy.com and Edmumds.com, the Cruze is the No. 1 cross-shopped Chevrolet vehicle with the Volt. Since April, nearly 200,000 visitors searching for information on the Chevrolet Volt also searched for information on the Cruze.
“As far as image goes, the Volt is huge because it’s also helping sell the Cruze,” said Inder Dosanjh, a Chevrolet dealer in Dublin, Calif.
GM pointed out the Cruze has been the No. 1-selling compact car in the nation the past two months.