General Motors will only report about 100 Chevrolet Volt sales when July’s U.S. auto sales come out Tuesday, but the extended-range electric car is “virtually sold out” of the outgoing 2011 model year, spokeswoman Michelle Bunker said today.
Of the 4,488 2011 Volts GM has built at Detroit-Hamtramck, about 100 remain unclaimed, she said. The rest are reserved for dealer demos of the Volt’s battery and backup generator or internal GM uses such as engineering tests or marketing.
Volt sales have averaged about 440 a month since the car’s launch in December. But GM shut the Volt’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant in June for about a month for upgrades before the 2012 model year arrived. Since the average Volt has spent about 13 days at a dealership before heading home with a customer, weeks without Volt production meant weeks of slow sales, Bunker said.
Through June, GM had sold 3,071 Volts, falling behind the 3,894 U.S. sales of the pure-electric Nissan Leaf, which runs only on battery power. GM is increasing production of the Volt to build a total of 16,000 this year and 60,000 next year, with some badged as the European Opel Ampera. CEO Dan Akerson has said GM may eventually build more than 100,0000 a year.
Nissan expects to deliver about 10,000 Leafs to Americans this year, the same as the number of Volts that General Motors plans to sell to customers in this country. Nissan has said its Smyrna, Tenn., plant will be able to build 150,000 Leafs annually after production of the electric car starts there next year