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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Some Chevrolet Dealers Ceasing To Sell Volts Due To Costs

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    January 2, 2013

    Dealerships are used to to training sales and service professionals, and buying new tools when new models arrive. But for a small subset of Chevrolet dealers, the cost of selling the Volt and its pricey additional tool and equipment costs are causing them to stop selling the Volt.

    A new report from Automotive News says that a small number of dealers have decided to stop selling the Volt due to the specialized equipment costs and GM requiring a more significant investment in the near future, and slow sales not being able to recuperate those investments.

    Last year, 2,614 Chevrolet dealers were certified to sell the Volt (out of 3,079 dealerships). 70% of Volt sales came from 300 highest-volume dealers – leaving the remaining 2,314 dealerships to fight for the remaining 30 percent.

    "Going forward, the profitability would be really hard for us to justify the expense of the repair tools," said Allyn Barnard, owner of Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, New York. The dealer only sold five Volts last year.

    Other dealers are toughing it out. John Holt, owner of John Holt Chevrolet-Cadillac in Chickasha, Oklahoma says even though he has sold five Volts last year, he'll be sticking with the Volt partly due to the new Cadillac ELR coming out.

    "I've heard that a lot of the non-metro dealers have opted out" of the certified Volt program said Holt. "But with the new Cadillac coming, I figured I'd be foolish not to buy the damn $5,100 tool."

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Not worth the investment, totally understandable. And I see Audi is not going to produce their all-electric A2, citing lackluster GLOBAL electric vehicle sales. See... it's not just me! :smilewide:

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    Chickasha - Pop. 16,210

    Churchville, New York Pop. 1,963


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    GM from the start should have regulated who got the Volt and who did not. Small dealer not able to service them would do more damage in customer service vs good.

    Many of these small dealers are the same ones that will have trouble too with the new DI engines and Turbo engines since they will have few if anyone on staff trained to deal with them. My local dealer here has had a Turbo tech on staff for years and he knows his stuff.

    I already have seein service issues with the SS Cobalt and HHR because the dealers just had no one trained on what to do. These dealers will need to invest in their staffs to deal with the future gas, electric etc.

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    While it makes sense that rural small dealers would not really sell many volts, GM should have had a better roll out of who could and who could not have the volt. As the Oklahoma dealer is Qouted as saying, with the ELR, it only makes sense to invest in the tools and training.

    As Hyper has mentioned also, with DI and turbo engines, small dealerships are going to need to invest in the future and realize they will not see the return right away but will in the long term.

    This is the problem with many american businesses, wanting to see instant gratification rather than investing for the long term.

    Dealerships that endorse and train on the Volt, DI and Turbo Engines will be the one that stick around while the rest fad into the history books.

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    GM tried to cut down the number of dealers for a reason. Less dealers and larger dealers would better be able to afford to have better tooling and better tech staffs. Too many areas have a bunch of smaller dealers that do things pretty half ass and with the things that are coming it will only get more difficult to find qualified techs to do the work. Ther is already a shortage.

    I know it is not an easy thing all the way around to cut dealers but it is difficult to make things better as they are. Also with the goverment coming in and trying to say who and who can's sell you products is not much help either.

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    I just saw that they sold 23,000 plus Volts this year. At least it keeps growing.

    To be honest there are small Chevy dealers that should not be even selling or servicing Vettes. They just do not have the staffs to do all that is needed or are trained on the cars. I know I would be reluctant to take a 2004 Vette with a bad fuel pump to a small dealer. My neighbor just lost his pump at 7,000 miles and to change it requires dropping the rear suspension, exhaust and gas tank. The next year had a panel you could remove but his year did not. That was around $3,000 and I know I would not want some guy who has never done it trying this at some small dealer.

    Many guys also had issues with the turbo upgrade like I had put on my SS. The connectors take a special Kent Moore crimper. Many of the dealers did not use the correct crimper and there were some issues with loss of power. I have found the vehicles done at the larger dealers generally had the kits installed correctly. My dealers turbo tech was well trained and even owned one himself.

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    We too have a lot of them here in Northern Ohio. They have gone from a rare sight to a common sight.

    When we got hit in the heavy snow two weeks ago I followed one and it went throught the snow pretty well.

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    my hometown which was around 300-500 population over the last 30 years or whatever has always had a chevy business. they do bangup business selling trucks and impalas. even with the big town dealer 20 miles away. i would not be surprised if they move at least a couple hundred trucks a year. I would never expect them to sell a Volt.

    They just knocked down the showroom that had been there for decades and are building a new one. They have another indoor showroom across the street. And 3 lots with cars.

    The type of dealer Chevy can have, but Honda or Nissan or Toyota would never have.

    Edited by regfootball
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