According to numerous auto trade reports, a number of U.S. car dealerships are turning away the Chevy Volt. Despite the fact that General Motor’s Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson who will testify to Congress on Wednesday and tell lawmakers that the Volt is a safe plug-in hybrid vehicle, there is little confidence his testimony will do much in terms of a bottom line for the Volt at local dealerships across America.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the Volt back in June when fires erupted in three of it’s cars during safety testing.
Automotive News reports that in the New York City market, “GM allocated 104 Volts to 14 dealerships in the area.” :
“Dealers took just 31 of them, the lowest take rate for any Chevy model in that market last month. That group of dealers ordered more than 90 percent of the other vehicles they were eligible to take, the source said.”
“In Clovis, Calif., meanwhile, Brett Hedrick, dealer principal at Hedrick’s Chevrolet, sold 10 Volts last year. But in December and January he turned down all six Volts allocated to him under GM’s ‘turn-and-earn’ system, which distributes vehicles based on past sales volumes and inventory levels.”
What is particularly concerning is what Click on Detroit points out as a result of dealerships turning away the Volt:(Bolding is mine)
In 2010, interest slipped four points to 44 percent and the survey just completed last month shows interest waning farther, with only 40 percent of those polled highly interested. This is a trend that will not help the green car agenda. No matter how this gets sliced, if the customer doesn’t want green cars, or plug in electrics they become a very expensive gamble that did not pay off.
The car companies now find themselves between a rock and a hard place considering the Obama Administration is in the end game of forcing 54.5 mile per gallon fuel efficiency standards on everyone. In order to make it over that bar that the National Auto Dealers have admitted is exceedingly difficult to clear, the car companies will have to have plug in electrics on every lot. This is the ultimate clash in the green car world. If the customer doesn’t want it, and the federal government insists on it, what are the car companies to do? They may have only one recourse; force dealers to take Volts and other plug in hybrids on their way to market.
This is the similar tactic the federal government has used to force the taxpayer to pay for poor quality education and poor quality healthcare. Now we must contend with using poor quality personal transportation?