GM to debut next version of slow-selling Volt hybrid in January

DETROIT Thu Aug 7, 2014 11:11am EDT

Two potential customers walk past a Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and a gas-powered Chevrolet Cruze on display at the Suburban Chevrolet dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 22, 2011.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Two potential customers walk past a Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and a gas-powered Chevrolet Cruze on display at the Suburban Chevrolet dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said Thursday it will show the next-generation of its slow-selling Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car in January.

Company officials did not disclose details on the pricing or driving range of the 2016 Volt, which will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Supplier sources previously said the No. 1 U.S. automaker was planning to sell two versions of the 2016 plug-in electric car, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range.

Last year, GM cut the Volt's price by $5,000 to help boost demand for the plug-in hybrid car in a segment where consumers do not pay much of a premium for the technology and are anxious about being stranded during a journey without power. The Volt also has a gasoline engine to address the latter concern.

The current Volt is priced just under $35,000 and has a driving range of almost 40 miles on its electric charge, with 380 miles of total driving range. Nevertheless, sales so far this year through July fell almost 9 percent from a year earlier to 10,635 vehicles.

The Cadillac version of the Volt, the ELR coupe, has also failed to catch on as GM has sold only 578 during the seven-month period.

GM said the Volt would continue to be built at its Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant. In April, GM said it would spend almost $400 million to upgrade tooling and equipment at the plant for the next-generation Volt and two future products.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Comments (4)
brotherkenny4 wrote:
Chevy salesmen are FOX TV brainwash victims and so why would the Volt be selling? This is a huge point of ignorance on the part of GM. Or, maybe not.

Aug 07, 2014 12:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
“…a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range.” It already has a puny range of 40 miles. This is not even a viable car, it is an agenda driven political statement to satisfy the irrational alternative energy crowd. In every objective measure, it is a failure and only continues due to political activism. This is not a marke driven product.

Aug 07, 2014 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GreaterGood wrote:
My initial belief was that GM priced the Volt to fail. The technology is reasonably sound (actually an old mechanism still used in diesel/electric locomotives), but they had to price it out of the mainstream market to satisfy the oil companies. Once it fails due to an ‘unwilling’ market, they get to save face with the media (we tried, but no one wanted it) and the oil companies (it’s all better folks… we will continue to build vehicles heavy on the consumption side). I looked at a Volt a couple years back and it dawned on me that there wasn’t anything special about the Volt outside of the powerplant. On top of that, the price delta between it and the Cruze was about the same cost as the gas consumption over four years. GM could have owned that market if they would have embraced the technology, accepted short term losses in lieu of market dominance, and ignored the oil giants.

Aug 07, 2014 3:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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