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Old 07-19-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Bolt Fails To Compete In The Marketplace - GM Shuts Down Plant Due To Poor Sales

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Chevy Bolt EV inventories are piling up, GM temporarily shuts down factory

Fred Lambert

GM has confirmed that its Orion plant, where they build the Chevy Bolt EV, will see an extended shutdown as part of the automaker’s broader effort to reduce inventories.

It is sending mixed messages about the all-electric vehicle program.


As we recently reported, GM’s sales of its first long-range all-electric vehicle have been slow to ramp up since its launch in December 2016.

It reached a new high of 1,642 units in the US last month and it brought the total delivered of new Bolt EVs in the US to 7,592 units.

At first, GM said that it was due to production constraints, but that’s definitely not the case anymore since they are accumulating inventories and shutting down plants.

The automaker says that the Orion shutdown is “due solely to softening sales of the Sonic”, which is also produced at the factory, but GM also confirmed to Reuters that Bolt EV inventories increased from 104 days to 111 days of stock last month, which is significantly higher than the 70 days the company is aiming for.

It’s why they are adding 3 more weeks to their usual summer factory shutdown in order to get back to more reasonable levels of inventories.

Furthermore, the Chevy Bolt EV is supposedly going “nationwide” next month, which at first glance could have fixed the inventory issue, but the new markets are small compared to where the Bolt EV is already available.

As per GM’s own distribution plan, the Bolt EV is officially in dealerships in California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia since the beginning of the year. New York, New Jersey and Washington were added throughout the first quarter and deliveries in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado started in May.

The good news is that the increasing inventories have resulted in discounts for buyers.

Though the inventories are not exactly well distributed. It can still be difficult to get your hands on one in certain markets, while in other markets, like California, there are decent inventories and some customers have been getting away with paying $25,000 after incentives due to discounts. You can always check with your local dealers for inventory and see if you can find a deal.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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they could sell every Bolt in Germany, but they aren´t willing to sell.

We get less than 100 cars in 2017. I´m talking about the Opel Ampera-E, the brother from the same mother.

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Old 07-19-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
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Your Opel Amp. Is made right along side of the Bolt here in Machigan, with high demand over there I wonder why they didn't make it over there and bring Bolt here from there or have separate facilities
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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I am actually sad to hear this. I do not like GM And I do not like EV, but the Bolt is a solid entry into the market at what seems to be a fair price. Guess cheap gas is killing it. Not sure.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
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I feel for GM on this a bit. It seems like everybody was saying "if only there was a reasonably priced high range EV.....". I suspect GM knew the market risk but had to hedge their bets a bit for appearances.

Its sorta reminds me of V8 RWD sedans, premium Hot Hatches, small pickups, etc. What the internets says they will buy, they don't. Or maybe the car related internets is not a representative set
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:27 AM   #6
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I don't think its that big of an issue. They should check in after its available everywhere, because they could've produced in preparation for nation-wide availability which makes inventory large right now.

Still though, I don't think it'll really take off until the end-price is the same as a similar sized gas vehicle. The incentives are great, but it still costs more than a regular car. Garage chargers should be thrown in for free too, imo.

Then the interior... reviews on youtube say its hard plastic everywhere. Which makes sense to get the lightest weight possible, but if it got materials that feel real and reflected the price you're paying I think it would help it.

Looks like they've overcome range, but there as still lots of hurdles for affordable EVs. I hope this doesn't discourage development and more competition.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
Your Opel Amp. Is made right along side of the Bolt here in Machigan, with high demand over there I wonder why they didn't make it over there and bring Bolt here from there or have separate facilities
the official answer: they don´t have enough tires and headlights for the european version

same goes for south korea, the bolt is sold out and the demand is high.

your GM managers are complete and utter idiots.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:34 AM   #8
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Part of the problem is availability across the U.S., which is finally being resolved. But the big problem is the lack of marketing. I have yet to see any form of advertisement for the Bolt, heck even the Volt too. Ask your average consumer and they won't have much knowledge on EV's in general. Tesla is probably the most well known EV manufacturer but they are a bit different as they generate a lot of "advertisement" by word of mouth, social media (Elon Musk tweets), and endless press coverage.

Also, part of it is GM's lack of profit from the Bolt and their focus on higher profit trucks and CUV/SUV's.

After seeing the Bolt in person and sitting in it, I find it decently practical for everyday use. GM can move these with a bit of advertisement and some lease/finance offers.

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Old 07-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #9
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Bottom line is GM is not really in the EV game. They make them to get credits and get fleet CAFE up. I did not want to believe it, but this vehicle is just a place holder. Advertising is part of the price of every car on the lot. It is baked into the asking price. I guess they felt they had to get the price as low as possible and lose as little money as possible. Why advertise a car that costs them money.

Shame. EV at this level are just NOT ready for prime time. But I was hoping economies of scale would help GM.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Bottom line is GM is not really in the EV game. They make them to get credits and get fleet CAFE up. I did not want to believe it, but this vehicle is just a place holder. Advertising is part of the price of every car on the lot. It is baked into the asking price. I guess they felt they had to get the price as low as possible and lose as little money as possible. Why advertise a car that costs them money.

Shame. EV at this level are just NOT ready for prime time. But I was hoping economies of scale would help GM.
Advertisement on a car low profit/at a loss vehicle is a hard decision to make. I don't think that will change even with nationwide availability. Especially with vehicle sales slowing and GM inventories at 10 year highs. Focus will now be to move those inventories and high selling models to keep sales numbers up. Unfortunately, the Bolt will be put on the back burner.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:54 AM   #11
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Maybe they'd sell some if they were offered in more than 3 places.

Even in somewhat snowy SLC there are Leafs all over the damn place. I think the Bolt would do OK here.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:24 PM   #12
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Cause everyone who says they wanted one will not buy one.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:29 PM   #13
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I wonder if Tesla is going to get nervous about the Model 3? Or maybe that's the problem people are buying more for the badge than the fact that it is an affordable EV car.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:47 PM   #14
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Default Bolt Fails To Compete In The Marketplace - GM Shuts Down Plant Due To Poor Sales

The Volt and Bolt both were Motor Trend's "Car of the Year". And that did nothing for sales.
I'm debating the Bolt, especially now, due to oversupply. While slow to charge via 120v AC, it'd be enough for the amount I drive.

Oh, and yeah...I see a few Bolts daily around here.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:04 PM   #15
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time will tell.. completely national market availability should help. We will see.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The Volt and Bolt both were Motor Trend's "Car of the Year". And that did nothing for sales.
I'm debating the Bolt, especially now, due to oversupply. While slow to charge via 120v AC, it'd be enough for the amount I drive.

Oh, and yeah...I see a few Bolts daily around here.
L2 chargers are about $500. Night and day difference to 120v. They can be installed in or out do.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:38 PM   #17
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While the Bolt technically is very impressive its almost as unattractive as the Leaf and with current fuel prices it does not make financial sense.

To me the Pacifica PHEV makes more sense. Cheaper than the gas equivalent with Fed tax credit.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:59 PM   #18
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They said inventory was stacking up, but I never saw a single one sitting outside of the dealership near the house. Were they hiding them in the back somewhere?
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:07 PM   #19
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Prius sales (whole Prius family) peaked in 2012 and has been declining strongly since then. They sold 236K of them in 2012 and will be lucky to sell much more than 100K this year.

Tesla is an anomaly and I suspect more people buy if for the brand and image (and tech) than for gas savings.

Gas is still relatively cheap and the cost barrier to get into some of these vehicles is still high and I just don't think most Americans are ready to charge their cars.

Bolt will likely sell much better overseas where there is a bigger push for EV.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:10 PM   #20
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My guess is it would sell very well in China. It would pick up if gas is over $3 or $4 here too.

EV sector is still growing well, but most is carried by tesla and the Leaf



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Old 07-19-2017, 07:24 PM   #21
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IMO, I think the latest/new Volt is probably Bolt's biggest competitor.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:17 PM   #22
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The volt is nice but I don't see the point now that EVs can do decent distance. 2 power trains means 2 places to go wrong, and having to do maintenance to an ICE defeats one of the main selling points with electric propulsion: no traditional maintenance like oil changes and other gear fluids, air intake filter, spark plug change, drive/timing belts, etc...
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:10 PM   #23
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I did not know this car even existed. GM needs to market it better.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:21 AM   #24
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The volt is nice but I don't see the point now that EVs can do decent distance. 2 power trains means 2 places to go wrong, and having to do maintenance to an ICE defeats one of the main selling points with electric propulsion: no traditional maintenance like oil changes and other gear fluids, air intake filter, spark plug change, drive/timing belts, etc...
Road trips.

The Bolt doesn't charge as fast as a Tesla. It takes a few hours to get a couple hundred miles charge, with the fastest charging available. Tesla superchargers are more like 200 miles in 30 minutes, conservatively.

Basically, the bolt has the commuter car capability of a Tesla but is mostly unacceptable for longer road trips. The Tesla products are in the "barely acceptable" category for road trips due to high range and fast charging. Go to the gas station/charging station, drop the kids off, grab a sandwich, and you should charge enough to start the next leg of your trip.

A Volt is sort "barely acceptable" to commute on electric only power, but has all the convenience of a combustion engine for road trips.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:59 AM   #25
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My guess is it would sell very well in China. It would pick up if gas is over $3 or $4 here too.

EV sector is still growing well, but most is carried by tesla and the Leaf



Man it just shows you how small those numbers are when you consider they are global. Ford sold more F-150 trucks in just the US alone last year.

Not trying to talk down on EV, because it is in it's infancy but it has a long uphill battle, especially here in the US.
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