With demand for the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle running high, Chevrolet is—unsurprisingly—working hard to get more cars to local dealerships in the Volt’s launch markets. But what is a surprise is that many of these Volts aren’t intended for immediate sale—they’re being used as demonstration vehicles designed to introduce new buyers to both the Volt’s new technologies and the rest of the Bowtie Brand’s lineup.
These initial Volt dealers have already taken delivery of more than 550 dedicated Volt demo vehicles, with Chevrolet expecting more than 2,500 U.S. dealers to have at least one such model by the end of 2011.
The Volt is currently available in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and is slated to reach Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in the third quarter of the year. By the end of 2011, Chevrolet expects to have Volts on the road in all 50 states.
“We know the best way to experience the Volt is to get behind the wheel and drive it,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director. “An added bonus is that our dealers are seeing that the Volt is increasing traffic onto our dealer showroom floors and is exposing consumers to Chevys line of ‘gas-friendly’ vehicles, including the Cruze [capable of up to 42 mpg highway], Malibu [soon to launch with eAssist and up to 38 mpg highway] and Equinox [boasting a best-in-class 32 mpg highway].”
It’s a strategy that is certainly working for Rick Alpern, general manager of Keyes Chevrolet in Van Nuys, Calif., who said: “The Volt is clearly bringing new customers to our dealership. We are seeing customers who own competitive brands that have never visited a Chevy dealership before. Now they have a Chevy on their shopping list because of the Volt.”
In fact, Chevrolet says 90 percent of all Volt buyers who traded in a vehicle while making their purchase are new to the Chevy brand.