Tuesday, June 23, 2009 in Warren, Michigan. Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors
The Chevrolet Volt electric car will be launched in November 2010. Initial copies of the vehicle will be built in limited supply. This is for quality ramp up purposes and to assure everything is working properly on this groundbreaking vehicle.
GM recently announced it had formed a new partnership with online auctioneer eBay. This partnership will lead to a sales experiment in California. Dealers there will put cars online and people would buy them either by bidding or using the "Buy it Now" feature. It will allow consumers to compare and leverage cars across a variety of dealerships.
According to Ed Peper who is GM's manager of Chevrolet North America, “It will be hopefully in the August - September timeframe and its again a test that we’re going to try in California using eBay."
But more interestingly if this experiment works, it is possible that GM will also use the technique to sell early copies of the Volt and allow them to profit from cars which are being sold at a loss. In order to make the high tech vehicles an "affordable" $40,000 expected MSRP they have to forgo profit. GM expects the cars to eventually become profitable when the second and third generations arrive, with lower lithium-ion battery costs coming from economies of scale and design refinement.
Peper confirms GM is considering using eBay to sell those early Volts.
“We actually have been thinking about that same application to be able to do that, It something that’s definitely crossed our mind,” he said. “You could even have an auction on the vehicles.