Year-end sales figures are looming ever closer, and the critics of the GM bailout and all thing electric-drive are already drafting wrapup stories about how the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car has been a sales disaster.
So Chevy has taken off the gloves.
The company said it would allow all Volt-qualified Chevrolet dealer to sell their demonstrator units to retail buyers. ("Preferably before the end of the year," we imagine the Chevy marketing honchos mumbling under their breath.)
That means at least 2,300 more Volts could be put on sale in the next few months, which would help GM boost its Volt sales total of 5,003 (as of October 31) closer to the total of 10,000 that it says it will built by the end of the year.
Volt spokesman Rob Peterson told GM-Volt.com that the most cited reason "serious intenders" don't end up buying Volts is because they're simply not available. As of November 1, he said, there were only 1,800 Volts available for sale at 2,300 Volt dealers.
Adding the 2,300 Volt demonstrators to that total means that Volt sales could reach 9,000 or more by year-end. The company is also steadily delivering more Volts every week, so an all-out sales push could see November and December sales spike well beyond the 1,108 sold in October.
2012 Chevrolet Volt
Dealers are not required to sell the demonstators, of course.
But previously, Volt-qualified dealers had to agree to hold one demonstrator Volt at the dealership for six months, so it would be available for customers to look at and test-drive, even if the dealer had no other Volts in stock to sell.
Like many commentators, we're eager to see what November sales figures look like.
With three weeks left in November, those dealers willing to sacrifice their Volt dealer units could help propel sales to a new monthly record.
We'll keep you posted.