Remember that report earlier this year that consumers, yet again, were losing interest in hybrid vehicles? Well, don’t tell that to Chevrolet and its Volt hybrid electric car. April sales for the Chevrolet Volt saw a 200-percent jump compared to last year despite the so-called “battery fire” imbroglio which was dismissed by most Chevy Volt owners and, apparently, the public. California’s recent decision to open its HOV, or car pool lanes, to solo Volt drivers also sparked car shoppers to visit the nearest Chevrolet dealership.
What’s also eye-catching are who are these shoppers. Many own hybrid vehicles, trading them in for the Volt, with the most popular trade-ins including the Toyota Prius (not surprising, given the sheer number of them), Toyota Camry, the Honda Civic, and — interestingly — the BMW 3 Series. These kinds of sales are called “conquests” in automotive sales jargon, and according to Chevrolet Volt marketing manager Cristi Landy, around 70 percent of Chevy Volt car buyers are new to the brand. States Shaun Del Grande, president of the San Jose Del Grande Dealer Group, “Volt is a game changer for us in northern California. On a daily basis new customers are coming into our dealership to check out the Volt because of its breakthrough technology and superior fuel economy. Our dealership is seeing new customers who are trading in Prius and Civic models, and we’re just getting started with electric vehicles.”
Automotive.com’s take: What do you think of all these “conquests” by Chevrolet of non-Chevrolet hybrid owners. Do you think it heralds a change in how people view the Volt? Will we see an increased exodus of Prius owners to the EV and its range-extending powertrain? Or will the Toyota Prius continue to dominate the hybrid market especially with its new offerings like the inexpensive Toyota Prius c, large Prius v, and the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: General Motors/Chevrolet