Although still being outpaced by the all-electric Nissan LEAF in terms of North American sales, the new Chevy Volt from General Motors is bringing fresh faces into dealerships around the country — or at least at dealerships in the seven states where the Volt is currently being sold.
According to buyer surveys conducted by GM, more than half of the early-adopting Volt owners had not been in a Chevrolet dealership in ten years. And even more striking is that nearly one-third of Volt buyers have never even been to a Chevrolet dealership.
“We’ve been here a long time and the Volt is bringing in people we have never seen before,” said Alan Starling, a dealer in Starling Chevrolet in St. Cloud, Florida.
While the number of Volts available to drive has been fairly limited thus far, GM says it has ramped up production and the number of Chevrolet dealers with Volts available for test drives and for sale will increase from 550 to more than 2,600 in the next four months.
The big question for Chevrolet is whether they will be able to turn some of these early adopters into Chevy people for the long term; and whether they will be able to build enough of them and/or sell enough of them to make an appreciable difference to the brand's position.