It was quite obvious that the Chevrolet Volt had a lot more to deliver, that its measly US sales numbers last year didn’t represent the kind of demand that it had attracted. Since GM stopped holding back on the availability of the vehicle, its success has been startling.
For one, the Volt managed to surpass its closest sales rival Nissan Leaf and be the first plug-in electric to reach 100,000 lifetime sales in the US. Two years ago, this seemed unlikely.
It is worth noting that the series-parallel hybrid has done so with virtually no backing from GM’s massive advertising expenditure, save for one small ad campaign late last year criticizing the Leaf and Toyota Prius.
And this is no joke – the Detroit automaker is the biggest spender in advertising worldwide. The Volt is currently the second top-selling plug-in electric stateside this year, about 2,000 units behind the Tesla Model S.
Now that it has beaten the Leaf, GM would surely shift its attention to the domestic sales top spot. It would be quite a feat to overtake the Model S, which was the best-selling EV in the world in 2015, but unlike Tesla, GM isn’t plagued with sluggish production issues.
Tesla has recently promised that the production rate hiccups for the Model S and Model X at its Fremont plant has been settled, and that for the rest of the year its churn-out should go smoothly. But haven’t we heard that numerous times before?
With that in mind, it is actually possible for the Volt to push ahead of the Model S and claim the US sales crown for 2016. Plus it wouldn’t need any advertising support, because whatever GM is doing, it seems to be working incredibly well.