Is Selling More Volts a Matter of Dealership Commitment?

By · May 04, 2012

Serra dealership lot

Serra Chevrolet of Southfield, Michigan sells roughly 25 Chevy Volts per month.

Is the American public interested in buying the Chevrolet Volt? Well, if you posed that question to one of the employees at Serra Chevrolet in Southfield, Michigan, then the answer would be a resounding "yes."

On average, Serra Chevrolet sells a remarkable 25 Chevy Volts per month, compared to the one or two Volt average that the majority of Chevy dealerships move in a single month.

How does Serra Chevrolet maintain a high level of Volt interest, while the national sales total for sales dipped in April. It all starts by the dealerships strong dedication to the task of selling Volts. As Greg Brown, general manager of the Chevy dealership told Forbes, the key to selling 25 Volts per month is: focused training of sales staff; an inventory of Volts on hand; and a custom Excel spreadsheet with data comparing ownership costs of numerous Chevy vehicles.

"We’re getting in 25 a month and we’re selling 25 a month," Brown told Forbes. "We only have five left on the lot. We should always probably have 15 to 20 here at the dealership. So we just put in an order for another 25."

Selling Volts is also part of Serra Chevrolet's dedication to alternative energy, which includes multiple facets. The dealership generates some of its electricity from solar and wind, something that sales folks can point to when offering the Chevy Volt.


· Markw (not verified) · 5 years ago

Its like asking a Chevy dealer to sell The caddy brand, some of them will get, most will not... Over time Those that do will knock the rest out of the way.

· · 5 years ago

You would think that the other dealers would work harder to sell it. It's not like it's a cheap car.

I know at our local Central Valley Nissan dealer, they used to have the one Nissan Leaf out in front that you could see from the street. I only saw it once though. They moved it inside I guess after that. Afraid people might see they had them? :D

As for the Chevy dealer right next to them, pretty much the same. I haven't seen any Volts out in front of the store. Just lots of cheaper models. Maybe the idea they're going with is to work people up to the better model once they get in? I don't know. I'm going to say that from the stats, it might not be working.

· jim1961 (not verified) · 5 years ago

I spoke to a Chevy saleman a few months ago about the Volt. He said some salesmen refuse to sell the Volt. He estimated that 80% of car sales people are politically conservative.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

@jim1961 I'd estimate that 100% of salesmen like to make sales. While a few high-profile conservatives are inexplicably against the Volt, I'm pretty sure a solid chunk of conservatives see the many values of the Volt that transcend politics -- or could be supported by either/both political dogmas. So between all salesmen wanting sales and a solid chunk of conservatives supporting the Volt, I doubt conservative salesmen are hampering sales much... maybe poorly trained/educated salesmen.

· · 5 years ago

They may be conservative but commission is commission. I guess I'm not the guy to turn down commission on a 40 thousand dollar car. hehe

· · 5 years ago

I've known scores of conservatives, like everyone. I've known plenty that are afraid of the Volt. But I don't know any that wouldn't sell you a Volt. :)

· · 5 years ago

The problem isn't salesmen refusing to sell a Volt, it is those who shift customers away from the Volt. They still get the sale, perhaps with an even bigger commission if the margin is greater.

Because it is so high-priced, the Volt seems as if it is a poor match for Chevy dealers and typical Chevy customers. I presume that it was intended to be a halo car, as is the Corvette, but if those interested in it are redirected to other cars, that seems like a bad thing to me.

· HikingMike (not verified) · 5 years ago

It will no longer be a halo car once the 2nd gen comes out with much improved battery performance and cost. As it is now, the Volt owners are still winning vs conventional cars if they have certain driving habits/distances and keep their cars long enough/drive far enough. It's similar to Prius owners but a little different due to the way the Volt works (~no gas). With improvements, the breakeven point (in years ownership) where a Volt saves you money vs say a Civic will drop in years... and cars like the Volt will be really gaining steam then.

· · 5 years ago

We average five VOLTS per month. All presold. Trying to get inventory, but they keep selling!

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