Chevy Volt Sales Triple in 2012
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -
Chevy Volt sales are cranking up. General Motors sold three times as many Chevrolet Volts in 2012 as it did in 2011, which was the car’s first full year on the market.
GM sold 23,461 Volts in 2012 compared with just 7,671 in 2011. While it’s an impressive jump, the Volt is still one of Chevy’s lowest-selling cars. However, the Volt greatly outdid the Corvette, for instance, of which only 14,000 were sold last year.
Its 2012 sales also put the Volt well ahead of its nearest competitor, the Nissan Leaf. Nissan sold about 9,800 Leafs in 2012, an increase of just 1.5% over 2011.
The single biggest factor driving the sales increase, according to both GM and industry analysts, was the Volt’s increased popularity in car-clogged California. Sales there jumped thanks to a few engineering tweaks that made the Volt eligible for California’s highly desirable carpool lane stickers for the first time.
“More than half of all Volt sales are in California,” said Alec Guitierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. The car has also been catching on in other markets, however, including Michigan and in the Chicago area, according to GM.
Besides the carpool lane stickers, the Volt has also been helped by aggressive leasing incentives offered in 2012. Last year, GM was offering the car for $289 a month with a $2,800 down payment. That was far less than a car with the Volt’s nearly $40,000 purchase price would ordinarily lease for, even factoring in a $7,500 plug-in car tax credit.