Re: Sales of Chevy Volts triple in one year.
posted at 1/6/2013 2:08 PM EST
"With additional subsidies from GM (that would be you and me), Chevrolet dealers in August were offering two-year Volt leases for as little as $250 down and $199/month. Fully 2/3s of the “sales” were leases, leaving around 925 cars that were truly sold. Prior to the giveaway leases, GM says that 40% of 2012 sales were also leases. The number remains the same—an average of about 925 cars really sold each month for this year.
Automotive News recently reported that the feds have purchased 182 Volts so far in 2012. Now we’re down to 900 real sales per month.. Corporate (fleet) sales are conservatively estimated at 5% of the total, putting the consumer number closer to 850.
Don’t forget that the Department of Defense has committed to buying 1,500 of these wallet-hogs. These aren’t combat vehicles and will no doubt largely wind up in some Colonel’s driveway.
There are enough scams here to satisfy a Chicago politician. The giveaway lease cars are initially bought by dealerships at cost, which Bob Lutz says is $37,000. Then they pocket an additional $7,500—the Volt subsidy that Obama proposes raising to $10,000—paid by you and me.
Two years later they get the car back. Given the ridiculous lease terms, there’s probably a pretty low limit on the free mileage, say, around 20,000. Now there’s a low-mileage used Volt out there that they can probably sell for $34,000 (a price lower than the average new one minus the subsidy) So each dealer makes a hefty $5,000 in lease fees, $7,500 in our money, and an unknown (lowball: $3,000) “incentive” from GM for the giveaway lease that’s matched by the lower price for the resale car. That’s $12,500 per car. Not a bad margin, and with good PR to boot.
Because the leased vehicles are counted as “sales”, that’s pretty much like stating that every vehicle in a dealer’s inventory—which they have paid for—is “sold”, or that people who rent property actually own it.