Chevy Volt sales have been fairly steady and has sold a bit over 26,000 units since its introduction, but the rumors were true, General Motors is “losing money on every one,” CEO Dan Akerson admits.
Losing money on every transaction is no way to run a business, but sometimes you have to give a little to build a market for the product. The market for electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, which sells about as many as the Chevy Volt, is still fledgeling, and more than one company has dissolved waiting for it to materialize. The Fisker Karma is the only other vehicle with a similar extended-range electric vehicle [EREV] powertrain, and they’re facing bankruptcy.
General Motors does have a sizable company to back up its own version of EREV technology, but soon the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR [which shares the same EREV powertrain] will have to stand on their own. GM’s CEO, Dan Akerson, said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference that there would be a number of improvements to the next-generation Chevy Volt. Aside from putting the car through some weight-loss engineering, Akerson expects “for this next generation [model year 2016], we think we can decrease the price on the order of $7,000 to $10,000.” For a vehicle that runs close to $40,000 before incentives, that’s saying a lot, and could put Chevy Volt in the black once and for all.