More than 90% of Chevy customers are new to the brand, thanks to Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevrolet Volt

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt may not be a big volume seller for General Motors, but the plug-in hybrid is definitely bringing consumers into Chevy showrooms. Demo units are reported to be a popular showroom draw for dealers as they let consumers look, touch and drive the electric car with extended-range capabilities.

GM said that almost 90 percent of customers who traded in a vehicle as part of their purchase are new to the Chevrolet brand. That’s why GM is tagging hundreds of Volts that could be sold to individuals as demo vehicles, meant for customer exposure to the Volt and to other Chevy products they might otherwise not see.

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“The Volt is clearly bringing new customers to our dealership,” said Rick Alpern, general manager of Keyes Chevrolet in Van Nuys, California.  “We are seeing customers who own competitive brands that have never visited a Chevy dealership before.  Now they have a Chevy on their shopping list because of the Volt.”

By the end of 2011, GM plans on having more demo Volts at more than 2,500 U.S. dealers. Chevrolet plans on delivering the Volt in all 50 states by the end of 2011 as well. Deliveries begin in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in the third quarter.

Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, ‘T’-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 379   miles. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt gets an EPA estimated 93 miles per ’gallon-equivalent’ when driving under electric power only, 37 mpg when in gasoline mode and over the long term it is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.

2011 Chevrolet Volt:

– By: Omar Rana