Chevrolet dealers in some U.S. markets are turning away Chevrolet Volts that General Motors is allocating to them, indicating that consumers remain concerned that the extended-range plug-in vehicles pose an additional safety risk relative to convention cars, are too expensive or are otherwise not as desired as GM thinks, Automotive News (subs. req.) reported.
New York City-area Chevy dealerships took just 31 of the 104 Volts allocated to them last month, while one Northern California dealer turned away all six Volts offered to him, according to the publication. Another East Coast dealer reported a "huge dropoff" in Volt interest. Overall, dealer orders for Volts have declined, Automotive News said, citing GM spokesman Rob Peterson.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said late last week that it finished its two-month investigation into the crash test that resulted in a fire three weeks after the fact last summer, and concluded that neither the Volt nor other electric vehicles pose more of a fire risk than conventional vehicles.
Earlier this month, USA Today reported that GM has prepared an advertising campaign that would be launched in the event of more negative reports about Chevrolet Volt or a negative outcome of the Congressional hearing that takes place tomorrow. Last month, GM sold 1,529 Volts, a record high, and sold 7,671 Volts for all of 2011. GM had previously set a goal of 10,000 Volt sales for 2011.