Chevy Forced To Extend Shutdown Of Bolt Plant

Discussion in 'GM' started by ALS, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    After Realizing That Literally No One Wants A Bolt.

    General Motors launched it's much-hyped, all electric Chevy Bolt at the end of 2016. The Bolt was expected to make a splash as it was the first electric car in the U.S. market to offer 200 miles of driving range at an affordable price starting around $35,000. The only problem is that pretty much no one seems to want one.

    Unfortunately, that lack of demand is about to earn a bunch of UAW workers at GM's Orion, Michigan plant an extended summer vacation.

    As AOL Finance points out today, GM has managed to sell just over 7,500 Chevy Bolts through the first six months of 2017. Moreover, since dealers are sitting on about 111 days worth of inventory, we're going to go out on a limb and say the Bolt launch slightly underperformed expectations. All of which has resulted in GM's decision to extend the shutdown currently in effect at it's Orion plant for just a little while longer.

    But it's not just the Chevy Bolt that GM is having a hard time selling. Overall, the company is battling a massive inventory glut, some 126 days of supplies, in passenger cars. As such, the company has extended summer vacation shutdowns at three other North American assembly plants. The assembly plant at Lordstown, Ohio, that makes the Chevrolet Cruze and a plant near Kansas City, Missouri, that produces the Malibu sedan both have three additional weeks of downtime. An assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will be idled for two extra weeks to reduce inventories of the Chevrolet Impala large sedan.

    Of course, this shouldn't be much of a surprise for our readers as we recently pointed out that GM's "channel stuffing" hit a new all time high for the restructured company in June 2017, with the number of GM vehicles parked at dealer lots and patiently waiting for a buyer rising to the highest since the summer before recession officially began, when GM was still pre-bankruptcy GM, with far greater (if ultimately superfluous and in need of restructuring) production.

    Full Story:
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  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    A lower price would probably gather more buyers. :) But... you really cannot give product away and run a business. That seems to be happening with the current cash incentives on many cars, unfortunately, but great for us buyers.

    Maybe the Bolt does not look CUV-like enough. Or maybe they just need Kia's marketing folk to label the Bolt a CUV. That'll fool most buyers. :D

    Edit: Chevy needs Tesla's cachet? Of course the Model 3 is more than just Tesla. It is deemed cool and good looking and apparently a 'must have' for many EV buyers.
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  3. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    IMHO, the problem is "CHEBBY".

    "Chevy" doesn't inspire a sense of quality, innovation or even reliability. It's just "Mercan made!"

    If it were the Saturn Bolt, I betcha it would sell. Honestly, I would extend that to the Volt too.

    It's like they just didn't give a shit.
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  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Heck , I think the Bolt looks great , has plenty of range , enough performance for American leadfoots............. the problem is cheap cheap CHEAP gasoline.

    I admit that I haven't taken a close look at one to assess the build quality , but on paper , it's a winner.

    Of course , that's what I thought about the Volt , but our own Stepchild had a negative experience with his.
  5. Doubt you'll see me buying a new or even slightly used gm car again, unless it's a beater or project.

    I do have an 83 cutlass supreme sitting in the driveway waiting for my time and money
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  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I never got that higher quality impression from Saturn. It was just another GM division that offered some vehicles with plastic body panels. The weak hybrids further strengthened that impression, and then Saturn was gone.
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  7. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    That may indeed be the case, but Saturn was seen as the GM outsider - that did things differently. I know a lot of Saturn drivers, and they all liked their cars. One has about 350K on his and uses it as a beater for a long commute here in AZ.

    Maybe Saturn lost their stuff towards the end, but their sales were really consistent up until the recession in 2008.

    The argument isn't so much for Saturn as it is for NOT CHEBBY! :)
  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I didn't give Saturn a fair chance since I never drove one or tinkered with one or knew anyone who had one. I actually liked the idea of the dent-resistant door panels. Ah yes, I did a quick check (to verify my faulty memory) that Saturn was the one with "no haggle" prices. I liked that idea as well. It's too bad it didn't turn out better for the company.
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  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Just my take but some may remember my comments from the Ioniq Electric drive where we also had the opportunity to drive the Bolt in a mini comparison drive.

    2017 Hyundai Ioniq and 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

    At $150 or less per kWh of pack that we have discussed previously, the Bolt's 60 kWh pack costs $6 to $9k. Why is it that a barely C-segment sized that looks like a B-Segment Sonic and is about as comfortable as one cost upwards of $43k w/out power seats? Piling on, just 238 miles of range and the 60 hours to charge from flat on a 120V outlet or 10 to 15 hours on a Level2 240V?

    2017 Chevrolet Bolt Premiere Monroney


    Like GMs past electrified offerings, the company appeared to look at the Fed tax credits and pocket the full amount for themselves. Forget the state tax rebates because in some cases, they barely make up for tax on the much more expensive car to buy to begin with.

    $43k Bolt - you pay state tax on the amount you paid before any rebates or tax incentives - vs $15k Sonic at a 7.5 percent state tax rate.

    Bolt State tax = $3,225
    Sonic tax = $1,125
    $2,100 more state tax while owners receive a $2,500 tax credit here in Calif. At least you gain $400 and HOV lane access which helps some for the privilege of driving a B-segment that cost $43k +TTL up front.

    At some point and that point imho was 3 or 4-years ago, we all have to look beyond the tax credits and rebates and say do I want to drive B/C-segment sized car with just 238 miles of range that takes 10 to 60 hours to fill up, costs twice as much to fill up in Southern Calif. in particular (How California is killing the Electric Car), vs. driving on gasoline, and has a resale value of less than half in just 2-years? Thank goodness some have made the decision to reduce their reliance on both oil and in particular imported oil to meet their daily transportation needs with a BEV. It requires a large sacrifice however. You only need to look at the tens of millions of CUV/SUVs on American and Canadian roads to see we sacrifice nothing for the common good other than feeding our desires while gambling on a 7-year note.

    We have to start somewhere of course but the Electric car revolution was jump started back in the early 1900s and we still have not experienced a decent total cost of ownership reason let alone the hassles that come with owning a pure electric.

    Is it any wonder the Bolt is sitting on dealership lots collecting dust with $40k+ price tags? or strippers w/ $37k+ ones?

  10. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I did get some experience in long trips in two different Saturns , both around 1995 vintage. The SC2 5MT was a joy to drive on the highway or around town. The SL2 auto was packed with five people and did not complain about 80 MPH from Chicago to Indianapolis. Fuel economy ? Don't know.
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    The problem is $2 gasoline $48 oil cheap NG
    It is the problem for electric cars
    and Wind energy
    Solar energy
    new nuclear plants(which don't scare me at all-USA nuclear plants haven't killed anyone-ever(with radiation)
    Coal fired electricity/power/trains has killed-shortened MILLIONS of lives in the USA-between mining it
    and burning it-filthy stuff(yeah cleaner now)
    Now mining uranium-did kill shorten the lives of some hundreds-maybe 1000's of lives-
    but not on the same scale as coal
    EverY old style coal miner got black lung-every single one(unless they died early from cave ins floods gas explosions "rock falling on head")

    Anyway cheap oil is killing innovation-
    We can thank our Saudi buddies for this market manipulation.
    They-the Saudis-know they could make the same $$ producing much less oil-
    maybe cut production in half
    But they want to
    1)Screw Iranian economy-because Sunni Shia hate and Arab Persian hate-fear of Persian NUKE
    2)Screw Russian economy-because Russia backing Syria(which is run by ALAWITE(shia sect) Al Assad)
    3)Screw our home grown production of oil NG which will make us much less vunerable to Saudi blackmail(1973 embargo)
    and the 1st Iraq Kuwait war-was all about protecting Saudi oil-
    Once our production is shut in/shut down-we won't be able to quickly ramp it back up
    Our Saudi "ally" is teaching us another economics lesson-and will try to keep us at their beck and call-as mercenaries-to protect the absolute WORST Muslin fanatics-the founder of the Saud kingdom was an absolute fanatic-
    the 9-11 "bombers" 16/20 were Saudi-no surprise

    Anyway I have gone all paranoid-but oil NG aren't free market commodities-they are manipulated
    and the low price is going to bite us-AGAIN
    Electric cars -economy type electric cars- ( Tesla type cars sell to MB BMW Hollywood fake green folks-different market )-won't sell with low priced oil
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  12. kbergene

    kbergene Active Member

    I was a fan of the original Saturn. MT, tall enough gearing to get great freeway mileage. Plastic rust-resistant body panels.

    But then they sold me a death trap 12 years ago.

    Given the number of other excellent auto manufacturers that I haven't yet owned, I will buy theirs before I ever buy another GM vehicle. Hello Prius Prime. Hello Mazda 6. Hello Ioniq. Hello i3. Hello Accord. So MANY great choices.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    HI Kbergene:

    Good points on the large number of great choices out there.

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  14. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    There have been additional stories that soften the reasons for the shutdown. Supposedly, the mix of product at the plant is being changed in favor of more Bolts and fewer Cruzes(?). I read the stories yesterday on my news feeds...
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

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  16. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

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  17. Today's paper has an article talking about the possibility of dropping the volt
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  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Neil:

    I am doing a little armchair quarterbacking here but unless GM is considering a much more palatable lower price or larger incentives, doubling production does not double sales even with more state availability. The states where it has been launched are the EV demanding states. The rest are "pickup" games.

    2017 Chevrolet Bolt

    Along the I-8 with the wind turbines here in California.​

    Regarding Sonic, it is having a tough go of it with sales down 36 percent YTD. And it still outsells the Bolt 2.4:1. The problem for both models right now is dealership inventory. If you look at the January sales report when the Bolt was first made available in CA and OR, GM touted a 7-day turn. They stopped doing that from months 2 through 6 as the inventory build to just over 100-days today got out hand.

    It was that February and March sales fall-off that blew a hole in the initial sales expectations. While overall sales are increasing from the two sub 1k unit sales months, either $5k on the hood or $0 down and $249/month lease is more the norm in the states where they are currently available.

    Morningstar recently spoke with Jim Cain, Chevrolet Business and Dealer Communications about Bolt sales.
    I would be careful with this one as should any prospective owner. My quote: "Caddy money for a Chevy means the residual will be miserable."

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  19. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    GM Chevy to their credit-has actually done/spent plenty on fuel economy-and potentially low CO2 producing vehicles.

    Their dual deal hybrid half tons-Tahoe Escalade Yukon and the pickups-were pretty impressive.
    Wayne didn't you get an honest 22-24 mpg in urban/suburban driving-
    "driving just like a a typical USA driver" -with a full hybrid Yukon.
    And it was a very powerful/fast truck for the time 300+ gasoline horses and perhaps 100 electric horses?

    And GM produced many-too many-mild hybrid variants cars half tons-all sorts of vehicles
    and the "would never make a profit 50 mph mini-diesel Cruise" an honest 50 mpg hy vehicle(impressive at the time-except for main competition-PRIUS)

    Poor GM spent loads on many "good ideas"
    The 2 mode hybrid-too expensive and Dodge's plain Jane 3.6 8 speed AT Ram beat it-and was much cheaper-and the Ram 3 liter TD just would have killed it
    All the other mild to a bit more hybrids-cars pickups-always too expensive-and not great mpg numbers
    The Volt-very expensive-not great QC-and the Prius or PIP- no contest
    This Bolt-expensive- and the Prius PIP just kill it

    Fuel-gas-is just too cheap(our Saudi ally to blame-)
    And the Prius in all its forms-is just too good too cheap

    If oil gasoline diesel ever becomes reasonably expensive enough-reasonable as in expensive enough to allow low CO2 -wind solar nukes-vehicles-to be encouraged
    maybe an updated 2 mode pickup-TD maybe-could return
    and maybe PIP type vehicles-and just electric vehicles-would make sense

    But now fuel costs are too low-and the Prius is too good
    We need $3.50-$5.00 gas
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  20. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Rumors abound... CUV Chevy plug-in instead of Volt?
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