Chevy Volt Taking off with California Car Buyers

HOV lane sticker

Gen­er­al Motors has faced a series of chal­lenges get­ting its Chevy Volt up to the num­bers it had hoped to reach by this time. The recall by Nation­al High­way Traf­fic Safe­ty Admin­is­tra­tion due to post-crash-test bat­tery fires stalled pro­duc­tion, but that was resolved. Demand is crank­ing up for the extend­ed range elec­tric car in Cal­i­for­nia with spe­cial state incen­tives and state gas prices hov­er­ing around $4 a gal­lon. Low­er demand had prompt­ed GM to shut down prod­uct for five weeks in April and May, and there might be a three-week shut­down this sum­mer at its Detroit-Ham­tram­ck plant. That’s a prob­lem for Cal­i­for­nia deal­ers, who are see­ing more car shop­pers ask about the Volt late­ly than in the past year.

Cal­i­for­nia res­i­dents account­ed for about 23% of Volt buy­ers through the first quar­ter, accord­ing to R.L. Polk. The car­pool lane stick­ers that the Volt receives in Cal­i­for­nia are help­ing push sales for the prod­uct. It’s more dif­fi­cult to sup­ply the Cal­i­for­nia mar­ket because Volts must have a spe­cial low-emis­sions pack­age for own­ers to qual­i­fy for spe­cial state incen­tives. And the pack­age can­not be added after pro­duc­tion. The Volt does help GM raise its share in the state, so it has been worth it to bring the car to this mar­ket and com­ply with Cal­i­for­nia require­ments.


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