People like to say “Out with the old, and in with the new!” and as consumers many of us will purposefully hold-off on buying a cell phone or a television so that we may get our hands upon the latest and greatest model when it hits the market, even when the current “outdated” model gets knocked down to ridiculously low prices.
This trend is increasingly pertinent in the automotive market, where drivers opt to save their earnings for a newer model, hoping that it will be the best version yet. And while we know that cars are just going to get better as time goes on, there is something to be said for buying that newest model on the lot, even if it costs considerably more than its predecessor.
GM is facing an interesting dilemma, as the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt offers more electric driving range, better fuel economy, sharper styling, and a lower starting price. Chevy might have let the cat out of the bag a bit too soon, as people are not overly keen on the idea of spending more for less on the current Volt. The effects are being felt, with a reported total of 6,000 old Volts wasting away on dealership lots across America as anxious plug-in fanatics count the days to the new Volt’s release.
Chevrolet has only sold 2,779 Volts this year, and dealers need to sell as many as possible prior to the launch of the 2016 Volt. This means it’s bargain time for all us frugal types, so go low-ball a car salesman! Autoblog says a loaded 2015 model costs $30,607, or get a 39 month-long lease for $249 a month. Or go to an auction, where Autoblog reports that Volts are going for as little as $13,000.
The Detroit Free Press says Volt sales have seen a huge decline compared to 2014, and while a $7,500 federal tax credit does sound enticing, there is no getting around the fact that the new Volt will offer way more for way less. There are not that many Volt buyers out there anyway, so GM has to appeal to a far broader market if they want to move these cars in a timely fashion.
As technology becomes increasingly synonymous with cars we find that the buyers change too. Sure, they’re not as bad as the “Apple nuts” (who camp out for days in order to get the new iPhone), but a Volt does indeed cost quite a bit more than a smartphone, and there are plenty of people out there who are willing to wait for what they really want.
So what makes the new Volt so fantastic that people are willing to forego such seriously steep incentives? For starters the 2016 model will carry a suggested retail price of $33,995, and with a $7,500 tax credit in place on top of this it looks to be quite the steal indeed. The new version is also reportedly able to travel 50 miles on batteries alone, which is up from around 37 miles in the current model. The 2016 version is also lighter, more powerful, more tech-savvy, and more environmentally friendly, thus making the out-going Volt look inferior to some buyers.
GM is feeling the pressure, as the company has spent enormous sums on designing these vehicles and the components that make-up their energy-efficient structure. The Detroit-based giant is also feeling the heat from the federal government, who has a very aggressive fuel-efficiency program in place, and demands that all auto makers have a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. But the biggest pressure comes from buyers, who are riding the low prices at the pump and are opting for smaller trucks like the Colorado. Volt sales are down 46.1% compared to this time last year according to a report by hybridcars.com, and with dealers scurrying to move as many of these plug-ins as possible we can’t help but think that this might be the perfect time to go haggle over one.