Friday, July 2, 2010

Chevy Plans Larger Rollout And Holiday Road Trip For The Volt

From Tainted Green

Chevy plans larger rollout and holiday road trip for the Volt
by Kathryn Robbins

General Motors was pummeled by the competition in recent years when it came to innovation. They kept churning out inefficient pickups and SUVs while their rivals like Toyota invested in hybrid technology which led to the Prius. However, Chevy’s Volt seems to have arrived at the right time for the carmaker to flaunt their hybrid technology and newfound mojo.

Taking a page from their promotional push at this year’s SXSW festival, Chevy plans on making the Volt available to as many curious car buyers as possible. Their marketing director Tony DiSalle said, “there’s no better way to sell and market the Chevrolet Volt than to put people in it.”

Chevy only had three target areas for the Volt’s rollout and added New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Connecticut to the list this week. Specific dealerships that will sell the Volt haven’t been named but will be identified in the coming months.

Dealers in these areas will be subject to special demands from the automaker, such as having select service and sales staff that can work on Volt repairs and field questions from customers. Other obligations for dealers include an on-site charging station and a Volt on their lot that is only used only for test-drives.

In order to show off the Volt’s electric and gas powered technology, Chevrolet sent the car out on a road trip called the "Freedom Drive” this week. The plan is to take the Volt from its newly announced market of Austin, Texas to New York City during the holiday weekend. The 1,776 mile trip is meant a celebration of their market expansion and a dig at rivals like Nissan’s Leaf.

Due to the addition of the gas powered generator the Volt easily beats the Leaf in terms of range. In its first day of the Freedom Ride, the car traveled 527 miles while the Leaf’s range is 100 miles on a single charge. While a lot of the Volt’s miles were powered by gasoline, many Americans can’t handle the idea of managing their car’s power supply without a easy backup like the nearest gas station.

The Volt may attract gawkers and car enthusiasts during its Freedom Ride but the question of price still remains. Neither Nissan or Chevrolet have announced official price points but the Leaf is expected to be the cheaper option. It will be up to the buying public to see if a gas powered safety net is worth more of their money.


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