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Discussion Starter #1
A Chevy dealer just told me that it is his understanding from GM that the 2018 Bolt will only be produced for 2 Months or so (First couple Months of 2018). The 2019 Bolt will begin production in April 2018 and delivered to dealers shortly thereafter. He "thinks" the 2019 will have something like a 80kW battery and a Super Cruise option.

I found some public statements from GM about the short 2018 MY Bolt production cycle and early 2019 MY production, but nothing about this bigger battery/Super Cruise. So that part is rumor. Wondering of anyone else has heard the same?

GM did this same thing with the Cadillac ELR; produced it for a couple of years, skipped a MY, and produced one final MY. The 2018 Bolt is effectively a 2017 Bolt, and manufacturing it for 2 Months is effectively skipping a MY. Can one deduce the 2019 Bolt will be it's final MY as well?
 

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The ELR was a sales disaster, so no. A spendy, low AER PHEV for Caddy drivers, a couple years ago. Geez.

GM has said that it will produce several vehicles on the Bolt 'platform', most fo them bigger...so the 80 kWh battery would be consistent with that (to keep the range decent).

I suspect that volume decisions will be made as late in the future as possible (as allowed with their contracting with LG Chem). Having a few different models on the same battery platform will allow them to send more batteries to popular models, to produce fewer less popular ones, etc. I suspect they will be more comfortable with a large battery contract with this flexibility.

The shorter MY 2018 is b/c they extended the 2017s so they could maximize their ZEV credit revenue....2018s make less money on credits.
 

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The ELR sold fewer than 3,000 units in three years, so it’s not likely it’s a benchmark for future Bolt production.

The ELR was a rebadged Volt, not surprising it didn’t sell well as a $75,000 luxury car. GM should have learned their lesson with the Cadillac Cimarron, which was a rebadged Chevy Cavalier. The Cimarron also went over like a lead balloon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The shorter MY 2018 is b/c they extended the 2017s so they could maximize their ZEV credit revenue....2018s make less money on credits.
The ELR sold fewer than 3,000 units in three years, so it’s not likely it’s a benchmark for future Bolt production.
...The Cimarron also went over like a lead balloon.
I get it. The ELR was a dog in rats clothing.

I'm trying to understand what GM's strategy is. If It's not a secret that the 2018 Bolt will be limited and the 2019 may be a better value, Won't consumers just wait for the potentially better 2019 model? Wouldn't this hurt/slow sales during Q1/Q2? Ostensibly losing ZEV credits? If the ZEV credits are a primary driver for production schedules, then aren't GM EV's still compliance cars? At what point do ZEV credits and tax incentives no longer matter, and EV's stand on their own as profitable lines in GM's portfolio?

[as of December 2017] GM/Chevrolet is currently the number 2 ranked electric car seller in the US with 23% market share (now equal share with Tesla). They are currently the number 5 global electric car manufacturer with 5% market share, having jumped up 2 places based on strong November sales.[/SIZE]
~ https://seekingalpha.com/article/4134588-ev-company-news-month-december-2017



GM has a lot of momentum in the EV market now. How do they best exploit this momentum?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can anyone else here confirm this ?

GM Authority expects the 2019 Bolt:

  • Possible semi-autonomous driving technology
  • Upgraded powertrain for a longer driving range
  • Revised exterior color palette
  • Revised interior color palette
  • Revised trim levels and equipment groups
  • Revised dashboard to address the reported glare issues
But then says it will be available in Q3 2019? (Not Q3 2018) Seems that date is a typo - as
it would be unlikely to release a 2019 MY in the 2nd half of 2019.
 

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I'm trying to understand what GM's strategy is. If It's not a secret that the 2018 Bolt will be limited and the 2019 may be a better value, Won't consumers just wait for the potentially better 2019 model? Wouldn't this hurt/slow sales during Q1/Q2? Ostensibly losing ZEV credits? If the ZEV credits are a primary driver for production schedules, then aren't GM EV's still compliance cars? At what point do ZEV credits and tax incentives no longer matter, and EV's stand on their own as profitable lines in GM's portfolio?
This is the $64000 question, is it not?

I have read the 2017 ZEV credits for every Bolt sold in a CARB state amount to $13,500 cash value. This directly goes to GM's bottom line by reducing the number of credits they need to buy.

I have also heard a comparable figure for the amount they pay to LG Chem per car for the batteries.

If you hear that...do you think they are losing money at $40k MSRP per Bolt? Probably not, although they are not paying off their engineering and tooling costs either on the 25k units sold in 2017.

Is it a compliance car? Technically, compliance cars are ONLY sold in CARB states, and the Bolt is available nationwide and in Canada. I would LOVE to see sales figures however, for the fraction sold outside the 10 CARB states, and the discounts below MSRP applied in and out of CARB states.

Why would GM lose $13k by selling outside of a CARB state (or in Canada)?....one speculation would be that they anticipate that the value of ZEV credits and the cost of batteries are both falling to a negligible level in a few years. And they want to have some grassroots buzz and experienced dealers/mechanics in non-CARB states so they can ramp up faster later when/if they want to. The Canadian Bolts are also providing some great cold-weather data for GM engineering....I suspect that on board engineering data gets sent to GM through OnStar. (Nissan did/does this on the LEAF).

So, the decision to build only 25k Bolts in the 2017 MY is pretty conservative....I think the risk they didn't sell was low, and the 25k are enough that spread around (not all in California) they get some weather-related engineering data and enough numbers (in California) to isolate weird defects. 25k is a good number of beta testers I think before scale up.

But that scale up will be a varied product line, so GM can do what they do so well...make and sell whatever is popular du jour, and all of which will rely (and amortize) a common Bolt drivetrain engineering/testing cost. And I expect they will drive a hard bargain with LG Chem as the scale increases.
 

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I'm trying to understand what GM's strategy is. If It's not a secret that the 2018 Bolt will be limited and the 2019 may be a better value, Won't consumers just wait for the potentially better 2019 model? Wouldn't this hurt/slow sales during Q1/Q2? Ostensibly losing ZEV credits? If the ZEV credits are a primary driver for production schedules, then aren't GM EV's still compliance cars? At what point do ZEV credits and tax incentives no longer matter, and EV's stand on their own as profitable lines in GM's portfolio?
This is the $64000 question, is it not?

I have read the 2017 ZEV credits for every Bolt sold in a CARB state amount to $13,500 cash value. This directly goes to GM's bottom line by reducing the number of credits they need to buy.

I have also heard a comparable figure for the amount they pay to LG Chem for the batteries per car.

If you hear that...do you think they are losing money at $40k MSRP per Bolt? Probably not, although they are not paying off their engineering and tooling costs either on the 25k units sold in 2017.

Is it a compliance car? Technically, compliance cars are ONLY sold in CARB states, and the Bolt is available nationwide and in Canada. I would LOVE to see sales figures however, for the fraction sold outside the 10 CARB states, and the discounts below MSRP applied in and out of CARB states.

Why would GM lose $13k by selling outside of a CARB state (or in Canada)?....one speculation would be that they anticipate that the value of ZEV credits and the cost of batteries are both falling to a negligible level in a few years. And they want to have some grassroots buzz and experienced dealers/mechanics in non-CARB states so they can ramp up faster later when/if they want to. The Canadian Bolts are also providing some great cold-weather data for GM engineering....I suspect that on board engineering data gets sent to GM through OnStar. (Nissan did/does this on the LEAF).

So, the decision to build only 25k Bolts in the 2017 MY is pretty conservative....I think the risk they didn't sell was low, and the 25k are enough that spread around (not all in California) they get some weather-related engineering data and enough numbers (in California) to isolate weird defects. 25k is a good number of beta testers I think before scale up.

But that scale up will be a varied product line, so GM can do what they do so well...make and sell whatever is popular du jour, and all of which will rely (and amortize) a common Bolt drivetrain engineering/testing cost. And I expect they will drive a hard bargain with LG Chem as the scale increases.
GM doesn't use customers as "beta testers" like Tesla does. Or if GM is beta testing, Tesla does early alpha testing.
 

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I’m a bit surprised at the tech that’s in my Bolt Premier, but yet I do feel as if we are beta testers. In my one week of driving it/observations, I see that this car can recognize cars in front of it at a good distance, even pedestrians, but only uses this information for the presence of, or color of a car or person shaped image in the cluster, which changes color if you get too close to the car in front of you at similar speed, or it supposedly will introduce a late warning/brake assist, that is also included (I’ve seen the “red flash” warning a couple times when slowing behind someone who cut in front of me to make a turn, but haven’t had a heavy braking situation yet, as it’s winter in the snowy north). This car can be driven with one pedal for likely nearly 100% of situations, but yet employs no cruise control effects based on regen braking and use of camera/radar readings? It seems that in their hurry to launch this car, they ran out of development time on certain things, but the hardware is there, a la Tesla.
 

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I'm shopping for a Bolt right now. But if 2018 models are expected very soon, and 2019 models in April, that's a bit scary. I don't want to end up with a 4-month-old car that's already 2 model years behind current. That would hurt the eventual resale value quite a lot.
 

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A Chevy dealer just told me that it is his understanding from GM that the 2018 Bolt will only be produced for 2 Months or so (First couple Months of 2018).

Can anyone else here confirm this ?
I hear the same story from GM dealers in Ontario, Canada. They say the 2018 Bolt is really just a extended run of the 2017 and the 2019 Bolt will be available by the middle of 2018. I put a deposit down on a Bolt a couple of weeks ago ( because that is what you have to do when there is a 9 month waiting list) and the dealer said it is likely to be a 2019 model. You don't lock in the price, colour, or options until you are notified of a build date because it is all likely to change by then.
 

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I'm shopping for a Bolt right now. But if 2018 models are expected very soon, and 2019 models in April, that's a bit scary. I don't want to end up with a 4-month-old car that's already 2 model years behind current. That would hurt the eventual resale value quite a lot.
Its my understanding that most 2017s are already sold. And I expect that when the 2019s arrive, the 2018s will be discounted accordingly.
 

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I'm shopping for a Bolt right now. But if 2018 models are expected very soon, and 2019 models in April, that's a bit scary. I don't want to end up with a 4-month-old car that's already 2 model years behind current. That would hurt the eventual resale value quite a lot.

Considering the Bolt is about as rare as hen's teeth in my area, I might have decent deprecation curve if the market doesn't get flooded. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
This is the $64000 question, is it not? ...
just frank- That is the best "in-a-nutshell" explanation I have read regarding the complexities of EV production from a manufacturer POV. Thanks.

My synopsis: There are complex market dynamics at play. Many moving pieces in terms of domestic and global long range industry forecast, mitigation of capital risk, maintaining efficiencies of scale (while concurrently straddling multiple drive-train platforms), outsourcing the most important component of the finished product, regulatory factors; all revolving around a volatile consumer EV adoption rate.

Your summary fits well with the graph below:



Again from GM's POV, they can't bet the farm on EV's at this juncture...yet they must maintain a leadership position when the EV demand crosses the chasm.

[side note]:...and lets call the 2018/19 Bolt what it is; past a public Beta - more like a EV2 Platform "Release Candidate": EV2RC2/3. However we're not Beta Testers, as the graph above considers us "Opinion Leaders"!

So unconventional and confusing production schedules and MY release dates of the 2018/19 Bolt are inconsequential in the big picture. I am making the mistake of looking through my entitled-consumer lens and expecting a simplified answer to my expectations. The GM mission is to remain profitable, viable, scalable and agile while simultaneously embracing the disruption to the industry that lies ahead that EV's are bringing.

GM is doing what they have to do.
 

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I'm shopping for a Bolt right now. But if 2018 models are expected very soon, and 2019 models in April, that's a bit scary. I don't want to end up with a 4-month-old car that's already 2 model years behind current. That would hurt the eventual resale value quite a lot.
Exactly!!!! I am being very honest in saying the Bolt, to me, is an investment so I have more value for a trade-in in the short term. My goal is a full SUV EV. I will be happy with the Bolt but will have no problems in using it as a trade-in for when the Model Y comes out, so I can eventually get to a Model X (or similar). However, if I can find more articles to support this, come the time to pick up my Bolt I might be able to squeeze off a few dollars from the total price since the 2018 will then be a past model.
 

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As mostly already stated it is my understanding that:
  • GM built as many 2017 Bolts as possible for ZEV credits, hence the very late 2017 to 2018 MY changeover (Dec 17th Bolt SORP, and then closed the plant for the holidays?)
  • GM has started building the 2018 but it will be a short MY run
  • The 2019 Bolt SORP will move, aligning the MY production more closely with most other vehicles GM builds

Still not updated but a good reference.
https://www.donlen.com/buildstart-chevy.html

Last year the Sonic SORP followed the plant holiday shutdown, typical. I would expect the Bolt 2019 SORP to be no later than that this year, and based on speculation in this thread, potentially even earlier.

FWIW, just a collection of my personal speculation
 

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in saying the Bolt, to me, is an investment .
what ?
Not based on the historical prices of hybrids and EVs.

"Depreciation — the declining value of a vehicle over time — is the biggest, and most often overlooked, expense associated with purchasing a new car. New vehicles lose an average of $15,000 in value during the first five years of ownership. In 2017, small sedans ($2,114) and small SUVs ($2,840) have the lowest annual depreciation costs, while minivans ($3,839) and electric vehicles ($5,704) are at the high end of the scale."

http://newsroom.aaa.com/auto/your-driving-costs/

The Bolt is an amazing vehicle, but it is not, IMHO an investment, the Federal and State tax incentives you receive get factored into the resale price
 

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I realize the Pontiac plant is tooled up for multiple types of vehicles, but was wondering if the bunching up of production is intended to squeeze out some extra efficiency for this period of what-sounds-like limited model year production? Also, it might fit into reduced production needs for the other cars they make there? Are any of them selling well?
 

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I feel like a genius buying our Bolt when we did. My prediction is that there will never be a simpler, more sensible electric car produced for the US market again. Assuming we avoid a global depression for a few more years, any and all EVs from here on out will be bigger, with more gadgets. I give us a 50/50 chance of avoiding a crash this year, so not only is the Bolt the best EV available, it could be the last.
 
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