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When all is said and done, Musk may be blamed for the failure of electric cars to be accepted in the U.S. His plan of milking the M3 with his expensive add-ons will result in numerous disappointments of electric aficionados. GM may be getting into electric slowly, but they are doing so with more integrity and reliability. I sensed this in late 2016, and went with the Bolt. Am really glad I did. Otherwise, I'd still be "waiting" for my M3, which is turning out to be a not so good product. i shouldn't say this, but, " I told you so..."
 

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... GM may be getting into electric slowly, but they are doing so with more integrity and reliability. I sensed this in late 2016, and went with the Bolt. Am really glad I did. Otherwise, I'd still be "waiting" for my M3, which is turning out to be a not so good product..."
I hope this is true, but my sense is that GM built the Bolt for emissions compliance and no other reason. Otherwise they would be building more of them and supporting/advertising them better. I honestly think GM doesn't actually want to build Bolts and wishes the whole EV thing would go away. The Bolt is just an insurance policy against further government 'interference' in the auto industry. On the other hand, while you might not agree with his tactics, Musk seem to actually believe his own hype. Is either approach is more defensible than the other?

Since the EV-1 predates Tesla by 7 years, GM is moving very slowly indeed. Don't get me wrong the Bolt is a great car and a break-through car, but I have a feeling that's because of some super talented and enthusiastic engineers, not GM management.
 

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I hope this is true, but my sense is that GM built the Bolt for emissions compliance and no other reason. Otherwise they would be building more of them and supporting/advertising them better. I honestly think GM doesn't actually want to build Bolts and wishes the whole EV thing would go away. The Bolt is just an insurance policy against further government 'interference' in the auto industry. On the other hand, while you might not agree with his tactics, Musk seem to actually believe his own hype. Is either approach is more defensible than the other?

Since the EV-1 predates Tesla by 7 years, GM is moving very slowly indeed. Don't get me wrong the Bolt is a great car and a break-through car, but I have a feeling that's because of some super talented and enthusiastic engineers, not GM management.

It's even worse than that: EV-1s were available for lease in 1997. Tesla may have been founded in 2004, but the first Roadsters weren't shipped until 2008. That's eleven years head start, squandered by the short-sighted at GM corporate.
 

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I hope this is true, but my sense is that GM built the Bolt for emissions compliance and no other reason. Otherwise they would be building more of them and supporting/advertising them better. I honestly think GM doesn't actually want to build Bolts and wishes the whole EV thing would go away. The Bolt is just an insurance policy against further government 'interference' in the auto industry. On the other hand, while you might not agree with his tactics, Musk seem to actually believe his own hype. Is either approach is more defensible than the other?
IMO the best argument against that theory is that GM sells the Bolt in states other than California (and other states that follow California emissions). I do agree that it's compliance role is a big part of why such a low-profit vehicle got approved for production but I believe that part of the reason is that GM doesn't want to be left completely holding the bag if EV adoption takes off like a rocket. I think they also didn't anticipate that Tesla would have so many problems getting the Model 3 built, keep in mind that they announced the Bolt back in 2015, just 6 months after the Model 3 was announced and while most people back then didn't believe Elons pie in the sky production projections they also likely figured they'd be able to make ~3000/wk by early 2018.

As for ramping up production, I think there's a limit to how many Bolt's they can make without exceeding LGs ability to supply batteries. And as for marketing why should they pay to advertise a car they already can sell easily without any advertising? I think if you start seeing Bolts sitting on dealer lots for longer than a month on average you'll see some advertising.
 

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...As for ramping up production, I think there's a limit to how many Bolt's they can make without exceeding LGs ability to supply batteries. And as for marketing why should they pay to advertise a car they already can sell easily without any advertising? I think if you start seeing Bolts sitting on dealer lots for longer than a month on average you'll see some advertising.
It is hard to say for certain, but my understanding was that the battery supply from LG was limited by the commitment/request from GM. LG apparently made the 30k batteries GM signed a commitment for. The only reason you would pay for advertising i think would be if you wanted to sell more product.
 

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Absolutely, someday. They will see to it that Elon keeps his word and then quietly have the $35,000 base model disappear as fast as the Model S40 did. Most likely due to "lack of demand". In the mean time people will get to keep saying- "Why would you buy a XXX when you can get a Tesla Model 3 for just $35,000?"
What I find amusing about absolutely someday, is that GM has the capacity to make tens-of-thousands of cars each workday, but only makes 100 Bolts. Tesla has a current capacity to make maybe 500 each workday and manages to surprisingly make... you guessed it, about 500. Contrary to what popular mudslinging in the news would have us believe, Tesla will produce the base Model 3 if and when they can get the workflow problems in their production worked out. My belief is that the base Model 3 will also be popular and show good sales numbers.
 

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I think if you start seeing Bolts sitting on dealer lots for longer than a month on average you'll see some advertising.
Certainly if they don't build them, then they don't need to advertise. I guess we disagree on GM's ability to produce Bolts. I'd sure love to know the real situation but I suppose we'll never find out.
 

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OK. Here in central Virginia there were two big GM dealerships with over two dozen Bolts, within 75 miles of us, a year ago. One offered no deals, one offered us almost three grand off. We obviously went for door number two. Regardless, it took up to a couple months ago for those two dealerships to sell out their 2017s. Today neither of them has a single Bolt on the lot. I am pretty sure this is the dealerships response to consumer demand for the Bolt. Both of these dealerships move hundreds of SUVs and pickups every year.

Obviously, GM could offer $5K on the hood to move Bolts, like they do for the SUVs and pickups. What company in their right minds would do that, when they are already making nothing on the EV?
 

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What I find amusing about absolutely someday, is that GM has the capacity to make tens-of-thousands of cars each workday, but only makes 100 Bolts. Tesla has a current capacity to make maybe 500 each workday and manages to surprisingly make... you guessed it, about 500. Contrary to what popular mudslinging in the news would have us believe, Tesla will produce the base Model 3 if and when they can get the workflow problems in their production worked out. My belief is that the base Model 3 will also be popular and show good sales numbers.
To expand on your production comment. Per Elon's tweet that the author of the clickbait article extrapolated his own intentionally misguided conclusion, "With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live."
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/998400110156550144
This seems to be lost on those eager to pound another nail in the coffin of Tesla's demise but to be expected. Tesla has never said they "may never deliver a $35k Model 3".
So, it's not just solving the bottlenecks and whatever barriers are slowing down production, there is a break even point which is somewhere north of 5k/week which isn't based solely on volume but also efficiency.
I'm not convinced however that the base model will be all that popular but I suppose it's a matter of what percentage = popular. The S40 certainly was not but then again, that was a slightly different demographic so it should definitely do better than that but all indications are that roughly 10% of reservations are only interested in the stripped down version.
BTW, go to BMW or MB and try to buy their bare bones 3 Series or C class. It's about a 6 month wait and a much larger deposit than $1k. There's certainly none on the lots.
 

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I'm not convinced however that the base model will be all that popular but I suppose it's a matter of what percentage = popular. The S40 certainly was not but then again, that was a slightly different demographic...
I wonder what the ratio of base vs. Premiere Bolt sales are...
 

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OK. Here in central Virginia there were two big GM dealerships with over two dozen Bolts, within 75 miles of us, a year ago. One offered no deals, one offered us almost three grand off. We obviously went for door number two. Regardless, it took up to a couple months ago for those two dealerships to sell out their 2017s. Today neither of them has a single Bolt on the lot. I am pretty sure this is the dealerships response to consumer demand for the Bolt. Both of these dealerships move hundreds of SUVs and pickups every year.

Obviously, GM could offer $5K on the hood to move Bolts, like they do for the SUVs and pickups. What company in their right minds would do that, when they are already making nothing on the EV?

I have just revisited, out of pure masochism, the webpages of those Chevy dealerships near us that still stock Bolts. I saw a lot fewer Bolts than 1 year ago, selling a lot cheaper - some for 5-6K below MSRP. Also ibidem I saw a whole bunch of $10K ICE Sparks and $13K Cruzes (which is like 30% below MSRP). Great times for those who look to buy a really inexpensive commuter car.
 

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OK. Here in central Virginia there were two big GM dealerships with over two dozen Bolts, within 75 miles of us, a year ago. One offered no deals, one offered us almost three grand off. We obviously went for door number two. Regardless, it took up to a couple months ago for those two dealerships to sell out their 2017s. Today neither of them has a single Bolt on the lot. I am pretty sure this is the dealerships response to consumer demand for the Bolt. Both of these dealerships move hundreds of SUVs and pickups every year.

Obviously, GM could offer $5K on the hood to move Bolts, like they do for the SUVs and pickups. What company in their right minds would do that, when they are already making nothing on the EV?
I did that same search the other day. Here in Richmond, cars.com says there are 4 Bolts listed within 50 miles. Do the same search for Los Angeles and you get 300 new Bolts for purchase. San Francisco has 247 Bolts available. The entire regions of Baltimore and Washington DC with all dealers between the two cities have a total of 55 Bolts. I think it is clear where the majority of Chevy's Bolt production is going.
 

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I did that same search the other day. Here in Richmond, cars.com says there are 4 Bolts listed within 50 miles.
Yup. Two of those are at my local dealer. They got and sold two last year, so they got two more for this year. Most of the dealers in rural towns have one or two. The big dealerships, used to moving lots full of stuff, aren't interested in hand holding to sell an EV that won't bring them any service money. The biggest dealer in Richmond is sitting on expensive real estate. They can't have a couple dozen spaces taken up by Bolts for most of a year again.
 

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...Regardless, it took up to a couple months ago for those two dealerships to sell out their 2017s. Today neither of them has a single Bolt on the lot. I am pretty sure this is the dealerships response to consumer demand for the Bolt. Both of these dealerships move hundreds of SUVs and pickups every year.

Obviously, GM could offer $5K on the hood to move Bolts, like they do for the SUVs and pickups. What company in their right minds would do that, when they are already making nothing on the EV?
...but all indications are that roughly 10% of reservations are only interested in the stripped down version.
BTW, go to BMW or MB and try to buy their bare bones 3 Series or C class. It's about a 6 month wait and a much larger deposit than $1k. There's certainly none on the lots.
...I saw a lot fewer Bolts than 1 year ago, selling a lot cheaper - some for 5-6K below MSRP. Also ibidem I saw a whole bunch of $10K ICE Sparks and $13K Cruzes (which is like 30% below MSRP). Great times for those who look to buy a really inexpensive commuter car.
Great points guys. GJETSON, I agree with your hunch that a large part of what we are seeing in terms of the Bolt market is Dealership response, I'm just not convinced that the consumer is the major driving force behind that response. And you are right, the Dealerships you describe certainly do move hundreds if not thousands of SUV's and Pickups each year. But take a step back and change the focus a bit. How many units across America are pushed out the door each year end with some form of rebate or sale to draw the customers in? If we could put a dollar value to the answer of the question just asked, it would be staggering I am sure. How much showroom floor space are those SUV's and Pickups given, and how much advertising is spent on marketing them each year? All I am saying is that it would be interesting to compare those facts with the Bolt. Dimitrij's comment suggests that where Dealerships are giving a 15% hand for the Bolt, they are giving a 30% knock for the ICE commuter car. And it would be interesting to see the ratio of advertising dollars spent on each model, an exercise that would not favor the Bolt I am sure.

But I also realize that the situation for the Bolt is not so straight forward. It is a well known fact that GM has faced a lot of blowback from its Dealership chain, and this blurs the line somewhat between the manufacturer's intent, and the Dealerships willingness to perform.

Regarding possible sales numbers for the Model 3, 10% would mean about 25k per year which is not bad. But a 10% guesstimation of réservation holders, a highly motivated group that is more interested in satisfying its heart then its wallet, might change when the wait time decreases and the buyer can order the car he/she wants, when they want. But 25k would be reasonable sales for the base model IMO.
 

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I did that same search the other day. Here in Richmond, cars.com says there are 4 Bolts listed within 50 miles. Do the same search for Los Angeles and you get 300 new Bolts for purchase. San Francisco has 247 Bolts available. The entire regions of Baltimore and Washington DC with all dealers between the two cities have a total of 55 Bolts. I think it is clear where the majority of Chevy's Bolt production is going.
CA logs about half of all plugin sales in the US, so it makes cents.
 

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I did that same search the other day. Here in Richmond, cars.com says there are 4 Bolts listed within 50 miles. Do the same search for Los Angeles and you get 300 new Bolts for purchase. San Francisco has 247 Bolts available. The entire regions of Baltimore and Washington DC with all dealers between the two cities have a total of 55 Bolts. I think it is clear where the majority of Chevy's Bolt production is going.
I totally believe you, be interesting to know how much of the reason why CA gets more Bolts than other states (possibly more than all other states combined) is because of the "compliance car" factor and how much is because of demand? I kid you not Bolts are everywhere here they are for sure selling.

Interestingly, I bought my bolt from Rydell Chevrolet, which is supposedly one of the top dealers for plug-in vehicles in the entire Chevrolet dealer network, they had about a dozen Bolts on the lot in January when I test drove one but it still took them almost a month to find one with the configuration I wanted (and even then I did not get exactly what I wanted).

They did not deal much on the car either, I did get some GM incentives but I don't feel I got a particularly good deal.

Edit: One other anecdote to take for what that's worth, when I bought a 2000 Ford Focus I ended up buying a "special edition" of the car (only one I could find with the options I wanted). They made 5000 of those special editions and a full half of them were sold in California. Obviously no compliance car factor at work there it seems that Ford thought that this particular special edition (included a mountain bike) would sell better in this state.

go to BMW or MB and try to buy their bare bones 3 Series or C class. It's about a 6 month wait and a much larger deposit than $1k. There's certainly none on the lots.
Don't know about BMW or MB but I did order an Audi A3 Scandalwagen back in 2012, I did not want a stripped one but I wanted a pretty particular configuration. Only had to put $500 down. Of course if I had backed out of my order the dealer would have had zero trouble selling that car to someone else.

I wonder what the ratio of base vs. Premiere Bolt sales are...

My gut tells me ~60% base / ~40% premier, at least around here in SoCal where we have more Bolts than a hardware store.
 

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The only reason you would pay for advertising i think would be if you wanted to sell more product.
Tesla does zero traditional advertising for it's products. How do they sell their stuff? Chevy needs to do more boasting and inflammatory tweets along with great big Hollywood release parties.
 

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I did that same search the other day. Here in Richmond, cars.com says there are 4 Bolts listed within 50 miles. Do the same search for Los Angeles and you get 300 new Bolts for purchase. San Francisco has 247 Bolts available. The entire regions of Baltimore and Washington DC with all dealers between the two cities have a total of 55 Bolts. I think it is clear where the majority of Chevy's Bolt production is going.
I made the mistake of believing the dealer stock data from the dealer websites, and visited two different Chevy dealers near me to test drive their Bolts. One reported five in stock, the other, six. Neither had a single Bolt on their lot.

At both, the sales person "explained" that the websites took their data from their computer, and "showed vehicles in transit". I asked when they would be in, and (again at both dealerships) after checking their systems, couldn't find a single one of the VINs anywhere. When I asked why their systems showed cars on the lot when they didn't actually have any, they both shrugged, and offered to show me their new Volts... thereby answering my question: Bait and switch.

Needless to say, I bought my Bolt elsewhere, based on web reviews of actual Bolt purchases there.

BTW, the Bolt was the fourth new vehicle I've bought without ever actually seeing one in person, including a 2001 RAV4-EV, 2011 Volt and 2011 Leaf. Haven't regretted buying any of them.

Back to the message of this post: Be *very* skeptical of any inventory claims that come from dealers.
 
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