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2018 Bolt EV Premier
1,372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GM Authority has an article highlighting the 2019 Q2 sales of Bolt EV in various markets.

While the sales in North America improved in general, things took quite a dive in South Korea, grossly underperforming year-over-year. I had fully expected this because the 2019 Bolt EV was facing full-on competition from Hyundai and Kia unlike last year. Early last year, Bolt EV was the only 200+mile EV available in the market and it sold out as soon as it went on pre-order. But this year?

For Hyundai, Kona Electric is easily pushing over a thousand per month, and Ioniq Electric got a refresh that saw its range improve by about 38%(201km -> 277km). Kia has Niro EV selling at about half the pace of Kona, and we now also have fully refreshed Soul EV that has nearly identical range as Niro. Competition is good for consumers, but not so much for GM Korea.

And what did GM Korea initially bring to the table knowing full well it was facing this uphill battle? A minimally improved 2019 Bolt EV (still no rear camera or surround vision! And no OnStar, either) with a higher price tag (~US$300). In June 2019, 250 Bolt EVs were sold compared to 1,621 last year.

And it looks like there's finally a bit of manufacturer incentive on the way. For this month...

2019 BOLT EV
Buyer Incentive - Pick One

1) ECO Monthly Installments: 50-month no-interest monthly payment program
2) Double-zero 36-month no-interest monthly payments (no interest, no down payment)
3) Prepaid charger card worth KRW 1.5 Million (US$1,280) or KRW 1.5 million discount + 72-month installments at 3.5% APR
(KRW 1 million (US$780) discount if paid in full)
Previously, 1 and 2 did not exist for Bolt EV. If you were paying in monthly installments, you'd get a KRW 300 Thousand (US$240) charger card and that's it. If you're paying in full outright, there's no discount or charger card. So GM Korea has sweetened the deal. Whether or not this would be enough to boost the sales remains to be seen.

Additionally, there's a test drive campaign with prizes until the end of September.

One lucky test driver will win a Dyson electric fan and 50 others will get a department store gift certificate worth KRW 50,000 (US$40) each. I wonder if a current Bolt EV owner is eligible to enter... the campaign conditions don't specifically prevent this.
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