April was not a good month for the Chevy Volt which was outsold by the Nissan Leaf and maybe even the Tesla Model S. The Volt did manage a slight sales increase of 3% over the first four months of 2013, but sales for this April were down 12% from April of last year.
The Nissan Leaf fared much better, selling a total 1,937 units in April compared to the Volt’s lower 1,306. Not only did it outsell the Volt for the month, but it managed to increase its sales over the same period last year by a whopping five times.
Pricing likely accounts for some of the Leaf’s success. Nissan chopped that price by $6,000 to $28,800 back in January making it quite a bargain compared to the pricier $40,000 Volt. Competitiveness is becoming key in the sector as gas prices continue to drop nationwide.
They could lower the price of the Chevy Volt in hopes of capturing some of those Leaf sales, but it would be difficult for them to pull off. The car is already losing money at its current price point. In order to reduce the price, major improvements to the car’s technology would be needed and the second generation Chevy Volt is still years in the future.
It’s not all about pricing, though, as the up to $110,000 Tesla Model S has also been having a stellar year, especially compared to the Chevy Volt. Averaging about 1,600 units a month since the start of 2013, current projections have it on track to sell about 20,000 vehicles by year end.
The Tesla Model S will not only outsell the Chevy Volt at this rate, but will do so in spite of negative publicity regarding the car’s range per charge claims earlier this year. The Tesla’s strong numbers show that many buyers are willing to drop significant cash, but those without such deep pockets are being drawn to the considerably cheaper Nissan Leaf over the Chevy Volt.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.