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Published on August 7th, 2012 | by Adam Johnston


Chevy Volt Leads July US Car Sales

August 7th, 2012 by  

General Motors’ Chevy Volt led the way in U.S. July electric vehicle (EV) sales.

According to The Green Car Website, the Chevy Volt posted sales of 1,849 units in July, an increase of 125 cars compared to monthly figures for July, 2011. Meanwhile, year to-date figures have reached 10,666 units, a rise of 2,780 units from the same time twelve months earlier.

In second was Chevy’s competitor, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, seeing 588 units sold. The Prius plug-in hybrids have sold 5,035 models this year so far.

Nissan’s LEAF has taken a bit of a hit with their market share, selling only 395 units of their electric vehicle. That’s a decline of 57.6%, compared to monthly statistics for July, 2011. The Nissan LEAF also has seen their year-to-date sales drop by 26.3%, with only 3,543 vehicles sold so far this year.

Ford Focus Electric sales also have been lukewarm in July, a drop of 57% from 89 models bought in June to 38 units sold in July. In 2012 so far, 135 Ford Focus Electric units have been bought.

Customer response to Honda’s Fit EV in July was tepid, with 7 units sold.

Source:  The Green Car Website
Image Credit: Chevrolet Volt image via Shutterstock

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business www.salayconsultiing.com.

  • brithegreat

    Each Volt sold loses $50,000 for GM. Thanks Obama for the half billion dollar loss this year that the taxpayer must take. Sell GM now.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It may well be that GM is loosing money on the Volt. I suspect you’ve got a Lyin’-Ryan problem with the amount, but a loss on new model releases is common.

      It takes car companies large sales numbers before they recover the design and tooling costs involved in producing any new model. The news you bring is not news nor limited to PHEVs.

      Thank President Obama for saving 1.2 million American jobs and American car manufacturing. If you don’t like the fact that he has done good stuff for our country, please tell us which foreign country you work for.

      • brithegreat

        Ignorance of the facts is no way to go through life. But that is your lot in life. And Obama didn’t save car manufacturing, ask the Ford people. But ignorance is your strong suit.


        • Bob_Wallace

          Wow, you don’t have a decent grasp of history at all.

          Had GM and Chrysler gone down they would have taken many of the parts manufactures with them. Ford has stated that if their suppliers went down Ford was likely doomed.

          • brithegreat

            GM and Chrysler went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Not surprised you are ignorant of that fact.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Ignorant of that fact? You exhibit vast ignorance. Most people in the US with a pulse know that GM and Chrysler underwent restructuring in bankruptcy.

            Ford, as pointed out, managed to avoid bankruptcy but not by all that much.
            I suppose you are aware that there was no private money wiling to bring GM and Chrysler back to life after a normal bankruptcy process as Romney wanted to happen? Had Bush and Obama not use federal money to bring GM and Chrysler back on their feet it would have likely meant the end of US owned car manufacturing.

            The cars built in America would have been built by the Japanese, South Koreans and Germans. You’re OK with that? You hate American manufacturing?

        • Bob_Wallace

          “With the benefit of hindsight, Ford CEO Alan Mulally says the bailouts were the right thing for the industry and ultimately benefited Ford (F) too, even though his firm didn’t take government assistance.

          “If GM and Chrysler would’ve gone into free-fall they could’ve taken the entire supply base into free-fall also, and taken the U.S. from a recession into a depression,” Mulally says in the accompanying video, taped Friday at Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, MI. “That’s why we testified on behalf of our competitors even though we clearly did not need precious taxpayer money.” ”

          “Mulally was testifying in favor of his rivals’ bailout, arguing that their bankruptcies would wipe out enough auto parts suppliers to possibly force Ford into bankruptcy as well. He said Ford would also need a bailout with that kind of shock to its operations.”


    • Bob_Wallace

      Apparently Ford spent $250 million to develop and tool the Edsel. In 1957.
      That’s about $2 billion in today’s dollars.

      You can be sure that Ford lost money on every single Edsel they sold until they recovered that $250 million. The same happens with every single new model introduced.

      Bringing a new car to market is a very expensive undertaking. You can read about what it behind developing a new model here…

    • Bob_Wallace

      Here you go…

      “GM’s investment in the Volt has so far been a fraction of the $5 billion that Nissan said it is spending to develop and tool global production of the Leaf and its associated technologies and the reported $10 billion or more that Toyota has plowed into the Prius and various derivatives over the past decade.”

      “The average per-car costs for development and tooling will drop as sales volume rises. But GM will need to sell 120,000 Volts before the per-vehicle cost reaches $10,000 ”

      A nice big article about how GM is loosing money on the Volt. And buried down deep in the article are the design and tooling facts.


      Drastically different models such as EVs and PHEVs are going to be more expensive to develop than model changes which build heavily on a previous model. The extra money being spent now on electrics are part of the cost of learning how to build tomorrow’s cars.

      Tesla lost money on their Roadsters. But that loss paid for learning how to build and excellent EV and for the creation of a factory. Tesla will loose money on the first Model S EVs they sell, but they are on the road to being a profitable company.

      You ever heard of any company that turned a profit and recovered its start up costs on Day 1?

  • Thanks for the figures – Shared!

  • Rob

    It’s worth mentioning that even with only a few dozen vehicles on the road and test drives available for existing reservation holders only the Tesla Model S reservations rate is currently Running around 1,800 new reservations per month since launch on July 1.

  • Thanks for the information on the number of cars sold.  This is the first article I’ve read that’s actually given them. 

  • Ryan Z

    Don’t the deliveries of Tesla’s Model S count somewhere?

  • “Led the way in July US car sales” does not equal “led the way in US July electric vehicle sales”.  I’m a proponent of EV’s and was excited by the headline on my Twitter feed, but instantly disappointed by the first sentence.  Don’t bait and switch us, details matter.

    • Should have mentioned EV’s in the title. I will keep that as a note for next time

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