Despite some earlier claims we received from a Southern California dealer that the Chevy Bolt may not be launched in late 2016 as originally planned, it appears that everything is still on track.
The on-track, late-2016 launch for the Bolt was confirmed multiple times by Chevrolet spokesperson Fred Ligouri, and we have other information to share shortly. Additionally, a production-intent Chevy Bolt was just spotted north of Detroit.
It’s worth noting that what a “late 2016 launch” will actually look like isn’t completely clear yet. What will initial availability be like? As we reported previously, a popular SoCal Chevy dealer told us that we wouldn’t be able to get a Bolt until approximately late January.
Ligouri was quoted as saying: “We’re on the same timeline we’ve always communicated. … Retail production of the 2017 Bolt EV begins later this year, and it will be in dealer showrooms shortly thereafter.”
Auto News provides more, stating that, “General Motors engineers have been spotted testing early build cars around the Detroit area. Over the weekend, a blue Bolt, which an engineer described as ‘production intent,’ turned up in the parking lot near a cars and coffee event just north of Detroit. Production intent means the car has all the proper parts with the correct finishes and colors. A laptop computer was connected to the dash of the test vehicle.”
If the company is truly serious about selling the Bolt, then being on time to market is probably fairly important — with a year or so headstart on the Tesla Model 3 (if launched on time), the Bolt would have ample time to attract praise and buyers without having to deal with serious competition. If the launch was delayed, on the other hand, that year-long period of being the only “affordable” long-range EV on the market would be lost — which could notably damage initial sales.
Pics of the blue production-intent Chevy Bolt are over on Auto News.
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