Some Chevrolet dealers have chosen to stop selling the Chevrolet Volt because General Motors increased the price of Volt service tools. The decrease in Volt dealers could make it harder to find a Volt or force owners to travel further for service, particularly in rural areas.
Car and Driver says about 400 dealers won’t have the Volt in stock anymore. Though 400 dealerships seems like a significant drop, a Chevrolet spokesperson told Car and Driver that the “dealerships that dropped the Volt accounted for less than one percent of the car’s annual sales.”
According to Autoblog, 2,614 Chevrolet dealers (out of 3,079 Chevrolet dealerships nationwide) sold the Volt one year ago. Automotive News says the Volt dealers paid $1,800 to $2,800 for tools last year, but this year, dealers must spend $5,100 on new tools.
The price hike has caused Allyn Barnard, who owns Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, N.Y., to take the Volt off his lots. Barnard told Automotive News he has sold five Volts since the vehicle hit the market and hasn’t made any profits because he’s spent money on training, tools and charging stations.
Some dealers, like John Holt who owns John Holt Chevrolet-Cadillac in Chickasha, Okla., chose to keep the Volt, even though he’s sold just five of the cars since 2011, according to Automotive News. The Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid debuts later this year, and since the vehicles’ powertrains are similar, he told Automotive News the tools are a good investment.
Though inventories are changing, The Detroit News reports that Volt sales were very good in 2012, with General Motors selling more than 23,000 models, which triples the automaker’s 2011 sales.
Shopping for a Chevrolet Volt or a different hybrid car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.