Chevy Volts Are All But Sold Out in America

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Friday, GM ( GM) announced its third pause in the production of the Chevrolet Volt since manufacturing begun in late November 2010. The two previous breaks were in June-July 2011 and most recently in an extended holiday break ending February 6, 2012. This time, the pause will last five weeks, from March 19 to April 23.

Unlike in the two previous breaks, in this latest move GM is saying that sales are slow, so that manufacturing needs to slow down accordingly. A prominent and well-publicized article late last week alleged that GM is engaging in channel stuffing with the Chevrolet Volt.
Chevy Volt
Chevrolet Volt

As in turns out, widely available evidence hiding in plain sight totally disproves the thesis that there is too much Chevrolet Volt inventory at Chevy dealerships. To the contrary, the evidence clearly shows that Volt inventory is at an almost insanely low level, far lower than essentially all other cars.

According to cars.com, where anyone can look at every car sitting unsold in a U.S. dealership, there are 4,323 Volts unsold at 1,951 Chevrolet dealerships nationwide as of Sunday, March 4. The math here is pretty simple, folks: There are just over two Volts per Chevy dealership, on average, in inventory available for sale.

For anyone who has been visiting U.S. car dealerships with any frequency in the recent decades, you will know that having only two cars on hand for a given model range is an insanely low number. Dealerships normally have many hundreds of cars on the lot, with much more than two cars of each model.

At a minimum, every dealership has at least one demonstration unit of each model, which is especially important in the case of the Volt, where the differentiated driving experience is so important. In addition to that one demo unit, you will probably want to have on hand a combination of most colors available, as well as variants that are sold at base equipment level, as well as fully loaded with all options. One would think that each Volt dealer should have somewhere in the neighborhood of at least ten Volts on hand in order for it to constitute a healthy inventory level.

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