(Chevy Volt sales story updated for limited impact of GE fleet purchases)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As high gas prices dominate the headlines and pain at the pump multiplies, General Motors' ( GM) Chevy Volt is finding more consumers willing to buy into the plug-in electric hybrid vehicle concept. In fact, initial concerns that the record sales number posted by the Chevy Volt in March was driven by a big fleet purchase from GE ( GE) were premature and didn't reflect just how quickly the Volt's fortunes shifted in March. It's fair to say the Volt ran right over those cautious assumptions. Between the high gas prices and headlines about a Volt battery fire earlier this year possibly receding from the consumer landscape, the sales picture improved. The Volt -- a month after GM temporarily shuttered production of the car -- reached sales of 2,289 in March, 50% higher than December 2011, which previously was the vehicle's best month since launch. More importantly, only 160 of the purchases were by fleet buyers, while 2,129 Volts were purchased by retail car buyers. The fleet buying was only 5% of Volt sales.
|GE loves the Chevy Volt, but in March it was consumer love leading the buying.|