Helping Chevy Crack A New Segment, Apparently - 2011 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt: Helping Chevy Crack A New Segment, Apparently

May 02, 2011

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Sure, it might be kinda overpriced for what you get, but based on GM's reports, the Volt is doing a great job of introducing the Chevy brand to a different kind of buyer -- one with a decidedly green perspective. The manufacturer notes that almost nine of 10 Volt buyers who traded in a vehicle as part of their purchase are brand-new to Chevrolet.

GM hopes to keep this momentum going by tagging hundreds of Volts as demo vehicles, so that curious shoppers can test-drive and hopefully fall in love with the Volt after visiting the dealership.

"The Volt is clearly bringing new customers to our dealership," said Rick Alpern, general manager of Keyes Chevrolet in Van Nuys, California. "We are seeing customers who own competitive brands that have never visited a Chevy dealership before. Now they have a Chevy on their shopping list because of the Volt."

GM notes that Chevrolet dealerships in the initial launch markets of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have added more than 550 dedicated Volt demonstration vehicles, for the purpose of facilitating test drives. The manufacturer expects that there will be Volt demos at more than 2,500 dealerships across the nation by year's end; by this point, the vehicle's availability will have broadened to include 50 states.

"We know the best way to experience the Volt is to get behind the wheel and drive it," said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director. "An added bonus is that our dealers are seeing that the Volt is increasing traffic onto our dealer showroom floors and is exposing consumers to Chevy's line of ‘gas-friendly’ vehicles, including the Cruze, Malibu and Equinox."

With its space-age console design and whatnot, I can certainly see how the Volt would dazzle greenies on the hunt for the newest object of affection -- it definitely delivers a unique driving experience, and that can be a selling point with cars like this.

Anyone out there test-driven a Volt? Were you impressed or disappointed?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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