The vehicle, which debuted as a 2002 model, has offered buyers interior space of an SUV and cargo truck capability and spurred the growing popularity of crew cab, or four-door, pickups. Avalanche sales peaked in 2003 at 93,482, but by last year had fallen to about 20,000.
Wait. 20,000 units last year wasn’t enough to save the it? Why then does General Motors (GM) continue to drag along the carcass of the Chevy Volt? Which last year sold…7,671 units. Or 38% of what doomed the Avalanche.
Here is the monthly side-by-side sales comparison. (The Volt’s first sales month was December 2010.)
Nearly 28,000 in sales ends the Avalanche. But less than 12,000 Volts sold gets it even more government subsidies, media hosannas aplenty and Car of the Year awards. The latter being the automotive equivalent of apremature Nobel Peace Prize.
The media incessantly hailed the Volt’s March 2012 number as some sort of huge one-month breakthrough. But it carries a monstrous asterisk, as it was inflated mightily by General Electric fleet purchases. And even with that giant artificial balloning, it only barely surpassed the total of the doomed Avalanche.
The reasons to have the Volt join the Avalanche in automotive oblivion are myriad. The Avalanche was a hybrid truck-utility vehicle, competing with a whole host of similar vehicles–both in the SUV and pickup classes. The Volt–an electric-gasoline hybrid–was nearly alone in the marketplace. Yet the Avalanche outsold the Volt in every month–save, again, for the artificially altered March 2012. Perhaps this is in part because the roomy crossover Avalanche costs less than the diminutive Volt (bereft of the $7,500 in point-of-purchase federal government money).
Avalanche: $36,800 MSRP.
Volt: $39,145 MSRP.
And the technological marvel that is the Volt gets exactly the same battery range as the 1896 Roberts electric car.
Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.
We now have Indy cars. Supersonic jets. Space flights. Moon landings. Intergalactic satellites. Computers. Artificial intelligence. The Internet. The telephone. The cell phone. The Internet on the cell phone… And a Chevy Volt that goes no further on a charge than an electric car that could have been driven new by a Civil War veteran.
A Volt which the American people don’t want to own. Made by General Motors, of which the American people are still forced to own 33%. As the result of the $83 billion auto bailout–on which we’re poised to lose more than $30 billion.