General Motors Co. said Friday that Chevrolet Volt sales fell 32 percent in October in the face of falling gas prices.
The Detroit automaker said Volt sales fell to 2,022, down from 2,961 in October 2012. For the year, U.S. Volt sales are now down 2.7 percent to 18,782.
At the same time, Nissan Motor Co.’s all-electric Leaf sales were up 27 percent in October to 2,002 and are up 167 percent for the year to 18,078.
"We are seeing sluggish sales of some plug-in hybrids such as the Ford C-Max — down 21 percent — and Chevy Volt — down 32 percent. The most likely culprit responsible for the decline is gas prices and enticing traditional gas-powered vehicles that achieve 40 mpg plus. With fuel prices expected to fall further, the auto industry will be watching carefully to see if the pattern continues,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs.
Don Johnson, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet sales and service, said the company met its internal targets on Volt for the month and noted the comparison is against its second best Volt month ever last October.
“We’re very pleased with where we are,” he told analysts and reporters in a call Friday.
Johnson said there is a “pretty low days supply” on the Volt and noted demand is increasing for the Volt in states such as Colorado.
Toyota Motor Corp. said sales of its Prius plug-in hybrid were up 7 percent to 2,095 and are up 4.6 percent for the year to 10,069. In early October, Toyota said it was cutting the price of the slow-selling vehicle by $2,010 for the entry model and $4,620 for the more expensive model with more options.