Demo Chevy Volts To Hit GM Dealerships

Turns out the Volt isn’t just an award-winning extended-range electric vehicle (EV); it’s also proving to be a powerful marketing tool for plenty of other Chevrolet models.

That was the message from GM as it announced it was dispatching demonstration Volts to Chevy dealerships in the Volt’s initial launch markets of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. GM said the move would allow people to test drive the vehicle – and would likely boost business for its other models as well.

Chevrolet Volt, GM extended-range electric vehicle

image via GM

GM said its research showed that 85 percent of people looking up information about the Volt end up checking out other models, too. “We 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,” Cristi Landy, Chevrolet’s marketing director, said in a statement.

GM said around 550 demo Volts will be delivered to dealerships in the first quarter of 2011, and by the end of the year, “more than 2,500 U.S. dealers will receive a dedicated Volt for consumer demonstrations and test drives.”

Last week, GM said intense interest had led it to advance the nationwide rollout of the Volt by six months.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.