October 2017 plug-in vehicle sales were mostly down, over the previous month, with two exceptions: The Chevy Bolt EV and the BMW i3.
The total sales for the year, of the vehicles I track, have several bunched around one another. The Volt, Prius Prime*, Model X and Bolt EV are all within a variation of only 6%. If the Bolt EV is removed from that group, the variation drops to only 4%. These vehicles (not including Bolt EV) sell at an average rate of 1,614 units to 1,674 units, per month. The Bolt EV, although not available in all states until July of this year, averaged 1,708 units per month. The big showdown, between the Tesla Model 3 and Bolt EV, has failed to materialize, due to Tesla’s production challenges. In its first four months of availability, only 367 Model 3s have been sold. In the same four months, Chevy cranked out 9,491 Bolt EV sales. I have had three Bolt EV customers tell me they had considered a Tesla (including a Model X) before selecting the Bolt EV, due to its bang for the buck. If the rumored end of the Federal Income Tax Credit for plug-in vehicles comes to fruition, Tesla may see a stampede away from the Model 3, in order for buyers to get an electric vehicle before the $7,500 tax credit ends.
Here are the October 2017 sales figures, compared to the previous month:
- Chevy Volt: Down 6% (1,362 vs. 1,453)
- Chevy Bolt EV: UP 6% (2,781 vs. 2,632)
- Nissan Leaf: DOWN 80% (213 vs. 1,055) **new model announced
- Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 14% (1,626 vs. 1,899)
- Tesla Model S: DOWN 77% (1,120 VS. 4,860) **estimated
- Tesla Model X: DOWN 73% (850 VS. 3,120) **estimated
- BMW i3: UP 28% (686 VS. 538)
- Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 3% (741 VS. 763)
- Ford C-Max Energy: DOWN 17% (569 VS. 683)
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric: DOWN 22% (28 VS. 36) what’s going on here???
In October, the average price of gasoline was $2.47 per gallon and started out around $2.54 per gallon, dropping precipitously until bottoming out on the 22nd. After the 22nd, prices staggered higher, ending around $2.48.
With the exception of 2016, October has been a pretty good month for my sales. This October my sales were about the same as they were in October 2014 & 2015.My ten October sales were comprised of four Bolt EVs, two Silverados, one Equinox, one Cruze, one Traverse, and one Volt. Bolt EV is still the hot vehicle. Volt lost a little ground to pickups, and the Bolt EV is gaining quickly on Volt. I am definitely seeing much more customer interest in the Bolt EV than I am in the Volt. In fact, Bolt EV is my #1 selling vehicle for 2017, even though we didn’t have any to sell, until the very last day of June! My top two vehicles in 2017 are Bolt EV (21 units) and Volt (17 units).
During lunch the other day, I got a call from a reporter from Wards Automotive and we discussed that dynamic. This October tied for my best October, so I should not complain, but I missed a GM target by only one vehicle. It is so frustrating for me when that happens! I had two appointments on Halloween that should have resulted in goal attainment, but one was a no-show and the other decided to keep the vehicle I sold them two years ago.
Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were mixed, with two models suffering from new vehicles/models from the same manufacturer.
- Chevy Volt: DOWN 38% (1,362 vs. 2,191) **the Bolt EV effect?
- Chevy Bolt EV: (was not available in October 2016) **new model announced
- Nissan Leaf: DOWN 85% (213 vs. 1,412)
- Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOES NOT COMPUTE! (1,626 vs. 0) **previous generation Prius plug-in, dying out last October
- Tesla Model S: UP 21% (1,120 VS. 925)
- Tesla Model X: UP 17% (850 VS. 725)
- BMW i3: UP 55% (686 vs. 442)
- Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 46% (741 vs. 1,372)
- Ford C-Max Energi: UNCHANGED (569 vs. 571)
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric: (was not available in October 2016)
This week (November 1st through 7th) is a statistically odd week for my sales. In four years of selling cars, I have never sold a vehicle, during that week. Next month, I’ll let you know if I bucked that trend…
Finally, a story 38 years in the making: The Houston Astros finally won the World Series and are the champions. Baseball is the only sport I watch regularly and I grew up in Houston. I was in college, in 1979, when my father-in-law, Dwight Maney, Sr. started taking his sons and me to baseball games, in the Astrodome. That year, they came within 1-1/2 games of winning the NL West. I suffered through the extra-inning Game 5 defeat to the Phillies, in the NLCS, the following season, but was hooked for life.
I was in the Astrodome, when Nolan Ryan got his 4,000th strikeout and was in Rangers Stadium, when he got his 5,000th. I moved away from Houston, in 1986, when oil prices and real estate values collapsed, sending my hometown (and my career) into a downward spiral for a few years. I watched the 1986 NLCS on TV, in Arlington, Texas and was on my knees, screaming, when Kevin Bass struck out, in the 16th inning of Game 6, losing to the Mets.
Due to proximity, I became a Texas Rangers fan and slowly started loving the Rangers, but always had a soft spot for the Astros. In 1987, Nolan Ryan became a Ranger and it just seemed appropos. The only time I would root against the ‘Stros, were when they faced the Rangers. It was an adjustment, watching baseball outdoors. Having watched every game, previous to my move to Arlington, in the Astrodome, made me think of baseball as an indoor sport.
In 2005, I took my youngest daughter, Zoe (6 years old at the time) to her first NLCS in Houston’s new stadium and they won. We were screaming after the game and with Zoe perched on my shoulders, a Houston TV station, which was shooting footage of the celebrating fans, captured the moment. The two of us drove the 4-1/2 hours back to DFW that night and heard the next morning that the footage of us celebrating had made the morning news. Zoe has been to many Rangers games since.
Having won the NLCS, the Astros were on their way to the World Series, facing the Chicago White Sox. My youngest brother, Curt had gotten tickets for us, two for him and his wife to Game 4, and two for Bonnie and me to Game 5.
The Astros were swept in four straight games. My ticket was never used and I have it to this day.
Perhaps now, you can understand why I am writing about this on My Electric Vehicle Journey… GO ASTROS!!!!