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Holden’s Volt plug-in ‘discharged’

Bolted: Holden has decided against bringing the second-generation Volt here, but the new Chevrolet Bolt is a chance.

Australia to miss out on the new Holden Volt as supplies of current model run dry

Holden logo27 Apr 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

HOLDEN has confirmed the new-generation Volt plug-in hybrid will not be sold in Australia after a decision was made to keep production strictly left-hand drive.

With all but one example of the current model still left in new-car showrooms, the local chapter now closes on General Motors’ pioneering range-extender electric vehicle that only went on sale here in November 2012.

However, the Australian subsidiary of the American auto giant is now considering other electrified vehicle options, such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Unveiled in January at the Detroit auto show, the second-generation Volt features improved technology that will simultaneously increase range and performance, and a rear-seat redesign that accommodates three passengers.

But as GoAuto has reported, the chances of the new model arriving in Australia were always slim amid rapidly falling fuel prices and slow sales of the first-generation model, which have reduced to a trickle (seven units) this year.

GM Holden senior manager of product communications Kate Lonsdale said the company will continue to provide aftersales support and parts for Volt owners.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting our Volt customers,” she said.

“All our dealers will remain completely trained and up-to-date with servicing and will continue to keep parts, as with all our vehicles.

“There will be continued support for all our customers.”

Ms Lonsdale also confirmed there are no Volts left in dealer stock, apart from a single demonstrator model.

“We’ve sold all our allocation,” she said. “There is one demonstrator vehicle left in Perth and that’s it.”

Overall, Holden registered just under 250 Volts since its arrival in 2012, with sales peaking at 101 units in 2013. Last year, it managed to shift only 58 vehicles out of showrooms.

That said, Ms Lonsdale emphasised that bringing the Volt to Australia was never about hitting sales targets or going for volume, but instead the vehicle was used to raise brand awareness and showcase new technologies.

“This car was always about introducing this fantastic new technology to Australia ... it was never going to be about sales,” she said.

“It’s about introducing new customers to the Holden brand, so from that respect we are very happy with what Volt did.”

Ms Lonsdale said the Bolt EV – shown in Holden-fabricated concept form alongside the new Volt in Detroit earlier this year – was under consideration for release in Australia, but that the business case was still being reviewed.

“It’s really early days,” she said. “We will continue to review the business case of every car we think would be suitable for Australia.

“We are committed to getting the best cars out of the global GM portfolio and we will continue to do that, and there have been no announcements regarding the Bolt as yet, apart from the fact that it’s going to go into production.”

Nissan last week reaffirmed its commitment to the Nissan Leaf, which remains one of the few pure-electric or plug-in hybrid options on the market.

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