1,023 Volts sold in February. 478 Nissan Leafs were sold. But the Volt has a large backlog while the Leaf is in short supply.
At the same time, consumers who pre-ordered the Toyota Prius Plug-in, a prime competitor to both of those vehicles, recently received emails indicating that the autos of those first in line will be built in March.
The cost of the Volt, $41,000 prior to a federal tax rebate, is a big negative for consumers. Lacey Plache, chief economist for auto-research firm Edmunds.com said that GM's move signals that "consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles. The price premium on the Volt just doesn't make economic sense for the average consumer when there are so many fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars available, typically for thousands of dollars less."
In addition, a U.S. safety investigation into whether the car's battery posed a fire risk after a serious accident added negative publicity. The Volt was eventually cleared of any safety concerns, with GM even offering to buy back Volts from any concerned owners.