Forbes: Do The Volt And Tesla Have Opposite Marketing Polarities?


Is Chevrolet really selling the Volt, its newest hybrid car, as well as it could be?

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Tesla showroom On Route 30 in Devon

In a recent article in Forbes, contributor Brooke Crothers went to visit two Devon dealerships, one from Tesla and the other Chevrolet. The impression that he got on how the two companies are presenting their newest electricity based cars, could not be more different.

His first visit is to the Tesla dealership on Route 30 in Devon. The initial impression is that the location, from the service area to the showroom, is immaculate and the Tesla Model S is proudly on display in the center of the showroom.

From a quick conversation with one of the service technicians, it became clear that maintaining fully electric cars is much cleaner work than dealing with their gas based counterparts. In fact, with so many fewer moving parts, the Tesla Model S requires almost no regular maintenance. The biggest impact on leaving the dealership was that Tesla is focused on marketing its electric cars as the future and doing everything to show it.

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A Chevy dealership in Devon

The next stop is a Chevy dealer in Devon, PA. Here the impression is vastly different, as the first vehicles in view when approaching the dealership are Silverado’s, with a few sedans scattered around the lot.

The centerpiece of the showroom is a Corvette, a well known as a trademark of Chevrolet, but hardly a champion of eco-friendly motoring.  When questioned about the Volt, the dealer pointed one out in the corner of the showroom.

When asked why it was tucked away in the background, he said that they are waiting until the new 2016 model comes out later this year, before starting to actively market it again.

Not all GM dealerships market the Volt in the same way. In other markets, such as Los Angeles, they are often the first car you see as you enter.

The real question is whether it is wise for Chevrolet not to set up its showrooms around its flagship car of the future, and instead to focus on popular cars of the present such as the Corvette. With Toyota, its arch-nemesis, putting most of its research and marketing funds into hydrogen based products it seems Chevrolet could be throwing away market share in the critical alternative energy car sector, before the real battle has even begun.

To read the full account of Brooke Crothers visits on Forbes click here


Top photo credit: Tesla Model S via photopin (license)

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