The Chevrolet Volt has not been the resounding success General Motors hoped for here in the United States. But it’s fortunes in Chevy’s home country are nothing compared to how poorly it’s done down under.
Only 246 Volts have been sold in Australia, where the car is branded as a Holden, since its debut in 2012. That’s not just a bad showing – it’s an absolute disaster. According to Motoring.com.au, it was the Volt’s astonishing $60,000 price tag, combined with a lack of interest from Aussie drivers, that killed the car’s chances.
What’s fascinating about this development, though, is that it doesn’t necessarily seem to be Holden that’s pulling the plug. Instead, it’s the Volt’s Hamtramck, MI factory, which is preparing to shift into production of the second-generation model that seems to be taking the blame. According to Motoring, the plant confirmed that it will only build the Gen 2 plug-in in left-hand-drive form, basically ruling out a model for Australia.
“Electric and hybrid vehicles haven’t taken off in Australia,” Holden’s director of communications, Sean Poppitt, told Motoring. “Considering the lack of infrastructure, the lack of government incentives, the large distances between cities, it’s a tough sell.”
The death of the right-hand drive Volt won’t be the only loss of business in Hamtramck. Opel has already confirmed that it will drop the plug-in’s European fraternal twin, the Ampera, while the next-gen Chevy won’t make the trip across the pond either.