When Chevrolet shocked the world by announcing the Chevrolet Volt EREV back in 2008, many dealerships responded by launching a determined campaign to keep the company from forcing the environmentally friendly hatchback on them anticipating only tepid sales due to its high price and unique power plant. While this may be the case at many showrooms, one establishment in Quebec has defied this trend and claims that the Volt (new and used) represents about 35% of its annual year to date business. So how has one dealership in Chevy’s vast dealer network managed to turn the Volt from a mere curiosity into a sales superstar?
While many folks will assume that our friends to the north achieved this impressive feat with leases, fire sales, and perhaps a bit of trickery. In reality, Bourgeois Chevrolet co-owner Samuel Jeansen chose to hone and heavily train his sales people on the Volt while focusing on the key skill of helping customers connect the car as a viable and helpful tool in their daily lives according to a report by the folks at Green Car Reports.
This focused training is especially important since it allows customers (with guidance from the salesman) the opportunity to see for themselves just what the Volt exactly offers, and how its balanced blend of efficiency and versatility helps it stand out from the rest of the segment. In addition to the specialized in-house training regimen, Jeansen also put in a considerable amount of effort in securing enough inventory to provide customers with a wide array of option, price, and color choices to appease various buying budgets and tastes. A major hurdle in Jeansen’s plans was that GM would not allocate enough new Volt inventory to make his process work effectively, his novel and out of the box solution to this challenge was to actually import used Volts from the United States to his lot. This unique approach is a win-win situation for each side of the coin with U.S. dealers being able to sell the Volts to clear space off their lots for other products, while allowing Jeansen’s dealership to have at least 50 Volts on its lot at any given time each in various configurations.
Jeansen’s ambitious efforts and his dealership’s overall commitment to plug-in hybrid vehicles have not gone unnoticed either. Recently the Canadian Electric Vehicle Conference chose to honor the dealership by awarding the Leading Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Dealership Award which is a fitting way to kick-start the dealership’s 50th anniversary celebrations while also recognizing the dedication and effort undertaken by Bourgeois to redefine the sales experience for plug-in hybrid buyers. Now, let’s wait and see what they can do for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt sales.