Chevrolet has determined that it needs to redirect its marketing for the Volt in order to reach folks who would actually be interested in buying. With that, Chevy intends to offer overnight test drives for both the 2017 Volt and 2017 Bolt EV. Which doesn’t seem to far away from what Buick has done with its test drives.
During the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Darin Gesse, who is part of the marketing team for both the Volt and Bolt EV, sat down and had a chat with GreenCarReports. Gesse told reporters that the type of buyer shopping for a plug-in hybrid or electric car is one who would do research online, prior to visiting the dealership, and will have specific questions about relatively little details. He admits that most of the time the buyer has more knowledge of the car than the salesmen, and that’s a problem. The solution is to videotape the interactions of the highest-volume Volt dealers, like this Canadian dealership, and use the footage to train other dealerships.
In order to get shoppers to visit the dealerships, Chevrolet’s refocused marketing tactics have shifted from TV placements to ads on the Wired website, the back cover of Scientific American, and on billboards where techies can see them while they’re stuck in a traffic jam. The main purpose of these ads is to spread awareness of the cars’ capabilities; a 53-mile electric range with an average of 1,000 miles between fill-ups for the Volt, and an electric range of 200 miles for the Bolt EV. The listed pricing on the ads will reflect the savings after incentives are deducted, which should make these vehicles even more appealing to a potential buyer.
After getting shoppers into the dealerships, Chevy believes the cars will sell themselves, and that’s where the test drives come in to play. To Gesse, the best way to learn about the Volt is by experiencing it.