Chevy typically rolls out all the stops for the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, bringing along crazy custom creations dreamt up by its engineering and design teams, along with a variety of production vehicles outfitted with products from its official Chevrolet Accessories line. This year the automaker presented the custom-built Chevy Beast off-roader, the 1957 Project X EV and a slew of other custom vehicles based on production trucks and SUVs like the Chevy Silverado, Colorado, Tahoe and Suburban – but the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV were suspiciously absent.
Given GM’s plan to launch 30 new EVs worldwide by 2025, as well as the abundance of pro-EV messaging coming from the company’s communications and marketing departments, the decision to have the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV sit out this year’s SEMA show seems odd. SEMA seems like it would be a great place to net these rather slow-selling vehicles some much-needed publicity, so what’s the deal?
We imagine both Bolt models are not present at SEMA due to the fire-related battery recall that was issued for them this year and the associated stop-sale order that came along with it. This means that customers cannot purchase either the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV even if they wanted to, as dealers cannot legally sell them. It may also be hard to come by examples that have already received a new, post-recall battery pack and any models without these battery packs would present a safety risk – especially if they were parked indoors.
The stop-sale order resulted in a steep decline in sales volume during the third quarter for the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, with the nameplates achieving combined sales of just 4,515 units – placing them dead last in the segment from a cumulative volume standpoint.
It’d be easy to say the budget-minded and family-friendly Bolt models just aren’t suited to SEMA, but there are plenty of spacious EVs in attendance at this year’s show, including multiple Ford Mustang Mach-E models brought by Ford itself, as well as several privately-owned Tesla vehicles. For that reason, we think the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV could both be successfully spruced up for SEMA with aftermarket wheels and tires, lowered sport suspension and other upgrades. Unfortunately, though, they are absent from the show.