GM is offering few details about the next-generation 2016 Volt, which is to be unveiled at the North American Auto show in Detroit in January. Speaking for an audience of Buick retirees last week, GM Executive VP Mark Reuss had no technical tidbits to offer, saying only that the new Volt will offer “better fuel economy and efficiency.”
One bit of welcome news: GM plans to revamp its Volt marketing efforts. Chevrolet’s new global marketing chief, Tim Mahoney, told Automotive News that the company will use existing Volt owners as “evangelists,” and will focus its marketing efforts on “areas with dense populations.”
Mahoney said that while the Volt “is a halo product for the brand and one that’s sort of points to what is possible at Chevrolet, there are clearly pieces of geography where it makes sense. So you’ll see a focus on fishing where the fish are.”
As GM and other automakers are beginning to learn, selling plug-ins requires a different approach to marketing. Several EV advocates have pointed out that companies should do more to harness the enthusiasm of existing EV owners.
The Volt has been scoring the highest customer-satisfaction scores of any vehicle GM has ever sold, with more than 90 percent of owners saying they’d buy another. GM also believes that it attracts new buyers to the brand.
Automotive News also noted that the Volt is the only model in GM’s current lineup that has not been recalled for safety reasons this year.
Mahoney said that existing Volt owners will play a big role in marketing, especially in social media.