Still limited by supply
Tomorrow GM will announce Chevy Volt pricing.
For now the price of the Volt is almost irrelevant, as supplies will be very limited for at least for the two years of production, and possibly much longer. Thus, I'm expecting a bit of a shock when it comes to the Volt's price.
Today, tomorrow and for the next decade or so, the Volt will be unprofitable, possibly very unprofitable, at least if production costs are included in the equation. More relevant, production of the Volt itself will be very limited for several years, so early pricing will have very little impact on GM's bottom line.
Thus, why not sell the Volt at a buzz point with relevance?
At $40,000 – the long assumed Volt price – minus the $7,500 federal tax credit, the Volt would could list for $32,500, but that's just not very buzz-worthy.
On the other hand, at $35,000, minus the $7500 tax credit, the Volt comes in at a nice sub-$30,000 price tag that could actually catch the attention of more than just early adopters, and such buzz could be GM's green image changer. Oh, yeah, and once Volt tax credits are expired, Volt pricing has to come down as close to $30,000 as possible. In fact, for real success, Volt pricing will have to fall well under $30,000 without any government help.
For now, however, long term Volt pricing is irrelevant. For now the Volt is significantly about marketing, and a sub-$30,000 price (after the tax credit) seems necessary, even if not likely to last. Thus, my guess is $32,500 for the base Volt. After a $7500 tax credit, such a price puts the Toyota Prius on notice – at least as long as the tax credits are available..