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GM cuts plug-in Volt's price by $5,000 | The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is slashing the price of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by $5,000, making it the latest automaker to lower prices of electric vehicles in the face of lagging consumer demand.

The Detroit-based automaker said it will cut the base price 12.5 percent, from $39,995 to $34,995. The price cut comes just weeks after the automaker announced a $5,000 give-back on the 2012 Volt and $4,000 on the 2013 model.

The first Volt, a 2010 model, cost $41,000.

GM put a positive face on its decision to lower the list price.

“The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership,” said Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components.”

The 2014 Volt will arrive in dealer showrooms this month, GM said. It will be offered in two additional colors — Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic — and as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Otherwise, there are no changes.

GM expects the lease price will increase from $269 on the 2013 model to $299 for a 2014, said Michelle Malcho. The lease price is the product of negotiations with lenders.

The number one trade-in for the Volt is a Toyota Prius, she said, and the lower price is aimed at convincing more Prius owners to consider a Volt.

Volt sales in July were 3.3 percent lower than July 2012, totaling 1,788. For the first seven months of the year, they are up 9.2 percent from the same period in 2012, to 11,643. Sales jumped in June after GM introduced the new incentives.

David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, said the sales numbers are creeping up as incentives and price cuts take effect.

“To go mainstream, you are going to have to lower the price,” Cole said. “Automakers are taking costs out of the EVs, which will allow them to cut the costs. Automakers are going to have to sell these vehicles in higher volumes to meet future fuel economy standards.”

Malcho said GM has been able to reduce its costs to build the Volt, which is assembled at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

Automakers also must sell a limited number of zero-emission vehicles to meet California regulations. California continues to be Volt’s largest market.

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