Tag Archives: sales

The Never Ending Chevy Volt Saga




General Motors (GM), or Government Motors, announced on Friday, March 2, 2012, that it will suspend Chevrolet Volt production for five weeks to “align production with demand.” GM told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck production facility that they will be temporarily laid off from March 19 to April 23, as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart, the Opel Ampera. The plant had resumed production on February 6, 2012, after a prolonged Christmas holiday shutdown.

Yes, that’s the same Chevy Volt that caught on fire after its batteries were punctured, that currently receives a $7500 per car purchase subsidy, and will receive, if Obama’s 2013 budget is approved, a $10000 per car purchase subsidy and that Obama said he would buy after leaving office. Our tax dollars at work!

Chevrolet sold 7671 Volts in 2011, and has sold 1626 so far in 2012. GM planned to expand production of the Volt to 60000 this year, with 45000 for the US market.

The Chevy Volt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel mileage estimate sticker provides something called an “MPG equivalent,” with an EPA rating of 93 MPG, but only for 35 miles. Its “gasoline engine only” rating is 37 MPG, and for 344 miles. The EPA’s “combined composite” rating is 60 MPG. Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director, said owners can expect about 40 MPG in the real world. The Volt’s 1.4 litre gasoline engine that powers the generator will make enough electricity to power the car, but it won’t recharge the battery. So before an owner can drive on battery-only power again, he/she will need to plug in. The Volt saves the most fuel and emissions when used primarily on battery power.

But that 40 MPG admission presents a problem for the Volt in particular and GM in general. The Volt costs $41000 (before subsidy). GM introduced the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, with an EPA rating of 42 MPG in some versions, yet costs about half the price of a Volt While the Cruze will probably not achieve the unrealistic EPA rating, it will most likely get 35 MPG. That will make the miles that the Volt will have to be driven to reach breakeven at somewhere about 150000 miles (assuming $4/gal gasoline price, $33500 Volt price, and $20000 Cruze price). But that calculation does not include the approximate $8000 cost of battery replacement, since the Volt battery warranty of 100000 miles is well short of the breakeven mileage.

But that’s just my opinion.

Survey: More Than 40 Percent of Consumers Will Shop for Last-minute Holiday Gifts

More men than women to delay holiday shopping until January 2012

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2011 — Following a blowout Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend, many consumers will continue to hit the stores through the final days leading up to Christmas, according to survey data from PriceGrabber®, a part of Experian. Results from PriceGrabber’s fourth winter holiday shopping survey reveal that 41 percent of consumers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 for holiday gifts. This data comes on the heels of a successful Thanksgiving weekend for retailers, during which PriceGrabber experienced a 15 percent increase in site traffic compared to 2010. Conducted from Nov. 17 to Nov. 30, 2011, the survey includes responses from 13,472 U.S. online shopping consumers.

Many last-minute shoppers are hunting for bargains
When those consumers who plan to shop at the last minute were asked to select all of the reasons why, 43 percent said that they believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. Another 43 percent of consumers indicated that they are busy and unable to finish their shopping earlier, 26 percent admitted to procrastinating, 22 percent believe it is fun to do last-minute shopping, and 10 percent are waiting for a year-end work bonus to begin shopping.

“After observing the increase in activity and sales of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season this year, we expect to see a significant percentage of consumers seeking to prompt retailers to offer additional savings throughout December,” commented Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. “Savvy shoppers saw retailers rolling out discounts as early as the week before Thanksgiving this year, and they are staying on top of last-minute incentives that are certainly on the horizon in the coming weeks.”

Consumers will buy a combination of high- and low-price-point items
When asked what type of gifts they plan to purchase at the last minute, 53 percent said they intend to purchase both big- and small-ticket items, 31 percent will buy only small-ticket items (under $100); 10 percent will purchase all of the holidays gifts on their list, and 6 percent will buy only big-ticket items (over$100).

More men will delay holiday shopping until January
While most consumers plan to complete their holiday shopping before Dec. 25, PriceGrabber’s survey found that 9 percent will wait until January to purchase holiday gifts. Men and women differed in their plans, with 11 percent of men saying they will wait until January to buy gifts and only 8 percent of women planning to do so.

When those consumers who will delay their holiday shopping until January were asked to select all of the reasons why, 68 percent said that they believe sale prices are best in January, 27 percent plan to use gift money received during the holiday period, 24 percent simply prefer shopping in January, and 11 percent plan to wait for a year-end work bonus to make purchases.

Daily deal sites begin to make mark on last-minute shoppers
According to PriceGrabber’s survey, a notable percentage of shoppers are turning to daily deal sites for great last-minute prices, with 27 percent indicating that they plan to shop for last-minute gifts on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.

Those consumers who plan to use daily deal sites will do so largely in hopes of finding a bargain.  Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicated they are trying to save money on gifts and like the discounts available through daily deal sites; 22 percent enjoy the great holiday deals on local services in their area; 13 percent said they liked being able to share great deals with family and friends, especially during the holiday season; 4 percent prefer to give experiential gifts and believe local deal sites offer the best options; and 3 percent are intrigued by the hype around local deal sites.

Black Friday Weekend Retail Sales Increase 1.9 Percent, Foot-Traffic Down 1.8

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2011  – Black Friday weekend is shifting to encompass days prior to the big shopping event, with stores seeing more foot-traffic beforehand.

According to ShopperTrak — the world’s largest provider of retail and mall foot-traffic counting services — more customers shopped the Sunday before Thanksgiving than the days following Black Friday. Both Black Saturday and Black Sunday showed year-over-year losses in retail sales and foot-traffic, which caused the entire Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) to realize a 1.9 percent sales increase and 1.8 percent decline in foot-traffic when compared to the same period last year. The week leading up to Black Friday (ending Nov. 26), however, saw a 4.4 percent increase in sales, when compared to the same week in 2010. Black Sunday (Nov. 27) also saw a 1.7 percent decrease in enclosed mall foot-traffic, compared to the previous Sunday (Nov. 20).

“Retailers offered door-busters and other pre-holiday specials earlier in the Thanksgiving week to ensure they had the best opportunity to capture value-conscious shoppers,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Our customers have access to real-time traffic information, and they succeeded in taking share earlier than they had in past years. As we’ve noted over the past few months, retailers who focus on converting shoppers into buyers with effective marketing, adequate staffing and a positive customer experience will be the most successful when the season ends.”

Day-by-day results

Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent over the same day last year, representing $11.40 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day. Retail foot-traffic rose by 5.1 percent over Black Friday 2010. Both sales and foot-traffic, however, declined as the weekend continued.  Compared to the same day in 2010, Black Saturday sales dropped 4 percent, and people counts declined 9.6 percent. Sales were slightly better on Black Sunday, dropping only 2 percent year-over-year, while foot-traffic dropped 8.7 percent over Black Sunday 2010.

“Black Friday is only one day in a 60-day holiday season cycle,” added Martin. “After a record-breaking day, consumers experienced some natural fatigue.  We believe retail sales and store foot-traffic will regain the momentum generated on Black Friday as we head into the prime time for holiday season shopping.”

ShopperTrak predicts five of the biggest shopping days of the season will occur in the week leading up to Christmas weekend: Dec. 17 (Super Saturday), Dec. 18, Dec. 19, Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. ShopperTrak also forecasts Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 26 as high sales days. Taken together, eight of the top 10 sales days of the year are yet to come.

Weekend performance across the country

When viewed by census regions, the West outperformed the rest of the nation with more foot-traffic and sales than any other region. The South also ranked high in sales, but, unlike the West, fewer Southern shoppers spent more per trip; the region ranked last in foot-traffic on some days.

The Midwest and Northeast alternately ranked third and fourth in foot-traffic and sales throughout the weekend.

“There is still a lot of time left in the holiday shopping season,” said Martin. “The most successful retailers will pay attention to foot-traffic patterns and make appropriate adjustments to convert shoppers into buyers.”

ShopperTrak measures foot-traffic in more than 25,000 stores in the United States and analyzes this data in a proprietary econometric model to create its National Retail Sales Estimate™ (NRSE) of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and other sales (GAFO).