• Why Are Chevy Dealers Offering $99/month Leases on the Bolt? [Opinion]

    Why Are Chevy Dealers Offering $99/month Leases on the Bolt?

    As electric cars become more popular in the public sphere, automakers are jumping at the opportunity to satisfy the demand.

    A few days ago, we covered the wave of announcements that lay out automatkers’ electrification strategies in the coming years. Of particular note was GM’s press release last week that promised an “all-electric future”. In that plan, the company plans to launch at least 20 new electric vehicles within the next six years. An ambitious plan, and I commented that their new Bolt is a promising start of achieving their goals.

    We at TFLcar like the Bolt – Nathan took one on a family road trip in California. We also drag raced one against a conventional car – specifically a Golf GTI – and the Bolt won by a considerable margin (video below!). It has well-tuned road manners, is fairly good looking, and offers up 238 miles of emissions-free range. Taking all that into account, you’d think there would be a premium on cars such as the Bolt.

    Why Are Chevy Dealers Offering $99/month Leases on the Bolt?
    Local dealerships, such as Gilroy Chevrolet in California, are offering attractive lease offers on the new Bolt.

    Apparently not. A TFLcar correspondent sent in this shot of a local newspaper ad offering the Bolt for $99 a month. Just last month, GM announced that they were making the Bolt available at dealerships nationwide. They’re also offering an 8-year/100,000 mile limited drivetrain warranty, much to the relief of owners worried about replacing battery packs. So why are you able to get this car so cheap?

    Simple answer: They’re not selling. In the third quarter of 2017 alone, Tesla delivered 26,150 cars. That’s more than twice as many Bolts GM managed to shift in 2017 – just 11,670 as of August 30. This shows that the Bolt – while a good car – faces an uphill battle against market-dominating Tesla.

    While the Bolt’s sales have been slow, it’s hardly alone. Its hybrid cousin is also struggling to find buyers.

    The Bolt has yet to usurp Tesla’s reputation as a go-to electric model, and its gas-electric hybrid cousin isn’t fairing so great either. If you’re in the market for a cheap lease on a hybrid, dealerships like Gilroy tout attractive offers.

    Why Are Chevy Dealers Offering $99/month Leases on the Bolt?
    The same Chevy dealership offering the Bolt for $99 is also leasing a Volt for $122/month.

    The Volt is the second-most popular plug-in car on currently on the market, just behind the Tesla Model S. However, its sales have steadily declined since last year. Dealerships seem to be offering attractive deals on both the all-electric Bolt and the hybrid Volt to move units. This particular dealer has a couple other stipulations, but they are not alone in making these offers. Other cursory searches will turn up several other lease deals similar to the ones this Chevrolet dealership is offering for these cars.

    Some thoughts on these deals:

    I’d like to put it to you, TFLcar community: What do you think of the Bolt/Volt and these lease offers? It could be that dealerships are offering attractive leases to spur EV sales. While governments in Europe are pushing to ban gas and diesel cars in their cities, the U.S.’ cheap gas prices may stymie EV sales for awhile. Companies like Tesla and BMW, whose sales have been growing, may prove a challenge for GM to overcome. Offer your thoughts in the comments below!

    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler is the Managing Editor for The Fast Lane Car. A Colorado native, he spends his free time exploring the hidden gems and scenic vistas of the Rocky Mountains. Zach is a life-long automotive fanatic and is based in Boulder, Colorado.

    18 thoughts on “Why Are Chevy Dealers Offering $99/month Leases on the Bolt? [Opinion]

    1. If it was available at the price in Canada I’d be all over it.
      Great little car.
      I’d sell my Subaru Forester XT in a heartbeat

    2. Check out the fine print on these deals.
      Must be a costco member-not that bad go pick up a membership
      Must also have a current competitive lease- that’s a deal breaker for most people and they each only have 1 car available at the price. It’s just an add to get you in the door

    3. Because it’s a GM and nobody wants a rental car. I bought a Chevy Cruze because i thought it was best in class and had a ton of features for the price.

      Then it burned to the ground on me at 50k, not uncommon form them.

      GM = quality lol. Not

    4. The front seats of the Bolt are not at all comfortable. If you od find the seats comfortable $99 Lease would make sense. You would not be on the hook for battery replacement.

    5. Chevy is offering a standard $279 – $299 lease in my Zip Code (depending on the size of the down payment and optional equip). Locally (OKC Metro) there are only 5 Volts. The official Chevy offer on all 3 Bolts in the OKC metro is 3.9% financing. Looking at California, I see lease offers for $159-$199/month straight up. When you look closely at some $99/month offers; they require $5000 down and also have the * “Must be in a current lease competitive lease” disclosure.

    6. You can lease a Bolt LT from Quirk Chevy Boston for $145 with $0 down. Or $95 with $2,000 down. At least that’s what the ad says. Probably small print, right? Just make sure you go visit one of the Chevy Bolt online forums (Google “Chevy bolt forum”) and read through the messages from real people who own Bolts (there’s a real mix of love and hate going on there).

    7. The domestic sales of the Chevy Bolt in September was third overall in pure EV vehicles. It was behind the world wide reported sales of the Tesla model S and X and ahead of the Nissan Leaf. In fact they sold significantly more Chevy Bolts in September than pure EV models from BMW, Fiat, VW, Kia, Hyundai, Ford, Smart and Honda combined.

    8. The demand for small(ish) 4-doors has been waning for some time. This vehicle would sell much better if it was a CUV/SUV. Individuals who are shopping for a Tesla are in no way considering a “Chevy”. Blame it on perceived quality, brand cachet or just curb appeal. Additionally most compact car buyers in my area (Metropolitan Washington, DC) still believe that Chevy’s offer poor reliability.

    9. Well…I can’t get a deal like this anywhere in northern Ohio. Dealers want outrageous up front payments to lease. I recently met with a Dealer asking for $2k up front and $339/per month. I asked if they could apply the $7500 tax rebate and no one seemed to know about. So, I guess I won’t be driving a Bolt any time soon.

    10. Just chatted online with a Chevy rep and she says Bolt leasing deals are dependent upon geographics and that every state is different. This doesn’t seem fair or equitable. Why should I pay a premium when someone on the east or west coast can get a great lease. I guess they plan on making up any discounts off the backs of Midwesterners interested in EVs. Well…maybe I am better off not having a Chevy vehicle.

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