Although Volt sales more than tripled through November from 2011 to 20,828, some Chevy dealers have opted to stop carrying the model after General Motors notified them that they were adding $5,100 to the cost for tools to service the plug-in hybrid. In fact, only 2,614 Chevrolet stores were certified to sell the Volt for 2013, compared with 3,079 dealers exactly one year ago today according to the Automotive News Data Center.
One of the main reasons is that as of this month, the auto manufacturer has told Chevrolet service technicians to remove and ship sections of the Volt's 435-pound battery pack to GM for repair, rather than shipping the entire pack. To do that, they need a $4,735 battery depowering tool to drain the battery before removing a section.
"It's pretty standard" to require dealers to buy tools to service certain nameplates,” commented GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho. “Last year, Volt dealers spent $1,800 to $2,800 on tools.”
However, for dealers like Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, N.Y. the figures just didn’t add up. The company has only sold five Volts since the car's launch two years ago, so he made the decision to quit its authorized dealer program.
"Going forward, the profitability would be really hard for us to justify the expense of the repair tools, owner Allyn Barnard told Automotive News.