Dealer Samuel Jeanson says it can take four times longer to sell a Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid than to sell a gasoline-powered car. Still, Jeanson's Bourgeois Chevrolet in Rawdon, Que., stocks and sells every Volt it can get, new and used.
Why bother? Bourgeois Chevrolet caters to buyers of electrified vehicles, and Bourgeois figures his store's profit per vehicle is the same for electrifieds as it is for conventional cars and trucks.
Bourgeois sold a record 287 electrified vehicles in 2015, including 192 new and 95 used. The total doesn't include 43 presold 2017 Chevrolet Volts and 33 Bolt battery-electric vehicles, cars that are not yet on sale. Bourgeois hit those numbers with gasoline prices dropping in Canada, though they're still about double that of U.S. prices.
In October alone, Bourgeois Chevrolet sold 57 electrified vehicles, according to Jeanson, the store's coowner with his brother, Hugo, and uncle, Mario Bourgeois. Buyers for the dealership scour auctions in Canada and the U.S. for used Volts and Bourgeois Chevrolet takes unwanted new Volts from other stores.
Bourgeois Chevrolet sold 704 vehicles in 2015, so that means more than 40 per cent of sales were plug-in hybrids and EVs, all this in a town of 10,000 people about 50 miles from the nearest big city, Montréal.
"It is an amazing market," says Jeanson, who has sold Volts to customers from as far away as B.C.
"Even customers who come in for conventional product and ask for gas, we sell them an EV."