Ah, it’s been a jubilant last few days over at http://www.media.(insert automaker name here).com. Big numbers are being bandied about, but in carefully chosen theaters of comparison… They still haven’t beat 2007’s numbers, and on a sales per capita basis they haven’t recovered from the 1980s recession.

But it’s often more interesting to watch the trends in consumer preference buried on the later pages of the lower links off of the automaker’s PR blizzards. Like ‘Vette vs. Volt sales! Now I wouldn’t buy either car, both being ridiculous extremes produced by deeply opposed marketing philosophies. My taste in 4 wheelers runs more to hot hatches powered by FWD fours, which on a worldwide basis also happen to be the best sellers. BTW, Ford is already claiming numero uno spot for the Focus, but I’ll withhold judgement ’til I see what the sales of the various iterations of VW/Seat/Tatra/etc. versions of the Golf add up to.

Back to the ‘Vette & Volt… GM claims to have “delivered” 23,461 Volts and 14,132 ‘Vettes in 2012, so looks like we have a clear winner… Not! “Delivered” is a broad term that can describe a lot of methods of getting cars off the storage lots, up to and including depositing them at a scrapyard like they did the EV1 electric car. Now over-30  gearheads will remember that GM wouldn’t sell you an EV-1, only lease you one. And when those EV1s became a maintenance nightmare after but a couple years of “life”, GM yanked them back and fed them to the crusher. After a couple years of slow sales that have resulted in few Volts finding homes, GM is aggressively pushing lowball leases to at least find foster homes for the Volt. Yup, for as little as $159 a month GM will be happy to let you unburden their storage lots of a Volt for a couple years- I doubt you could lease the cheapest econobox for that little. The lease deals are surely costing GM on the front end, but surely make “end of life” planning for the Volt a lot easier. Couple years from now and stockholders instead of the gov’ment will again control GM, and the Volt will be dead meat.

In “delivery” method as well as design, the ‘Vette is the antithesis of the Volt. You’ll find no lease specials on the ‘Vette, in fact a lot of leasing companies won’t touch the perennial “midnight auto supply” favorite with a ten foot breaker bar.  Make sure you dress office conservative when you go begging for a loan on a ‘Vette, have a big down payment in hand, and you still won’t find any bargains… No surprise that a lot of “Vettes are sold cash! So while the local Chevy dealer will darn near throw in a Volt with the free hot dogs, chips, and pop, expect to plop down a deposit before they’ll order your ‘Vette.

But ‘Vette buyers are serious enthusiasts, and extremely well informed about their cars… Which may explain this years slow ‘Vette sales. Yup, a new 7th generation ‘Vette will debut in a week, and ‘Vette buyers are waiting for the new model instead of buying the old one. Heck, the plant in Bowling Green that builds the ‘Vette has been down for months for retooling too…

So I have no idea which of Chevy’s extreme cars sold best, maybe R.L. Polk does, but they don’t give out their stats for free. And in other news, GM delivered near 4000 Australian built V8 powered Caprice sedans, even though only police forces can buy them. And in news from Dearborn, Ford still sold thousands of Crown Vic Police Interceptors and the Mustang outsold the Taurus despite the Taurus getting a police package… Darn V8s just refuse to die!

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