The Chevrolet Bolt, despite being newly crowned North American car of the year, still won’t be produced in right-hand drive, according to Alan Batey, executive vice president and president of General Motors.
This morning’s reveal of the Chevrolet Traverse — a sibling to the GMC Acadia, which will be sold down under as the 2018 Holden Acadia – was also used as a sounding platform to boast about the performance of the affordable electric Chevrolet Bolt, but a lack of right-hand drive means it can never be the global success GM wants it to be.
Speaking to the media at the 2017 Detroit motor show, Batey said that he’s impressed with the EV, but doesn’t see the value in right-hand drive.
“Nothing to announce at this point in time. The answer is that we’re in the business of making money and we need to put vehicles into markets where there is a commercial opportunity. By me standing here and saying look at us we’re global [by just producing a right-hand drive version of the Bolt] isn’t anything that really excites me,” Batey said.
Regardless of its right-hand drive viability, Batey is clearly impressed with the car and his team’s ability to turn it around as quickly as they did.
“I would say over the last 12 months we’ve learnt more about our ability to execute, and go above and beyond. We’ll learn from customers now because we’ve just delivered our first vehicles in December, we’ll get a lot of customer feedback. Being first is a great thing. We set out with an audacious goal and smiled and said it wouldn’t happen,” Batey said.
“I revealed the concept vehicle just two years ago and last year we confirmed we were going to do it, we confirmed it would be under US$30,000 ($39,700) and with 200 miles (320km) range before the end of the year. It’s exciting, it’s won almost every award in the US and that tells me something about the car we have on our hands.”
With Australia’s keen design input into the concept, it would be great to see General Motors return the favour with a right-hand drive version, but we won’t hold our breath.
Would you like to see the Chevrolet Bolt sold in Australia? Does the small electric car have the goods to take on the electric vehicle segment?
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