Volt marketing will get redesigned next year with new vehicle

Chevy's Tim Mahoney on marketing the next generation Volt: "You’ll see a focus on fishing where the fish are." Photo credit: Greg Horvath

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Chevrolet will overhaul its marketing plan for the Chevy Volt when it launches the second-generation in 2015, using existing Volt owners as product evangelists focusing marketing efforts regionally.

Speaking to Automotive News on the sidelines of the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars, Chevrolet global marketing chief Tim Mahoney said the second-generation Volt already has something that the first-generation didn’t: existing owners.

He said Chevrolet will use Volt owners, especially in social media, to advocate for the extended-range battery-electric sedan.

Mahoney earlier today confirmed that General Motors will reveal the next-generation Volt at the 2015 Detroit auto show, and that the car will continue to be manufactured at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

He showed a teaser image of the next-generation Volt’s rear, but declined to discuss any details about the car.

Through July, sales of the Volt are down 9 percent this year to 10,635. However, Volt sales were up 13 percent in July over the previous year.

Mahoney said marketing efforts for the next generation Volt will be regionally focused, in areas where populations are denser.

Mahoney said that while Volt “is a halo product for the brand and one that’s sort of points to what is possible at Chevrolet, there are clearly pieces of geography where it makes sense. So you’ll see a focus on fishing where the fish are.”

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com -- Follow Larry P. on Twitter: @LarryVellequett

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