SAN FRANCISCO -- The revamped Chevrolet Volt won’t be available nationally until late next spring, but a series of attack ads targeting the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius will debut this fall on the Internet and later on TV.
At the press launch of the 2016 Volt here this week, Chevrolet officials are showing the ads to auto writers and explaining the unusual rollout of the new Volt, which has been rebuilt from the wheels up.
Chevrolet began shipping the second generation of the Volt plug-in hybrid Tuesday to dealers in California and 10 other states. Those will be marketed as 2016 models in a shortened model year. In early 2016, Chevrolet will launch the 2017 Volt nationally, said spokesman Randy Fox.
But starting later this fall, two long-form ads will debut on the Internet. The first one, a shot at the battery electric Nissan Leaf, aims to show how the Volt eliminates range anxiety -- the fear of running out of battery power. The second ad compares the nickel metal hydride battery technology in the top-selling Toyota Prius to that of late 1990s consumer electronics. The Volt uses more advanced lithium ion batteries.
The ads will have a familiar look and feel. They continue the focus group setting featuring consumers -- not actors -- that Chevrolet showcased earlier this year when it touted high strength steel against aluminum in a bid to put a few dings in Ford’s new lightweight F-150.
Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer, Tim Mahoney, said those ads have been extremely effective in helping improve Chevrolet’s brand image. Mahoney said Chevrolet’s “shattering perceptions” ads have bumped consumers’ favorable opinion of the brand by 3 percent.