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GM will show Bolt EV benefits to baseball fans on opening day – TechCrunch


After recalling 14,000 Bolts due to a fire hazard, GM wants US customers to know Chevrolet is back. Chevy is announcing the return of the all-electric Bolt sedan and utility vehicle with a pair of national ad campaigns kicking off Thursday to coincide with Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.

General Motors said retail production of the Bolt EV and SUV restarted on Monday after eight months of sluggishness and dealers had been given the green light to sell them. Chevy halted manufacturing of the Bolt last August, resuming briefly in November, to focus on replacing battery modules for model years 2017 through 2022.

Now that production is underway, the hard work begins: regaining the trust of customers.

“We don’t see massive reputational damage,” Steve Majoros, vice-president of marketing for Chevrolet, said in a briefing. “We will certainly remain humble. We’re going to think we’ve got a great product, and we’re just going to try to convince America that it’s the right EV at the right time.

As the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, the brand will feature advertisements for every MLB game nationwide. As part of the turnaround, Chevy is offering buyers of 2022 models free home installation of a 240-volt charging unit.

The ads aim to put potential buyers at ease, according to Majoros. “Frankly, they feel good for the kind of people we need to reach,” he said. “We talked about attracting early adopters, but those days are over, so we need to have high volume.”

But it remains to be seen whether two traditional television spots timed to reach baseball fans can both convince customers to return to Chevy and attract new EV buyers in an increasingly crowded segment that expects a multitude of new battery-electric models later this year.

First place highlights that the Bolt’s 247-mile range lasts longer than a phone conversation from the 20-year-old driver’s talkative mother.

The second spot features a miscommunication between a nervous mother-to-be and the technician finishing her home installation. “Oh, don’t worry, it’s a piece of cake,” the tech says, referring, of course, to the ease of owning a Bolt, not impending parenthood.

Next quarter sales reports will show whether the ads helped drive customers to the Bolt.

The brand’s decision last summer to focus on recalls rather than new sales “has put the safety of our customers first and allowed us to put all of our energy into the limited supply of batteries we aircraft at the time while increasing battery production,” Majoros said.It has been a truly herculean task.

He declined to comment on the rate at which Chevrolet is replacing batteries, but said there are still plenty of dealer and customer orders to fulfill. The priority goes to customers with orders for the 2022 model year, he added. The brand plans to switch to 2023 models in July.

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