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2017 BoltWith the upcoming Chevy Bolt estimated to cost about the same as the Tesla Model 3, many people would think a Tesla would be the logical choice.  But there are some important things to consider when making that choice. First, the Bolt will beat the Tesla to market. By a wide margin. Chevy has promised the Bolt will be available at dealers by the end of this year.  The Model 3 is “scheduled” for more than a year later.  And the quotes around “scheduled” is because Tesla doesn’t exactly have the best a good a reasonable a track record for delivering their products on time.

Next, the Bolt will be available at your local Chevy dealer.  You’ll be able to sit in it, test drive it, possibly even negotiate (although likely not at first).  Also, when you need service, you can just drive to that same local Chevy dealer, rather than having to drive, in some cases, many states away just to get service.

Also, when it comes to quality, Tesla lately has had a rough go of it. The model X launch has shown that Tesla has production problems, and they’re showing up in doors that don’t open, seats that fail in a crash and fit and finish issues.  Consumer Reports has even gone so far as to pull their recommendation, saying “The main problem areas involved the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks.” Production problems will only be multiplied when building a mass market vehicle like the Model 3.

And then there’s the company itself.  Tesla has been bleeding cash for years.  They apparently can’t  make money with expensive sedans and SUVs (where they entirely own the electric category), so how will a car that’s a third of the price help reverse that trend?  And more importantly, when that car is going up against the expected onslaught of entrants from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai etc?

The Bolt may do for Chevrolet what the Prius did for Toyota.  Establish them as a leader in an important and emerging category.  In the Bolt’s case, electric vehicles.  If done properly, Chevrolet could have a line of Bolt products in the coming years.

Steve Wozniak, the well respected techie and co-founder of Apple posted on his facebook page that he’ll be “swapping cars soon”.  Although he currently has a Tesla model S, he’s proudly standing beside a Chevy Bolt.  If a well known celeb and tech influencer, (who can buy anything he wants) is choosing the Bolt over a Tesla, it’s a good sign for things to come for Chevrolet.

The entire lineup of Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs is available at Cerrone GM on South Washington Street in Attleboro Massachusetts.