Jul 15

Bob Lutz: No Chevy Beat But Maybe 500,000 Chevy Volts

 

After today’s financial press conference, GM vice-chair Bob Lutz gave some interviews.

Previously we had heard rumors the Chevy Beat might come to the U.S. market. It seemed an ideal car for the current market due to it’s small size and high fuel efficiency. But unfortunately Mr. Lutz told reporters that the car would not be coming here soon. The reason, per Mr. Lutz, was that the car was never designed for the U.S. and thus doesn’t meet crash and safety test requirements. To bring it up to those standards would take at least 2 years and cost too much money. As a consolation, he said the next generation Beat could make it to this country.

He also poured a little water over the Chevy Cruze, the new subcompact sedan with the potential for more than 40 mpg. Lutz said it wouldn’t replace the Cobalt anytime soon, as the latter car is "no where near the end of its life-cycle" and is "finally coming into its own."

He did however up the ante once again on how many Volts might be built. He told the Detroit News that GM would now be focusing all its efforts on high volume vehicles, saying "this is not the time for niche vehicles,” and “we can’t afford to hit singles and bunts. We need triples and home runs.”

He explained that any Volt volume productions were "iffy" because of the car’s reliance on new technologies and suppliers.

He did say however “we’re in uncharted territory. If global demand is there, my personal guess is that vehicles like the Volt could be 500,000 a year in a few years time.”

Source (Autoblog ) and (Detroit Free Press )

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 at 5:19 pm and is filed under Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 171


  1. 1
    Statik

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    Money has left the table for conversion of Beat.

    To be fair…and as I mentioned earlier. The Cruze is a euro-first as there platform is already up and almost running.

    The Lordstown plant is no where near even starting to convert over. When it does it will run a concurrently with the Cobalt/Pursuit.

    Internally, changeover in Lordstown was to begin in early 2010..with production out the door at the earliest in June 2010. However, this new ‘thriftier’ GM may have decided to push it back further than that–but that would be pure conjecture on my part.

    (I’ll try to widdle some information out of some people on it and post, but I have a feeling even people that should know things like that…don’t at this moment).

    /good topic


  2. 2
    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    “If global demand is there”

    The demand is there… only question is, is the price going to be?


  3. 3
    Brad

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    Focus all attention on the Volt and get it out ASAP and you will be saved and quite possible save America. Go GM! Go Volt!


  4. 4
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    Bring back GM’s Geo Metro, 1L 3-cyclinder engine that got over 50 miles per gallon highway about 20 years ago!


  5. 5
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:29 pm)

    Look at it this way: regardless of where the Beat sells,it will improve
    reduction of gasoline demand, which helps everyone. And in terms of gas reduction capability, one single Volt can do the work of at least 7 Beats, and allow for some workplace recharging that we know will occur, and perhaps that would be 10 Beats per single Volt.


  6. 6
    Mark

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    #2

    You’re correct. The demand IS there, but ONLY if the price is reasonable. If the price is too high, the demand vanishes. People want electric cars, but are not willing to pay over a certain amount for it.


  7. 7
    Fred X

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    The Green Saboteur Luddite Anti Prayer

    Oh my holy entropic energy god please listen to my prayers…..

    Atomic energy is great. We need to drill on the coasts and in ANWR for oil We need to keep researching all the alternative energy possibilities. We need the Chevy Volt. Please help T. Boone Pickens and others like him develop his plan. Please burn the ecotards and use the waste heat to generate electricity! Banish all the green saboteur luddites to islands where only liberals live. Let them sell expensive lattes and ride unicorns to work for I do not want to live in a cave. Do not force me to do research about cow farts. Let them first live as they advocate others do before legislating a carbon free dark age. Do not let their false god bend me to my knees for their religion of global warming. Do not let their strange neurotic germanic environmental worship take over my government for the germans also have preoccupation with feces and I am not anal retentive.

    Amen and lord of Energy deliver us from The Green Saboteur Luddites who hum and chant and look like Anthony Zorba in the Omega Man wearing the monk hoodie.


  8. 8
    JEC

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    This quote sounded good until I read it again, and realized its not what I originally understood:

    .”..my personal guess is that vehicles LIKE the Volt could be 500,000 a year in a few years time.”

    The word LIKE, says that he can see 500,000 electric cars in a few years, and not specifically the Volt.

    Oh GM, I hope you know what your doing!


  9. 9
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:34 pm)

    Mark, the question for most folks is not whether they are willing or not… but can they AFFORD it…. if the Volt is $40k that’s a lot of money to put up… even if they up paying for almsot no gas (just for the electricity to recharge it daily).

    Out of curiosity, if any one knows… what safety standards does the Beat not meet for the USA, but is ok to sell in Europe? Crush zones? Air bags? And does it really take 2 years to tweak and retool?


  10. 10
    Chris C

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    Fred X. Ditto


  11. 11
    Ed M

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    I’m feeling very optimistic about the Volt. Five hundred thousand per year should meet the demand for lower price with a big fuel savings. A million a year would be even better, did someone say home run ? Go GM, we love what your doing.


  12. 12
    Statik

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:51 pm)

    “GM has said it plans to build about 10,000 Volts in 2011, the car’s first full year of production. Any projection for the Volt is iffy, because the vehicle relies on new technologies and suppliers, he said. We’re in uncharted territory. If global demand is there, my personal guess is that vehicles like the Volt could be 500,000 a year in a few years time.”

    What he means by”a few years time”, he menas “a few years time AFTER we get serious and roll out a few thousand in 2012.

    There is no way GM puts out 500,000 Volts (or Volt cousins) in a few years. End of story. 100 percent. guaranteed.

    There is zero infrastructure right now behind the Volt…nothing. Vaporware. They will be lucky to get one pushed out in 2010, and lucky to get a few thousand in 2011.

    Why would anyone believe GM could push out 500K of these in a reasonable amount of time.

    It took Toyota a decade to get to a million Prius’ on the market from the first day they first put it on the showroom. They have 3 plants pumping as hard as they possibly can and they can’t hit 500K this year. And they have full committment behind their project…and gov’t backing to get them started. As they say, “It’s the battery, stupid”

    GM is converting one line, let me repeat…ONE LINE to the Volt. Max capacity of a normal car would probably be 200K. Something as tricky as the Volt…coupled with the battery supply issues and we are talking 75K/yr max production…and that’s being generous.

    There is no plans to increase capacity in North America at any point. As soon as they can, Volt 2.0 and it’s cousins will all be moved to Europe. That is expected to happen in 2013…then add on the ‘ramp up’ time and you are looking at 2015 at least before GM can pump out any kind of numbers to be a ‘triple’ or ‘homerun’

    I’m afraid this is a classic, “pay no attention to what the man behind the curtain is doing” Bad news coupled with optimistic words.


  13. 13
    calgaryvolt

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:51 pm)

    When it comes to the Beat I wish it was coming to NA right away. I would consider one but I’m probably don’t represent the average consumer. The concerning thing about this news is that GM supposedly has been working on turning over a new leaf and designing and producing cars for the global market. Under such circumstances it is difficult to understand why GM would say it would take significant time and money to bring the Beat to NA. I don’t really buy that it would take two years for it to become compliant or that they might wait until the next generation. I think it’s more GM philosophy to continue to try to get people into more profitable CUV’s and SUV’s. I think GM is wanting to stay away from bringing vehicles like the Beat to NA because they are still under the impression that demand would be or is weak. Part of the problem is that demand is weak for smaller GM vehicles like the Aveo but that’s because the product is weak. GM is comfortable building these in Korea (I think) and selling in Europe because the Euro market has a strong small car segment so there is little risk. It’s a slightly more risky venture in the NA market and it’s a shame that GM isn’t even trying to break the market, in my opinion.


  14. 14
    Bob C

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    Qualification testing is a long and tedious activity. Once qualified, tooling needs to be reworked, assembly procedures documented, assemblers trained, etc. Do not underestimate the amount of work to make a product for the mass market at high quality. Car makers have new models on a regular schedule (3, 4, 5 years) so all changes in design can be done according to a predictable schedule. That minimizes surprise expenses and keeps quality under control. Make no mistake, the buying public will not tolerate poor quality no matter how good the gas mileage is. Even the Volt, while accelerated, is following a rigorous and proven development plan, for all the reasons stated above…


  15. 15
    calgaryvolt

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:00 pm)

    I have similar concerns as Statik does with respect to the Volt and production. At first I was excited and fully believed that it was going to be a game changer. I’ve waited and still kept up my hopes but with this rash of bad news from GM and such I’m starting to lose hope in the Volt. I still believe the Volt will be produced but I don’t think it will come out in any significant volume within the next ten years and I don’t think too many people will be driving them or will have the oppurtunity to purchase them. I think this project has gone from high hopes down to a fading light. I think GM is still plowing ahead because they want to show that they can make this happen but once it’s produced I think it will shortly end. This is GM’s show piece and I think it’s taken a lot of resources and energy out of the company. They should have been looking at getting a few solid products out for 2010 to compete in the compact and small market segments. They haven’t though and what they currently have stinks and they don’t plan to bring anything out for a number of years. The Volt will do little good in terms of financial viability.


  16. 16
    RickRussellTX

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:07 pm)

    Remain calm, grasshopper.

    The 500000 wasn’t pulled out of thin air. Honda recently announced their hybrid strategy, and they’re talking about 500000 Honda hybrids per year by 2015. The Volt is probably running on a similar timetable.

    RR


  17. 17
    Statik

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:07 pm)

    Don’t worry, others will pick up the ball GM dropped with the Beat.

    Here is Ford’s “Beat” (the Fiesta)…coming in early 2010, late 2009.

    - will be produced at Ford’s Cuautitlán Assembly Plant beginning in early 2010
    – Cuautitlán Assembly Plant transformed from large-truck to small-car production as part of Ford’s manufacturing realignment and investment in smaller, fuel efficient vehicles

    http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2008/112_0806_2010_ford_fiesta/index.html

    Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWBRUqwXAA8

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/page/3/


  18. 18
    Kent

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    The more news I hear about the Volt, the more discouraged I get. When the Volt was first announced 1-2 years ago, I immediately thought to myself that I am DEFINITELY getting one. Now, it doesn’t seem like I will be able to get one until 2015, at the earliest.

    I currently own 4 cars, all American, and I’ve been shouting “GO VOLT!, GO GM!” just like many others on this website. I guess it’s now time to start shouting “GO TOYOTA”, “GO HONDA”, “GO MITSUBISHI”, “GO SUBARU”!

    As much as I regret saying this, but I guess my allegiance to domestic automakers is now officially over. Maybe Tesla will come through for me with their $30K EV in a few years.


  19. 19
    RB

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    GM’s decision to drop health care coverage for its retired workers is understandable from the perspective of desperate men take deperate measures. GM is walking away from any payments GM is not compelled to make, even if so doing leaves a keen sense of betrayal. After all, there’s no legal document, just some promises.

    The question is what lesson is to be learned from GM’s decision on retiree health care, for those of us who are prospective Volt owners. The Volt is a new product that may turn out to be fine, or may turn out to have unanticipated issues, possibly big ones, that may or may not be covered by the warranty, exactly. Judging from GM’s health care decision, I think I know what GM will do in response — walk away. So knowing that, the question is what I should do. Reminds me of the old song “If you don’t want, you don’t have to, get into trouble….”


  20. 20
    Vincent

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    Ditto on demand for the Volt. it will sell.
    On 40 plus MPG…just drop a dam diesel in a Cobalt and you have 50MPG. Wake up GM…where are the Diesels.


  21. 21
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:36 pm)

    Bob Lutz says, says, “this is not the time for niche vehicles,” and “we can’t afford to hit singles and bunts. We need triples and home runs.”

    ——-
    I would agree. That depends on GM and how high they want to price the Volt and how little of them they make.


  22. 22
    B O

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:40 pm)

    Obama just said he wants to partner with American Automakers to create Electric infrastructure for EVs and to start making 100 mpg cars. He just said this about 5 minutes ago on PBS news. Don’t have a clue what he means with the word “partner”.


  23. 23
    DaveP

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:47 pm)

    #19 RB
    To answer your question of what to do if GM looks like it’s going to walk away from the \Volt… Buy as many as you can.

    I cite the RAV4-EV (from wikipedia):
    “The MSRP was $42,000; but in California, ZIP-grant rebates of $9,000, decreasing in 2003 to $5,000, and a $4,000 credit from the Internal Revenue Service brought the price down to a more palatable $29,000 ($33,000 for some 2003 deliveries), including the home charger.”

    And from Autobloggreen:
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/05/28/toyota-rav4-ev-ebay-auction-resolved-still-a-record/
    “We’ve been following the saga of a 2001 Toyota RAV4 EV that came up for auction on eBay and sold for a record-setting (as far as we know) bid of $89,200″

    OK, that’s misleading, that bid was retracted. Psyche! :) However, it still sold to the second highest bidder for $69,850.

    So, for a RAV-4 EV bought (probably by a California Greenie trying to push the technology so we could all benefit, I might add ;) for $29k in 2001 and sold for $70k in 2008, that makes, er, about 15.6% per year on your investment!

    I repeat, buy as many as you can.


  24. 24
    dagwood55

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:47 pm)

    “500,000 vehicles like the Volt…” I’m quite sure the key word is “like,” as in “similar to” but not the Volt. GM will build its 200K in 4 or 5 years… maybe… but Mitsubishi, Toyota and Honda are going to press ahead and eat GM’s lunch.

    New flash for ya, Maximum Bob… the demand is there.. at the right price. $40K Is not the right price when the competition is going to be w-a-a-y less than that.

    Is it more sad than laughable or vice versa?


  25. 25
    canehdian

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:50 pm)

    It’s either a bad picture, or it seems Lutz spends far too much time tanning and not enough time getting us the volt! :)


  26. 26
    Bernie Torbik

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:57 pm)

    Perhaps Lutz needs to be briefed on Ford’s plan to introduce the new Fiesta and Gen 3 Euro-Focus to NA in 2010. The former will be built at Hermosillo, the latter in Wayne, MI. Both are VASTLY superior to the pathetic Cobalt. I rented a Focus in Belgium in June and would love to own one. The one (and only) time I rented a Cobalt I couldn’t even fit a large suitcase into its poorly engineered trunk.

    My point is, if Ford is doing this, and Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda all have similar cars, why isn’t GM falling all over themselves to bring the Corsa and Beat to NA? I suppose I shouldn’t expect otherwise from management that “couldn’t foresee the current market conditions”.


  27. 27
    Ed H

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:11 pm)

    Sometimes the crap I read in these exchanges just floors me. GM is at a turning point. It is both teetering on the edge and leading the way. This dichotomy tends to make a very focused and determined animal. There are concerns about how many Volts can be produced in a given period of time. Well think about it this way. How many Sherman tanks were produced during WWII when there wasn’t a SINGLE plant tooled for a vehicle that hadn’t been designed yet. Answer: over 50,000 and those were TANKS built with technologies from 60 years ago. In this current state of emergency (economic, energy, etc) the stage is set for this “moon shot” and the driving forces are obvious. We have a public looking for an alternative to $4+ per gallon fuel, a government looking for a way to stabilize our economy and decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and a major company that needs to rebound in a huge way. Once the Volt rolls out and the reception demonstrates the public’s interest, we will see the retooling of some of these plants that have closed. The demand for for batteries will be answered in the same manner. If the money/profit is there, they will build it and we will… you get the point. Call me overenthusiastic or delusional (and several certainly will) but this is the way capitalism works. The government won’t screw this one up because it may keep them from becoming involved in another bailout.


  28. 28
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:13 pm)

    Regarding the Beat, GM targeted the car for the European market using European designers and ended up with a vehicle that cannot be driven in the US. That’s too bad, but made sense long before the price of oil took off, as fuel was only expensive in Europe.

    Given that situation, GM is foregoing any tweaks on small cars, allowing the Cobalt to carry things for awhile, and instead are pushing flex fuel vehicles and mild hybrids in the near term and E-REV’s longer term.


  29. 29
    RB

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:35 pm)

    In surveys done by Consumer Report and listed in the automotive issues, they include survey results of present owners as to whether they would buy the same car again. Only 45% of Cobalt sedan owners say they would buy another Cobalt (as compared to 92% of Prius owners who would buy another Prius). Aveo is even worse.

    The Chevy small cars are an extraordinarily weak foundation on which to base the future of GM. Mr Lutz notwithstanding, GM really needs to find a way to bring in some of its better small cars from Europe or from somewhere.


  30. 30
    bruce g

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:43 pm)

    I think capitalism is driven by greed, short term profits and an adversion to risk.
    Transport fuel is a crisis like the property crisis, ( generated by capitalism by the way,typified by loose financial control chasing high profits).
    Similarly and regretably, I think, serious intervention by governments is required.


  31. 31
    cyclop

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:46 pm)

    “we can’t afford to hit singles and bunts. We need triples and home runs.” Baseball teams who say this never win the world series. A great baseball team needs all kinds of combinations.


  32. 32
    RB

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:49 pm)

    #23 DaveP — Thanks for the information. I will remember it.


  33. 33
    bruce g

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    If I read that correctly GM are saying they will continue the Cobolt even while they could supply a more efficent vehicle, the Cruze.
    They havent learned anything yet. Still the old ideas.


  34. 34
    Morgan

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:59 pm)

    Reading this thread makes me appreciate Statik and his reasoned skepticism and cautious optimism more and more.

    There is an old US manufacturing adage that falls by the wayside a lot nowadays with consumers:

    You can have it fast, cheap, or well-built. Pick two.

    Unproven technology, unproven battery, unfamiliar suppliers, new car design. To combat this you have a company with a shoestring budget, zero government support either moral or financial, a domestic populace that is at best apathetic at worst actively hostile to your company. To add insult to the mountain of worries: your main competition not only gets government funding and support from THEIR home country but from yours as well. GM might have earned some of this but I know enough business to know that the foundation was laid WAY before anybody who currently works there started there.

    the closest competition to the object of all this turmoil is priced at 37,000 and is in test fleets still and has a lot of engineering challenges to be overcome with charging and range.

    If I were either of the two gentlemen heard from today I would have written a nice long letter telling the American public to go pound sand and taken my golden parachute to the Bahamas.

    GM is a profitable company in almost all overseas operations…if they shut down NA they would be a profitable and strong company overnight, the consequence would be many many many Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians in the unemployment line.

    The Cruze has been pushed back because GM can either move full speed ahead with the Volt and hybridizing its SUVs (where GM has an engineering and quality dominance) or it can spend money retooling plants and rushing production of the Cruze. They can’t do it all, they don’t have the cash.

    sorry to be terse but, thems the facts. Given all that is arrayed against them the first Volt coming off the assembly line is a huge victory for the company regardless of production volume (which is limited by battery production, as it always has been and which Lutz just reiterated)


  35. 35
    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (8:07 pm)

    Wow GM says they want to produce a half a million of Volt like auto’s and this has people jumping ship!!!

    When he said “Volt like” that is music to my ears. I don’t want a volt. I hope this statement means something like: 70K volts, 140K Silverados, 70Kthis that and the other E-Flex vehicles etc etc.


  36. 36
    Dave B

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (8:44 pm)

    I agree Omegamann @ 35, all comments above (and I read them) seem to be saying GM is doomed… I think this is positive that half a million Volts are foreseeable.

    This is terrific! Finally a real manufacturer willing to put it all on the line for ELECTRIC CARS. This is great news for energy independence!


  37. 37
    Jason C

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    Wow…I have to agree with omegaman on this one. Things may look bleak at the moment but why the “summertime soldier” attitude? GM has a strategy (for what appears to be the first time in decades) and I for one am keen to see it play out.

    In 1996 it appeared that Apple computer was dead in the water. That was when Steve Jobs coma back and I recall EVERYONE in the company I worked for at the time talking about how Apple was now totally sunk. the only person who didn’t agree with them was me. I see the same good future for GM now as I did for Apple then. They are making the right moves and being more focused on a few good things then trying to be everything to everybody. The Volt is just part of this strategy.

    It seems to be something like this:
    1. Streamline product line
    2. Move toward electrification of the automobile
    3. Make better vehicles (what PEOPLE want AND what they need not what GM might THINK they need)
    4. Invest in next generation renewable fuel production for vehicles
    5. Build vehicles for next generation fuel that GM owns/is pushing

    Looks like a winning strategy for me…I hope they can pull it off


  38. 38
    Arch

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    To be honest I grow tired of ALL of this. GM is not trying to help us out but just trying to play the game to make the most money. They do not care about us or our problems. Go find the car that works for you. It hurts to say that since I designed this car 30 years ago. There are just to many games being played.

    Take Care
    Arch


  39. 39
    RB

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:01 pm)

    Arch
    You’re a seasoned observer. What games do you see?


  40. 40
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:21 pm)

    #6 Mark says: “The demand IS there, but ONLY if the price is reasonable. If the price is too high, the demand vanishes.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    The price is heavily affected by sales volume. Sales volume is heavily affected by demand. Demand is heavily affected by price. Price is heavily affected by sales volume…

    GM has to find a way to break this vicious circle.

    Federal tax breaks could help kick up demand. GM could also sell the Volt at a slightly negative profit margin initially. This would also help jump-start initial demand significantly, which would increase profits in few years.


  41. 41
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:25 pm)

    Jeff M #9

    “Out of curiosity, if any one knows… what safety standards does the Beat not meet for the USA, but is ok to sell in Europe? Crush zones? Air bags? And does it really take 2 years to tweak and retool?”

    *** *** ***

    It’s not necessarily important which ones, but rather the fact that it doesn’t meet them. The car was designed in such a way that they were never considered since GM’s Daewoo of S. Korea never had any original plans to import this vehicle to the US.

    Yes it could be quite expensive and time consuming to redesign this vehicle to meet US safety standards. It would probably be cheaper to start from scratch on a new vehicle from one of GM’s existing NA platforms, which is the reason you won’t see this vehicle anytime soon.


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:35 pm)

    RB #19

    “Judging from GM’s health care decision, I think I know what GM will do in response — walk away. So knowing that, the question is what I should do. Reminds me of the old song “If you don’t want, you don’t have to, get into trouble….””

    *** *** ***

    This is the very reason they’re only planning on releasing 10K units the first year. This car is the first instance of E-flex which is bread and butter now to GM. I doubt seriously they’ll drop it like a sack. I understand your frustration, but I’d remind you that voluntary health benefits for salaried retirees is an age old practice whose time has probably passed.


  43. 43
    Arch

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:44 pm)

    #39 RB

    JUst look at what we are seeing. First the Volt would be under $30,000. Now it is a lot higher. Then we could get a cheap little
    Chevy at 40 MPG now we cant. Its the same game they keep playing over and over again and again. Its the food hung out
    in front of the horse game. We have all been suckered in by now.
    They have not learned a thing. I am sick of it!

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    I do have to admit I am impressed with how fast GM has learned how to use the net. They were quick on the uptake on this one. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    wake up cal to gm
    evs wave of the future
    heres another hint
    japan sweedan portugal italy amongst other nations r going electric
    wake the heck up if ur not realy fullheartedly commited to evs to bad thats sad everyone else is ur gonig to be broke before u know it..
    soo no old song and dance will keep u afloat u need to change the dance or make a new one up
    ev. volt whatever it ends up being
    it better be a whole lot cheaper then gas powered cars…
    aka.. electric


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    Stew

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe Bob and Rick are still employed.

    Like was mentioned earlier, GM is a global company, to not design a vehicle like the Beat for the global market is the very short-sightedness that got them where they are now.

    And like was mentioned earlier, the circumstances leading to this were in the making before these GM exec’s were here is probably true. HOWEVER, they are supposed to LEAD the company, not react.

    Remember, USA Today August 9, 2006 – “Even the prospect of $4-a-gallon gasoline doesn’t faze General Motors (GM) CEO Rick Wagoner” and “…Wagoner says he thinks vehicle sales are unlikely to nose-dive.”

    These words are from the CEO for crying out loud, not some PR guy. That is why GM is where they are today. It is just unbelievable.


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:27 pm)

    Arch # 43

    “Then we could get a cheap little
    Chevy at 40 MPG now we cant. Its the same game they keep playing over and over again and again. Its the food hung out
    in front of the horse game.”

    *** *** ***

    Arch,

    I’ve got to agree with you on this one. Unfortunately GM is still playing the publicly held Corp. game. With their stock at $10 and pennies I think for now they need to forget about that and stop the nonsense. It’s time for pragmatic strategies and honesty.

    OTOH, I still think GM has a lot going for them. The low hanging fruit is E85 capability across all platforms, including the Cobalt and other reasonable vehicles, to include epsilon platform 4 bangers. These are extremely tough times, but I don’t think that every vehicle has to be a mini Cooper, or Prius to sell. Honestly I can’t think of a more appealing reasonably priced vehicle than the 4cyl Pontiac G6. If I’m not mistaken, all epsilon 4cyls get well over 30 on the highway, combine that with E85 capability and with a few ads you might get some customers in showrooms.

    Again, E-Flex is the future, it’s just a matter of surviving, and there are many ways to do just that!


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    Stew, yea, I think GM needs a management shake up at the top… like Jason said above, that’s what it took to turn Apple Computer around. Now that Steve Jobs has sold Pixar maybe he has time :)

    Grizzley… what USA safety standards the Beat doesn’t meet is important as I’m curious and would like to know. Is the Beat and other cars on Europe’s roads unsafe? Or are our safety standards tougher than they need to be, and maybe that’s something that Congress or the US D.O.T. can address, so we can get these high miles/gallon vehicles to the USA.

    As for deisel engines… I used to think that would help too… but I’m not so sure any more. Deisel around here sells for around 80 cents more per gallon than regular unleaded. That’s 20% more per gallon… and while deisel contains more energy per unit, are the equiv gas vs. deisel vehicles getting 20% more MPG? On top of that, deisel is essentially the same as home heating oil… put lots of deisel’s on the road and in the Winter both deisel and home heating oil compete, and prices for deisel will be even more than 20% than gasoline.


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:48 pm)

    May I remind everyone that the Honda Civic Hybrid is selling today for about $23,000 – Very comfortably below $30,000, to paraphrase Bob Lutz? The Prius is in the same ballpark, pricewise. I’m sorry Bob, but a price tag uncomfortably over $40,000 for a Chevy Volt = “niche vehicle”, IMHO.

    I could be wrong, of course. Perhaps by 2015, hyper-inflation could bring us the $20.00 loaf of bread and the $35.00 gallon of milk. A $40,000 Volt would look inexpensive then, but a doubt Bob Lutz was counting on a weakened dollar to make the Volt more affordable. The Volt’s adjusted price would probably be about $350,000 at that point. Alarmist? We just saw a run on a US bank, something not seen in the US since the great depression in the 1930′s. Inflation’s up 4% so far this year. GM just cut health care for their retiree’s. That’s pretty heartless, but it’s just a preview of the hard times to come.

    If the Volt cannot compete with it’s competition, GM’s “moon shot” will fizzle. The average American simply will not pay a $20,000 price difference for a Volt over a Civic or a Prius. They cannot afford it, even on a payment plan. Electric prices have gone up. Food prices have gone up. Prescription drugs are expensive. Not to mention we haven’t even seen what’s going to happen to home heating oil prices this winter. IMHO, it’s going to get ugly when winter sets in this year.

    I hope I’m wrong. I really do. But the evening news doesn’t give me much hope, anymore. I’ll probably buy a Civic Hybrid, to tide me over until Bob begins dealership delivery of the Volt in 2011. Sorry, 2012. Sorry, 2013. Sorry, 2014. Sorry, 2015. And so on, and so on.


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:56 pm)

    I see VW are opening a plant in Tennessee and hope to become Number 2 manufacturer in the world.
    The lions are moving in for the kill.
    I wonder if GM understands how fast it will have to run to survive?


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (11:10 pm)

    “That’s 20% more per gallon… and while deisel contains more energy per unit, are the equiv gas vs. deisel vehicles getting 20% more MPG?”

    They get roughly 1.5x
    I can’t find any current diesel right now to compare – not looking too hard, obviously.
    But I have family with a golf TDI – here’s a comparison
    Diesel: 32/41, 35 combined.
    Gas: 21/28, 24 combined.

    P.S. everyone stop saying niche vehicle. It gets annoying. We know its expensive, just move on.
    Hopefully they’ll blow us away with a price of 30,000ish in reality and they’ve been giving high estimates to throw off competition. In the meantime.. just let it go.


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (11:27 pm)

    I’m almost tempted into thinking that GM should look for ST solutions way outside the box. Is anyone aware that the old Chevy S-10 pickup is one of the most sought after for EV conversions? You can buy any number of kits and convert an otherwise useless S-10 body to a pretty damn good EV. The reason is that there is plenty of under hood space for the motor and the bed lifts up to reveal a ladder frame that with little modification can accommodate 12-20 Trojan deep cycle batteries, and another 4-6 under the hood that not only are hidden, but lower the center of gravity of the vehicle. The same is probably true of the Colorado/Canyon.

    Would if GM rolled Colorados and Canyons off the assy line and said, “Hold the ICE, hold the tranny” and bought kits wholesale that are already PROVEN and started selling pure 100 mile AER bevs for a reasonable price? I’ve done quite a bit of reading on this and it sure seems there are very few problems with these kits. No regen braking is understood, but these will not be expensive vehicles. Offer a 24mo/24K warranty and save many who would never have thought of going through this on their own a way to own one of these vehicles for a pittance. As a second commuter vehicle priced about $14k these could move, especially in CA. Future upgrades by Hymotion or Enerdel or….??… could extend the life and utility for decades.

    Unfortunately, it won’t happen. Big business will always be big business and will only think/do things inside the box, regardless of how tough times are! It’s a nice thought though. :)


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (11:46 pm)

    I just left post #87 on yesterday’s thread that also applies here….

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/07/14/gms-e-flex-plans-for-europe/#comment-53050


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    Jul 15th, 2008 (11:54 pm)

    Exactly Grizzley,
    GM still sound as if they are waiting for the boat to come in.

    My off the wall suggestion is that some benevolent organisation takes an obsolete battery technology such as Nickel Metal Hydride and start large scale manufacturing of car sized batteries, for general sale.
    An 8 KwHr unit would be fine.Everone else would have a better battery so it should’nt disturb the market but it should rev it up!
    .(MIcrosoft perhaps?).


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:04 am)

    As the price of fuel goes up production will rise.

    A couple more re-tooled lines in 2011 will see plenty of Volt type vehicles in the pipeline. Plus whatever overseas plants are converted.

    Note to GM. From the previous thread, it might be wise to factor a worse case plan of $180/barrel oil next year & $300/barrel crude for 2010. IMHO.

    Announce the battery contract, already, so LG or A123 can start work on their production plant.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:12 am)

    Here we go again oil company running GM Lutz got paid off we loose oil exec win again.I know we have to much gas and price will start dropping but thats no reason to stop on the volt.Start production for 2009 we need it please.And I think Exxon shoud go into the battery production they are going to need the revenue.LOL


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:20 am)

    The pros for GM is that they have learned how to make more reliable cars and they have some great technology. They also have a very successful international operation.

    The cons are that they have a complicated structure, complicated union agreements, complicated supplier agreements, and god awful dealer agreements.

    Maybe Chapter 11 would not be a bad idea.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:26 am)

    bruce g # 54

    Bruce, yes! My point is this. Most people doing EV conversions right now have no shortage of work, and won’t for some time into the future. These are garage mechanics who will scour junk yards and E-bay to find suitable EV host machines.

    GM can build these “hosts” brand new right off the assy line. No “junk yard” needed and can either buy EV conversion kits wholesale or can EASILY make their own basing them on many PROVEN and simple designs. THIS is a LOW HANGING fruit for GM and could yet be another source of revenue. IF they chose Trojan lead-acid batts they wouldn’t have to ever lock horns with Chevron and their Nimh patent. The way the world is today, this would suffice, because as I pointed out, VERY soon Enerdel, Altairnano, and Hymotion will have Li-ion upgrade solutions. This is why no one would balk at a 24/24 warranty, and additionally these will be buyers that understand the market and its future. I’m guessing that backed by a fortune 5 company there would be many who would choose this vehicle over ANY hybrid no ands ifs or butts!


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:35 am)

    @Arch,

    You are right. Lutz is full of crap. It will be more than just “a few years” before GM starts producing 500,000 Volts per year, and GM knows that. Why is GM spewing out this garbage?

    GM will get absolutely killed once the Fiesta arrives and Ford ramps up even more production on the Focus. And that’s not even considering what the Japanese have in store for them.

    And as for the Volt, I’ll believe it when I see it.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:36 am)

    You just do what I did bought a cash mitsubishi galant 4 cyl no more $ 400.00 a month payment all goes to gas .Im using $ 20.00 of gas a week insted of 4x $ 80.00+$ 400.00 =$ 720.00 a month versus $ 80 a month.And just liability insurance $ 100.00 a month .We really dont need a new volt , sorry to say but GM is DOOMED…..play TAPS for GM say bye bye bye bye.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:59 am)

    >> You’re a seasoned observer. What games do you see?

    I am too. 8 years of driving FULL hybrids has a way of tuning you into the nonsense played with publicity. Many, many, many promises have been broken. That’s why it is considered a game now by some. You simply can’t take it seriously anymore. There is a complete disconnect between intentions and what finally gets delivered. Hope for the best and wait to see what actually happens.

    Eventually, the needed realism will settle in. Then hybrid production will truly become impressive, as if posts like this never happened…


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:05 am)

    B O #22

    Here is the text of Obama’s response during the PBS interview. He seems to get the general idea though he doesn’t seem to know about the Volt Nation (gasp!). I particularily like the “we have the technology now” part. Too bad she didn’t push more on what a partnership would be. I’d like it to be rebates based on GM production — more production means a bigger rebate per vehicle:

    GWEN IFILL: If the government should step in in other ways to shore up things like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why shouldn’t the government step in to help companies like GM?

    As far as a company like GM is concerned, I have already said that as president, I want to partner with U.S. automakers to help them make the fuel-efficient cars of the future. We have the technology now to have a 100-mile-per-gallon hybrid; we have the technology now to start developing an electricity grid where you can plug in your car at night, and not only would you get energy from that grid but you’d also be able to sell energy back into that grid. But we haven’t had a serious commitment to it, and I have said repeatedly that I am interested in partnering with U.S. automakers to develop and fine-tune some of this technology.


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    Vinayababu

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:17 am)

    I feel a bit sad along with a few posters here on Bob Lutz’s latest comments on his baby. He sounds less optimistic and appears different about Volt than before. GM appears to be showing that it’s first priority is to keep its head above waters by all means of cost cutting than looking for new products, and Volt and its’ cousins appears to be one of the last straws for them. Hope and pray that Wagnor will be able to steer GM well in these troubled waters in time.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:38 am)

    Grizzly,
    Yes, that would do.
    We need to shake out the structured view of the auto industry and facilitate some new players.
    Make sure the resources they need are available

    Vive la revolution!


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:53 am)

    No beat = bad move.

    Cruz 40mpg? = So what? My Tercel gets 56 US MPGS on the highway.

    40 mpg is NOTHING to get excited about.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (3:28 am)

    Electric car conversions. This is beginning to sound like a good business to be in. :)

    What would people pay to have their vehicle converted?

    You could also buy clean old cars and trucks, convert them and sell them. Recycle the motor and transmission for metal and put in an electric drive train. Hmmmm.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:28 am)

    #66 len

    10K for the Motor and controllers and chargers etc. Battery would be above that.

    I have been hoping and posting about this for a long time. Lionev appeared to be one of the best but partial scam has surfaced about them. Looking forward to the day when people have the option to convert their cars over from any number of semi-local companies.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:44 am)

    Brad # 3 says, “Focus all attention on the Volt and get it out ASAP and you will be saved and quite possible save America.”

    Agreed. The sooner the better….if it’s reliable, that is.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:47 am)

    Fred X #7.

    That was funnier than hell. I don’t agree with everything you said, but it was funny.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:56 am)

    RB #19

    I’ll take it a little further. GM screwed those retirees. Most of them probably worked their entire careers at GM. They are retired and were promised the their medical insurance would be covered.
    Now they don’t have it and where are they supposed to get it?

    I’m in a similar situation. We have a promise, but that is it.
    I’m a couple of decades away from retirement, but I hope something is there when I do finally make it.


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:23 am)

    Fred X #7. OMG. I’m rolling with laughter.

    At 35K, Volt is certainly a niche vehicle. It doesn’t make economic sense when I can go buy a 40 mpg car for 20K during the same time frame, though I’m sure the Volt will roast them in acceleration. I wish them the best of luck but we all know there’s a ton of excess profit being rung out of the Volt’s excitement. Really guys. 40K and you’ve eliminated a parallel drive train? They’re taking a lead from the electronics biz and differentiating less cost sensitive early adopters by jacking up the price. Good business sense, but don’t pretend that its actually economical for average Jo’s. GM has no intention of “saving america.” Like any good business, they want the money. That’s why they’re going to be exporting these.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:24 am)

    #43 Arch Thanks. I agree. ..RB


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:29 am)

    Rashid Amul #70

    I think GM dropped the health care because they are a car company, not a healthcare company. They will do all they can for their employees, as do most companies, but when their own existence is threatened, they have to cut some corners.

    Much of this comes from years of union concessions that many other automakers have not had to make. Honestly, if I was Rick Wagoner, I’d let them all strike, then fire them, and hire all new people. Sounds drastic, but every time the UAW threatens to strike on Toyota, that’s exactly what Toyota tells them. That’s why GM has something like 1900 dollars in overhead that Toyota doesn’t.

    I’m not saying that corporations shouldn’t honor their promises, I’m just saying they should have to make inane promises to begin with. GM currently has more pensioners than they have active employees. WAY more. (Something like a million pensioners to less than 200,000 global employees now). That just seems wrong to me. Can’t people save their money, and plan for their own futures instead of having their employer do it for them?


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:34 am)

    Beat is a terrible name for a car !

    Given the market share lost to Toyota over the years, GM’s marketing research people must now think they’re joke writers for Leno and Letterman.

    Why not the Saturn Surrender ? Opel Uncle ?

    A small pickup version you say ?
    Why of course that would be the new “Beat-Up”.

    A Question for the day.
    Will Dodge’s first electric vehicle be called the Plug-In “Charger”.
    Inquiring minds want to know.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:58 am)

    66 Len:

    Don’t do it.

    Warranty is probably zero (90 days)
    There has probably been zero crash testing (its pretty expensive)
    One lawsuit and these companies are toast.

    Trust me, these garage upfitters are nasty. If you are getting your vehicle converted go with an approved bailment upfitter for any of the OEM companies. You will save yourself a lot of headaches in the long run.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:00 am)

    73 Will:

    No, people forget GM capitulated to a lot of these contracts due to UAW strike threats at either suppliers or main plants.

    GM used to be vertically integrated which allowed them a 2-3 year design cycle.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:08 am)

    To me, the hardest news to hear from this press conference isn’t so much the Beat not coming to the U.S., but the slow as molasses intro. of the Cruze. As some already have said here, the Cruze is needed NOW, as in today! Not a year and a half from now. The Cobalt isn’t terrible by any measure I can see, (and I have checked them out), but it’s not top of class either. The Cruze, at least what can be seen in the spy photos looks like a contender, and if it can maintain the efficiency claims being made by GM, I can’t help but think this would be a hot seller. Especially for a world just beginning to get warmed up to the coming EV revolution. Shoot, why not offer a 2-mode system as an option for 50+mpg efficiency? The Cruze could be a veritable game changer all its own if done right. In terms of the Cruze, just like the Volt, the sky is the limit!

    GM, if you are reading this, please consider bringing the Cruze to market in the U.S. as soon as humanly possible! Also, if you haven’t already, consider making a version of the Cruze as a true hybrid. These things just plain make sense! Thank you.

    Climbing off soapbox now.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:17 am)

    People can plan for their future, but when they are told that the healthcare is covered and then the company pulls the rug out from under them it is just wrong.

    Healthcare and health insurance should have nothing to do with employment. Before long that will be the case, but people and companies that don’t honor their promises are just liars. Verbal promises can be acted on like contracts and turn into lawsuits and I am sure we are going to see a big class action on this one where the company pays, the people get next to nothing and the lawyers get a new summer home or yacht.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:22 am)

    On the subject of the Beat, I took a marketing course years ago and I remember the case of Chevrolet’s mistake of marketing the Nova in Latin America, where Nova in spanish means “doesn’t go”. Needless to say, the Nova didn’t.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:33 am)

    As the song says, The BEAT goes ON on does it?! This is another one of GM’s bad decisions that will come back to bite then where it hurts. Ford, Honda, Toyota and European makers will eat GM’s lunch. Mercedes, BMW and VW/Audi are all ready with small fuel-efficient cars tested in Europe and ready for the US market, is GM just stupid or what? The Fortwo’s are selling like hot cakes and used car dealers say that any four-banger that runs will sell at almost any price. Wakeup GM before you are left in the dust! America wants small cars with good or reasonable fuel mileage and the market is NOW!


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    Statik

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:50 am)

    #70 Rashiid

    “We have a promise, but that is it.”

    This is the whole premise I post under 90 percent of the time.

    A person is only as good as their word…and the only way to verify there word, or the value of their worth/opinion, is to look at past performance. Clearly Wagoner and Lutz have a less than favoUrable record of following through from their press junkets, so why should this be different?

    I have always said there are two kinds of executives. There are the kind you hire to do all the right things, and there are the kind you hire to say all the right things. Rarely do you find both.

    I’d rather be the unpopular guy that is right…in the long run you get people’s respect. When you have a nickname like “Maximum Bob,” you don’t have any respect.

    There is no reason to shoot nonsense at us anymore. The dividend is gone, the shareholder price is gone…GM is totally on it’s own as to how long it can survive before it needs to re-org itself. Now is the time to be honest, now is the time for these guys to bring back credibility to the executive of GM.

    Personally, I want people to look at the statements I make today (or 6 months/year ago), in the future and say, “that guy knew what he is/was talking about, maybe we should listen to him today”….alot more than I want people to clap when I tell them what they want to hear right now.

    Side note:
    GM is just underfunding benefits right now, eventually they will have to raid VEBA, which means negotiating with the UAW. The UAW will strongly not want to loan this money back to GM (regardless of whatever crazy interest rate they are promised…see above, lol), but will be forced to capitulate when it sees it has no other options.

    When that happens look for the UAW to ask for some control of it’s own fate and to be a player on the executive board….which will also mean the ouster of those who the union has felt betrayed them in the past. Wagoner for sure and guys like Lutz with him.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:53 am)

    The Volt will be priced out of range for most average drivers along with most new electric vehicles for quite some time due to battery and development costs. Super fuel efficient ICE/Hybrid cars are the ONLY short term solutions until then. GM will be left out of the loop once again without a desirable small car platform in the US if they don’t bring the Cruze or the Beat out in the USA ASAP. The current Cobalt is crap. Ford may pull it off with the new Fiesta/Mazda2 and be the only domestic with a chance. It’s almost as if GM has given up on the US.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:03 am)

    Jeff M # 4

    I just sold my two door hatchback Metro. It had almost 200K miles
    and it still got 42 to 45 mpg. in the city. It’s not a great auto for trips, but a great little commuter. The little 3 cyl. grunted a little when I turned on the a/c. I know that we are going to have to make some lifestyle changes that we are not happy with. Being from S. Texas and in the oil business ( exploration & production) I do not see any quick fixes. However there are alternatives we can start using now,
    such as NGV autos, propane, ethanol, car pooling and mass transit.
    I have said it many times on this sight that we need to look in the mirror before we start blaming other people for the current crisis we are in. The auto mfg. only built what we demanded. We needed to have an energy policy 30 years ago after the embargo, but we continue to elect legislators that only have two things on their mind. THIS YEARS ELECTION AND NEXT ELECTION !!!
    I hope and pray that GM will get this Volt program going and continue to look for alternative propulsion for their future autos.
    GO VOLT, God Bless America.
    Tom


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:11 am)

    I don’t know this is not ‘hot news’ really, as it the press has been out a couple weeks…we just never picked it up here.

    (There is a ridiculous ditty out today about Trump buying 500 of them for people who buy his golf course properties off in ‘mystical rich people land’ somewhere, so it made be wonder if we had ever posted on it).

    “…on Friday Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche confirmed the electric car program….As we reported, one vehicle will be an electric version of the company’s Smart car….to market quicker than originally thought. According to Zetsche, both models will hit the market in 2010. “We plan an electric Smart for 2010 and for the same year a Mercedes (electric) model as well,” Zetsche told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitun

    I knew there was a EV test fleet of SMARTS in Europe and we had a few bombing around the back woods in my area in Ontario, but I don’t remember hearing that it was officially a go…much less actually hitting the market in 2010. (I’ve seen the SMART EV setup and it is just about the easiest car to convert to EV as it already has built in room enough for the battery under the floor and the rear engine compartment design is practically optimized for a electric motor switchout).

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/daimler-to-produce-smart-mercedes-benz-electric-cars-in-2010.html


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:16 am)

    JEC #8:
    “The word LIKE, says that he can see 500,000 electric cars in a few years, and not specifically the Volt.

    Oh GM, I hope you know what your doing!”

    The Volt per se will be too expensive to sell 500,000 a year; it will be, if you’ll forgive the expression, the “Cadillac” of electric vehicles, or maybe the Corvette.

    But put out a 10-mile AER / 60 mpg ER E-Flex Cobalt for $20,000 and they’ll be seeing my personal smiling face in a Chevy dealer for the first time ever.

    I’m cautiously optimistic they do know what they’re doing.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:21 am)

    Duh
    Think about it. Why would GM bring the Beat here or develop the Cruze? 40 MPG…the volt…hello you would shot yourself in the foot for bringing two cars to market priced between 17000 and 23000 that get 40MPG when you have the volt for 40,000 hello which do you think middle class workers would get..not the volt. a chevy beat with 23000 left over for gas that’s about 153000 miles with gas at 6 dollars a gallon thats about 13 years worth of driving. GM is smart let’s not bring those cars to the US market but someone like toyota will or kia or hyundai right when the volt is released and bam GM is in bankruptcy..lol…stupid GM.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:35 am)

    84 Statik:

    And why do you think this is so?????

    Is it because toyata and handa have pushed so aggressively towards an ev? please tell me another story.

    is it because Fix or repair daily have decided to get off their a@@. No wait… they are still trying to figure out what to do.

    Is it VW? Nope.

    The only correct answers are GM and Tesla. The market will reward them for making the right decisions. Geez, they are already influencing every other companies development plans except ford.

    God help us if the UAW gets a say in managing the company.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    I suspect Daimler might just buy Tesla as it has the infrastructure to exploit it including some very interesting lightweight alloy platforms.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:03 am)

    84. Statik

    This might be “hot news”.

    http://www.shelbysupercars.com/news-071208.php

    “Other automakers have sacrificed aesthetics and performance in exchange for hybrid power plants, but the Ultimate Aero EV will deliver a pollution-free, engineering marvel with an exotic Supercar exterior. The drive train under development will feature a revolutionary power source allowing for extended time between charging intervals with the possibility of several YEARS between charging.”

    “A twin 500 horsepower electric powerplant producing 1,000 horsepower”? What in the world is this “revolutionary power source”? Hmmm. Some sort of “EEStor ultracapacitor with battery hybrid”? Jeez. Who knows. I guess we shall see.

    2010 is definitely going to be a huge year in the auto industry. I think the new electric cars coming in the next 10 years are going blow people’s minds. No joke. The IC engine is clearly on the way out … going the way of the horse and buggy. Soon, we’ll be having Formula 1 and SCCA electric car races … only they’ll be a wee bit quieter. :) You can’t hold back progress for long. If you build a better car, people will be drawn to it like a magnet.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:11 am)

    #69 Rashiid Amul

    Please don’t encourage Fred’s name-calling. Just because something is funny to you, doesn’t make it ok. Fred was being divisive. Do you really want to encourage broad partisan banter here? There are plenty of right-wing blogs where you people can slap each other on the back for your “witty” slanders.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:33 am)

    FredX; (#7):

    That was great! I read it aloud, and it went over well in the office.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:40 am)

    #91 Jackson
    Great! The haters support group is taking off. Do you guys want to make funny racist slanders too? It’s ok because it is funny (to you), right?

    Dam trolls.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:57 am)

    #70 Rashid

    To me cancelling the health coverage of existing retirees is a particularly low blow. I realize that retiree heal care is not a right, so the cancellation is legal. In general the abandonment of the elderly is legal, and it happens all the time. It is just that when it is promised, it should be fulfilled, except as a very last resort, and GM is not there yet, according to management. I understand that many of the retirees are relatively young and healthy and will move on to some other kind of plan or planning. But others are, no doubt, already suffering from chronic disease or are less able to make informed choices than they once were. What exactly is someone on chemotherapy now going to do? Or dialysis? It takes hard-hearted managers to walk away from the corporation’s promises to this group. They are, after all, the people who created and sustained the corporation the present managers now control.

    You remember the poem that includes “…if you break faith with us who die/ we shall not sleep/.though poppies grow..”


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:03 am)

    You know what … if it’s in their local area, I think Lyle or people who post alot on this blog ought start going to conventions and auto shows that have to do with electric cars, ER-EVs, PHEVs, etc. We’re starting to look like the “Homebrew Computer Club” like former Intel CEO Andy Grove was talking about in his article in “The American” online magazine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrew_Computer_Club

    We need some GM-VOLT.COM reporters or something. Folks who can talk to the people in the middle of the action. Boots on the ground. There’s a plug-in car convention coming up next week in San Jose, CA.

    http://plugin2008.com/


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:09 am)

    #87 wrigley

    I honestly can say I don’t know what you are saying.

    You referenced my post in 84, but I either I don’t understand what your post has to do with mine or you like saying my name?

    Sometimes I’m just going for the humoUr when I say stuff like that…but I really don’t understand.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:12 am)

    Other random bits of good news for GM:

    GMAC receives extension of approval for bank unit

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080716/gmac_regulatory.html?.v=1

    “NEW YORK (AP) — GMAC Financial Services said Wednesday it received a 10-year extension of its existing disposition requirement for its banking unit from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

    The extension of regulatory approval allows GMAC Financial Services to continue operating its bank, GMAC Bank.

    The FDIC extension also includes requirements for capital levels at GMAC Bank and for the company as a whole.”

    I could explain why this is really good news, but most would slip into a coma. Just go with it.

    GM up $1.44, FOURTEEN PERCENT, at $11.27.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:20 am)

    #40 Dave G says “The price is heavily affected by sales volume. Sales volume is heavily affected by demand. Demand is heavily affected by price. Price is heavily affected by sales volume…”

    With greatest respect, I don’t think you have this quite right. GM gets to decide the number made, and then the marketplace sets the price. The price is not based on costs. Price discussion may begin with the MSRP, but it will end someplace else, higher or lower, depending on what people are willing to pay for the particular car and model. So you are right when you say “Demand is heavily affected by price”, but you are incorrect when you say “Price is heavily affected by sales volume”

    What is affected by sales volume is not price, but overall cost and unit cost. That is, in a given sales year, price may be lower than cost, as it is this year for trucks. Where price and cost interact is that GM (or any company) will set the next year’s volume of production knowing that relationship. If price is less than cost, they will make fewer (next year for trucks) or none at all.

    No doubt GM will choose some number of Volts to be made (apparently 10K in the first year), and then set th price they think these Volts will bring. If that happens, and if price is greater than costs, they will make more the 2nd year. Otherwise they will make fewer, or, possibly, bye bye Volt.

    If the corporation survives, then my guess is that there will be a lot of demand for the first 10K Volts, if they look attractive. I think GM will be able to sell them for a high price. What the relation of that price will be to GM’s cost I have no idea.


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    Järn

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:48 am)

    Six Month Sales Numbers Jan to June 2008
    GM mid-size vehicles:
    Malibu 88,575
    G6 85,682
    Aura 32,938
    LaCrosse 21,170
    Total mid size 228,000
    Multiply by two = 456,000 (yearly)

    Source
    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS187248+01-Jul-2008+PRN20080701

    Converting just the mid-size autos (which is the high volume segment) would be the 500,000 unit home run. It would also increase the volume of all the components enough to drive down the electric vehicle cost.

    GM will not sell 500,000 (4 seat) Volts per year, they currently do sell 500,000 mid size cars.

    Remember the Volt is just the proof of concept for the e-flex architecture.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:51 am)

    #90 #92 ThombDbhomb — I agree.


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    Van

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:51 am)

    Volt production could be 500,000 in a few years. And then again it could be canceled in a few years because the batteries last only a few years.

    All this could be stuff does not help, like making soothing sounds to a baby that is crying because it needs to be fed.

    We need investment in lithium battery production facilities that can produce 10,000 batteries a month. When and where. That is the info we need. Stop with the soothing sounds.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (11:28 am)

    #89 & #91:

    The Liberal Viewpoint:

    Any contrarian viewpoint = divisiveness / hate speech
    Political Correctness = shout down any contrarian viewpoint, even jokes

    PDNFTL (Liberals)

    Maybe they’ll just go away


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (11:34 am)

    It was a huge mistake of GM even to mention $40k price tag for Volt upfront.
    I hope they could still come back to sense with price revision and win more than a handful buyers. I liked GM backpedaling from “niche” product.

    To other commenter, who mentioned “the question is not who want to buy, but who could afford” I should say not necessarily. E.g. I could afford $40k car, but why should I pay more for less? It makes no financial sense.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    Statik # 12 “GM is converting one line, let me repeat…ONE LINE to the Volt. Max capacity of a normal car would probably be 200K. Something as tricky as the Volt…coupled with the battery supply issues and we are talking 75K/yr max production…and that’s being generous.

    There is no plans to increase capacity in North America at any point. As soon as they can, Volt 2.0 and it’s cousins will all be moved to Europe. That is expected to happen in 2013…then add on the ‘ramp up’ time and you are looking at 2015 at least before GM can pump out any kind of numbers to be a ‘triple’ or ‘homerun’” It sounds like GM may be planing to dump there NA operations, someday, and their fall-back plan is moving to Europe. Your thoughts?


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    I think GM will do what Gm thinks is in the best interest of GM.

    I know I will do what I think is in the best interest of myself and my family. Period. End of sentence.

    If GM offers me something I can use at an affordable price, I will try to buy the GM product. But, it had better be good and it had better be a quality product that is very efficient. At this time and place I am looking for the vehicle that gives me the most bang for my buck. I had really hoped the Volt would do it. I knew it would be probably 2011 before I could purchase one. That view still holds although I am beginning to wonder if it might be closer to 2015 based on all these later posts.

    I admit it. I am frustrated with having to wait this long and still might not be able to purchase or even afford a Chevy Volt. I am going to purchase a new vehicle in the next several months. It might be a Chevrolet product and it might be a Toyota or a Honda product. I am going to decide once I see what is offered. This vehicle will get me through the Volt-less-gap.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:48 pm)

    #100 Jackson

    I respect informed viewpoints, even contrarian ones, as long as they are delivered respectfully. Fred X’s name-calling and slanders don’t seem to be a respectful delivery of his viewpoint. I stand by my position that Fred X’s diatribe is divisiveness and hate speech. I’m not asking Fred to correct his political viewpoint (i.e., political correctness). I just want our community the deliver their ideas civilly. How am I the troll and Fred (and you) are not? You guys name-call. I ask for fact-based discussion and respectful opinions. Thoughtful adults can discern who the trolls are. ’nuff said.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    I was counting on the new 40mpg replacement for the Cobalt to do that, N Riley, (Chevy Cruze / Saturn derivative), but now that’s out of reach.

    When my old SL2 gets older, I too will have to look at what’s out there — regardless of source — even though I know a GM purchase would help things along.

    We don’t really have the choice to take a loss.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    When is everybody gonna realize that Lutz is full of BS.

    This clown shouldn’t even be incharge to begin with given that ya can’t even get a straight answer out of him in the first place.

    They should be turning out Volts by the thousands right now…but no they have to wait years for this to happen if it happens at all…

    Once again it is the management at GM thats screwing things up for everybody…


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    #26 Bernie Torbick & #46 Stew:

    I have to agree with Bernie on “couldn’t forsee the current market conditions Which leads me to agree with Stew that I can’t believe that they still have jobs either. I mean, isn’t that what they get paid very handsomely to do? What an insult.

    #29 RB:

    Yeah, if the Aveo and the Cobalt are going to be the small car offerings for awhile longer, they had better raise their game or die. The mileage just does not cut it. The XFE Cobalt shows what can be accomplished with a little effort, but it’s nowhere near enough. As I understand it its only available on the coupe with stick shift. Neither works for our family. They have a lot more efficient drivelines in Europe. Stick one in the Cobalt if it saves some money to continue with the basic car. Same with the Aveo. I would like to buy a more economical GM car, but i am not buying their present offerings.

    #38 Arch:

    I was just thinking the same thing. I’m tired too.

    #52 Grizzly:

    I’m down with that. I’ve already got the S-10 Who do you think has the best system? Have you seen this thing where they keep the gas driveline and add motors to the rear wheels? Does anyone have any experience with it? Can anyone remember the name? Doesn’t it start with a P?

    #69 Rashiid Amul:

    I agree with you about 99% of the time, but I don’t think that was funny. I can go off in the opposite direction, but I figure I did enough of that the other day. As Billy Crystal so famously said, “Don’t get me staaaahhted”. You were kind enough to say something nice about it, if memory serves. Do You think that the guy was just being ironic? If so, the humor was lost on me.

    #90 thombDbhomb:

    Thanks.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    I don’t look forward to living in the America that’s coming, when you can’t even tell a joke without fearing the retribution of social mores, or even the force of law.

    You cannot admit, ThombDbhomb, that anyone might be for the Volt without agreeing with you on everything?

    ‘Taint so.

    A lot of us are here who see the Volt as an answer for many reasons, and many viewpoints. If any one of us “wins” it means that we all do. Even you.

    We recognize that we are liklier to get a technological solution of sorts (Volt) than a political one (any political one).

    Some of us are for the Volt as a way of combating energy imports, which are a factor supporting islamic extremism and terror, because we agreed with the War on Terror.

    Some of us are for the Volt as a way of combating energy imports, which are a factor supporting islamic extremism and terror, because we did not agree with the War on Terror: as a way of preventing future wars.

    Some of us are for the Volt because we recognize that oil is running out; and it’s better to be prepared ahead of time, than to only get started at the last minute.

    Some of us are for the Volt because we recognize that spending so much to pay for the oil imports is deflating our dollar overseas.

    Some of us are for the Volt because it addresses urban noise and smog pollution.

    Some of us are for the Volt because we see a chance for American Big Industry to revitalize itself.

    Some of us are for the Volt because we see a chance to free ourselves from the grip of Big Industry.

    I am sure there are many more viewpoints, many which are opposed to each other.

    For you to object so strenuously to an obvious piece of humor with the words “divisive” and “hate speech,” and even to invite us to make racial slurs, suggests very strongly to me that you take seriously the subject of FredX‘s satire. Are you a pro-environment strong-governmental-control believer in anthropogenic global warming? Would you advocate doing anything to mitigate climate change regardless of what it would do to our technologic/economic base (or, as FredX put it, a “Green Saboteur Luddite”)?

    Your viewpoint doesn’t give you license to use your thin skin to shame or shout down the open expression of views which are contrary to your own, any more than my views license me.

    I for one resist and resent any attempt to make the Volt out as some kind of Liberal-agenda icon. It is not a tree-hugger-mobile.

    If you’re really that offended, go somewhere and promote Obama.

    There. You’ve had your say, and I’ve had mine.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    I would buy one. Count me in. Even if I have to finance it.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (1:40 pm)

    ATTN BOB LUTZ:

    There was an old car-man named Lutz,
    Who treehuggers oft called a putz,
    But not such a dolt,
    He came out with the Volt,
    And saved GM’s rep with his guts !

    I hope it got a smile in these trying times.
    Be well,
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    #84 Statik
    I visited the Smart Car Dealership last week in Tukwila (near Seattle) and asked when the electric Smart will be coming to America. This is what they said:

    “Smart will not be marketing the electric version in the US”

    That’s a direct quote.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (2:40 pm)

    Again, the leadership of GM has shown that it not only lacks any kind of vision, but a very poor ability to listen to the public. Watching the Toyota Prius’ flying off the showroom floor and seeing the massive number of hits on the Tesla website I can only assume that GM has been in a state of suspended animation, waiting for SUVs to make a comeback.

    America has wanted and has been willing to buy smaller fuel efficient cars for years. Unfortunately, the big American car makers have offered anything but fuel efficiency. GM is perhaps the biggest offender with their gas hog Hummer. Compound that with the lame brained idea of making their biggest SUVs, the Tahoe into a hybrid and you get an idea of why GM is in trouble.

    True a hybrid SUV saves gas, but if a consumer is looking for fuel efficiency they are not going to settle for a handful of MPGs when they can get 50+MPGs with a Japanese hybrid.

    The Chevy Volt may be too little too late to save GM from the scrap heap. Luckily the Electromotive Division is still making fuel efficient locomotives and rumor is they are working on a hybrid locomotive.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    #105 Jackson

    I think many of us are in the same boat. We can not wait around until sometime after 2012 to get a Volt. Our needs are a little more current than that. A Volt may be in our future, but it is not anytime soon, I’m afraid.

    Starting this fall there will be plenty of options for someone who is looking for an economical gasoline fueled car. I am going to take a hard look at the 2009 Chevy Malibu and the 2009 Chevy Impala. I was thinking the Impala was due for a face-lift this fall. I hope it is. The Impala is a little larger than the Malibu and would compare to a Honda Accord better. (I have owned several Accords and other Hondas.)

    If the 2009 Chevys don’t look that good, I will wait for Toyota’s 2009 Prius or the 2009 Honda hybrid. We will see. I would like to buy from GM, but……


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    #108 Jackson

    In some social circles, racist jokes are considered funny. Outside those circles, they are not. I imagine the racists would protest any objections to their jokes much like you do by saying, “you can’t even tell a joke without fearing the retribution of social mores.” So, would you defend racist jokes on the same grounds as you defend insensitive partisan slanders?

    You’ve had your say and it says a lot about you.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (3:24 pm)

    #111 Ryan P

    “#84 Statik:I visited the Smart Car Dealership last week in Tukwila (near Seattle) and asked when the electric Smart will be coming to America. This is what they said: “Smart will not be marketing the electric version in the US” That’s a direct quote.”

    I don’t doubt it. Can’t get much more uninformed than a dealer…and they want to sell you what they have now.

    If you want to have a real pantload of fun, go ask your Chevy guy about details on the Volt. Or try going to a Toyota dealership and ask him about the ‘next gen’ Prius. “The next gen what? Pfft, ages off…you should definitely take this one I have here…they are going fast, your lucky to even catch a glimpse of one on the lot.”

    It is possible they ‘won’t market the car’ in the US right away. Who could know at this point? Right now, only thing we know for sure is that they will be made. I do know they did the initial tests in Canada, and then they moved some fleet cars to California for ‘further testing’ (aka to showoff).

    I wouldn’t bank on any electric car from anyone (other than the Prius) in your driveway in the next 5-6 years…thats just the cold reality of it. So we should all just plan on them for after ‘our next car,’ and all of this will be easier to swallow.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (3:24 pm)

    #112 Hardy Haberman

    Sorry but people don’t drive trucks an SUVs just because they think it’s cool. Maybe YOU don’t need one, but you’re not going to see contractors show up at a construction site with “50+ MPG Japanese hybrids” or a family with 3 kids crammed into one either.


  118. 118
    Wise Golden

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (3:32 pm)

    Fred X/McCain 08…it’s not too late.


  119. 119
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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    ThomThumb:

    You think that this

    “The Green Saboteur Luddite Anti Prayer

    Oh my holy entropic energy god please listen to my prayers…..

    Atomic energy is great. We need to drill on the coasts and in ANWR for oil We need to keep researching all the alternative energy possibilities. We need the Chevy Volt. Please help T. Boone Pickens and others like him develop his plan. Please burn the ecotards and use the waste heat to generate electricity! Banish all the green saboteur luddites to islands where only liberals live. Let them sell expensive lattes and ride unicorns to work for I do not want to live in a cave. Do not force me to do research about cow farts. Let them first live as they advocate others do before legislating a carbon free dark age. Do not let their false god bend me to my knees for their religion of global warming. Do not let their strange neurotic germanic environmental worship take over my government for the germans also have preoccupation with feces and I am not anal retentive.

    Amen and lord of Energy deliver us from The Green Saboteur Luddites who hum and chant and look like Anthony Zorba in the Omega Man wearing the monk hoodie.

    …equates to this …

    “Great! The haters support group is taking off. Do you guys want to make funny racist slanders too? It’s ok because it is funny (to you), right?

    Dam trolls.”

    … but you want to take the high road!

    “I respect informed viewpoints, even contrarian ones, as long as they are delivered respectfully. Fred X’s name-calling and slanders don’t seem to be a respectful delivery of his viewpoint. I stand by my position that Fred X’s diatribe is divisiveness and hate speech. I’m not asking Fred to correct his political viewpoint (i.e., political correctness). I just want our community the deliver their ideas civilly. How am I the troll and Fred (and you) are not? You guys name-call. I ask for fact-based discussion and respectful opinions. Thoughtful adults can discern who the trolls are. ’nuff said.”

    How laughably pathetic … and so typically Liberal. Next you’ll find a way to equate us to Nazis.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:22 pm)

    #118 Jackson

    Seriously, you don’t recognize your, and your kind’s, name-calling and hate? Nazis blindly hated too. Bluster on dude. You’ve proven yourself a troll. No food for you!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:26 pm)

    Thomb and Jackson,
    I think it’s a safe bet that you won’t be having dinner together anytime soon, so how ’bout we close the playground?
    Be well,
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    #120 Tagamet

    Good idea


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    Poulson hybrid.


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    Wise Golden

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    Fred X/ Jackson 08….it’s not too late.

    Tag can be Secretary of State.

    ThombDbhomb can be in charge of the UN.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    #122 Len:

    Thanks.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    Since I have been unexpectedly slammed, I went back to reread FredX’s comment. I figure I must have missed something.

    I’m sorry that many of you are offended by it, but I completely miss what is offensive. I thought we was jokingly attacking the far left. The extremist left. Can the far left be so sensitive? I don’t know. I’m smack in the middle and don’t really find extremists interesting because they can only see one side of the argument. Their side.
    I think the far left and the far right are extremists. IMO

    I honestly didn’t see anything harmful in what he said, and took it as a joke. I am sorry if I offended anyone by finding it amusing.
    Perhaps I’m not overly sensitive, but should be.

    I am very surprised by your reactions. But I really am sorry for offending.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:57 pm)

    #125 – Rashiid, you’re fine. If it’s funny to you, then feel free to laugh. Millions of Americans have died so that you can laugh at any joke that you want to. I thought it was funny too.

    And by the way, nothing you said was offensive either so you have nothing to be sorry for.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    Fred X/ Jackson 08….it’s not too late.
    Tag can be Secretary of State.
    ThombDbhomb can be in charge of the UN.

    Would I have to wear a skirt?
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:06 pm)

    Yes…and keep your hair in a bun.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:11 pm)

    Wise@128
    Actually I look pretty good that way.
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:12 pm)

    #125 Rashiid Amul
    I don’t consider myself an extremist either. I feel like I am standing up for decent people. Do you consider FredX’s comments to be representative of centrists? He doesn’t go after the far right.

    He seems extreme in his language. He seems to label anyone to his left a “Green Saboteur Luddite.” Isn’t, “Please burn the ecotards…” a little harsh? He uses the conservative rallying slur “liberals” and sterotypes people left of center as as expensive latte drinking, unicorn riders that want to live in a cave. I could go on.

    What is to be gained from FredX’s comments? He is rallying right against left. Please don’t support him.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:18 pm)

    Author: ThombDbhomb
    Comment:
    #125 Rashiid Amul
    I don’t consider myself an extremist either. I feel like I am standing up for decent people. Do you consider FredX’s comments to be representative of centrists? He doesn’t go after the far right.
    He seems extreme in his language. He seems to label anyone to his left a “Green Saboteur Luddite.” Isn’t, “Please burn the ecotards…” a little harsh? He uses the conservative rallying slur “liberals” and sterotypes people left of center as as expensive latte drinking, unicorn riders that want to live in a cave. I could go on.
    What is to be gained from FredX’s comments? He is rallying right against left. Please don’t support him.

    Just couldn’t let it go, (sigh)
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:19 pm)

    #127 Tagamet

    I know how conservatives feel about the U.N. I don’t appreciate your crack about me being in charge of it.

    I wish we would emerge from this relatively conservative era. We are not better off now than we were four years ago, and eight years ago. We need another age of reason and enlightenment. The goons are getting too cocky.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    Thomb,
    I know how conservatives feel about the U.N. I don’t appreciate your crack about me being in charge of it.

    I didn’t.
    Be well,
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    #131 Tagamet

    Just couldn’t let it go? Weren’t you the one who said (in #120), “…how ’bout we close the playground?” then followed that up with #127, #129, and #131?


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:25 pm)

    #133 Tagamet

    You did – in #127 – where you said, “ThombDbhomb can be in charge of the UN.”


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    I said it in #123.

    The goons are getting too cocky = hate speech. Very offensive.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    July 16th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
    Wise Golden
    Fred X/ Jackson 08….it’s not too late.

    Tag can be Secretary of State.

    ThombDbhomb can be in charge of the UN.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    #137 Tagamet
    I stand corrected. I got confused because it was in your #127 (without quotation marks).


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    @136 Wise Golden

    Yes. I hate goons.


  141. 141
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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:36 pm)

    ThombDbhomb
    Party on, dude. Just remember, reasoned argument doesn’t work with their mindset, just name calling. You want to set Jackson off, try “neocon”.

    As in “damned neocon trolls”.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:36 pm)

    Thomb,
    No problem. Life’s too short to worry about the small stuff.
    Be well,
    Tag


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:39 pm)

    #140 mien green

    Good point. I guess I’m too idealistic about decency and respect…next topic!


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    ThombDbhomb/ mien green, 1984


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    Godd night! will be my last word.


  146. 146
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    Jul 16th, 2008 (5:45 pm)

    Wise Golden, 2008


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    #130 ThombDbhomb says #125 Rashiid Amul
    I don’t consider myself an extremist either. I feel like I am standing up for decent people. Do you consider FredX’s comments to be representative of centrists? He doesn’t go after the far right.

    He seems extreme in his language. He seems to label anyone to his left a “Green Saboteur Luddite.” Isn’t, “Please burn the ecotards…” a little harsh? He uses the conservative rallying slur “liberals” and sterotypes people left of center as as expensive latte drinking, unicorn riders that want to live in a cave. I could go on.

    What is to be gained from FredX’s comments? He is rallying right against left. Please don’t support him.”

    Heavy sigh. No ThombDbhomb, I don’t find his words harsh. That is because I don’t take them seriously. Way too much time is spent on this. I’m sorry that you are upset. I also wouldn’t care if he attacked conversatives or moderates. I didn’t take him seriously.
    Just by the style of writing, one can tell it was a joke.

    Now, I like environmentalists. But not the kind like the Earth Liberation Front. Those guys are nuts. Some of the Eco Terrorists murder, and destroy property in the name of the environment.

    But like I said, I just did not take FredX seriously. For me, it is that simple.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:30 pm)

    Thomb:

    I’m right there with you. I have been called a Luddite, and much worse, many times, because I fought against thousands of pieces of diesel equipment threatening and impacting the health of my community, even as better and cleaner technology was available.

    My understanding of Luddites is that they were 19th century workers who smashed equipment, and otherwise resisted the industrialization and mechanization of their traditional workplaces, believing that same would put them out of jobs and destroy their established lifestyles.

    To me, people who deny man’s clearly life threatening degradation of his environment, because to acknowledge it would be to threaten their established lifestyles and material ambitions, are as much Luddites as the original Luddites. The calling of names such as “ecotards”, “Luddites”, “greenie weenies”, and the demonization of the previously positive word “liberal”, are all part of the same mentality.

    My mother always said, “Consider the source.” This is the blogosphere. It comes with the territory. IMHO, we are here to try to cajole and pressure GM into making economy saving and environmentally friendly vehicles. To me the best thing to do is to try to ignore such people. It drives them nuts. They crave the attention. Just let them scream into the night, and let’s try to keep our eyes on the ball.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (6:43 pm)

    A book that I can no longer pick up to finish because I get too depressed is Robert Kennedy Jr’s Crimes Against Nature. Now that’s ecoterrorism.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:21 pm)

    # 18
    Kind of feel the same way for different reasons.
    My allegiance to american products ended 20 years ago when neutron jack laid me off after 15 years of employment. I’m ready to give GM a chance. But they better hurry up because my layoff from general electric taught me to be very selfish and only care about myself because from my experience american corporations don’t care. So I have no problems buying any model electric car so long as It’s what I need and want. Could be a VOLT, could be a iMiEV, could be an APTERA . Whoever has a quality union made vehicle.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:31 pm)

    #148 mien green:

    Exactly.

    A very impressive guy IMHO. His speech about a true free market, where those who create the negative impacts pay for the now externalized costs, is brilliant.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:39 pm)

    noel park

    Yeah, but culpability and accountability impact profits. Especially short term.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (7:50 pm)

    By all means, Mr. Lutz: Put all your eggs in one basket, I’ve heard people give that advice before. :rollseyes

    Maybe it’s time for the US to adopt the ECE Regulations so we can stop hearing these lame excuses about refitting cars for US consumption. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECE_Regulations

    I don’t see what the big deal is…it’s gonna take 2 years to get new headlights? WTF? Time to write the congressman about this one!

    I’m still driving a ’91 Geo Metro (51 mpg last fillup!). I’d buy another in a heartbeat. It’s not a luxury vehicle, but it’s reliable and gets me from A to B.

    Read my lips Mr. Lutz: I can’t afford a $40K car. I want a Volt, but it’s priced out of my range. I’d buy a Beat if the fuel efficiency was good enough, too….that’d be more in my range.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:06 pm)

    mein green (#140):

    … neocon … Neocon … NEOCON ?!!!

    AUGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!


  155. 155
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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:12 pm)

    Yes, ye shall have your “age of reason and enlightenment.” I don’t think there can be any doubt of that, at all.

    And four years from now, just as the Volt is coming into view, there could just as easily be a reaction against liberalism back to conservatism, again.

    If we allow the Volt to be hitched to a rising star of “global warming,” it could easily wind up in the ditch should the tide turn the other way.

    There are plenty of excellent reasons to conserve and invest in new energy technology without getting into the whole CO2 argument.

    Let any possible backlash fall upon the Prius.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:12 pm)

    153 Jackson:

    Funny. Good for you.

    154:
    And what will turn it, pray tell? Bridled greed?


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see (what would you believe that I could say? Stranger things have happened).


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:52 pm)

    #108 Jackson

    Where have I said that anyone that might be for the Volt needs to agree with me on everything? My record shows admissions that I am happy that the Volt cuts across the political spectrum. Where do you get that I am claiming the Volt as some kind of Liberal-agenda icon? Provide a quote where I said anything like that. If you are so pro- “opinion stating,” why do you attack my opinion?

    I’m open to seeing the error of my ways, if you can demonstrate them to me. Let’s deal with facts (methinks you made up a bunch of crapola).

    Lets differ on the wit and wisdom of FredX and leave it at that. In the future, lets try not to get too over-the-top political. We are in mixed company. It does us no good to argue our faiths.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:55 pm)

    My initial impression of your reaction (in the complete absense of anything else I could readily fathom) was that FredX’s jibe hit a little too close to home. If I was wrong, I apologise to you and to the mixed company.

    I think we can agree to disagree. After all, we do it with statik all the time!


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:55 pm)

    I’m glad Senator McCain is going to see the Volt site at GM. (Is there a Volt site at GM?) It is good for everyone if both McCain and Obama know as much as they can about the possibilities for electric cars.

    As for the Volt itself, it seems to exist more and more for PR events such as this one, rather than as a future production vehicle.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:37 pm)

    I took Fred X’s posting to be a joke – regardless of my political and “green” sensitivities. It does seem that there is a class of people who seem to go out of the way to find offense, however.

    It’s not like Fred X was seriously calling for violence – it was just a joke. Can’t you consider the vein in which it was intended, and look past any unintended slight?

    When did we ever become so thin-skinned?

    Time to take a refresher on the “Bill of No Rights”, dudes. Google it.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:32 pm)

    Man, I thought this blog was supposed to be about the VOLT. Can we all lay off of Rashiid a bit??? He’s not even the one who made the joke. If I laugh at a joke it doesn’t exactly mean I support the ideas behind it….sometimes that’s the POINT. On to better things…

    Nothing would make me happier than to see GM building (and selling) 500,000 Volts a year. In the end, they will build to suit market demand. So in the end, WE will decide how many they build, by going out and buying one.


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    Jul 16th, 2008 (10:35 pm)

    #160 Just_Me

    Fred X is as funny as Rush Limbaugh. His “joke” plays on divisiveness. As I said earlier, racist jokes are “just” jokes too. Does that make them ok? How about this…your wife is ugly!* HA-HA-HA-HA. That joke is sooooo funny! If anyone thinks otherwise, they are thin-skinned.

    *my apologies to your wife. I’m sure she’s lovely. I was just trying to make a point.


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    Jul 17th, 2008 (10:52 am)

    #151 mien green:

    Exactly.

    One of Mr. Kennedy’s (an asthmatic with asthmatic kids) favorite examples is the older coal fired power plants in the Ohio Valley. Their particulate emissions cause thousands of asthma cases, as far east as New York and Conn. If they had to pay to treat all of the asthma cases, it would be way cheaper to clean up their emissions. Since they don’t, WTF.

    Plus, it’s way cheaper to contribute $50 million to various political campaigns than it is to scrub the stacks. Someone pointed out to me here the other day how little it costs to gain influence with politicians. No s**t!


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    Jul 17th, 2008 (1:31 pm)

    There are too many expert opinions on this site. GM is obviously in a struggle for its existence and the Volt gambit is an admirable attempt to solve their problems. I wish them well. They face an excruciating trial.
    But there is no doubt that they have established the Volt concept as a technological leap forward. Let’s hope they can make the landing.
    People on this site should put away their knife sharpeners and try to look for the upside of GM’s attempt, whether it meets success or failure. All the spurious advice about green issues(a crock of shite) and government planned economies( did you consult the Bolsheviks?) could be helpfully omitted.


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    Jul 17th, 2008 (7:29 pm)

    Why no, we consulted Niccolò Machiavelli. He’s a much better model to keep us from becoming too delusional about governmental policy.

    And of course on the “green issues”, I’m reminded of the alcoholic beverage making model, whereby the yeast culture generates ethanol as a waste product of metabolism until it reaches a toxic level at around 12%, at which point they kill themselves off and stop the fermentation process.

    Thanks for asking.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:19 pm)

    As stew said I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe Bob and Rick are still employed..

    I can’t agree more. Why can’t the board see the gross incompetence. Wagoner should have been canned after killing the EV1 and starting the Hummer fiasco.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:22 pm)

    I am afraid these guys will screw up the Volt project. They should hire Lee Iacocca to run the Volt project.


  169. 169
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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    I just want to know when will we get to 500k?


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:50 pm)

    Never with these clowns.


  171. [...] Warren Tech Center, where he teased a supposed production car. Despite rumors of it’s demise, it looks like it’s the Chevy [...]