Oct 23

Current Chevy Volt Battery and Mule Update

 

We have just heard from Reuters that anonymous sources confirmed that LG Chem is supplying the Gen 1 Volt pack.

I have been speculating for a  while that LG Chem would be the winner, I had also recently interviewed CPI’s CEO Prahbakar Patil (see post).  Patil had indicated that the GM deal would be for more than 50,000 packs, and that he would build a facility piggybacking the Volt Hamtramck assembly plant.  He also noted that LG Chem was already making 40 million lithium-ion cells per month so adding the Volt demand wouldn’t require any additional factory build-out, just a new cell line within it.

Below is an interview with Bob Kruse, GMs director of Hybrids and EVs, that I had about the battery contract, that took place prior to yesterday’s report.

If you’ve internally chosen the Volts battery supplier, why delay the announcement?
What we have publicly announced Is that we are working with the two suppliers as a result of our development contract, one is LG Chem/CPI and the other is A123/Conti. We have not signed a production contract with anybody at this point and time. Its our anticipation that we will finalize that contract and be able to publicly announce who that battery supplier is by the end of the year. That will be the supplier for our initial Volt application. We will continue to work with other battery suppliers, A123 included, to look for the next step in battery technology lithium-ion or otherwise for future generations of the Volt.

Right now we have a pretty good idea of the cell chemistry and the cell that is most suitable for our generation one vehicle, but part of the long-term success of the Volt will depend on the economic equation that goes along with it. Part of that requires my organization to drive through generational iteration to drive costs down that cost curve. As volume goes up as efficiency goes up as experience goes up we’re going to drive down the cost curve. Part of what were anticipating is that there’s a lot of investment going on in electric energy storage. We’re positioning ourselves to be able to adapt our vehicles to the right technology at the right time. If I pick LG I’m going to maintain an advanced development contract with A123 and if I pick A123 Im going to maintain an advanced development relationship with LG. I’m working with many many companies evaluating their cell chemistries.

So you will go with one supplier for gen-one?
Yes

But you wont rule out the other supplier for gen-two?
Or multiple suppliers.

How many charge discharge cycles have your oldest Volt packs undergone at this point?
I would tell you. When I take folks through the battery lab, I have early Volt T-packs that have gone through charge/discharge cycles. We can take those energy profiles and covert it to miles. So I have some 30 something thousand miles on battery packs. You have a limited amount of time and you’re going through lots of iterations so at some point in tome you’ve understood the trends and the projections. Some of it is developmental some of it is long term life evaluation. Some of the long term life evaluation I can do at the cell level I don’t have to do at the pack and module level.

I would think if the packs are simulating 60 mph and running 24/7 you should be able to get up to 100,000 miles very quickly, in a few months?
Yeah, but there’s a lot of iteration in the hardware at this particular point in our development cycle. Typically right now I’m focused on bringing packs. We have now announced we are into our mule phase. The Malivolts were our pre-mules. I have a very rigorous process by how I take a battery pack from a supplier and put it in a vehicle and turn it on.

First it comes to my lab and I hook it up to a cycler, I cycle it and I make sure it is operating within certain parameters. Then I send it over to my experimental build shop and its put into a vehicle and everything is wrung out before they hook up the power and turn it on. Then in my build facility I don’t actually turn it on. I send it out to my Milford proving grounds and I wring the vehicle and the battery pack out separately while they’re in the vehicle. Then I bring them together and I start to generate torque electrically. Because all the torque in the Volt is done electrically. Then I bring the internal combustion engine on and I get that all working. There are layers of security that are built into the control system. Then I get to a level of torque security, where Im confident the commanded torque and the actual torque are operating how I want. And only after Ive gotten to that point do I allow my developmental engineers to actually being driving the vehicle on General Motors roads in side the proving grounds.

Thats a a high level summary of the steps. Not long, but it’s a detailed purposeful process to ensure that by going through those steps, there is a growing sense of accomplishment withing general Motors and an optimism towards that November 2010 date and that’s all generated by not hope and prayers by experience and knowledge with the hardware and the software.

The current mules are on the compact global delta platform. What shell do they have?
I don’t believe we’ve said what the donor vehicle is. Its Astra-like. The mule will look much more Volt-like than the current mules. I expect well have some type of media event with the mules. I have certain milestones and deliverable to meet before I’ll let the media drive them. At this point in time we are right on track to where we thought we’d be at this time.

Note: GM vice chair Bob Lutz later confirmed that the current Volt mules are in Chevy Cruze shells.  Some versions of it with an approximate Volt design and are supposed to appear before the end of this year.  In total there will be 50 running mules by the end of 2008.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 8:41 pm and is filed under Battery, Production, Prototypes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 132


  1. 1
    BOB

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    I hope they have a version of the volt that is cheaper with less range. I want to get one for my wife. She only needs it to go between the kitchen and the bedroom.


  2. 2
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (8:56 pm)

    “How many charge discharge cycles have your oldest Volt packs undergone at this point?”

    Good question. Wonder why Mr. Kruse avoids or offers up the unbelievable “30 something thousand miles”?


  3. 3
    Ernie V

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (8:56 pm)

    your wife does not need a volt for that short distance …..she can ride you , fool !


  4. 4
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    hi BOB # 1,

    I agree, a basic Cruze outfitted with the Volt drive system would be the bomb. A $22,000 (after rebate) EREV would set new sales records for GM.

    The high end Volt is a body blow to big oil. A lower priced EREV Cruze is the upper cut which follows.

    =D~


  5. 5
    dylan

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:03 pm)

    vote for mccain


  6. 6
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:03 pm)

    Lyle, can you ask one of your engineer/program director contacts how the mule has performed on the epa standardized test procedures for city/highway mpg after the customer depletion point?

    Thanks

    P.S. I’m still predicting the combined number is no higher than 40 mpg, but I’d like to be proven wrong.


  7. 7
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:18 pm)

  8. 8
    kud

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    Gen 2 Mule testing sounds good to me.

    Let’s get the right body on th platform.

    I want one in my garage.

    NPNS =D–


  9. 9
    George K

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:27 pm)

    “The mule will look much more Volt-like than the current mules. I expect well have some type of media event with the mules.”

    Can’t wait to see that! Perhaps that’s when Lyle will drive one. Holding the event during the Detroit Auto Show would get a LOT of media attention, even if it is freezing outside.

    =D~~~~


  10. 10
    GmsAJoke

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (9:59 pm)

    Hurry up GM.

    http://www.greenvehicles.com/

    Those are not even in the running in the US car market. Driving that on a US hwy will get you killed as it rolls over when the breeze from a bicycle passes you by.


  11. 11
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:06 pm)

    Q> “…you should be able to get up to 100,000 miles very quickly, in a few months?

    A> Yeah, but there’s a lot of iteration in the hardware at this particular point in our development cycle.”

    ________________________________

    …60 mph for 3/4 hour ~ 6 hour charge ~ 60 mph for 3/4 hour ~ 6 hour charge…

    Working two eight hour shifts with start/stop time subtracted = 30,000 miles in 14 months = 100,000 miles in 3.5 years.

    ________________________________
    hi carcus #7 & GmsAJoke # 10,

    I would select riding a straight EV motorcycle before driving a micro vehicle.

    =D~


  12. 12
    Bif Naked

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:15 pm)

    @ #1 BOB

    That was funny. I used to date a girl who’s previous boyfriend was named BOB. I never liked BOB.
    Be careful with any girl who likes a BOB.
    Turns out that BOB was not real, he was her
    Battery Operated Boyfriend (aka BOB). I had a hard time matching BOB’s skills.


  13. 13
    JonP

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:16 pm)

    30 Thousand miles………

    Well if we assume their stating within the 35%-85% SOC range, and getting 45 miles per charge……..

    Thats 667 charges, or days in “our terms”. Not even 2 years, that dosen’t seem like alot to me. Either there taking their sweet time or their very confident in the battery. I hope the latter!

    Is my math off?

    On a side note, if the economy stays on the same trend and 2009 is even worse than the last 6 months as perdicted by alot of economist. $37500 for the Volt in 2010-2011 is gonna be like a million dollars. Not that their will be no buyers, but the people who were going to stretch for the Volt are going to be alot less.
    Or maybe in late 2009 the clouds part and the sun comes back out economicly and GM times this perfectly………….

    I’m pretty convinced this is going to happen, i’ve always wanted it 100% but i’ve had my reservations. Mostly on price, release, and GM’s ability to make it to 2010 finacialy. But i’m confident the Feds won’t let GM fail now, they will almost be forced to price it in the mid 30′s due to the overall economy, we already know the Tax credit will be $7500, and now there signing contracts for suppliers.

    Alot has come together quickly this month, all very good developments!

    Go GM
    LGTVOTR (1st time i’ve used that)


  14. 14
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:20 pm)

    Well, I was right. GM doesn’t seem to want to lock into LT batt contracts with anyone and that makes sense. With this rate of development Gens 2 and 3 could be 2012 and 2013.


  15. 15
    LeaveThePoliticsForMSNBC

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:24 pm)

    Ummmm, no dylan. I went to college and have and have a conscience!


  16. 16
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:24 pm)

    George K #9

    “Holding the event during the Detroit Auto Show would get a LOT of media attention, even if it is freezing outside”

    *** *** ***

    And a good test of the battery’s TMS! ;)


  17. 17
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:25 pm)

    #11 Dave K.

    “I would select riding a straight EV motorcycle before driving a micro vehicle.”

    ________________________

    What about this ride?

    Fifth Gear T-Rex
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38TFetQAe2o&feature=related


  18. 18
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:31 pm)

    I’m starting a list of posters that divert/pollute our topic with unrelated political spam/crap:

    dylan (#5)

    Those that take the bait are as follows:

    LeaveThePoliticsForMSNBC (#15)


  19. 19
    Tom Cruze

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:31 pm)

    I would take a $27K Chevy Cruze with Volt Battery even if it didn’t get 40 AER. I know GM is working on more EV models as we sleep. By the end of 2012 I bet they will have 6 or 7 different EREV’s to choose from with a wide variety of ranges and costs, just my edumacated scientological guess.


  20. 20
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    Battery charge cycles.

    Surely they’ve got several packs getting charged from 30% to 80% on higher voltage/current that takes a lot less than 6 hours.

    My guess is they’ve got many different packs on many different charge/discharge cycles running 24/7.


  21. 21
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:49 pm)

    hi carcus # 17,

    No thanks on the T-Rex. I already have two vehicles which cover current needs. One being a 150 mph motorcycle. I feel ownership in a GM EREV and an EV motorcycle isn’t out of the question by 2014.

    BTW: I just checked stock quotes. GM will be down at the open if anyone has been waiting for a dip. Should open at $5.50 or so. I am staying sideline for now. Expect $5 next week followed by $6 next month. And $7-$8 by spring 09′.

    =D~


  22. 22
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    Dave K. # 17,

    150 mph motorcycle AND purchasing GM stock?!

    You DO live on the edge. ;)

    You’re probably smoking an unfiltered camel right now, as well.


  23. 23
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (11:11 pm)

    21. Dave K,

    You’ll probably be able to buy the e bike first.

    http://www.enertiabike.com/


  24. 24
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (11:21 pm)

    hi carcus #22,

    I am in the gym 4-5 times a week and do not smoke. Three, 25 rep sets of triceps at 150 lbs along with 100 sit ups and a sub 4 minute 1/2 mile run are common.

    True, I have piloted a hang glider over 100 times. From sites north to Big Sur (3000 ft) and south to Crestline in L.A (5000 ft).

    So, I guess you’re partially right on the “live on the edge” statement.

    The LZ (landing zone) is huge at Crestline and is often 30 degrees warmer than launch point. Making for nice thermal lift and long sled rides.

    A shot of the launch at Crestline (not me in photo).
    http://garfwod.250free.com/Photos/crestline.jpg

    =D~


  25. 25
    carcus

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    24 Dave K.

    Looks like a lot of fun. Now if you could just hang-glide to work . . . that would be an eco-friendly commute.


  26. 26
    GXT

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (11:47 pm)

    21. Dave K

    “Expect $5 next week followed by $6 next month. And $7-$8 by spring 09′.”

    I think your prediction is way off. Whatever happens to GM, the stock is going to move radically.

    Also, you forgot to mention the sub $4 stock price by end of October when they announce their Q3 earnings disaster.


  27. 27
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (11:58 pm)

    carcus #7 & GmsAJoke # 10,
    greenvehicles.com — was that a plug for them Carcus?

    Isn’t the Micro Watt the vehicle on the Exon Mobil about Exon being green because they are making Li ion battery separators?

    I wondered whether GM put that car in the add as a sort of passive aggressive dig at plugins. Sort of like saying, “Yeh we do green things too for the weird people that want to drive those tiny really ugly cars. Who would want to buy one of those?”


  28. 28
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:11 am)

    hi GXT #26,

    “…sub $4 stock price by end of October.”

    ________________________________

    GM’s last quarterly report listed brutal labor contract issues, supply problems (Delphi loan), Cruze engine factory start up costs, and a $4 a gallon gas price. GM stock dove to $4 a share on this news. A 50 year low.

    The recent word is that GM sales in South America as well as in Europe are improving. With Buick sales holding about even in China. The Volt is being showcased worldwide. Malibu sales are better than expected.The new Camaro, Plug-in Vue, and 40 MPG Cruze are well advertised. GM has been aggressively trimming expenses with product reallocation and employee buy outs. R&D is moving more toward fuel efficiency. Both from government mandate as well as the need to survive.

    ________________________________

    We’re all entitled to our opinions. I see several GM related events in early 09′ which will provide buoyancy. I don’t wish to list them at this time. Would rather see a slow steady climb over several months.

    Which stocks do you like?

    =D~


  29. 29
    carcus

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:25 am)

    Mark # 27,

    Not a plug, just a thought. IMO affordable (sub $20k) pure electric EV’s with a range of over 80 miles will sell like crazy. Even at $2 gas, the economics of it between fuel and low maintenance costs will make these types of cars extremely attractive to multi car households.
    GM has no prius fighter.
    GM has no small EV fighter.
    The volt won’t be produced in large numbers or affordable prices ($25 -$28k) for who knows how long?

    Hurry up GM


  30. 30
    omegaman66

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:23 am)

    Thank you JonP for writing 35% to 85%, that made my day instead of the old 30-80 that is always being mentioned here.


  31. 31
    Zen

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:34 am)

    I’m starting a list of posters that divert/pollute our topic with unrelated political spam/crap:

    dylan (#5)

    Those that take the bait are as follows:

    LeaveThePoliticsForMSNBC (#15)

    Those who are insufferably smug and arrogant as they judge others are as follows:

    ThombDbhomb (#18)

    Judge not, lest ye be judged, for none are without sin.


  32. 32
    BillR

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:05 am)

    Well, I see several important points here:

    1) The battery supplier has been chosen, they are just waiting to finalize the contract (which I’m sure is lengthy) before they make an announcement.

    2) Other battery suppliers will continue to get development contracts to ensure that GM has the best battery technology in the future.

    3) Battery testing is ongoing.

    4) They are looking at methods to increase volume and reduce production costs of the battery.

    5) There will be 50 mules completed for testing by year end (about 65 days from now).

    I think GM is being very thorough in their process. They are continuing towards production, see no delays to the November 2010 date, and are working to bring down costs, yet still keeping emerging technologies in the loop.

    Congratulations, GM. I commend you for your excellent work on this vehicle.


  33. 33
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:03 am)

    #32 BillR — On points in the post.
    ========================================

    Agree on points 2,3,4. I didn’t see #1 (our speculation) or #5 (Lyle’s statement) in anything said by Bob Krause (GM).


  34. 34
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:12 am)

    Krause Q&A “How many charge discharge cycles have your oldest Volt packs undergone at this point?
    I would tell you. When I take folks through the battery lab, I have early Volt T-packs that have gone through charge/discharge cycles. We can take those energy profiles and covert it to miles. So I have some 30 something thousand miles on battery packs. You have a limited amount of time and you’re going through lots of iterations so at some point in tome you’ve understood the trends and the projections.”
    ==================================

    30 something thousand miles is not very much, by this time, considering he is discussing battery packs (plural).

    The last sentence, if put in plain language, seems to say they get a little data, try to see a trend, and extrapolate into the future. It might be ok, but it’s risky.

    Of course, there is enough garble in each of the responses that one is not sure what is intended. I hope he thinks more clearly than he talks, though that is hard to do.


  35. 35
    Jim I

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:54 am)

    I would imagine that the major hardware components are just about done at this point. Now it is software that has to be completed and de-bugged to get all these subsystems to function together exactly the way everyone wants them to work. And that takes time…………

    My main concern, as I have said several times before, is when will they start working on the manufacturing plant, so they can start to produce these vehicles? With 24 months and one week remaining before vehicles are supposed to be on the lots, that is not a lot of time. You would think they need 6-8 months before Nov, 2010 to have the line fully functional, so that leaves 16 months. I guess the real question is: How long does it take to set up a manufacturing plant to produce a completely new type of car?

    Does anyone here have any experience in this area?


  36. 36
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:01 am)

    #35 Jim I notes “With 24 months and one week remaining before vehicles are supposed to be on the lots,..”
    =================================

    I think it is 24 months until the time GM has said they will start production, not have vehicles on the lots.


  37. 37
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:04 am)

    #35 Jim I asks “How long does it take to set up a manufacturing plant to produce a completely new type of car?”
    ========================================

    I think statik has said it takes 18 to 24 months.
    No doubt he will speak to this point directly, whenever he wakes up ;)


  38. 38
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:05 am)

    I’m glad they will be using more than one battery supplier in the future.
    Being stuck with just one could harm innovation. I still see 40 miles as too low, but we all have our preferences.

    I’m just looking forward to the day when I no longer need to go to the gas station. I wonder how far down the road that is. 10 years? 20 years?
    My crystal ball is cloudy when looking that far into the future.


  39. 39
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:08 am)

    #35 Jim I says “My main concern, as I have said several times before, is when will they start working on the manufacturing plant, so they can start to produce these vehicles? ”
    =======================================

    I share that concern. There remains no battery contract (even though one is in prospect), no working mules (even though we hear about “pre-mules”), virtually no outside contracts, and nothing happening insofar as an assembly line.

    Maybe they are waiting for federal money to flow. Maybe they are working on Cruze development that will overlap. Maybe they are not doing anything — we just don’t know. But things do not look good.


  40. 40
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:09 am)

    #38 Rashiid says “I’m just looking forward to the day when I no longer need to go to the gas station. I wonder how far down the road that is. 10 years? 20 years?”
    =========================================

    Just 27 months :)


  41. 41
    kdawg

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:33 am)

    The article sounds like standard due process.

    I dunno about $22K for those micro-cars people posted, $22k.. come on. Travel to Europe, Asia, South America and look at what people use to get around, scooters/mopeds. I picked up a scooter this summer for $1300 and used it all summer long. I put 1000 miles on it and got an average 100mpg. It was actually difficult to buy one because there was a nationwide shortage of them (thank you $4 gas). I live by a large univeristy and they are selling like hotcakes.

    Just another option for people looking to save some oil (and cash)until Nov 2010 (or whenever we can get our hands on a E-REV)


  42. 42
    mitch

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:42 am)

    You know it is interesting the thoughts that hit before coffee fully enters the blood stream…

    All these other manufacturers are (Suprise suprise) launching electric vehicles…Chrysler totally from left field..nothing until the VOLT was announced (I know some exceptions like Tesla and Fiskar..(I alsways think pruning shears on that last)) but all thes major manufacturers…seemingly sooo close, that it will be a race to see if volt is first.

    I wonder (being in mfg) about some of these “working prototypes” I can make one ina couple days…(money no object like a big 3) get a tesla, slap it in a body that fits the wheel base, connect the displays..and voila! Working prototype that is”closer to production than many thought”

    How thorough are they in their testing? we all know GM is being completely open, and VERY methodical. A first out plaugued with troubles will be a name killer..imagine brand X all electric..promising 120 miles, 30 minute charges, 10 year battery warr.

    Fast forward 6 months…you find that the 120 mile is if you use no other electrical )like radio, or lights at night…A/C cuts range 30%, improper SOC maintenance lengthens charge times…special charger breaks..car is useless..

    Word gets out..no one will EVER buy another…

    Volt comes out..meets all expectations, but sales are lower because brand X beat them to the market…fast forward 6 months…now everyone will realize that first is not always best, and Volt sales rocket.

    I think everyone else is racing to beat GM now, and they will cut corners, and hope their rep carries them through (like Consumer reports giving recommends on products they never test simply because the manufacturer has a rep..another crock of sh**, but for another day before java)

    I will wait for the volt..I know what is happening, I see the transparency, IU have always had success with GM.

    Maybe more $$ but first is not my choice..best is.

    there is a lot of truth in the “Good, Fast, Cheap…pick any 2″

    thoughts brought to you from the miracle of (lack of) caffeine…genereated by the poster of “first EV around 20k gets my business…

    (noit legal in all areas, see wrapper for details, not liable if used without Dr.s orders, not animals were hurt in this posting.

    Off to buy a new coffee maker for the rest of the day and a Lg Timmy’s


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:13 am)

    Horse and pony show!

    In REAL developement, you test each component individually. ie test the batteries for 1000 cycles. Then if that passes, you put packs through that same cycle test at dofferent temps, then you install into a vehicle and test it.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:14 am)

    #21 Dave K

    BTW: I just checked stock quotes. GM will be down at the open if anyone has been waiting for a dip. Should open at $5.50 or so. I am staying sideline for now. Expect $5 next week followed by $6 next month. And $7-$8 by spring 09′.
    ——————————————–
    You know I put ‘zip’ into calling the market, but I have to say, it is really bad today. I’m not just talking about GM here…even though GM loves to put out all its bad press friday afternoon, lol.

    It may not end up this way today, but it could be apocalyptically bad today, even the FUTURES got shut down this morning. Hopefully, it works itself out for the people caught in it.

    Right now they are talking about trading thresholds/circuit breakers during the day, something that hasn’t happeened since ’97. They are at 10,20,30% or 1,100/2,200/3,300. For those who don’t follow such thing, first shutdown is for a hour, 2nd is 30 minutes, then 3rd halts trading for the day.

    /best of luck


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:26 am)

    #33 RB
    ———————————-
    #32 BillR — On points in the post.
    ========================================

    Agree on points 2,3,4. I didn’t see #1 (our speculation) or #5 (Lyle’s statement) in anything said by Bob Krause (GM)

    —————————————————————

    Regarding #1, battery contract

    “We have not signed a production contract with anybody at this point and time. Its our anticipation that we will finalize that contract and be able to publicly announce who that battery supplier is by the end of the year.”

    Note: Previous posts have mentioned that GM has actually selected a supplier, they just have not announced who.

    With regards to #5, mules

    “Note: GM vice chair Bob Lutz later confirmed that the current Volt mules are in Chevy Cruze shells. Some versions of it with an approximate Volt design and are supposed to appear before the end of this year. In total there will be 50 running mules by the end of 2008.”


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:27 am)

    Mortimer: Randolf! We’ve got to sell, sell, sell!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:37 am)

    For those who are curious as to how GM can condense10 years worth of battery testing into 2 years, you might want to listen to the inteviews with some of the GM engineers at this link:

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/04/07/the-april-2008-chevy-volt-update-a-visit-to-the-battery-systems/

    By doing some battery testing at elevated temperatures, they artificially run the battery to its end of life with fewer cycles. This data can then be coorelated with the calculated decay for high temperature operation, and then extrapolated to yield the expected battery life at normal temperatures.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:42 am)

    #35 Jim I

    My main concern, as I have said several times before, is when will they start working on the manufacturing plant, so they can start to produce these vehicles? With 24 months and one week remaining before vehicles are supposed to be on the lots, that is not a lot of time. You would think they need 6-8 months before Nov, 2010 to have the line fully functional, so that leaves 16 months. I guess the real question is: How long does it take to set up a manufacturing plant to produce a completely new type of car?

    Does anyone here have any experience in this area?

    ————————————–

    #37 RB

    I think statik has said it takes 18 to 24 months.
    No doubt he will speak to this point directly, whenever he wakes up

    —————————————-

    Hey! I was sleeping in…are you spying on me? Anywhoo, onto the timeline. It is really compressed right now, almost to the point where if one of the engineers sleeps in and comes to work late they can’t make it.

    To be fair I am not familar with all the ins and outs of setting up a auto plant, which this is not…it is a line tear out and rebuild. What I am familar with is GM and the time it takes them to do a conventional and unconventional switchover. I’ve seen at least 20 of them come and go.

    Again, I want to draw similarities with the RWD flex Camaro, because that is the closest analog we have to the Volt program. It is a new line, with new technology, with a car that has unbelievable high initial demand and competition coming for it (in this case, the next gen Mustang).

    They made the announcement of production in August of 06, here is the ditty, “GM officials said the preparatory work at the plant (Oshawa) would begin immediately, with a total investment of $740 million”

    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2006/08/21/camaro-oshawa.html

    If you check todays date, you can see it is 26 months past that…and the line is still not functional, there has been a ‘mock line’ pumping out small runs for test cars/show ponies, etc.

    Some shots of the mock line:
    http://www.camaro5.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4901&d=1211427761

    http://www.camaro5.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4900&d=1211427761

    They do have a official start date pasted all over the plant for February, 16th, 2009…thats 30 months time from front to back…also note, that is NOT to the customer, thats START of production, hard to say when they will actually get them, a few month later (?), and the Camaro doesn’t have anything like 16kWh batteries or secret sauce transmissions, etc. I’m not saying it is not possible, (they did ALOT of ‘non-work’ in Oshawa over that time), but it is getting close to the point of no return.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:13 am)

    Lets face it..this horse and pony show is almost over!
    One excuse after another, constant contradicting information, high advertisement/press coverage..and they dont even have a working mule!
    The goal of this “project” was to help gm stock, but since investers do not trust GM it didnt help.
    Get chrysler (private investment firm) involved and it will all be over.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:14 am)

    #31 Zen

    You can admit it; you’ve got a “thing” for me. Do we really need the name-calling? If it makes you feel better about yourself, I’ll admit that I am a poopyhead that feels smug and arrogant when it comes to you. All you have is name-calling and poor reasoning. For example, why did you pronounce judgement upon me, then say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged…?” :)

    To my original point, if you favor political spam and hijacked threads, just say so. Better yet, walk your talk and start a political thread hijack.

    Hey look! Over there! It’s a Volt discussion!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:15 am)

    RB #36:

    It has always been said that delivery is Nov, 2010, not start of production……

    Unless you have a quote or a link to dispute that!

    statik #47:

    Then I guess they better wake up all the engineers and contractors and get them going!!!!!!!

    :)

    NPNS!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:42 am)

    It is friday, so we have to wonder what the ‘bad news du jour’ from GM will be after the close tonight, there is always something.

    How about this, “GM…is considering delaying the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze compact “….and the Malibu into 2013.

    http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/oct2008/bw20081023_883385.htm
    (I stole this link from John Horner at Truth About cars, as fair disclosure, lol)

    The Business Week article goes on to say that GM’s cash is so tight, that it is trying to be more energy efficient, shutting down lights at night, and “has told engineers and product development staff at its sprawling technical center north of Detroit to turn the thermostats down to 66 degrees”

    Why do we care here at GM-Volt.com? Well, I am glad you asked. These are money making cars they are pushing back, by that I mean, these are the cars that people want, and GM is saying we do not have the cash to start up a new production line.

    The Volt offers absolutely no ‘right now benefit,’ things are turning day-to-day at GM, they are caring less and less about the future…and more about the right now. It is not impossible the Volt production could get shifted back…or put on temporary hiatus. GM may not have the 750ish million it needs to get this line up (740 mil was the cost to retool for the Camaro).

    Here is a quote from the article, to make you feel ill:

    GM spokesman Dee Allen would not confirm specific product delays. He said only that GM will “continue to review the portfolio and concentrate on what’s most important.” He added that some new-car programs “are going to shift around a bit.”

    /this sucks…but we have to consider it a possibility now


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:48 am)

    In 27 Months there will be a lot of competition for the volt. IN 1-2 years later there will be a flood of electrics for sale so i hope they get this right cuz just being first will not guarantee they will be best.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    From the BusinessWeek article cited by statik above “Sources in the company say the Chevrolet Cruze compact will be delayed until 2011, almost a year after it was originally set to launch.”
    =============================================

    If the Cruze is delayed the Volt will be delayed, unfortunately.
    Can’t have one without the other.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    LeaveThePoliticsForMSNBC

    Ummmm, no dylan. I went to college and have and have a conscience!

    ——————————————————————————————-

    If that’s true than how can you in good conscience vote for a man who voted to allow “doctors” to kill a living breathing child after a botched abortion?


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:04 am)

    RB #53:

    Where do you get that from?

    Other than they are both Delta II platform based, I don’t see your position. And the Cruze was to be built in the Lordstown, OH plant, not at Hamtrack.

    Statik #51:

    The only reason I kind of disagree with your point is that the Volt is a game changer for GM, and could be the real future of the company, so it might be wise to push ahead with this program.

    But even I have to admit that the future looks a bit bleak right now for GM………


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:10 am)

    This is from yesterday’s Youngstown Vindicator:

    LORDSTOWN — General Motors has canceled three upcoming days of overtime production at its Lordstown complex.

    A notice on the United Auto Workers Local 1112 Web site said GM is reducing production based on expected demand for the Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s that are made there. Extra shifts on these Saturdays have been canceled: this saturday, Nov. 8 and Nov. 22. Saturday production remains scheduled for Nov. 1.

    Just two weeks ago, GM announced that it was scheduling production every Saturday through Dec. 20, except for Nov. 15 and Nov. 29. Those off days were scheduled because of holidays.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:16 am)

    FYI….

    Chrysler to cut 25 pct. of salaried work force

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081024/ap_on_bi_ge/chrysler_cuts_1

    DETROIT – Chrysler LLC says it will cut 25 percent of its salaried work force starting next month.

    The company says the cuts are in addition to those previously announced and will be done through involuntary layoffs and voluntary retirements and buyouts.

    Chrysler has about 18,500 white-collar workers.

    The company said in a statement Friday that employees also were told to cut discretionary and overhead expenses and reduce capital expenditures not related to major products.

    Chrysler’s owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, is in talks to sell the company or merge with another. Discussions are under way with General Motors Corp. and the combined Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:20 am)

    #53 RB

    From the BusinessWeek article cited by statik above “Sources in the company say the Chevrolet Cruze compact will be delayed until 2011, almost a year after it was originally set to launch.”

    If the Cruze is delayed the Volt will be delayed, unfortunately.
    Can’t have one without the other.
    ————————————————–
    Well, sorta kinda. Your concern here is planned ‘commonality’ amongst parts between the two, which is valid. However, there are a couple things to consider before we get to that conclusion.

    The issue is the vagueness of the article. The Cruze is to be built in Lordstown, Ohio, along side the Cobalt (until it is phased out). I get the impression that this article is saying that the NA Cruze project is on hold, delayed (talking about timeframes of 6 months/year)…the Cruze line in Europe is much farther alone, I doubt it is being delayed/stopped.

    As long as the Cruze Europe is on track there, I don’t see a problem operating the Delta II line in Hamm., although it makes it alot tougher…and more expensive. Originally, the NA Cruze/Volt production lines were practically going up in tandem, with the Cruze out first…you have to believe there was alot of cost efficiencies for the Volt program being build on the fact the Cruze line and all the things that go along with that were established first.

    Long story short, you are right to assume that the most logical assumption is that the Volt will be delayed along with the Cruze if this comes to light…but it is theoretically possible to run one without the other.

    Although, I am in the camp that the Volt is ‘officially’ delayed if this news is verified for the record, lol.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    When will independent folks be able to drive a Volt mule and determine the AER, acceleration, mileage in the charge sustaining mode? If the E-REV drive was performing “flawlessly” then someone should be able to confirm it. Therefore, GM is not being transparent, but opaque.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:37 am)

    #59 van

    When will independent folks be able to drive a Volt mule and determine the AER, acceleration, mileage in the charge sustaining mode? If the E-REV drive was performing “flawlessly” then someone should be able to confirm it. Therefore, GM is not being transparent, but opaque.
    ———————————–
    Last Easter.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:46 am)

    Gm is suspending 401K matching funds to its employees. Don’t know who’s in better position to servive GM or Ford.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:52 am)

    #61 Ed

    Gm is suspending 401K matching funds to its employees. Don’t know who’s in better position to servive GM or Ford.
    ———————————————–

    We touched on it abit in a older thread:

    (post #160)
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/10/22/breaking-lg-chem-and-compact-power-inc-to-supply-volt-battery-packs/#comments

    Side note: So far the market is holding up really well…all things considered, DOW off 270, S&P off 30, oil is off $3.5 around $64.00. Hopefully it can make it through to the close.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Black Gold is at $64.55 and falling…

    Time to fill up the real mule.

    Is that LG Volt done yet ? (LG = Last Gasp)


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:07 am)

    Here is the first shot of the new Tesla Model S…that will probably never be built now.

    http://images.businessweek.com/mz/08/44/popup_0844_mz_tesla2.jpg

    /somebody has been taking a page from GM’s book with that kind of a picture


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:22 am)

    statik # 47

    “Anywhoo, onto the timeline. It is really compressed right now, almost to the point where if one of the engineers sleeps in and comes to work late they can’t make it.”

    *** *** ***

    The time line and plant tooling are concerns of mine as well. Nothing about the Volts development though is standard fare. So either GM is considering some sort of “just in time tooling” for the plant, (a seemingly impossible task) or the first 10K units won’t be made in a standard plant. These may be for a large captured fleet and might use more of a mass mule assembly technique. There might also be fewer than 10K of them.
    It’s anyone’s guess but I just hope the have a lot of them on the road so that successive generations can ramp up and benefit.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:29 am)

    Ed #61

    “… Don’t know who’s in better position to servive GM or Ford.”

    *** *** ***

    In a worse situation than either but much less significant is Tesla, the catalyst in the current EV movement.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:40 am)

    #51 Statik

    Thanks for the link. I think your analysis is right on target. GM has to find ways to cut cost while at the same time move forward with production of cars like the Camaro and the Cruze. These two cars will mean a lot to GM’s bottom line until the Volt can be produced in sufficient numbers to make some difference. But, the sad thing about this is it will be 2013 possibly before the Volt will make any real difference. I wish it were not so, but that is the way I see it. GM needs some cash now. The federal loan needs to get to them to keep them alive. Very probably they will need an additional infusion of cash by mid-2010. The only people with the kind of cash and loan terms GM can afford is the taxpayers of this country. I say we must do whatever is necessary to insure the continued operation of at least Ford and GM. Chrysler may need to be divided up between the two of them.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:41 am)

    Ed #61

    “… Don’t know who’s in better position to servive GM or Ford.”

    *** *** ***

    #66 Grizzly

    In a worse situation than either but much less significant is Tesla, the catalyst in the current EV movement.
    ————————————————-
    I’m with you, Tesla had everything going for it…but this economic climate is taking the wind out of their sails very quickly.

    In a contest of who is healthiest of GM, Chrysler and Ford (which is kind of like which one is farthest from death, lol)…I would say Ford is the healthiest of the three ‘as they stand’

    I will say, it is hard to peg Chrysler’s health because it is really at the whim of Cerberus…could be anything from day-to-day, and on top of that, their books are not transparent, which is a major stumbling block to a merger with anyone…just what exactly is Chrysler’s debt/commitments to VEBA/pensions, etc.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:45 am)

    Come on guys! It is bad enough that we have to put up with the talk of politics and politicians. I even do a little of that myself. But, please. I am begging all of you. Let’s leave abortion out of this site. It is a very sensitive issue. Much more so than mere politics. We don’t need to get side tracked onto that subject. So, come on. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:48 am)

    RB said:
    “If the Cruze is delayed the Volt will be delayed, unfortunately.
    Can’t have one without the other.”
    ————————————————–
    Statik said
    “Well, sorta kinda. Your concern here is planned ‘commonality’ amongst parts between the two, which is valid. However, there are a couple things to consider before we get to that conclusion.”
    ==================================================

    I don’t question that the Volt could be built without the Cruze, but it is not going to be built without the Cruze. Consider —>

    The Cruze is the high volume and definitely profitable car, at least at first. Maybe after some years (and with lower Volt prices) it will be the Volt, but not in the early years.
    And, there is considerable commonality, as you said.

    So for example think about the new ICE engine plant. It will make engines for the Volt and Cruze. Will it really get started, with the costs that implies, to do a relatively few Volt engines? No way GM is going to start that ICE plant just to make a few engines now and then for the Volt. That is, there is going to have to be the demand for steady and larger stream of engines for the Cruze, for the engine plant to start up, And, it’s not just engines.

    I take no pleasure in the above, as I hope for Volts asap, but it is the reality. GM discarded the Volt concept and went to the production model Volt in large part to save money by sharing components with the Cruze, a car with a much more definite volume and profitability curve than the Volt.

    They cannot abandon that now, as financial pressures are all the more. The sisterhood is how it is going to be.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:49 am)

    I get a kick out of watching a car co. being run by good folks that have not one clue on the possiblility’s that are in their hands .
    Just one example take a Caddie engine 2005 or later put that in a 1/2 ton pickup and you get a pickup that has 26-28 mpg .But that takes the know how to use what you have to the best advantage .
    Plus the customer wanting what you have to sell . The best number sales man can not sell numbers that no one wants , RIGHT ?

    God Bless
    Edwin Mang Jr.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:52 am)

    #67 N Riley

    (response to #51 Statik)
    Thanks for the link. I think your analysis is right on target. GM has to find ways to cut cost while at the same time move forward with production of cars like the Camaro and the Cruze. These two cars will mean a lot to GM’s bottom line until the Volt can be produced in sufficient numbers to make some difference. But, the sad thing about this is it will be 2013 possibly before the Volt will make any real difference. I wish it were not so, but that is the way I see it. GM needs some cash now. The federal loan needs to get to them to keep them alive. Very probably they will need an additional infusion of cash by mid-2010. The only people with the kind of cash and loan terms GM can afford is the taxpayers of this country. I say we must do whatever is necessary to insure the continued operation of at least Ford and GM. Chrysler may need to be divided up between the two of them.
    ———————————————–
    They will need a infusion of cash long before mid 2010…probably more like ‘late 2008/January 2009′ That loan they got only helps them with ‘retooling costs,’ so little direct action to the bottom line, unless they just scam it all and worry about the consequences later…even still that is 6 billion max.

    This quarter reports November 3rd…I think the situation about how bad it really is will become clear then. They sold alot less cars this quarter….at a steep discount…and paid out alot of ‘one time’ items, with more of the same on the horizon.

    (Although they are messing with the VEBA contract wording to take the ‘on paper profit savings’ all in this quarter…but no one is going to be fooled by that…everyone is going to look straight at the column marked ‘cash’ and cash available)

    I’m not going to say what I think the government should or should not do in response to this, as I am not a American taxpayer…but that decision will shortly be put upon them.

    Bottom line is the dawning of the Volt is far past the horizon that GM can see right now…so it may be becoming less and less of a priority when faced with short term, self preservation issues.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:53 am)

    Jim I #55 says,
    The only reason I kind of disagree with your point is that the Volt is a game changer for GM, and could be the real future of the company, so it might be wise to push ahead with this program.

    ——————-
    I saw a Hummer on the road this morning. I hadn’t realized it before, but I haven’t seen one in a while. Then I thought, “The price of gas is coming down. That is why the Hummer is on the road.”.

    If the price of gas keeps dropping, the Volt won’t be changing any game.
    This is unfortunate, but I believe it to be true. Time will tell, but I believe the price of gas must remain high for the game to change in this country. (USA). It has changed for me but the masses will only change the game when it makes sense in the wallet. Being energy independent will be a very tough sell if the foreign energy is cheap.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:54 am)

    Statik #68

    One thing I can say for Ford is that regardless of their financial situation IMHO they’ve got one of the best at the helm. Mullaly like him or not has always been a straight shooter and pragmatic regardless of what happens.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (11:58 am)

    #70 RB

    I agree with your conclusions, I am in the same camp as you. I was just ‘devil’s advocating’ the possibility that it ‘could’ physically be done if the will was behind it enough.

    IMO, if the NA Cruze is delayed there is a 95% chance the Volt is delayed inline 2-3 months longer than whatever that delay is.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to infer you weren’t right there, I was being a little obtuse I guess.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    Lyle asked, “….The current mules are on the compact global delta platform. What shell do they have?” GM’s Bob Kruse answered, “I don’t believe we’ve said what the donor vehicle is. Its Astra-like.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    For a change, I want to make a non-technical observation….. I’ve been a Saturn owner for 14 years now and have traded with 3 different Saturn dealers in 2 different states. I still own my original Saturn, a 1994 wagon (FL tag: nasaman) that runs perfectly & gets >30mpg at 70mph. Most recently, I bought a 2008 VUE (FL tag: nasa car)….. a vehicle that, although it’s a crossover SUV, outsells every other 2008 Saturn model ….in fact, it outsells all other ’08 Saturn models COMBINED. The new VUE, to be used for GM’s “other” plug-in”, is truly an extraordinary vehicle in terms of performance, handling, fit & finish & styling.*

    So when GM’s Kruse mentioned an Astra-like shell will be used for the “final” Volt mules, my heart rate jumped a little. Astra buyers LOVE them, and I’d LOVE to see the Volt drive train offered in an Opel-designed, distinctively-styled E-REV Astra to park beside my plug-in VUE in a few years!

    *IMO, Saturn has always offered GM’s best cars for the money and CERTAINLY offers the best buying experience —super clean, modern show rooms & service areas and extremely friendly sales people who are not allowed to haggle with customers!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:33 pm)

    Hey Deylan;
    Wake up bud check out republicans for obama.org
    GO WITH A WINNER THE SMART REPUBLICANS ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    #75 statik, and Jim I

    Oh I never thought we were far apart, just maybe a little tiny space.

    I was just enjoying writing some Cruze-Volt sisterhood arguments to see what you both would say.

    I find the “devil’s advocate” arguments very much worth thinking through, as well as your numerous factual ones, of course.

    As much as I hate to admit it I generally learn a lot from your comments. :)


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:51 pm)

    Here is my observation of the management style of Bob Kruse, GMs director of Hybrids and EVs, from Lyle’s following question:“I would think if the packs are simulating 60 mph and running 24/7 you should be able to get up to 100,000 miles very quickly, in a few months?”
    ____________________________________________________
    “Yeah, but there’s a lot of iteration in the hardware at this particular point in our development cycle. Typically right now I’m focused on bringing packs. We have now announced we are into our mule phase. The Malivolts were our pre-mules. I have a very rigorous process by how I take a battery pack from a supplier and put it in a vehicle and turn it on.

    First it comes to my lab and I hook it up to a cycler, I cycle it and I make sure it is operating within certain parameters. Then I send it over to my experimental build shop and its put into a vehicle and everything is wrung out before they hook up the power and turn it on. Then in my build facility I don’t actually turn it on. I send it out to my Milford proving grounds and I wring the vehicle and the battery pack out separately while they’re in the vehicle. Then I bring them together and I start to generate torque electrically. Because all the torque in the Volt is done electrically. Then I bring the internal combustion engine on and I get that all working. There are layers of security that are built into the control system. Then I get to a level of torque security, where Im confident the commanded torque and the actual torque are operating how I want. And only after Ive gotten to that point do I allow my developmental engineers to actually being driving the vehicle on General Motors roads in side the proving grounds.”
    ____________________________________________________
    Surely Mr Kruse has had Psychology 101? In Mr Kruse’s answer I counted at least 17 occurrences of “I” where the engineers that work for and with him probably deserve much more of the credit that “I” offers. And concerning the 3 occurrences of “my”; I doubt if he “owns” my lab, or “owns” my experimental build shop, or “owns” my build facility.

    Words matter. When I was working for a living comments like this always grated on me … and you can tell from my comments they still do! I may be unfair in my appraisal, but that is the way it comes across.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (12:54 pm)

    How about a $4/gallon gas tax, take the cash and give it to GM/Ford/Chrysler to pay their bills and develop electric cars? As they crank out more & more electric cars that people buy, people will use less gas, and the car mgf’s will get less tax money. It will eventually balance itself out.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    #49 ThombDbhomb

    In blatant disregard for your “thread principles”, and in exercise of my right to free speech, I will announce my political thoughts whenever and wherever I please…

    Lyle for President!!!!.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    Other random, ‘we aren’t going to build that just yet’ news from today:

    “General Motors Corp on Friday said it would delay the unveiling of a new Buick LaCrosse model….In addition, GM has scrapped a working plan to show off the coupe version of its Cadillac CTS in Los Angeles.”

    GM will now unveil the new Buick at the Detroit auto show in January, GM spokesman Scott Fosgard said. The steps were the latest in a series of actions GM has taken to cut costs in recent weeks.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN2453061520081024?rpc=44

    /still waiting on the ‘friday after close’ news, lol


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    A vote for Lyle….its a vote for “charge” you can believe in !!

    (I apologize for that horrible attempt at humor)


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:23 pm)

    Yea!!! Lyle for president and Statik for vp,

    GM, hurry up

    Lyle, were waiting for todays posts

    NO PLUG NO SALE NO WAY =D–$00.00


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    You know about “Who Killed the Electric Car,” and quite a few know their is a sequal being made.

    Well, now there is a site for the upcoming documentary, “Revenge of the Electric Car”

    http://revengeoftheelectriccar.com/

    (Looks like it will have alot of ‘GMie-type’ news, if the early posts are any indication).


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    #65 Statik

    At least the paint job looks good in the picture. hehe….


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (1:59 pm)

    Did anyone catch Michael Moore on Larry King last night? He tallked mostly politics but did talk about GM & the future too. (i dont have a youtube link, sorry)


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (2:10 pm)

    #88 kdawg

    Did anyone catch Michael Moore on Larry King last night? He tallked mostly politics but did talk about GM & the future too. (i dont have a youtube link, sorry)
    ———————–
    Yupe, “plumbers for Obama, lol.”

    I thought it was amusing when Larry asked him where he would get all the money to fix the roads, repair the bridges, give tax relief to the middle class, assist medicare etc as he suggest, would come from if he was president, and Moore deadpans in about 1/2 a second, “Leave Iraq.” (or something to that effect). Then he says nothing/awkward pause. (PS, I don’t have a opinion whether he is right or wrong, that just seems to be how all interviews go with him…very entertaining)

    Moore is a very opinionated guy…I agree with some of his stuff and don’t agree with some other stuff, but the guy certainly isn’t shy.

    /I’d also like to apoligize for my spelling and grammar in the first sentance of post #86


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    #89 Statik

    Spelling? I didn’t know you could!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    hi static # 44,

    “best of luck”
    _____________________________

    I appreciate that statement as I know you mean it. We’re all in this together. Whether you live near Detroit, own a 401k, want more clean air vehicles on the road, or work for a union.

    Yes, GM stock opened a bit above my $5.50 forecast ($5.69), which is good to see. The reason I called for this lower opening is that I had already seen the news (yesterday) that has been mentioned today. The announcement of ‘later Cruze availability’, the mention of Consumer Reports again ‘rating Japan higher’, and the mention of miserly actions taken at GM regarding ‘lower utility use’.

    These are all negative factors and made for a lower open. It really is starting to feel like Halloween.

    Now for the good news. GM is finally growing up and breaking their former wasteful habits. Keeping a close eye on costs. And providing efficient vehicles that people want to buy. And lower oil prices are good for everyone (except Exxon/Mobil).

    We’re getting the ‘bad news’ out of the way now. And the big picture is that the USA stock profile is improving. You may doubt this, but one statistic which I feel is very reassuring is that twice as much 401k (panic money) was cashed in last week as was this week. Making me believe that we are near the level of having mostly long term money left in this market. As I have said before, I feel bedrock is S&P 790. We are currently at S&P 880.

    The bottom line is this. Either the USA is at a point nearing a solid rebuilding platform. Or, the USA (along with most of the rest of the world), will loose heart, simply lay down, and settle for a deep recession.
    ____________________________________

    I like the “Heartbeat of America” and am proud of the job our young people are doing in this county. Refreshing political change and an improved standing in the world are ahead. I hope the rest of the world will forgive us for our former policy of waste and carelessness.

    You never loose until you quit.

    =D~


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    Rashiid Amul # 74

    “This is unfortunate, but I believe it to be true. Time will tell, but I believe the price of gas must remain high for the game to change in this country. (USA). It has changed for me but the masses will only change the game when it makes sense in the wallet. Being energy independent will be a very tough sell if the foreign energy is cheap.”

    *** *** ***

    Rashiid I agree with you and most of America has a pretty short memory. I don’t , and therefore I’ll buy a Volt regardless, but only if the price is right. That’s going to be the challenge for GM because if oil continues to fall the economics of supply and demand WRT the initial roll out may not apply. This is why it’s important for GM to continue with the diversified lineup they’re pursuing. Things change on a dime, but product development in the auto industry does not.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    #88 kdawg & # 89 statik:

    Well you beat me to it. He did talk about “Roger and Me”, which he startlingly reminded us was made 20 years ago. He reminded us that the same issues facing GM now faced them then, and have only gotten worse. Does anyone remember the haunting footage of post-industrial Flint in “Roger and Me”?

    When asked about the future of GM last night, he said, although I can’t quote him word for word, that GM will not exist a year from today. Then he caught himself and added, at least not in the form in which we have known it in the past. Sound familiar?


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:06 pm)

    #91 Dave K

    Yes, GM stock opened a bit above my $5.50 forecast ($5.69), which is good to see. The reason I called for this lower opening is that I had already seen the news (yesterday) that has been mentioned today. The announcement of ‘later Cruze availability’, the mention of Consumer Reports again ‘rating Japan higher’, and the mention of miserly actions taken at GM regarding ‘lower utility use’.

    We’re getting the ‘bad news’ out of the way now. And the big picture is that the USA stock profile is improving. You may doubt this, but one statistic which I feel is very reassuring is that twice as much 401k (panic money) was cashed in last week as was this week. Making me believe that we are near the level of having mostly long term money left in this market. As I have said before, I feel bedrock is S&P 790. We are currently at S&P 880
    —————————————
    I don’t want to say your reasons where not valid why it opened lower…but I’m thinking the overall market/ DOW futures at -550 was a larger factor today.

    The market fended off what could have been one of the scariest days of late by rallying out…which is great. Along with that rally, it brought GM’s shares almost all the way back to par…@$6.00 now.

    /now it’s time to wait for our weekly ‘ Friday after hours, scary GM news’

    I can tell you are a believer that GM can pull itself up, cutting costs, turning things around, etc. and have a penchant for predictions.

    Would you like to have a go at what you think the quarterly results will be on November 3rd? What GM’s cash level/burn rate might be at? Or how the stock will react to those numbers?


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    EDIT: I changed my mind on this article…I can do that, lol


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    hi static # 94,

    “…now it’s time to wait for our weekly ‘ Friday after hours, scary GM news’…Would you like to have a go at what you think the quarterly results will be on November 3rd? What GM’s cash level/burn rate might be at? Or how the stock will react to those numbers?”

    ___________________________________

    I believe the scary news is already mentioned. The Cruze will be available later than expected.

    And concerning the “quarterly results”. All auto manufactures are hurting now. Even TMC which reported this: 2008 auto sales have continued to plummet by 10.5% year on year to 47,881 units, a fourth consecutive month down.

    This is all short term news. TMC and GM will be selling cars for many years ahead. GM stock will be at $7-$8 in the spring of 09′. Keep the faith.

    You never lose until you quit.

    =D~


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:28 pm)

    #91 Dave K

    “I hope the rest of the world will forgive us for our former policy of waste and carelessness.”

    ____________________

    I’m sorry, but its comments like this that make my blood boil! We are not the only people in the world who have wasted and have been careless. Sure, we have a lot to be sorry for, but damn if I will accept a statement that seems to assume that WE are the cause of all the trouble with the environment, etc, etc. I know that you probably did not mean to use such a wide brush stroke, but if you did, you are wrong, my friend, just plain wrong. Travel around the rest of the world and take a good look at their environment and you will see that we are a lot better off than most other places. Most countries, ours included, are filled with beautiful scenery. We have a big job ahead of us, but we are a long way along the road to reclaiming our waterways and airways. Just think what our country, and the rest of the world, would be like if President Nixon had not been a very good environmental president. He was the president that really got us started cleaning up our environment.

    Sorry, if I have jumped on you about your comment. But you painted us all with a very broad brush.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:38 pm)

    hi N Riley # 97,

    “…a statement that seems to assume that WE are the cause of all the trouble with the environment, etc, etc. ”

    “…you are wrong, my friend, just plain wrong.”

    ______________________________________

    By saying our ‘policy has been wasteful and careless’, I am not saying that other governments are not equally wasteful and careless. It’s a true statement, no more no less. We need to come to this reality.

    And being a spiritual man I can honestly say that ‘forgivness’ is a true blessing. Sorry of you feel my statement is untrue or misleading. Please forgive me. And thanks for the spirited conversation. I’m off to the gym now.

    =D~


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (3:41 pm)

    Speaking about wastefulness and carelessness, I have never personally been wasteful or careless with anything to do with the environment. I do know some who have. I don’t see it as much as I used to because we are all learning to do things better these days. Not because government is looking over our shoulder, either. Most of us take our environment seriously and want to protect it. I come from a farm family. We grew up protecting our land and animals. They were part of us. We were nothing without good land and healthy animals. We worked hard to insure the health and well-being of both. Farmers, most of them anyway, grew up being good stewards of the land.

    Dave K: No apology necessary. I did not say what I did as a direct response to what you said in hopes of getting an apology. I just wanted to state that we are part of the problem and long after we have our environmental house in order, many other countries of the world will be polluting much more than we ever did. Take a look at China and India right now. They pollute much worse than we do and possibly ever did. It is just one small step for mankind when the U.S. gets its “act” together. The fight will not be won. It will only be started. Have a good work out at the gym. May God Bless and Keep You.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:15 pm)

    Things will improve. We will see some problems for another few months, but things will get better. The stock market will surge as the economy reasserts itself. We have good people and we have good fundamentals that can help kick start the economy. Don’t give up the ship just yet. Buy GM stock and wait for the rebound. It is coming.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    I guess I am an optimist rather than a pessimist. Apparently most politicians and media are pessimist. It seems they can only speak about bad things. I see a lot more of what is good than I see bad. There is still a lot of money around for loans. People are not having trouble buying cars and trucks, when they decide to do so. My son just purchased a home. No trouble getting financing. Maybe some people with bad credit are having problems. But, isn’t that what got us into this mess? Banks being forced to give loans to bad credit risk people. Politicians setting laws and policy that requires bad credit risk policy. Throughout all of this bail-out talk I have yet to see a story about the bad credit laws and policies being reversed. That means those same laws and policies are still in effect. I just hope the banks will refuse to make loans for bad credit risk customers in the future.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:27 pm)

    If I remember correctly, it is going to be several more months before congress finishes writing the regulations to govern the low interest loans to the automakers. These companies need that money as soon as possible. Does anyone know any more about the status of the $25 billion loan?


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:27 pm)

    kdawg #81:

    How about a $4/gallon gas tax, take the cash and give it to GM/Ford/Chrysler to pay their bills and develop electric cars? As they crank out more & more electric cars that people buy, people will use less gas, and the car mgf’s will get less tax money. It will eventually balance itself out.

    —————————————————

    Try having ANY politician try to sell that one right now…….

    I actually think it should be done another way. When (not if) the taxpayers have to give another large chunck of our money to keep the auto manufacturers afloat, it should be with the restriction that it only go toward the development of alternative energy vehicles. Once cars like the Volt are available for sale, then put the gas tax into place. My reasoning is that to put a tax on gasoline now, when there are no other alternative vehicles available to buy, would simply result in a revolt by the consumers. But if there is an alternative available, then the public would see the advantage of purchasing a BEV or E-REV instead of just buying another ICE based car.

    The new cars from all of the manufacturers are so close to being put into production. We need to push them along to get them finished. We are going to give them the money anyway. We should at least get something other than a Hummer-4 out of it!!

    At least it is something to think about………….


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    Hey! Am I the only one left on this post today? Have you all taken off early and gone home to the family and started your weekend early? Or are you having to finally get some work done before the week ends? I finished my work yesterday. I have been just playing today. haha.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:35 pm)

    BTW:

    Remember that cool Chevy commerical that aired during the olympics? The have changed it a bit and put in the production model of the Volt. They also have it on the Chevy website.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

    Click on VIDEO

    :)


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    N Riley #104: Today I actually had some spare time…. I think I have posted more today than in the last two weeks!!!

    But now it is time to go home. Have a great weekend everyone!


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:39 pm)

    #103 Jim I

    Several months ago I suggested something similar. Except I suggested much less tax. Right now we pay $.18 per gallon for federal excise tax. Part of that tax goes towards roads, bridges, etc. What I suggest is we add just $.02 to the excise tax right now. Was it 400 million gallons of gasoline we use daily in the U.S.? That would be $8,000,000.00 tax per day to be accumulated for use developing alternate vehicles and fuel. Mostly for electric vehicles because I believe that is our best hope. If $.02 is not enough, use $.05. But let’s not go over board. This money should be to “help”, not pay for everything. Plus, the American people can only afford just so much tax.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (4:52 pm)

    #82 Cautious Fan

    That was a good one!

    For the most part, we stayed on topic today. That is much better than the recent past.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    #93 Noel – I remember Flint because i was going to college there. Dont anyone lie to you,,, its a sh!thole.

    #103 Jim I
    Yeah, i just threw out a # of $4. I go to extremes just to make points. It could be as little at 5 cents to start, then ramp up as more vehicles make it out there. I think you need it now, even though their arent EV’s out there because it will keep the price in people’s minds, and force them to at least buy more fuel efficient ICE cars. Correct, no politician trying to get elected would push this…. at least in the year 2008.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:17 pm)

    #104 N Riley

    Hey! Am I the only one left on this post today? Have you all taken off early and gone home to the family and started your weekend early? Or are you having to finally get some work done before the week ends? I finished my work yesterday. I have been just playing today. haha.
    —————————

    I’m still lurking…I was just letting your optimism and good vibes flow, but I’ll jump into your comments if you really want me to…
    3
    2
    1

    wait for it,
    it’s coming…


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:25 pm)

    The best thing that honest politicians can do is to stop the abuse of our current programs.

    Our current policy has been to keep pouring more and more water into a leaking bucket. This holds true for GM as well. Just close your eyes and keep plowing forward.

    We need to repair the leaks one-by-one. And then address the tunable programs related to efficiency.

    ________________________________

    Oh, BTW, although Consumer Reports rated the Yaris as being ‘high”. They also added an asterisk that it “isn’t recommended”. How’s that for being Orwellian?

    Let’s not get so silly that we become stupid. Is it really best to drive a Yaris at 33 MPG and spend 8 hours a week in a micro misery box? When we can spend 8 hours a week in a 30 MPG luxury appointed, pride in ownership, American made, Malibu or Impala?

    I just returned home and was riding my motorcycle behind a Victory Red Impala LS:

    # Touring suspension
    # Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Traction Control
    # 16-inch steel wheels with deluxe full-wheel covers
    # OnStar(2) with one-year Safe & Sound Plan
    # Dual-stage frontal air bags with
    Passenger Sensing System and thorax side-impact air bags(3)
    # Driver Information Center (DIC)
    # Tire Pressure Monitor (excludes spare tire)
    # XM Radio(4) with three trial months
    # Dual-zone climate controls
    # Cloth front bucket seats with six-way power driver seat
    # Woodgrain-appearance accents
    # Remote Keyless Entry
    # CD/MP3 player with auxiliary audio input jack
    # Oil-Life Monitor

    Yaris…are you kidding me?

    =D~


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    N Riley #101

    “I just hope the banks will refuse to make loans for bad credit risk customers in the future.”

    *** *** ***

    Unfortunately they’ll never refuse to do anything that’s profitable unless it’s prohibited by law (and even sometimes then…). The problem was the the mechanism was severely flawed. Banks didn’t really care since all they really needed to do was originate the loans and collect the profitable closing costs package them up and dump them off on Fannie and Freddy. And no one blew the whistle until it was too late.


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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    #100 N Riley

    Things will improve. We will see some problems for another few months, but things will get better. The stock market will surge as the economy reasserts itself. We have good people and we have good fundamentals that can help kick start the economy. Don’t give up the ship just yet. Buy GM stock and wait for the rebound. It is coming.
    ———————————–
    /here I am, so I’ll give you my opinion

    I don’t think things are going to improve..at least not short term. I’m penciling in 5 years at the low end, to a decade before we retest the highs.

    As for buy GM stock…only when it has value as a novelty item and you actually get the piece of paper, it will make a ‘artsy’ wall collage, wallpaper or perhaps you can frame a couple and sell them at the flea market.

    /just my opinion…c’mon you love it
    (and in the back of your head, somewhere deep, deep down, your getting that feeling I’m right…yeah, there it is)

    (=


  114. 114
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    static, the feeling I’m getting is that you’re Dick Cheney. And that you are in hiding in a subterranean strong hold somewhere up North.

    Then again you may be a GM “cold battery test” tech.

    hee hee

    =D~


  115. 115
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (5:40 pm)

    Dave K #111

    “When we can spend 8 hours a week in a 30 MPG luxury appointed, pride in ownership, American made, Malibu or Impala? ”

    *** *** ***

    Take the Malibu. There is no comparison and almost nothing that can touch that interior in the price range. ;)


  116. 116
    BobS

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    Popular Science feature on the Volt battery: http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2008-10/inside-chevy-volts-battery


  117. 117
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:06 pm)

    The show room Cruze “delayed”? Do I smell EREV?

    BBL

    =D~


  118. 118
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (6:57 pm)

    #102 N Riley said “If I remember correctly, it is going to be several more months before congress finishes writing the regulations to govern the low interest loans to the automakers. These companies need that money as soon as possible. Does anyone know any more about the status of the $25 billion loan?”
    =========================================

    I think it’s like this. The money is there. The bill was general and requires some government agency to write detailed regulations (Energy Dept?) The agency said it would take until January. The senators and representatives from Michigan and Ohio have been urging them to hurry it up.

    An aspect is that some of the GM lobbyists want the regulations to be as loose as possible, so they are working behind the scenes.


  119. 119
    noel park

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:00 pm)

    #104 N Riley:

    Nah, we’re out here. My mother tried really hard to indoctrinate us kids with the maxim, “If you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say anything at all.” So I’m trying my best to keep my !@#$% trap shut today.

    LJGTVWOTR!! (if possible before the hammer falls)

    NPNS! (no matter what)


  120. 120
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    WSJ says today “GM has yet to schedule its release of third-quarter financial results, which will reveal whether the company’s $1 billion-a-month cash burn has accelerated, as several analysts anticipate.”
    ================================

    I thought statik said there was a schedule. Strange.


  121. 121
    noel park

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:19 pm)

    What’s up with these highly irritating new ads?

    #120 RB:

    It’s getting harder and harder to keep the faith in the face of this seemingly ever accelerating circling of the financial drain.


  122. 122
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:23 pm)

    #51 Jim I argues that Nov 2010 is the beginning of sales at dealers rather than the time when production starts.
    =========================================

    From “http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewmonthlyreleasedetail.do?domain=828&docid=48589″

    comes the statement regarding the Volt:

    “Production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for models in the United States. ”

    Please note the word “production”. The statement does not saying anything about dealers or sales in late 2010.

    Above comes from the GM announcement “2008-09-16 Chevrolet Volt Leads General Motors Into Its Second Century”


  123. 123
    statik

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (7:54 pm)

    #120 RB says,
    WSJ says today “GM has yet to schedule its release of third-quarter financial results, which will reveal whether the company’s $1 billion-a-month cash burn has accelerated, as several analysts anticipate.”

    I thought statik said there was a schedule. Strange.
    ————————————————————

    These things are like clockwork, I don’t even look for release dates anymore, nevertheless…it will be November 3rd.

    /it is kind of my super-power, my ‘spidey sense’ if you will. I also have the power to calm jittery squirrels…it’s pretty much awesome.


  124. 124
    Dave G

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    #114 Dave K. Says: “static, the feeling I’m getting is that you’re Dick Cheney. And that you are in hiding in a subterranean strong hold somewhere up North.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Dick Cheney has a subterranean strong hold right under his house. No joke. Number One Observatory Circle. Been there since 2001.


  125. 125
    RB

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    #121 noel park —
    Keep the faith, all will be well.
    When all else fails, Statik has the power to calm jittery squirrels.
    ROTFLOL


  126. 126
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 24th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    RB #122

    “Please note the word “production”. The statement does not saying anything about dealers or sales in late 2010.”

    *** *** ***

    Yup, it’ll probably be for a sizable captured or uncaptured test fleet. Just my guess.


  127. 127
    RB

     

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    Oct 25th, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    #126 Grizzly “..for a sizable captured or uncaptured test fleet.”
    ===========================================

    Grizzly — I agree, and as much as I would like to see cars at dealers, the test fleet is a good plan.


  128. 128
    Right-Winger

     

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    Oct 26th, 2008 (9:19 am)

    Any chance the cruze was delayed to SAVE THE VOLT? I know it’s a weird thought but hear me out. The cruze is touted to be an excellent mileage vehicle, and a cheap one at that. The volt will be the same basic size and shape, but cost (perhaps) 2x as much. With the gas prices getting lower and lower, the economics of the volt make less and less sense compared to the cruze. If the cruze wasn’t out, then the comparable options might favor the volt more…

    Might not be the reason, but it’s a thought.


  129. 129
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 26th, 2008 (5:32 pm)

    Right-Winger #128
    your exactly right. The Volt has the best chance for numbers so its a roll of the dice for GM. If people fall in love with phev then GM will be well positioned with the Volt. If not then Toyota will rule.


  130. 130
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 26th, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    I see the Boeing strike is still dragging on and on and on …. When will these unions ever learn or can they ?


  131. 131
    Herm

     

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    Oct 27th, 2008 (8:26 am)

    if the Cruze is delayed so will be the Volt.. after all it is based on the Cruze platform and engine.


  132. 132
    Stephen

     

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    Oct 27th, 2008 (3:18 pm)

    Does anyone have an idea about the headroom in the volt. I am on the list and would love to have one but I am not sure I can get in it comfortably. I am 6’5′ and 260 so I need some room to spread out. Any info will help. Stephen