Dec 17

Chevy Volt Generator Engine Plant Construction Placed on Hold

 

As GM’s cash dwindles to the disappearance point, and we all wait for word from the Fed on when loans will be forthcoming, the Chevy Volt’s heretofore pristine production plans have now shown the first signs of crumbling.

We have heard previously that GM had chosen the 1.4L normally aspirated 4 cylinder family zero engine to act as the generator in the Chevy Volt.

We also heard those engines would be built in a newly constructed engine plant in Flint Michigan. As well that plant would be responsible for making the engine for the upcoming Chevy Cruze.

Today, sadly, GM announced it was putting construction plans for the engine plant on hold. Citing cash management concerns, GM spokesperson Sharon Basel noted “everything that involves heavy cash outlays obviously is under review.” Specifically GM has had to delay purchasing of the very expensive steel supply that would go into manufacturing the plant.

Basel hasn’t dashed our hopes completely just yet, stating “our intent is to still go forward with a new facility bringing that engine to Flint, Mich.” She notes that these expenditures have had to be delayed awaiting word from the fed, and will hopefully only be temporary until the cash situation is resolved.

She further reassures us that Cruze and Volt development plans continue on schedule and that both cars are still planned to arrive in showrooms in 2010.

No news was provided on whether the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the Volt is to be assembled has been delayed in any fashion.

There are now less than 10 business days left in this month of December that GM said it would be out of cash by the end of without a federal loan.

It may very well be up to President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson to decide whether the Volt will make it in November 2010 as we’ve all been waiting for.

Source (CNN) and (MLIVE)

Thanks to Jeff L. for the tip.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 at 12:23 pm and is filed under Financial, Generator, Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 110


  1. 1
    User Name

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    I was afraid this was going to happen.
    What I fear next is that the automakers will be bought by the oil companies.
    Must remember to keep thinking positive, keep thinking positive….


  2. 2
    Jim I

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    There is not a lot of wiggle room in their schedule for delays like this!

    It is not a good sign……….

    Nov, 2010 will slip by pretty quickly, if they do not get the plants ready to go on schedule.


  3. 3
    Tom

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    Wasn’t there a previous post that the first generation Volts would have the 1.8 or 2.0 liter engines in them and that the new engines would not be used until the second geration????


  4. 4
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    I have a question. If the generator that goes into the Volt is being built in a plant the isn’t being completed for now, how does this not affect the November 2010 deadline?


  5. 5
    terryk

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    Not a good sign.


  6. 6
    D LO

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    this is not good. Mayday. Mayday.

    Now it is clear how Volt’s fate is dependant on GM’s success, just as Lyle has been saying.

    Still no official word on the battery supplier. I think we have two obvious, divergent possibilities:
    1. A123 –which is not being talked about because of the IPO
    2. LGchem, because it is a foriegn interest that would look bad against a domestic loan.
    We’ll see.


  7. 7
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:51 pm)

    Since the engine will be used in other platforms, I wouldn’t worry too much. It’ll get built, maybe just a little later.

    Second, we don’t know if engine development is on the critical path for Volt development. If it’s not, then there will be no impact unless the delay forces it onto the critical path. I thought battery development was the pacing item. Delays in that would be cause for greater concern.


  8. 8
    terryk

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:55 pm)

    GM has some substantial hard parts to design and build. This isn’t a minor deal. The engine might be easy but the generator/motor housing isn’t a simple part.


  9. 9
    Tom

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    Also remember there are volt mules running with engines and chargers in them now. I can see this will be the engine generator combo they will use until the new plant is built and the new engine is ready.


  10. 10
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    I don’t think this is a surprise, everything is stopped right now regardless of what the plan was even a few weeks ago.
    —–
    “…the Volt and Cruze development will continue as scheduled and the company still plans to bring them to showrooms in 2010. The construction delay, she said, may be temporary until the company figures out its cash situation”–Spokeswoman Sharon Basel
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081217/gm_plant_delay.html
    —–
    Oh GM, how you make me laugh.

    I suppose they have to keep pretending until they get this bailout check and then the one in March. Can’t stop waving their ‘green flag’ until then. Afterwards we can start seeing the ‘unfortunately we have had to delay the Volt due to the economics of…’ press releases.

    Having lost november, december and probably january, that gives them 21 months to make the deadline. Just to recap, so far we have no prototype, no engine, no assembly line and no battery contract, we don’t even have any of these plants in development.

    GM is lucky, they can blame their already busted finances on this economy, now they can blame a unrealistic production goal on it too…plus get billions of dollars.

    /anyone notice she said in showrooms in 2010? Hehe, glorious.


  11. 11
    NoMorSmoke

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    So the price of gas has fallen to less than half of what it was just a few months ago and people are thinking that an SUV purchase might not be so bad. Why not slap some taxes on a gallon of gas and do the following:
    1) Use the money to fix our crumbling roads and bridges(we have plenty of them here in Ohio).
    2) Signal the companies that are taking a risk in creating hybrid and alternative vehicles that they are on the right track.
    3) Tell the buying public that conspicuous consumption is out and efficient transportation is in.
    WHERE IS SOME LEADERSHIP WHEN WE NEED IT??! Nobody likes to pay more in taxes, but this one just makes sense to keep the market focused and heading in the right direction. It should be noted that if I buy an electric car and charge it at home I will pay no taxes that will help maintain the roads that I drive on. This will be an issue if the Volt and other cars like it are widely adopted.
    WP


  12. 12
    Texas

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    Remember, GM is about two weeks away from having to declare bankruptcy. They will have to cut everything and go to the UAW on their knees if Bush doesn’t give the go ahead soon.

    If they get the money the factory will move forward. If they go into bankruptcy the government will make it part of the deal that they continue with the Volt and the factory will move forward.

    What we really need is a decision now! What are they doing over there at the White House? S**t or get off the pot!


  13. 13
    Steve

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    It looks like the Volt might be, what we call in the software development world, “vaporware.” Or perhaps this is just political brinksmanship with the federal government. This might be GMs way of signaling “give us the money or else.” I had to laugh last week when the picture of the “Volt” slightly ahead of a Toyota Prius at an intersection appeared on this sight. The big difference is that the Volt is not real, and the Prius is. We might be seeing the beginning of the end of GMs latest vaporware project.


  14. 14
    Jason Acerman

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    I am sticking with my prediction that we will never see a production Volt. Its just not going to happen with GMs problems.

    At least we can look for the plug in Prius or BYD which will most likely be the only affordable options in the near term. I will be driving a plug in electric car in 2010 dammit!


  15. 15
    jkh2000

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    The big oil companies already control the big 3, so why don’t they kick in some record profits to help them out. GM has no problem kicking out the Hummers and the big hog rigs, but don’t put any money where it should be used. Why not adapt an engine that is already being made. I do not feel a bit sorry for the big 3 and their shoddy management. NO BAILOUT OR LOANS FOR THEM!!!!!


  16. 16
    HyperMiler

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:46 pm)

    I don’t see what the problem is. Just build Volt in Korea.

    Cruze is already on sale in Korea and Volt itself is built off Cruze, so just start building Volt at existing Daewoo’s Cruze line in Korea, then import the finished Volt to the US.

    Sourcing Cruze and Volt from Korea could have these cars ready in Summer 2009 and Spring 2010 instead of 2010 and 2011, so why even bother wasting money and time to set up a US production for these “Saviors of GM”?

    Heck, the very Volt mule that Wagoner drove to Senate was a Korean Domestic Market Lacetti(aka Cruze), meaning Volt development moved to Korea anyway. Who cares where Cruze and Volt are built, bringing the product on time is most important, right?

    Start selling imported Volt in Spring 2010 and then think about a US production when the time is right.


  17. 17
    HyperMiler

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    @ Jason

    > At least we can look for the plug in Prius or BYD which will most likely be the only affordable options in the near term. I will be driving a plug in electric car in 2010 dammit!

    BYD already delayed F3DM’s US launch until 2011 at the earliest. Toyota’s 3rd gen Prius would have an AER of less than 10 miles.


  18. 18
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    Ok then, cut out the engine, cut the price, and make my Volt a BEV.


  19. 19
    Casey

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    I don’t see why they don’t just file chapter 11 and get it over with, its the only way they can SAVE the Volt. If they don’t, this going back and forth and paying out two billion a month will finally bankrupt them anyway.

    While the economy stays the way it is not enough cars will be sold to keep them in business and they will come back for more loans, this could go on for years, and the Volt will suffer

    I don’t think SUVs will come back with any thunder even if the price of oil drops even more, most people will rember that prices could go back to four dollars a gallon, some will buy them but not enough to make a difference

    NO PLUG NO SALE, LJGTVWOTR, (my house)=D~~~~~(my volt)


  20. 20
    HyperMiler

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:12 pm)

    @ Casey

    > I don’t see why they don’t just file chapter 11 and get it over with, its the only way they can SAVE the Volt.

    Volt is not a profit generator for GM. If a vehicle must be saved, it’s Cruze, not Volt.


  21. 21
    noel park

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    As k-dawg pointed out on the last thread, the 1.4 engine is already built in Europe. So they can bring in 10,000 for the first year of Volt production without too much strain, IMHO.

    If the European market has fallen off a cliff as well, maybe there is enough capacity in that plant to supply Volt engines for even longer. As to the Cruze, who knows?

    Kind of like Toyota delaying the Mississippi Prius plant.


  22. 22
    john1701a

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:26 pm)

    The original concept Volt is almost totally gone now. Ironically, the only remaining beloved aspect is the very thing holding it back… the battery-pack. Scaling it down would make “Volt” a product with potential to be both competitive & profitable.

    How long will it be until that reality sinks in?

    How many will accept those necessary changes?

    What are the consequences of delaying the decision?


  23. 23
    James E

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    Okay then leave the ICE out.

    Buy the Lithium-Iron batteries from BYD at a lower cost and increased mileage.

    Then GM can drop the price for the Volt into the low 20′s.


  24. 24
    John Smith

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    #11 NoMorSmoke Says
    I agree with you! There should be a tax on gas guzzlers and a tax break for Electric vehicles. But the politicians we have in Washington are morons. Right now the local Hummer dealership is advertising on TV you can purchase a Hummer with the full cost as a Tax deduction. Yes, they state 100% of the purchase price is tax deductible. The tax break for Hummers is $100,000.00…for electric vehicles only $7,500.00 . Something is wrong here.


  25. 25
    M1EK

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:47 pm)

    At $3/gallon, it was vaporware, intended to get the government off their backs.

    At $4/gallon, it was oh-crap-we’d-better-actually-build-this-thing-ware.

    At $1.50/gallon, it’s now just bailout-bait-ware.

    At none of those times was it ever remotely credible as a mass-market product.


  26. 26
    DonC

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    #10 statik says “GM is lucky, they can blame their already busted finances on this economy, now they can blame a unrealistic production goal on it too…plus get billions of dollars.”

    Aren’t you being a little harsh about the economy? Do you know what Honda announced in it’s emergency call? I’m thinking it’s going to be very bad given the downward estimates they delivered last month and the fact that they feel an emergency announcement is in order.


  27. 27
    Dave B

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    ThombDbhomb @ 18,

    Nice thought–no ICE and straight BEV– I’d like one of those. Trouble is, the battery would only be about 65-80 miles. That good enough?

    I do think that is Chrysler’s plan.


  28. 28
    KUD

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    #11

    Boy do I agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  29. 29
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:07 pm)

    #26 DonC

    #10 statik says “GM is lucky, they can blame their already busted finances on this economy, now they can blame a unrealistic production goal on it too…plus get billions of dollars.”

    Aren’t you being a little harsh about the economy? Do you know what Honda announced in it’s emergency call? I’m thinking it’s going to be very bad given the downward estimates they delivered last month and the fact that they feel an emergency announcement is in order.
    ================
    About the economy or GM?

    I’m hard on GM for sure…because they were already down to 25 billion and burning 1 billion a month before this ‘economic crisis’ came (back when the SAAR was still 16 million in May). So they were done regardless in mid 2009. This crisis just push them over the edge 6-7 months early.

    (They did say they had enough to get through 2009,at the end of May–they were going to streamline and sell assets–up to 15 billion worth, but nobody wanted to buy things like HUMMER.)

    This bad economy actually saved GM, no doubt at all (…well, it may save them, if it continues to go ‘as planned’)

    /just my opinion though
    (=


  30. 30
    Unni

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    #16 you guys made current crisis, Let the product be made anywhere, We will market – let me ask back: who is going to buy? Jobless Americans??

    You gave jobs to some where else and why you expect jobless Americans to buy? To be true :- that era is over — or getting over —

    And I don’t understand the problem with some people thinking Hummer should be banned, Can you use horse and bull for same purpose? ,Do u want all girls to look same?

    No I don’t, yes there is place for Hummers also in this world as Volt is.

    To be true GM is not doing something new, they are attaching range extender to an electric vehicle and they are doing it only when they really need to do (with that also there is no assurance they will be in business). It not something which came as an innovation or so, just another marketing thing.


  31. 31
    alex_md

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:14 pm)

    Just slap a 60 mile battery in Cobalt body today and put it on the market tomorrow for 20K without ICE. Why would you want to carry it with you as s dead weight 90% of the time? Call is EV-1. 2.0 Get rebates and pleasure of driving oil-free. Keep working on the moon shot Volt till the economy is better, battery production is ramped up and it actually becomes practical. Everybody keep their “range extenders” (other cars) for longer trips for now, switch slowly into E85 from non-food sources, LNG for tracks and busses, Bio-Jet etc. Sign up with PBP now. I’ll buy it just for fun with the spare change and use it as a back-up for my house when I am not driving it. Get EV back on the roads!


  32. 32
    BillR

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:21 pm)

    With the sales of autos in the US for 2009 projected to be as low as any year since WWII, GM doesn’t need this capacity right now.

    Also, anyone in the construction industry probably knows that the price of steel has increased by nearly a factor of 3 over the past several years. This, like oil prices, is headed for a big correction. GM is smart not to push forward at this time.

    As someone else mentioned, I see no problem with sourcing engines from Europe in 2010 until this factory can be completed.

    From a political perspective, here is a plant with a good wage plan with the UAW, tax concessions from the local community, and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that employs 100′s of workers. It makes fuel efficient engines for the next round of gas-sipping cars. Now tell the American public “No to Loans” Mr. Congressman, and here is what GM can point to as what you killed.

    Two years from now when the Volts are rolling off the assembly line, we will all wonder why we got so worked up over all this hoopla!


  33. 33
    old man

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    I don’t look at the delay of the new plant as a disaster. There are MANY job shops that have Horizontal maching centers idle which could manufacture the first generation of 1.4 engines. These shops would have to be able to do the needed QC which is primarily a coordinate measuring machine.
    There is one snag, They would want a lot of front money.
    They will make the Volt.


  34. 34
    Vegasguy

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:39 pm)

    Maybe if the UAW would work for $1 like the CEO’s this could get done!


  35. 35
    MarkinWI

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    Canada to the rescue?

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081217/BUSINESS01/81217050

    Vegas @ 34: Maybe if UAW workers were millionaires they would agree to work for $1.


  36. 36
    Bingo

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (3:55 pm)

    Guys, as the Fiat CEO mentioned the other day, I think we soon we will be heading to a major consolidation of automakers.

    GM, Chrysler and Ford should merge for sure. If not, they will die in few months.

    If Honda and Toyota are heading for very hard times, let alone the Big 3.


  37. 37
    GM Suspends Volt Engine Plant Construction « Earth2Tech

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (4:13 pm)

    [...] plant for leverage in its emergency loan negotiations with the White House, as suggested on the GM-Volt blog today: There are now less than 10 business days left in this month of December that GM said it [...]


  38. 38
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 18

    I second that!

    Fuck the engine and just make it a BEV of a 40 mile range! No engine = ~400lb’s less to cary around, maybe get 45mile range and no petro to lug around as well.

    I want my Volt!


  39. 39
    Arch

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    I think it is a bluff. Lets see where the Aces are.

    Take Care
    Arch


  40. 40
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (4:40 pm)

    Who is kidding who?

    The $400,000,000 needed for the 1.4L Cruze engine factory was set aside a year ago. This “manufacturing start up cost” caused GM stock to drop from $14 to $10 a share. The following quarter GM announced the delay of the Cruze, Camaro, and plug-in Vue. GM shares dropped to $5.

    This is when we thought the worst was over and several here bought stock in GM. We heard comments like: “Volt on target” ~ “Top priority, nothing higher” ~ “Battery testing going very well (flawless)” ~ “20 test cars on the road”.

    Next came the announcement that the naming of the T cell battery supplier will “be delayed”. GM stock dropped to $3 a share. And again the announcement that: “Volt has highest priority, if it weren’t for the Volt we would have nothing to do”.

    And the announcement today: “Oh, by the way, we really didn’t use that $400,000,000 to start up the 1.4L engine factory”.
    ___________________________

    Management again? More deceit and manipulation?

    Give us the money now or the Volt dies?

    This sounds criminal.

    =D~


  41. 41
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    I blame all this bullshit on the banks. I watched on the news last night that the Feds, although they dropped rates and the banks got their fat a$$ bailouts, the banks were not forwarding the rate cuts or loaning the money. The were “Hoarding” the money.
    I can google for you but i’m too full from lunch and lazy.


  42. 42
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    No one has mentioned this yet…but Chrysler just stop building cars.

    EVERYTHING is stopped (well on friday) until whenever–actually they say just a ‘month’ until Jan. 19th, 2009), but we know what they mean…until they get a big pile of money, or thats it.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28283707


  43. 43
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (5:34 pm)

    The demon OPEC is at it again….

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/17/markets/oil/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Apparently their profit is not up to par so they’re going to cut production in hopes to increase profits.


  44. 44
    Casey

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (5:52 pm)

    You want to buy a car? go to the dealer he will bend over backward to sell you a car.!!! Cheap price, Low int. fair credit, they will finance.

    Nobody wants to buy a gas hog right now no matter what. THAT’S WHY CARS AREN’T SELLING, it’s not just the economy

    GM is stalling, Ford can make it and Chrysler, well there’s no hope for them.

    Stop all the BULL, stop the bailouts, no more jobs will be lost than are going to be lost anyway

    prearranged bankruptcy is the only way


  45. 45
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    @Casey 44

    “You want to buy a car? go to the dealer he will bend over backward to sell you a car.!!! Cheap price, Low int. fair credit, they will finance.”

    That’s funny. Just for kicks I went to our local dealer at the Auto mall and I was quoted the same interest rate with the same credit rating as 9 months ago when we bought our third car.

    So tell me again why the banks are not forwarding these lower interest rates eventhough they got their fat a$$ multibillion $$$ bailout? Why was my rate the same?


  46. 46
    noel park

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:07 pm)

    #42 statik:

    Well they don’t need to feel like the Lone Ranger. According to the 12/15 Autoweek:

    “Italian supercar maker Ferrari saw its global sales sink from almost 600 a month to just 92 cars in November, and it is negotiating with Italy’s trade unions to trim unwanted road-car production staff. It admitted that it could cut as many as 300 employees as early as Dec. 12.

    It will also shut its Maranello plant for 20 days during the holidays, from Dec. 19 to Jan. 7.”

    Now THAT’S SERIOUS.

    #43 CaptJackSparrow:

    Yeah, and in response the price of crude FELL over $3/barrel today, to the lowest price since 2004, LMAO. What was the old story our parents told us about the goose that laid the golden eggs?


  47. 47
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:10 pm)

    #43 CaptJackSparrow

    The demon OPEC is at it again….
    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/17/markets/oil/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Apparently their profit is not up to par so they’re going to cut production in hopes to increase profits.
    ================================

    Two words: Priced In.

    The market had at least 2 million penciled in, OPEC announced 2.2 million….and everyone just assumes their members won’t hold to the quota.


  48. 48
    Casey

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:13 pm)

    Capt. Jack, Thats what I’ve been saying if you want to buy a car you can, NOBODY WANTS TOO and I don’t think they will for a while


  49. 49
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    This is a beauty:
    —–
    GM Vows To Deliver Volt, Bailout Or Not

    DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- General Motors Corp. (GM) on Tuesday vowed to forge ahead with plans to deliver its Chevrolet Volt electric car by 2010, with or without the emergency loans the auto maker says it needs to survive into next year.

    “Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled,” a GM executive told Dow Jones Newswires, adding that the project would continue even if the emergency funding is not offered.

    GM officials didn’t specify how the project would continue absent government help. But two potential scenarios emerged

    Under GM’s worst-case scenario of being forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company would still have some funding available for new product development and the Volt would be a top-priority project, sources familiar with GM plans say.

    If GM isn’t able to build the Flint factory in time for the 2010 launch, the 1.4-liter engine to be used in the Volt could be sourced from overseas factories that are already building the engine.

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200812171658DOWJONESDJONLINE000973_FORTUNE5.htm

    =====================
    Yarrrr! We be building that car whether ye be likin’ to give us yer money er not! Reality be damned!

    Never mind we just said we absolutely aren’t building anything right now, we are masters of time and space! We are building them right now…in 1955 and then we will ship them back into the future of 2010, to sell at all the places where our dealerships used to be. Full speed ahead!


  50. 50
    ted

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    Isn’t 1.4L way too big. Doesnt it just need about 20HP genset?


  51. 51
    DonC

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    #29 statik says “So they were done regardless in mid 2009.”

    This reminds me of the situation where someone kills someone else and then raises the defense that the victim had cancer and would have died anyway. Usually you use the first proximate cause ….

    #47 statik says “Two words. Priced in”

    Supply and demand are so inelastic, just like they couldn’t produce enough on the way up to slow the price increase, now they can’t cut enough to slow the drop. My two words: Very Volatile. :-)


  52. 52
    Mark Z

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:22 pm)

    The VOLT will be delivered on time even without a bailout according to this CNN/Dow Jones news:

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200812171658DOWJONESDJONLINE000973_FORTUNE5.htm

    “…the 1.4-liter engine to be used in the Volt could be sourced from overseas factories that are already building the engine.”

    GM will NOT let the VOLT fail. They know many of us have our FDIC insured accounts filled with cash now for the purchase – two years before delivery!


  53. 53
    Adrian

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:23 pm)

    right on #20

    Banks make money by loaning money. Now maybe the controllers are hoarding but for a bank to pay interest on all our accounts, it has to make loans and other interest driven investments.


  54. 54
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    #51 DonC said,

    Statik says “Two words. Priced in”

    Supply and demand are so inelastic, just like they couldn’t produce enough on the way up to slow the price increase, now they can’t cut enough to slow the drop. My two words: Very Volatile.
    ———
    That too my friend. Who knows what the heck is going to happen…even tomorrow. I’m sure at some point there will be nowhere near enough production, lol.
    ============================================
    ============================================
    #52 Mark Z

    Got ya by ‘that’ much…although I must say you report with a lot less sarcasm, heeh.


  55. 55
    Frank B

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:28 pm)

    It’s time for the Fed to stop talking about a possible loan and DO THE DAMN LOAN already or does this administration want to go down in history as the ones who killed manufacturing in the United States! It seems the Bush administration has gone from union busting to the busting up of America’s auto industry! January 20th can’t get here soon enough!


  56. 56
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:45 pm)

    hi ted #49,

    “Isn’t 1.4L way too big. Doesn’t it just need about 20HP genset?”

    ___________________________

    The original idea was to use a 1.0L turbo engine. The reason for going to the 1.4L is that it weighs about the same. Doesn’t need to be “turbo”. And is cheap to build as about 10 zillion are be manufactured for the Cruze.

    Being able to run at a lower RPM will benefit in many was. Quiet operation, durability, and fuel economy being the major gains.

    I am sure we’ll soon hear more on the Chinese E-REV and EV. My guess is that they are using their 1.0L gas miser.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/23/chinese-electric-smart-clone-coming-to-the-us-market/

    =D~


  57. 57
    Mark Z

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (6:47 pm)

    #53 statik

    The CNN headline is very positive saying: “GM Vows To Deliver Volt, Bailout Or Not” as compared with the other articles focusing on the engine plant on hold.

    I was glad to find one news story that featured positive news about the VOLT rather than the negative.


  58. 58
    Joel

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:05 pm)

    Goodbye Volt, hello “F3DM”!! maybe someone will film a “who killed the electric car” sequel now. Oh well, the volt was ugly anyways and 30 or so miles all elec wasnt that impressive either. Especially since we built that over 4 yrs ago at SDSU.

    GM is officially the Microsoft of the auto industry. If apple would just build an I-car then everything would be fine.

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/12/16/the-chevy-volts-e-rev-competition-builds-globally/

    “As many have heard, Chinese auto company BYD announced its launch of the world’s first mass-produced extended-range electric car called the BYD F3DM in China on Monday. The vehicle uses less expensive lithium-iron phosphate batteries that its parent company manufactures and has a 62 mile all electric range. Like the Volt, there’s an onboard generator (1.0 L) that can charge the battery on the fly, but unlike the Volt the car can also perform in parallel mode. BYD has priced the car at $22,000 USD, expects to sell 10,000 units in China in 2009, and hopes to sell in America in 2011.”


  59. 59
    Dave Taylor

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    What about the $25 billion already allocated for retooling for high efficiency car production. The Volt generator engine should qualify for that money already on the table. Why isn’t GM getting that money?

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081105/AUTO01/811050490


  60. 60
    Koz

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:36 pm)

    Dave Taylor #58

    They submitted for some of it along with other automakers but none of those requests have been approved yet. I believe the news broke that the submissions were being returned because they were not complete enough (or something to that affect) just about the same time the Whitehouse said no to TARP money for emergency loans which set in motion the House’s bill to use the retooling loans instea(with previously opposing members such as Pelosi relenting). So perhaps the retooling loans will be freed up again for their intended purpose but my gut tells me none of that money gets allocated, unless for emergency loans, until after Jan 20.


  61. 61
    Hoang

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:37 pm)

    I don’t know what to say. I have a mixed feeling now: dissapointed, angry, confused, worried….

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/byd-f3dm-electric-plug-in-hybrid-china.php?daylife=1

    I just wish best luck for American auto makers.


  62. 62
    statik

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:38 pm)

    #59 Dave Taylor

    What about the $25 billion already allocated for retooling for high efficiency car production. The Volt generator engine should qualify for that money already on the table. Why isn’t GM getting that money?

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081105/AUTO01/811050490

    =============================
    The project itself does indeed qualify, but there are 2 stumbling blocks:

    A) It doesn’t cover 100% of the loan. So GM has to put money out regardles…and they have none.

    B) As a condition to qualify for the loan, GM must show that they are financially viable and show that they have a “net present value that is positive” and that they have “financial projections demonstrating the applicant’s solvency through the period of time the loan is outstanding.”

    So even though GM can make fancy viability ‘plans’ or crazy projections, their balance sheet at negative $37,094,000,000 puts out a big red flag on the “net present value that is positive” portion.


  63. 63
    Bob McGovern

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (7:49 pm)

    Of the forclosed homes that have had their mortgage rates lowered and their mortgages extended, 54% have defaulted again. If I was a bank I would be double cautious.


  64. 64
    Edwin Mang

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:03 pm)

    Just for kicks have you shown your plan to Bill Gates ? Along with the extras . I feel you need to get GMAC back on track and this will do plus you may find he has some computer GEEKS that can help with the over all controls and thus give him more to his credit and yes cash flow . Perhaps you have herd of the gates foundation .

    Gods Blessings , Merry Christmas .


  65. 65
    GM Suspends Volt Engine Plant Construction

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:08 pm)

    [...] plant for leverage in its emergency loan negotiations with the White House, as suggested on the GM-Volt blog today: There are now less than 10 business days left in this month of December that GM said it [...]


  66. 66
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:10 pm)

    What are all the laid off auto workers going to do?

    Obama is promoting a recovery plan that would feature spending on roads and other infrastructure projects, energy-efficient government buildings, new and renovated schools and environmentally friendly technologies.

    __________________

    It may be a good time to start looking into this program. At least get on a hire list. I feel for you. Several of the people who post here have told their lay off stories. We all know you did what you thought was right. You followed the rules of the work place and of the union.

    If you find a listed job that you really like, be sure to reapply each Friday. Most will eventually call for an interview.

    =D~


  67. 67
    noel park

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:17 pm)

    #60 Hoang:

    Me too.

    #63 Edwin Mang:

    “Gods Blessings, Merry Christmas.”

    You can’t say it any better than that. Thank you.


  68. 68
    Jason Acerman

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:41 pm)

    I’m sure GM has every intention of releasing the Volt if they are around. The problem is there is no way they will be around in 2010. Unless we decided to pump about 120 Billion a year of taxpayer money into them.


  69. 69
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (8:51 pm)

    Chrysler, Ford idle factories, GM delays new plant ~ Wednesday December 17, 8:42 pm ET

    DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler announced Wednesday it is closing all its North American manufacturing plants for at least a month, the starkest move taken by U.S. automakers as they anxiously await word about government loans.

    At Ford, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday it will shut down 10 of its North American assembly plants for an extra week in January, also due to lower U.S. sales.

    Laid-off workers at Ford and Chrysler get vacation pay for the normal holiday shutdown, then will receive unemployment benefits and supplemental pay from the company that total about 85 percent of their normal pay.

    Nissan Motor Co. said it would reduce Japanese production by 78,000 vehicles and also cut 500 temporary workers there.

    _____________________

    “…then will receive unemployment benefits and supplemental pay”

    They will need a lot of TARP to keep the pay-for-leave program going.

    =D~


  70. 70
    john1701a

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (9:20 pm)

    I’m sure GM has every intention of releasing the Volt if they are around.
    __________________________________

    That was never in doubt.

    It was whether or not Volt would become another EV1.

    Producing only a small number of them for a limited time won’t make a difference.


  71. 71
    Dick King

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (9:24 pm)

    Weren’t the Volt engines supposed to be Atkins cycle?

    Mostly the difference between the Atkins and Otto cycle is just the cam, but surely there are other subtle points that the engine geeks know about. However, the 1.4L engines they make in Europe won’t work right out-of-the-box .

    -dk


  72. 72
    Red HHR

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (9:35 pm)

    I think you can still buy an Avanti…
    Studebaker died some 40 years ago, and the Avanti still lives.
    http://www.avantimotors.com/
    So the Volt could possibly live even if the rest of GM goes belly up.


  73. 73
    BBM

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (9:43 pm)

    It sounds like it may be up to the UAW.

    It’s really their bailout, after all.


  74. 74
    ElectRich

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    If GM would announce a fixed price, push the release date to October 2009 and offer the near 50,000 on the waiting list a $5000 down payment. It would add $250,000,000 to GM’s dwindling pot and give the company a boost without a loan from the Government. I would bet that by Summer they would have an additional $250M in deposits. The price should be at a $100 profit. Adding an additional $10 million to the first year sales (100,000 Volts).


  75. 75
    Xiaowei1

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (10:54 pm)

    ElectRich @ 73- Would you really put $5000 investment into GM on the potential of buying a car you may or may not receive, at a cost you may or may not be able to afford when you have to pay?

    GM might as well just sell some shares to raise capital. needless to say, no-one would want to buy the shares.

    the rate at which they are losing money, 250m wont save them. its a step in the right direction, but they need billions to just subsist. the business model currently employed must be incredibly antiquated if GM could not scale back running costs to be able to prevent the lose of billions year over year.


  76. 76
    Arch

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (10:56 pm)

    Folks this is just brinksmenship by GM and the other car builders. It will all be sorted out some day. Sure is a fun game to watch! The government NEEDS GM and the other car builders if we ever go to war again. They will NOT let them FAIL. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  77. 77
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (11:08 pm)

    hi Xiaowei1 #74,

    Why do people buy Corvettes and BMW’s? They could just buy 2 Ford Focus instead.

    Many people are interested in buying a Volt. And most do not look at the Volt as being an “investment”. Being American made, the newest technology, fairly powerful at 150HP, and a Chevy is important.

    Rather than down-talk the China E-REV I wish to focus on what I would like to buy. The Volt is a nice ride for $32,500 and has comparable frugality with any other gas miser. All this along with being stylish and able to park next to a BMW with pride. It may take two or three years to get a Volt. Especially if you wish a particular color. This is fine with me.

    I will add…

    I don’t know about other locals, but the feeling around my town is a shift away from buying Japanese cars. They are no longer hip and especially desirable. I’ve seen more and more cardboard dealer plates on Cadillac, Jeep, Impala, and assorted SUV’s. And a few specialty models like the Ford “Harley Edition” pick-up truck. Prius are no longer cool.

    =D~


  78. 78
    Jake

     

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    Dec 17th, 2008 (11:10 pm)

    I’m sorry, I don’t think Americans are ready to fork over for a 40-60 mile electric car (in other words, the Volt minus the engine). Better keep the engine in there to keep the car more hybrid-like. That is something the auto-buying public can relate to, and they won’t worry about range so much. Without the range extender, it’s not a Volt. It’s…something else.


  79. 79
    Mark

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:08 am)

    Not a good sign….this sounds like a signal of what is to become of our Volt..


  80. 80
    wwskinn3

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:25 am)

    When do you think I can buy one of those Chinese Electrics? Price sounds about right – better range than the Volt. It will sell if it is any good.


  81. 81
    ccombs

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:57 am)

    And it will break down in a week and never pass US regulatory testing.


  82. [...] plant for leverage in its emergency loan negotiations with the White House, as suggested on the GM-Volt blog today: There are now less than 10 business days left in this month of December that GM said it [...]


  83. 83
    Casey

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (1:16 am)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND GOODNIGHT


  84. 84
    BrianJ

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (1:22 am)

    #76 I think its just your town. I was driving back from the store and literally did not see one American car the whole way home. Most of the guys I work with would never buy American and I remember getting razzed when I bought my pontiac a couple years back. That sentiment seems to be only getting stronger now with bailout backlash.


  85. 85
    Ed M

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (1:50 am)

    I believe the loan is being held up by the recalcitrant attitude of the auto union. Until that union comes around in a cooperative fashion, GM and the other car makers are going to have trouble getting a loan.


  86. 86
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (2:13 am)

    wwskinn3 says: When do you think I can buy one of those Chinese Electrics? Price sounds about right – better range than the Volt. It will sell if it is any good.

    The $22,000 quoted is for sale in China.
    For US sales the price will be a lot more due to things such as side impact protection, Front/rear impact protection, those pesky airbags. Did I hear someone say “does it have ABS?” Is pollution from the engine a problem? add a catalytic converter. All these ‘improvements’ come at a cost.
    I wish I knew how much. At a guess maybe $30 – 35,000ish for the car.


  87. 87
    kubel

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (3:42 am)

    If the GM boat sinks, we can always hop onboard the Ford boat. They are in the best financial shape of the big three, and also have an EREV under (quiet) development.

    I’m looking forward to next months auto show here in Michigan, where it’s expected they will be showing an EREV concept (most likely under the Mazda name). I’ll also get to meet the Volt up close and personal for the first time.

    GM won’t go under. But they will make big cuts and delays. Whether it has a Ford, Chrysler, or GM badge on it makes little difference to me. I want a domestic EREV. Actually I would prefer a Ford, but I’ve fallen in love with the Volt design.


  88. 88
    LeKaido

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (5:01 am)

    Why not just buy the 1.4L engine (Opel, which is a part of GM, has a normally aspirated 1.4L used in Corsa) and let the investment cost of the new factory to wait until capital cost drops?


  89. 89
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (5:20 am)

    LeKaido #87

    Right and the Opel Flextreme concept had a 1.3 CDTI diesel just like the one I have in my Corsa.

    A very good engine from Fiat by the way that was Engine of year in 2005. I did 100.000 kms in 2 years and a half with it and hope to do the same distance in the next months until I get an E-REV ,hopefully the Volt but who knows it could be the BYD F3DM.

    JC NPNS


  90. 90
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (5:28 am)

    From a major auto parts supplier. The figures here are BELOW GM’s worst case scenario.

    On 14 October, Johnson Controls issued financial guidance based on 2009 assumptions of 12.3 million vehicles in North America and 21.2 million in Europe. The company’s latest production estimates for 2009 are 9.3 million units in North America and 16.2 million units in Europe.

    Global automotive production is significantly worse than just two months ago. Our customers continue to announce production reductions and plant shut downs on a weekly basis. Every region of the world is down by a double- digit rate, with virtually every automotive customer affected. The ongoing uncertainties and rapid changes in the automotive industry make it difficult to provide meaningful financial guidance for the upcoming year.
    —Johnson Controls Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Roell

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/12/johnson-control.html#more


  91. 91
    Kevin

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (5:45 am)

    With gas where it is, and with a Volt not being cost effective at $4.00/gallon gas, AND regular cars being given away right now, there is little reason for any mainstream consumer to be excited about the Volt.


  92. 92
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (6:09 am)

    Not to worry Kevin, a lot will change in the nearly two years when the Volt is due out.

    The Volt power train WILL release ME from filling up with petrol most of the time.

    It was only five months ago when the blog was full of people wanting the Volt now. Fuel is cheap again so who cares?. Next year?


  93. 93
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (6:47 am)

    NZDavid, #91,

    I still want mine, but you are right.

    I was also listening to BBC world service this morning.
    They had an expert on the show who said that finding alternative energy is very expensive and because fuel is cheap right now, companies won’t think it is worth it.

    This same expert must have been reading this blog, because we were saying this several months ago !


  94. 94
    Eirik

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (7:10 am)

    I sure hope this is true. Cars shouldn’t be built in north America anymore. The Volts will be a lot less expensive and probably of better quality if they are built in east Asia instead. Don’t reward decades of irresponsible corporate behavior by bailing them out now. They made this bed for themselves. Let them go bankrupt and give them a Darwin reward.


  95. 95
    John Smith

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (8:10 am)

    #77 Dave K. =D
    My neighbor is an economics professor at a state college. He just purchased new Prius Toyota. His other vehicle is a 2007 Nissan Altima.


  96. 96
    RB

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (10:34 am)

    #49 statik said “Never mind we just said we absolutely aren’t building anything right now, we are masters of time and space! We are building them right now…in 1955 and then we will ship them back into the future of 2010, to sell at all the places where our dealerships used to be. Full speed ahead!”
    ========================================

    “..to sell at all the places where our dealerships used to be.” That’s pretty good! Try writing some sci-fi in your spare time. :)


  97. 97
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (10:50 am)

    GM is already building the Volt’s 1.4L engine. It’s the same engine used for Opel Cars in Europe. The first Volts will use 1.4L engines built in Germany. That was always the plan. The new U.S. engine plant was supposed to supply engines for the 2012 Volt and beyond.

    There was never any plan to use engines from the U.S. plant for the first Volts. Even if they kept building, this factory wouldn’t be ready in time.


  98. 98
    Guido

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (11:14 am)

    I grow weary of naysayers like Statik and his ilk.

    It’s too easy to be negative here … I work in the auto industry, and GM is going to pull this off. Statik is just an anonymous wimp, eager to take cheap shots.


  99. 99
    LeKaido

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (11:38 am)

    For those cheering (or worrying) about fuel price drops, let it be reminded, that the world population has NOT decreased and will NOT continue to do so. Oil reserves have NOT increased in proportion with the population and all of these people WILL be wanting food , transportation etc which all WILL have a fuel consumption component in them. Expect as sharp rise in fuel prices in a few years time as you’ve seen a drop here on the latest. As soon as the economic hangover passes much will be like it was a year ago.


  100. 100
    Zach

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (11:52 am)

    We need to get to 100 comments, so I’ll say, “I wish Bush got hit in both of his eyes by that mans shoes”


  101. 101
    Guido

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:21 pm)

    Here’s my suggestion:

    1) Effective immediately, the US slaps a $1/gallon “deficit reduction tax” on every gallon of gas or diesel sold.

    2) All proceeds go directly to deficit reduction.

    3) Fuel conservation is encouraged, and we effectively reduce the latitude OPEC has to further increase gas prices ( knowing that a price of $4/gallon will likely catalyze another downturn …).

    4) All posters with rampant BDS ( Bush Derangement Syndrome) be ushered off to the crazy farm.


  102. 102
    noel park

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:33 pm)

    #92 NZDavid:

    When you get them down, you had better not let them back up. If we go back to sleep this time, they will really kill us the next time. The only thing better than running a Volt on little or no $4.50/gallon gas is running it on little or no $1.65/gallon gas.

    #100 Zach:

    Have you seen the Bush/shoes internet video game? Very cool, IMHO. There’s even a story about it on the Yahoo news this AM.

    “shoeandawe.com”

    If that doesn’t work, try “shoesandawe.com”


  103. 103
    wwskinn3

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    What does “normally aspirated” mean? “family zero” – Is this a new engine term. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before.


  104. 104
    N Riley

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (2:08 pm)

    Has anyone questioned the UAW about how much money its top executives make and how many perks they receive? I doubt that has been discussed. I feel sure many in congress would never question what pay and benefits the UAW executives receive.


  105. 105
    N Riley

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (2:12 pm)

    #100 Zach & #102 Noel Park

    Lets hope you enjoy the same type of “funny” and “very cool” things if they start popping up about our incoming president. I am sure there will be some because he does have a problem of sticking his foot in his mouth. His VP is notorious for having foot and mouth disease plus running off at the mouth. Maybe the shoe will fit when that happens too.


  106. 106
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    #101 Guido Says: “1) Effective immediately, the US slaps a $1/gallon “deficit reduction tax” on every gallon of gas or diesel sold.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Two problems with that:

    1) If oil prices go way up again, you’ll have to revisit this.

    2) Less that half of our oil consumption is gasoline.

    A better way would be to set a minimum oil price of $65 a barrel. If the price goes above that, import tarrifs would be raised just enough to keep it at $65 / barrel.


  107. 107
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 18th, 2008 (2:38 pm)

    #103 wwskinn3 Says: “What does “normally aspirated” mean? “family zero” – Is this a new engine term. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Normally aspirated means it’s not turbo-charged.

    Family Zero is some new marketing term from GM.


  108. 108
    GM Damage Control: Chevy Volt is Full Speed Ahead : Gas 2.0

     

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    Dec 19th, 2008 (12:12 am)

    [...] all know how fast things can spread online. One blog picks up a story, then every other blog under the sun races to post their take on the story in the hopes of beating everybody else to [...]


  109. [...] all know how fast things can spread online. One blog picks up a story, then every other blog under the sun races to post their take on the story in the hopes of beating everybody else to [...]


  110. [...] all know how fast things can spread online. One blog picks up a story, then every other blog under the sun races to post their take on the story in the hopes of beating everybody else to [...]