Jan 26

GMs’ European Volt Electric Sister to be Unveiled in March: Introducing the Opel Ampera

 

It has been known for some time that that Chevy Volt is a global vehicle intended to be sold and driven in many of the countries GM does business.  Europe is clearly a key market intended for this car.  We have also heard that the Volt will first appear there under the Opel brand, which is known for advanced technology.

The automaker has just announced that it will reveal what appears to be the European version of the Chevy Volt at the Geneva Auto Show on March 3rd.

They have given the five-door four-seater car its own name, the Opel Ampera.  As well a teaser photo has been released. There are no technical specs at this point, however the photo shows the body is unmistakably that of the Chevy Volt although with signature Opel branding features. It is unknown whether this vehicle will use a diesel or gasoline range extender, but the first 60 km of driving will indeed be on pure electricity.

Per said Alain Visser, GM Europe Chief Marketing Officer, “With the Ampera, Opel will be the first European automobile manufacturer to provide customers several hundred kilometers of non-stop electric driving,”

It was also noted that “additional information on the Opel Ampera will be released March 3 at the Geneva Motor Show.”

UPDATE: GM Voltec spokesperson David Darovitz has confirmed to GM-Volt.com that the car is indeed the European version of the Chevy Volt.

The vehicle will also be produced as the Vauxhall Ampera.


Source (GM)

This entry was posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 7:42 pm and is filed under Opel, Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 113


  1. 1
    Frank D

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    The Ampera is a beautiful car. I hope GM becomes the world leader in electric vehicles.


  2. 2
    Keerthi

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:10 pm)

    Is this supposed to take cues from Flextreme or is this a pure Volt variant?


  3. 3
    vincent

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    Cool to see how it looks…

    I bet it looks far better than the Volt.

    Trouble is GM with their Old School management is still asleep at the proverbial switch.

    Europe and over seas is exactly who is taking US market share…yet these idiots keep having an American version and an European version.

    Sheeeesh…….

    Lets see how badly they blow this one people…when compared to the concept we have seen of this version…..


  4. 4
    Arch

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:38 pm)

    This gives me hope. First it was a Caddy now an Opel. They would not be talking about the Volt technology if it was not working well. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  5. 5
    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:41 pm)

    I want the Opel. This is very cool looking.


  6. 6
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    I know it’s just a teaser shot, but damn, that’s a cool front end. Where’s OUR front end like that??!?

    OK, OK… </whine_mode>… I just want to drive electric. The rest is gravy.


  7. 7
    Adrian

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    Excellent teaser picture. Striking looks, too cutting edge for the US but perfect for Europe. I bet it has a diesel engine in place of the gas engine (and therefore even higher fuel mileage).


  8. 8
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    The Europeans definitely still have gas prices these days … $5-9 per gallon probably.

    I hope the exterior and interior of the Opel Ampera production model looks cool … and it gets excellent reviews from the European car magazines, etc.

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Voltec (E-flex) powertrain technology takes off BIG in Europe. The Germans especially are big supporters of “green technology”. So are the Dutch. They are big on solar and wind. If the Ampera has a good exterior/interior, I bet it could be big seller. Opel did a good job designing the Insignia.

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/opel-insignia-2/757318/

    Lets hope so. I want Voltec powertrains to take over the highways and city streets as fast as possible. Globally. :)


  9. 9
    Dave B

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    Why the hell don’t they focus on getting one Volt for a global launch. Fine if you want to re-badge it as Opel, but how much did that cost for a different front end? If there’s supposed to be a new unveiling, why not a couple, a cross-over, or something that is actually different? Speed this up already…


  10. 10
    vincent

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    Just make the dam Converj body and bolt it on.
    It’s better than any vehicle I have seen in a very, very long time. Thats the home run…
    But GM will hit the snooze alarm on this one and go back to sleep. (I hope NOT)


  11. 11
    Van

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    Stay on target


  12. 12
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (10:07 pm)

    “With the Ampera, Opel will be the first European automobile manufacturer to provide customers several hundred kilometers of non-stop electric driving,”

    I don’t understand that. Several hundred kilometers of non-stop electric driving is more than 40-miles of non-stop electric driving. I guess he means electric driving with an ICE genset running.


  13. 13
    DonC

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    I guess I don’t like the Chevy grill because I prefer this front end. The rest of the car, what little you can see, looks the same.

    In any case, the more the better. I’d agree with the earlier posters that the more GM commits to the VOLTEC concept the better off we’ll be.


  14. 14
    Redeye

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (11:13 pm)

    Just wondering…………………..it will be years before all cars are electric and in the meantime they will be building lots of regular ICE propelled vehicles. Plus the millions of ICE powered cars and truck on the lots right now they must sell.
    The demand for vehicles such as the Volt will be so high and supply so limited they’ll probably be able to get a high price for them. Else people will be threatening the dealer with death if they can’t have their EV.
    Hope not. Hope they don’t base the price on “what the market will bear.” If they do it will be a long time before us ordinary dudes are able to buy one.
    In other words if the supply of Volts and other similar vehicles were plentiful who would want to buy the old ICE ones ? They’d never get rid of them.


  15. 15
    Mike D

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (11:22 pm)

    #2 I agree.

    Does anyone else see the flextreme cues?

    Volt isn’t bad looking at all, but this looks better IMO.


  16. 16
    texas

     

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    Jan 26th, 2009 (11:43 pm)

    If they install one of those VW-like clean diesel engines, this car could get around 60 mpg (after the battery is drained).

    Take that same car, add a solar roof, put in a biofuel conversion kit and you would have one seriously green mode of transport. I want!


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:07 am)

    Yes, it looks like the Volt body shape with the Flextreme styling. I don’t really care much what the Volt looks like, but I will say this Ampera looks a little better to me.

    It’s great to see GM branching out with new Voltec models.


  18. 18
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:18 am)

    #16 texas Says: “Take that same car, add a solar roof, put in a biofuel conversion kit and you would have one seriously green mode of transport. I want!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    The solar roof option is anti-green. It’s a big waste of energy. The solar roof option doesn’t power the car, it just spins a fan to keep the cabin cooler on hot summer days. It takes gobs of energy to produce solar cells. For example, a home roof solar panel takes 2 years before it produces the amount of energy required to manufacture it. But for a car solar roof, the area is small and it doesn’t point up towards the southern horizon, so there’s no where near enough energy to charge the battery. It ends up being a big energy waste option.

    As for bio-fuels, the Volt already runs on E85. Also, any diesel engine will run on bio-diesel. Bio-diesel and regular diesel are the same fuel, they just come from a different source. So no matter if it’s gas/E85 or diesel, the Volt and Ampera will both be bio-fuel capable. No conversion kit required.


  19. 19
    CDAVIS

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:45 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Early bird gets the worm.

    The Opel Ampera well sell very big in Europe if GM makes it available before other EREV brands get launched and established in Europe. That means a 2010 production launch if GM is serious about being the EREV leader in Europe.
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American (and European) Energry Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


  20. 20
    RandyB

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:51 am)

    If there is any resistance to the current names VOLT or AMPERA, I guess they could try the OHM :) Watt would you think of that :) :)


  21. 21
    Jeffhre

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:33 am)

    Randy B

    The Chinese version will be the Golden Ohmega Cherry Blossom by Buick.

    For it is truly the path of least resistance.


  22. 22
    NZDavid

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:48 am)

    No fake grill, nasaman will be pleased.

    This is probably the car that will get realeased down under, so I am glad the fake grill is gone as well.

    A diesel version would be perfect for me. It’s all down to price now. The way our dollar has been dropping lately, it’s fast getting out of reach.


  23. 23
    ausmartin

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:51 am)

    In Aus it will be the Holden Volt,
    Unless the Holden Cruze REV gets to market first.
    Then we may never see the Holden Volt at all ……
    Doesn’t worry me it’s all Volt technology who’s first.
    Being Australian I prefer to see it in an Australian built Cruze REV
    which is highly on the cards at GMH.


  24. [...] GM-Volt.com [...]


  25. 25
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (5:29 am)

    Now I need a “Dave K was wrong” T shirt.

    Last year I projected that the total Chevy dealership network (worldwide) would each have a 1 in 2 shot of getting ONE single Volt to sell. With this news, the bigger U.S. dealerships may each get THREE Volt to sell. This is good news for the faithful.

    See what a little hope and a ‘yes we can’ attitude will do?

    =D~


  26. 26
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (5:42 am)

    Tuesday January 27, 3:53 am ET

    AP: Oil price rises above $47 in Asia as OPEC cuts

    “Traders are hoarding oil now in the hope of a recovery in the price in perhaps one month’s time if OPEC has complied with production cuts,” said Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist with ANZ Bank in Melbourne.

    =D~


  27. 27
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (5:50 am)

    This is my next car, for sure.

    I just sent a mail to my Opel dealer,

    JC NPNS


  28. 28
    Zach

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (6:03 am)

    Okay… that car is SEXY! I think I want that instead of the Volt, lol.


  29. 29
    NZDavid

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (6:13 am)

    March 3 should be a good day for you J C.

    Off course Statik will have the last quarters figures by then, so we will probably be back to the will it built, or not, question.


  30. 30
    Maynard Keenan

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (6:18 am)

    The brand label of (German) Opel is a flash of lightning – fits very well, don’t you think ;-)


  31. 31
    Jim in PA

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (7:48 am)

    #3 Vincent – With regard to the changes for the European model, I think you are making a big deal out of nothing.

    You say “yet these idiots keep having an American version and an European version.” Yes, that is true that there will be a European version. Modifications will likely include a diesel engine rather than gas, putting the steering wheel on the right side for British sales, modifying the electrical charger to match the European electrical standards (220V, 50 Hz), and bolting a different grille on it. Are you proposing that these are unreasonable modifications? Which one would you leave out?


  32. 32
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:19 am)

    I think Opel ought to consider renaming the Ampera simply “Amp”. Nice and simple like the Volt. Some people will associate the word “amp” with amperes … as in voltage. Other people might associate it with amplifiers …. as in electric guitar amplifiers. That’s a nice association. Electric cars and electric guitars. Drive down the German autobahn in your new Opel Amp and amp up your stereo a little with some good rock and roll. :)


  33. 33
    statik

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    While it is obviously the same car as the Volt, I would say they have done their best to make some ‘adjustments’ due to the luke-warm, at best, reception of the Volt production model.

    I don’t think it is crazy better, obvioulsy they got a little fancier with the molding on the front…but I do like the Opel logo.


  34. 34
    nasaman

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:42 am)

    22 NZDavid: “No fake grill, nasaman will be pleased”; 27 Jean-Charles Jacquemin: “This is my next car for sure”
    =============================================================================
    David & Jean-Charles, you both took the words right out of my mouth!!!

    What intrigues me is that the car I’m driving right now is a 2008 Opel Antera (sounds like “Ampera”, right?), rebadged as a Saturn Vue. Of the 5 models Saturn offered in ’08, the Vue outsold the other 4 COMBINED! (Reason? Its an excellent clone of the BMW X5 for 1/3 the price!) When I saw the Opel/Saturn Flextreme concept at VoltNation last March in NYC it was love at first sight, and the gorgeous front-end treatment of the Ampera is obviously inspired by the Flextreme.

    What’s even MORE intriguing is that GM —as one of their key measures to convince the US Congress they can be viable financially— is very likely to kill off the Saturn brand. But that will surely result in nasty, very costly class-action lawsuits from their 400+ Saturn dealers. Interestingly, most of the new Saturn models GM has introduced are already, like my Vue, simply rebadged Opel designs. So it very well might be that GM is planning to offer their soon-to-be former Saturn dealers an Opel franchise with most of the same models they’re already marketing! COULD THIS INCLUDE THE AMPERA?!?! I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!!!! :) :) :)


  35. 35
    statik

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:51 am)

    Other random news, GM has chosen not to take Canada’s 3 billion in bailout dollars.

    Why? Do they not need that money like crazy? Yes they do…and they did say they might be back later…when they get a little more desperate.

    The reason is, well…strings. We actually put a couple of them on the money. For starters, we had hard deadlines for benchmarks (like pay equity by Feb 20th, with a structured viability plan)…but more than that, we wanted them to sign off that they would not be taking the money and then shutting down all their plants here.

    Apparently, GM felt it couldn’t do those things.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/story.html?id=1212078

    (Ironically, just have that money dangling around their heads probably keeps the Canadian plants more active on a interm basis)


  36. 36
    BobS

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:04 am)

    #8 I found a website that lists weekly gas prices in US $. You are correct, European countries have stayed well over $5 per gallon.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/gas1.html

    (U.S. Dollars per Gallon)
    Date Bel Fra Ger Ita Net UK US
    12/15/08 5.99 5.62 5.66 5.78 6.47 5.14 1.92
    12/22/08 NA NA NA NA NA NA 1.91
    12/29/08 NA NA NA NA NA NA 1.87
    1/5/09 5.47 5.36 5.53 5.56 6.41 4.69 1.92
    1/12/09 5.57 5.59 5.84 5.64 6.46 4.86 2.02
    1/19/09 5.42 5.51 5.79 5.62 6.45 4.73 2.08
    1/26/09 2.07


  37. 37
    statik

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:12 am)

    #34 nasaman said:

    What’s even MORE intriguing is that GM —as one of their key measures to convince the US Congress they can be viable financially— is very likely to kill off the Saturn brand. But that will surely result in nasty, very costly class-action lawsuits from their 400+ Saturn dealers.

    Interestingly, most of the new Saturn models GM has introduced are already, like my Vue, simply rebadged Opel designs. So it very well might be that GM is planning to offer their soon-to-be former Saturn dealers an Opel franchise with most of the same models they’re already marketing! COULD THIS INCLUDE THE AMPERA?!?! I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!!!!
    =====================================

    I’m not sure if you know this, but closing Saturn outright would be a very interesting (and potentially convoluted) thing. GM made the contracts at the dealership level a lot easier/less costly to get out of (in most states) than their other nameplates.

    …but (and there is always a but, lol) the interesting thing is that GM might have made a mistake (in hindsight) when they distributed out the dealerships in the mid 80s. They did it by offering them to its ‘strongest’ peer dealers, with the deepest pockets and the ones that new how to push metal. Basically, a good bulk of the Saturn dealerships have a ‘power dealer’ backing them, who already have (what was considered at the time to be) a strong sister lot (or multiple lots).

    For GM to try and outright shutter Saturn, they will still be faced with litigation, but the greater threat may come from the fallout of that action from the dealers themselves. Those 430-odd remaining Saturn lots may equate to 1,500 total franchises…and the most successful ones at that. ie) the ones GM does not want to lose,

    On top of that, if those Saturn dealers rally together and do something drastic…thats really bad news.


  38. 38
    nasaman

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    8 GM Volt Fan & 36 BobS……
    ===========================================================================
    You both make an important point —given their very high cost of petrol (and their emphasis on CO2 reductions for cars) Europeans will see a MUCH bigger cost savings for an E-REV vehicle than we will —whether the cost of gas here goes up to $5/gal or not. So the Opel Ampera’s success in Europe is virtually guaranteed, assuming GM can offer the car at a price people can afford.


  39. 39
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    GM’s product plan on this program has been perfect. Starting with choosing an Opel platform and picking Opel personnel and Bob Lutz to lead the development effort, GM has made one excellent decision after another. Going with a series hybrid, which allows endless flexibility in choosing range-extender types – gasoline/E85, (bio-)diesel, fuel cell (perhaps even compressed natural gas, compressed air and hydrogen ICE will end up in the mix). In addition, they are able to slap different brands on these variants – Chevy for gasoline, Opel / Vauxhaul for diesel, Cadillac for those and even fuel cells, and so forth. GM has endless choices for brands and configurations – beautiful.


  40. 40
    nasaman

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:22 am)

    37 statik……
    ============================================================================
    Thanks for the insight on Saturn dealerships ….sounds like what you say would make GM even more likely to offer them an “Opel olive branch” if/when they kill off the Saturn brand.


  41. 41
    Jim in PA

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    When is someone going to tell GM that the word Ampera is actually Danish for “toilet plunger”?

    Just kidding… But similar overseas naming bruhahas have been known to occur whenever false nonsense names are employed. Hopefully Ampera tranlates well culturally, even if it doesn’t actually mean anything. FYI – The Indonesian translation of Ampera means “cheap price.” Seriously.


  42. 42
    Bob McGovern

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    GM is not asleep at the wheel. They are dead. We complain about people not buying US vehicles while GM lets everyone produce more desirable vehicles around them. I just watched the building of the new Corvette Z06. To me a company is foolish to market a car with a 505hp engine and a top speed of 198mph. Let some racing company build it. You can’t drive it on the highway, unless you are an idiot. Then R&D cost of this car could probably have gone far toward building the Volt. But no, GM goes for the Fadmobile.This money could have been put in a Volt long ago with a 50mpg engine,generator and electric motor and marketed at a price the the average person could afford. Then GM could have resolved the battery pack and other problems for a later model. I hope GM folds and whoever takes over builds vehicles for the people not for Fads. As far as mpg being controlled by cost per gallon I would have liked 50mpg vehicles when gas was .50 cents per gallon. I own two GM vehicles and they are probably the last I will own.


  43. 43
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    From what I can see of the Ampera, it is a nice car design. Opel should be able to sell these cars if the production version closley resembles this picture. For me, of all of the EV’s I’ve seen to date, including the Volt as well as theTesla and all others, etc., I still have to say the most stunning, most sexy imo is the Cadillac Converj. That design is just simply hot! I hope it is in GM’s plans to bring the Converj to market as well. Talk about a halo car!


  44. 44
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (9:55 am)

    #38 Nasaman says
    You both make an important point —given their very high cost of petrol (and their emphasis on CO2 reductions for cars) Europeans will see a MUCH bigger cost savings for an E-REV vehicle than we will —whether the cost of gas here goes up to $5/gal or not.

    ———————-
    And with the high price of gas there, why aren’t the European car companies way ahead of us in electrifying the automobile?
    Is it because their European customers enjoy paying the high price of gas? Is it that electricity is just as expensive as gas?

    I don’t understand. If anyone has needed relief from gas prices, it is our friends in Europe.

    In 1991 I was driving a Vauxhall Calibra in Germany. I filled up the tank and paid with my Visa card. When I got the bill, it said $44.00 USD. I was stunned because back then I think it was less than $20.00 to fill up a tank here.

    Our European friends have suffered enough. I hope GM can really help them.


  45. 45
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    Good to hear from you, nasaman! I knew that you bought that vehicle several months ago. Do you have a report on it? Fit/finish, quality, performance, etc?
    Be well,
    Tag

    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS


  46. 46
    KUD

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    Another Model needing Batteries. Keep it going every Model means more Batteries and that should bring the prices down.

    On another note, can I order my VOLT with the European grill?


  47. 47
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    Regarding the discussion in shuttering Saturn, I and few others here, (I think N. Riley comes to mind–not sure but I think it was him) had said in previous threads that keeping Saturn along with Chevrolet and Cadillac would have been potentially the better choice than a Chevy/Cadillac/Buick/GMC brand combination. I can see some of GM’s rationale with their decision, but I still challenge that the Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn tri-brand scenario would still be easier for the consumer to assimilate than otherwise.


  48. 48
    Ray

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    I am still waiting for the word about the Volt test drive…Lyle did you get a test drive ??


  49. 49
    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    #44 Rashiid

    Your point is a point I make to the GM bashers who cling to the “GM is evil” mantra because “GM is in bed with big oil and killed the electric car”.

    I point out that this is a croc or sheeat since the Europeans have not adopted them en-masse and gas is much more money in Europe. France is flush with electricity. Surely Peugeot would go electric. There are 3 options. 1. Either all of the European car makers are evil oil loving capitalist pigs just like GM or 2. All of the Euro car makers are just too darn stupid to make an electric car and too stupid see the benefit of electric propulsion, or 3. Electric cars have simply not made sense based on the economics of batteries and charging issues.

    GM basically claims #3 for stopping production of the EV1. When people claim otherwise, they must consider that options 1 and 2 also apply to the Euro car makers. GM cannot single handedly kill the electric car.

    If electric has not been viable in Europe with its high gas prices, how could the EV1 be viable in the US with $1.00 gas (in 1999 gas was 99 cents).

    Just a thougth.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Is Saturn organized within GM as an entity that is corporately distinct? I know most of GM is integrated, but I thought Saturn was not, formally.

    If so, then Saturn can be cast adrift (sold, go bankrupt, or whatever) without GM the corporation being formally responsible for whatever happens. For example, Saturn dealers will have to sue Saturn corporate, not GM corporate, if they are unhappy. It was my impression, perhaps incorrect, that the Saturn corporate organization made it easier for GM to let them go.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:42 am)

    If Saturn holds on (and I think it should), perhaps we’ll get this car as the “Amp” (most of their current lineup is actually Opel, so maybe they just change names, like Nasaman said).

    IMHO: “Vauxhaul Volt” sounds better (has a ring) than “Vauxhaul Ampera.”


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:54 am)

    #31 Jim in PA Says: “Yes, that is true that there will be a European version. Modifications will likely include a diesel engine rather than gas, putting the steering wheel on the right side for British sales, modifying the electrical charger to match the European electrical standards (220V, 50 Hz), and bolting a different grille on it. Are you proposing that these are unreasonable modifications? Which one would you leave out?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I would leave out all of them and make the Opel and Chevy cars exactly the same. Note that the right side for British sales applies to the Vauxhall brand.

    Start with the diesel engine. From what I’ve heard, Europe is now starting to impose stricter emission standards on diesel cars. This will make the price higher and the fuel efficiency lower, like American diesels are now. I believe diesel car sales in Europe are starting to decline for this reason.

    Then there is the charging circuit. We already know the Volt will accept either 110v or 220v on the same plug without any switch. This implies the Volt’s battery charger uses a design similar to a switching power supply. If this is the case, the Volt charger should accept either 50hz or 60hz power easily.

    So that leaves only the body styling. Can GM still afford to develop different body styles for different markets? What are the additional development costs? How much does having different body styles increase sales? GM’s bean counters should get involved here.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    #47, Schmelz,

    It makes more sense to sell Saturn, as it is a stand alone entity, than to fold it into GM’s other lines. I suspect there are a few Chinese automakers that would love to have the Saturn brand.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:58 am)

    #49 Nuclearboy – Right on. How on earth can GM be accused of “killing the electric car” when any other car company could have picked up the mantle? GM hardly has a monopoly. They tried the hardest, got the farthest, and were unfairly lambasted as evil when they gave up. And for those who still wonder why GM killed off the EV-1 only to come back with the Volt, I have some simple math for you; $40,000 is half of $80,000. The EV-1 was an expensive niche car that would not have made a dent in automotive trends since so few would been able to afford it. People need to let the whole EV-1 thing go already.

    If you are going to get pissed at GM for historical evils, time would be better spent hating them for colluding with Firestone to kill America’s light rail infrastructure after WWII. Here’s a primer on that:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy
    But you know what? All the guys that did that are dead now, so why hold it against an entire company full of new employees?

    Keep your eyes forward folks, and don’t waste time on the past except to learn from it.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    I agree it is a nice looking front end, but I can’t see enough of the rest of the car to tell much about it. Opel had a great looking Flextreme concept in 2007 and this car seems to have adopted some of the front design. It will be interesting to see the rest of the car before passing final judgment. At this point it really looks good.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:04 am)

    Dave G #52

    I must admit to ignorance regarding how we differ from Europe regarding the measurement of pollutants from diesel. My understanding is we measure the amount from each gallon and they measure the amount per mile. I am sure we have somebody here who can tell me what is actually the case.

    THANKS


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:05 am)

    #8 GM Volt Fan

    Just got a chance to look at the link for the Opel Insignia. Thanks!!! That is a better looking car than anything offered over here in America. I take it that it is the same car, essentially, as the Chevrolet Cruze. If so we can look for a real nice car in the Cruze if and when it gets to America.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:07 am)

    #36 BobS Says: “I found a website that lists weekly gas prices in US $. You are correct, European countries have stayed well over $5 per gallon.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/gas1.html
    ————————————————————————————–
    Also interesting to note that gas prices in Europe were $9 per gallon last summer. Now that we’re seriously looking at reducing imports, I think some kind of U.S. oil tax increase is inevitable, but they will wait until the economy starts looking a little better.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    #44 Rashiid Amul:

    Yes – you are right. We Europeans pay much more than you Americans for gas. That is good and will in deed push the sale of EVs. But then – why aren’t we years ahead in development?

    Espacially for German cars it is essential, that they are FAST. They have to, because we can drive as fast as we want on our Autobahn (no speed limits). So driving 250 km/h is nothing special here (that is 160 mph in your old british empire units).

    The German car builders hugged much to long to the combustion engine. (But we must admit, that they are very good in building them.) They were trying to optimize it – especially the diesel – and they were very successfull with it.

    So European (and same for Asian) cars have a better MilesPerGallon-Ration. (By the way: we Europeans measure the consumption in liters/100km – 3l/100km would be a pretty good value). And don’t forget: the distances in Europe/Germany are shorter, than in America.

    So we have the higher prices – but we don’t need so much gas :-)

    And developing an electric car still is a big challenge. (I guess it’s all about energy storage.)

    But all European car builders are awaken now and announnce EVs… Let’s see who’s first ;-)


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    #52 Dave G –

    I didn’t realize the charger could handle 115V or 230V. That is terrific news, as it will let Americans hook up a 230V outlet in their garage (similar to a clothes dryer or stove) and drastically reduce battery charge time. So… where everyone is talking about an 8-hr charge time, it seems like they should be talking about a <4-hr charge time instead, no? Everyone I know has 230V available in their home, so it seems like 8-hr would be the exception.

    Every time I come up with a perceived technical flaw, I get corrected. Further proof that the people posting here that “GM is stupid” underestimate their engineering smarts. Thanks for the clarification.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    More thoughts on the benefits of a Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn tri-brand franchise vs. the Chevy/Cadillac/Buick/GMC quad-brand…

    GM has now revealed 3 Voltec platform electric vehicles that align with the 3 brand scenario perfectly:

    Chevrolet Volt
    Cadillac Converj
    Saturn Ampere (rebadged Opel as shown above).

    Notice there currently aren’t any GMC or Buick Voltec vehicles? Not to say it couldn’t/shouldn’t be done to add Voltec powertrains to a Buick or GMC, but the Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn thing just flows so well in so many different ways. I’ve never owned a Saturn, and I’m not a cheer leader, but it seems like a brand that could endure if they nutured it and continually provided it sexy and techy kind of vehicles to sell. And if the difficult dealer entrenchment issues exist as Statik mentioned earlier in this thread, GM might want to re-think the tri-brand scenario.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    An interesting item from this week’s (1/26) AutoWeek under the caption:

    CONVERJ STILLBORN?

    “General Motors’ tight finances may prevent production of the Cadillac Converj concept car, Automotive News reports. The coupe, chosen by AutoWeek editors as the Best Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, uses the same technology as the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

    The Volt is expected to launch in November 2010, but GM officials say that the company may not be able to afford investing in a luxury Cadillac version.”


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    European government taxes and such are the reason gas and diesel prices are so high. Their governments do it to themselves sorry to say. They can buy the same oil we do and refine it the same way. Ah, socialism and government activism…

    Diesel is an all around energy savings. It uses less energy to produce from oil and with the clean diesel engine Mercedes developed it meets even the overly strict CAFE standards.

    Saturn is one of the better names GM has. Kill Saab, Hummer before Saturn. The issue isn’t the number of divisions, it is the number of repeated cars under each division. Chevy is the cheap vehicles, Saturn is the cutting edge green/Euro import division, and Pontiac/Buick/GMC is really a three headed monster division where you structure the vehicles so they don’t repeat but keep the ID of the individual names. Caddy… well it can survive on it’s own too.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:29 am)

    #52 and #56
    The diesel topic:
    Diesel is widely spread in Europe – especially Germany. The problem with diesel is the soot (not dangerous) and ‘Feinstaub’, respirable dust (very dangerous).

    Germany introduced a new system of environmental badges for the bigger cities. I live in the city of Stuttgart (where Porsche and Daimler is seated), which is one of the cities with the worst ‘Feinstaub’-values. So that is a big topic here.

    The system is really easy – there is a green, a yellow and a red badge – if your car ist too bad, you get no badge. But the newer diesel cars have no problem getting the green badge… as I said, there has been great progress in diesel engines.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    GM should use Tesla to name one their cars if they could legally do so.

    Not invest in a profit maker like the Converj sounds like a untrue rumor. How can a car company not afford to design a car (as Lutz stated) has a built in profit margin? Give this a few days or weeks to flush so the truth comes out.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    #35 Do you expect Canada to give free money ? Even health care and pension is handled by govt.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    #44 Rashiid Amul Says: “And with the high price of gas there, why aren’t the European car companies way ahead of us in electrifying the automobile? … If anyone has needed relief from gas prices, it is our friends in Europe.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I have a theory. I believe countries with higher populations of immigrants tend to come up with more revolutionary designs, while countries with less immigrants tend to perfect existing designs.

    When you have people from different cultures working together on the same problem, you tend to get more out-of-the-box type solutions. This is the source of America’s strength.

    But this is also a source of stress. When you have people from different cultures driving on the same roads, stress becomes inevitable.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    #64, thanks for the detail on clean diesel.

    Just like new designs for coal power plants are very green so has progress been made on cleaning up diesel emissions. This tech would really help semi trucks clean up if it could be adapted.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    #63
    Of course the taxes are the reason for the higher gas prices in Europe – what else? We also buy our crude oil on the international markets…

    One liter of super gas costs about 1.10 Euro in Germany today – 80 Cents (about 75%) are taxes.

    But: this is a good thing! For the environment and technological progress. Obama want’s to raise gas taxes too, doesn’t he? He’s a smart guy…


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    #64 Maynard Keenan Says: “I live in the city of Stuttgart (where Porsche and Daimler is seated), which is one of the cities with the worst ‘Feinstaub’-values. So that is a big topic here.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Beautiful city, Stuttgart. Great Turkish restaurants. Is Hefe Weizen still the brew of choice?


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    #64
    Hehe – Cars and beer – good combination. Although Hefeweizen comes from Bavaria, this is the right chioce for whole southern Germany :-)

    But back to the topic: tomorrow is “the world mobility forum” in stuttgart. I think you can see all the EVs there (including Volt).

    http://www.worldmobilityforum.com/frmset_en.php?lang=en


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    Wasn’t there a German company interested in buying the Saturn line from GM and turning it into their “green” car line-up? If GM does decide to, or is forced to, sell the Saturn line, I hope they have not broken off communication with this group. That would possibly solve some of the dealer problems, wouldn’t it. They would still be Saturn dealers but would be associated with a new company.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    #69 Maynard Keenan

    The high petrol taxes are used for what ?

    How will they/you manage if/when the petrol burners are replaced by electric motors ?

    How will they replace the lost tax money ?


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    @Dave B 9
    “Why the hell don’t they focus on getting one Volt for a global launch. ”

    Good question and I agree with your sentiments.
    There’s one Volt and there should only be one Volt. There’s a Reason why GM had to dump “Redundant” products/Brand. Now they’re starting this crap all over again? Didn’t they do their homework and design the car for the most efficient and most pollutant free running vehicle? IMHO they should have designed the safety specs to cover all aspects of the tightest market to encompass what IS the Volt Technology. This would give it a Global acceptance and desire while making it a single product/platform where one entity needs to manage/maintain and market the product as well as only one production line with multiple production facilities. Now you’ll need an Opel organization, Cadillac and GM EACH to manage/maintain and market the product. How much bailout fund went into designing a separate molded external body, how much more time did they take to wind tunnel test each external shell, how much more money did they use to design the inside of each model so one does not look like the other.

    Sure having different Volt Tech is fine but get one out for at least a year first, then go on to a Pickup Truck or Mini Van or small commuter BEV.

    I’ll take my Volt No Generator and No ICE, shaken not stirred….


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:29 pm)

    #47 Schmeltz

    Yes, I was one of the people who thought the Cadillac/Chevrolet/Saturn combination offered the consumer the best choices in vehicle tiers. The Cadillac for luxury and futuristic features (the caddy owners can pay for them), the Chevrolet for a broad-based consumer brand that offers everything from compacts, sedans, SUV (although hopefully smaller) and trucks and Saturn for GM’s European flavor on our shores. Buick has been known for offering nearly Cadillac luxury for less money whereas Pontiac has been GM’s sporty car division, to some extent. Of course everything Buick and Pontiac offers is pretty well duplicated by Chevrolet for less money or about the same. Some vehicles not offered by Chevrolet from Buick and Pontiac could be re-badged as a Chevrolet. Buick and Pontiac customers would have to decide to either stay with the GM line-up or go to Ford or a foreign auto company. Some would leave GM for Ford or a foreign company. Who knows how many would stay. There really is not any real difference between Buick, Pontiac and Chevrolet except in perception, but you know what they say about perception. It is all that counts in our world today.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:31 pm)

    Redeye @ 73 says, “How will they/you manage if/when the petrol burners are replaced by electric motors ?

    How will they replace the lost tax money ?”

    ———————–
    It would not be hard to convert the tax to a “road use” tax based on miles driven. I think Oregon was considering such a tax. But the last thing we need to do is think of more ways to tax people. I’d tell the government to shove it when it talks about taxes and needing to replace lost tax revenue. I say convert your car to electric and go as long as you can without paying tax.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    @Dave B 76
    “I say convert your car to electric and go as long as you can without paying tax.”

    I CONCUR!

    Now if I can just find someone who can convert my old 97 Saturn SL2 afford ably I’m good. But everyone says no because it’s an automatic or charge an arm a leg a my left testy.
    :o (


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    Dave G. #18,

    When it comes to solar power you don’t have any idea what you are talking about, even after all this time! lol.

    Also, about bio-fuel, I was referring to standard fryer waste oil. You know, the fuel the veggie van guy sometimes uses. He also make bio-diesel out of it. Well, if you don’t have a heated tank and lines you can’t run the plain oil because it hardens when it gets cold. You didn’t know that? My God! You have been here for like a year already. Time for that brain checkup. ;)


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    #19 CDAVIS: Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American (and European) Energy Independence!

    Actually, France is half way there: It produces about 80% of its electricity by nuclear. Also, since nuclear reactors work best when they are running full tilt and not following a demand curve, France should have a lot of cheap electricity available in the evening, or as I like to call it: Charging time.

    It will be interesting to see how the French market responds to the Ampera. If the sales are brisk, then it will bode well from your “Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy” model.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    #78 Texas

    Meee-ow!


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    #76 and #77

    I’m all for that !

    We are taxed to death as it is.

    Wonder how they feel about such things in Europe where they seem to approve of the high taxes.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    #74 CaptJackSparrow:

    I agree completely, except that I want my generator.


  83. [...] General Motors okbm(‘http://www.ecogeek.ru/opel-ampera-european-chevy-volt/’,'Опель Ампера: [...]


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    #75 N. Riley:
    I thought that was you! :)

    The unfortunate side to the Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn franchise argument is that there are far more Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers than there are Saturn dealers that would need to be shuttered in the wake of this scenario. There probably is just simply too many dealers and too much cost to shut down vs. shuttering or selling a 400 dealer Saturn division, (if a buyer could ever be found in a recession such as this).

    The Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn scenario would have worked if GM was a new company starting from the ground up. Then again, that could be said of GM already if they go bankrupt. Any thoughts?


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    Why do the European versions always look better than ours. :(


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    @dodahman 85

    Because “the grass is always greener on the other side.”
    Form or function? One has to decide. I go for Function but it has to be available first.

    I’ll take my Volt No Generator and No ICE, shaken not stirred….


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    #52 Dave G

    “So that leaves only the body styling. Can GM still afford to develop different body styles for different markets? What are the additional development costs? How much does having different body styles increase sales? GM’s bean counters should get involved here.”
    —————–

    While I agree with most of what you said, I tend to worry about the bean counters getting too heavily involved. Those people bear quite a bit of responsibility for GM’s poor quality of materials in the past and I am sure we can lay other causes at their feet. They should not have more than secondary input into the design features of a car. This would mostly be limited to calculating production cost and sales price with the sales price being a recommendation only.

    I don’t want to blame all of GM’s problems with bean counters, but I know from personal experience that when they have too much say in a product’s life cycle or a company’s structure, etc. the company soon finds itself at a disadvantage per the competition. Now, I know that all bean counters (accountants) don’t fall into this category, but many do. There is more to a company than its bottom line. IMO.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:27 pm)

    #60 Jim in PA says “So… where everyone is talking about an 8-hr charge time, it seems like they should be talking about a <4-hr charge time instead, no?”

    It’s actually better than that because you can charge to 50% in far less than half the time it takes to charge to 100%. IOW recharging starts fast and then flattens out. Someone from GM gave the figures, perhaps someone here with the exact numbers can jump in with specifics.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    #60 Jim in PA

    “Every time I come up with a perceived technical flaw, I get corrected. Further proof that the people posting here that “GM is stupid” underestimate their engineering smarts. Thanks for the clarification.”
    ________________________

    Amen to that!!!!!!


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    #61 Schmeltz

    Again, I agree, it does flow better than the other options of Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac and Chevrolet. The problem of dealer resistance will be found no matter what GM decides to do. The only true way to bypass all the problems would be to go through a Chapter 11 (either a real one or a government sponsored one) that would allow GM to shed many things not needed in a modern auto company and restructure dealer agreements that have clauses to allow them to be ended with much less effort. Dealers would be more inclined to stay on their toes and stay up to-date with training mechanics and sales people and treating customers like valuable assets and not one-time use throw away junk.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    The gov’t should have give the bailout money to Tesla and Fisker.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (1:50 pm)

    #63 Adrian

    Well, I can’t disagree with much you said except labeling Chevrolet as the cheap car division of GM. That may have been its mission in the past (to be an economically affordable brand as opposed to Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and GMC). It certainly has not been its mission for many, many decades. Chevrolet is the division that normally gets to introduce many of GM’s new advances in design and engineering. Cheap was just a bad choice of words, I am sure.


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    #69 Maynard Keenan

    “One liter of super gas costs about 1.10 Euro in Germany today – 80 Cents (about 75%) are taxes.

    But: this is a good thing! For the environment and technological progress. Obama want’s to raise gas taxes too, doesn’t he? He’s a smart guy…”
    —————————–

    Having higher taxes may be a good thing, as you say, if those taxes are used to create a better environment and technological progress. But, Europe has had these high taxes on fuels for decades and decades and yet there is no real environment and technological progress when compared to the U.S. who has low taxes on a gallon of fuel. So, where is the advantage for high fuel taxes except to feed a socialist government’s need to be a nanny from cradle to grave and keep its people from experiencing the joys and pains of a capitalistic society? Right now we are experiencing more pain than joy, I have to admit. But I just don’t see the proof in your reasoning for higher fuel taxes.

    Obama may very well try to raise our taxes and most of us will not object to some increase as long as it is put to the use it was taxed for. We do not want our government to tax us for one thing and use the money raised for something entirely different. That happens in the social security and medicare programs now. There is no “lock box”. Even our motor fuel taxes that are supposed to be earmarked for transportation infrastructure is being spent for other things and it is getting worse. So, maybe we will follow Europe in that path as well.


  94. 94
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    #78 texas Says: “Also, about bio-fuel, I was referring to standard fryer waste oil. You know, the fuel the veggie van guy sometimes uses.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    You’re talking about SVO (straight vegetable oil), not bio-fuel. This is an aftermarket modification, and requires:
    1) a diesel engine
    2) a special heater to get the SVO hot before it enters the engine
    3) 2 fuel tanks (one for diesel and one for SVO)
    4) a switch to select which tank you’re using

    The idea is to use regular diesel for the first few miles and then switch over to SVO after things warm up.

    You can find out a lot more about this by doing a Google search on SVO.


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    RB

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:26 pm)

    #75 N. Riley and others on GM’s brands and possible reductions
    ————————————————-

    It is not clear to me why there is any advantage to GM of reducing the numbers of dealers, whether by reducing brands or otherwise. Fundamentally the dealers pay GM, not the other way around. More dealers generally mean more outlets and more sales, which is good for GM.

    Now I understand why it would be better for the surviving dealers if there were fewer other GM dealers. But we have not discussed trying to make dealers happier.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:30 pm)

    #78 texas Says: “My God! You have been here for like a year already. Time for that brain checkup.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Hey! I resemble that statement!


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    N Riley

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    #84 Schmeltz

    See my comments in #90. Short answer = Chapter 11. But Gm won’t go there without being pushed into it.


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    Casey

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    Here comes another one out on PAPER. New EVs all over the place=== IN CAR SHOWS ONLY=== It keep us talking about front ends and batteries and plugs and everything else except, well I got to drive my EV to the store today!!!!!!!!!

    Concept, that’s the way to go, just concept, all they need to do is make a lot of concepts and everybody will be happy just talking about the new cars that might come out in the FUTURE!!!!

    BTW do you think somebody might just PRODUCE a new EV that the world has been waiting for LOL


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    N Riley

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:51 pm)

    #95 RB

    I am not as concerned with the number of GM dealers (of which I do think there are too many – just look at Toyota or Honda) as I am about the number of car lines GM and its dealers are trying to support. My supposition of GM trimming down to Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saturn was based on these three brands have all the models types and vehicle designs needed by the vast number of GM buyers. Where there is a “hole” in the Chevrolet line it could be filled by allowing the Buick or Pontiac name plate to be badged as a Chevrolet. But, except for the Buick and Pontiac convertibles, I don’t know where Chevrolet isn’t matching the other two divisions.

    All of this is of little importance because GM is never going to end the Buick and Pontiac lines except through Chapter 11 and probably not even then. But to be honest, I just don’t see the real world need for so many brands. I know that Toyota offers as many lines or more than GM, but that is because they were trying to compete with GM and I guess felt they had to offer more lines than the consumers really needed.

    My personal opinion is that an auto company does its consumers a disservice as well as itself by offering a huge number of car and truck lines. Too much choice can be confusing as well as expensive to design, build and maintain. IMO.


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    DG

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    GM is making me want an Opel now WTF.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    Lyle has added another post on the Opel. Good material. Go get it, guys.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    #99 N Riley Says: “All of this is of little importance because GM is never going to end the Buick and Pontiac lines except through Chapter 11 and probably not even then.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    GM has already said they were considreing dropping Pontiac, along with Saab, Hummer, and Saturn.
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/11/26/gm-viability-proposal-leak-ceo-likely-to-work-for-1-and-brands-likely-to-be-shed/

    The final list of remaining brands will go public on March 31st. I think 3 brands would be enough, Chevy, Caddy, & Saturn. Buick, Poitiac, and GMC should all be combined with Chevy.


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    DonC

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    One issue, which is present here but not to the same degree as in Europe, is the availability of charging. Here in the US most SF homes have a garage with an electric outlet. Some don’t of course, and then there are the issues of condos and apartments. But by and large a good percentage of the population has access to a standard outlet at night.

    I’d think that far fewer European homes would have this facility, though to be honest most times in Europe I’m in a city and not the suburbs. But even when I have been I don’t think I’ve seen the CA design where every house has a garage on the front.


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    Jackson

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    Schmeltz:

    “The unfortunate side to the Chevy/Cadillac/Saturn franchise argument is that there are far more Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers than there are Saturn dealers that would need to be shuttered in the wake of this scenario. There probably is just simply too many dealers and too much cost to shut down vs. shuttering or selling a 400 dealer Saturn division, (if a buyer could ever be found in a recession such as this).” … “Any thoughts?”

    Yeah. Take some of the closed Pontiac and Buick dealerships and turn them into Saturn dealers. As a longtime Saturn owner, I’ve found dealerships few and far between, subject to closing, merging and moving. If Saturn becomes one of the three GM divisions, it surely deserves more representation out there than it’s getting now; especially as a source of cars unique to itself (not just re-badged Chevys).


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    Redeye

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    #91

    Better yet, Me !


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    Luke

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (5:55 pm)

    If there is any resistance to the current names VOLT or AMPERA, I guess they could try the OHM :) Watt would you think of that :) :)

    Resistance is futile! (Well, depending on what the values for I, V, and R happen to be, anyway…)

    And, yes, there is a t-shirt:
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/unisex/sciencemath/60fd/


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    Jan 27th, 2009 (6:04 pm)

    Statik @ 37,

    I’m not sure if you know this, but closing Saturn outright would be a very interesting (and potentially convoluted) thing. GM made the contracts at the dealership level a lot easier/less costly to get out of (in most states) than their other nameplates.

    That would be a bummer, since Saturn seems to carry the GM vehicles that I actually like the most. Too bad I’m not in the market for plugless new-cars.


  108. 108
    EnergyByEarth.com » The Opel Ampera: Europe’s Chevy Volt

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    [...] GM-Volt.com Share and [...]


  109. 109
    stas peterson

     

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    Jan 27th, 2009 (8:46 pm)

    What ever made you think that Mercedes ever designed the BlueTec diesels for Europeans? They were designed for the USA and it’s advanced Diesel regulations. The required particulate filters will need to burn some fuel to clean them. The cleanup equipment is surely heavier, hence lower fuel economy, than an Euro legal, polluting pig, and much more costly to make.

    Phoney Greens of Europe are happy if you EU people get poisoned, apparently. If they were concerned, they would be pushing for improved emissions regulations, that had some teeth rather than the masquerade of EU VI. But they are not. Instead they harangue about CO2, a harmless, non toxic gas, but a great opportunity to justify raising taxes even higher.

    The sooner you die after retiring with degenerative diseases accumulated over a working lifetime and breathing polluted air, the more the Socialist State saves money in pensions and health-care obligations.

    We will enjoy your Blue Tec Diesels. Too bad you won’t.


  110. [...] questa nuova vettura è Opel Ampera e, molto probabilmente, sarà un modello del tutto uguale alla Chevrolet Volt, ad eccezione di alcune piccole modifiche alle dimensioni generali ed agli [...]


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    J Man

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    My guess is that they will use a gas engine. The range extender in the Volt is a Opel/Vauxhall engine.

    EDIT: I posted this before reading the next post on the car. OOPS


  112. [...] Fuente: GM Volt [...]


  113. [...] GM – Speak of the American failure giant, they’ve had a few worthwhile clean tech announcements over the last few weeks.  One being the above teaser shot of the Opel Ampera, or the european version of the Chevy Volt.  Although not fully official, the extended-range EV will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.  They’ve also announced a planned $30 million investment towards a battery assembly plant for the Volt.  [photo via: GM] [...]