May 21

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Brings Chevy Volt on Late Night with David Letterman and it’s Awesome

 

I will be the first to say, the Volt has been vindicated in a most wonderful way.

A few weeks ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought the Model S on Late Night with David Letterman and Dave misrepresented the Chevy Volt, calling its 40 mile range “ridiculous.”

Last night after having issued a challenge to do so, Letterman invited Lutz on his show along with the Chevy Volt show car. The result, in my opinion, was wonderful.

First Letterman gave a five minute monologue explaining how he wants to see this country achieve energy independence (FIRST VIDEO BELOW). He admitted he bought and drives the Tesla Roadster. He described himself as not being particularly tech savvy, and went on to say that when he derided the Volt and laughed about it with Musk, he was actually “woefully ignorant.” He admitted that he didn’t realize the Volt has a range extender. He even said he hoped he could get a free Volt.

In the next segment Lutz and Letterman had a seven minute interview (SECOND VIDEO BELOW). It was clear that Letterman as a car buff has a great deal of respect for Lutz and it showed. He was kind, quiet, and polite and Lutz spoke most of the time.

Lutz talked about the EV-1 and why GM cancelled it, he talked about what hybrid technology is, and he explained how the Volt works.

Lutz again admitted it is his best estimate the Volt will cost “right around $40,000″ before incentives which would bring it to $32,500, and that it won’t be in showrooms en masse until 2011 although will be available in late 2010.

Dave asked for the first one. Lutz said there are 7 or 8 others who want it (I believe I am one of them).

The Volt was rolled out on stage and Dave seemed to like it, of course he did his obligatory electrocution bit.

Personally, I don’t think this could have turned out any better. Kudos to Letterman for admitting his mistake. Long live the Volt!

VIDEOS:

Dave’s mea culpa:
[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gjWgix2ebQ]

Dave, Lutz, and the Volt:
[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwjep5po7QU]

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 6:36 am and is filed under Public Opinion, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 218


  1. 1
    Dick G.

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:41 am)

    Hey Bob, on your way back to Detroit stop in Springwater, NY. We can give that Volt a “Solar Charge”. You can check out our system on You Tube “Solar Wind Generator Green Construction” The video shows our system in action in Orchard Park, NY. (home of the Buffalo Bills). Canadice Construction has gone Solar since July 9th 2008. We are mean, green and clean!!


  2. 2
    statik

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:45 am)

    Well, he certainly covered all the bases and then some, good to see GM getting out in front trying to set the record straight. Although I think maybe it got a little too technical and they didn’t really ‘drive the point’ home of the EREV concept.

    These are still the two points of interest to me:

    “Right now, our best estimate is right ‘around’ $40,000, and then you take off the gov’t creidt…so the customer is looking at 32 and a half.” (@4:40)

    “Real showroom” availability in early 2011 (@6:00)


  3. 3
    SteveK

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:45 am)

    Went as expected. I was pretty sure that Bob Lutz would not need to ‘give Dave hell’.


  4. 4
    Starcast

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:46 am)

    thats more like Dave


  5. 5
    Keith

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:47 am)

    Good


  6. 6
    nitpicker

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:56 am)

    In the headline please change”its” to “it’s” (for “it is”).


  7. 7
    RB

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:59 am)

    Excellent (including picture’s background). :)


  8. 8
    MarkinWI

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:01 am)

    Excellent. Dave, as an individual, could not have been more humble. The way some people were giving him statik here, you would have thought he was Canadian. ;-) Seriously, this is the kind of positive publicity that you cannot buy with a 30 second commercial.


  9. 9
    Ken White

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:02 am)

    WOW top 10… COOL, that was great.


  10. 10
    RB

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:04 am)

    Lyle says “Dave asked for the first one. Lutz said there are 7 or 8 others who want it (I believe I am one of them).”
    ———————————-

    Lyle should get number one. But if it turns out to be number 7 or 8, that still will be pretty good. :)


  11. 11
    Bill C

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:05 am)

    I also thought it was interesting that Dave admitted the Tesla was completely impractical as a mainstream car.


  12. 12
    Dave B

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:06 am)

    That’s the old GM we all know and love. But NO BANKRUPTCY!


  13. 13
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:12 am)

    #11 Bill C,

    I also thought it was interesting that Dave admitted the Tesla was completely impractical as a mainstream car.


    And right he is. Price, range, 2 seater, etc.

    But it is so cool. Impractical, yes. But I would still love to own it.


  14. 14
    the real james

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:12 am)

    having been a hard core fan of the volt/gm for almost four years, i am now dropping out. for obama to give the uaw a big chunk of gm stock in return for their (and other liberals) putting him in office, i can not stomach the thought. if obama was truly an american and concerned about the workers, he would have given the stock to the workers themselves (not that i would totally agree with that either, but at least it would have been a noble gesture instead of a political payoff).
    lyle, i am only on your “once in a while” email list, but please take me off of that also, i am no longer interested in this sideshow.
    as for the ultra liberal letterman, bugger off (as our limey mates would say).


  15. 15
    Texas

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:39 am)

    Smooth as silk. Should bring some new traffic to this site. Oh, and the Volt looked fantastic (Still want the interior plastic in a tech-black color).


  16. 16
    mikeinatl.

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:40 am)

    I saw it live and it was much more than I expected. The Volt part of the show went so long they did not have time for the band that was supposed to play.Dave obviously has great interest in electric cars. And he was very upfront in criticizing his own erroneous opinions of the Volt from the Tesla show.

    I was surprised at how long he spent on Lutz’s background, his jets and his history with other car companies. I was also surprised at Lutz’s blunt admissions of GM’s mistakes and the EV-1 story.

    But I was a bit disappointed that neither of them said Volt’s basic value proposition out loud: That 80% of Americans drive 40 miles or less each day, so most people can drive the Volt every day and use no gasoline at all. Then if they do need to go further, they have a gasoline-operated range extender that would give them 40 to 50 mpg for a few hundred more miles.

    Its a simple statement that seems to get buried in other discussion in most interviews. Maybe one day the general public will be fully informed as to the genius of the Volt concept.

    But last night was good. Very good.

    You cannot actually buy that kind of advertising, nested in a show like this, but if you could it would cost millions.

    Thanks Dave.


  17. 17
    Schmeltz

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:44 am)

    I’m extremely pleased. Dave certainly gave a great apology, and frankly, asked most of the same questions many people ask that are unaware of this car. It really does take a big person to say the things he did. Also, Bob Lutz did an outstanding job of explaining the car and defending the technology. Thanks to both of these guys for setting the record straight!!!


  18. 18
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:49 am)

    I’m tellin’ ya’… He should have repainted the car in Victory Red.
    That would have made it even better.


  19. 19
    Hawk

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:50 am)

    At a full 40 grand, even with incentives, I believe this will dramatically hurt sales unless they can bring the price down FAST. I want one…bad, but I was really hoping for a price point more around 33-35 grand with the i$7500 incentives bringing the total price down 26-28 range. I believe at that price it is much more desireable especially considering it will only seat four. We shall see.

    Hawk


  20. 20
    StevePA

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:51 am)

    Dave – nice recovery from the Elon Musk segment. Informative and entertaining. Sure Bob Lutz didn’t mind the cred you built for him with the audience by running through his resume including the Viper.

    To Bob Lutz and Lyle – way to go in your efforts to set the record straight. Bob – nicely done, old pro.

    Some may complain the segments were too commercial, but Volt and Tesla are two key approaches in the leading edge of an automotive paradigm shift that lessens dependence on fossil fuels – a shift about which most folks may not yet be aware. More of them will be now.


  21. 21
    EcoGeek

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:52 am)

    The interview went as I expected.

    I’m still disappointed that we don’t know what the mpg under ICE generator power is. I know that ‘speculative guesses’ arrive at 40-50mpg, but if that were the case, we’d be seeing more ICE generator/electric motor driven vehicles without the heavy battery pack….it seems like it would be a way to deliver high efficiency, without loss of power, torque or acceleration… My guess is that it would get 25-30mpg in generator mode, anything more and it would become a drive system by itself.

    I’m also disappointed in Lutz’s response that the maintenance costs for the EV1 fleet was so ‘onerous’ … I thought that maintenance of an electric vehicle was supposed to be so much easier than with an ICE?

    Other than that, it was a decent interview….nothing that I’m jumping up and down getting excited about.


  22. 22
    Dan Petit

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:59 am)

    There ought to be more mainstream show-host interviews like this and the one on Mr. Leno’s show. Bob did a terrific job in the direct and not-excessively-complex answers for that particular audience. Getting out the word on these critically-needed Voltec technologies is an “earned media” situation, where, the extremely important value of the Volt itself has really earned its place on more mainstream shows.
    Yes, on Oprah, etc., and, the morning, noon, and afternoon shows. Plug it in to the various cable system shows and the Satellite broadcast shows. And, most importantly, try to have an HD 5.1 surround-sound of a test drive with someone. That way, America and the rest of the planet will sooner come to understand why
    Federal investment for the Volt is really a publicly-mandated thing, once the majority of the populace understands the Volt more.
    It would also help folks like #14 above, to not get worried from the
    “other side of the pond” in jolly-old-England, how America chooses to properly support its own industries when they are in critical need of assistance (instead of kicking GM when they are down, as a “citizen” from *another country*). Predicting a market for transportation wants, needs, and whims, are essentially no more reliable due to the quick changes in societal conditions as is a ball in a roulette wheel.
    Thank you Mr. Letterman, for helping America understand a little bit more about the Volt, and, I would stay up until 11:45 for your show once again for it even though I have to get up at 4:30 am.
    All you other show hosts ought to efficiently move right away to request from GM to have Bob on all your shows all throughout the next 17 months, and of course, for us to have yet another live glimpse at a Volt on all of your shows!!!!
    Sincerely,
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


  23. 23
    Fred

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:03 am)

    So much for $30,000 after incentives. So the absolute base model volt is going for the price of a fully loaded, more bells and wistles then anyone knows what to do with, 2010 prius. You can get a prius for $10,000 less or a fuel economic 4 cylinder for more then half the price. I love the concept of the volt but as an apartment renter with nowhere to plug it in it’s not feasible nor am I willing to pay $32,500. I got my Prius for $7,500 less talk about a lot of gas money at the 50.3mpg that I’m getting.


  24. 24
    SteveK

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:04 am)

    Hawk:

    They will sell all they can make at that price. When they are manufacturing in volume and batteries prices come down, so will the price. If you can’t afford $32,500 you will just have to wait.


  25. 25
    Guido

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:09 am)

    Fred Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 8:03 am
    So much for $30,000 after incentives. So the absolute base model volt is going for the price of a fully loaded, more bells and wistles then anyone knows what to do with, 2010 prius. You can get a prius for $10,000 less or a fuel economic 4 cylinder for more then half the price. I love the concept of the volt but as an apartment renter with nowhere to plug it in it’s not feasible nor am I willing to pay $32,500. I got my Prius for $7,500 less talk about a lot of gas money at the 50.3mpg that I’m getting.
    ———
    I understand your frustration, but you’ll have to give it some time, Fred. If GM thinks they can sell the first 10,000 for $40M ( to all the “beautiful people” ), they’d be foolish for not doing so. Longer term, they can bring the price down as their capacity ( and confidence level ) increases. Just like any new techology ( flat screen tv’s , computers, i phones, etc. ).


  26. 26
    Fred

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:13 am)

    Don’t forget though as they make more and the price goes down the tax incentive that everyone is speculating will happen will dissapear as it did with the prius and other hybrids that have been out for a while.


  27. 27
    Dave

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:17 am)

    Awesome interview. Lutz is the man. We are all pulling for GM and lets buy American. Can’t wait for the fuel cell version!!!


  28. 28
    S Baker

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:19 am)

    ” I got my Prius for $7,500 less talk about a lot of gas money at the 50.3mpg that I’m getting.” Yeah, well maybe so, but there is the cost to the environment to have it shipped on a black smoke belching ship from Asia, not withstanding the fact that it is a foreign car. It did nothing to support our own economy just like foreign energy sources. What is the difference between an addiction to oil and one to foreign goods? Sorry, I don’t see a difference! I personally am waiting for the cadillac version, I will pay the 50K, because it is what I want and I want to do it for my beautiful wife!


  29. 29
    BDP

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:19 am)

    Letterman is still a dork. I think Letterman feels the need to have an interest in cars to somehow have a connection with his viewers. That mentality vs. Leno’s genuine interest in cars is quite different. Simply put, Leno loves tinkering with cars, Letterman uses cars or anything else to gain the spotlight.

    my .02


  30. 30
    Jackson

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:21 am)

    In his NBC days, Dave Letterman once referred to Atlanta Braves pitcher, Terry Forster, as “A Fat Tub of Goo” during a monologue on his show (OK, he was large, but a pretty good pitcher; and nowhere near traditional “Lard@$$” proportions).

    Dave quickly admitted that this was a terrible thing to have said on national television, and eventually had Forster on, for a segment during which Letterman was nothing but apologetic and humble.

    I’m glad to see that a couple decades and a network change hasn’t changed this aspect of Dave’s character.

    I set the DVR, so I’ll wait until tonight to see it.


  31. 31
    Fred

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:29 am)

    S Baker

    “Yeah, well maybe so, but there is the cost to the environment to have it shipped on a black smoke belching ship from Asia, not withstanding the fact that it is a foreign car. It did nothing to support our own economy just like foreign energy sources. What is the difference between an addiction to oil and one to foreign goods? Sorry, I don’t see a difference! I personally am waiting for the cadillac version, I will pay the 50K, because it is what I want and I want to do it for my beautiful wife!”

    Hey if you’ve got the 50K then go for it. I’m the average hard working American that doesn’t make that much a year serving this country. I’ve done my part and if you’ve got the money to buy one you can do your tiny part while you’re driving your SUV around waiting for the volt for the next year and a half (or more) I’m saving the environment now. Give me a GM prius equivelant and I’m all over it. The prius is the first foreign car I’ve ever owned. I just got tired of waiting for a US company to do the right thing and get me over 50MPG.


  32. 32
    RB

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:35 am)

    #26 Fred says
    Don’t forget though as they make more and the price goes down the tax incentive that everyone is speculating will happen will disappear as it did with the prius and other hybrids that have been out for a while.
    ————————————————-

    It could be that incentives will disappear, or it could be that the incentives will get bigger. The administration now has a big stake in people actually buying high-CAFE cars, and they may not do it on their own. In these new days of abrupt government actions, we just do not know.


  33. 33
    Tracy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:35 am)

    #21,
    You must remember that the ICE is operating at a steady rpm which is the absolutely most efficient way to run an ICE. No lugging or overreving because it is only acting as a generator driver. Therefore it’s mpg can be in the 100′s of miles per gallon on a tank of gas when factoring in that the first 40 miles is not using gas at all.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that this is what GM has been claiming all along. BTW Letterman is back on my good guy list. Bob Lutz has been one of my heros for a long time and there couldn’t be a better spokesman for the Volt. He speaks to the common man and he was a Marine Corps fighter pilot. I wish he were leading GM.


  34. 34
    Dan

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:37 am)

    It was great that Dave back-peddled and allowed GM to set the record straight. Bob was as entertaining as always and covered most of the major points/attributes of the car. One missed opportunity was that he (Bob) didn’t make clear what 40 mile range means to the average driver. He talked about maintaining the 30% charge rate, but never really explained what that means to the everyday (non-mechanical/electrical, could-care-less) person. I’m sure participants in this site and engineering types got it, but I think a few very key questions were left unanswered to the target market. I suspect that maintaining a 30% battery rate means (blah, blah, blah, blah blah) to the John and Jane Doe’s of America that GM wants to sell this car to. What they might want to know is what happens after 40 miles – does the car go 50 or 5,000 miles more? Will I get stranded? Does it go slower after 40 miles? Etc. I’m a huge Volt fan – It’s important that GM gets it right this time and stays in touch with their target audience.


  35. 35
    RB

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:38 am)

    #21 EcoGeek says “I’m still disappointed that we don’t know what the mpg under ICE generator power is.”
    ————————-

    Me too, but it may be that no one can know until such a time as Volts are built and tested. Until then, any number is just so much conjucture. That’s true even for the people at GM.

    We can guess anywhere from 25 to 50 mpg and make a reasonable case based on similarities to other cars, but the Volt is different in numerous ways, and there is no actual factual data.


  36. 36
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:54 am)

    Nothing sells the Volt better than that production show car – great design

    I was surprised that Letterman admitted the impracticality of the Tesla Roadster. What did he think a roadster was? Fortunately, Daimler is involved in the Tesla Model S, which is a practical sedan.


  37. 37
    lwesson

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:00 am)

    Well, David Letterman did the humble pie eating as best as I have seen in some time. Did he do this on his own or was he waterboarded in the back room of the studio??? Perhaps both. At least his ego does have some limit. LOL!


  38. 38
    Loboc

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:03 am)

    Stayed up way to late to catch Letterman last night. Worth it though. Lutz is a great spokesman for the Volt.

    I am thinking I want a gen2. The first generation of Volt will have some shake-down in the real world and will be too costly for the average Joe.

    When gas is back up to $4 or more, this machine looks much better from a cost/benefit perspective. I have noticed some reports that it will be around $1 to recharge the thing. (@10 cents per KWh). This is north of 80Mpg equivalent with gas at @ $2. I expect that the engine running at optimal RPMs (like a stationary generator) it will be very efficient.

    Bottom line is that the average consumer will want the Volt to operate ‘just like’ the normal automobiles they are familiar with. If it’s too different, it won’t appeal to the masses.


  39. 39
    Marinko

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:04 am)

    Great publicity for the Volt – but the Volt msg will get tainted if Lutz & Co keep peddling a revisionist history re the EV1 – saying that they had to lease because they couldn’t find buyers – the guy has some nerve to lie on national TV. GM need the techno-geeks to be among the early adopters – spewing this baloney is only going to antagonies people that still feel raw about the whole EV1 debacle.

    In my eyes, this taints the Volt – it would have been more credible for Lutz to be blunt and say they canned the EV1 because the hummer would make them more money, and that GM mgmt at the time didn’t have the competence to market a hybrid or electric car, unlike Toyota that sold 300 odd Rav4 EV’s and sold over a million Priuses. What Lutz should have admitted, was that they could have achieved a Volt (whether it be 20-30 or 40 mile electric only range) sooner if they focused battery development or even with the NiMH batteries.

    In anycase, the RH drive ver of the Volt is not due till 2012 at the earliest down under, so by that time I’ll either be driving a pluigin i Miev, a Nissan Cube with a subscription to project better place, or a Prius (plug-in or not).


  40. 40
    Gary

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:05 am)

    23 Fred: “So much for $30,000 after incentives. You can get a prius for $10,000 less.”

    Enough with the Prius comparisons already. I’m sure that you have justified spending about $10,000 more than a Corolla. The Corolla gets mid to high 30s MPGs. The Prius gets something in the mid to high 40s. I think that spending $10,000 for such fuel economy improvements is a waste of money as well.


  41. 41
    Tim

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:17 am)

    EV-1 is past, it’s history, it’s over, done, finished… NEXT!

    Long live Voltec!

    Long live Bob Lutz!


  42. 42
    KUD

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:18 am)

    It was a late night, but well worth it.

    Now lets get it into my hands. Don’t have to be first, but first 100 would be nice ;)


  43. 43
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:24 am)

    CorvetteGuy #18 says,

    I’m tellin’ ya’… He should have repainted the car in Victory Red.
    That would have made it even better.

    I like Red, White, and Blue better.


  44. 44
    Jim

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:32 am)

    Who is the chick in the pink dress?


  45. 45
    Evil Conservative

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:32 am)

    Price, price, price. That is what will make or break this car. I have always thought it will cost $40K+. Even though some at GM and on here keep saying closer to $25k. It is simple economics people. Supply and demand. If supply is low (first 2 years) and demand is high then the price will reflect that ($45K is my guess the first year). Most of us on here know about the Volt and want one but cost is a big issue to most. 2014 may be 5 years away but when the price will be most affordable. I guess we will just have to wait.

    I probably will not be able to afford a Volt in 2011 so I will look at the new Cruze. :-(


  46. 46
    LauraM

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:33 am)

    #39 Marinko

    He didn’t say that they couldn’t find buyers. He said that the fleet was too expensive to maintain even as a lease. Having to replace the battery all the time will do that.

    Hopefully, that won’t be an issue with the Volt.


  47. 47
    StevenU

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:46 am)

    My personal opinion of the show after I saw it last night.

    First part (apology, explanation) – great and a bit more than I expected.
    Second part with Bob talking about the auto industry as a whole – great.
    Third part with the Volt specific stuff I felt was a bit weak. Some good info but he said it could be charged at work for Dave’s trip jomebut failed to mention that if that was not possible, he could still drive home using the generator which I feel is the differentiator between the Volt and all other electric cars.
    Fourth part with the car on stage… I wish for a better color, the car looked green and the roof looked blue under the lights and was not a great look. And of course, the obligatory “shock” stunt was again weak. Also, Bob looked lost after the signoff… I think he was heading off stage and someone turned him around.

    Overall a good job and better than I expected.


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    May 21st, 2009 (9:48 am)

    That was great! Musk just lost a lot of credibility, which should happen.


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    May 21st, 2009 (9:49 am)

    My Volt Preorder in now a Tesla Model S Pre-order. Obama should give all of GM’s stimulus money the Tesla.

    Innovate or Die, NO EXCUSES!!

    By killing the electric car, you killed yourself Haha!! hind sight is 20/20


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    May 21st, 2009 (9:52 am)

    LauraM: Actually, he said, they couldn’t get buyers for them at over $100,000 each, so in the end they leased them for about 300 per month.

    The original Prius which lost money on each sale, was only ever sold in Japan in low numbers. I expect things to be similar for the Volt version one.

    Version two will be when numbers explode. Err, I mean increase dramatically.
    Although, with enough government money anythings possible!

    All in all a good interview. Another month until the real prototypes are ready.

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:01 am)

    The fact that the Volt is basically on track after all the horse hair that has been flying during the past six months is truely a miracle. Keep it going GM, I’m counting on you – Viva la Green Revolution.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:03 am)

    Fred @ 31
    While GM may not have what you’re looking for, check out the Ford Fusion Hybrid. From what I’ve read, it can get anywhere from 40 – 60 mpg depending on how you drive it.

    I’m with many on this site, I don’t see the difference between sending money overseas for oil and buying a foreign car, especially when there are comperable models made by domestic companies. I mean they’re still $$ going overseas and never coming back.

    Of course after our current government is done devaluing the $$ we won’t be able to afford foreign cars. Hey! Maybe that’s the plan after all. :0

    Chris


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:12 am)

    This was a lot of time devoted to EVs. From the reaction of the audience to the comments about imported oil you can tell that there will be a ton of interest in the Volt. Hopefully that will translate into a ton of orders. Dave Letterman was very graceful and a super pitchman. He obviously cares about the issue.

    #46 LauraM says “Having to replace the battery all the time will do that.”

    If you look at the issues EV1 owners encountered you’ll find that batteries were not a major issue. Certainly there were issues with the car, especially with the tires, but most could have been addressed.

    The bigger problem was that the car could not be sold in large numbers because it had very limited range, could not be sold nationwide because of cold weather concerns, was too expensive, and only seated two. Since the numbers were small the overhead of maintaining the fleet was spread over too small a number of vehicles, making the maintenance costs for each vehicle very high. Also, from a customer standpoint, there was some interest in an EV but not like there is now. Sometimes a product just needs for enabling technology to mature and for the market to catch up to the technology.

    That said, GM could have moved on to a four seat “Volt” with a limited EV range. It did show such a serial hybrid — an EV1 with an ICE — at the Shanghai Auto Show ten years ago. Too bad it missed that opportunity.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:14 am)

    It’s all good. It came out even better than I thought. Now we just have to figure out how to keep it rolling.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:19 am)

    This was great PR for the Volt. Never mind that Bob didn’t get in all the details about the car. That doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that they rolled out the car on stage in front of millions of Americans with it’s gorgeous styling. People think “WOW, nice looking electric car, I want one” and then they start looking into it on the various websites and find out all the facts.

    It’s exposure that will get the interest up. Details will be handled later at point of sale.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:23 am)

    Great interview! Nice to see Letterman give Lutz an opportunity to set the record straight on the Volt.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:34 am)

    #47 StevenU

    I agree that the first part–the apology was great. (I loved the part about CBS sending him an angry e-mail just in case we had any doubts why he did this.)

    While I agreed with everything he said about the auto industry, I’m not sure the audience was willing to hear it. They laughed at the obesity analogy, but that was it. Other than that, there was dead silence.

    Americans don’t want to hear that they can’t expect to maintain high salaries while benefiting from low costs by sending jobs overseas. They also don’t want to hear that we need higher gas prices to get people to buy fuel efficient vehicles. They’d much rather blame the car companies for their SUVs. It’s actually scary because if Americans aren’t willing to hear it, there’s no way we’ll actually do anything about it.

    And I also wasn’t crazy about the Volt segment. He was too technical. I found it confusing, and I already know the details. He should have said that you can drive 40 miles on pure electric, which covers the bulk of most people’s driving, and after that use the range extender to extend the range indefinitely.

    He also should have mentioned that you can use E85 ethanol instead of gasoline. I’m not a big biofuel proponent, but there are people who are, and it’s a useful feature.

    I do think it is, overall, great publicity. Letterman was great. And Lutz did a good job explaining the EV1, and difference between the Volt’s battery and Tesla’s. And the price, which GM’s obviously very concerned about. I just think that he could have been clearer.


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:38 am)

    That was a great interview. Dave is a good guy. I’ve watched him since the early 90s. He just needed to understand that GM is trying to make a fairly affordable electric drive car … unlike the $100,000 Tesla. Bob did a good job in the interview. He was funny and he explained how the Volt works in the limited time he had.

    No doubt about it, the Volt is going to be a successful car … especially when gasoline prices go back up to $4+ a gallon … and they surely WILL once the global economy kicks in by 2011-2012. The Volt will be a POWERFUL weapon to throw at the fatcat oil sheiks and Big Oil when they start draining our bank accounts at the gas pump again in the future. From everything else I’ve seen and read about the Volt, it’s going to be an all around nice car in general … that just happens to use very little gasoline most of the time. I’m putting away money every month in order to get me one sometime in 2011.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:40 am)

    #21 EcoGeek says “I’m still disappointed that we don’t know what the mpg under ICE generator power is.”

    I can say with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY..that with a full tank of gas and a full battery charge, the MPG rating for the first 30 miles will be INFINITY, and if you recharge between trips, it will stay there…

    The number will drop significantly from infinity on a continuous trip longer than 40 miles…still determining that part…


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:43 am)

    Side bar…(but why we need the electrification of vehicles…)

    Oil companies… in 2008: “Demand is up, so we’ve regretfully had to raise prices.” In 2009: “Demand is down, so we’ve regretfully had to raise prices

    http://www.11alive.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=130417&catid=40


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:51 am)

    Great show! I’m glad Bob made a clear effort to mention the Volt meets global standards and will be built here in America and exported everywhere else!


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:52 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Two thumbs up for Bob Lutz. He did a great job presenting the Volt on Letterman’s show.

    Two thumbs up for Letterman. He did the right thing w/ class.

    Lyle…also two thumbs up for you for doing your part to instigate Lutz getting on the Letterman show to set the record stright about the Volt.
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American Energy Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:58 am)

    A GM executive talking about the number of jets he owns during a recession and while taking our hard earned money from taxpayers = FAIL. I think you guys are so hyped about the Volt you don’t even see how this kind of thing is perceived by the general public. Sure there was some good points overall, but this was a PR disaster.


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:58 am)

    Lutz did a great job!!…He’s the Volt man!!

    Volt looked super!!

    Thanks Letterman!


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    May 21st, 2009 (10:59 am)

    He (Letterman) admitted that he didn’t realize the Volt has a range extender.
    _____

    There is notneed to thank Letterman for anything. It would be helpful to all if people like him, whose every word is instantly broadcast to millions of viewers, would be more responsible by researching the subject before speaking with ‘foot in mouth’!


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:02 am)

    #53 DonC

    Oh. Thank you for the correction. That actually makes sense. I should know better than to trust obviously biased sources.

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/07/ev1_criticism.php


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:04 am)

    SteveK

    It is not an issue of “afford”. And as a matter of fact I find that comment rather insulting.

    “Hawk:

    They will sell all they can make at that price. When they are manufacturing in volume and batteries prices come down, so will the price. If you can’t afford $32,500 you will just have to wait.”


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:05 am)

    Hey Bob,

    Great comeback to Letterman. I can’t wait to get my hands on this car as a “John Q Public” consumer. My veins pump Chevy motor oil and I’ve known all my life that Chevy is the leader in automotive technology. Now we can really show the world. Stop dawdling and put the pedal to the medal or as in the old day (to the Wood) (pedal to the wooden floor boards).

    Kevin M from Long Island


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:16 am)

    In remarking on the EV-1 Bob repeats the false statement “we just couldn’t sell the things…”.
    This is an idiotic bit of spin-doctoring that continues to hurt GM’s credibility, and makes Bob seem woefully out of touch. Even people who have no interest in electric cars are vaguely aware that owners of the EV-1 desperately wanted to keep them and/or to buy them.
    Also, Bob fails to drive home the point that with the Volt you can potentially drive without gas! This is ultimately the ONLY thing that makes the Volt desireable/sexy/worth building/worth buying! Instead he harps on the fact that “it meets all international regulations”. Holy crap! this guy is completely out of touch! This was a God-given opportunity to create a groundswell of public interest in this product! What do people come away with? It’s a fairly non-descript sedan that won’t stop at fourty miles range, and electricity is somehow involved. Woo-hoo, that’s certainly got them foaming at the mouth.


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:25 am)

    $40,000.00!!!!!!

    WTF!!!!

    Are you fukcin kidding me! What happened to “Low to mid 30′s”. I’m in the mid to low “en mass” for income and $40K for a car is completely out of the question. WTF are they thinking? I am going to assume that he spoke incorrectly and wasn’t supposed to even say that becuse he was reluctant to answer David “Gap Tooth” Letterman. I will hold out till the actual price release day/date. If it is $40K then I as well as some others are taking $$$ elsewhere.

    Also, don’t get fooled by the $7500 rebate you are expecting the following year. When you sign on your car loan the math doesn’t show ($40K – $7500 = Loan amount). It never will. It will NEVER come in as a factor of the price of the car when purchased and on the loan which means you HAVE to finance in the $7500 first at whatever percentage your credit gets you. That’s why I call it a fake rebate. They’ll make more on you financing $7500 than you think.

    $40K may A$$!!!!


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:26 am)

    #66 LauraM says “I should know better than to trust obviously biased sources.”

    I don’t have any reason to question anything there, and in fact I think all those things are true. My point wasn’t to argue that the battery didn’t have a limited range — it did. Or that the second generation battery wasn’t an improvement — it was. My point was that the expense of maintaining the fleet had more to do with the number of vehicles in the fleet than it did with any particular problem or problems with the battery. And the reason the number of vehicles was small had to do with limited geographic markets, price, and seating.

    To some extent we’re seeing the pattern repeated with the Mini E trials. Mini has had a hard time placing 500 cars. You’d think this would be quite easy given that Tesla is selling EVs for $100K+, but there are still openings after several months. The high price of $850/month (in real terms similar to the EV-1) combined with two seats, a limited lease term, and limited geographic area have proved a hard sell.

    If the number of vehicles is small the cost of maintaining them is going to be high given the fixed costs.


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:34 am)

    #62 Frank D

    Was I the only one bothered by that? Does this mean Opel won’t make the Ampera? I know they won’t be owned by GM anymore, but I thought GM would liscence the technology.

    Look, I want Americans to have jobs. And the trade deficit is seriously scary. But this is not the answer. For one thing, the whole point of the restructuring is to render GM a healthy sustainable company. And a GM that’s only based in North America is extremely vulnerable.

    But more importantly, the world needs electric cars to catch on world-wide as fast as possible. Global warming and other pollution is not just a US problem. Neither is terrorism. The oil market is worldwide, and I don’t want Chinese renmimbi or Indian rupees going to OPEC any more than I want American dollars going to them.

    And the Volt looks to me like the best chance of actually accomplishing that. But if they’re only made in the US, that’s going to make it a lot harder. First, it will run into the protectionist barriers in place everywhere but the US. Second, cars are not exactly cheap to transport. Third, UAW labor is the most expensive in the world by a substantial margin. And I doubt the new contracts will change that.


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:45 am)

    Fred Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 8:03 am
    So much for $30,000 after incentives. So the absolute base model volt is going for the price of a fully loaded, more bells and wistles then anyone knows what to do with, 2010 prius. You can get a prius for $10,000 less or a fuel economic 4 cylinder for more then half the price. I love the concept of the volt but as an apartment renter with nowhere to plug it in it’s not feasible nor am I willing to pay $32,500. I got my Prius for $7,500 less talk about a lot of gas money at the 50.3mpg that I’m getting.
    _________________________

    Yeah, I hear you. I have a 2001 PT Cruiser (stick shift), and went through $2,090 worth of gas in 2008 – a year that I drove a lot, and that gas was expensive. So far this year, I’ve only spent $323. Even if the price of gas doubled or tripled in price (today where i live it is $2.399), it would be hard to pencil out an economic argument for me buying a Volt.

    So much for logic, because much of what we do with our money defies logic. I paid $599 on Day One for an iPhone – a device which now is better and sells for $199 less than two years later. I once owned a boat, and if we had to take the true cost (purchase price minus selling price; fuel; moorage; insurance; license; maintenance; etc.), I’m sure that the “cost per cruise” would’ve been in the thousands of dollars. I was around when the personal computer first came on the market. Remember the days when a Macintosh II with 1MB of RAM, 1 800K floppy and a 40MB internal hard drive would set you back about $5,500? I do.

    The Volt will sell to an initial crop of people where economic arguments take a back seat, and as volume increases and the product matures, the price will drop and electric cars will become mainstream. Count on it.


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:48 am)

    #70 CaptJackSparrow

    You are a very smart guy — smarter than I am — so I’m puzzled why you don’t understand that from a cash flow perspective you are better off with the rebate.

    Let’s just go with a simple example of two Volts. Let’s say one Volt costs $40k and you get a $7.5k tax credit. Let’s say another Volt costs $32.5k without a tax credit. Let’s also assume, for simplicity, that GM offers a zero payment plan. Now let’s compare how payments on the two Volts work out over time.

    At the end of five years you will pay $32.5k for each vehicle. That will be the same. But from a cash flow perspective you’re better off with the higher price and the rebate. It’s easiest to see this if you look at what happens at the end of year one. For the $32.5k Volt sans rebate, at the end of year one you will be out $6.5k. For the $40k Volt with rebate at the end of year one you will have payed $8k but you will have gotten $7.5k from the government, meaning that you will be out of pocket $500. That means you’re $6k ahead. You can use that $6k for some other purpose or invest it or pay down the loan or whatever, but you’re coming out ahead and not behind.

    What am I missing?


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:49 am)

    #70

    I agree the 40K is a real letdown and severly limits this car to the masses. At that price its basically a high end niche car, not an “everyman’s” car. Who knows, with options it may be $45k or higher.

    When you can buy 2 Honda Insights for the price of 1 Volt, it makes no financial sense for 99% of Americans. People want to go green but not a double the price.

    The average household income in the US is $40,000. Most experts recommend affordability of a car is no more than 3x your yearly income. So most Americans can afford a $13k car. To be able to afford a $40k car, you need to make $120,000 a year. That’s a market of 1% of Americans.


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    May 21st, 2009 (11:53 am)

    I can’t afford a Tesla. Looks like I won’t be able to afford a Volt either. And by 2016, it looks like the Federal Government will be paying Detroit to make cars no one wants.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    #72 LauraM says “Does this mean Opel won’t make the Ampera?”

    Lutz is a sales and marketing guy. Do you really think he’s going to pass up an opportunity to promise American jobs regardless of the reality? (Did you catch the heat Geithner took over GM’s plan to import the Spark in yesterday’s Senate Finance Hearing?). IOW don’t take any of this rah-rah stuff seriously.

    If the volume is low then it might make sense to export the Volt, just like it may make sense to import the engines for the Volt from Austria during the first year or so. But as volumes and transportation costs go up it makes less and less sense to ship stuff hither and yon.

    Whether Opel makes the Ampera probably depends on the terms of the sale and whether the new owners license the technology. Opel as a legal entity holds very few patents. How much access Opel has to the patents is a key point in the sale. GM is certainly not going to give Voltec away.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    #71 DonC

    The link said the batteries were failing after 6 months? If the major cost of an electric car is the battery, that would almost have to cost a fortune? Am I missing something?

    Of course, that doesn’t mean the other maintainance costs weren’t also prohibitive…


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:04 pm)

    Sorry Lyle, I thought Dave was a waaayyy better spokesperson for EVs than Bob, who continues to get mired in defensiveness and misinfo about the past. Good from an “all publicity is good publicity” standpoint, but nothing compared to what it could have been. So hard to watch GM actually doing the right thing, but not know how to get out of its own way verbally.

    As for an early Volt, shall we “rock, paper, scissors” for it? ;o)


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    #70 CaptJackSparrow

    You are in good company, my friend.
    Most of us here won’t get access to a Volt until 2012-2013.
    By that time, maybe the price will come down so the masses can afford it.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    The Tesla although a great car con only be afforded by people like Lettermen, NOT the average American. The VOLT is affordable for most and can do sometheing the Tesla CAN NOT, go beyond 250 miles, The Tesla can not be drived straight fron Frisco (I’m sorry sn francisco) ro LA, while the VOLT can be driven nonstop from Frisco to San Diego!


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    #74 DonC

    I’m not CaptJackSparrow, so I probably shouldn’t speak for him. But what I think he’s saying is that the upfront cost of the Volt matters to him.

    The tax credit means that you pay now, and get the money back from the government later. I’ve never taken out a car loan, but I’m assuming it’s like a mortgage–you pay a certain percentage down, and you finance the rest.

    Getting the money back later means it a) increases the upfront costs, and b)you’re basically giving GM/the government a negative interest loan with the rest. (You’re paying the interest until you get the money back from the government.)

    For some people it makes a difference.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    #14 the real james,

    I think you’re missing the major point here.

    Both the UAW and the bondholders are making a major sacrifice exchanging debt for GM stock. For the bondholders, this was money that they loaned GM. For the UAW, this is money for pensions retired people worked their whole lives for. That was the deal. Workers agreed to lower wages in exchange for pensions. Now people are living longer, and GM can’t pay the pensions, so they are offering shares of GM instead. In both cases, (bondholders and UAW), they are taking on a MAJOR risk in assuming GM shares will maintain or increase in value.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    #74 DonC said: (to #70 CaptJackSparrow)

    You are a very smart guy — smarter than I am — so I’m puzzled why you don’t understand that from a cash flow perspective you are better off with the rebate.

    Let’s just go with a simple example of two Volts. Let’s say one Volt costs $40k and you get a $7.5k tax credit. Let’s say another Volt costs $32.5k without a tax credit. Let’s also assume, for simplicity, that GM offers a zero payment plan. Now let’s compare how payments on the two Volts work out over time.

    At the end of five years you will pay $32.5k for each vehicle. That will be the same. But from a cash flow perspective you’re better off with the higher price and the rebate. It’s easiest to see this if you look at what happens at the end of year one. For the $32.5k Volt sans rebate, at the end of year one you will be out $6.5k. For the $40k Volt with rebate at the end of year one you will have payed $8k but you will have gotten $7.5k from the government, meaning that you will be out of pocket $500. That means you’re $6k ahead. You can use that $6k for some other purpose or invest it or pay down the loan or whatever, but you’re coming out ahead and not behind.

    What am I missing?
    ===================

    I think there is little to no chance of GM giving a ‘zero payment plan’ on the Volt.

    Obviously any zero percent loan is better than putting the cash out…rebate or not. Only one time (since I was young) I have not paid cash for a car (non-company car)…and that was at 0%.

    Financing aside, the two implications of not getting the ’32.5′ instantly, and having to shell out 40K, are what could I have done with that money…and what are the additional costs associated with a higher MSRP.

    Money markets are bad, so you are looking at getting ‘maybe’ 3% on a short-term investment…so on $7,500, your looking at a loss of $150 (+/- $100.)

    The bigger issue is the tax on the portion of your rebate. This number would differ state by state (region/province). In my cash, it would be significant, as in Ontario we pay 13% on the MSRP (hey, fancy social systems aren’t free, lol)…that translates into $975.

    Total hit on a delayed rebate for me would be about $1,200. For most it would be more like $600-$800.


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    May 21st, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    Guys, do not hold your breath that the car price will come down. It won’t. GM will just start making more money on them. I have never seen a car model get cheaper than the previous years model.


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    Dave K.

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    The Volt girls were a nice touch. And good to see Bob again. The Volt looked good. Demonstrates that you can pull up to 5 star resort and fit right in. The Volt will obviously go over well with the ladies. When will we see a color other than ice blue?

    $40,000 sticker plus 10% out the door = $44,000 less $8500 = $35,500.

    My truck just turned 93,000 miles. Stock account sitting at over $30,000. Right on track for a spring of 2012 Volt.

    =D~


  87. 87
    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    Capt Jack @ 70 (DonC @ 74)

    Why are you acting so surprised concerning $40k price?

    I see you here every day and I’d be willing to bet that the price is discussed at least once in every thread.

    Here, let’s look at it with some real word parameters (i.e. 4 yr loan, 6.8% interest).

    Loan #1 ($40k): monthly payment = $954.14; total cost of interest = $5,798.84

    Loan #2 ($32.5k): monthly payment = $775.24; total cost of interest = $4,711.56

    So, while the difference in monthly payment is not insignificant ($178.90/month), the overall cost of the loan is not ($1,087.28 – of course this is just my opinion).

    I just hope that when I finally have the chance to but my Blue Volt the tax rebate will still be there for me.

    Comments? Disagreements?


  88. 88
    statik

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    I’m just happy that a lot of those speculative cut and paste comments about the Volt being under 30K are finally dead.

    …especially that John Lauckner one.

    It will be nice when all the specs are out and we have hard pricing numbers. I’d rather be tracking VINs and complaining about delivery than arguing about ‘what is reality’ all the time.

    #87 David K:

    Math looks good…and 6.8% seems more reasonable. Although I doubt anyone who needs financing is going to do a 4 year @ $954.14, probably a 72 month special is more likely. Also, if the MSRP is $40K, the car out the door is going to be alot more, but I get what you are doing for the sake of comparison.


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    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    Static @ 88

    Well a longer life loan ends up costing you more total interest, and of course we all know this.

    My wife, who is in the car retail industry, says that she has even seen some “younger folks” going for 7 year loans (that’s $10.4k added to the cost of the car for the $40k example. OUCH!). It’s the whole month payment thing, again.


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    The Chevy Volt on Letterman | Ethical Investments

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    [...] GM-Volt [...]


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    Tagamet

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:27 pm)

    I was a little concerned with the very reserved applause to bring Bob on stage, but I think he won them over with his age and his Marine service (especially on fleet week).
    Dave seemed really miffed at the idea that he’d spent Sooo much for something with 2 seats and a bunch of laptop batteries in it (totally impractical).
    To me, Bob seemed a little uncomfortable compared to other TV appearances I’ve seen. Having said that, I pray that I’m A) alive at 77.5 years of age and B) not being fed gruel with a plastic spoon.
    It looked to me that Bob AND Dave did a good job and I was especially surprised that Dave was almost self-deprecating regarding his purchase of a Tesla (and preference for the Volt).
    Hey, if we couldn’t get Lyle on there, Bob was a pretty good pinch hitter. (g).
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!!**********No Plug, No Sale


  92. 92
    Herm

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    You have to do the math, the Volt is essentially a Cruze with a battery and motor/generator but without a transmission.

    Cruze is $18k, Battery is $11.5k..
    so far that is $30k, and you have not paid for the motor, generator, inverter and the software… plus other costs such as the special production lines..
    ……………………

    #70 CaptJackSparrow Says:

    $40,000.00!!!!!!
    WTF!!!!
    Are you fukcin kidding me! What happened to “Low to mid 30’s”. I’m in the mid to low “en mass” for income and $40K for a car is completely out of the question. WTF are they thinking?


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    @ #89 David K,

    Amen to that. Buying stuff with a “I can afford the payments, what’s the problem” attitude is step #1 on the road to financial self-destruction!


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    jeffhre

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    #50
    NZDavid

    All in all a good interview. Another month until the real prototypes are ready.

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.
    _____________________
    I thought it was only another six days until they dig into the parts bin to build the first ones.


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    Larry

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    The market for people that can afford a $40k Volt is $120k+ per year wage earners. (ie, doctors, lawyers, business owners, other high income people). Let be honest. Most of these type of people want Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Cadillac etc. not a Chevy. You can’t make a car to appeal to a mass market, but price it for the top 1% of eligible buyers. Especially when those buyers historically don’t buy your brand.

    They need to bring the price down where an average American can afford it. Cut features if they have to. At $40k the Volt is as out of reach as a Tesla to most.


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    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    Don’t forget the sales tax, and all other taxes that must be paid. You can easily figure 10% on top of the sale price. So the 40k car is now 44k. In the US, with taxes going up in 2010 once the Bush tax cuts expire, that 7500 keeps getting smaller.

    If you had to buy a car in the next 5 years to save money and not to further a cause, the Volt isn’t your car. In 5+ years it will be. Until then buy TDI Jetta or smartly priced Hybrid.

    In 5 years, maybe fuel cells will be replacing the engine’s job to recharge the battery. That is energy independence…


  97. 97
    omegaman66

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    A bit of advice. If you can’t pay your car off in three or four years don’t buy it.


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    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    As an example, for 40k you buy a nicely equipped Buick Enclave.

    The good news for the Volt, the Honda hybrid doesn’t look to be a competitor at it’s low price…
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article6294116.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1


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    Mitch

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    You all MISSED the big ticket item….

    Bob wore NO tie….


  100. 100
    Ed M

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    Letterman did a good job explaining his woeful knowledge of the Volt and Bob Lutz as usual was an excellent promoter of his baby. Kudos to all.

    6800 batteries, wow.


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    Prag

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    Nice work Bob and Dave. David Letterman deserves a car and a basket of thanks for his being objective and an apology not in any way required by practice and standards of comedy.

    Volt is back (of course it never left.) NPNS


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    BB

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    The car looks good…I will give them that……. The true question is will GM be in business during 2011. Dought it….. I am on the ban wagon for green and was hoping that they would be able to produce a vehicle that could be green that did not kill you on payments……I guess they are holding true by every year making a cheaper made car with a higher price tag…….. Yes, I know…development cost and so forth…. but I am sure they are making up for it in the plastic ribbits that holds this beauty together…. And by all means, do not drop the cost of the car to prevent Mr. Lutz from getting his insane bonus…or is that still coming from the government…ie…your tax dollars…… Hmmmm, I wonder how the overseas markets can make this less expensive…… even with plants in the US…… I am glad that some are doing the math on the payments. But for the average American that does not shop for loans or has bad credit, the interest rates will double for them…….I will not pay that kind of money for any car even at a great interest rate….would I like one sure……..it can stay on the showroom floor because one it is overpriced and two I will not support any company that begs for handouts…… My tax dollars are worn out. Do me a favor and just close your doors now.


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    Ed M

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    Jeffhre #94
    prototypes ?? or id you mean production models.


  104. 104
    LauraM

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    #95 Larry

    The Corvette is a Chevy. And I believe that’s a $100,000 car. High income wage earners who want an EREV will buy the Volt regardless of the nameplate.

    That said, this is why they should have produced the Converj first. The last thing GM wants is for Volt sales to cut into Converj sales since they’ll actually make a profit on the Converj. But it’s too late for that now.


  105. 105
    The Chevy Volt on Letterman | FollowGreen.com

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:45 pm)

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


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    May 21st, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    104 Laura,
    How many times has that been stated… to deaf ears… Make it a Buick or Caddy already. Add some bling a make a profit…


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    I want the yellow classic with the Duracell on top. $7500 less $7500 credit = free.


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    jeffhre

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    #81
    Ed while the VOLT can be driven nonstop from Frisco to San Diego!
    _______________________________
    I’m looking at 502 miles form civic center to civic center according to MSN maps. Just curious, have you made that drive non-stop, and what vehicle did you use?


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    jeffhre

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    #103
    Ed M

    Jeffhre #94
    prototypes ?? or id you mean production models.
    ____________________
    IV prototypes.


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    A global vehicle design = made in the cheapest part of the world and shipped elsewhere.

    I see the Volt starting out in the US, but not staying here unless some major labor changes happen.

    Or they could do like Chrysler did on one if its cars, basically 100% assembled somewhere else, it arrives at Chysler, they put a sticker on it, and say made in the USA by Chrysler.


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    Sam G

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    OK – love the idea from way earlier about HD and 5.1 surround for the test drive – what if GM turned that into a movie preview nationwide?? Nothing like a captive audience, they could cherry pick their market depending on movie title, ya?

    You could do it with a couple cars showing the difference between a car from a previous generation and then follow inside the volt and listen to silence as it takes off – it could definitely work to educate the uneducated or people who have never frequented Lyles awesome site – nice work!!!!!!!

    Sam from MN


  112. 112
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    #70 Cap’nJack
    #88 Statik
    #89 DavidK
    #92 Herm

    I’m really surprised that you guys are surprised at the $40,000.00 Price Tag. Just look at the current Chevy Hybrids:

    Tahoe Hybrid = $51,400.00 to $53,695.00 MSRP
    Silverado Hybrid = $45,130.00 to $46,320.00 MSRP
    Malibu Hybrid = $26,425.00 to $27,225.00 MSRP
    (and yes, I know the Malibu shouldn’t really count…)

    Now, if the VOLT is a mid-sized sedan and is going to be priced to fit in between the mild-hybrid Malibu and the Silverado Crew Cab, (which, by the way, is as comfortable inside as any car), then of course it’s going to be $40,000.00 – - – Until we get a solid confirmation from GM that they will make a Cruze EREV vehicle, then that’s to be expected on price. A Cruze EREV will probably fit in at the same price (hopefully lower) than the Malibu Hybrid, which I think should be scrapped as soon as the Cruze EREV hits the showrooms.


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Fuzzie wuzzie was a bear fuzzwsie had no hair .
    Just like the beras on wall street .
    Most of them are bald and look really tired .
    I think its because they are loosing .


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    N Riley

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    I tended to “trash” Letterman yesterday because of his past criticism of all tings GM and because I thought he was bring Colbert on to help him “jump” down Bob Lutz’s throat as they axed GM around the ankles. But, Letterman did not use Colbert like that and his talk with Lutz was OK as was his “explanation” at the beginning of the show after his monologue. Overall I would have to give Letterman an A- for his Volt topic last night. Sorry, I can’t bring myself to grade him above and A-.


  115. 115
    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    112 CorvetteGuy,

    Isn’t the Cruze more like Cobalt in size and not the Malibu? If so, I have an issue with it being called a mid-size since the Cobalt is a compact sedan (in the 4 door version).

    The new hybrid Malibu that is coming out in 2010 (?) is using the new tech was recently developed.


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    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    CovetteGuy @ 112

    I really am NOT surprised at the $40k price. He||, my Sierra cost me $35k and that was 5 years ago.

    I just want ALL the bells & whistles (sorry again Capt.) for that price.

    I want to be able to access the car from my computer for charge times, for the built in GPS, for different superficial “engine” sounds, etc.

    But ya know what?

    I wish it had the New Camaro body! Hmm, I wonder how many AER miles that would cost?


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    Yes. Cruze is replacement for Cobalt.
    I think VOLT should be replacement for Malibu given that GM needs to cut back on the number of models it produces. If there is a VOLT and a Cruze EREV, then we don’t need no stinkeeeng Malibu.


  118. 118
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:26 pm)

    115 Adrian

    I’m not sure how the 2010 Malibu will change. I do know that the 2009 is doing far better than the 2008. If there is something new, like an EREV Malibu in the works, I haven’t heard about it. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I think all Chevy cars (except Camaro and Corvette) should go EREV.


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    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:29 pm)

    CorvetteGuy @118

    Whoa…why not a Camaro EREV? Bad Cd?


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    Larry

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    #97 “A bit of advice. If you can’t pay your car off in three or four years don’t buy it.”

    Sorry but that is terrible advice. If you have to finance a car, don’t buy it. You can’t afford it.

    Financing, by its very definition means, I don’t have the money to pay for this.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    119 David K

    Nah. I’m just old school.
    I would miss the rumble of a solid American V8.


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    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:38 pm)

    Larry @ 120

    I dunno…I’ve financed every car that I’ve owned (except the 1st one – it was used and only cost $800) and paid each one of them off and then received the title.

    Sure didn’t seem like I couldn’t afford it.


  123. 123
    Alex

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    I wouldn’t buy anything built by the UAW!


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    jeffhre

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    #118
    CorvetteGuy

    115 Adrian

    I’m not sure how the 2010 Malibu will change. I do know that the 2009 is doing far better than the 2008. If there is something new, like an EREV Malibu in the works, I haven’t heard about it. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I think all Chevy cars (except Camaro and Corvette) should go EREV.
    ____________________
    Looks to me like a potential Malibu EREV got preempted by the Volt, they’d be too close to justify development costs IMO. An EREV Cruze would be a step down in platforms, at least from public perceptions if not in actual dimensions, and hopefully save a lot of cash for EREV buyers, using as much of the existing platforms as possible.

    Could allow Chevy to keep the Volt as the flagship while costs are pushed down for both cars and have the Cruze EREV as the entry level offering for Voltec technology in the mid term outlook. The Converj would be introduced at the high end for Cadillac.

    Expensive commitments for GM, but wow, the technology could really blossom.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:53 pm)

    #124 jeffhre

    Agreed!

    Scrap the Malibu and with it goes a lot of old perceptions about GM cars. All hail the new VOLT!


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    LauraM

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    In other news, GM and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement. They’re withholding details, but it sounds like the new contract is similar to the Chrysler one.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ajXNsL6tfJjg&refer=home


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    LauraM

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    #125 CorvetteGuy

    I thought that the Malibu was one of GM’s (few) recent hits. Am I wrong?


  128. 128
    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    I also thought that the Malibu was a quality car. ??


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    May 21st, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    127 LauraM

    Yes. The current version of the Malibu is doing well, but with the VOLT being very similar in interior space and cargo capacity, I don’t think Chevy needs 2 cars in the same size class. Now if the VOLT were to be handed over to GMC or Buick, I would say keep the Malibu because it is cheaper than the VOLT.

    In addition, I think it is fair to say that the Malibu has been for the past 15 to 20 years the American car that ‘just can’t quite compete’ with cars from Asia and Europe. It has taken so long for GM to really make a great quality Malibu that from a dealership point of view, it’s just a little too late.

    Better to bring on the new VOLT, which from descriptions on Lyle’s test drive (and others) will easily compete on the world stage. You just can’t say that about a Malibu and keep a straight face.


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    Nick D

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    Step 1 – Change your tax withholding Jan1 2011 to withhold less taxes

    Step 2 – Put the Difference in a Savings Account or short term investment

    Step 3 – Buy your volt in Late 2011 using the money that you set aside(plus its interest earned) – essentially using the Tax Credit as the downpayment for your volt.

    Step 4 – readjust your tax withholdings, dont pay taxes after you check the box for the tax withholding…

    Problem solved – your car is now 32.5K

    What if there are no Credits left? What if I set aside the money and can not get a Volt? What if I change my mind?

    Close your savings account and send the money to the government (PAY YOUR TAXES) – use the $50-100 you earned in interest to buy some gas…


  131. 131
    Nick D

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    Sorry edit feature did not work below is how it should read…

    Step 4 – readjust your tax withholdings, dont pay taxes after you check the box for the tax credit…


  132. 132
    Marinko

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    #41.
    Tim Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 9:17 am

    EV-1 is past, it’s history, it’s over, done, finished… NEXT!
    ————————————————————————–

    Yet Bob Lutz felt the need to revisit history. The EV1 is relevant because :
    (i) the taxpayer is bailing out GM’s ass precisely because they failed to invest in low emmission technology, unlike the Japanese -> note no Japanese car companies failing despite the Jappanese economy going through a depression;
    (ii) the leading selling car in Japan (in this bad economic climate) is the Honda hybrid;
    (iii) one of the factors that would have made bailing out GM palatable is the low emmission electric car concept.

    As 53. DonC points out, GM had a volt like concept 10 years ago.
    My argument is that GM mgmt (incuding I believe Lutz) lacked foresight and competence to pursue it. Compare this to Toyota that did pursue the hybrid technology and with the Rav4 EVs (until Chevron sued them over the battery patent) – illustrates an issue of managerial competence. So why should we trust GM not to cock it up again. Is the Volt merely a stalking horse for a bailout, and once the economic goodtimes return, the Volt program will be let to slide?

    All Lutz had to say was a BEV comes with range anxiety – the on-board generator is a get out of jail card that resolves that. In PR terms, he didn’t need to mention the EV1 and could have parreted any questions from Dave to focus on the Volt. But to attempt to justify GM’s position re the EV1 – it seemed like Lutz was there to fight the PR campaign against “Who killed the electric car” doco, not to promote the Volt.

    #46. LauraM Says:
    He didn’t say that they couldn’t find buyers. He said that the fleet was too expensive to maintain even as a lease.


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    Sam

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    Thank goodness Dave had the KAHoona’s to have Lutz on his show.
    Maybe when the battery technology cathces up to what we desire in a vehicle for a resonable price we can all afford to buy one.
    If everyone could afford a 100,000.00 car we’d all think it was great.
    That is the reason the last car( EV1) that GM developed didn’t make it in everyone’s driveway. Let us all be realistic!!!!!


  134. 134
    Dan Petit

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    How about a calibrated ride in a Volt with High Definition, 5.1 Surround Sound, in something like an IMAX theater or a 3D amusement park theater (like Six Flags amusement parks in Texas). Even though many or most of us might not be able to be the first ones to be able to get a Voltec Vehicle at first, I think it is a good idea to have some sort of chance to see and feel some sort of representation of the perspectives of it.
    That way, we can all have at least the opportunity to be able to know what the future possibilities hold for all of us.
    In addition, just having some representations at all of how the Voltec vehicles perform, sound, and work, helps many to understand that this technology is the only way that we are going to cause the sustaining of the planet. That itself is worth paying the admission price for the experience somehow.
    This would re-enforce our opinions that our governmental leaders at the Federal level and at the State levels are doing the right things in setting up infrastructures to accommodate plug-ins, and, that plug-ins are most certainly the correct initial answer to a relentless drive for our own continued existence. I think that an IMAX 3D of a Volt drive would be a lot of fun, and, I would certainly pay whatever it cost no matter how short the experience, just to know from that perspective as well, that we all perceive that this is the right pathway.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    Elon, Lutz on Letterman - Page 7 - Tesla Motors Club Forum

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    [...] GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Brings Chevy Volt on Late Night with David Letterman and it’s Awesom… Quote: [...]


  136. 136
    statik

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    #112 CorvetteGuy said:

    #70 Cap’nJack
    #88 Statik
    #89 DavidK
    #92 Herm

    I’m really surprised that you guys are surprised at the $40,000.00 Price Tag. Just look at the current Chevy Hybrids:

    Tahoe Hybrid = $51,400.00 to $53,695.00 MSRP
    Silverado Hybrid = $45,130.00 to $46,320.00 MSRP
    Malibu Hybrid = $26,425.00 to $27,225.00 MSRP
    (and yes, I know the Malibu shouldn’t really count…)

    Now, if the VOLT is a mid-sized sedan and is going to be priced to fit in between the mild-hybrid Malibu and the Silverado Crew Cab, (which, by the way, is as comfortable inside as any car), then of course it’s going to be $40,000.00 – - – Until we get a solid confirmation from GM that they will make a Cruze EREV vehicle, then that’s to be expected on price. A Cruze EREV will probably fit in at the same price (hopefully lower) than the Malibu Hybrid, which I think should be scrapped as soon as the Cruze EREV hits the showrooms.
    ============================

    I’m not surprised…I’m the least surprised guy in the universe on this, lol. I’ve been at 40K+ for like…ever. I would have been shocked to see anything less.

    I’m also not going to be shocked when we finally get hard numbers and people start talking about ordering ahead of production….and how their local dealer adds $10,000 a pop over the MSRP because it is both a in demand car and also has a limited 10K run (at best) for 2011/early 2012.

    You work at a Chev dealership, so I should ask you this…although your probably not thrilled about answering it here because people think dealerships should not be able to mark something up (but take losses on dogs). How much of a premium did you add your first Camaro order? $5,000 On a SS? $7,500 … $10,000.

    /will be the same for a Volt…my advice is to find those dealers now that will sell at MSRP


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    bruce g

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    For one heart stopping moment I thought those models were going to push the car out on stage.
    But no, I searched anxiously for a driver and there he was.
    We are definitely making progress.
    Vive la revolution!
    In someways Ledderman expressed why people will buy the car against all economic arguments. It will be their way to address the fear of turning the planet in to burnt toast, their bit to save the polar bears…etc..


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    Marinko

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    #46. LauraM Says:
    He didn’t say that they couldn’t find buyers. He said that the fleet was too expensive to maintain even as a lease.
    ———————————————–

    I think someone has already answered this.

    But I would like to add that GM mgmt have been shown up:
    (i) by Toyota that showed low emission vehicles are marketable – see Prius and arguably Rav4 EV.
    (ii) by Honda that showed that such low-emmision vehicles, with its new Insight that, can be marketed at a low price (in Japan at least)
    (iii) by Tesla in its strategy to start with the high end roadster model and slowly work your costs down untill you get to the mass market product line.

    Also bringing up the issue of batteries was a furphy – they had a range extender model of the EV1, just like the Volt today; there are still Rav4 EV’s running on original NiMH batteries, and the CSRIO in Australia have run 150,000km (and still running) in a car equipped with their ultrabattery (lead acid with an embedded ultrcapacitor – has some advantages over the NiMH).

    As for constructive feedback:
    There are two selling points of the Volt that Lutz failed to hammer home in simple language:
    (i) It has a range extender – so no range anxiety
    (ii) The battery design – only using 8kWh of a 16kWh battery will extend its life and make it very reliable.


  139. 139
    David K (CT)

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    Static:

    So, how accurate do you think Lyles “List” is in terms of REAL people buying a Volt?

    Also, is Gen 2 considered the Volts after the 1st 10k run?


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    Johnny Mack

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    Wow, that is one COOL looking ride dude!

    RT
    http://www.whos-watching.se.tc


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    @ #139 David K,
    >> Also, is Gen 2 considered the Volts after the 1st 10k run?

    If I may take a shot at answering that question… In a word, no, “gen 2″ doesn’t mean “post 1st-10k made.”

    Rather it refers to the next revision, follow-up model of the Volt. By which I mean it will include features and technologies not part of the first generation, such as features that were conceived after its initial design was completed, that were too expensive to include in Gen 1, or simply deemed “icing on the cake” and therefore left out of Gen 1, to keep it simple.

    For example, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) support won’t be part of Gen 1, but it might make the cut for Gen 2, or Gen 3.

    Another future-generation technology example: Improved battery chemistries (whether not yet developed, or currently under development), which might reduce the size and/or cost of the pack.


  142. 142
    statik

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    #139 David K (CT) said:

    Static:

    So, how accurate do you think Lyles “List” is in terms of REAL people buying a Volt?

    Also, is Gen 2 considered the Volts after the 1st 10k run?
    ==========================

    I will start by noting that the list has barely moved in the last 3-4 months…and we have only added 8,000 in the last 9 months. Which speak a lot to early adopters vs. demand. It is easy to believe because we want something so passionately, that everyone else does too.

    48,191 took 30 seconds to sign up over the last year. I figure of that maybe 15% can really afford it, or 7,000 and maybe 33% of them have the desire/still have the desire to pony up. Maybe 2,500 people actually commit. Look at myself, I was 100% when I signed up, I’m 100% now…but if my ‘personal choice’ the iMiev takes orders, I’m 100% gone. (Just saying things change, and the bulk of those people signed up 1+ years ago).

    Side note: Gen 2 is not after we get by 10,000 units…that is more likely model year 2, lol. Gen 2 would be when they move the whole thing to Euro (basically any ‘major’ change is consider next gen…like a new platform)


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    Tom C

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    The only thing I have to say is
    THANK GOD NO YELLOW TIE!


  144. 144
    CJS

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    @DonC 74

    I think statik described most of it. Sorry, I was in a long fukced up meeting with non budging Union folks so whatever with them….

    -Here’s what you are missing and It is probably my fault in not going past my normal “the rebate does nothing” rant. First the price of the volt will be whatever they say, for now it came from the horse’s mouth, $40K.
    -Let’s just not even mess with anything but the fact that you have to finance the $7500 + 8.75% CA Tax for a total of $8156.25 for 5 years. Typical loan tenure. Now amortize that at say 4.5% (average for OK credit). It comes out to $152.06/month and for 60 months comes to $9123.60. That of course is only for just the $7500 + Tax.
    -If it were pooled in with a larger $$$ figure it would be more. That said, subtract the $7500 and you get $1623.60. My point is, you have to “Finance” the rebate before you can get it and when you do get it back, here in CA, you are again taxed on it as “Income”.
    -So is it really $7500 of a rebate? And is it really worth considering in decrementing the price of the car when you finance it or buy it?
    -I don’t think so….

    Amortization Calculator: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/auto/auto-loan-calculator.aspx


  145. 145
    popurls.com // popular today

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    popurls.com // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…


  146. 146
    Dan Petit

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    In the next 17 months, many of us are just going to have to have about 10 to 12 thousand bucks to plunk down for a down-payment for a Voltec Vehicle to afford the payments.
    Some of us will have equity the the current vehicle we now drive.
    Some of us might have that much in liquidity, others might have that level of credit score/income. Some folks might have lots and lots of home equity, of which some of that value might be brought out for the down payment, if, at that time, it just makes sense to refinance either a first or second mortgage with a lowered interest rate on that.
    However people are going to do it, they are most certainly going to do it. If folks are deciding that the Volt certainly merits a draw on their home equity somehow, then the various financial institutions
    ************************************************
    OUGHT TO PAY STRICT ATTENTION
    ************************************************
    to what this means economically toward their future business opportunities.
    For me, I am counting on the residual value held for the current vehicle I now drive, which, I estimate to be worth around 12,000 bucks by the time I might have the chance to purchase a Volt.
    On the affordability back-end, the cost of gasoline saved, and, most certainly the scheduled services no longer needed, make for an affordability increase of about $800 a year from my technical accounting regarding repair and servicing costs over the life of the carried-loan of 60 to 72 months ($4,000 to $4800) conservatively.
    Saving $75 a month on gas and servicing (although GM will need to see your Volt periodically no doubt), makes the affordability numbers more achievable.
    NOTE TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Project that your customer who wants to purchase a Voltec Vehicle can afford payments that are associated with a vehicle that costs $7,500 more that they would be able to afford with the best-value-held Internal Combustion Vehicle.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    Test…


  148. 148
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    I kepp getting spam filtered……..lol


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:54 pm)

    fyi, 144 is me.


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    Nick D

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:54 pm)

    @
    CJS Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Please see post 130…. I am an accountant and we do it all the time – You can use your tax credit as a downpayment…

    Another Option – Refinanace the car after you get your rebate – It will lower your monthly payment, or just use it as a prepayment and continue to overpay (since a prepayment will lower the amount the financer suggests you send in – so they get the most) This will help you avoid most of the interest paid on your financing of the 7500.


  151. 151
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    If anyone’s interested, more “Hype Maintenance” on th EEStore…

    ZENN: Trust us, the EESTOR thing is totally cool, like $700,000 cool
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/05/21/zenn-trust-us-the-eestor-thing-is-totally-cool/


  152. 152
    Z

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    Too little, too late GM.


  153. 153
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    @Nick D 130

    I don’t get #4. Please explain for my small “Trailler Park Maggot” mind.


  154. 154
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:10 pm)

    #136 statik

    Good afternoon, sir!

    “I’m also not going to be shocked when we finally get hard numbers and people start talking about ordering ahead of production….and how their local dealer adds $10,000 a pop over the MSRP because it is both a in demand car and also has a limited 10K run (at best) for 2011/early 2012.”

    On that issue, I was recently speaking with our GSM and he is starting to get on board with the idea that the VOLT will be very beneficial to the dealer’s “image”, and he mentioned to me that he is planning NOT to have any markups on VOLT. Of course we will have to see on that, but I think he is sincere.

    “You work at a Chev dealership, so I should ask you this…although your probably not thrilled about answering it here because people think dealerships should not be able to mark something up (but take losses on dogs). How much of a premium did you add your first Camaro order? $5,000 On a SS? $7,500 … $10,000.”

    You will be surprised to know that I have taken 13 orders so far. For the V-8 SS models, all were for $3,000 over MSRP. For the V-6 LT models, $1,000 to $2,000 over. Keep in mind these are for people willing to wait for their order.

    That original V-6 LT that each dealer in the country was promised for the showroom floor…. that one rolled out the door for $5,000 over, and he was thrilled to pay it and not wait 8 months like my other customers.


  155. 155
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:12 pm)

    @Nick D 150

    Yeah, that’s #2 & 3 in my list of what to do with the rebate….

    1)—Use the $7500.00 tax rebate you get back the following year to cover part of a Solar system for your house, even just a small one. This will ensure you will be driving a truely “Green” car AND you also get another “Solar Rebat” but it’s not quite double dipping.

    2)—Use the $7500.00 tax rebate you get back the following year as a “down” when you refi the car the following year you bought it. This should lower your monthly payments and/or reduce the length of the loan.

    3)—Use the $7500.00 tax rebate you get back the following year and put it all towards the principle of the loan. This should reduce the ammount of months of the loan tenure.

    4)—IF you still have your big SUV/Truck, Use the $7500.00 tax rebate you get back the following year to augment your SUV/Truck with the NetGain EAS with EMIS system. http://www.netgaintechnologiesllc.com/EAS/tabid/574/Default.aspx
    This will give you something similar to Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist)


  156. 156
    StevePA

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    #104 LauraM
    Enjoy your contributions to this board. Thanks.

    Just wanted to pass along some info if you are interested. You mentioned: “The Corvette is a Chevy. And I believe that’s a $100,000 car”. That would be the ZR1, the 638 HP beast, a true supercar (the one Bob Lutz mentioned). There are three other models with MSRPs that range from 50s to 80s. http://www.kerbeck.com/kerbeck/kerbeck.nsf/index


  157. 157
    EVnut

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:24 pm)

    The Volt may well have been vindicated (it was hard to hear Letterman’s initial ignorance on range) – it was still harder to listen to Lutz lie. Ignorance is one thing that can be forgiven. Lying is much harder. The implication that GM couldn’t find “buyers” for the EV1 is ludicrous. Lutz says they couldn’t sell it, so they then tried leasing EV!. And after a billion dollars decided to pull the plug.

    Not even a little bit of that is the reality of the situation. Why not tell the truth? How can it hurt them now?


  158. 158
    Butch

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (5:51 pm)

    #146 Dan Petit

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a car dealership, and I don’t finance cars. Are you really selling cars with 60 and 72 month loans? Is that even legal?

    So on 40k Volt at 8% loan for 72 months the customer pays $10,500 in interest, increasing the cost of the car 27%?? That’s highway robbery.


  159. 159
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    @Butch 158

    $7500 + 8.75% CA Tax for a total of $8156.25 for a 5 year loan.
    At 8.0% Amortized to 5 years (60mths) gives you a payment of $165.38/month for a total of $9922.80, the rebate you financed will cost you ($165.38 * 60) – $7500 = $2422.80 in finance charges.

    I’ve heard of 60 months but 72 is out of the question for me.

    lol…..
    $9922.80 is almost half of a Prius or Insight!


  160. 160
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    @ Me 159

    You would effectively and theoretically only get back $5077.20. It will just cost you $2422.80 to get it though.
    Something is better than nuttin.


  161. 161
    Tagamet

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:32 pm)

    Will someone please stick a fork in the EV1 blather. It’s done. Kaput. Over.
    H_I_S_T_O_R_Y.
    Sorry, my head was about to explode. I’m really much better now.
    Be well,
    Tag
    PS Hydrogen won’t work (either)
    LJGTVWOTR!!**********NPNS**********The EV1 is dead, long live the Volt


  162. 162
    EcoGeek

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    There is one other thing that REALLY bugged me about Lutz’s speech. He said that with gas prices so low, that NOBODY wanted a small, fuel efficient vehicle and they couldn’t GIVE THEM AWAY. I understand that I’m in a VERY small minority of folks who actually want a small, fuel efficient vehicle, but it’s insulting all the same.

    —- still driving 1991 Geo Metro, still getting 49mpg, still waiting for something small that gets better mileage.


  163. 163
    Bonanza Guy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:40 pm)

    Didn’t anybody hear Lutz say it only had a 200 mile range? That is a deal breaker: DOA


  164. 164
    WarrenPeace

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    December 4, 1996 “Saturn EV1: New high-tech toy debuts tomorrow”

    http://www.scvleon.com/signal/lw120496.htm

    With a price tag of $33,995, the EV1 is available only on a 3-year, 30,000-mile lease, not for sale. Customers need to have a 220-volt, 6.6-kilowatt home charger installed at an additional cost, a Saturn spokesman said.

    “Everything about the new car is space-age, even the advertising blitz. ”

    Yeah right, I don’t even recall seeing one.

    Didn’t he say they couldn’t sell them so they had to lease them?
    Fukin LIARS!

    Sorry Tag.


  165. 165
    jan

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:51 pm)

    The show was excellent, imo, too.
    Of course everyone that follows this board is sold on the Volt already. Off-topic, I have to say I’m very concerned about the USA’s Auto Industry, especially concerning cars. Really really rough road ahead.


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    Joe

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    The Tesla has a 200 mile range because it is strictly electric. The Volt is electric with a gas engine range extender.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:53 pm)

  168. 168
    Tagamet

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (6:54 pm)

    bonanza guy said:
    “Didn’t anybody hear Lutz say it only had a 200 mile range? That is a deal breaker: DOA”

    He was referring to Dave’s Tesla.
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!!**********NPNS**********The EV1 is dead, long live the Volt


  169. 169
    Anthony BC

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:05 pm)

    Well, since Bob has declared the VOLT @ 40,000 USD, that’s 48,000 CDN for us canucks, ouch! If gas goes higher than $6/gallon, then it might be worth it??? I wonder whether we’ll get a tax rebate or not? Probably not… :(

    Oh well, I’m waiting for the VOLT GEN2 anyways for 2014 @ under 30K CDN.


  170. 170
    DonC

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    #144 CJS says “Let’s just not even mess with anything but the fact that you have to finance the $7500 + 8.75% CA Tax for a total of $8156.25 for 5 years.”

    I’ll grant that sales tax is an issue (mitigated by the possibility of deductions under Schedule A for federal tax purposes). However, you’re overlooking the critical point that while you are financing $7500 you are also investing $7500. Invest the $7500 rebate at 11% and you end up with $12,637.93 over five years. That beats your $8156.25 you’ve had to pay. (Note that for all the financial whizzes on this board that make 20% ever few days selling short and dealing in options this is an extremely conservative rate of return … LOL).

    This is why looking at the finance charge is a red herring and it’s better from a heuristic standpoint to ignore it. You have an interest rate on the one hand and a rate or return on the other. Depending on what numbers you plug in you can come up with any result you want.

    The federal rebate is not taxed as income for state tax purposes. I don’t know where that idea comes from at all.


  171. 171
    statik

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:27 pm)

    #154 CorvetteGuy said:

    #136 statik, Good afternoon, sir!

    “I’m also not going to be shocked when we finally get hard numbers and people start talking about ordering ahead of production….and how their local dealer adds $10,000 a pop over the MSRP because it is both a in demand car and also has a limited 10K run (at best) for 2011/early 2012.”

    On that issue, I was recently speaking with our GSM and he is starting to get on board with the idea that the VOLT will be very beneficial to the dealer’s “image”, and he mentioned to me that he is planning NOT to have any markups on VOLT. Of course we will have to see on that, but I think he is sincere.

    “You work at a Chev dealership, so I should ask you this…although your probably not thrilled about answering it here because people think dealerships should not be able to mark something up (but take losses on dogs). How much of a premium did you add your first Camaro order? $5,000 On a SS? $7,500 … $10,000.”

    You will be surprised to know that I have taken 13 orders so far. For the V-8 SS models, all were for $3,000 over MSRP. For the V-6 LT models, $1,000 to $2,000 over. Keep in mind these are for people willing to wait for their order.

    That original V-6 LT that each dealer in the country was promised for the showroom floor…. that one rolled out the door for $5,000 over, and he was thrilled to pay it and not wait 8 months like my other customers.
    ======================

    Good to know. Like I mentioned earlier, I have zero problem with a dealer getting some extra coin here (even if it hurts me personally), becasue if you live by the sword…you die by the sword here. I understand the dealer-’mothership’ relationship is a tricky one.

    So realistically for a ‘premium’ 40K product your sales premium were in the $3,000-$5,000 (intial frenzy)…I’ve actually seen much worse.

    I too am a little skeptical your GSM is going to sell for MSRP…makes sense for him/you to say that you are hopefull to do it at this point though, hehe.

    Hope you get the chance to sell a bunch.

    /have a good one my friend


  172. 172
    Red HHR

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    #18, CorvetteGuy, I am with you on that one!

    #43, Rashiid Amul, Amen brother!

    #155, CaptJackSparrow, Aye Matey, methinks yo answered yo own question!

    Now for me own half baked theory. I buy a Victory Red Camaro with the steel wheels. I figure the “GM guaranteed residual value” would be worth a big down payment on the Volt. It would be like stretching out the payments ahead of time. Kind of like an unofficial prepayment plan…

    /hehehe


  173. 173
    carcus1

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (7:52 pm)

    My Aunt B. has a special message for Bob.

    http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2525815760030106000bIJClG


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:02 pm)

    @DonC 170

    “However, you’re overlooking the critical point that while you are financing $7500 you are also investing $7500″

    You lost me there dude. How is the $7500 an investment if it is part of the financial cost of a car which we all know immediately depreciates as soon as you drive off the lot? Where are you getting the $7500 to invest? Are you suggesting use the $7500 the following year? If so, I already have my top 4 items on what to do with that. My point is at purchase, that so called $7500 DOES NOTHING for your loan amount. Let’s see, finance 100% 40K – the the rebate does nothing to the sales price, put 10K down – the rebate does nothing to the sales price, put 20K down – the rebate does nothing to the sales price. That has always been my point. You have to FINANCE the rebate then get only a percentage of it back because of the finance charges. Yes you get the $7500 back in a rebate but you had to front it at purchase all within the “Loan”.

    “The federal rebate is not taxed as income for state tax purposes. I don’t know where that idea comes from at all.”

    Admittedly I could be very wrong but does anyone know? Any tax peeps out there? Specifically in CA.


  175. 175
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:04 pm)

    @carcus1 173

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Dude you a nutt…


  176. 176
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:06 pm)

    I think I will go visit CorvetteGuy next month. Going to DL so I might stop by.

    OK, going to get more beer…..


  177. 177
    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    not 40k, 44k. Don’t forget taxes and fees…


  178. 178
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    Adrian 177

    “not 40k, 44k. Don’t forget taxes and fees…”

    Yeah, that and all on top of my Trailer Park Maggot credit rating. I’m fukced……lol

    Oh yeah, you also have to tack on the estimated 2K that statik indicated for dealer markup so now we are up to $46K. This get’s better and better. I’m gonna have to pimp out my trailer park wife Brittney Spear to carcus1!!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA…….
    But serious though peeps, $46K WTF?


  179. 179
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:20 pm)

    @carcus1

    Here she is in our fasion show: http://www.generallyawesome2.com/pages/trailer-park-fashion-show.php

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


  180. 180
    JEC

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    Arrrrggg Capn’

    Your post count is reaching levels that suggest your a blog-aholic.

    Better get back to a little Captain & Coke.


  181. 181
    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:27 pm)

    #123 Alex, I feel your pain. This is a feeling many people seem to have (for good or bad).

    CorvetteGuy, I hate to debate with a dealer but the Volt and Cruize will be a full 14″ feet shorter than the Malibu. Volt and Cruize are compacts while the Malibu is a mid-size. I don’t see how your suggestion of replacing the Malibu with a much smaller vehicle works. I have owned a Saturn SL1 and a Grand Prix. Two different cars.

    I would think you need both a mid-size and compact car with some sort of electric hybrid system. When I bought my G8, I bought the size and power. If wanted a small car with power I would have looked at something completely different.

    This is where 44k (after taxes and fees) for a compact car is silly and will make it very difficult to market. I would also point out the thousands of extra taxes those who can afford to buy a 40k MSRP car will pay (in the US) when the 2001 tax cuts sunset in 2010.


  182. 182
    Adrian

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    #178, Capt

    I missed that. 46k. I could buy a BMW 5 series, Audi A6 (to name a few) for that. Should have made it a Caddy…


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:35 pm)

    @JEC 180

    “Your post count is reaching levels that suggest your a blog-aholic.”

    Arrrrrr matey, that you are correct. I shall leave now for a meeting with Capt. Morgan…..

    Join me all????
    What say you?


  184. 184
    JEC

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Capn’

    I’m in! I’ll take mine on the rocks, save the Coke!


  185. 185
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    @ #161 Tagamet,

    You sound pretty worked up, my friend. Please do try calm yourself. I’m concerned about your health, and don’t want you to get a severe case of heartburn or something.

    ‘Course, if you do, they have a medication for that… can’t remember the name at the moment though …

    ;-)


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    carcus1

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    CaptJack@179,

    Ahaa. Don’ get me started on trailer trash jokes.

    Hey. Don’t listen to these financial boneheads with their fancy schmancy 1040 advice. I’m working on a trailer park plan that’ll have your volt paying for itself!


  187. 187
    Ron

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:23 pm)

    What a beautiful public introduction to the Volt! I love it. I got the chance to sit in a new Camaro last week and it’s even more sexy in person than in the magazines. Hopefully the Volt will bring the same “wow factor” in the showrooms.


  188. 188
    Mike

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:25 pm)

    $40,000 for the Volt? There goes the practicality! The people who want this car are those who can not afford rising gas prices. Who’s going to afford a $40,000 car that will cost $15,000 to replace the battery array? When these cars get alot more affordable, I will consider one then. Meanwhile fuel cell vehicles are my passion. No battery, no led, or Lithium, just Hydrogen and a fuel cell stack that will get you 300 miles. They are made. I drove one, and I know they can make them cheaper! GM will fall if they don’t get these cars under $25,000. BYD motors will be releasing a battery car with a longer range for under $20,000! Sell you stocks! This is GM’s final fairwell.


  189. 189
    carcus1

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:31 pm)

    Screw Letterman.

    I’m flipping the channel over to Leno.

    Jay Leno’s Garage, Aptera 2e
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=148646


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    hayley

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:33 pm)

    @188 Mike

    Yep a sweet Clarity FCX, all yours for the special introductory price of only $1,000,000. Oh and don’t worry if you can’t afford one now, that price will decrease to by $975,000 to $25,000 faster than the $40,000 Volt can.


  191. 191
    eightjack

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (10:42 pm)

    Direct quotefrom Bob regarding EV-1=
    “The people didn’t own them, we were absolutely unable to sell them…”
    Don’t believe me? Listen to it again. It’s in the first twenty seconds of his segment.

    I’m getting tired of seeing this quote repeated in this discussion:
    “#46. LauraM Says:
    He didn’t say that they couldn’t find buyers. He said that the fleet was too expensive to maintain even as a lease.”


  192. 192
    LauraM

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    #132/138 Marinko

    But Toyota also canned the RAV4 EV program. And they’re using it as a reason why the Volt won’t sell.

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/05/19/toyota-says-plugin-car-demand-as-low-as-3500-per-year-gm-says-low-demand-could-affect-volt-program/

    #164 WarrenPeace

    I think he meant that they couldn’t sell them because they had to control the maintenance for safety reasons.


  193. 193
    Gary

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    188 Mike: $40,000 for the Volt? There goes the practicality! The people who want this car are those who can not afford rising gas prices. Who’s going to afford a $40,000 car that will cost $15,000 to replace the battery array? When these cars get alot more affordable, I will consider one then. Meanwhile fuel cell vehicles are my passion. No battery, no led, or Lithium, just Hydrogen and a fuel cell stack that will get you 300 miles. They are made. I drove one, and I know they can make them cheaper!

    They are made? Really? You actually drove one? News flash… battery-powered cars are made as well… probably in the same quantities as fuell cell cars.

    You make battery-powered cars sound impractical, but fuel cells are even more impractical. Lack of fueling stations, Freezing temperatures, Cost of platinum.


  194. 194
    Jim I

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (11:41 pm)

    You people have to stop thinking about the sticker price, until there is a printed sticker price….

    Sam #133 Says: “Thank goodness Dave had the KAHoona’s to have Lutz on his show.”

    193 posts and no one even questioned why this love fest even happened?

    I am normally not the cynic on this site. I leave that to statik. But here is my thought process of why that show was presented:

    Less than one hour after the show with Elon Musk aired, the vice president in charge of marketing at GM called the head of advertising sales at NBC. I don’t know their names, so let’s call the GM guy Bill and the NBC guy Bob.

    . Bob’s phone rings, and he picks it up.

    Bob: Hello.

    Bill: Hey Bob, this is Bill.

    Bob: Bill! Nice to talk to you, buddy. Why are you calling me at this hour?

    Bill: We have a serious problem! What are you people trying to do to us?

    Bob: What are you talking about?

    Bill: I suggest you watch the Letterman show. He trashed us. Fritz just called me and he is ready to explode. He told me to tell you that you have to fix this, and I mean really quick and it better be good!

    Bob: I am checking out the show on my DVR now. Oh No! Bill, I am really sorry.

    Bill: Sorry won’t cut it. Do you remember that $50 million ad budget we have talked about for the Volt starting late 2009 and 2010?

    Bob: We have some really good ideas for that, Bill.

    Bill: Nice try. Fritz told me that he wants it all to go to Conan O’Brien.

    Bob: Give me five minutes, and I will call you right back.

    . Two minutes and 30 seconds later, Bill’s phone rings….

    Bill: This better be good….. (He has caller ID)

    Bob: Letterman is going to get his butt chewed out by the big brass. How about if we do a whole Letterman show singing the praises of the Volt? Dave is on board with this. He suggests having maybe one short guest on first, so it does not look like an hour long infomerical. You can bring one of your cars, and any spokesperson you want. We will also make Dave do an official apology, and he will be extra special nice for the whole show!!!

    Bill: I like it! I will pass it along to Friz, and recommend we go with it. Schedule it for next week. Good save, Bob.

    Bob: Thanks. I will talk to you tomorrow. Bye

    Bill: Bye.

    Bob then does not sleep for one week trying to figure out how he is going to convince Dave to be nice………..

    And thus the end of our little drama!

    :)


  195. 195
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (11:50 pm)

    #181 Adrian

    I’m just going by the photos and images of the VOLT so far. When Lutz & Letterman are standing next to the car to give it a sense of scale, it sure looks like the cabin area is about the same as a Malibu. The front and rear overhangs are smaller of course.

    Even so, I don’t see Chevy having 3 Hybrid sedans. I’m sure that with all the mule development having been done in the Cruze, THAT will be the low-end $25,000 EREV that everyone here is hoping for.
    So now you have the VOLT on the high-end luxury side of EREV and the Cruze on the low-end. Do you really need the Malibu Hybrid now? C’mon! That hybrid system only adds 1 or 2 MPG over the non-hybrid model.

    Combine that with the long “rental-car-quality” history of the Malibu, it seems better just to let it go once the VOLT is in full production. TO BE SURE, the Malibu is a VERY GOOD car today, but it carries with it a lot of baggage from the past.

    That’s all I’m saying.


  196. 196
    Tom H

     

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    May 21st, 2009 (11:57 pm)

    Lutz again admitted it is his best estimate the Volt will cost “right around $40,000″ before incentives……………………………………………………………………………….

    The Volt will not become a significant part of our transportation future at $40k a pop. If this price holds, they might sell 250,000 under the government rebate program, over the course of 3-4 years. but when the net cost goes up to the full $40k, its Sayonara Volt, hello Prius.

    My remaining optimism for the Volt is based on the hope the GM sees a way to profitably sell the car for $29k in the out years, but is keeping quiet about future price reductions because they know they can capture the small segment of buyers willing to pay $40k.

    But as long as the Volt is priced at $40k, you can consider the $22-25k 50mpg 2010 Prius the “Volt Killer”.


  197. 197
    kubel

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (12:25 am)

    With regard to the $40K price:

    “…while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term…” ~Presidential Auto Industry Task Force, GM Viability Assessment Report, March 30, 2009.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/GM_Viability_Assessment.pdf

    Also, breaking news from Detroit says that GM and the UAW reached an agreement. So now it all boils down to whether or not 90% of the bondholders will accept the deal GM is offering them, or take their chances in bankruptcy court. They have until Tuesday.


  198. 198
    Dave K.

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (12:38 am)

    CorvetteGuy 195

    “… the long “rental-car-quality” history of the Malibu.”

    I recently ran into a guy who said he knows of a car rental business (I believe he said in Virginia or S.Carolina) which rents ONLY electric cars. Think of the demand for a weekend Volt.

    =D~


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (4:47 am)

    I finally saw the show last night.
    Bob Lutz did a great job.

    The Volt looked sharp under the lights.


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    stas peterson

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (5:48 am)

    Fred,

    You can be happy at paying a few thousand less for a 50 mpg gasoline propelled car with electric assist. As for myself, I will pay a few thousand more for a 320 mpge, electric car with gasoline assist. Hmmn, 50 vs 320, 50 versus 320… I will chose the Volt.

    To each his own.


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    Clint

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (8:16 am)

    by the way, its LATE SHOW, not late night


  202. 202
    teds

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (9:42 am)

    Everything Lutz said about the EV1 was an LIE! GM is still lying. I hope the burn.


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    Rod

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (11:12 am)

    Sweet ride. Except for the price (estimated: $40K), I’m sold.

    The “government credit” they speak of, of course, means a tax credit from what the buyer may owe the government at the end of the year. Me, I’m retired, earn little that’s taxable, and so couldn’t take advantage of the offer. And, given that I drive only ten to twelve thousand miles a year, the savings in gas costs would take many years of driving to compute. Then, too, there’s the niggling thought that the government, seeing a drop in revenue from gasoline taxes collected, will somehow slip in a tax on the use of electricity.

    All that said, I applaud GM for creating what one can only hope is the future of automobile transportation. It’s a sleek machine, no doubt about it. Zoom, zoom.


  204. 204
    guido

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (11:35 am)

    teds Says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 9:42 am
    Everything Lutz said about the EV1 was an LIE! GM is still lying. I hope the burn.
    ———–
    Chill, dude – take off the tin foil hat and have a cold one. I’m sure you are also sure that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”, and the moon landing happened on a Hollywood set. I’d consider a change in my meds if I were you.


  205. 205
    EnergyByEarth.com » The Chevy Volt on Letterman

     

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    May 22nd, 2009 (10:39 pm)

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


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    Yoda

     

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    May 23rd, 2009 (12:28 am)

    I want to see this car selling and making a profit around $40K. By then wait and see competitors launching similar models for less $25K and sending GM to hell which is the place they earned. This is the most stupid business plan I’ve ever seen in my life.


  207. 207
    Chris Reeves

     

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    May 23rd, 2009 (4:09 am)

    It’s hard to believe what Bob Lutz said about the EV1. I drove one for six years. I’m not a “Hollywood Type” and I paid far more for the EV1 than any other car I’ve ever had. GM NEVER offered the EV1 for sale to me and I got my EV1 in the first six months they were offered to the public. And at that, I had to wait two months to get it. Also, my EV1 was very hardy. It had less maintenance in six years than my wife’s Ford Taurus and once she started driving the EV1, (because the Ford was in the shop), I couldn’t get it back from her. My wife and son cried when we HAD to return it under threat of legal action. And as to the “Legal” and “Safety” reasons for crushing the EV1s, I’d like to be answered this: Why I can now have a Chevy S-10 EV build by GM in 1997 using the EV1 drive train. Brakes, steering, heating, cooling, batteries, motor and many more parts, all shared with the EV1. Why did GM sell the S-10 EV and not the better designed EV1? This truck is still running
    strong after 12 years. The EV1 was so much better I’m sure I would have been driving it for the rest of my life, if I could have gotten it away from my wife.

    You need to take anything GM has to say about the EV1 with a whole sea’s worth of salt.

    Chris Reeves
    Burbank, CA


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    Jeff

     

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    May 23rd, 2009 (10:40 am)

    PARTS and SERVICE. That’s what they sell.
    EVs don’t need it so it’s a bad product for the OEMs.
    The EV1 was TOO GOOD. It had to go.


  209. 209
    Rodney Crumplet

     

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    May 23rd, 2009 (11:10 am)

    Letterman is awesome!

    Anybody who owns a Tesla is totally rad. That has got to be the coolest car on the planet at this time. By the time the Volt hits your neighborhood (2011) there will be better EVs from more advanced companies. Just wait and see. (or weep).


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    GravitySEO

     

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    May 23rd, 2009 (7:58 pm)

    The savings from running in electric-only mode should be worth about $5,000 in purchase price. Calcs below.

    35 miles/day
    x 5 days/week
    x 50 weeks/year
    =8750 miles

    /18.5 (my MPG)
    =473 gallons of gas not purchased

    x $2.30 (current natl ave for gas)
    =$1088 saved in gas spending

    /12 months
    =$91 saved per month

    On a 5%, 60 month car loan, $91 will finance about $4800, hence the opening statement that the savings from electric only mode is worth about $5000.

    There are lots of assumptions, but I estimate that this is conservative overall, because the MPG on ICE is probably much better than I’m getting now anyway and electricity is virtually free compared to gas.

    Thoughts?

    Dan


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    DiggyDog

     

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    May 25th, 2009 (9:49 pm)

    I tried to buy an EV-1 when they were out but GM would not let me. I was in the wrong state and they were never for sale.

    As far as teh batteries not being ready that is crap! GM sold their stak ein the batteries after they figured out they could make easy money on bloated SUV’s which would all require service etc. and could be made cheaply. They were short-sighted and now they are headig towards bankruptcy.

    They should just update the EV-1 and reissue it as the EV-2.


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    SAP

     

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    May 28th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    Hey Bob, I have over a hundred shares of GM that will be worthless in a few days THANKS to you. I hope I get a discount on the Volt. !


  213. 213
    Calculator

     

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    May 29th, 2009 (11:43 pm)

    I spent two years looking for a car/truck. I waited patiently for a (non-existent) Vue hybrid. I drove a brick, uh Prius, and a Camry hybrid. The Camry was acceptable, but you can’t travel in it with that half-trunk.

    So when Kia announced their huge discount on the Sorrento I did some calculating.

    I figured full price for a Camry (that’s all they were offering, and a three month wait) with the trade in I had been quoted from the local Toyota dealer. I then figured full price less the $5K for a Kia and the same trade-in value for my car.

    I then estimated $6.00 per gallon from the day I drove off the lot (October, 2008), even though gas prices were way below that number.

    The initial estimate made the Kia look good so I went and talked to them. I got considerably more off the price than expected, and $800 more for the trade in. I ended up with a fully loaded Kia Sorento AWD 6 cylinder for a tad over $20k.

    Camry hybrid initial cost plus gas savings breaks even in 9 years. 9 years! And I’m way ahead of that estimate already because gas is nowhere near six bucks a gallon.

    As much as I wanted a hybrid I simply could not justify the additional cost to buy one. If GM thinks I’m going to drop $40K on the Volt, they’d better think again and make it cost effective. I’m not about to support a bloated, slow witted company that is too stupid to realize what they should be building until someone hits them over the head with a big brick.

    And if you think I should be supporting a US company please check on the origin of GM vehicles…


  214. 214
    Geronimo

     

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    May 30th, 2009 (12:25 am)

    $29,995 is a psychological threshold.

    If the cost is $40,000, and the rebate is $7,500, GM should set aside $125 million for the first 50,000 Volts (probably all the sales of 2011) to use as a “Marketing Campaign” ($2,505 subsidy to first 50,000 Volts, to get them out there; this *IS* the Marketing Campaign).

    Forget about TV commercials, magazines, billboards: the people who are going to buy Volts the first year already know all about the car. It’s the price they are waiting on.

    Then, after 50,000 are sold, the battery companies will have worked out the kinks in volume manufacturing, and will be well on the way to reducing costs. Perhaps $50 million will keep the next 50,000 under the $30,000 price point.

    Then, there will be 100,000 happy owners out on the roads, from 2011 and 2012. Peak Oil might be hitting it’s stride, maybe gasoline is $5/gallon by then, maybe the battery makers have shaved the price, maybe GM has improved the design, materials, and factories by then to shave the price even more, maybe they can raise the price because now the Brand is established, and gasoline costs more.

    The first two years are crucial. Having a $29,995 price tag would help immensely.


  215. 215
    Armando Viegas

     

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    May 30th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    It seem the car is expensive?


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    wayne kempski

     

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    Jun 5th, 2009 (10:21 am)

    Hopefully the oil companies will not buy-out the electric car battery manufacturer(s) like in the past. I’m looking foward to the volt being out on the market to the general public. The Letterman Show is a great way to get the “green” word out there. Keep on pluggin-in!


  217. 217
    Sherry Baker

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:21 am)

    Sorry… after all the crap that GM pulled with their lifelong affair with big oil… I’m going to save up my money for a Tesla Sedan or (when they start building them) their economy version.

    GM only does something from an ecological standpoint when forced or mandated. Tesla did it because it was the right thing to do.

    No Plug… No Sale…
    And YES… motive matters.


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    Ben

     

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    Aug 12th, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    MediaCurves.com just conducted a study with 300 viewers of a news clip featuring General Motors’ new Chevy Volt. The results showed that 55% of respondents who reported that they were likely to purchase a car in the next year indicated that they would consider the Chevy Volt. For more in-depth results, please visit http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7493-ChevyVolt/Index.cfm.
    Thanks,
    Ben