Sep 03

Audi North America President Says Chevy Volt is a ‘Car For Idiots’

 

In the 2 -1/2 years since the Chevy Volt concept was first unveiled there has been considerable attention from and tension with competitors. Mostly it has been a fair game, and over time in fact many automakers have started their own EV or EREV programs.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once called the Volt with its mix of gas engine an electric motor “neither fish or foul” but went on to wish the car well.

This new particular insult though is really over the top, and unfortunately in my opinion is unnecessarily derogatory.

Apparently Audi’s president of North America Johan de Nysschen who is an advocate of diesels is no fan of the Volt nor all of the government and regulatory effort going in to promoting EVs.

He dismissed the Volt as “a car for idiots.”

He is said to believe very few people will be willing to pay $40,000 for a car that competes with $25,000 sedans, and is not itself a luxury car.

“No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,” he said. “So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

He argued that the Volt is simply “for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.”

Of course describing the same individuals as both intellectuals and idiots simultaneously doesn’t speak well of this fellow’s logic, which is flawed.

Critical logical flaws include ignoring the importance of an expensive first generation to get to more affordable second and third generations with the early technology being subsidized by well-to-do early adopters. Also missed is the fact that the true cost of the Volt will be more like $32,500 after tax credits. Important all the more is the need to wean this country off of oil which has a different value all its own. It could also be easily argued that the Volt doesn’t compete with a Corolla either.

I, Mr. de Nysschen, may be a lot of things, but an idiot isn’t one of them. I will also say it is commonly accepted good business practice not to speak poorly of your competitors or their customers.

I can say at least now I know of one car brand I won’t be buying.

Source (MSN) via (NY Times)

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 11:43 am and is filed under Public Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 231


  1. 1
    mike

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:45 am)

    Love the argument. Great way to earn customers.


  2. 2
    Jason M. Hendler

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:49 am)

    Lyle,

    Thanks for posting this – hopefully the blogosphere will bring a lot of heat down on him for this.


  3. 3
    coffeetime

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Like Mike Huckabee once said, if you’re taking flak, then you must be over the target.


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    mark

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:51 am)

    1st they ignore you,
    2nd they laugh at you
    3rd they fight you
    then you win.


  5. 5
    Larry

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:51 am)

    What is Audi’s market share? I don’t think their opinion really counts for much.


  6. 6
    Alex S

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:54 am)

    I don’t agree with this guy when it comes to sales, I believe Chevy Volt will sell. What i do agree is that the car should have looked like a $40,000 car. And yes it does look too cheap to pay 40k for it. Hopefully the fact that it’s electric will make people want one.


  7. 7
    Bob

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    Lyle wrote:
    Of course describing the same individuals as both intellectuals and idiots at the same time doesn’t speak well of this fellow’s logic, which is flawed.

    In my experience, smart people make bigger and better mistakes. Witness Mr. de Nysschen’s comments.


  8. 8
    Magilla

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Let’s see I beleive Mr. de Nysschen is in the Denial phase of the grief cycle.

    Shock stage
    Denial stage
    Anger stage
    Bargaining stage
    Depression stage
    Testing stage
    Acceptance stage

    All car makers that have a chance of surviving past the next decade are working on, or at least “showing” something similar to the VOLT.

    I have to believe that Audi, with shrinking sales and nothing that acknowledges the electrification of the automobile — is on its last legs.


  9. 9
    Chaim

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    He’s free to say whatever he wants. But he will also have to suffer the consequences of those remarks.

    All he has really done is show off his inability to see the big picture. Perhaps it is our job at GM-VOLT.COM to educate him and help him to see the big picture. Yes, the first generation Volt will be expensive. But it will pave the way for more cost-effective electric vehicles in a few years.


  10. 10
    Adrian

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  11. 11
    Guido

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    I’ll bet this guy made the same comment about the bottled water “fad” a few years ago.


  12. 12
    RockyMountainHigh

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    I fear that some denizens of this forum will misconstrue this comment as a support of the Audi dunderhead’s words. It’s not. He is digging a hole for himself and his company by referring to potential customers as “idiots”.

    That being said, he has a point. The Chevy Volt should cost somewhere between $20,000-30,000 to build (yes, including the battery). If GM does indeed price the Volt at $40K, it will be a huge drain on the Volt brand. In that sense, Mr. Dunderhead is making a good point: Anybody who buys a $30,000 car for $40,000 is making a very questionable economic decision.

    As Bob Lutz has said in the past, there’s enough treehuggers that will pay extra for such a car. In other words, “Watch us while we con money out of well-intentioned people.” If that’s GM’s marketing strategy, then the Volt will be severely damaged (in terms of brand image) right at the moment of its conception. Yes, they can lower the price to a more reasonable level when higher volumes come out with Gen-2. But by then, people will have the impression that the Volt is an overpriced, sub-luxury car. If it’s going to compete with the Corrola, then price it to compete with the Corrola from the very beginning.

    Many people will argue that GM has spent more than $1 billion on R&D costs for the Volt, and that that money has to be recouped as soon as possible. Toyota made the same kind of investment in the Prius and decided to price it rationally and make the money through mass sales of a reasonably priced popular car. That should be GM’s mindset too.

    I think that if GM prices the first iteration of the Volt at $40K, it will undermine the Volt brand and set the stage for a dramatic failure of the whole project. My only hope is that they publicly spoke of $40K in order to lower expectations and when they officially launch the car, they will surprise everyone with a lower price.


  13. 13
    Magilla

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    I saw this today .

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32658132/ns/business-the_drivers_seat

    Mazda proposing to use hydrogen in a rotary engine — and potentially as a range extender in a car.

    I can see it now — a VOLT with a ICE that emits nothing but water vapor!!!


  14. 14
    ash

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  15. 15
    Jim I

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    tell us what you really think!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!


  16. 16
    old man

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    I think this dude is NOW in big trouble with the home office. The rulers at Audi may think this but they would never state it openly.

    My personal opinion is that Audi would like to be in the E-REV race but can not afford it so they are down playing it and this dude went off the deep end after hearing and believing the pep talk.


  17. 17
    Dave K.

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    God love Mr. Nysschen for speaking up. But, it seems he has based his opinion on misinformation.

    “…a car that competes with a Corolla”. The Volt is vastly different than a $25k Corolla.

    Corolla: 126hp 1.8L 5 speed ‡ 0-60 at 10.3 seconds @ a combined 30mpg.

    Volt: 150hp electric ‡ 0-60 at 8.5 seconds @ combined 120mpg (?).

    He continued to say,“So there are not enough idiots who will buy it”.

    Mr. Nysschen, what’s to gain by degrading the car buying public? Wouldn’t it be a bit smarter to simply say, “Some people will buy a Volt, but I feel they should buy an Audi”.

    Your stock went down today sir.

    =D~


  18. 18
    Mark Bartosik

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    Hey well I’m proud to be an idiot then!

    Sure people who buy the Volt at least Gen I and maybe Gen II will need to have more cash than average Joe. However, have you looked at the price of Audi’s cars in the USA? I think that the Volt will attract a similar demographic that might otherwise buy an Audi.

    Smart move Mr Johan de Nysschen, go ahead and insult people in the same demographic that might otherwise buy your product! Maybe you would like to insult people that pay $10,000 extra for a European luxury or performance vehicle (think Audi) too?


  19. 19
    Jim I

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    I think that anyone that would spend $114K+ for an Audi R8 would have to be an idiot too.

    But I am sure he would be glad to have them as a customer……

    He needs to take some courses in how to attract future customers, because his current method does not really make me want to go looking at Audi’s right now!!!!

    Just remember sir, NPNS, so I guess you do not get the sale, now do you????

    ;-)


  20. 20
    Starcast

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    Then I’m an Idiot!
    How about you?


  21. 21
    Audi President Labels Chevy Volt as a car for "idiots

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    [...] That’s a serious mistake by Audi


  22. 22
    LauraM

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    First of all, there are many things that cost a lot more to buy than it costs the manufacturer to make. I believe that the margins on some of the SUVs and trucks are over $5000. I don’t have the exact figures. And then there’s whatever the dealer makes. (They have to stay in business too.). And I would be willing to bet that Audi’s margins on their individual cars are much higher than that.

    Second of all, I very much doubt that the Volt only costs 20,000-30,000 to make. If it did, they would a) price it lower, and b)build in a lot more potential capacity for gen1 rather than a maximum of 60,000 per year if the Volt takes off. I’m sure they could use the additional revenue. Not to mention the cafe benefits. And the PR.

    Third, economic decisions involve maximizing your preferences based on your budget. If someone put the Volt next to the Corvette ZR1 or a Lamborgini, and told me to choose–I’d take the Volt. That’s my preference. The Volt is obviously worth more to me than it is to you. That doesn’t mean I’m “making a questionable economic decision.” It means I’m maximizing my budget to suit my tastes. Your definition of a car worth $40,000 is obviously different from mine. That’s fine. But it’s my money to spend anyway I like.


  23. 23
    Jason

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    The same argument can be said about the Toyoda Prius. How on earth does that thing look like a 20-25k vehicle? By looks and feel alone that plastic dull looking car is more in the 10-15k range. What matters to people though is what is under the HOOD of the vehicle, that is the sole selling point for the Prius so his argument doesn’t hold to much water in that regard.

    The only point worth taking is if the Volt goes out for 40k they will not sell too many of them. Get the price around 30k, add in the tax credits and they’re golden.

    The Volt has a chance to lead a revolution in car manufacturing and I’m almost certain it will.


  24. 24
    Edward

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Well, at least he didn’t make a comment as off-the-wall as Elon Musk’s “DB” line.


  25. 25
    Schmeltz

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    This is hilarious, really. Johan sounds like a real loose canon. One would think that Audi’s president of N.A. would be a tad bit more tactful? And to think, people pan on Lutz for what he says? LOL.

    Hey Lyle, do you got a spare copy of “How to win friends and influence people” laying around that you could send this guy?

    Good stuff. I needed a laugh today.


  26. 26
    Flaninacupboard

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    Maybe this guy isn’t aware that in germany diesel is over $5.50 per US gallon. if so, he doesn’t deserve the job. this car is going to save us all in europe MASSIVE amounts of money. Forget repaying the premium (what people normally look at with hybrids) this thing will PAY FOR ITSELF in a few years.

    I hope Opel are ready to crank out a few more than 10,000 of these a year, because they’ll sell every one they can produce…


  27. 27
    Voltair

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:48 pm)

    The only good point he made is that the Volt must provide emotional value to justify the price. Every car has to do that. Audi has been successful at creating products the convince enough people to pay huge sums for a car not known to be especially reliable.

    Sources of emotion for a Volt:
    (1) Energy independence
    (2) pleasure of having the possibility of never buying gas, again
    (3) Near silent – high torque electic drive
    (4) Low commuting cost
    (5) being one of the first
    (6) Environmental benefits (unchallenged mis-information could ruin 1-5)


  28. 28
    Schmeltz

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    I thought I read that Audi will have an announcement soon (probably at Frankfurt ) of an EV coming to their line-up. Anyone else hear/read that too? That would be a total contradiction though…


  29. 29
    Murray

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    Well stated Ms. M.


  30. 30
    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    This guy is the highest-ranking anti-Volt troll so far!

    What is Audi in NA, anyway? A rich man’s VW? (actually, I think VW has now passed Audi in panache, as well as in reliability). Is it supposed to be a poor man’s Mercedes or BMW? Will anyone not directly associated with Audi ever miss them?

    Time for Audi to go away.


  31. 31
    Murray

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    Dare i say this guy should go “Audi 5000″ ?


  32. 32
    Bob G

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    Diesel engines have their place, but they cannot compete with large scale land-based electric power generating plants in terms of emissions and efficiency.

    If Audi was looking towards the future, they’d be making a biodiesel EREV instead of clinging to yesterday’s technology.


  33. 33
    Murray

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    Nice rebuttal…I concur


  34. 34
    jay

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    Actually, his logic is fine.

    He is not saying anyone who buys Volt is an idiot and when mentioning intellectuals he is contradicting. Rather, he is saying that idiots are usually poor and cant sustain sales, while intellectuals are usually wealthy and will buy a few anyways. So, overall the sales will be low.

    I personally wish Volt success.


  35. 35
    DaveP

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    Eh. It’s just stumpmansship. All the German automakers have hated hybrids since they were first introduced. (I suspect there is an autobahn bias going on where having unpredictable performance (eg state of battery charge) is anathema).

    In any case, it isn’t surprising and really doesn’t deserve a dignified response, so here it is:
    “I’m rubber and you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” ;)


  36. 36
    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:03 pm)

    “The only point worth taking is if the Volt goes out for 40k they will not sell too many of them.”

    When the Volt goes out, there won’t be too many of them.

    Hopefully, within 5 years, both issues (cost and availability) will be addressed.

    How interesting that so many are determined to kill the infant Prince before he can ever grow up to be King.


  37. 37
    Mike

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    Actually Diesel is $5,90 in Germany, but Gasoline is $7,20. Because of that and due to higher MPG, Diesel engines are still a hotseller in Europe.
    When you compare the MPG of the new Prius to a same size car with a Diesel engine you get the same MPG`s. But the Diesel car costs less than the Prius and Diesel costs less then Gasoline. That’s why only a few Europeans buy a Prius and the European carmakers did’t care about Hybrids in the past.

    The reason for bashing the Volt is because they fear it…


  38. 38
    George K

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    ““So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”
    - – - – - -

    Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

    49,729 is the number of people on the Volt waiting list, representing 50 US states, and 93 countries.

    I know not all will end up buying a Volt, but I’d like to see that list for the next Audi coming out.

    I think apologies are in order.

    =D~~~~


  39. 39
    Herm

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    The Volt is not competing against a Corolla but against a higher quality, higher tech car.. such as an Audi diesel.. it will achieve better economy, incredible CAFE benefits for GM, great Green kudos and hopefully great reliability.

    If GM had given it the Cadillac Volt name, no one would ever have commented on the cost.. still would have been the same car.

    Lyle, its not fair to factor in the $7500 tax credit, it is artificial and temporary.


  40. 40
    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    It has long been a tendency of German carmakers to view the world through diesel-colored glasses. I believe you are right, Mike; the Volt would be the first chink in the European diesel status-quo.

    We may be able to look forward in a few years to a cover of Der Speigel featuring an unflattering cartoon of a Volt crossing the Atlantic to ruin everyone’s Oktoberfest.


  41. 41
    BBM

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    Also important is the fact that you can not scale diesel. Any time you refine oil you will get some diesel, and some gasoline (as well as some kerosene, light distillates, and gases). You can’t just use diesel, unless you want to make gasoline a waste product of the refining process.


  42. 42
    Bob G

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    Us “idiots” are the people who make technology available to the masses. We pay a premium price (and tolerate the bugs) to be early adopters of exciting and promising new technologies, and it is our money that allows manufacturers to improve their products and get the cost down for the next generation of buyers. Remember that you cannot have a second generation without a first generation.

    If you think $40,000 is too much for a Volt, then don’t buy one. Us “idiots” will, keeping the Volt alive and making way for generation 2. By then, it might be too late for Audi.


  43. 43
    Alex

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:15 pm)

    I think He’s bestfriend of big oil company! and He don’t want see people buying EV cars and He scared..


  44. 44
    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    I think I’ll stick with a good old-fashioned “raspberry.” I may stick my tongue out, too.

    “PBPBPBPBPBPBPBPBPB.” :-P


  45. 45
    JML

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    LOL… Jealousy is a sad, sad affair. For those of you that are wondering, VW/Audi, with their clean diesel approach, got OWNED in last months cash for clunkers initiative. GM had light duty diesels ready to go as well, but then diesel started costing more than gasoline and GM knew that FEW people would pony up the extra $$$. So essentially, it would seem that the execs at VW/Audi are the idiots. Bringing a technology to market and marketing the hell out of it only to find out that few are interested even WITH a $4,500 government incentive.


  46. 46
    Herm

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    diesel engines are filthy.. even the new ones that meet the federal standards… and maintenance will eat a lot of the savings on fuel if you keep the car for more than 100k miles.


  47. 47
    Herm

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    very unproffesional..


  48. 48
    Loboc

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    Well he obviously never looked at this site. There are ~50k ‘idiots’ here that are on the list to buy a Volt. GM won’t have that many out the door for several years.

    There will be a lot of egg to wipe off when the Volt sells so fast that GM has to build more production lines!


  49. 49
    Schmeltz

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    Yeah Edward, but Johan’s comment was much, much worse in its impact since Musk’s “D-B” remark was to one person. Johan basically says if you would buy a Volt, you’re an idiot. To make matters worse, he not only offends people who are interested in the Volt, but also people that are interested in EREV’s and EV’s in general. Now your’e talking about most, if not all of the other automakers who are pursuing some sort of electrification of the automobile. I suppose anyone who doesn’t worship diesel powertrains are idiots in his opinion.

    He needs to really stick his foot in his mouth and leave it there.


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    That sounds very plausible.

    Remember Maximum Bob’s comment about global warming being a “crock of shit” or words to that effect. I think that he got a talking to after that as well. In business being so direct is just not a smart move, and anyone in such a senior position needs to engage brain before mouth.

    I can just imagine his thoughts a few seconds later. “Oh shit I wish I didn’t say that”.


  51. 51
    Murray

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    I’m actually OK if you want to have a comaprison of a Volt to a Corolla if you base the comparision 100% on looks alone….

    …as someone who isnt exactly giddy over the Volt’s production design, I would still easily give the nod to Volt over a Corolla….
    …the Corolla is a plain white piece of paper stuffed into a manilla envelope taped to a biege wall….IMO

    Big problem I have with this guy and his porn mustache is that he has completely disregarded the entire reason that a Volt pricing is being discussed at or around $40,000.
    Which is, of course, the ground-breaking technology under the hood !!!!

    Why doesnt Johnny Holmes make a comparison of the Volt to any of his over-priced VWs ??? Why does he pick the Corolla ???


  52. 52
    LauraM

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    I looked up Audi’s market share in the US. .5% year to date in 2009. Down from .7% at this point last year. Considering they’re basically a luxury brand, that’s not bad. But it doesn’t indicate they have a strong grasp of the US market. They may understand the luxury buyer who is willing to pay a substantial premium for a V8. But that’s a definate minority. And it’s certainly not the Volt’s target market.

    http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

    By the way, I think they have a lot of nerve complaining about the American goverment’s EV subsidies when they got exempted from cafe standards. In fact, they’re actually better off under the new standards–no more fines.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124873997073285323.html


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    BobS

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    I would consider myself as a gen1 purchaser eager and perhaps foolish but not an idiot. I think he is projecting his feelings for his own company for not thinking of the Volt first.


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    sparks

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    What’s really eating Johan is that there are about as many “idiots” on the Volt waiting list as the total number of Audi’s — all models — that will likely be sold in the entire US this year!! Ha!! To boot, those Audi’s aren’t cheap, many costing upwards of $40K and arguably no better than a Corolla. He’s feeling the pain.


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    MontyInNJ

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    It’s not market share, It’s PROFIT MARGIN.

    This is where GM needs to improve, drasticly……..


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    Jay

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    I fear the man may be close to the truth. 40 grand is a lot for just a few miles on electric. I think GM could have had a better chance if they had stuck with the concept and got in bed with the maybe the Teslar people for a true plug and play auto with great styling and a real modern look and function. People like myself, who could pay 40K for something like that and the affluent Europeans would too, after all they also have a very good rail system for long halls and you can take your vehicle with you. I spend a fair amount of time in Germany on business and there is a good number of people there who could and would buy a car with those looks with a 21 first century appeal, however something that looks like just another GM sedan will never make with that price tag and limited miles on electrics.


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    Gustavo

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    Well, you have to account too, Audi wish to have something to offer to the Corolla, or the energy conscious crowds, not elites, and still lacks.
    Once one desire something and it is deprived of it, comes the “envy”, fellow german Mr. Freud found


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    ryan

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:47 pm)

    He does have one point – the price tag leaves a lot to be desired.

    Electric cars will not be affordable or practical until their price begins to drop.


  59. 59
    Randy C.

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    Opinions are like A-holes, everybody has one, and some stink worse than others. This man, like Lutz, is speaking his own personal opinion not necessarily the company line. He probably never even drove an EV, if he did it was only around a test track and not in a real world extended situation lasting at least a month.

    A 40 MPC electric car has to have backup plan due to the limited range. Building an EV to satisfy minimum statistics to save money is a poor recipe for success. You build to get the most out of your car for you to succeed and better than your competitors. Many PHEV cars are going to have to compete with full BEV cars that get 100 or more MPC and never need gas.

    When a company can build a 140 MPC using “inferior” NiMH batteries (1999 EV1) and then toss that to build the Volt with a barely adequate 40 MPC you are not moving forward. But when your good buddy Chevron thinks you need to build an electric car it better have an oil burning ICE in there somehow.


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    KUD

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    I guess I am one too.


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    Paul -

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    NICE PR WORK THERE !!!!
    Bumb***
    What a short sighted, rude and stupid thing to say…

    Once the Volt is available, I’m REALLY going to love trading in my Audi for a Chevy…
    This is one “idiot” that will be voting out Audi with my wallet.

    Now I’m embarrassed to even be seen in this German claptrap.


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    zim wolfe

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    Even sailboats have a small gas engine. That’s why an all electric car has never caught on and that is why Toyota has done so well and the Volt is the next game changer.

    Europe does not know what to do since the automotive model is changing towards technology. In this field of new technology it absolutely levels the playing field, it will make 100 year old auto manufactures sick. Nobody is going to want a high quality performance v6/v8 sedan in the future when performance will be far superior and use less energy to propel the car.
    If you look at the BMW Vision Plug-in Hybrid Concept Car all BMW did with their engineering team is try to guess what the best ideas will be and put it in a dream car of the future.

    Like my dad once told me when he was working on new technology years ago it’s easy to dream up these ideas but it’s much much harder to make it work reliably.
    So when you see European car companies bash the new technology you know why it’s because they won’t be able to compete unless they buy these companies out.


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    Noel Park

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:00 pm)

    Amen. +1


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    stas peterson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    Paying $15,000- 40,000 premium for nothing but an ethereal marketing image of the superiority of all cars Germans, is the true idiocy. As other technologies pass them by, the image will crumble and vanish. This horsepower war, like all the preceding ones, eventually reaches the limits of reality, and the German leaders are matched by the opposition. This one has pretty much run its course. How can the Germans makes continue to justify the price premium for their products? Hint: they can’t.

    Mr. .Audi’s pet auto diesels are on the verge of being displaced even in the fossil world, by the coming HCCI ICE, These ICEs yield the same mileage as a diesel, but with enormous benefits in cost, weight and toxic emissions. And that is in the fossil world.

    The electric plug-in is the only valid substitute for Oil and that has the capacity to break the price conundrum of the nationalized Oil Monopolies. Its prices will start high and decline dramatically before reaching Price floor not significantly different from the ICE and well under the diesel auto, when diesel autos are fully cleaned. Selling polluting-pig, dirty, diesels may make sense now, but not for long; despite the success of calling the dirty diesels, as phony “clean”.

    Audi, like all the German automakers merely have an enormous investment in their fossil based designs and little money to invest in alternatives. It is a common question in management circles as to whether any of the German automakers can survive. They all face the “Packard Problem” with perhaps the exception of VW.

    I get so tired of the constant references to Conspiracies such as “Big Oil”. It is further proof of the success of statist propaganda,undermining capitalism and decentralized non national control of industry. The only successful industries in the long term, are not run by political appointees, who have ulterior and very short term extraneous horizons, such as the next election.

    Witness the coming collapse of the nationalized Oil companies. Political greed has caused them to over-price their commodity, to the point that earnest efforts to find a substitute have been on going for 35 years and have already succeeded in everyone of the Oil markets except the last bastion of even marginal growth, Transport. But now alternatives and true substitutes are beginning to emerge there also. It won’t be long before the Oil Prices, the real issue, not availability, collapse. Then the Oil Commissars and Oil Sheikhs will be begging everybody and anybody to buy their commodity, at virtually any price, Please.


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    zim wolfe

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    If you remember VW TDI required timing belt changes every 40,000 miles at $700 a pop?

    So after 200,000 miles thats a $3500 cost. And have you seen all the 1990′s VW cars at the auctions with fairly low miles? I opened up the glove compartment on one and was shocked to see a huge wade of yellow repair bills fall out. I looked at them and showed my wife, $700, $700, $500 …… There was no repair bill under $350 dollars.it was all repeating maintenance issues no wonder the car ended up at the Purple Heart auction!
    Every guy who works on their cars tell me not to get a European car because they make you buy special tools from Germany just to do basic work on them.


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    KUD

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:11 pm)

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    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    Hey Randy, please go off and do some research on battery tech, reliability, safety, COST, etc..

    Then come back.

    And then maybe pen an argument we can take seriously.


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    Todd

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    What surpises me is just how many idots (stock holders who sit on the boards of these companies) hire these types of idiots, pay them outragously and who have no vision. Executives like de Nysschen need to be fired and shunned by the business world. They will quickly find out just where their paycheck truely comes from (like the old saying – never bite the hand that feeds you.) Of course anyone who produces a car like this (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-2009-audi-a6-30t-quattro/) must know what he’s talking about, right?


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    jeremy

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:13 pm)

    I don’t think that continuing to burn fuel is the way to go. I also don’t want a 40,000 car either and won’t even consider buying one.

    I really hate the 230 mpg rating…if you are not running on gas, there should be a different scale. If people can’t see through this BS, then that is a shame.

    I also don’t see your article being any more marketing savvy and seriously ironic as you bash on the basher for bashing.


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    Schmeltz

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:14 pm)

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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    Lyle, Jason,

    I already cannot stand Audi drivers in Europe, most of them are snobs believing that the road belongs only to them and always trying to impress other drivers (The BMW and Mercedes drivers are far more respectful).

    So I come to thing this Mr Johan de Nysschen is the same type of person, not respectful of other people.

    I swear I’ll never buy an Audi.

    Regards

    JC NPNS


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    Jason

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    I agree with you, I was just commenting on what the article said. The only problem with brining it out at 40k and then dropping the price later is that many people will still assume it’s 40k when it’s not. They will need to do a great job of marketing it when the price drops.

    Lets not forget too that 40k – 7,500 is $32,500 at the most for the first of it’s kind vehicle.

    We could easily see the price tag drop into the $20′s with rebates and tax credits very quickly.


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    Van

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    I think the Volt is a great concept, providing a bridge to foreign oil independence, and if that makes me an idiot, so be it.


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:20 pm)

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    Joe

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    Fine, I’m an idiot. I’m an idiot who can afford a $40,000 car, and now will never even consider an Audi. Still not sure if I’ll buy the Volt the first year out. But my next car will be either a PHEV or an EV. That’s a definite.


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    stas peterson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    What is so great about emitting a more potent Green House Gas than CO2?

    Oh yes, the religious dogmas of the pseudo-scientific modern Druids, have not yet decided to condemn comparatively harmless di-hydro-oxide, like they have to its fellow harmless gas, carbo-di-oxide.

    Modern ZERO Pollution Vehicles, PZEV, ICE powered autos, match that attainment, and even beat it on a well-to-wheel basis.


  77. 77
    Noel Park

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    The Volt is “for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.” That’s us he’s talking about! So, being the glass half full person that you all know I am, I’m taking it as a big compliment.

    As far as I’m concerned Johan hasn’t lost anything, because I wouldn’t have been seen dead in a !@#$% “Audi” before he shot off his big mouth anyway.

    In SoCal, thousands of people who could afford to drive Mercedes, BMWs or Audis, choose to drive Priuses precisely because they “want to show what enlightened souls they are.” I promise that they buy more Priuses than the total of Audis sold here.

    So abide in ignorance Johan. Who gives a !@#$ what you think?

    Finally, I think it was Jean-Charles who told us that European governments give tax advantages to diesel to encourage its use in passenger cars, for reasons that I don’t fully understand. This accounts for the big difference in price from gasoline which someone noted above. Not so here. So there’s a huge incentive for diesel cars there, which does not exist here. So hybrids and EVs have a much bigger advantage here.


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    Volt45

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    Voltec used to be called Eflex.
    So GM can match the electricity generator for the region where it’s sold.
    Gas. Natural gas. Diesel. Ethanol. Biodiesel. Whatever.
    I can’t imagine that, with gen2 at the least, there won’t be an Ampera with diesel.


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    kdawg

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:30 pm)

    I rode in one of those Quattro’s (sorry the name makes me laugh, because i’m reminded of Michael Quatro), this past weekend. We were in Martha’s Vinyard, so its not like I got to see what it could really do. I did notice my knees hit the dash, and i’m 6′ tall. I also didnt like the displays inside. It took me a bit just to find where everything was and it didnt seem intuitive. Other than that i have no complaints. Of course, I have no idea what the car cost, so maybe that would be one of the complaints.


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    MetrologyFirst

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    Jay,

    I am not a particular fan of the current Volt styling, either.

    HOWEVER, I have taken the time to research and to understand why the car looks like it does. And I, in fact, do.

    GM has put more R&D into this car than you can imagine. Not to mention complying with all safety regulations here and in Europe. And warrantee concerns. And comfort issues. And motor transition issues. Supplier limitations; scalable manufacturing requirements and demands. COST concerns. Balancing battery size, weight, and cost with charge depleted motor mpg at highway speeds. Elimination of power fade concerns. Making sure this car functions flawlessly in 100 degree heat of subzero cold. GM is designing this car to be the ONLY car someone needs. Not as a second car or a green toy. GM needs almost perfect execution for the Volt.

    Lets not forget the car must be reliable, too. GM has no more second chances here. I don’t think ANYONE could meet these requirements for under $40000. Not in 2010 anyway. Maybe 2015 or so……

    Styling and looks can help sell a car, surely.

    But whats under the skin is what will bring customers back the second time.


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    Prompter Bob

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:34 pm)

    The Volt is the only SMART choice for an EV. A pure EV with a limited range just isn’t practical IMHO. As more electric cars become available, the term EV ANXIETY will become common due to the fear of running out of juice. As for Audi, a few friends own them and have had lots of problems.


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    Hi Noel, it was me but it is in an indirect way. Ill try to explain.

    The reason is that the European governments are taken in hostage by the transporters (by truck) and that the cars and trucks use the same gas (diesel) stations. If the governments increase the taxes on the diesel they are sure to endure hard truckers strikes that block the roads and highways and have a great negative impact on the economy.
    They never found a way to separate the sale of diesel to the truckers and to the car drivers.

    We ( the diesel car owners) payed a sort of compensatory tax (that was added to the regular annual circulation tax) but it has been considered as discriminatory by the judges and abandoned.

    So the car drivers profit from the indirect aid given to the transporters (I’m one of those).

    Should have been clearer ?

    Regards,

    JC NPNS

    PS have you seen my comment above ? I repeat that I swear that I’ll never buy an Audi.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    Don’t trade it in here. We don’t want the thing. They cost way too much to repair for resale and even then they don’t bring in much. Oh, and be sure to put a little super glue on the radio knobs and buttons before you try to trade it in. They tend to fall off.


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    Volt45

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    But. But…. Audi just redesigned its logo!
    It’s like shinier and more 3d looking!


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    Mitch

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    Interestingly I did a similar search and they are under 100k cars in North america annually…so personally i will be laughing my behind off if the volt (voltec) breaks 100k units a year in 3 years…

    Gimme a converj..Gloss black….


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    Edgar

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:38 pm)

    There is only one way that the ICE auto can compete, in terms of operational cost, with the EV – if (and only if) gasoline/diesel prices plummet to $0.67/gallon, and I just don’t see that happening.

    — 6 hours to fully recharge/day

    — 120V, 15 A outlet, at 12 A (80% capacity) maximum current = 1.44 kW/day

    — 1.44 kW/day x 6 h = 8.64 kWh/day

    We must assume DAILY recharging for worst case scenario (30 days per month) = 259.2 kWh/month

    Electricity costs vary between $0.10/kWh and $0.12/kWh, depending upon utility, U.S. location, and seasonal variation. To be conservative, we assume $0.12/kWh.

    259.2 kWh/month x $0.12/kWh = $31.10/month or $32/month

    Again, this assumes you don’t spend anything for gasoline due to your commute (roundtrip) being less than or equal to 40 miles – 20 miles one way.

    If we assume a (small) gas tank volume of 11.9 gallons for a compact (or subcompact automobile) and a monthly expense of $119 for gasoline alone (@ $2.50/gallon x 4 weeks), then gasoline must fall to $0.67/gallon before an EV is no longer cost effective.

    Mr. de Nysschen is merely putting a voice to the very palpable fear many heavily-vested automakers have regarding the advent of the EV.

    In other words, they stand to lose alot, and they’re scared as hell the public is going to realize what’s happening.


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    Mitch

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    How DO you call an intellectual elite, an idiot?

    does that make him an oxymoron moron? thus we can say that a oxymoronic moron makes a moronic oxymoron..

    My company pays an allownace for auto as we need something to pick up clients and they want to ensure it is calssy..AUDi just fell off my list. (actually the caddy CTS is the front runner right now, followed by a s60 volvo…)


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    “I can say at least now I know of one car brand I won’t be buying.”
    —————————————————–

    Lyle, not that I have ever tried purchasing an Audi vehicle, especially with some of the problems associated with some of its models, but I can certainly attest that although I could afford an Audi I will never purchase one or allow my wife to do so either. And needless to say, but I have some influence over the purchase decisions of my three children and their children. That in itself will not bankrupt Audi, but it will make me feel somewhat better. Idiot I may be, but an Audi owner I know I will never be.

    Thanks, Lyle for the report. Once again you are the Man!


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    Dmitrii

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    I’am an idiot o-)


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    HAHA!!!!
    How did you know about the radio knobs?

    Actually, I plan to donate it to The Mythbusters in the hopes they do some explosive tests with it.
    Would be a fitting end to a real pain in the wallet vehicle.


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    grat

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    My understanding is that the $7,500 credit applies to the first N number of cars sold. Given the limited run intended for the Generation 1 Volt, it’s entirely probable that the $7,500 rebate will outlive the $40k pricetag.


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    Gary

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    Would anybody buy a $40,000 Audi if they can get another comparably-sized car for only $30,000?

    The answer is:

    Yes.

    I guess they’re idiots as well. Or maybe they’re the “the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.”


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    grat

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    There are two choices for your cracking (refining) method– One yields an abundance of gasoline and a smaller amount of diesel, and the other yields primarily diesel / kerosene.


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    Sgt Pepper

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    Ive never posted here before BUT. This guy is so arrogant. “Yes Yes you will pay 50K for my crapy coupe. Oh they will never pay 40 for an electric car. And if they do they are American IDIOTS” Well I got news for ya Dieter Von Wiener America will build it. You just stay on the sidelines building your over priced unreliable crap.


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:50 pm)

    If you live close to your job, EV is VERY practical.

    I would like to see Volt option “bigger_battary_instead_of_ICE” :)


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    Jason M. Hendler

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:50 pm)

    True, this reminds me of Toyota squealing about not pursuing EV’s nor EREV’s just yet. I bet competitors are feeling pressure from their dealerships to offer some sort of vehicle with a plug.


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    Mitch

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    Nice work by Audi North America…way to increase that 0.5% market share…


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    Vincent

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    The earth was once flat…

    The first buyers of the Volt as Lutz said will be the well heeled.

    Just like the first $10,000 plasma TV. Now so many people have one (DLP, LCD etc) and they are in some cases under $1,000

    “Idiots” is rather harsh and I am sure he will retract that in the near future while he eats crow.

    This guy will be Sh*ting pistons when the technology is truly affordable and it’s coming…fast…a few years in electronics is a lifetime.

    Lets hear what he has to say in 36 months…the average vehicle lease period…Hmmmmmmmm….


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    grat

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    I disagree. My parents had a diesel Mercedes in the 1970′s (and eighties, and nineties….). With regular fuel injector cleaning (every few oil changes), it ran relatively clean– the newer systems cut out the noxious emissions to roughly zero.

    The engine was starting to show signs of wear around 300,000 miles, I’ll admit, but it still ran strong.

    Now, that’s a german diesel– American diesel engines have historically been poorly designed and poorly built. You can’t just take a regular block and drop a high-compression head onto it.


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    stas peterson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    Mr. Lutz was correct, but impolitic. Mr. Audi is just plain wrong, and insultingly impolitic. Oil needs to be replaced for availability, monopolistic and security reasons, but not CO2.

    The original Daimler-Chrysler “merger of equals” deal was to establish a German player that could survive, by becoming big enough. That was before the failure of Mercedes new S-Klasse, and its already committed, but similar E-Klasse, created a need.

    Daimler management decided to rape Chrysler for its $12-15 billion dollar reserves, to re-design a new S and E Klasse line, immediately. Charitably that is what happened. Chrysler’s next generation of cars after the Concorde and Intrepid turned out to be… the S and E Klasse Mercedes, and the Maybachs. Nice cars, too bad the money made from them, doesn’t go into the Chrysler accounts, for them.

    Meanwhile Chrysler’s empty kitty led to the inexpensive, under-engineered, Sebring and Caliber, and three years of completing the designs whiole selling the cars, to the point that they are now approaching a competitive status, long after any one but the discerning, will note or care.

    But it underlines the “Packard Problem” that all the German makers face. These relatively big companies, are too small to have the comparable resources to stay competitive, with the World’s other automakers.


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    N Riley

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    BBM,

    Yeah, but it is really the other way around. Diesel is the waste product of the gasoline process. Everything that comes out of the refinery process stack lower than the very top could be considered a “waste” product of the top product which is very high octane premium gasoline (or gas oil if you don’t “crack” it into gasoline grades). Diesel comes out of the stack right above fuel oils (#4, 5 & 6) which are above asphalt products. Asphalt products (tar based) is really the overall waste product of the refinery process. This is a very simple explanation of my little knowledge of how our refineries operate. I guess I could get a more technical description from one of our “refinery people”, but it is not worth the effort. Hope I did not bore anyone and I also hope I got the product stack in the correct order.


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    I would imagine you are correct in there being a diesel genset in future Amperas. But some of that depends on some fuel research and testing going on in multiple locations around the world that might be better fuel sources.


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    Koz

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:00 pm)

    Would calling potential future customers idiots qualify as irony?


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    John S.

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    Funny article, the only thing better would have had been a Toyota Exec. that had said such rubbish, but, they are way to smart to do a head on attack of the Volt. Toyota is way too busy anyway figuring out how to respond to the Volt than to insult potential customers.

    I can’t wait for Lutz’s response….I will bet it will occur no later than tommorrow.

    NPNS


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    N Riley

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    While I am not quite sure what target you are wanting to point your comment at, I have to agree that Audi’s Johan de Nysschen is going to get a lot of flak aimed in his direction. Deservedly so, I might add. He certainly had the Volt in his target finder when he fired his “flak”. Now it is his turn to get some of it back.


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    me two


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    N Riley

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    That is usually the way it works when you don’t have a better solution. We see that every day in America.


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    N Riley

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    It counts for even less now!


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    Not having seen a Volt in person, I cannot say whether it does or does not look like a $40,000 car. It may very well not. That being the case, the justification for purchasing a Volt has never been its low price.


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    Koz

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    Oh…but I guess we do have to thank him for calling us potential intellectuals or was he trying to say idiot savants, grrrrr


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Bob, I would also add that when some of these so-called “smart” people make some dumb, stupid, idiotic mistakes us less smart people wonder how they could be so dumb, stupid and idiotic as to make such a mistake in the first place. Over my life I have found that a lot of these so-called smart people are not really all that much smarter than the average person anyway. Of course, I also believe that the level of “smartness” of the average person has declined quite a bit over my later years so that may not be a true as it was when I was much younger. Or maybe it just shows how old I am and how I view the “younger” generation with some contempt. God, I hope not! I have children and grand children coming in behind me and I would not like to be contemptuous of them.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:13 pm)

    Welp…
    I’m a Gen2 idiot/dumba$$/whateva.
    :-)


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    Jay

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    I don’t disagree with you logic, however all that engineering and testing would have been done on the concept vehicle if it had been built. Chevrolet is trying to make their models all look similar in styling and that will bit them big time. Nobody wants to spend the kind of money you do on cars today and drive something that looks like in came out of a cookie-cutter assembly line. I won’t and most others who can afford it won’t also. I have built cars from the frame up just to get what I wanted and will do it again if need be. Whatever happened to the hydrogen vehicle that GM put all that money developing several years ago? Fuel cells are far better than batteries for electrical power in a vehicle anyway and NASA has a lot of technology on the subject. The Chinese are going to make us pay for the rare minerals for these high dollar batteries or build them and sell them to us at a high profit. I think we need to rethink this transpiration solution think some more and come up with a better answer.


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    Edgar

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    Here’s another thought. If we assume a driver can stay in all-electric mode while driving the Volt every day, then over the life of the automobile, say 10 years, a driver will save $10,440 (or $1,044 per year) in gasoline expense.

    Again, this assumes $32/month for the Volt and $119/month for an ICE (@ $2.50/gallon). See my previous post.

    Gasoline must get down to $0.67/gallon to MATCH (not beat) the Volt’s performance.

    So, what if a first-generation Volt is priced at $40,000?

    The fuel savings alone results in an estimated total cost of ownership (excluding required maintenance) of $10,000 HIGHER for any ICE vehicle purchased.

    As others have said, 2nd and 3rd generation EVs will drive that $40,000 down even further WITH improved performance, range, and features.

    GM MUST begin educating the public to these differences. Informing the public of an EV’s extremely low operational cost and charging convenience is just as important as the Volt’s development.


  115. 115
    Ken Grubb

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    Apparently Johan believes there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    I would argue there are no stupid car owners, only stupid car company execs.


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    Slavko Miladinovic

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    This person’s Audi cannot make you money like the Chevy Volt’s 16 kilowatt battery!

    In a smart grid electricity system a person can charge their Chevy Volt at night when it is cheapest and then sell it back to the same electric company during the day for a substantially higher sum of money!

    Here’s the link http://watch.ctv.ca/news/autosctvca/car-business-electric-cars/#clip201362 from an Ontario utility company executive explaining that electric vehicles in the future will be buying electricity at night when it is the cheapest and most plentiful and then selling it back during the day at its peak cost for a profit. And he hopes everyone will buy an electric vehicle.

    The cost of electricity discussion in the video starts at the 4min 20sec point.


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    And Lyle is King of the Idiots ;-)


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    “But it’s my money to spend anyway I like.”
    ————————————————-

    For awhile longer.


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    Neal, you are now old enough to “see through” much of the bluster and overconfidence which frequently masquerades as “smart.”


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    You certainly “jump off inot the deep end” when you speak out like that. Sometimes someone saves you and other times you drown. I wonder which of the two will happen to this dunder head.


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    Dave K,

    A very sensible, measured response. I hope he and his bosses will see your comment along with all the others being directed at him and Audi from around the world.


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    RockyMountainHigh

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    You say:
    As I predicted, my comment was misconstrued. Apparently, you thought I said “You are stupid for wanting a Volt”. That’s not at all what I meant. My main point was that GM will be damaging its brand if it overprices the first iteration of the car.

    “I very much doubt that the Volt only costs 20,000-30,000 to make. If it did, they would a) price it lower, and b)build in a lot more potential capacity for gen1 rather than a maximum of 60,000 per year if the Volt takes off. I’m sure they could use the additional revenue. Not to mention the cafe benefits. And the PR.”

    That’s exactly what I think they should do. That’s what Toyota would do. But I fear that they will instead see an opportunity to make a few extra million by overcharging the early adopters (like yourself). That in turn will deeply damage their brand.

    By the way, Audi is about to announce an EV at the Frankfurt auto show. This guy’s seemingly random comments are actually strategic in nature. They are aimed at shaping the battlefield for the coming competition between the Volt and the Audi EV. Audi will sell its car in the mid-40K range and say “But look, you’re getting a luxury car, whereas for the same amount of money spent on a Volt you’re getting a Corolla-class car.” That’s what this is all about.

    And for the record, I own an Audi. It’s a ten year old junker that I got for a bargain. It’s an awful car. I would never buy another one, no matter how cheap. Ironically, the thing that Audi screws up most (according to my own experience and discussions with other Audi owners) is the electrical system. They just don’t know how to do electricity right. I would be especially surprised to see Audi engineer a good EV.


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    BLDude

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    You’re quoting Gandhi. Awesome!


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:47 pm)

    Although I have liked the several Toyota Prius I have driven, I must agree with you that it does use a lot of plastic and cheap fabric. Even the leather interior feels low grade. The overall appearance of the Prius is one of a car in the sub-$15,000 range on just looks. Once you consider all the features and equipment Toyota is making standard equipment on the car, I would aprraise the car as looking like an $18,000 car. Certainly not the $22,500 – $31,500 cost in the different trim levels. Toyota and their dealers must be making a lot more on the car than they would like to admit. Assuming the development cost have been recovered. I can’t see where it should not be recovered by now. IMO


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    Mark Bartosik

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    Me too. I gave them my contact details too, see if they reply.
    If enough of us complain to German HQ maybe they will make him eat humble pie. Although it is not like the NY Times or WSJ will print his pie eating.


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    fredevad

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    Thank you Bob G!

    Your kind of “idiot” is making way for my kind of “idiot”, who will be buying a Gen 2+ Volt, not an Audi.


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    N Riley

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    You know Schmeltz, you made a very good point. I went back and looked at his picture as presented with this article and I must admit that his mouth does look like it has been stretched around something quite a few times. Seems he might just be comfortable with his foot in his mouth.


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    Yeah, sounds like some really good reasons to run out and purchase an Audi, now doesn’t it?


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    Carcus1

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    I think what most here are missing is that Nysschen is not attacking the technology (plug in hybrids ), he is attacking the volt in particular. He doesn’t think the volt is going to sell well, and it’s setting up for continued government support instead of product viability.

    – I share this view (but I think I would’ve avoided the “idiot” word).

    ——————–
    “This is not to suggest that we have closed our minds to the possibility of hybrid powertrains. In fact, a series or plug-in hybrid designed in conjunction with a diesel engine could be quite economical. I think that we have to consider a set of options. I can see a family garage that would one day hold both a diesel and a hybrid vehicle, based on the driving circumstances of each spouse.”
    Johan de Nysschen
    October, 2008
    http://www.audiusablog.com/blog.do;jsessionid=525D7F1239D1DC65CF80069EF20329BA?p=entry&id=17
    ———————–


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    old man

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    jeremy

    If you drive, say 1500 miles and have used 3 gallons of gas, what would you say your mpg was?

    I would say 500 mpg so far. If the Volt gets 50 mpg in cs mode I assume you would say it gets 50mpg. Really handy to just not count the other 1350 miles.

    Mpg should not be calulated over a short distance but rather, how much gas did I buy this month or even over the period of a year to go the distance I went.

    Of course if you want the Volt to look bad you can keep a note pad and write down the odometer reading every time the engine starts and stops.

    Personally, if my calulations are correct, including my estimated yearly trips, I expect to have an average mpg of about 160.


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    They’re actually gonna show off an electric concept at the Frankfur Show, Audi that is…
    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/03/once-more-with-feeling-audis-electric-concept-likely-to-be-bas/


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    Cool. German car go boom!


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    N Riley

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:15 pm)

    We get to hear all the time about “big oil”, but these same people screaming about that never mention “big government” which is much more of a danger to the people of this country than any publicly traded corporation.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:15 pm)

    Or maybe they’re hung like a light switch and the $50,000 Audi helps them get to first base. ;)


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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    Agreed. Although I wish I was 30 years younger and so what less “smart” if that was what it required to be younger. Oh, well. Just once around the merry-go-round for each person. What a downer.


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    DonC

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:30 pm)

    I appreciated the short lesson. Quintupled what I knew.


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    Darius

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    I don’t know what Audi market niche will be targeting in the future when BMW will go into AWD. Audi Quatro will have strong competitors. I expect the ones who will make EREV AWD with in-wheel system will kill Quatro brand. Price for this market niche is not an argument. The EREV AWD will have two big advantages – low gravity center and rear maintance requirement. German quality and reliability image might not help.


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    fredevad

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    I don’t see Lyle’s post as “bashing”. I see it was an informed rebuttal that did not include name calling.


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    Darius

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:58 pm)

    I got an idea that Volt can becom competitor to AUDI brand. That’s why Audi exec is so nervous. Audi always been stuff competing with Volvo, Saab. Volt targeting the same segment. But Volt can be considered as economy class as well. I wish Volt success and think that even midle class americans can afford paying extra $10 000 for sustainable US and their own family future. We will see.


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    DonC

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    Well if nothing else he livened up the discussion!

    On a more serious note, the German luxury car makers are under some pressure. Used to be that BMW, Mercedes, and Audis were all aspirational brands. But as Noel has mentioned, this is no longer the case, and “[i']n SoCal, thousands of people who could afford to drive Mercedes, BMWs or Audis, choose to drive Priuses precisely because they “want to show what enlightened souls they are.””

    This is really true. BMW has been able to maintain its brand as being cool, but it’s hard to find anyone under 65 or not a foreign national who wants to drive a Mercedes or Audi. Perhaps because of all their reliability problems, or perhaps because other cars have improved so much, or perhaps just because tastes are always changing, but German luxury cars aren’t perceived as being very special. Certainly not special enough to justify the premium suggested by their price. And the Volt offers yet more competition. Not only does is offer green tech, it offers interesting tech, a compelling ride, and good performance. In short, it’s cool.

    So the German car makers end up being high cost producers with cars that are no longer considered to be “the best.” Not a good place to be. Obviously Audi is trying to play a diesel card and it’s not getting a lot of traction, hence the frustration. But having said this, it’s probably his honest opinion.


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    Jaime

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:02 pm)

    Its funny the people who say they would never consider an Audi now because of what one of their employees says. Sure it was a dumb comment to make, but if they came out with a great car to compete with what I want at the right price I would consider it. I really could care less what one guys opinion of another car maker is.

    I buy products based on how they serve my needs on a price/value ratio, not the views of someone. The CEO of GM could call me a douchebag and if I want one of his cars, I’ll still buy it.

    Don’t get so defensive people.


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    fredevad

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:27 pm)

    OK, I’ll admit it – I wasn’t really interested in buying an Audi before today anyway…


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    DaV8or

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:32 pm)

    I’m shopping for a car that will take me to work and back with out using any petroleum based fuel. I went to Audi’s website and it appears that they don’t make any such car, nor does it seem like they will any time soon. Chevrolet will sell one next year. I may be an idiot, but this makes it about 100x more likely that I will be buying from GM than Audi.

    When Audi does eventually announce it’s plan for an electric car (should be any day now based on the growing competition) maybe they can call it the i3. i of course standing for idiot. This new car may even have a special edition called the Johan de Nysschen where the driver needs to place their foot firmly in their mouth to activate the drive system.


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:34 pm)

    I’ve never had any interest in an Audi car. I thought they look OK but were “Cost Prohibitive”. My cars are bought for a purpose, not luxury.


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    Open-Mind

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    So according to Johan …. you’re an idiot if you buy an overpriced car, yet his company only sells …. overpriced cars. My irony-detector is melting.

    Wonder how many customers he just lost.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    It seems Audi is quite petrified as to the accelerated successes and outstanding benchmarks that GM is relentlessly achieving with VOLTec. The increasing undercurrent of deeper and deeper respect for GM and American Engineering has become an intolerable threat for Audi.
    This technological storm toward E-REV has indeed caused the first nonviable E-REV OEM, Audi, to blurt out it’s cry of fear in a somewhat over-reactive manner. You can almost feel the fearful atmosphere that must be present all throughout Audi in his statements.

    This deep fear is well founded. That pettiness confirms this deep-seated frustration and fear. These statements are an enormous backfiring against Audi, and, is confirmation to future perspective customers that they might be at risk in purchasing an Audi.

    Did you know that if an aftermarket radio is not properly installed in an Audi (where it might be improperly be grounded to the OBD port harness), that most scan tools can be damaged? (VW is the same way.) So, us independent techs make the owner re-install the original radio. The problem with that is that frequent disturbing of the harness can cause all manner of subsequent harm that is expensive.
    I have seen this several times already, and advise (148) shops to not accept an Audi or a VW in for service if the original radio is not installed.


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    Luke

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (5:55 pm)

    Given my experience with a Volkswagen (5 transmissions, 20k miles, 2 oil changes), I’d be an idiot to buy an Audi (which is an expensive Volkswagen)…

    But, then again, maybe he does know a thing or two about charging a $15k premium for a car that may or may not be able to compete with a low-end Toyota… :-)

    I did love the turbo diesel engine, in my Jetta, though. Smooth mountain-climbing torque. When it was on the road, anyway.


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    Randy C.

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:05 pm)

    Oh, you mean there are not any Toyota RAV4-EV’s that have over 100,000 miles on their original NiMH batteries with zero indication of imminent failure. NiMH batteries can be made cheaper and will last a longer than lithium batteries. RAV4-EV’s have a 100 plus mile range all without requiring a single drop of gas or even needing an ICE. GM for purely spiteful reasons decided to destroy this technology in favor of the Hummer, a high profit maker. GM certainly was not thinking about America’s energy situation when they destroyed the EV1.


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:09 pm)

    I think Johan de Nysschen is just upset because Audi invested a TON of money in new diesel technologies over the years and America STILL doesn’t want them … except for maybe trucks. He’s mad because he KNOWS that ER-EV and other electrification technologies are going to make his diesel tech OBSOLETE … very soon.


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    Jason

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    We are both Volt fans, but lets not get carried away about the “success and achievment” GM has made with the Volt. To date they have not made a penny from it, in reality are over a Billion dollars in the red. The sucess of the program will not be known for years from now.


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:14 pm)

    @GM Volt Fan 70

    Nah, he’s just mad cuz he didn’t get some last month.

    Two word 4 ya…
    CRAIGS LIST!!!


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    Kent

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:22 pm)

    I’ve been called worse by better people than him.


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    RamZ

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    Mr. de Nysschen, I have lost all respect for Audi. That nice Quattro is no longer in my future I assure you.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    Jean-Charles:

    Thanks. As to never buying an Audi, that makes two of us, LOL.

    Oops, sorry. Posted in the wrong place somehow.


  155. 155
    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:30 pm)

    It’s going to be called the “Frankfurter,” in honor of this executive weiner. :-)


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:31 pm)

    lol…
    Trailer Park Maggot? Idiot?

    Potato, PoTAHto.

    :-)


  157. 157
    Noel Park

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:32 pm)

    Jean-Charles:

    Thanks for the refresher course. Anyway, the diesel cars certainly have an advantage in Europe that they don’t have here. Even so, I could get really interested in a GM equivalent of the diesel Jetta sold here. But it looks like it’s not to be, and the volt is more intersting anyway.

    As to never buying an Audi, that makes two of us, LOL!


  158. 158
    smith-dewey

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    Nice to know which car company thinks I’m an idiot, so that I can avoid them on future purchase ;)

    We’ve got to get the fossil fuel monkey off our backs, and the Volt looks to be a practical step into the future. Wish the production models would carry a little more style from the prototypes, but this is the first GM car I will ever purchase, and I WILL purchase it.


  159. 159
    Noel Park

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:35 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:

    OK, here’s the real response. If the guy wants to buy a $50K car to help him to get to first base, he’d be a hell of a lot better off with a Corvette, if you ask me.

    Or maybe a Volt and a couple of weeks in Hawaii with the change. What was it that Lutz so famously said about the girls who would be attracted to Volt owners? I’ll bet they’re out there though.

    My younger son was at Humboldt State during the heigth of the tree sitting episodes. Some of them weren’t bad looking, and I bet they could dig a Volt, LOL.


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    Darius

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    I do not think Audi is in the same league as BMW or even Mercedes. It never been. It always been something between Mercedess and VW. Audi 80 for long time was mainstream economy class product.


  161. 161
    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    I prefer to think he means that we (Volt supporters) are taking flak (from Prius fanbois and now this German Gerk) because we own the skies over the future of the automobile.


  162. 162
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    Johan de Nysschen should get used to a steady diet of CROW in the next 5-10 years. ER-EVs like the Volt are about to take the world by storm. Once gas prices go over $4-5 again (and you KNOW they will because of demand from China and India), you will see a LOT of ticked off people flocking to Chevy dealerships to check out the Volt.

    LOTS of people will buy the Volt so they don’t have to worry about gas prices anymore. Gas prices will be OTHER people’s problem. There are a LOT of very good reasons WHY people will buy the Volt. Early adopters will pay a premium, yes, but the tax credits will alleviate that. They might even revive “Cash for Clunkers” again in 2001 for even more savings. :)

    From everything I’ve been reading, the prices of the batteries should go down by about HALF in the next 5 years. Just like with HDTVs, cars like the Volt will come down in price once the “economies of scale” kick in and new, improved battery technologies hit the market. Johan needs to see the handwriting on the wall … new diesel technologies *might* be a viable technology … only it’s going to be as a “range extender” in an ER-EV like the Volt or in BMW’s “Vision” concept car. :)


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:39 pm)

    The American Diesel Experience is a choking opaque cloud of black fumes from a heavy truck at a green light, or one of those old German automobiles.

    We’re going to take a lot of convincing.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:40 pm)

    And we are his loyal acolytes! Duhhh, LOL.


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    jake

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:42 pm)

    He attacked EVs also in the same article, at the same time when Audi is going to launch what is likely an electric R8. Seems like bad coordination between Audi NA and the home base.


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    iRoc

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:44 pm)

    Johan de Nysschen: NPNS, DNS, ANS !

    – NPNS (No Plug No Sale)
    – DNS (Diesel No Sale)
    – ANS (Audi No Sale)


  167. 167
    Noel Park

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:44 pm)

    You mean he drives an Audi and he still can’t get some? See what I mean CorvetteGuy?


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    Gary

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    Would you really be saving money if your “electric gas tank” is empty when you get into your car at the end of the work day and as a result have to drive home using the gasoline-powered generator?

    And how much money can you make selling electricity per day? 50 cents? Whooptie, doo… I wouldn’t be excited if I got a pay raise of 7 cents per hour, either.


  169. 169
    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    Sing along, everybody;

    “I’m proud to be an Idiot, ’cause I drive almost for free
    And I won’t forget all those who tried to bring this VOLT to me
    And I’ll proudly stand up
    - – -
    “next to you and plug in my car, today.
    The bestest part of all’s the phrase:

    made in the USA!


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:48 pm)

    “From everything I’ve been reading, the prices of the batteries should go down by about HALF in the next 5 years.”

    I doubt it. I follow prices for LiFePO4 cells for my future DIY build next year and prices have held flat for the past 2 months and expected to either stay still or go up. Here’s maybe why: http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/03/report-china-not-hoarding-rare-earth-metals-just-wants-them-to/

    Plus the last bulk order I went into from the Guys at http://www.evcomponents.com/, their CEO I talked to James Morrison hinted that shpments leaving China for Li batts are getting stricter and stricter. The shpment was almost 6 weeks late, if not longer. I think China is going to put a clamp down on some of their exports. If Korea does the same then it’s OPEC all over again.

    Hope not though.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:49 pm)

    I see it from a technical perspective for 40 years of experience with GM design, AND ALL OTHERS!

    I reaffirm my statements as not being carried away.

    Audi would not be negative if they were not petrified.

    Volt is already a success from my technical view.

    Your belief systems apparently need negativity to be displaced onto something else.

    I don’t buy into anyone else’s unfounded negativity.

    Negativity is projection of worthlessness or loss in the form of some sort of unresolved failure that will never get resolved, and, is generally consistent with a person who is never apparently satisfied with anything.

    Not my problem. Not the Volts problem. Not GM’s problem.


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA….

    Good one, that one made my day dude!!!
    ROTFLMAO


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    Carcus1

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    Photo of prototype released!

    http://marklevinfan.com/Images/WeinerMobile.jpg

    / ….and it doesn’t look too bad, actually. It’s the kind of car some would relish.


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    Jackson

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:57 pm)

    Diesel’s source in the petroleum spectrum all becomes irrelevent if the algae-to-biodiesel scheme works out. Kind of a big if, with all the uncerties per economies of scale, but still … it’s the only thing which might win me over to the engine, if pricing is competetive.


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    Slavko Miladinovic

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (6:58 pm)

    LOL!

    “I know, eh!”, as Monica Geller would say.

    I think the utility exec was being nice to the car journalist and trying to provide the benefits of an electric vehicle and a smart power grid combo without going into great detail, like I do most of the time and thus lose the blue collar enthusiasm in others in their attempt in repeating its benefits to their peers.

    The smart grid is very beneficial to those that have wind, solar and a massive stationary battery at home.

    Plus, the Chevy Volt will not be a source of energy outside of the vehicle from my understanding.


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    jake

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:03 pm)

    I’m pretty sure the LiFePO4 cells don’t use the rare earth metals in the referenced article (even if it does surely not in the same amounts as the nimh battery in the Prius does).

    Also from what I know, bulk order LiFePO4 batteries from China can get as low as $300/kWh which means they are already lower than the batteries in most planned EVs today ($500-$1000/kWh). For reference, it’s $4800 for the Volt’s battery at that price; not cheap but probably less expensive than what it costs now.

    Also, knowing that China is looking to lock up battery and mineral resources (this has been speculated to happen a while back already), I think most automakers are already building their own battery plants to avoid a deadlock in battery prices.


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:05 pm)

    I wish I could come up with something witty and scathing enough to give this guy the castigation he so richly deserves.

    Or something that almost rhymes with “castigation.”


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:08 pm)

    Noel,
    That was just the right hit.
    You’re sharp on the humor!!
    (I wish I was. One of the hazards of thinking “serious” all day on diagnostics, is humor happens rarely afterward off duty. Although we techs wish we had better humor like lots of folks here.)

    Maybe it has to do with all this purgatory lately in Austin, 68 days above a hundred. Two more days over 100 and the all time record for heat will be broken here. ***2.0 average degrees hotter!!**** here to break that last record of 69 days over 100 degrees back in 1925. Can’t wait til Fall.


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:12 pm)

    I’d see China maybe blockading Lithium in order to unfairly protect their own nationalized electric car industry.

    Much of the research ongoing into these batteries would have the result of less lithium being used for a given amount of storage. So, even if the prices stay flat (or even go up a little), the costs of future packs still may drop.

    If the price of Lithium stays flat or goes up, the advantage may be that people will actually go out prospecting for the stuff. The known sources of lithium have been more than adequate for world needs … up to now, so there’s been no particular need to look for it. This is about to change. Politically motivated embargoes will only make it change faster.

    I’d search for lithium deposits wherever seawater has evaporated en masse during the geologic past. The Nevada salt flats, perhaps; beneath the floor of the Mediterranean, or in salt domes.


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    Carcus1

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:16 pm)

    Audi’s de Nysschen responds to Volt for idiots story
    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/03/audis-de-nysschen-responds-to-volt-for-idiots-story/

    (it’s amazing how fast news happens/responds here in the digital world)


  181. 181
    Noah Nehm

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    I can tell you, when the next oil shock hits, those who have electric cars will be sitting pretty. The “anti-intellectual non-idiots” will be waiting in gas lines…


  182. 182
    Peacmakr

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:19 pm)

    Having owned an Audi in my misspent youth let me say this: the only time I’ve really felt like an idiot was when I realized I had purchased a very nice looking piece of junk. Worst car I ever had. Yes, there may be a price premium for the Volt since it’s first generation technology. I think its worth it for three reasons: (1) it will contribute to a technology that diminishes our fealty to foreign oil masters; (2) it will reduce air pollution and (to a growing degree) carbon emissions; (3) it will demonstrate to intelligent people that I’m committed to advancing technology and not to a puerile vision of the car as a phallic symbol. So, Mr. Macho Audi guy, go take your Audi and ….


  183. 183
    DonC

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    What makes him look foolish is that, on the one hand, he derides the Volt because it rests on government subsidy, and, on the other, champions diesel whose success is built … on government subsidy in the form of a bifurcated tax policy that taxes gasoline more heavily than diesel.

    His “clarification” highlights his inconsistency IHMO.


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    GXT

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    It is a cute saying, but it depends largely on your side of the aisle. It could easily be applied to say that Toyota will win over GM, Nissan/Mitsu will wind over GM or even that Audi will win over GM-Volt.com!

    His point may have been harsh (a partial retraction and denial is already out), but he DOES have a point. There are only so many rich tree huggers, and Ed Begley already has a fully electric vehicle. A lot of people will buy the ICE Compact which uses only a little more fuel and saves an initial $20,000+ and probably $30-$35,000 in the long run when you factor in depreciation (e.g. a 5 year old civic may have depreciated $7,000 whereas the Volt will almost certain have depreciated at least $25,000 as it is a GM, it is first gen, and it is in a rapidly developing hi-tech market), markup, interest, etc.. A lot of other people will buy the loaded CTS for a little less up front and still save thousands when depreciation is factored in.


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:28 pm)

    In a nutshell, he is unrepentant. He stops just short of denying the use of the word “Idiots,” but it’s clearly what he thinks. His objections over the Volt concern mainly the economics of Gen I and he is openly critical of government support of mass vehicle electrification (a reference to the tax credit?).

    He has misgivings about the US grid’s capacity to support EVs en masse which seem based mainly on misinformation and worst-case scenarios; which won’t in any case be applicable for decades (during which the grid’s engineering hopefully won’t stand still).

    Mainly, his objection centers on his preference for everyone to adopt new diesel technologies as obviously superior.

    Towards the end of his statement (which cannot in any way be misconstrued as an apology), he laments: “Cutting through misperceptions about clean diesel and other technologies can be frustrating.” Yeah, Johan; we know just how you feel.

    In all, I see no reason to change my initial impression: the man is a self-serving @$$.


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    glennswest

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Hmm. Add me to the list that will make sure I never buy audi.
    And here I thought they had something good.
    If there CEO is so poor, then I really doubt everything about there company.


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    David

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:43 pm)

    The first thing I thought when I read what the knucklehead from Audi said, was that it sounded like Mark Twain passing on investing in the telephone: who would want to pick up a tele-phone and talk to someone rather than speak in person?

    Boy, were they idiots!


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    BBM

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:46 pm)

    My point is just that you can not have a fleet of cars that are only diesels, as the Audi VP seems to advocate, b/c a sizeable amount of gasoline will be created during any refining process.

    In fact, in the early days of refining, before the widespread adoption of the gasoline ICE, gasoline was considered a waste product of refining as there was no use for it at the time.


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    Loboc

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    Show me a $40k Audi that gets 230/100 and I will look at Audi. Not.

    No cool, no sale. NCNS.


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    Carcus1

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:02 pm)

    Meanwhile, I suppose Ford is happy to just “Transit” around all the drama that surrounds the Volt, allowing them to “Focus” on the business at hand.

    What it’s like to drive the all-electric Ford Transit Connect BEV [w/VIDEO]
    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/03/what-its-like-to-drive-the-all-electric-ford-transit-connect-be/


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    Even if Audi produced an EV in 2010 that I could afford and get serviced within its range I would not buy one and here’s my reasoned thoughts on why….

    In a capitalist society I believe that you also have the power to vote with your wallet (and I don’t mean buying politicians — that’s not unique to capitalism).

    Audi appears to have its heart in diesel, sure it may be a good alternative to gas, but it is still an imported subsidized and polluting fossil fuel. Audi’s US president’s comments only make me think any electric vehicle from Audi would be a corporate fashion statement. I would rather support a company with my cash that is really trying to make a change than one that is making a corporate fashion statement.

    The response by Audi US president confirms to me these views.

    Also Volt will be mostly made in USA.

    GM is working with industry groups, utilities, and local governments to prepare for an EV world. What’s Audi doing here?

    Lead, follow or get out of the way!


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    Schmeltz

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    Thanks JC. I guess we will need to hold our breath until the middle of this month when the Frankfurt show commences to see what Audi is unveiling. If Audi is introducing an EV or some form of a hybrid, then I am totally baffled by this guy’s statements today deriding the Volt.


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    Audi Owner

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:38 pm)

    I spotted this on Digg.com,

    The last thing that will happen to my wife’s Audi is I will drive it to the local dealer. In my hand I’ll have the following.

    1) Photocopy of her registration, and for the prior one if I can find it.
    2) Photocopy of the the service logs for her cars from that dealer going back 200K miles between two cars all with dealership servicing.
    3) Printout of the article with the Idiot quote.
    4) Photocopy of a banker’s draft made out to the local Chevy dealer for our new Volt.
    5) A note saying that we might have purchased our 3rd vehicle from them, but I didn’t like getting called an idiot, so now we’ll have matching Volts.

    It will be sweet to hand that in to the dealership manager.


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    eeRealist

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:44 pm)

    Excellent point. I remember Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, laughing at the $499 price of the original iPhone. Those early adopters paved the way for the more capable $99 iPhone available today.

    Who is the idiot now?

    See the laughter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5oGaZIKYvo


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    Audi Owner

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    forgot to say – wife is German. She likes the Volt too and happy not to get third Audi.


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    Jackson

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    If we really want to hand this moron and his diesel-centric company their @$$es on a platter, we need to really hope and pull for HCCI. This has the potential to make any diesel smaller than an over-the-road truck’s an exercise in absurdity. They could power anything from a full-size pickup down to a small-to-compact car; and below that (minis and micros), there’s that 5-cycle 3-cylinder engine that Penske is investing in (which ought to make a good range-extender, too).


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    CaptJackSparrow_id10t

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (9:10 pm)

    I guess the really good thing about these Li cells are is they are reusable, not like petrol. Once petrol is consumed, you have to buy more. With Li batt packs you buy it once and reuse it up to 3000 full cycles.

    /Side note, in June when I bought my test cells from EV Components they were $110/cell, now they are $115/cell: http://www.evcomponents.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SE100AHA


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    Islander

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (9:53 pm)

    Slightly Off Topic. But you gotta read this!

    GM Execs shielded from reality of quality.
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/inside-gm-mystery-of-crap-interiors-solved/

    I am not sure how accurate this is but anything is possible. I really want to buy a Volt or other car from a US company but the quality often does not match most foreign competition.

    I live in the Bay area and want to get on the Volt first 500 list. is GM taking customer names yet?

    PS: I want a Volt and am not an idiot!!

    Thanks Lyle for all the good information.


  199. 199
    Jerry

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (10:08 pm)

    For goodness sake it’s Audi, they have like less than 1% of market share, who cares what THIS idiot has to say. next post…..


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    texas

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (10:18 pm)

    Does that make me an intellectually elite idiot? IEI

    Lyle, perhaps we need some T-shirts printed… In war paint.

    So, that genius wants us to stay hooked on diesel and all the infrastructure upgrades that go with it (have to build more if all the cars run diesel). He doesn’t remember last summer when the price of diesel in his own country was shooting past the roof? His logic and reasoning is so clear who needs to call him a name? What a Douche Bag (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    I might be tempted to boycott Audi but they have never made my list of cars to consider.


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    LauraM

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (10:22 pm)

    Actually, I interpreted your comment to mean that buying the Volt is a bad economic decision at the stated price. And I completely disagree.

    I also disagree about GM damaging their brand with charging a high price for the initial Volts. People know that new technology costs more. It’s a familar concept. People might not want to buy the Volt at $40,000, but I don’t think they’ll get upset that GM is charging that. The Volt is unique. It’s not like anyone else is offering something similar for a much lower price.

    As far as GM making a couple extra millions by overcharging? That doesn’t make any sense. If they wanted to do that, why would they limit volume to 10,000? And they don’t even have the capacity to ever ramp up production beyond 60,000. At least not without major retooling. You’d think they’d at least want to get the extra capacity ready for when they reduce the price.

    You might be right about Audi’s motivation. But I don’t see a BEV as a viable alternative to the Volt. And, if reliability is a factor, in general, according to those anti-American people at consumer reports, European cars (luxury and otherwise) are less reliable than the American manufacturers.


  202. 202
    Mark Z

     

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (10:40 pm)

    Lyle said it best:

    “I can say at least now I know of one car brand I won’t be buying.”

    My sentiments exactly after reading the news this morning before any of these topics appeared.


  203. 203
    Alex

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    Sep 3rd, 2009 (11:33 pm)

    He’s bestfriend of big oil company, and He scared of EV car!


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    hayley

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (12:36 am)

    “very few people will be willing to pay $40,000 for a car that competes with $25,000 sedans”
    “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,”

    A $25k Corolla? Now that’s one pimping Corolla… Nice try.


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    Mike

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (1:47 am)

    Exactly! You need the right mix of gasoline and diesel cars on the streets to match what you get during refining. Due to the high ammount of Diesel cars in Europe they need more Diesel than they refine and refine more gasoline than they need. What currently happens is that they export the not needed gasoline to the US and import the Diesel that is not needed from the US.
    So to keep Diesel price low they better not want Americans to buy Diesel. The world market would have not enough Diesel and too much gasoline. So Diesel price would increase and gsoline drop. So that people buy gasoline cars over diesel again….


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (7:31 am)

    Thanks Noel,

    JC


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (7:37 am)

    As I wrote above, I swear that I’ll never buy a car named Audi.

    JC


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (7:44 am)

    I would be too, but I must say that two years ago at the Brussels Auto Show I met a technical director of VW Belgium and asked him about the electric future of VW cars.

    He answered me : “I do not know anything about an EV VW”

    Then I showed him a general folder distributed by VW in the mailboxes of the country two weeks before where on every three pages there was an announcement for the development of electric versions of the models presented.

    His answer was : “The marketing people do not know what they are doing but we are not aware of any development”.


    Two weeks after this the Golf Twindrive was shown to the press.

    Regards,

    JC NPNS


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    Lunoir

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (7:45 am)

    Here are historical data and actual data about the amount of US money currently (and physically) out there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply#United_States
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/h6.htm

    It’s nowhere near the 150% increase that he talked about.


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    roland

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    8 years ago I bought digital photo camera for something like US$ 2,000. At that time classical photo camera was for something like US$ 200. Was I idiot? Strictly economically said, probably yes.

    Two months ago I bought much much better digital photo camera for US$ 200. Next generation will most likely not know anything else, just digital cameras. Probably also because I bought one of the first ones for such an uneconomical price.

    I believe that the same story will happen with electric cars. Mr. Audi, consider me idiot, too.


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    Bill

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (9:15 am)

    I am one of the idiots. But it is my money and I decide how to spend it.

    Since Audi is such a prestige company that does not want to deal idiots I will make sure to never embarrass them with my $$$.


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    G Coeler

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (9:41 am)

    Only an “idiot” would make a blanket statement like that. What a ludicrous reaction from a person of his business responsibility. Mr. de Nysschen should be focusing on his own brand and producing vehicles that accelerate when asked to rather bashing other companies and are “thinking outside the box”.


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    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (9:58 am)

    Although this executive should be ‘punted’ for such rediculous comments. (Even better should LOSE his bonuses this quarter! Likely more than most of us make a year, sigh…)

    Modern diesels are quiet powerful and frugal.

    Those huge black clouds coming out of the big trucks is a result of poorly implemented aftermarket ‘kits’.
    The ‘good’ upgrades (ex, Gail Banks) do NOT smoke and they are good on fuel and can pull houses.

    I could be happy with a VW TDI… but in a well made car, the Jetta is not that.

    I HAD been hoping Audi would bring in a 2 litre TDI A4, now… I’m not sure I could support them.

    I have come to the realization over the last few weeks that I’m not going to get a Gen 1 Volt, so am looking at my options for replacing my wife’s car next year.

    Up until now the Audi HAD been an option.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    He made some good points about the cost and what it was competing against. But it is stupid of him to say it in the manner that he said it. Making such deragatory commnets show that HE is the actual idiot.

    First generation products come with a premium…. um I am pretty sure that GM isn’t going to produce as many Volt’s as Toyota produces Prius’s.

    Yes if this was the end of the line then the true idiot would have a very good point, but the making of the volt is a FIRST step and only a first step. The volt is being made for a few reasons. 1. to get the ball rolling on something that didn’t really exist. Volt size li batteries produced on a massive scale.

    Get the jump on the competition. Step back and look at the big picture and you can see the progression is from gas to hybrid to erev to ev. GM will be the first on the block with the EREV and will hopefully put that head start to good use.

    Stand still and be left behind.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:04 pm)

    I think Johan was saying that anyone that does not want to burn oil is an idiot. He, truly has the oil addiction needle in his arm…

    Me, I am an idiot, thank you.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    Thinking is not a bad thing, what do you suggest? I do like my affordable Colorado and HHR. I think Chevy way missed the mark with the SSR. What it could have been would have been much more mainstream.

    The Volt is a gamble, GM unlike Tesla and others does know how to make vehicles. I believe Hydrogen was/is green-washing. I did like the “Skateboard” concept though. One chassis, multiple bodies.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:27 pm)

    Bestest Part?
    “I plug it in every night”


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    Red HHR

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    Yup, I am there next to you…


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    Red HHR

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:50 pm)

    Hmm, seems someone should make some more battery factories. Every winter I pick up enough salt off the road to make at least one battery. Right now all the stuff does is eat up my car…

    My last house had a salt powered water softener, it was plumbed into the septic, I had to buy a new septic field, because the 10 year old field was friggen plugged up with salt…

    It would be nice to have a productive use for this stuff.

    /awaiting Popular Mechanics article on how to turn a salt shaker into a D-cell


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    Teeboo

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    And – please remember, that Europe pays that much for gas, so it can be that cheap in the US. Don’t compare apples to oranges, if you do not know what you are talking about.


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    Teeboo

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    Seriously one of the dumbest statements I have ever read. Than I guess nobody should buy a Lamborghini or Porsche, because they are even more expensive Volkswagen…


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    Teeboo

     

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    Sep 4th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    And you have less than 1% brain – the US is not the world, you just still did not get this.


  223. [...] more: Audi North America President Says Chevy Volt is a ‘Car For Idiots’ [...]


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    I am IdiotVolt Fan 1

     

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    Sep 5th, 2009 (9:58 am)

    Well, I am an idiot that still want a Volt.


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    Eric E

     

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    Sep 6th, 2009 (4:26 pm)

    Another idiot chiming in here.
    One idiot that will NEVER buy a petroleum burning diesel Audi !


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    Brian Gackenbach

     

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    Sep 8th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    Proud to say then that I sir…am an IDIOT as well. I may not be fortunate enough to get one of the first models out in late 2010, but I can assure you…I will be a serious buyer in the following year or thereafter. I just made the last payment on my present car and want to enjoy a couple of years w/o a car payment or I’d be buying for SURE next year!


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    DW

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    Sep 8th, 2009 (10:09 pm)

    Diesel! during the gas crunch of last year in this area the price shot up to( $5.00) five dollars a gallon.
    I am sure that most remember that during the Presidental race the price of gas at the pump went down to an all time low. We elected our President and the prices started to climb slowly upwards.
    By producing a vehicles that is energeny efficent we are sending a message to Opec and the Oil companies that we had enough.
    I am looking forward to seing the Chevy Volt live up to all its hype and one day possible owning one.
    Imangine if Henry Ford, Alexander Bell, The Wright Brothers and all the others, if they listen to those that were skeptical of their inventions Where would be now?


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    lakeboy

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    Sep 10th, 2009 (8:45 pm)

    I own a 2007 Audi A4 and I adore it. I want a Volt because I am commited to Electric Vehicles. I am a lifelong Audi/VW guy and have owned a Beetle TDI which was very fun to drive, but a bit dirty as diesels are… If Audi made an electric car, I would likely buy it, but they don’t. I do not think the Volt is particularly good looking, as most of the cars that Mr. Lutz has had a hand in designing tend to have this overly macho (or I guess the automotive term, which is supposed to be a positive, is “aggressive”) styling. But the Volt is electric and it is leading the way. It will not be perfect and I would like to be done with a gas engine altogether (watch the Teslas go!), but I am very excited to get my hands on the Volt!

    Btw, I have always lived by the rule of competing like hell, but never denigrating the competition, and certainly not the customers who, in my case, is also a loyal Audi customer…


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    wolf

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    Sep 12th, 2009 (12:29 am)

    I think for the first time in a very long time I will have a car made by GM that I will seriously consider. Partly because its made here in north america (and we need to consider that as we have become a continent of consumers), and partly because we are with out a doubt – running out of oil. ( If you have time, and interest, check out this 8 part video from a now retired physics prof http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY )

    We are running into scary times, and from fear comes foot in mouth comments (or worse), the Volt will be the the second kick in the right direction (GM did it right also with the EV1) of migrating our economy away from oil – which will take decades of pain, fear, and likely blood shed of some kind. The alternative is to continue buying gas/diesel cars, and have a sharper pain when the cost/supply of oil will be unthinkable in a very short period of time.


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    Paul

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    Oct 3rd, 2009 (9:09 am)

    Even after tax credits this hybrid lawnmower is $32K? Good luck with that.

    The real problem is that as a nation we still don’t have a comprehensive energy policy geared towards an abundant supply and energy independence.

    In the event the EV dreams come true, what’s the plan? To have 40 million drivers plugging their cars into coal powered electric plants? (It should be noted that wind and solar REQUIRE conventional power plant back-up, so they actually require more old-technology plants to be built).

    The answer is obvious- we need to concentrate on nuclear power for electricity. We need to explore for more domestic sources of oil and natural gas, and become a net exporter of coal.

    Most of all, we need to get government OUT of the way and set this country loose to do what the market demands. We may want EVs, we may not. It’s not government’s role to decide.


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    AmericanInGermany

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    Oct 18th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    Johan de Nysschen is actually correct. Short-term we need the highest fuel efficiency possible without sacrificing the size and performance of the vehicles we Americans buy. The Volt is an expensive in-between solution that will be obsolete before it even becomes mainstream. I for one would buy an Audi or VW diesel TODAY and get 50-60 mpg without sacrifice. This is how we wean ourselves off foreign oil while we concentrate on pure EVs.

    What probably pisses off most people is that a foreigner has spoken his mind about a failure of a product (and the failure of a company) and that is real insult here.