Dec 22

Will GM Surprise us with the Chevy Volt Price?

 

[ad#post_ad]We haven’t stirred up the Chevrolet Volt price pot in a while, so now seemed like a good time.

In all seriousness, there may be some developments on this front.

First, you will recall a recent government-sponsored study showed PHEV-40s may have difficulty becoming cost effective until gas is $4.00 per gallon based on today’s lithium ion battery pack costs.

Certainly there are a lot of early adopters that will buy up all the first year Volts before they even hits the dealers lots. That’s a given, but its only about 10,000 cars.

GM is looking to get costs down so that by its second genration, the Volt is cost-effective even if gas shouldn’t make it over the $4.00 mark. In fact, GM is quite concerned about this issue, and recognizes that the price of the car will me the major factor in determining if it will gain widespread acceptance.

“They are not going to pay tens of thousands of dollars in order to save a few hundred dollars a year on fuel,” GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told MSNBC, about the Volt.

We know it was always GM’s hope to sell the car for under $30,000, which is why they chose the Chevrolet brand. For many months, in fact years, we have heard that the car is likely to come in around $40,000. Of course there will be a $7500 tax credit making the effective price $32,500.

Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?

GM has never publicly committed to it, and VP John Lauckner once said final pricing wouldn’t be made public until May of next year.

Although nothing official to report, I have been given a subtle hint that we may be in for a surprise when pricing is made public.

We’ll have to wait and see.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 7:15 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 210


  1. 1
    D LO

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:24 am)

    Christmas coming early? Here is an idea; price it at the maximum that will sell through your production capacity. Thus, making a profit. I’m sure this seems obvious to all of us, but to recently bankrupt GM, it might not.

    As production increases, decrease the price. We see this with technology all the time. The 37 inch LCD TV was $999 two years ago, then down to $600 a year ago, and now $350. I have no exception to GM coming out at $42k for first year, then lowering price for second year to $35 as scale increases inventories.

    Without making any further investment in restyling, keep pumping them out, and in seven years after all the original production molds are paid for the car is $20 k, and half of it is profit.
    Sound impossible? Look at the VW beetle. Same car, same parts as other Vdubs. Oh, and VW is long been the most profitable.


  2. 2
    prowler

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:26 am)

    Given that the only benchmarks are Tesla at over $six-figures and the Fisker coming pretty close (if or when it ever comes out), GM will have no problem selling the first 10,000 VOLTs at half the price.

    Just tell me where to send the $40,000 today to get the first one on the East coast.

    -SPARKZZ


  3. 3
    FME III

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:27 am)

    ‘Fess up, Lyle. What’s the “subtle hint”?

    Was not the $40K price predicated on the need to build into the cost a second battery pack (to ensure 100,000 miles of use)? Could it be that they are sufficiently comfortable with the battery pack’s performance that they no longer feel the need to build that into the price?

    Regardless, SHOULD the car be priced considerably less than $40K it would be a huge PR coup for GM. However, I’m inclined to think that this will not be the case. If it comes in under $40k, it may not be a whole lot less.


  4. 4
    Dan Petit

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:28 am)

    Perhaps the battery normal-use longevity is more clearly known to the point that a second battery might not be needed as previously suggested about a year and a half ago. That might mean that there could possibly be a factoring-out of that business risk. Especially true where those selected for Gen1 are a careful-drivers-consumer-group already familiar with high energy battery “moderate/normal” demand loading considerations. (They won’t abuse the power and thus possibly incurr higher wear pattern risks). Does anyone recall those discussions regarding that extra battery cost? (If this is the case, other OEM’s ought to start having that “sinking feeling” right about now).


  5. 5
    JohnK

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:30 am)

    Is everybody SURE it would be lower? The dealer that I talked to in Ohio spoke of a price of $40-$55K.


  6. 6
    Lee Lindquist

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:31 am)

    A price reduction would be most appreciated … I hope this hint is not just wishful thinking.


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    Ricky Bobby

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:32 am)

    It sure would change my plans for the future if someone could give me an acutal number. That Ford Fusion H sure is looking good……..and my old ride may not last much longer………

    BTW – MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL HERE AT GM-VOLT.COM!!!!!


  8. 8
    Dave K.

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:38 am)

    GM should follow the floating price system commonly used in tech & electronics sales. First determine a sustainable rate of production. 4000 Volt per month sems like a good fit. Then line up the parts suppliers to ensure the rate will be maintained. Set the unit price at 10% above costs.

    Start production and watch the rate of sales. Float the per unit price by 2% per week (higher or lower) to maintain the rate.

    The buyer base can be expanded by changing the tax credit of $7500 to an instant rebate. Perhaps President Obama will agree to this in the afterglow of passing the National Health Care Plan.

    =D~


  9. 9
    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:39 am)

    This is great news.

    Let me give a mini-sequence here:

    1) GM announces the Volt at under $30,000
    2) Congress starts deliberating the size of the tax credit for plug-ins
    3) Lutz says the Volt will cost over $40,000 and requires require 2 batters over it’s lifetime
    4) Congress finialized the phev tax credit at $7500 for 16kwh.
    5) Lutz says battery testing shows only 1 battery needed per car


  10. 10
    Rashiid Amul

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:45 am)

    From the article:
    Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?

    I still like the sounds of: “Nicely under $30K”


  11. 11
    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:48 am)

    6) Lutz admits the battery only costs GM $8000, but says other parts drive the $40,000 price.
    7) the media starts hammering GM on Volt price
    8. Congress doesn’t offer any more PHEV tax incentives
    9) GM starts hinting the price will be lower


  12. 12
    BillR

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:49 am)

    In some ways, this is a catch 22 for GM.

    Higher volume in manufacturing reduces cost, but you need high sales volumes to get justify increased production.

    Thus GM will do many things to expand the use of common parts. The Volt, Cruze, and Orlando are all built on the Delta II platform, and thus can share some of the common assemblies. The FWD 2-mode seems to have a lot in common with the Volt’s “transmission”. The upcoming plugin SUV (formerly Saturn Vue), uses an 8 kW battery pack with the same cells as the Volt, and uses the same inverter as the Volt.

    Ultimately, if GM is committed to electrification and plugin hybrid technology, their tactic may be to introduce the Volt at a lower price to stimulate sales, and then allow economy of scale to bring the Volt (and other related vehicles) into profitability.


  13. 13
    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:10 am)

    BillR: In some ways, this is a catch 22 for GM.

    Higher volume in manufacturing reduces cost, but you need high sales volumes to get justify increased production.

    When the Prius first came out, Toyota lost money on every car sold. This actually the typical way car makers introduce new technologies. They take a relatively small loss initially which leads to greater profits if the sales volume ramps up sooner.

    But when GM was facing bankruptcy, and at the same time seeing huge interest from early adopters, I think they decided to stray away from this tried-and-true method.

    Now the economy is starting to recover, GM has a little extra cash, and the media is pounding the Volt on price, it looks like GM may go back to the tried-and-true methods of the past.

    We can only hope…


  14. 14
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:17 am)

    More Government subsidies?
    Some type of Cash for Clunkers regarding PHEVs?
    Warranty restrictions gone?
    EEstor breakthrough (j/k)

    …..How long are you going to torture us Lyle? ;-)


  15. 15
    JEC

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:22 am)

    No fair Lyle,

    “Although nothing official to report, I have been given a subtle hint that we may be in for a surprise when pricing is made public.”

    That’s like the teaser trailer to Avatar. I just gotta see it.

    Come on Lyle, let the kitten out of the bag!


  16. 16
    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:22 am)

    Dan Petit: Perhaps the battery normal-use longevity is more clearly known to the point that a second battery might not be needed as previously suggested about a year and a half ago. That might mean that there could possibly be a factoring-out of that business risk.

    Along these lines, it could be possible that the extensive testing has shown that the batteries are far more reliable than they had first counted on. It’s way to late to engineer in a smaller battery, so the “insurance factor” in the battery would be less – hence a lower retail price. Shrug, it’s all speculation – that’s our middle names (lol)
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  17. 17
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:29 am)

    BillR: Ultimately, if GM is committed to electrification and plugin hybrid technology, their tactic may be to introduce the Volt at a lower price to stimulate sales, and then allow economy of scale to bring the Volt (and other related vehicles) into profitability.

    I don’t know if GM is in the fiscal condition to make this kind of gesture. I’d love for it to be so though. STATIK?
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  18. 18
    Jim in PA

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:31 am)

    FME III (Comment #3) hits the nail on the head! Those of us that have been hanging around this site long enough recall GM saying that the price of a replacement battery could be built into the price, basically to cover their arses regarding the 150,000 mile battery warranty. If GM is now convinced that the vast majority of batteries will make it to the 150,000 mile mark, this contingency is unnecessary, and can result in an immediate price reduction of $8,000 or so.

    Also, keep in mind that much of the Volt development cost was written off in the GM bankruptcy this year. Yes, they have factory construction and tooling costs associated with building a new car, but there are massive tax incentives for those items as well. The bottom line is that this car, in a few years, should cost about $10,000 – $12,000 more than a loaded Cruze. If you can buy a loaded Cruze for $20,000, then there is little justification for a Volt being an additional $20,000 once initial costs are recouped.


  19. 19
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:33 am)

    Rashiid Amul: From the article:
    Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?I still like the sounds of:“Nicely under $30K”  

    +1
    And I thought that *I* was the resident optimist (g)!

    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  20. 20
    Randy

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:35 am)

    IT seems the $7500 tax credit is geared toward the volt as no other Mfg except for nissan may qualify.
    Reminds me of the Japanese Cash for clunkers that was written in a way that only the prius would qualify thus shutting out foreign cars,


  21. 21
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:38 am)

    JohnK: Is everybody SURE it would be lower?The dealer that I talked to in Ohio spoke of a price of $40-$55K.  

    I get your point, but given that Lyle has the best interest of the Volt in mind, nothing would be gained by posting a hint contrary to the way it may go (down).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  22. 22
    CDAVIS

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:38 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    MSRP $34,999
    Tax Credit $7,500
    Adjusted Cost $27,499 “Nicely under $30K”
    ______________________________________________________


  23. 23
    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:45 am)

    CDAVIS: ______________________________________________________
    MSRP $34,999
    Tax Credit$7,500
    Adjusted Cost $27,499 “Nicely under $30K”
    ______________________________________________________  

    I love it! “From your lips to God’s ear”.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  24. 24
    Zel

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:50 am)

    CDAVIS: ______________________________________________________
    MSRP $34,999
    Tax Credit$7,500
    Adjusted Cost $27,499 “Nicely under $30K”
    ______________________________________________________  

    That would be a very ‘Merry Christmas’ gift from GM!!!!!

    Merry Happy New Christmas Year all!!!!

    Zel


  25. 25
    Kevin R

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:51 am)

    It will be an incredible coup if GM brings the Volt out in the lower $30′s. They’ll have every incentive to ramp up production to satisfy demand and turn everyone away from foreign manufacturers to themselves. Talk about a turn around, its something I’d love to see happen.


  26. 26
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:56 am)

    Stepping out of character for a moment, would it be in GM’s best interest to lower the price? I’m not just referring to profits, I’m wondering how a *drastic* shortfall of supply (given the even higher demand) would effect their PR. It could be a “GM made a really neat car, but no one can get them” scenario. I don’t know, maybe that will just be a plus.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  27. 27
    nasaman

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:58 am)

    Tagamet: …..it could be possible that the extensive testing has shown that the batterys are far more reliable than they had first counted on. It’s way too late to engineer in a smaller battery, so the “insurance factor” in the battery would be less – hence a lower retail price.(Quote)

    I agree. In fact I’ve always believed the Volt battery would come in at a considerably lower cost than GM has long intimated. Why? Because 1) both the cell AND the pack raw materials are inherently inexpensive (unlike the platinum electrodes of a fuel cell, for example); 2) both the cells and the packs readily lend themselves to highly-automated assembly AND testing; and 3) battery testing has proven its very conservative design to be extremely reliable —more so than was anticipated.

    So as Lyle suggests above, the $40,000 figure GM has long projected has in fact been a decoy …..but one that IMO will allow the Volt’s eventual MSRP to embrace the important image-enhancing marketing principle that Tag keeps us all reminded about: “under promising and over delivering”!


  28. 28
    Nelson

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:00 am)

    It doesn’t matter what GM sets the Volts price at. Because of the limited initial supply, dealers will gouge up the price. Now if GM can somehow prohibit dealers from doing that, and sticker is $37K they better get ready to ramp up production very quickly.

    NPNS!


  29. 29
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:03 am)

    nasaman: So as Lyle suggests above, the $40,000 figure GM has long projected has in fact been a decoy …..but one that IMO will allow the Volt’s eventual MSRP to embrace the important image-enhancing marketing principle that Tag keeps us all reminded about: “under promising and over delivering”!

    LOL, Thanks for reminding me!
    This is obviously another example of “under-promise, over-deliver”!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  30. 30
    gwm538

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:06 am)

    Now that I have retired and am on a “fixed” income, I would also like to see the Volt price below $30K. My local dealer has told me that the price would still be around $40k. Maybe things are changing for the better.


  31. 31
    CDAVIS

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:10 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    #23 Tagamet said:
    “From your lips to God’s ear”
    ————-

    Adjusted $27,499 is hopeful thinking on my part…I’d like to see Middle America be able to afford getting off petrol. Wide adoption for the Volt requires dollar cost/benefit to be instant for the consumer…not breakeven after six years of use…Lutz is correct about that.

    Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all…I whish Everyone here a prosperous and joyful 2010.

    Thanks to the Voltec Development Team for their keeping the Volt on schedule!…no easy task.

    Thank you Lyle for this blog site…The Power of One
    _____________________________________________________


  32. 32
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:15 am)

    CDAVIS: Thanks to the Voltec Development Team for their keeping the Volt on schedule!…no easy task.

    I’m glad that you pointed this one out – I’d omitted it in my good wishes. They done an incredible job to get the Volts wheels *actually* on the road!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  33. 33
    Jackson

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:18 am)

    “Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?”

    Yes, just like it’s possible that not releasing true CS mode mpg is a decoy.

    That’s optimism; and that’s all it can be until we see a sticker.

    Want a strong dose of realism? (Doesn’t matter, here’s some anyway): Whatever GM’s MSRP turns out to be, dealers will add some icing for themselves right over the top — unless something is going to be very different at “The Chevy Store.”

    Want some real optimism?

    It won’t be the wrong kind of surprise ($44K – $47K).


  34. 34
    Loboc

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:20 am)

    They should sell them to the dealers at the same price as Cruze and let the market work it’s magic. The dealers will make thousands on each unit and demand more production.

    The actual price for the first run will be market driven no matter what GM sets the MSRP. May as well get GMAC healthy as dealers make huge profits. (Banks make money on transactions. Generate more transactions.)

    Those profits will go to hiring more tech and sales guys thereby reducing unemployment. Dealers will start advertising again causing more traffic into GM dealerships.

    The snowball effect will cause GM’s IPO to make massive profits for the federal government as it liquidates shares. The government doesn’t like giving money back to taxpayers, so, it will use these profits for the general fund and partially offset the first year’s massive costs for healthcare.

    Heck, If you’re gonna speculate. Speculate BIG! :)


  35. 35
    greg woulf

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Adjusting to the price for the first production run is short sighted. The first run is as much advertising as it is production, what the public sees will determine whether they’ll be hot after the product or ignore it forever.

    If they set the price high, then people will ignore it the way Tesla was mostly ignored, if they set it too low and have to raise it the 2nd year of production people will feel that they’re gouging because of demand.

    I think they should set the price where they need the price to be, cost of production, plus a reasonable profit. The profit will pay for development in time.


  36. 36
    SteveK9

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:24 am)

    Dave G:
    When the Prius first came out, Toyota lost money on every car sold.This actually the typical way car makers introduce new technologies.They take a relatively small loss initially which leads to greater profits if the sales volume ramps up sooner.But when GM was facing bankruptcy, and at the same time seeing huge interest from early adopters, I think they decided to stray away from this tried-and-true method.Now the economy is starting to recover, GM has a little extra cash, and the media is pounding the Volt on price, it looks like GM may go back to the tried-and-true methods of the past.We can only hope…  

    This is right on the money. Perhaps GM won’t even make money at $40K. What is important is to get a good handle on how low they think they can get the cost. They can easily take a loss on the relatively few cars from Generation 1, if they think they can get the price down substantially on Generation 2.


  37. 37
    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:24 am)

    Jackson: “Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?”Yes, just like it’s possible that not releasing true CS mode mpg is a decoy.That’s optimism; and that’s all it can be until we see a sticker.Want a strong dose of realism?(Doesn’t matter, here’s some anyway):Whatever GM’s MSRP is, dealers will add some icing for themselves right over the top — unless something is going to be very different at the “Chevy Store.”  

    If *I* were GM, I’d use the “chip” of training service departments (and any proprietary equipment to do the service) to get an assurance (contractually) from dealers to honor the MSRP. No agreement, no training. Just to state the obvious, I’m not GM. (lol).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  38. 38
    Jackson

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:26 am)

    Maybe they’re going to make Captain Jack’s “stripper” for $30K or less. Nicely equipped, it will approach $40K — or more.


  39. 39
    Jackson

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:33 am)

    Tagamet: If *I* were GM, I’d use the “chip” of training service departments (and any proprietary equipment to do the service) to get an assurance (contractually) from dealers to honor the MSRP. No agreement, no training. Just to state the obvious, I’m not GM. (lol).

    Obviously, I’d love to be pleasantly surprised both in the area of price and in CS mode mpg. The truth is, a year is a long time; and I’ll be just as happy to see 10,000 $40K Volts actually get to the first adopters on schedule.

    Anything they can do at the top to enforce the quality ownership experience at the bottom will help GM’s position in the battle for hearts and minds. I was telling a long-time Honda-loving friend about the new Buicks a couple of days ago, but her mind was completely closed to “American made cars” (at least, she doesn’t single out GM, lol).


  40. 40
    DonC

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:35 am)

    The study released by the US National Resource Council has a cost breakdown and, if that breakdown is to be believed, expecting a lower cost Volt is wishful dreaming. Some people here hold the opinion that the production costs will be significantly lower than those estimates, but those opinions are based on conjecture or stray offhand comments not the same type of research and interviews that the Council was able to perform.

    Add those estimates to the fact that the costs of new products always are higher than estimated, and a good guess is that GM will struggle to get the price of even the Gen II Volt under $35k.


  41. 41
    Rashiid Amul

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:38 am)

    Jackson: “Is it possible this $40,000 price tag is a decoy?”Yes, just like it’s possible that not releasing true CS mode mpg is a decoy.That’s optimism; and that’s all it can be until we see a sticker.Want a strong dose of realism?(Doesn’t matter, here’s some anyway):Whatever GM’s MSRP turns out to be, dealers will add some icing for themselves right over the top — unless something is going to be very different at “The Chevy Store.”Want some real optimism?It won’t be the wrong kind of surprise ($44K – $47K).  

    Boooooooo, hisssssssss.
    Even if it might be true. :(


  42. 42
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:39 am)

    Jackson: Maybe they’re going to make Captain Jack’s “stripper” for $30K or less.Nicely equipped, it will approach $40K — or more.  

    That’d still be a blessing to many of us.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  43. 43
    Van

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:42 am)

    Sorta off topic, I see where Panasonic has developed laptop batteries with an energy density of around 250 Wh/kg. That would be double the energy density of the LG cell supposedly going into the Volt.

    So if LG can also double the energy density and hold material and manufacturing costs constant, they almost halve the battery cost.

    If LG can manufacture a big cell (i.e for the Volt) with twice the energy density, then perhaps the Volt cost could be decreased by around $6000.

    Now that would surprise and please me. :)


  44. 44
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:43 am)

    DonC: The study released by the US National Resource Council has a cost breakdown and, if that breakdown is to be believed, expecting a lower cost Volt is wishful dreaming.

    Is this a govt run group like the one that we chatted about recently? I’m not trying to be smart, I honestly don’t know. I could leave the site and look it up, but it’s easier to as you.
    Thanks,
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  45. 45
    Ray

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:47 am)

    Ricky Bobby: It sure would change my plans for the future if someone could give me an acutal number. That Ford Fusion H sure is looking good……..and my old ride may not last much longer………BTW – MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL HERE AT GM-VOLT.COM!!!!!  (Quote)

    I have one…. am loving it…. and would still like to park a Volt beside on my driveway…. I would use both equally… The Fusion would be better suited for the longer road trips as it is bigger… and delivers 50 MPG (Canadian) on the highway….

    GM… Comparison testing is available to you… I already have the Fusion Hybrid… Just need the Volt here and testing will get underway….

    Did I mention it has been dam cold up here in Central Alberata Canada for most of December and except for one stuck relay (described in an earlier post)… the Fusion has been flawlessly reliable so far…


  46. 46
    pKIO3

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:50 am)

    Tagamet:
    Is this a govt run group like the one that we chatted about recently? I’m not trying to be smart, I honestly don’t know. I could leave the site and look it up, but it’s easier to as you.
    Thanks,
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Government Group –
    http://sites.nationalacademies.org/NRC/index.htm


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    Kent

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:51 am)

    JohnK: Is everybody SURE it would be lower?The dealer that I talked to in Ohio spoke of a price of $40-$55K.  

    The dealer you spoke with was probably including his dealer markup.


  48. 48
    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:52 am)

    pKIO3:
    Government Group –
    http://sites.nationalacademies.org/NRC/index.htm  

    THANKS!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  49. 49
    Jim in PA

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:56 am)

    Loboc: They should sell them to the dealers at the same price as Cruze and let the market work it’s magic.

    So they’ll lose money on each unit, but they’ll make up for it in volume? :)

    If I were GM I wouldn’t rely on smart or good dealer pricing to determine the MSRP of the Volt.


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    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:03 am)

    Jim in PA: The Volt MUST cost several thousand more than the Cruze based on the fact that they share a common basic platform, but the Volt has a battery that adds thousands to the price. If the Volt is priced the same as the Cruze, either the Volt is losing money or the Cruze is over-priced.

    Agreed, but the question is how *many* thousands extra. What’s the cost of the Cruze going to be?
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  51. 51
    William

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:06 am)

    CDAVIS: I’d like to see Middle America be able to afford getting off petrol

    I live in “Middle America,” and I totally agree! IMO, they need to ramp up production as quickly (and reasonably) as possible, so they can keep volumes up, the price down and allow them to recover their costs and make a profit ASAP through economies of scale.

    I drive a 2008 Chevy Impala (wonderful car and great on fuel economy!) and it is a mass-produced car; GM builds well over 300,000 of them per year.

    As the Impala is so common now, it is possible to buy one for a very reasonable price. GM needs to do the same thing with the Volt.

    If GM wants the Volt to become an everyday car for the American family, they need to price it within the range of an average American family. Nowadays, the average American family is not going to be able to shell out $40,000 for a Volt (even if you subtract the $7,500 tax credit).

    Now, the $27,499 that was proposed on here sounded more reasonable; that undercuts the Ford Fusion Hybrid by $121. If they can get the Volt in that price range, it will be far more competitive.

    The Volt is a fabulous car that I would be thrilled to own! They’ve just got to get it in the hands of the “average Joe.” I am glad that Bob Lutz said what he said, in regards to people not going to pay several thousand dollars extra to save a few hundred dollars in fuel. This means that they are (likely) seriously considering a major price reduction.

    Merry Christmas to all!


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    RSBaker

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:08 am)

    I have always wondered the same thing. It would absolutely be a master stroke if GM surprised everyone with a low price. This would leave Nissan and especially Toyota reeling. Toyota for one has never taken GM’s plans for Volt seriously which is why they are only offering what amounts to warmed over plug-in Prius. They assume GM will offer a $40K Volt and that it would not be successful or that it would actually fail. But if GM pulls off a miricle and brings in a Volt with a sticker price at or below $30K, then the volt will absolutely be an unqualified success. We must not forget that volt is based on the new Cruze, and the base price for a plain Jane Cruze is supposed to be about $15K. Now I don’t know how much that Volt battery pack costs to make, but I can not imagine that it costs $20K each. It’s probably in the neighborhood of $10K. If that is indeed the case, then a sub-$30K Volt seems to enter the realm of possibility. Lets all keep out fingers crossed!!!


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    Paul

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:16 am)

    Tagamet: Stepping out of character for a moment, would it be in GM’s best interest to lower the price? I’m not just referring to profits, I’m wondering how a *drastic* shortfall of supply (given the even higher demand) would effect their PR. It could be a “GM made a really neat car, but no one can get them” scenario. I don’t know, maybe that will just be a plus.
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    The “Tickle Me Elmo” of cars….


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    The P.E.

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:17 am)

    As part of my job, I have the opportunity to generate what we call a “discounted cash flow” sheet. This sheet tracks costs and profits for the entire length of the project. The last one I did was a 10 yr. 8.2 million dollar project. The first two years showed a loss, but the project as a whole returned a 30% profit and paid for itself in about 3 years.

    Production volumes, by year are estimated, as well as costs, etc.

    GM undoubtedly will use the same methodology when they try to arrive at their price point.

    Given the above, it is very probable that they can reduce the cost of the Volt, and even make them for a loss in the first couple of years, as long as the project makes money over it’s entire life.

    “If you build it, they will come….”


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:18 am)

    Paul:
    The “Tickle Me Elmo” of cars….  

    LOL, yeah, that’s what I meant. Maybe Cabbage Patch kids…..
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  56. 56
    nasaman

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:19 am)

    The plug-in Prius (and plug-in 2-mode from GM) are other vehicles GM will have to consider in pricing the Volt. The average buyer won’t attach much significance to the shorter AERs of these other plug-ins, but if their much smaller batteries allow much lower MSRPs, that will significantly impact Volt sales.

    In fact, I would also bet Ford is already hard at work on developing a plug-in version of their Fusion Hybrid (Motor Trend COTY for 2010) to compete in the forth-coming plug-in marketplace!


  57. 57
    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:22 am)

    The P.E.: As part of my job, I have the opportunity to generate what we call a “discounted cash flow” sheet.This sheet tracks costs and profits for the entire length of the project.The last one I did was a 10 yr.8.2 million dollar project.The first two years showed a loss, but the project as a whole returned a 30% profit and paid for itself in about 3 years.Production volumes, by year are estimated, as well as costs, etc.GM undoubtedly will use the same methodology when they try to arrive at their price point.Given the above, it is very probable that they can reduce the cost of the Volt, and even make them for a loss in the first couple of years, as long as the project makes money over it’s entire life.“If you build it, they will come….”  

    *Excellent* info! That does provide some hope.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  58. 58
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:22 am)

    JohnK: Is everybody SURE it would be lower?The dealer that I talked to in Ohio spoke of a price of $40-$55K.  

    Regardless of the MSRP, I’m sure a dealer would be happy to charge you a lot more.


  59. 59
    William

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:24 am)

    RSBaker: Toyota for one has never taken GM’s plans for Volt seriously which is why they are only noffering a warmed over plug-in Prius

    Totally agree. Honestly, I almost laughed hysterically when I read about the plug-in Prius. 13-mile all-electric range? And they call that a serious contender to the Volt? I don’t think so!

    GM has been working very hard to leapfrog the Prius and I know they’ve done it. Toyota is really in for a surprise!

    It would really be in GM’s best interest to shock the auto world with an amazingly reasonable price for the Volt, sell it like hotcakes and cause sleepless nights for the Toyota execs in Japan.

    I believe the Volt is a car that America will be proud of and will help us on the way to freedom from foreign oil.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:26 am)

    nasaman: The plug-in Prius (and plug-in 2-mode from GM) are other vehicles GM will have to consider in pricing the Volt. The average buyer won’t attach much significance to the shorter AERs of these other plug-ins, but if their much smaller batteries allow much , that will significantly impact Volt sales.In fact, I would also bet Ford is already hard at work on developing a plug-in version of their Fusion Hybrid (Motor Trend COTY for 2010) to compete in the forth-coming plug-in marketplace!  

    Shouldn’t all of this put downward pressure on the price of the Volt?

    I still think that every car with a plug will sell out upon it’s introduction. VERY exciting times!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  61. 61
    SteveF

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:34 am)

    What I am expecting from GM is to set the price of MSRP at $37499 and with the $7500 tax credit, then they can say the car cost under 30K (by one dollar). Do not need to set it at $35499, to have the marketing label of under $30K.


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    Starcast

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:42 am)

    My guess for a long time has been $ 37000. After tax credit that’s under 30K for a base Volt. And likely under the price of the Plug In anything else.


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    DonC

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Tagamet: Is this a govt run group like the one that we chatted about recently? I’m not trying to be smart, I honestly don’t know. I could leave the site and look it up, but it’s easier to as you.

    It’s the same one. They break down the costs by component. Even missing things like all the custom components needed for the Volt — like bushings (can you believe that) — they come up with a incremental cost increase of $15,380 – $21,380, depending on how optimistic you want to be. (By comparison the incremental cost of a Prius type PHEV is $6500 – $8080).

    Most of that cost is in the battery pack, which includes not only the cells but the additional electronics and components needed for care and feeding. FWIW they have the incremental cost for all components coming down to around $14,000 by 2015, which would be in the ballpark of a Gen II Volt.

    They do show declining costs for lithium batteries but not nearly at the rate as has been bandied about here. The reason for this is that battery costs tend to decline rapidly and then level off, and they point out that the cost of lithium batteries appear to be past the point of rapid price declines.

    The National Resource Council report is not technically a government study because the NRC is not technically part of the government. It’s a private non-profit which operates under a congressional charter (signed by Abraham Lincoln) to convene top scientists who can give scientific advice on matters of public interest. Until recently the advice was not considered to be political advice, but sadly it seems to now be in vogue to attack science that you don’t agree with for whatever reason.

    The NRC report strikes me as being hands down the best thing we’ve seen on costs, mostly because of how detailed it is. it would be interesting to get Posawatz’s viewpoint on it. My guess is that, if he were candid, he’d say they had gotten it roughly correct. Maybe Lyle can find out!


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    zipdrive

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:50 am)

    Dan, I remember that conversation well, so you could be right on that – I hope.

    Dan Petit: Perhaps the battery normal-use longevity is more clearly known to the point that a second battery might not be needed as previously suggested about a year and a half ago. That might mean that there could possibly be a factoring-out of that business risk. Especially true where those selected for Gen1 are a careful-drivers-consumer-group already familiar with high energy battery “moderate/normal” demand loading considerations.(They won’t abuse the power and thus possibly incurr higher wear pattern risks). Does anyone recall those discussions regarding that extra battery cost? (If this is the case, other OEM’s ought to start having that “sinking feeling” right about now).  


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:54 am)

    DonC: …The NRC report strikes me as being hands down the best thing we’ve seen on costs, mostly because of how detailed it is. it would be interesting to get Posawatz’s viewpoint on it. My guess is that, if he were candid, he’d say they had gotten it roughly correct. Maybe Lyle can find out!

    Thanks, DonC
    The bottom line is that it won’t be too long now before we KNOW the price for our Volts (thank God).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    nasaman

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:54 am)

    Tagamet: Shouldn’t all of this put downward pressure on the price of the Volt?I still think that every car with a plug will sell out upon it’s introduction. VERY exciting times!(Quote)

    I agree, Tag ….in fact, my point of post #56 was that the other plug-in hybrids, even those with very short EV ranges will (as you say) put downward pressure on Volt pricing.


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    JEC

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:56 am)

    I agree.

    The overhead of supporting 2 unique and complete power plants will always keep the price of the Volt significantly above the other options (ICE, BEV, mild Hybrids).

    16 kWhr Battery: $8,0000
    Battery management system: $1,500
    Electric motors (X2): $1500 ea. (?) $3,000 total
    Inverter: $2,000
    Generator: $1,500
    Charging system: $500
    Misc: ?

    Total: $16,500 + Base ICE + NRE recovery + Capital investment recovery = PRICELESS.

    Most of my above costs are educated guess, but I work in the power electronics industry (industrial electronic drives/motor controllers), and even these prices would seem agressively low. But JMHO, as usual.

    DonC: The study released by the US National Resource Council has a cost breakdown and, if that breakdown is to be believed, expecting a lower cost Volt is wishful dreaming. Some people here hold the opinion that the production costs will be significantly lower than those estimates, but those opinions are based on conjecture or stray offhand comments not the same type of research and interviews that the Council was able to perform.Add those estimates to the fact that the costs of new products always are higher than estimated, and a good guess is that GM will struggle to get the price of even the Gen II Volt under $35k.  


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    Tagamet

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:04 am)

    JEC: I agree.

    The overhead of supporting 2 unique and complete power plants will always keep the price of the Volt significantly above the other options (ICE, BEV, mild Hybrids)…

    I guess that there will always be these terminally rational people among us (lol).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  69. 69
    KUD

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:04 am)

    JohnK: Is everybody SURE it would be lower?The dealer that I talked to in Ohio spoke of a price of $40-$55K.  

    Sounds like one of those dealers that will take the $40K Volt drive it around there lot for 10 Miles and sell it used for $55K


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    jeffhre

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:10 am)

    Jackson: Maybe they’re going to make Captain Jack’s “stripper” for $30K or less.Nicely equipped, it will approach $40K — or more.  

    As the economy improves how many strippers will be gliding through town? Toyota’s $20,000 – 22,000 Prius was first a no show and hailed as a red herring just to slow Honda Insight sales. Then Toyota stated those cars will not be sold to US consumers.


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    KUD

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Nelson: It doesn’t matter what GM sets the Volts price at.Because of the limited initial supply, dealers will gouge up the price.Now if GM can somehow prohibit dealers from doing that, and sticker is $37K they better get ready to ramp up production very quickly.NPNS!  

    My sentiments exactly


  72. 72
    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:19 am)

    Tagamet: Cabbage Patch kids

    Ah, memories. The whole Cabbage Patch craze crossed my desk in the form of Letters of Credit. Day after day, importing dolls, exporting machine tools and industrial infrastructure.

    Who could have foreseen that it would lead to economic problems?

    Hopefully we have learned. Time to kick the imported-oil habit.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:27 am)

    Loboc: Those profits will go to hiring more tech and sales guys thereby reducing unemployment.

    9:20 am

    I think that President Obama’s next big focus is going to be on the jobs issue, so why not???? Good idea! =1.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:28 am)

    Dan Petit: Perhaps the battery normal-use longevity is more clearly known to the point

    I think that since they are on gen III battery pack, they would have this nailed pretty well by now. Before, it was a guess because GM had pretty much zero experience with this size lithium battery. Now that they’ve been working on it for 3 years, they should have a lot more confidence.

    The other wild card in all this is that the new CFO is a former Microsoft CFO. Microsoft is not known for letting their competition get away with anything. As a matter of fact, Microsoft CRUSHES any competitor with whatever massive fly-swatter they can muster. This guy is not comfortable with anything less than 90% market share!

    Interesting that we have some high-tech guys on board since GM is building the most computer-intensive car ever!


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    DonC

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:29 am)

    Tagamet: I guess that there will always be these terminally rational people among us (lol).

    Yeah but we’d buy a Volt so technically we’re not even rational. ;-)


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:30 am)

    Loboc: Those profits will go to hiring more tech and sales guys thereby reducing unemployment.

    9:20 am

    I think that President Obama’s next big focus is going to be on the jobs issue, so why not???? Good idea! +1.

    Jackson: Maybe they’re going to make Captain Jack’s “stripper” for $30K or less. Nicely equipped, it will approach $40K — or more.  


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    jeffhre

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:31 am)

    Van: Sorta off topic, I see where Panasonic has developed laptop batteries with an energy density of around 250 Wh/kg.That would be double the energy density of the LG cell supposedly going into the Volt.So if LG can also double the energy density and hold material and manufacturing costs constant, they almost halve the battery cost.If LG can manufacture a big cell (i.e for the Volt) with twice the energy density, then perhaps the Volt cost could be decreased by around $6000.Now that would surprise and please me.   

    There are a few chemistries out there with higher energy densities, but the battery management, longevity and thermal runaway issues made choosing LG’s chemistry and production process a winner.

    Hopefully progress like Panasonic and others are making in energy density can eventually be included at a good price and also satisfying the whole range of issues involved in making good propulsion batteries.

    Much of the battery cost is in diagnostics/cell balancing, thermal management and packaging. Those costs won’t go away with higher energy density cells.


  78. 78
    jeffhre

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:35 am)

    KUD:
    My sentiments exactly  

    Could they potentially sell them at a set no haggle price like the Saturns?


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:40 am)

    jeffhre: As the economy improves how many strippers will be gliding through town? Toyota’s $20,000 – 22,000 Prius was first a no show and hailed as a red herring just to slow Honda Insight sales. Then Toyota stated those cars will not be sold to US consumers.  

    11:10 am

    Right, unfortunately.


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    jeffhre

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:41 am)

    William: Totally agree. Honestly, I almost laughed hysterically when I read about the plug-in Prius. 13-mile all-electric range? And they call that a serious contender to the Volt? I don’t think so!

    That’s 13 -15 on the Japanese test circuit. Under USA EPA it would translate to about 8 – 10.


  81. 81
    Jackson

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:44 am)

    jeffhre: Could they potentially sell them at a set no haggle price like the Saturns?  (Quote)

    The more they can take from the Saturn way, the better.


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    DonC

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:44 am)

    JEC: The overhead of supporting 2 unique and complete power plants will always keep the price of the Volt significantly above the other options (ICE, BEV, mild Hybrids).

    Since the report estimates that the vast majority of costs are in the battery pack, not so much the motors/generator, a serial hybrid like the Volt competes well with an BEV. Not so well with an ICE or a parallel hybrid like the Prius, though in truth the Prius doesn’t compete will on price with a conventional ICE vehicle.

    Stated crassly, the question would seem to be: “If you are willing to pay a premium for a Prius, how much more of a premium will you pay for a Volt?”


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    Noel Park

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:45 am)

    Edit:

    Sorry about my confusing comment at 11:30 am. I was trying to edit my previous effort. Something went wonky and just made it worse.

    Anyway, as to the price, hope springs eternal, LOL.

    LJGTVWOTR!!


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    Tim

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:49 am)

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    CorvetteGuy

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:49 am)

    If the VOLT price can come in UNDER $30,000 – - – does that mean that the Converj could come in under $50,000 ???!!!

    If so, I just might have to start saving up for a Cadillac instead!


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    Loboc

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Jim in PA: If I were GM I wouldn’t rely on smart or good dealer pricing to determine the MSRP of the Volt.

    The MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price. The dealer has very little to do with this decision. The dealer has every incentive to make as much profit as possible on each sale, however, regardless of what GM thinks the car should sell for.

    All I’m saying is that the dealer invoice should be set quite low since the dealerships will incur some cost for training and specialized equipment.

    10k cars is a drop in the bucket in the world-wide market. GM should use these vehicles to promote Chevrolet brand and promote their dealers. For 2012 model, Volt should be at whatever price the market says they should be. (Compete with other plug-in offerings.) By 2013 model year and beyond, GM will be leading the pack (and setting the price) if they do it right.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:50 am)

    DonC:
    Yeah but we’d buy a Volt so technically we’re not even rational.   

    POINT TAKEN! Maybe *logical* then. (g).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:53 am)

    jeffhre: Much of the battery cost is in diagnostics/cell balancing, thermal management and packaging. Those costs won’t go away with higher energy density cells.

    But they *will* come down with economies of scale.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    voltman

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:54 am)

    My guess is that they can tone down their estimates on the failure rates of the batteries. This will either change the numbers in their profitability spreadsheet or allow them to shrink the battery and not have a 100% oversizing of the pack (16kwh with 8 usable to 12kwh with 8 usable)


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:54 am)

    jeffhre: As the economy improves how many strippers will be gliding through town? Toyota’s $20,000 – 22,000 Prius was first a no show and hailed as a red herring just to slow Honda Insight sales. Then Toyota stated those cars will not be sold to US consumers.  (Quote)

    Good point. Guess they’ll have to lower the cost of the well-equipped models -! :-)


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:57 am)

    How can GM and the Volt be viable if they have to depend on a $7500 per car handout from Uncle Sam? Sounds like a recipe for continued disaster at GM. With the price of gas continuing to fall, the Volt is looking like an expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist any longer. While $4 gas might make the Volt more attractive, higher energy prices will further wreck our economy and put people out of work.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:57 am)

    Looks like the west coast is awakening (g).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:59 am)

    voltman: This will either change the numbers in their profitability spreadsheet or allow them to shrink the battery and not have a 100% oversizing of the pack (16kwh with 8 usable to 12kwh with 8 usable)

    Yes exactly. I’ve been wondering when the business case would be clear enough to support engineering the batteries this way.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Tagamet: Looks like the west coast is awakening (g).

    … and that’s the same coast GM is rolling the Volt out in, first. It’s probably too late now, but I still think this would’ve been the time to let the West Coasties wait.


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    George K

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    Remember that $100,000,000 DOE grant to have Volts fly out the door sooner… (gm-volt.com Dec. 11, 09 ” – offers Volt $100 million…”)

    Well, 100 million $
    divided by 10,000 cars sold in first year, is $10,000 per car. So,

    $40,000 – $10,000 = $30,000 !

    $30,000 – $7,500 = $22,500 !

    Yeha!

    =D~~~~


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    Prompter Bob: While $4 gas might make the Volt more attractive, higher energy prices will further wreck our economy and put people out of work.

    That’s the 200 billion dollar conundrum. The only way to inoculate the economy from oil shocks is to develop technologies like the Volt, and the only way to ensure many of these technologies are viable is with stable and persistent higher energy costs, or subsidies or tax credits or rebates.

    People are investing and working on energy saving technology with gas now over $3 a gallon, but if gas goes down another dollar a gallon, many of these investments will be completely wiped out. That will leave the economy vulnerable to oil price shocks and with no remaining viable low or alternative energy options.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    Jackson:
    … and that’s the same coast GM is rolling the Volt out in, first.It’s probably too late now, but I still think this would’ve been the time to let the West Coasties wait.  

    LOL, although I’d vote for that, I don’t see it actually *happening*. The one thing that *can* be counted on is that “fly-over country” will be last (sigh).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Sal MBA

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    If I recalled correctly, didn’t GM originally quote a price of $25k? Of course inflation will make it higher.


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    Islander

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    In the Bay area of CA. Trying to hold out for the Volt. Just saw a Prius comercial boasting $22K. I know its a stripped down model but it will be the competition.

    PS: off topic. this healthcare reform is a half baked mess. For real healthcare reform see http://www.guaranteedheal thcare.org/ The nurses are telling the truth.

    Heres to the Volt in 2010!!

    Thanks.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    No one is buying a Volt to save money. If cost is your main concern you can never justify the price of a Volt. You’d be much better off getting a Kia for $15k that gets 30+MPG.

    People want a Volt for many reasons, but GM will never win trying to make it about price.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:28 pm)

    Jaime: No one is buying a Volt to save money.If cost is your main concern you can never justify the price of a Volt.You’d be much better off getting a Kia for $15k that gets 30+MPG.People want a Volt for many reasons, but GM will never win trying to make it about price.  

    I agree that price is “down the list” of priorities of those here, but it’s definitely an issue if GM wants to get widespread acceptance of the Volt.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    News.

    New CFO of GM is Chris Lidell, the CFO of Microsoft.

    IMO this is EXCELLENET news

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20091222/AUTO01/912220379/1148/rss25


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    LauraM

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:48 pm)

    Loboc: All I’m saying is that the dealer invoice should be set quite low since the dealerships will incur some cost for training and specialized equipment.
    10k cars is a drop in the bucket in the world-wide market. GM should use these vehicles to promote Chevrolet brand and promote their dealers. For 2012 model, Volt should be at whatever price the market says they should be. (Compete with other plug-in offerings.) By 2013 model year and beyond, GM will be leading the pack (and setting the price) if they do it right.

    Under your scenario, there might be a low MSRP, but the dealers would able to get hefty mark-ups. Price is set by supply and demand. If people are wililng to spend $40,000 for a Volt, (which I’m pretty sure they are), there is no way a dealer will charge any less. Especially when dealing with such a limited supply.

    Personally, I’d much rather see GM get the money. After all, I have a vested interest in their staying in business.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    mitch: News.New CFO of GM is Chris Lidell, the CFO of Microsoft.IMO this is EXCELLENET newshttp://www.detnews.com/article/20091222/AUTO01/912220379/1148/rss25  

    Thanks for the link. I hope he doesn’t do anything to interfere with the Volt. The article made it pretty clear that he has his eye on moving up to CEO.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (12:54 pm)

    LauraM:
    Under your scenario, there might be a low MSRP, but the dealers would able to get hefty mark-ups.Price is set by supply and demand.If people are wililng to spend $40,000 for a Volt, (which I’m pretty sure they are), there is no way a dealer will charge any less.Especially when dealing with such alimited supply.Personally, I’d much rather see GM get the money.After all, I have a vested interest in their staying in business.  

    Would the Saturn’s old “No haggle price” work for the Volt?
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    The most interesting post of this group is that of JEC (Dec. 22 10:56 am). Instead of almost unsupported speculation as in other posts, he appears to have some reasonably solid information about the cost handicap the Volt will be under compared to the ICE (conventional engine), hybrid or pure electric (battery only).

    I would ignore the last as being impractical except for special applications due to its limited range.

    Further, his comparison of extra Volt costs is really just with the ICE since he ignores the the extra costs the hybrid has, most of which duplicate Volt extra costs, like an oversize battery (though not nearly big as the Volt’s), extra electronics and an expensive complex mechanical power-sharing arrangement.

    The comparison with the ICE is not appropriate since the Volt will be far more economical–more even than a hybrid.

    Concerning the Volt’s other extra costs, I have some expectation that with further development they will be reduced. For example, combining the motor and generator by reversing its windings. Also I believe the Volt, even now, requires only one motor, not two. Finally, even the major item, the battery, should come down in cost when in full production.

    Just discounting the extra unneeded motor, JEC’s extra cost comes down from $16,500 to $15,000. Comparing to other hybrids instead of an ICE brings it down to perhaps $11,000. And further development of the brand-new battery and a combined motor/generator and electronics (known for price reduction over time) might reduce it to maybe $7,000.

    Concerning other development costs, which are sunk anyway, if GM decides to amortize them over, say, one million cars instead of 100,000 cars, this arbitrary decision will result in being able to put a much lower sticker price on the car and still not lose money–so to speak. What it will do is make likely a mass market for the Volt. This in turn results in a beneficial circle in which the greater volume in turn results in lower costs. This will require optimism and discarding GM’s old accountant-with-green-eyeshade culture. Let’s hope it happens.

    Finally, as I’ve explained in another thread, all the above applies only to the Volt’s value as individual purchaser’s best-deal. It ignores the Volt’s value to our country of not depending upon unstable, hostile overseas sources of oil. It ignores unsustainable outflows of up to a trillion dollars yearly (if our electricity in the future comes from the new solar-thermal sources, and environmental damage such as climate change.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    Kent: The dealer you spoke with was probably including his dealer markup.  (Quote)

    No, he was not. They promised me MSRP. They simply said “caution, we don’t KNOW what the MSRP is yet, but we expect that most of the early ones will come fairly loaded and might cause the price to be as high as $55K.” I don’t even know if that meant that you had to take whatever options were pre-configured or what. As far as options go, I am at a loss to think of how much you could add to the basic car. The only expensive option I could think of would be a convertible, but I doubt that big of a surprize could be sprung (but given the choice of taking a convertible for $15K extra or no car at all, hmmmmm).


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    1. Battery pack = increased cost.

    2. Simplified construction and assembly = decrease in cost.

    Everything from cruise controls going from a complicated piece of mechanical hardware to a few codes of software. To hundreds if not thousands of intricate machined parts eliminated. No catalytic converter. No fuel pumps or fuel lines. Everywhere you look there are savings. The only expensive thing may be the battery pack. When a salesman says no maintenance costs for three years, how much does GM save when the required maintenance is actually 0, or approaching it. Brake pads last almost forever, the list goes on and on.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    mitch: New CFO of GM is Chris Lidell, the CFO of Microsoft.
    IMO this is EXCELLENET news

    I’m torn on this actually. On the one hand, it’s great that they’re getting new blood. And Microsoft, for all its faults, is undeniably a successful company. He did lead their first ever cost control plan, which is great. And it’s not like they’ve got so many options at this point.

    But Microsoft. at this point, reminds me of what GM used to be in the 70s. A giant that’s still extremely profitable, and has somewhat of a monopoly in a very lucrative market, but is facing a long term decilne. They’re nowhere near as dominant as they used to be. Basically Microsoft’s lifeblood is windows and to a less extent Microsoft office. Everything else is just gravy.

    Now, as CFO, Liddle wasn’t in charge of the product. But he’s probably bringing with him the Microsoft mentality. From all reports. they’re extremely beurocractic. Risk averse. Arrogant. And reliant on the status quo. They go into a new market they see as important, and try to take it over by throwing massive amounts of money at it, which they can do because windows is so profitable.

    Now, I’m sure that Liddle knows going in that GM is not in great shape. And I’m also reasonably sure that Microsoft isn’t as beaurocratic as GM. But still.

    Also, Microsoft isn’t a manufacturing company. Liddle may have an engineering degree, but he doesn’t seem to have actually worked as an engineer. He has no experience with manufacturing of any kind–unless you count big forest products. And now he’s probably their next CEO?


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    LauraM: Personally, I’d much rather see GM get the money. After all, I have a vested interest in their staying in business.

    If dealers and the rest of the economy keeps declining, GM won’t move any Volts (or anything else) going forward.

    GM is government owned. The government has incentive to make GM competitive and divest their position. Ergo, GM selling Volts to the dealer at a low invoice is the same thing as the government giving them a grant to stay in business.

    The whole issue is how to juice up transactions (sales) so that GM is somewhere in the ball park with other auto makers. Having a high-tech draw into the showroom is a good way to get the ball rolling. Making a very high profit makes sales guys want to learn what the new thing is all about. Knowledgeable sales guys are way better than NOT ones.

    Volume in this scenario *is* more important than short-term profit. Without volume the entire house of cards will collapse (again).


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    Tagamet: Would the Saturn’s old “No haggle price” work for the Volt?

    I don’t know. It depends on GM’s contracts with their dealers. If GM can, I think they should adopt that system for all their cars. But I doubt they can.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:48 pm)

    LauraM:
    I don’t know.It depends on GM’s contracts with their dealers. If GM can, I think they should adopt that system for all their cars.But I doubt they can.  

    Maybe it can be part of the package where GM provides training for maintenance and any proprietary equipment necessary to perform the service.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    JohnK

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    Tim: Detroit in RUINS!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw&feature=sub  (Quote)

    This is amazing! Being a transplant to the Detroit area (35 years ago), I would say that the video was pretty accurate (but no bears in the area). He did leave out white flight to the suburbs, but that was symptomatic of the underlying issues.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (1:53 pm)

    Loboc: GM is government owned. The government has incentive to make GM competitive and divest their position. Ergo, GM selling Volts to the dealer at a low invoice is the same thing as the government giving them a grant to stay in business.
    The whole issue is how to juice up transactions (sales) so that GM is somewhere in the ball park with other auto makers. Having a high-tech draw into the showroom is a good way to get the ball rolling. Making a very high profit makes sales guys want to learn what the new thing is all about. Knowledgeable sales guys are way better than NOT ones.
    Volume in this scenario *is* more important than short-term profit. Without volume the entire house of cards will collapse (again).

    Yes. The government owns 60% of GM. That does not translate into GM having unlimited access to taxpayer money. Nor should they. The government already loaned them a certain amount of money, and GM needs to manage that money. GM bought market share for years. That’s not a long term strategy for profitability. They don’t need to do that with the Volt. It will sell itself.

    Yes. GM needs knowledgeable sales guys. Which is why they’re probably only going to use a few selected dealerships with the initial roll out. And as the high tech draw into the showrooms, the sales guys will already have incentives to know about them. But that doesn’t mean they want them to prefer selling Volts to selling Malibus. At least not while they’re still in the first year of production.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    Tagamet: Maybe it can be part of the package where GM provides training for maintenance and any proprietary equipment necessary to perform the service.

    Maybe…but I don’t know. Basically, the dealers buy the cars from GM. Can they require the dealer to sell it at a certain price? And do they really want to antagonize the dealers like that?


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    OK, I’m no insider, but I think that the following link has a bearing on this issue: http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1040213_byd-to-display-e6-and-f3dm-at-naias-in-detroit-next-month-u-s-release-slated-for-may-2010
    BYD may be lacking credibility, but they will be at the Detroit auto show next month. And they will be showing an EREV. And the price of that EREV in China is definitely lower than $40K. Yes, competition is good. But I think and hope that GM has the right stuff.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:13 pm)

    And Tag’s idea for July 4 sounds better and better!


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    LauraM: Tagamet: Maybe it can be part of the package where GM provides training for maintenance and any proprietary equipment necessary to perform the service.

    Maybe…but I don’t know. Basically, the dealers buys the cars from GM. Can they require the dealer to sell it at a certain price? And do they really want to antagonize the dealers like that?

    SHRUG.

    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    JohnK: And Tag’s idea for July 4 sounds better and better!  

    AMEN!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    William

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    Loboc: Volume in this scenario *is* more important than short-term profit. Without volume the entire house of cards will collapse (again).

    I agree. It’s better for GM to get some money and take losses on the Volt initially, as they ramp up production, rather than to charge $40,000+ and sell hardly any at all. Once they get production in the hundreds of thousands per year, their costs will be in line and they can make a profit at lower prices.

    I have read where GM execs said that the reason that it is a ‘Chevy’ Volt and not a ‘Cadillac’ Volt is because they wanted to put it in the hands of average, everyday Americans. They will not do that by charging $40,000 for a Chevy; that is Cadillac territory.

    There are probably millions of people who will buy the Volt if the price is right.

    GM has a winner here and they’ve leapfrogged the Prius; they just need to have the right price.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    JohnK: OK, I’m no insider, but I think that the following link has a bearing on this issue: http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1040213_byd-to-display-e6-and-f3dm-at-naias-in-detroit-next-month-u-s-release-slated-for-may-2010
    BYD may be lacking credibility, but they will be at the Detroit auto show next month.And they will be showing an EREV.And the price of that EREV in China is definitely lower than $40K.Yes, competition is good.But I think and hope that GM has the right stuff.  

    I wonder when they say available “next May” if they mean May 2010, or May 2011. For 2010, I’d say THIS May. Forgive me, I’m left handed (g).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:28 pm)

    LauraM: I don’t know. It depends on GM’s contracts with their dealers. If GM can, I think they should adopt that system for all their cars. But I doubt they can.

    The set pricing didn’t work. It turns out you make more money and consumers are happier if you price discriminate. The company can of course always more or less set the price with a lease deal.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:28 pm)

    $39,999.99 and 9/10ths

    Or price it in euros.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (2:41 pm)

    DonC: The set pricing didn’t work. It turns out you make more money and consumers are happier if you price discriminate.

    Really? Personally, I feel jipped when I buy something for x, only to discover that someone else bought it for x-10. I recently bought a kindle, only to have them lower the price by $50.00 a week later. And Amazon refunded the difference. So, I can’t be the only one to feel that way about it.

    Absolutely, the dealers will make more money when they can charge mark-ups. (And discount if a customer is genuinely willing to walk.) But happier customers? In the long run? Somehow I tend to doubt that…


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:10 pm)

    Albert Sanders: JEC

    Albert,

    I think your right about the motor. I think the Volt uses something like a 150KW motor (~ 110 HP) ac induction motor. I was thinking they were dividing it between 2 motors. Anyway, my $1,500 per motor was based on the total 110 HP needed, so I would assume the motor is going to run them $3-4,000 range.

    Based on a very basic Inverter duty TEFC motor from Marathon, the price is about $6,200. So assuming GM gets a fairly deep discount, they my get the price down to say $3,000. This is just the motor, then you need to all the various mechanical linkages and mounting support.

    http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Motors/Marathon_Inverter_Duty_Motors/Marathon_Inverter_Duty_Motors_(by_HP)/E213

    Inverters are not cheap either, at least the ones my company sells. GM is designing a custom inverter section, which should bring down the price substantially, but I doubt they can get it under $1,500 – $2,000. The cost of the inverter will not drop substantially with time, since they are using some very specific semiconductors (IGBT’s) which have already experienced most of its price decrease in the last 15-20 years (VFD’s have driven this price down, and the volume of Volts are not going to come close to volumes of VFD’s used in the world, at least not in the foreseeable future).


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    William: There are probably millions of people who will buy the Volt if the price is right.

    Exactly.

    The price doesn’t have to be great, but it definitely needs to be better.

    For example, the Prius base price is $22,500. Let’s say you drive 12,000 miles a year, and gas prices average around $3.50 over the next 10 years.

    Over 10-year life of the vehicle, the Volt will save around $6500 in fuel costs compared to the Prius. Now you may not own the car for 10 years, but someone will, and they will pay more for a used car that saves $650/year in fuel costs over the Prius.

    So to achieve cost parity with the Prius, GM would have to sell the Volt at a base price of around $29,000 after tax credits, or $36,500 before tax credits.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    LauraM:
    Maybe…but I don’t know.Basically, the dealers buy the cars from GM.Can they require the dealer to sell it at a certain price?And do they really want to antagonize the dealers like that?  

    Hey Laura,

    While sellers can legally sell Volt for anything the public will bear, it seems to me that one of the most important things for the marketing department to prevent, is any impression of opportunism pricewise for these first generation units. MSRP is a suggestion, but, the backfire potential for amounts above that is a VERY chancey thing.

    Instead, there will be excellent ideas that will tend to help satisfy sellers’ bottom lines. But it’s not a good idea for me to share those options ideas here.

    As well, any of the things I think of are the same things those thousands of very talented GM engineers have already thought about in 1995 or so with EV1.


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    Dave K.

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:22 pm)

    Tagamet: Would the Saturn’s old “No haggle price” work for the Volt?

    One of the points made in the marketing post of yesterday is that the Volt buying experience will be a good one. This is very easy to say.

    What do most buyers consider as being the top factors in a positive buying experience? Or is it better to ask, “What makes a buying experience feel bad?”.

    Of the last three new cars my family has purchased. I rate just one of the three salespeople as delivering a positive buying experience. This is a lady who was quiet and pleasant. Who was there to answer our questions. And who suggested we could get the better price with buying one of the two same color models currently in stock on the lot. The manager agreed. We bought the car at a fair price and everyone was happy. This positive experience later continued on through the sales department. The car was serviced right and returned clean.

    The other two sales were through stubborn salesmen who stunk of commission. And I don’t mean the latest cologne from the Oprah collection. They may have thought it was a game or a contest, but their attitude cost later sales through negative word of mouth.

    The Volt is as much a computer as it is a car. And the value in ownership echos many noble goals. The biggest of these being the possibility that our fine military serviceman won’t need to don blast gear and patrol foreign oil facilities. Maybe “no haggle” is the way to go.

    =D~


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    Dave G

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    Another thing to note is the convenience factor.

    With a regular gas engine car, you need to go to the gas station around once every week. For me, between driving to the gas station , waiting in line, filling up, paying, and driving home, this takes around 15 minutes.

    Once your charging wire is set up at home, plugging in at night will take around 30 seconds, plus another 30 seconds to unplug in the morning. Since trips to the gas station are a very rare event with the Volt, that boils down to around 7.5 minutes per week.

    So the Volt is about twice as convenient to fuel.

    But what if we throw away the numbers, and look at raw emotions. Most people don’t like going to the gas station. If you told them they could largely avoid this unpleasant experience by spending an extra minute per day at home, I think most people would love this.

    So either way, the Volt has a significant advantage in convenience.

    I hope GM marketing understands this issue, and takes maximum advantage.


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    Dan Petit

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:34 pm)

    Dave K.:
    …The Volt is as much a computer as it is a car. And the value in ownership echos many noble goals. The biggest of these being the possibility that our fine military serviceman won’t need to don blast gear and patrol foreign oil facilities. Maybe “no haggle” is the way to go.=D~  

    There are two extremely clear and relevant points there, DaveK.
    Keeping our nation away from preventable war is one.
    Training our nation for the kinds of jobs that all the vast arrays of technology demand for the consumer to have transportation is the other. Here in Texas, our unemployment is likely going to remain high because of excessive non-technical leadership. Texas needs a different Governor.


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    Blind Guy

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (4:51 pm)

    The Volt is suppose to be the entrie level erev model for chevy. The Volt needs to be affordable for the average American. Volume sales is critical IMHO for many reasons. GM must lead and dominate this area of the market to be successful in the long term. People want to buy this technology, but price can be the decideing factorand GM must compete with the Cheaper foreign made vehicles. Profit must be made at a certain point, but you need to keep the sales dollars out of your competitors pocket as well to win in the long run. The last thing I want is for China to sell their byd vehicles here and shrink our production work force even more.When given a choice I try not to buy chinese product but our markets are flooded with their products because of their price.We also loved the Saturn Purchaseing experience with low pressure and NO haggle and would be a big plus for GM to do as well.


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    Dan Petit

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (5:00 pm)

    Hey Blind Guy,

    I think you are right that it would be a wise policy to have a fixed set mandatory retail price in as far as Generation 1 is concerned.

    There are so very many incredible things about Volt, that as expectations are quite sensationally peaked, that a Satun type of “no haggle” (up or down) marketing policy might go far to remove excessively unneeded anticipations or aprehensions.

    That way, hopes will not become dashed dramatically (due to financial unexpectedness) and, if you hear a voice from the Chevy Store say “it’s available right this minute” and you know you’re pre-approved by your financial institution ahead of time (getting that stress out of the way at a far earlier time) for your creditworthiness for a preset costing.

    Three seconds later after a deep breath, you shout
    “I’ll take it. That one’s mine”. “However it is, it’s mine”
    when you get that phone call from the Chevy Store rep.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    Dan Petit: …That way, hopes will not become dashed dramatically (due to financial unexpectedness) and, if you hear a voice from the Chevy Store say “it’s available right this minute” and you know you’re pre-approved by your financial institution ahead of time (getting that stress out of the way at a far earlier time) for your creditworthiness for a preset costing.

    Three seconds later after a deep breath, you shout
    “I’ll take it. That one’s mine”. “However it is, it’s mine”
    when you get that phone call from the Chevy Store rep.

    I think that there are a lot of people here fantasizing about just that scenario.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    hermant

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    The first ten thousand could be priced at $75,000 and would all quickly sell to all those crazy folks that just have to be seen in one. That way, dealers won’t make all of the early premium money. After two and one half months of production, the OEM should cut the delivery price to $40,000 as predicted by many here for the next thirty thousand. That way all of the tree huggers can get theirs with the money that they have been saving up for so long. Then discount them with massive cashback deals because, after you’ve got 40,000 sold for $40,000, there’s no many more folks that will pay any premium for a car without any special features like four wheel drive or racy performance. Probably you could expect the one hundred thousandth Volt to have a window stick of $21,998 with a decent level of options and it will still be rebated to compete against the Honda Civic. With GM having more service garages around the neighborhood than Honda, that stategy will work well like it has for the 2010 Camaro which is now becoming a commodity purchase.


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (5:41 pm)

    Blind Guy: The Volt is suppose to be the entrie level erev model for chevy. The Volt needs to be affordable for the average American. Volume sales is critical IMHO for many reasons. GM must lead and dominate this area of the market to be successful in the long term.

    BG

    I agree up to a point. The problem is, the volt is a limited production vehicle for the first year or two. IMHO, GM should get a premium for these vehicles because they are new and because people will pay (Supply and Demand). Once they sell the initial limited runs and develop V2.0 of the volt, I hope they ramp production way up and bring the price way down. For V1.0, however, if they can charge a higher price and still sell every last one, then of course they should do it.


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    Grazell

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    Zel: MSRP $34,999
    Tax Credit$7,500

    Dealer Markup: $12,501
    Customer cost: $39,999


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    Blind Guy

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    135 Nuclearboy It seems the limited production for the first year has alot of us frustrated, and I understand the reasons for doing this. This is a major undertaking with all kinds of training and changes with time at a premium. Supply and demand can make you more profit if supply is limited, however if your competition has similar product with more supply and lower price you may loose out on potential sales and making it easier for your competition to ramp up even more OT I will be going to check out the Leaf in Tucson Dec. 30 on their tour. I’m hopeing I can check it out up close, since I can’t see it or I’m hopeing they will give short rides for those of us who are pre registered. This vehicle may be my second choice if we can’t get a Volt first.


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    steel

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (6:54 pm)

    On EREV Price.

    We already know a company can make a 25,000 dollar P. Hybrid profitable.

    Going from a Prius to a Volt, Changes

    ICE.
    Special Engine –> Standard Engine (500-750)
    Transmission.
    E-CVT/Torque Converter –> Fixed Gear Box (1,000-1,500)
    Battery
    NiMh–>Lithium 6,000
    Motors
    2 small –> 2 large 2,000
    Invertor
    Small –> Large 500
    Plug
    None–> 1 500
    Total Delta more in the range of 6-10k

    Conclusion. Its going to be hard selling an EREV less than 35K unless battery costs go down significantly, -but- 35K is reasonable in comparison to the closest mass production car technology wise current on the road.

    I think everyone is thinking “Electric Cost + ICE Cost”. The truth is though that the ICE -can- be significantly less expensive in an EREV. For example, the Volt’s 1.4 L is rumored to be same as the upcomming Cruzes 1.4L T. Removing the Turbo Components, making a standard engine (dual overhead cams? direct injection? HCCI? pass!) could significantly reduce the cost of the just the engine. A replacement/rebuilt I4 for most of the toyota’s run into the 2,000+ range and those engines are already some of the most common on the planet.


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    nasaman

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (6:56 pm)

    Thanks to the space program, I’ve been to 25 other countries in Europe, Asia & the Middle East and have purchased numerous things while in most of them —but nothing as costly as a new car. Haggling is commonplace in much of the world (but rare in the US) and I actually sort of enjoy haggling for items costing up to (say) a few hundred dollars. But when it comes to buying an automobile, I actually HATE haggling over a car’s selling price, as I believe many (if not most) other Americans do.

    I’d prefer the Chevrolet Division adopt the one thing about the Saturn buying experience that most Saturn owners really liked —the no-haggle pricing— which is the primary reason I’ve owned only Saturns for the past 15 years (and why I’ll miss them so much).

    If only half of the GM Board’s $100 million incentive to accelerate the Volt’s introduction were allocated to reducing its MSRP by $5,000 for the first 10,000 cars (i.e., $50 million), and to introducing no-haggle pricing at the same time, the resulting positive word-of-mouth advertising should recreate the massive good will that Saturn enjoyed from its very beginning and throughout its nearly 20-year existence!


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    LauraM: Absolutely, the dealers will make more money when they can charge mark-ups. (And discount if a customer is genuinely willing to walk.) But happier customers? In the long run? Somehow I tend to doubt that…

    The trick is that you don’t really know what the actual prices are because the MSRP stays the same. So it’s more like you missed a one day sale on Amazon, which you may or may not ever learn about.

    CorvetteGuy can probably jump in here. But most customers think they got a good deal, even the one who didn’t.

    It’s why you haven’t seen other companies embrace the practice. If it worked then GM would have emulated it in its other divisions.


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    JohnK

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    Geez. We started the day fantacising about $30,000 Volts and now we are back to $50,000+. Don’t know if I can take the suspense.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:03 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I think that there are a lot of people here fantasizing about just that scenario.
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,

    To fulfill one’s dreams, chance favors a prepared mind.
    A technically-prepared mind more likely gets a technical job, which is where the more secure job growth is, (so you can more likely afford your Volt.)


  143. 143
    Dan Petit

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:16 pm)

    nasaman: Thanks to the space program, I’ve been to 25 other countries in Europe, Asia & the Middle East and have purchased numerous things while in most of them —but nothing as costly as a new car. Haggling is commonplace in much of the world (but rare in the US) and I actually sort of enjoy haggling for items costing up to (say) a few hundred dollars. But when it comes to buying an automobile, I actually HATE haggling over a car’s selling price, as I believe many (if not most) other Americans do.I’d prefer the Chevrolet Division adopt the one thing about the Saturn buying experience that most Saturn owners really liked —the no-haggle pricing— which is the primary reason I’ve owned only Saturns for the past 15 years (and why I’ll miss them so much).
    If only half of the GM Board’s $100 million incentive to accelerate the Volt’s introduction were allocated to reducing its MSRP by $5,000 for the first 10,000 cars (i.e., $50 million), and to introducing no-haggle pricing at the same time, the resulting positive word-of-mouth advertising should recreate the massive good will that Saturn enjoyed from its very beginning and throughout its nearly 20-year existence!  

    Terrific ideas nasaman. Excellent thinking. I agree that doing everything possible to eliminate the stress in the purchase of a car is a great thing. Making the experience as predictable as is possible would make for a better transition into this new technology by the customer. This concern for the transaction process itself needs far more attention by marketing departments, so that there might be a more likely discovery of some small things that might not seem significant because of the ways things have always been done, but the existing ways of doing some things may turn out to present significant puzzlement to the customer for all the new technologies in Volt. It can not all be accomplished in the normal ways of selling a car anymore, it seems to me.


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    LauraM

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    Dan Petit: While sellers can legally sell Volt for anything the public will bear, it seems to me that one of the most important things for the marketing department to prevent, is any impression of opportunism pricewise for these first generation units. MSRP is a suggestion, but, the backfire potential for amounts above that is a VERY chancey thing.

    That sort of thing is always bad for PR. It doesn’t stop dealers from doing it. I’m sure GM would have stopped them from putting mark-ups on the Camaro if they could. The last thing they wanted at that point was bad PR. So why would it be different with the Volt?


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    LauraM

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    DonC: But most customers think they got a good deal, even the one who didn’t.

    It’s why you haven’t seen other companies embrace the practice. If it worked then GM would have emulated it in its other divisions.

    That’s not true. As a woman, I know going in that if I try to buy a car, I’ll have to pay a higher price than a man would. Which is why my boyfriend will have to do the negotiating for me.

    I’m not much of a feminist. But that bothers me. A lot. And it bothers most of my friends who I’ve talked to about it.

    There is a reason that Saturn has the highest dealership satisfaction ratings of any dealership body. Relying on people not talking might have worked in the pre-internet era. But not anymore.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:34 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Hey Tag,To fulfill one’s dreams, chance favors a prepared mind.
    A technically-prepared mind more likely gets a technical job, which is where the more secure job growth is, (so you can more likely afford your Volt.)  

    Although Chance favors the prepared, Fortune favors the bold. I hope that GM is both lucky AND bold!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:36 pm)

    Grazell: Dealer Markup: $12,501
    Customer cost: $39,999  

    Oh… Don’t tease like that!


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    Dan Petit

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:43 pm)

    LauraM:
    That sort of thing is always bad for PR.It doesn’t stop dealers from doing it.I’m sure GM would have stopped them from putting mark-ups on the Camaro if they could.The last thing they wanted at that point was bad PR.So why would it be different with the Volt?  

    Hey Laura,
    It would seem to me that to some extent, if many consider the Volt to be a “halo car”, then there might be some “role strain” there if the price was increased beyond MSRP. I think higher markups beyond the MSRP would be a very definite global turn-off.
    With the Camaro, most buyers understand the laws of supply and demand. I think the dynamics with Volt are a lot different in some ways. From all the posts here, there are philosophies with Volt that really are all fairly close to each other from the practicality aspects. High performance ICE vehicles are more of a “commodity” product.

    It seems to me that Volt is far more of a “philosophical-change” and a huge paradygm shift. Maybe sellers won’t see it this way whatsoever, and sell it just as a commodity. It will be intersting none- the-less to eventually see how the various levels of marketing handle all these issues.

    Interesting most of all to see if there is an aspect of “personableness”, if you will, in marketing policy for this one product. This could also break ground regarding the possibility that a huge company could make the purchase experience so personalized, that customers actually get a profound feeling that “customer care” really means just that.

    Especially since it may be that a lot of philisophical idealism of all kinds is riding along with and on this Volt marketing process in particular.

    Extraordinary attentiveness to the sales process for Volt makes the best sense, and, no haggle pricing ought to be front and center with Volt so that there’s no chance the customer is overwhelmed somehow, with all the new operations and new things and new meanings all rolled up in one new purchase.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    Dan Petit: …Extraordinary attentiveness to the sales process for Volt makes the best sense, and, no haggle pricing ought to be front and center with Volt so that there’s no chance the customer is overwhelmed somehow, with all the new operations and new things and new meanings all rolled up in one new purchase.

    I just hope that the Volt doesn’t need a tutorial!
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (7:56 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Although Chance favors the prepared, Fortune favors the bold. I hope that GM is both lucky AND bold!
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,

    I really like that one. “Fortune favors the bold”.
    I think that will be one of my new years’ resolutions.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:08 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I just hope that the Volt doesn’t need a tutorial!
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,
    Actually, there is a tutorial built into the driver’s screen. Remeber the test drive of Lyle’s, where we saw the driver’s screen and it said “Tutorial” on it? While most here likely might not need it, I’d bet there would be important and helpful information in it.


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    Blind Guy: Supply and demand can make you more profit if supply is limited, however if your competition has similar product with more supply and lower price you may loose out

    You are right on here. If the Volt is truly special and in limited quantities, I would expect the price to be very high at the dealership and everyone will sell. If competition is tough and there are alternatives that are far cheaper, then the Volt price will have to come down to be competitive.

    The point I was trying to make earlier is that GM is not going to sell the Volt at a discounted price if the demand is high and they can sell all of them quickly at a higher price. That would be stupid.

    Your point, however, is right on. Competition will change that picture. I guess, however, that the demand for the initial Volts will be very high due to a lack of sufficient competition.

    The truth is, many of us will have difficulty ever seeing a Volt at a dealership in the first year.


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:11 pm)

    Dan Petit: Actually, there is a tutorial built into the driver’s screen.

    On top of the tutorial that Dan points out, I think the user interface will be very intuitive. GM seems to be putting a lot of time into user interfaces on their new cars and the controls are very intuitive.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Hey Tag,Actually, there is a tutorial built into the driver’s screen.Remeber the test drive of Lyle’s, where we saw the driver’s screen and it said “Tutorial” on it? While most here likely might not need it, I’d bet there would be important and helpful information in it.  

    I’m one of the odd ducks that actually *reads* manuals (all of them), so I definitely wouldn’t ignore the tutorial. HOWEVER I hope that there isn’t too much of a learning curve to climb for the “more normal” purchaser.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Herm

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    I also like the no-haggling dealerships, I’m not confrontational and I hate all the time wasting shenanigans that traditional dealership go through. I believe there is also less turnover of the salespeople also. Lately I have heard that buying a car using the internet department of a dealership is a lot less stressful, everything is done with emails.

    Many people like the idea that they got a better deal than someone else.. they probably did not.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    nuclearboy: …The truth is, many of us will have difficulty ever seeing a Volt at a dealership in the first year.

    Hey! *I’m* the optimist here and I’ll be stunned if I can see a Volt locally before 2013 (lol). Then again, I’m willing to travel to someplace nearer civilization if I have to.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    Tagamet: Then again, I’m willing to travel to someplace

    I will be searching for them too and will travel some if needed.


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    Herm

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    Dave G: So to achieve cost parity with the Prius, GM would have to sell the Volt at a base price of around $29,000 after tax credits, or $36,500 before tax credits.  

    Does the Volt have to have cost parity with a Prius?.. I thought it was aimed at a more luxurious level.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:28 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I’m one of the odd ducks that actually *reads* manuals (all of them), so I definitely wouldn’t ignore the tutorial. HOWEVER I hope that there isn’t too much of a learning curve to climb for the “more normal” purchaser.
    Merry Christmas,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Only speculation, but, regarding “learning curve” for the general public,
    I think that might be one of the very valid reasons GM is starting out in California, where there had previously been EV1. But it would not surprise me at all if there was a slight distribution of Volts around the rest of the country to individuals who would be amenable to helping with some sort of “product knowledge break-in” for the general public, by being very attentive to GM’s needs however GM might wish some sort of promotional participation of the initial Volts (in exchange for a pre-release temporary test period, or during release, a priority of ownership). But we’ll see soon enough.


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    nuclearboy

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:30 pm)

    Herm: I also like the no-haggling dealerships, I

    I have bought my last 3 GM cars using the UBS buying service. It is no haggle service and I leave the dealership happy. For my minivan, I bought it over the phone this way and just stopped in to pick it up. I always leave feeling good about the experience.

    The typical way of buying cars.. “let me get the manager” and “what kind of payments do you want” is closer to a timeshare presentation and I hate this process…..


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    Jackson

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:33 pm)

    nasaman: introducing no-haggle pricing

    … and not just for the Volt.

    New GM has a lot of Old GM stuff to get over. IMO, this is a large part of how they do it.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:33 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Only speculation, but, regarding “learning curve” for the general public,
    I think that might be one of the very valid reasons GM is starting out in California, where there had previously been EV1. But it would not surprise me at all if there was a slight distribution of Volts around the rest of the country to individuals who would be amenable to helping with some sort of “product knowledge break-in” for the general public, by being very attentive to GM’s needs however GM might wish some sort of promotional participationof the initial Volts (in exchange for a pre-release temporary test period, or during release, a priority of ownership). But we’ll see soon enough.  

    Like by Independence Day (g).

    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Herm

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:39 pm)

    Dave K.: The other two sales were through stubborn salesmen who stunk of commission. And I don’t mean the latest cologne from the Oprah collection. They may have thought it was a game or a contest, but their attitude cost later sales through negative word of mouth.

    They dont care, many of the these guys only last a couple of months at a dealership.. here is an investigative reporter that became a car salesman for a few months.. he worked at both traditional and no-haggle dealerships:

    http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/page001.html


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    Van

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    We do not know yet what the retail price of the Prius PHV will be. But we know you must buy a Prius III (MSRP- 23,000) and their Nav system (Option price – 1800) so the Prius PHV is probable cost $25,000 plus the price of the added battery capacity. If we assume $1000 per kwh, then we take $1000 off the probable cost for removal of the non-plug in battery, and add $5000 for the 5.2 Kwh lithium battery, and voila, the MSRP comes in a $29,000 before the 2917 dollar tax credit, which takes it to around $26,000. Folks whose daily commute is over 20 miles would consider the Volt, but folks with a daily commute under 20 miles would have no reason to shell out an extra $6000 for the Volt. So if GM can surprise us with a MSRP significantly under $40,000, it is all good. :)


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    Red HHR

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    Cheap Volt?
    You would HAVE to know someone…

    How is my buddy Lyle?


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    Red HHR

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:31 pm)

    Seems like they *could* build Volts 24/7
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apDe0FhGgb88
    The WSJ has a better article, but not online.
    They say it is the first time GM has tried three shifts.


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    RB

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:31 pm)

    If Lyle’s source is right that the price is lower then there may be another message here about how many Volts will be built. GM knows the way things work is that GM sets the number made and then the market sets the price. The MSRP is just paperwork, not real prices.

    As LauraM and others pointed out above, the only way for the actual selling price from dealers to customers to be lower is for the volume to be higher. GM knows that too, and gm gains no advantage from having an actual price more than a little higher than the MSRP. So if gm is thinking about a lower Volt price, they must be thinking about a higher Volt volume.

    And if they are again emphasizing global, they must be thinking about having enough cars to sell globally. Otherwise we are going to be looking at one dealership per country (smile). Again one wonders if gm is thinking now about making Volts in higher volume than we earlier have heard, maybe even in the first year.

    And if the gm marketing direction is to young buyers, consistent with the song and dance, again they have to be thinking lower price and higher volume.

    Lots of straws in the wind, all blowing in the same direction.


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    RB

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:37 pm)

    145 LauraM: As a woman, I know going in that if I try to buy a car, I’ll have to pay a higher price than a man would.

    It does not have to be true. You can be a great negotiator yourself, and I know a number of women who are. Get one of the paperback books on negotiating car prices. You may find that it is great fun.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    Herm: Does the Volt have to have cost parity with a Prius?.. I thought it was aimed at a more luxurious level.

    When GM announced the Volt, they said it was aimed at the mainstream market, the cost would be under $30,000, and that is why the used the Chevy brand.

    If the Volt was supposed to be more of a luxury car, they would have made it a Cadillac or at least a Buick.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (9:58 pm)

    LauraM: As a woman, I know going in that if I try to buy a car, I’ll have to pay a higher price than a man would. Which is why my boyfriend will have to do the negotiating for me.

    Actually, when it comes to negotiating, I usually let my wife do the talking. I just tell her what I think it’s worth before-hand.


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    Ian of Australia

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:03 pm)

    We are all assuming that GM are totally comfortable that the ‘volume sales only’ are going to make this a winner for them. It is not.

    The Volt is likely to have reduced servicing requirement. If 80% of the folks driving the Volt, never light up the (gas) engine, and given the traction motors require very little maintenance, where are they going to get their service and spare parts money from? It may not add much to the value proposition.
    As far as potential for battery replacement profits go, it’s likely to be small. The aftermarket battery business will compete with GM.

    So their comfort zone may not be to reduce the price too much.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    RB: … the only way for the actual selling price from dealers to customers to be lower is for the volume to be higher. GM knows that too, and gm gains no advantage from having an actual price more than a little higher than the MSRP.

    Normally I would agree, but the Volt is somewhat unique. There is no real competition for the Volt, and there is a huge amount of hype among early adopters, including a significant wait list here at gm-volt.com.

    In addition, they are probably many within GM that are predicting relatively low sales volumes for the Volt in the first 5 years. For them, the Volt is just a halo effect.

    So in my mind, it’s quite possible that some folks at GM may think about making a few thousand bucks per Volt in the first model year. GM is desperate to show a profit after the bankruptcy, and every little 35 million dollars helps.

    But if the marketing folks at GM realize the Volt is more than just a “green” car, that it has much broader market, and sales volumes could ramp much faster if the price is right, they will do the smart thing and take a small loss on each vehicle sold in the first model year. This would ramp sales up much faster, which would reduce costs much faster, and make a the Volt a truly mainstream car.


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    Jackson

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:32 pm)

    Dave G: Actually, when it comes to negotiating, I usually let my wife do the talking. I just tell her what I think it’s worth before-hand.

    Ditto. My wife is a great haggler, and is all about getting the best deal.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:33 pm)

    Ian of Australia: The aftermarket battery business will compete with GM.

    Only if GM decides to open up their software interface, which I doubt they will do.

    You have to remember that EV battery packs are not just big flashlight batteries. The battery pack contains a processor chip and software that monitors every detail, controls n+1 fault tolerance, controls coolant flow, controls the warming element, etc., etc.. This software in the battery pack also communicates with all the other software sub-systems in the car.

    If anyone here has ever done software development for a system with multiple processor sub-systems, they will know the issues, and will understand why the battery pack software will remain GM proprietary.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:34 pm)

    Dave G: But if the marketing folks at GM realize the Volt is more than just a “green” car, that it has much broader market, and sales volumes could ramp much faster if the price is right, they will do the smart thing and take a small loss on each vehicle sold in the first model year. This would ramp sales up much faster, which would reduce costs much faster, and make a the Volt a truly mainstream car.

    Sounds like a good plan to me (and I’m totally unbiased).
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jackson

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    Ian of Australia: We are all assuming that GM are totally comfortable that the ‘volume sales only’ are going to make this a winner for them. It is not.The Volt is likely to have reduced servicing requirement. If 80% of the folks driving the Volt, never light up the (gas) engine, and given the traction motors require very little maintenance, where are they going to get their service and spare parts money from? It may not add much to the value proposition.As far as potential for battery replacement profits go, it’s likely to be small. The aftermarket battery business will compete with GM. So their comfort zone may not be to reduce the price too much.  (Quote)

    Maybe this is part of what is behind GM’s “OnStar required” philosophy where the Volt is concerned. Perhaps they intend to make up part of this lost service income with the subscription. Also, don’t forget that Volt will be as much computer as car. Can you say “software upgrade?”

    That new CFO is from where? :-(


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:36 pm)

    Jackson:
    Ditto.My wife is a great haggler, and is all about getting the best deal.  

    Yeah, I hate it when she does that (lol)
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    Herm:
    They dont care, many of the these guys only last a couple of months at a dealership.. here is an investigative reporter that became a car salesman for a few months.. he worked at both traditional and no-haggle dealerships:http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/page001.html  

    Thanks for the link. That’s a very long article, but it gives a good peek behind the curtain.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jackson

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:50 pm)

    Tagamet: Yeah, I hate it when she does that (lol)

    Where do you know my wife from?!!! :-P


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    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    Jackson:
    Where do you know my wife from?!!!   

    Uh, I sold her your last car?
    Merry Christmas,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Anderson Moseley

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:07 pm)

    DonC: but sadly it seems to now be in vogue to attack science that you don’t agree with for whatever reason.

    Assuming you are talking about the science behind “global warming…” To actively attempt to stifle dissenting opinions, to collude to make your data look more convincing, and to focus your research only where the big money and political correctness are, do not constitute “whatever reason.”

    I believe that we must do whatever is economically feasible to ensure that we are not damaging the planet, as long as the science telling us how we’re damaging the planet is not so afraid to be examined that dissenting scientists are shunned like lepers in Jesus’ Jerusalem.

    Solid science invites scrutiny.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:11 pm)

    RB: It does not have to be true. You can be a great negotiator yourself, and I know a number of women who are. Get one of the paperback books on negotiating car prices. You may find that it is great fun.

    I’m actually a decent negotiator. That’s not the issue. Most dealers will quote a higher price to a female buyer to start with. I might be able to negotiate the same price anyway, but it would be much harder for me than it would be for a man.

    http://www.edmunds.com/advice/womenfamilies/articles/45991/article.html


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    koz

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    Way off topic but this struck me the other day as I drove by a chevy dealer with 3 Camaros lined up next to each other:

    I generally like the production Volt design eventhough it is less impactfull than the concept design. One subtler item that I am not enthused by are the side mirrors. They look non-aerodynamic and too average (Cobalt, Aveo, Cruze look). I think the Volt would like a notch better with side mirrors like the Camaro has and the lower profile may even help aero a little but they probably cost more.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:21 pm)

    Dave G: Actually, when it comes to negotiating, I usually let my wife do the talking. I just tell her what I think it’s worth before-hand.

    Jackson: Ditto. My wife is a great haggler, and is all about getting the best deal.

    It probably helps that you’re with her. That way the dealer knows that they’re dealing with both of you even if she’s the one doing the talking.

    But my main point was that a lot of people feel more comfortable with a no haggling policy. For whatever reason.


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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    nasaman: If only half of the GM Board’s $100 million incentive to accelerate the Volt’s introduction were allocated to reducing its MSRP by $5,000 for the first 10,000 cars (i.e., $50 million), and to introducing no-haggle pricing at the same time, the resulting positive word-of-mouth advertising should recreate the massive good will that Saturn enjoyed from its very beginning and throughout its nearly 20-year existence!

    Well, given that Saturn was one of the least profitable divisions of GM, that tends to weaken your argument.

    But the first part of your argument makes a lot of sense. If GM takes a small loss of every Volt sold in the first model year, as Toyota did with their first Prius models, then the Volt would likely be much more profitable 3-5 years from now.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:34 pm)

    LauraM: But my main point was that a lot of people feel more comfortable with a no haggling policy. For whatever reason.

    Personally, I agree. I don’t like haggling.

    But many studies seem to show a majority favoring the “what a deal” approach, whether they realize it or not.


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    Steve W.

     

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    Dec 22nd, 2009 (11:50 pm)

    I hope they can sell it for less than 40k and still make a profit. I was afraid the 40k cost was AFTER the tax credit was applied . I’m also hoping my 2003 Lexus RX will last at least this year without major repair costs……the Volt is my next intended auto purchase….a Tesla S would also do me well, but that wont be available until 2012 or later and the roadsters are too small for my needs.

    Steve W in South Florida


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (2:09 am)

    I have a question for everyone here that does not appear to have been talked about? What profit loss would GM take on sales of the Volt if the price were set at $40,000 and everything is a projected including the price of a second battery?

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    KentT

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (2:20 am)

    FME III: ‘Fess up, Lyle. What’s the “subtle hint”? Was not the $40K price predicated on the need to build into the cost a second battery pack (to ensure 100,000 miles of use)? Could it be that they are sufficiently comfortable with the battery pack’s performance that they no longer feel the need to build that into the price?Regardless, SHOULD the car be priced considerably less than $40K it would be a huge PR coup for GM. However, I’m inclined to think that this will not be the case. If it comes in under $40k, it may not be a whole lot less

    FME II I wonder if this “cost of two batteries” is actually the result of the conservative charge/discharge limits. Remember, the battery is only charged to 80% of full and discharged to 30% of capacity. 20% at the top end and 30% at the bottom adds up to only 50% of total capacity equals a pack that is the equivalent of two batteries.


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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (2:34 am)

    One more thing about batteries. I have a 2002 Civic Hybrid. The check engine light came on as well as the IMA light. I took it to the dealer and they said I need a new hybrid battery, $2200 plus the cost of installation. Guess what. Most US states only require a 7 year warranty on the IMA (hybrid) system. California mandates a 10 year warranty. Fortunately I live in California and the new battery and labor cost me $0. If I lived in Oklahoma I’d probably have to shell out close to three grand as I would have been just out of the seven year warranty period. Food for thought.


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    DonC

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (3:18 am)

    Anderson Moseley: Assuming you are talking about the science behind “global warming…” To actively attempt to stifle dissenting opinions, to collude to make your data look more convincing, and to focus your research only where the big money and political correctness are, do not constitute “whatever reason.”

    Actually I didn’t have global warming in mind. I was thinking of evolution. But since you bring it up, yes, the essentially political attack on the theory of global warming is a fairly transparent effort to twist the facts so as to sell a preconceived narrative.

    Stuff like “to focus your research only where the big money and political correctness are” indicates that some minds are indeed easily suggestible. Big money? Political correctness? These points are so divorced from reality that they have to be talking points picked up from some talking head on TV.


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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (3:26 am)

    LauraM: Most dealers will quote a higher price to a female buyer to start with. I might be able to negotiate the same price anyway, but it would be much harder for me than it would be for a man.

    To begin with I wouldn’t try and negotiate a deal at a dealership. After you do your research and figure out what the current price is, just contact the dealer via email. Should take only about five minutes to do the deal, and the fact you’re a woman shouldn’t make any difference.

    Of course the Volt may be quite a different situation given the low numbers of units for sale, at least initially …


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    Danny Thai

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (3:53 am)

    Dave G:
    Actually, when it comes to negotiating, I usually let my wife do the talking.I just tell her what I think it’s worth before-hand.  

    And that’s the best way to do it. Women. They always get what they want. No ifs or buts. Haha.


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    Lawrence

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (6:21 am)

    Topic hijack:

    http://www.tours2piste.com/blog/?p=2326

    Hope it comes alive soon for us Europeans :-) Design is really outstanding


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    Herm

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (7:23 am)

    KentT: One more thing about batteries.I have a 2002 Civic Hybrid.The check engine light came on as well as the IMA light.I took it to the dealer and they said I need a new hybrid battery, $2200 plus the cost of installation.Guess what.Most US states only require a 7 year warranty on the IMA (hybrid) system.California mandates a 10 year warranty.Fortunately I live in California and the new battery and labor cost me $0.If I lived in Oklahoma I’d probably have to shell out close to three grand as I would have been just out of the seven year warranty period.Food for thought.  

    There seems to be some issues with the batteries in the Hondas, apparently they have updated the software to reduce battery usage and overheating. Too small a battery being worked too hard in very hot weather.

    What state do you live in?

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f145abe/0


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    RB

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (7:25 am)

    182 LauraM: I might be able to negotiate the same price anyway, but it would be much harder for me than it would be for a man.

    I believe the first part, and possibly the second For sure a dealer starts with a high price for every man or woman. While I have no way to compare quite possibly it is a higher price for women. With patience, smiles and persistence (do women excel here?) the price can come down to about the same place either way.

    Just as important, it can be fun for everyone, and mutually beneficial too.


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    Herm

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (8:32 am)

    Herm: What state do you live in?

    Sorry about that, I meant to ask what state you bought your car in?.. I thought California’s CARB required a 10y/150k warranty on those components.


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    Neutron Flux

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (10:03 am)

    GM would be foolish to under price the Volt for first year of production flat out, as the dealers will just raise the price to the highest bidder & keep the profit to themselves. If GM can truly price it less, they should do like Nissan and take pre orders. They should ask for a non refundable 2K deposit from qualified buyers unless a vehicle cannot be delivered within one year, then refund will be made with interest. This will provide more serious potential buyers and allow ramp up and quickly gauge demand at the lower price. The UAW would be smart not to demand to many wage concessions that would drive up the prive & be glad to re-employ their laid off brothers & sisters and let GM re-establish World wide market share. After all doesn’t UAW have part ownership of the new GM & would share in the long term profits. The problem with the Leaf is they have not factored in protection for the battery sufficient to guaranteee a reasonable life span and will be forced to cut risk by only selling with a battery lease separate from the car. When that company folds, you have a nice 20K yard decoration. There is no way GM could ramp up fast enough to keep up with demand on pre orders if it priced with rebate around $27,500. With pre orders and qualifying potential buyers ramping up would be minimal risk and held drive down the price further. Besides GM wants to get as many Vfolts made & sold before some new tech comes along that renders their battery design obsolete. Hopefully Volt 2 has a provision for alternate power sources in both the engine with a Turbo and newer tech batteries and or ultra Caps. 5 K less would be a tipping point for a lot of buyers and could help justify with price of gas under $4. / gallon. It may be a Merry Christmas in 2010 but not yet in 2009 as no Volts are yet for sale.


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    LauraM

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (11:11 am)

    DonC: To begin with I wouldn’t try and negotiate a deal at a dealership. After you do your research and figure out what the current price is, just contact the dealer via email. Should take only about five minutes to do the deal, and the fact you’re a woman shouldn’t make any difference.

    Of course the Volt may be quite a different situation given the low numbers of units for sale, at least initially …

    That’s a really good idea actually. They’ll know I’m a woman from my e-mail address. But I can get a new one where they won’t. I usually like to look at what I’m buying before I buy it, but in this case, it doesn’t matter. That’s one of the advantages of buying a new car as opposed to a used one. Thanks!


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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (11:20 am)

    RB: I believe the first part, and possibly the second For sure a dealer starts with a high price for every man or woman. While I have no way to compare quite possibly it is a higher price for women. With patience, smiles and persistence (do women excel here?) the price can come down to about the same place either way.

    Just as important, it can be fun for everyone, and mutually beneficial too.

    Car dealers are often rude and condescending to women. And they usually quote higher initial prices. And they’re less willing to come down in price. They’ve done studies on this, so it’s not just me.

    As far as mutually beneficial? It’s a zero sum game. Either you’re paying more than you would with a no haggle policy, in which case the dealer benefits and you lose. Or you’re paying less, in which case the dealer loses and you benefit. In general, the dealer gets most of the benefit.

    The only exception would be if you’d actually not buy the car for the higher price…


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    A.C.

     

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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (8:28 pm)

    LauraM: Car dealers are often rude and condescending to women. And they usually quote higher initial prices. And they’re less willing to come down in price. They’ve done studies on this, so it’s not just me. As far as mutually beneficial? It’s a zero sum game. Either you’re paying more than you would with a no haggle policy, in which case the dealer benefits and you lose. Or you’re paying less, in which case the dealer loses and you benefit. In general, the dealer gets most of the benefit. The only exception would be if you’d actually not buy the car for the higher price…  (Quote)

    Not all car dealers are rude and condenscending to women, just as not all waiters/waitress’s, or gas attendants are rude to women, you shouldn’t stereotype car dealers with what is only your opinion. Also, if you don’t want the car dealers to “win” and make a profit, go buy a bicycle and pedal your judgmental butt to work.


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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    LauraM: That’s a really good idea actually. They’ll know I’m a woman from my e-mail address. But I can get a new one where they won’t. I usually like to look at what I’m buying before I buy it, but in this case, it doesn’t matter. That’s one of the advantages of buying a new car as opposed to a used one. Thanks!  (Quote)

    Hey DonC, Quit hiding from email contacts, allthough it is a way for most people to be rude to another person, try negotiating a deal with an actual person, not typing on a keyboard, grow some balls.

    LauraM: That’s a really good idea actually. They’ll know I’m a woman from my e-mail address. But I can get a new one where they won’t. I usually like to look at what I’m buying before I buy it, but in this case, it doesn’t matter. That’s one of the advantages of buying a new car as opposed to a used one. Thanks!  (Quote)


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    Dec 23rd, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    Danny Thai: And that’s the best way to do it. Women. They always get what they want. No ifs or buts. Haha.  (Quote)

    Hey DaveG, You are a pansy and your wife has your balls in her purse, that’s probably why you keep quiet.


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    LauraM

     

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    Dec 24th, 2009 (12:37 am)

    A.C.: Not all car dealers are rude and condenscending to women, just as not all waiters/waitress’s, or gas attendants are rude to women, you shouldn’t stereotype car dealers with what is only your opinion. Also, if you don’t want the car dealers to “win” and make a profit, go buy a bicycle and pedal your judgmental butt to work.

    I didn’t say that all car dealers are rude and condescending to women. I said that they often are. Meaning that many of them are. Obviously, some aren’t. As far as it just being my opinion, there are studies about it.

    http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10002885/women-car-buyers-still-met-with-dealer-disrespect/

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/IndustryInfo/story?id=7364426&page=1

    I don’t have a problem with dealers making a profit, which they would in a set price situation. I have a huge problem with them charging me more for the same car than they would my boyfriend. There is a difference.


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    Eric E

     

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    Dec 24th, 2009 (12:45 am)

    A price “comfortably under $30k” would make me think twice about the Nissan Leaf.
    I would much rather have a EREV than a BEV but I cannot afford $30,000+ for the Volt.
    Since I have made a pledge “No plug, No sale” and my current ride is aging quickly, I thought I’d likely end up with the more reasonably priced Leaf. But if the Volt is only a few thousand more… well… it’s “no brainer”.

    GO GM! Shock the World!


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    Dec 24th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    The day in May 2010 when GM announces the price of the Volt will certainly be a big one. I’m hoping they shock everyone in the automobile world and price the Volt at around $34,000. With the $7,500 tax credit, a final price of $26,500 would definitely get a lot of people’s attention. That’s right in price range of the Toyota Prius with a decent option package.

    I think GM would be smart to break even or lose some money on the 2011 Volts since they are only going to make 10,000-20,000 of them. The Volt needs to become a popular car right from the beginning. I’m sure GM would love to have the “good problem” of having people mad at them because they aren’t making enough Volts to satisfy demand.

    One thing is for sure … the Volt is going to change the auto industry. The Wall Street oil speculators and fat cat oil sheiks will no longer be able drain our wallets at the gas pump anytime they feel like it! Cars like the Chevy Volt will be a powerful way for drivers to fight back.

    People love to have OPTIONS. People don’t like to pay outrageous prices and have no choice in the matter. If and when gas prices return to $4+ a gallon, you’ll see LOTS of people flocking to dealerships to check out the Volt. Because of the Volt, we will be able to “fill ‘er up” with inexpensive electricity instead of this product called gasoline. We won’t NEED no stinking oil nearly as much. The next 10 years of the auto industry are going to be great. :)


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    Dec 25th, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    I hope that the Volt suceeds but given GMs past history on new technology including the Vega (all Aluminum engine), cylinder de-activiation (8-6-4-0), diesel cars, etc, I am not convinced. Also I think that the Volt will be overpriced. I think that the Nissan Leaf will be much more affordable and they will probably lease the battery which eliminates future owner liability and also lowers upfront cost. While the Volt is more appealing with it’s range extender, the number of times that I drive more than 100 miles in a day is less than 5 per year. I’ll just drive my wife’s car that day!


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    joe pah

     

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    Dec 27th, 2009 (5:33 pm)

    Skeptic: I hope that the Volt suceeds but given GMs past history on new technology including the Vega (all Aluminum engine), cylinder de-activiation (8-6-4-0), diesel cars, etc, I am not convinced. Also I think that the Volt will be overpriced. I think that the Nissan Leaf will be much more affordable and they will probably lease the battery which eliminates future owner liability and also lowers upfront cost. ..

    I agree 100%. GM has never been able to roll out new technology without huge recalls. They should keep the 40k+ pricing, and only the EV fanatics will buy one. Those people understand all the irregularities of EV reliability.

    After GM fixes all their mistakes, economy of scale and new competition from FORD will drive the price of the VOLT to the market.


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    whistleteeth

     

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    Dec 27th, 2009 (11:43 pm)

    If the car only needs one battery for the first 10 years and that battery only costs $8K they should sell stripped down versions for under $20K and own the whole friggin’ market. Think about it, they would sell tens of millions in the first 5 years. Easy.


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    Terry

     

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    Jan 1st, 2010 (4:30 pm)

    Lots of speculation, and though I’m late to the page one more food for though issue of why they may have added reason to keep the initial MSRP low.

    The New GM will likely do an IPO in 2010. If they do that before the price and other key aspects of the Volt is announced, the market may not take it well. If they over price the volt, the market will not take it well. They need to see a GM that is agressively going to compete with Toyota. Its true the don’t have to beat the Plugin Prius on price, but being 6K more in cost and having lower highway milage or missing the AERV numbers could kill their IPO. Perception is a big element in the IPO world and so a low MSRP now (but still profitable in 2-3 years) actually could have a huge short term value as well.

    It feels like GM may be intentionally holding back numbers, especially if they have an upside surprise, until its close to IPO time. They will want lots of positive press then, and just finally announcing numbers. With an IPO date of July 10 (last I read) it fits pretty well with the timetable for Volt announcements.

    I’m waiting to see what they announce, but with a 14mile commute and 100+ mountain/highway trips 1-2x a month, I’ll still do the math and make the best value choice. When GM announces the price and remaining critical number for the volt, a lot of people will buy in, or write GM off as dead. I’ll be among them.

    Even if its the right choice, I’ll never haggle on price and live in CO, so I still may not get one even if they hit the numbers.

    Happy year of the new PHEV.