[ad#post_ad]Outspoken GM vice chairman Bob Lutz turned 78 on Friday and as usual had something to say when he met with reporters in Florida.
He admitted that GM loses and will always continue to lose money on hybrids, including it seems the Volt when it comes to market.
“GM will lose money on hybrids,” he told reporters. “We will continue to build them–they are required by (Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations)–and the cost will be spread across other cars.”
Lutz also doesn’t think hybrids will ever obtain much market share, blaming their very existence on corporate fuel economy requirements.
“We may see up to 10%, but a lot of it will be driven by fuel-economy regulations,” he said.
I reached out to Mr. Lutz for confirmation and he clarified he was specifically referring to hybrids, PHEVs like the Volt, and pure EVs.
“For the next 10 years, that’s the way we see it!” he replied. ”That would would be over 1.2 million units per year; at today’s price premium for plug-ins, that’s even an optimistic estimate, I think.”
“If it turns out to be more,” he added. ”We’re better prepared than anyone else!”
Lutz also went on to declare Toyota having lost its edge due to its recent massive recall of 8 million cars including 270,000 2010 Prius hybrids.
“With one of our competitors that the positive halo is gone, or fading,” he said but added the opposite is true for GM. ”In our case, the negativism is fading.”
People used to say “only Toyota knows how to do environmentally friendly cars,” said Lutz. “The Volt was one way to change perceptions about Chevrolet and in a larger sense, GM by leapfrogging the then-viewed technology leader, which was Toyota.”
Lutz confirmed GM’s plans to produce 8,000 to 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011, increasing to 50,000 to 60,000 per year as the market demands.
He said a price of near $40,000 before a $7500 federal tax credit was a ” good working figure” but would not confirm it.
This entry was posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 7:05 am and is filed under Competitors, Hybrid, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.