Feb 15

Lutz: Hybrids and EVs Won’t Surpass 10% of US Market Share For 10 Years

 

[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.

Source (Dow Jones) and (Reuters)

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.

COMMENTS: 172


  1. 1
    omegaman66

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omegaman66
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:11 am)

    Good news, bad news, same ole news, new twist!!! They are getting closer and closer.


  2. 2
    RB

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:28 am)

    Lutz also doesn’t think hybrids will ever obtain much market share, blaming their very existence on corporate fuel economy requirements.

    As we all know, Mr. Lutz is not a numbers guy. That said, he is perceptive about markets and marketing. What he is saying, I think, is that most customers think of hybrids (including Volt) as dogs put out there to make the government happy, but not desirable cars, or, maybe, not enough better to justify their high price premium. (Judging from people I know, and for cars already on the market, Lutz is right.)

    From what we know of them, GM seems to have turned Volt into an expensive Cruze, and by doing that GM feeds the negative association that Lutz seems to feel is there. Or, as people here have said, Volt is going to be a good halo car (or curiosity car) for the Cruze.

    Maybe one of the subsequent GM Erev designs will have the freedom to take advantage of what electric drive really has to offer, some of the daring of the Volt concept, in terms of performance, and in terms of styling. I hope GM willt do it, but if they will not, maybe someone else will.


  3. 3
    pdt

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pdt
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:30 am)

    Human’s are notoriously bad a predicting the future. We’ll see what happens.


  4. 4
    Paul Bennett

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Paul Bennett
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:36 am)

    Will any of these voltz come to Australia?


  5. 5
    dagwood55

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    dagwood55
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Typical Lutz-speak. The government doesn’t “require” hybrids, the government has set fuel economy targets. They don’t dictate how GM meets them.

    In January, 2010, 10% of Toyota’s US sales were hybrids. GM’s hybrid sales were probably well under 1%. At 10K/year, Volt sales will be much less than 1% of GM’s sales.


  6. 6
    ziv

    +19

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ziv
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:55 am)

    Lutz has had his moments, but he really is not the brightest bulb on the tree. GM has a transformative technology, they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to develop it from the years before the EV1 through today, and Lutz continues to downplay the importance of that effort.
    Underpromise and overdeliver is one thing, stupidly muddying the waters is another.


  7. 7
    Tagamet

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    Happy birthday Bob – and may you have many more (I wonder what in the world someone would GET him for a birthday present!?!). Let’s hope that we’ll hear from him in 10 years to check on his accuracy.
    First, 10% market share (1.2 MILLION per year) is a heck of a lot of vehicles! Second, I have to wonder if his modest assessment isn’t tempered a bit by his history with, and love of, more traditional “muscle cars”.
    Obviously, I hope that he’s underestimating things in a simple effort to avoid being “wrong” in the wrong direction (he’s low-balling the estimate).
    The phrase I don’t quite understand in the context of this article is, “If it turns out to be more, we’re better prepared than anyone else”. *To me* that means that they cannot *continue* lose $ on every vehicle made, but that they are prepared to make even more individual vehicles than most companies! They are definitely not prepared to make huge numbers of money losing vehicles, but he may be referring to the vehicles *at their launch*.
    Given my slightly optimistic slant on things, the $40K as a “working figure”, is just that – Maybe they’ll work really hard at a lower one (g). I know, I know, that doesn’t fit with losing money on each Volt, but even with GM (and especially the Volt), it’s not all about the money. JMO.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  8. 8
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:03 am)

    dagwood55: Typical Lutz-speak.The government doesn’t “require” hybrids, the government has set fuel economy targets.They don’t dictate how GM meets them.In January, 2010, 10% of Toyota’s US sales were hybrids.GM’s were probably well under 1%.At 10K/year, Volt sales will be much less than 1% of GM’s sales.  

    Welcome back, Dagwood. We noticed that you were missing for a bit.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  9. 9
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    pdt: Human’s are notoriously bad a predicting the future.We’ll see what happens.  

    Very good point! Almost all modestly developed organisms are better at preparing for the future than we are. From insects on up the tree!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  10. 10
    gmtx2652

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    gmtx2652
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Happy Birthday Bob.

    Tag-did Statik give Bob a tie for his birthday?

    I think at this stage of the hybrid/EREV/BEV game there is a lot of R&D to be done, so in the context of the next five years Bob could be right. As for the next ten, I would hope they’d have figured out how to make money on these segments before that.

    In my opinion the market’s been focussed more on 0-60 than 0-fillup range or total cost of ownership. Consumer education and CAFE will play key roles. GM will need to offset all of the 6.2 litre engines they are selling in the Camaro and other sub-CAFE products.

    “If it turns out to be more,” he added. ”We’re better prepared than anyone else!”

    Kind of scared by the above quote.


  11. 11
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    Bob is stating the “numbers crunchers” viewpoint about the bottom lines. While that’s one perspective that always needs to be made clear, there are many other perspectives that too many people can’t see right now, but will understand once Volts start to become seen out here.

    While consumer views regarding all the various makes and models shift up and down, left and right, the bottom line for consumers is what will they really be able to afford net of the cost of gasoline every month.

    What I would want to do with a Volt is to utilize it as an educational tool. Yes, I would have to charge my 172 shops a modest tuition for a (basic systems overview/normal functions) seminar for it, but, automotive seminars are how I pay my bills (including, of course, a note on a Volt). I would certainly positively consider working with Mr. Lutz and Mr. Whitacre on curricula as well as programs.

    Bob also mentions the negativity decreasing regarding GM.
    Several years ago, I mentioned there would be a point where I would say “what I was up to”.
    Of course, everyone knows it has been to counter *any* unmerited negativity toward GM.

    We have been proactively discussing things that might pose financial adversity from the long term ownership servicing cost perspectives. And, from this perspective of the independent auto repair shops, it has been meant as a “the higher you aim, the higher you land” philosophy, for these long term ownership perspectives.
    As well, this site has been the forum for ongoing reminders for newer and younger engineers to be able to research problem potential situations of the recent past, from, for example, aftermarket cheapie Walmart defective battery designs, and, destructive marketing practices (autozone’s two grease packets taped to each of their batteries, and that grease placed between contact surfaces) causing transmission failures & software/firmware damages etc, to, discussions of initial purchasing affordabilities.

    We’ll just have to see, but still, it will be great to see people out there driving Volts after all.

    A philosophical change is far, far, far bigger than only the bottom line after all.


  12. 12
    MDDave

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MDDave
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:23 am)

    I would like to know more about how GM is loosing money on hybrids. Is Mr. Lutz factoring in all of the upfront costs, such as research and retooling, or is GM literally selling their hybrid vehicles for less than they cost to make? I find the later hard to believe. If it is the former, then the solution seems to be to sell more hybrids, which means keeping the price as low as possible while still making a profit on each car. No?


  13. 13
    john1701a

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    john1701a
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:30 am)

    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

    Who were these people? I don’t believe that for a second. EV1 was clear evidence that GM could and did deliver.

    As for leapfrogging, perception only goes so far. It’s actual sales which sustain a business. And it looks like the production expectation being even lower now does tend to shine a more realistic light on the situation.

    Seeing so many Prius on the road already, and with the obvious get-back-to-business promotions coming, Volt will be entering a market quite receptive to change. Let’s hope it’s in the spirit of cooperation rather than a counter-productive focus on engineering only… since it ultimate boils down to sales… not the market either… it’s the percentage of production within each automaker individually. Making a difference means starts by producing fewer traditional vehicles.


  14. 14
    Van

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    In my experience, folks tend to over estimate what can be accomplished in three years, and under estimate what can be accomplished in 10 years.

    So we have the CEO of GM implying that the MSRP will be in the low thirties ($35,000 or less) and Mr. Lutz implying the MSRP will be “near $40,000″ and GM will loss money. Looks like we will have to wait to May before we can determine which one has his pants on fire. :)

    My crystal ball is certainly no better than any other, but I see the market share of hybrids and EV’s being near 50% in ten years. Not because of government regulation, but because of superior performance.


  15. 15
    Dave K.

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    Happy Birthday Bob. Thanks for your efforts in making electric cars a reality. They may be a little more popular than predicted.

    =D-Volt


  16. 16
    RB

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    10 gmtx2652: Consumer education and CAFE will play key roles. GM will need to offset all of the 6.2 litre engines they are selling in the Camaro and other sub-CAFE products.

    When the new Obama CAFE-CO2 mandates begin to be phased in during 2012 and thereafter, there are going to be many more small cars than the population is going to want, whether they are “educated” or not. Ordinary people are more perceptive than people in DC suppose them to be and will recognize government propaganda as such. At the same time, people respond to price differences, so small cars will be unnaturally low priced, and what will be seen as more desirable bigger cars will cost substantially more. Total sales likely will decline somewhat, but sales by segment will all balance out properly within the new structure and rules (because companies will lower and raise prices by segment to make that so).

    The losers may, unfortunately, include cars such as Volt, which by size and association are going to be a part of the cheap and small class, but by price will be placed in comparison to the more expensive and much larger cars and SUVs.

    Volt has a lot of attractive features for those of us who know it well, but I am doubtful it will be very attractive in the general marketplace, once the bulge of initial orders is satisfied. It will be neither fish (small and cheap) nor fowl (expensive and big). That’s a tough position.


  17. 17
    joe

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:41 am)

    In the past, GM has been much criticized for making bad decisions. By Lutz saying what he’s saying, it sort of confirms that GM knows what they’ve got into with the Volt. No other auto companies including GM know what the future gas prices will be, but if gas prices shoot up, this time GM will be in good shape. I think GM is doing all of the right moves.

    Go GM Go!!!


  18. 18
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    The Reuters article cited above helped clarify the “better prepared” statement I’d wondered about. He was referring to having popular larger vehicles’ profits offsetting the losses on the smaller sized money losers. And yes, Bob does seem to blame CAFE standards for, in effect, forcing car makers to build vehicles that lose money.
    The DOW article seemed gloomier than the Reuters article (to me).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  19. 19
    RB

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    12 MDDave: Is Mr. Lutz factoring in all of the upfront costs, such as research and retooling, or is GM literally selling their hybrid vehicles for less than they cost to make?

    Only their accountants know for sure. It is highly likely that GM will be selling Volts for more than the cost of buying the parts and assembling the cars. The question is whether the margin is great enough to cover all the other GM costs (start-up of new engine plant, cost to set up assembly line, cost of advertising, proportional cost of corporate management, legacy costs to earlier workers, etc) when averaged on a per-vehicle basis. GM has not been known as a low-cost environment, so these costs likely are substantial. Conversely, new gm is certainly trying to reduce layers and reduce these costs, so one hopes they will be real costs but not excessive.


  20. 20
    joe

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    dagwood55: Typical Lutz-speak.The government doesn’t “require” hybrids, the government has set fuel economy targets.They don’t dictate how GM meets them.In January, 2010, 10% of Toyota’s US sales were hybrids.GM’s hybrid sales were probably well under 1%.At 10K/year, Volt sales will be much less than 1% of GM’s sales.  

    The government does not dictate hybrids, but it does dictate deadlines. In effect you could say it does dictate hybrids because only hybrids can meet the government requirements as of today. GM can not wait for tomorrow to meet those requirement because by then, it will be too late to build anything that will meet the requirements.


  21. 21
    Anderson Moseley

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Anderson Moseley
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    I find what Lutz said as misguided, misinformed or (at best) pesimistic.
    I look around me and almost everywhere I look I see Priuses (is that a good plural for Prius?).
    The fact is that the Prius has been more than just a halo car for Toyota, it’s been a sales leader. I think that the Volt has the potential to do the same for GM.

    I hope that Lutz is only lowering expectations, so that when the car succeeds the taste of victory will be much sweeter.


  22. 22
    carcus1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    carcus1
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    “He admitted that GM loses and will always continue to lose money on hybrids, including it seems the Volt when it comes to market.”
    ““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!””
    ________________________

    True to form, it’s good to know the ‘new’ “Government Motors” is prepared to lose more money than anyone else.
    Thanks Bob!


  23. 23
    JohnK

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:10 am)

    Well, I used to be very anti-CAFE. But based on Bob’s statement the Volt would not exist except for CAFE. Maybe the gov’t interference is not so bad after all. Also, it would seem that his reason for doing the Volt is not because it is the right thing, but because “the government made me do it.”
    Sigh.
    LJGTVWOTR – NMST


  24. 24
    Tex-Arl

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tex-Arl
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:17 am)

    there are two factors running here.

    One is the group that wants electric vehicles regardless of price. This group consists of those who have a great appreciation of the planet and also those who have a concern for the financial transfer that continues every day.

    The other group (which is MUCH larger) has the same wants but has another even more important one. That is “How much is it going to take from my pocket each day?” This will determine how many more electric vehicles will be sold.

    If the $7500 tax rebate didn’t exist, how many will be sold? After a certain period of time, the ones who can afford only a gas sipper will demand the government stop giving their money to someone else.

    Eventually, everything comes down to price.


  25. 25
    Douglas Felsenthal

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Douglas Felsenthal
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:18 am)

    OK, we should all take this as a direct challenge. I’m willing to dedicate the remainder of my career to proving these statements wrong. We all should be willing to do the same. Not only is this a matter of environment and national defense but this is just the right thing to do. With the energy and dedication like we saw with the EV project from a few people spread over all of us this could be done.

    I could place 20,000 units right now, tomorrow……… let’s make this a matter of national will and get going.

    Regards,


  26. 26
    ocryan

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ocryan
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    If the price of a gallon of gas goes up substantially in the next 10 years, 10% of sales will be an easy target. It’s a Pavlovian response for the public to pursue hybrids when gas goes up. Why not help them along with a gas tax that funds rebates on EREV/PHEV/BEV?


  27. 27
    BillR

    +25

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:24 am)

    First, with current oil prices, it may be difficult to justify the added expense of a hybrid. So the 10% market share may be based upon projected oil price increases that are modest for the next 10 years. This is just economics 101.

    The other factor that comes into play is the emotional aspect, which I’m not sure has been considered. Buying an automobile is probably 75% emotion, 25% logic. Many people may be able to get by with a basic 4 door sedan, but will purchase the Equinox because it has the added cargo capacity, AWD, etc., yet can get 32 mpg highway in the FWD version. They just want the added utility of the Equinox.

    The other “emotion” that GM may be overlooking is the “pissed off” factor. I for one am sick of being held hostage to “seasonal trends”, “hurricances”, “global demand”, “investor hedging”, or whatever F@*&ing reason they like to give for the volatility of oil prices. I want freedom from the bulls**t.

    Give me a Voltec vehicle (I’ll take a Buick LaCrosse version) and let me minimize my oil consumption so that everyone else can pay the ridiculous prices that they ask.

    Being in the Northeast, I purchased my home with an oil heating system. After the price gouging a few years ago, I bought a gasification-style wood boiler, that provides all my heat and hot water in the colder months. I’ve reduced my heating oil consumption from 1500 to 200 gallons per year.

    Yeah, wood is a lot of work, and it requires more attention, but at least I don’t get so pissed off, like when the oil truck would come every few weeks and the cost for oil was 7 times what it was 10 years ago!!

    I’m willing to pay a little extra for independence, and the ability to stick it to the oil cartel.


  28. 28
    firehawk72

    +15

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    firehawk72
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:42 am)

    I would take a broad view to his comments. I would also like to emphasize that in general your older generation like Lutz (no offense to getting older….if we live we get old, period-and I want to get old:-) have the perception that these new fangled cars is NOT what the public wants but we will build them anyway to meet our EPA mileage requirements. I have mentioned the VOLT to many and in general for the people over 50 crowd the response is luke warm to COLD. My barber and I have great conversations about it and he believes it will flop because people simply won’t buy it. Of course, I am saying (I am 37 by the way) that I believe long term this is the direction for the auto and should be better for America because of Energy Independence (although I admit that is still a long way off). It is interesting though because I am also a school teacher of English and History, and my students think this Volt is awesome. In general, and of course there are exceptions, the older generation seems to have touble breaking away from what they are used to. The traditional ICE is what they know. It works and has worked for many generations. I don’t see the ICE going away anytime soon, but I fully believe plug in hybrids in some fashion are the new direction for many reasons including peak oil and energy independence. I also believe this is the new trend until a new technology can compete on a cost effective basis. Anyway, just sharing some thoughts and perspectives. I always try to keep an open mind about things, and I personally don’t think we change just to change; we only change when the change is for the better.

    Hawk


  29. 29
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    MDDave: I would like to know more about how GM is loosing money on hybrids. Is Mr. Lutz factoring in all of the upfront costs, such as research and retooling, or is GM literally selling their hybrid vehicles for less than they cost to make? I find the later hard to believe. If it is the former, then the solution seems to be to sell more hybrids, which means keeping the price as low as possible while still making a on each car. No?  

    Other than Lyle trying to find out, I don’t know how we’d find out the answer to these questions. It may well be something that GM wouldn’t be anxious to disclose. Statik could probably make a well-educated guess, but if Gm didn’t want it disclosed….. well it might be problematic. JMO
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  30. 30
    lousloot

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    Doug, wow. 20,000 units at 40,000 a unit is 800 Million, nearly a Billion Dollars!
    Yes, a Billion Dollars. (Dr Evil’s laugh)

    With that budget, you could make your own car company. Why wait for a bloated
    monstrosity like GM to do it? Got a website?

    Douglas Felsenthal: I could place 20,000 units right now, tomorrow………


  31. 31
    NZDavid

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    NZDavid
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Not to mention the billion $ subsidy oil gets maintaining TWO battle carrier groups in the Gulf, and the cost in lives.

    BillR: I’m willing to pay a little extra for independence, and the ability to stick it to the oil cartel.

    2012 is the penciled in date for NZ so I guess Aussi is the same.
    Here’s hoping bob is correct about anemic US demand.

    /I think the demand will see us getting zip though. JMHO.

    Paul Bennett: Will any of these voltz come to Australia?  


  32. 32
    Michael

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    gmtx2652: Happy Birthday Bob.Tag-did Statik give Bob a tie for his birthday?  

    Now that you mention “tie,” I notice that Bob is not wearing one. I’m sure that is the reason for his pessimism. He is always more optimistic with a pink tie. ;-)


  33. 33
    ElectRich

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ElectRich
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    GM needs to do some real market analysis! Get the Price out with dealers taking deposits and base 2010-2011 production on those figures. I think GM-VOLT.COM list is a good indicator of demand. GM is being way to pessimistic. 60,000 unit in 2011 is more like it. I also think that the unit cost will drop to break even or even a profit by 2012. Lithium is much more abundant than what news stories are saying. US mines are being set up now. Charging infrastructure is growing, By 2012 range anxiety will be equivalent to gas anxiety of Nevada. Motor and controller costs will drop as advances are made and economy of scale kicks in. Just hope GM depreciate the R&D over a long period so initial cost is closer to $30k then $40k(without rebate). GO GM! GO VOLT!


  34. 34
    RB

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:11 am)

    Today’s NYT has an interesting and long article on the inside front page about electric cars
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/business/15electric.html?ref=technology

    It seemed to me that we know everything the article says, and that most of what is said is informative and likely will turn out as the author opines. The article does, however, have this undercurrent of all the problems that electric cars may cause, like blackouts of the grid, and it gives a lot of discussion to the importance of being EV-ready near one’s workplace, and the high cost and delays of installing a home charger. To me that seemed overly fearful. The mention of Volt is that it is “40 miles electric”, with nothing added about what comes next! Of course, 40 miles AER is not wrong, but it is not the whole picture by far.

    If my knowledge was limited to the article, I think I might hold off for a while with any EV or EREV purchase. To me it is not a risky purchase, but it all felt like it was very risky, based on what was said. I wish gm had not pushed the “have to be EV ready” idea quite so hard.


  35. 35
    Neil

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Neil
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    What I noticed is he said 8000-10000 cars produced by end of 2011. There’s no way GM can build momentum with so few Volts on the market. They’re practically begging people to pursue alternative options. If this is true, and the “ramp up” speed as mentioned it would take a decade alone to get a meaningful national rollout. If this is true, this is the absolute wrong approach.

    GM, please listen to me. Your best bet is to get the Volt into early adopters’ hands, people who are more risk-taking and forgiving of bugs/problems for the chance at new technology. They would be your best evangelists of the technology and product, even if there are bumps in the road. You’ll benefit tremendously and you’ll be paid by early adopters for the privilege. But none of that can happen if you don’t produce the cars and you don’t open your minds the possibilities.


  36. 36
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    ElectRich: Just hope GM depreciate the R&D over a long period so initial cost is closer to $30k then $40k(without rebate).

    GM will follow the standard accounting rules, as they have no choice. Some items that affect depreciation will involve judgment, such as how many units will be built in the next few 3-4, but on the whole the margin for adjustment is small.


  37. 37
    LE Hayes

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LE Hayes
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Gees, they really ought to put this guy out to pasture. Lutz seems to be reverting to the worst instincts and attitudes that have characterized GM for the past 30 years–namely “the gummint is making us do this.” No one wants to hear this kind of negative whining, especially now that GM is at least in part taxpayer-owned. VERY bad PR IMO.

    If my memory serves me, the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight HEVs outsold all other (ICE) model sedans in Japan in 2009. Mr. Lutz needs to write this statement on the board 100X before he graduates kindergarten. And both Japanese automakers are rushing to get sub-$20K HEV’s to market within the next year or two, with the Koreans and Chinese almost certainly right behind.
    Soon there’ll be almost no reason NOT to buy a hybrid, period. IMO GM needs to expand its offerings beyond PHEVs into lower-cost HEVS, and sooner rather than later.


  38. 38
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    I think GM and Lutz in particular is way underestimating the demand for Voltec vehicles.

    Their problem is that there is no precedent (except maybe Corvette) for a vehicle that costs this much to produce. Now they have a vehicle that is pretty much all new as compared to a tried-and-works like Impala or Silverado.

    If I was in GM, I would be very cautious the first year or so as well.

    The thing is, they don’t have to amortize any R&D because it was all done in old-GM. Setting up lines to build doesn’t cost them anything more than any other car.

    I am not seeing where they have a lot (maybe 5-grand) more in this car vs Cruze. Even the software is mostly re-used from the two-mode systems.

    I think their main issue is where to position the car in the lineup. They can’t make a compact-mid 4-door with only 4 seats priced higher than their 4-door full-sized. It won’t make sense to buyers.


  39. 39
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    lousloot: Doug, wow. 20,000 units at 40,000 a unit is 800 Million, nearly a Billion Dollars!
    Yes, a Billion Dollars. (Dr Evil’s laugh)

    Yeah, but can you imagine his tax credit? (lol). Methinks his tax forms just may come up for an audit.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  40. 40
    Unni

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Unni
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    I don’t know why GM always says it wont make money on hybrids

    GM shared the development costs for the hybrid ( 2 mode ). GM declared bankruptcy and wrote off the a lot of costs. All GM hybrids comes 10-20 k up than regular models.

    cant they produce 2 mode system with 5k extra and sell for 6k :-)

    When i compare to toyota, The i read some where they make 3k profit on any prius they sell and they make profit.

    I still didn’t under stand the maths.

    Off the news:

    Yesterday i took a couple of photos with Volt from the BC power smart village at VANOC. The GM person told. its the same car Lyle drove . He was kind enough to open the doors and gave us a look inside also. They seems to have media drives but only for influential guys and VEVA members (Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association :-)


  41. 41
    Loboc

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    So Ghosen is saying – electrics will be 10% of the market by 2020.
    Lutz is saying – no more than 10% in the next 10 years.

    Glass half-full, glass half-empty.

    Sounds like the same number to me just a different spin.
    Ghosen – optimistic spin.
    Lutz – pessimistic spin.

    I think Lutz is playing with us (and/or the competition). GM can ramp up builds quicker than just about anyone in the industry. The real numbers will tell the tale.


  42. 42
    DonC

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:06 am)

    Lutz is giving the obvious answer here. Given that hybrids are now what, 3% of the market, what could he say? But all big product changes start small and cars have a very long product cycle, so, as several have mentioned, we’ll see how this all works out.

    Note, however, that Goshn has a very different approach to the issue. Hybrid and EV sales may only make up 10% of the market by 2020, but he’s aiming to have Nissan dominate that 10%. It’s a big contrast. GM might be be better served if Lutz dropped the candor in favor of some cheer leading enthusiasm. He could say, “hybrids have not been that successful but Voltec is such an advance in technology, and people are becoming so much more concerned about the environment and dependence on foreign, that we believe the timing is perfect for Voltec to absolutely take off”. IOW take a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook.


  43. 43
    Roy H

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:12 am)

    My first reaction was that this was very discouraging. But then it might be FUD on Lutz’s part as he may be working to keep competitors from competing with the Volt.

    Certainly I believe GM should make a profit on each Volt, (not necessarily after incorporating development costs), otherwise they will produce the fewest number possible to comply with government pressure.

    We need the Volt to be a success, for energy independence, for reduced pollution, to pave the way to lower cost personal transportation, and finally for GM to be long term successful.
    The world is changing, automakers who stick to ICEs will perish, and in fact ALL automakers now have various electric vehicles in planning stages.

    For those interested, please read my comment #145 on previous thread about Fuel cell advances.


  44. 44
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Happy Birthday, Bob.

    ***THANKS FOR THE PROWLER***


  45. 45
    Streetlight

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Streetlight
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:16 am)

    Happy Birthday RL! Whitacre is very fortunate having him on his team. RL would be CEO right now if he wished. On the interview: A couple weeks ago, Whitacre specifically told Lyle GM had room to make money at a selling price significantly below $40k. Now we’re back to a loss at that $40k figure. Bob’s word is gospel. Anyways, I love his ready-to-pounce on Toyota stance. GM needs a bit of that long-ago aggressiveness. Hopefully Bob can persuade Whitacre into restoring the outstanding dealerships now cast off. In the Alameda-Oakland Area (SFO) there’s just one dealership left-and its a 30-45 minute drive from Alameda. The one in Alameda traced back before WWII and when shut down – 65 – that’s a whole generation of GM faithful lost. Quality customer service starts with the dealerships, always has and always will. That’s one well-proven step to take an advantage over competition.


  46. 46
    James

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    I hope Tagamet and LauraM and all the regulars here note the tone of Bob Lutz here. He has grinned and panned the Congress and press – and us – for many moons re: the Volt, and GM’s plans to electrify.

    To GM, and it’s OLD SCHOOL DINOSAURS projects like Voltec and hybrids are a sorry chore, a tedious requirement of an over-reaching government demanding higher fuel efficiency of them(C.A.F.E.).

    It’s ever so apparent that GM hasn’t taken Toyota’s example of throwing lots of money into a platform like Hybrid Synergy Drive, and running with it. Toyota, with all their faults, showed foresight and vision in taking the initial financial hit for future market leadership.

    Even today, Toyota followed American car companies off the cliff, so to speak in spending huge amounts developing the fullsized truck Tundra and it’s beastly sister the Sequoia, both have been market disappointments and their factories shut down for long periods. This was Toyota digging for American market share, following GM and Ford into the “Americans need giant, unaerodynamic, gas sucking steel pigs to drive the 20 miles to work” ethic. Also, the profit-draw was too much for them to ignore, but it backfired on them. Today, even with some setbacks, at 1.6 million Prius sold, the gamble Toyota took has plainly paid off.

    The Voltec technology was partially funded by you and me, and GM’s way of proving a point that it could “out-Toyota” Toyota. Believe me, if GM follows through and actually brings this technology to the mainstream it will be kicking and screaming all the way. Please don’t forget all you learned watching “Who Killed The Electric Car”. The large corporations don’t want to give up the billions in revenue they garner from selling you greasy oily replacement parts, LOTS OF THEM. The ones electric cars don’t need.


  47. 47
    Loboc

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    James: The large corporations don’t want to give up the billions in revenue they garner from selling you greasy oily replacement parts, LOTS OF THEM. The ones electric cars don’t need.

    So, you just stick a greasy, oily ICE in the electric car and Voila! Everyone is happy!


  48. 48
    Roy H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Streetlight: Happy Birthday RL!Whitacre is very fortunate having him on his team. RL would be CEO right now if he wished. On the interview: A couple weeks ago, Whitacre specifically told Lyle GM had room to make money at a selling price significantly below $40k. Now we’re back to a loss at that $40k figure. Bob’s word is gospel. Anyways, I love his ready-to-pounce on Toyota stance. GM needs a bit of that long-ago aggressiveness. Hopefully Bob can persuade Whitacre into restoring the outstanding dealerships now cast off. In the Alameda-Oakland Area (SFO) there’s just one dealership left-and its a 30-45 minute drive from Alameda. The one in Alameda traced back before WWII and when shut down – 65 – that’s a whole generation of GM faithful lost. Quality customer service starts with the dealerships, always has and always will. That’s one well-proven step to take an advantage over competition.  

    Sorry to hear about your local dealership. Keep in mind that GM did not want to get rid of dealerships, this was a government mandated condition on being refinanced. GM does not have the option of changing their mind, only if they decide to re-instate your dealership, they must dispose of another.

    BTW my previous post referred to #145 in the FC thread, should have been #143.


  49. 49
    Noel Park

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    ziv: Lutz has had his moments, but he really is not the brightest bulb on the tree. GM has a transformative technology, they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to develop it from the years before the EV1 through today, and Lutz continues to downplay the importance of that effort.
    Underpromise and overdeliver is one thing, stupidly muddying the waters is another.

    #6

    Amen. +1


  50. 50
    Tagamet

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    Michael:
    Now that you mention “tie,” I notice that Bob is not wearing one.I’m sure that is the reason for his pessimism.He is always more optimistic with a pink tie.   

    *OR* he knew how his comments would be received and was wise enough not to wear something with which he could be hung. (Did I say that out loud)?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  51. 51
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    Noel Park: ziv: Lutz has had his moments, but he really is not the brightest bulb on the tree. GM has a transformative technology, they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to develop it from the years before the EV1 through today, and Lutz continues to downplay the importance of that effort.
    Underpromise and overdeliver is one thing, stupidly muddying the waters is another.

    #6

    Amen. +1

    Hi Noel,
    I read this post while scrolling up from the bottom and immediately said to myself “Noel is up”. (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  52. 52
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:53 am)

    Loboc: Glass half-full, glass half-empty.

    This is pretty much what I was going to say. 10% in 10 years is actually pretty good news, it assumes a lot of ramp-up and mass-adoption. It’s the point at which businesses and town centers start to think of EV plug-in sites independently of government incentives. It’s the point where manufacturers and power companies start thinking that maybe quick-charge stations aren’t so far-fetched after all. It’s the point where status-quo, middle-of-the-road ICE drivers start following EVs down the street with their eyes, thinking “maybe I ought to check that out.” By 10% penetration, it will likely matter much less what CAFE “requires” of manufacturers.


  53. 53
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:56 am)

    Loboc: So Ghosen is saying – electrics will be 10% of the market by 2020.
    Lutz is saying – no more than 10% in the next 10 years.Glass half-full, glass half-empty.Sounds like the same number to me just a different spin.
    Ghosen – optimistic spin.
    Lutz – pessimistic spin.I think Lutz is playing with us (and/or the competition). GM can ramp up builds quicker than just about anyone in the industry. The real numbers will tell the tale.  

    Well said +1

    BR JC NPNS


  54. 54
    CorvetteGuy

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    How much is GM losing per vehicle?
    $500 – $1000 – $3000 – More?

    Would they break even if 1/2 of the $7500 tax credit goes to the manufacturer?
    (either way that tax credit is paid for by all of us)

    And, even though I have not seen an invoice yet, I predict the diff between invoice and MSRP will besi small, that the salesperson will be lucky to get a $200 flat voucher for selling one. And gods forbid they sell it over MSRP and get buried by the customer on the CSI questionnaire. Which would cost the salesman even more money.

    Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too.

    The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.


  55. 55
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    I think Bob may very well be right.
    The question is… is that a bad thing?

    Let’s make a low ball guess saying there are ~200 million cars in the US.
    (We all know this is a ridiculously low number.)

    That would mean somewhere near 20 million EREV/EV/Hybrid cars on the road in 10 years.

    That isn’t a terrible thing.


  56. 56
    Volt45

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    pdt: Human’s are notoriously bad a predicting the future.We’ll see what happens.  

    Better than dolphins or primates … :)


  57. 57
    stuart22

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    Tagamet: Happy birthday Bob – and may you have many more (I wonder what in the world someone would GET him for a birthday present!?!). Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get T/B>he Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    What to get him for a present? How about a Toyota floormat, framed and ready for hanging…


  58. 58
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    DonC: Lutz is giving the obvious answer here. Given that hybrids are now what, 3% of the market, what could he say? But all big product changes start small and cars have a very long product cycle, so, as several have mentioned, we’ll see how this all works out.
    Note, however, that Goshn has a very different approach to the issue. Hybrid and EV sales may only make up 10% of the market by 2020, but he’s aiming to have dominate that 10%. It’s a big contrast. GM might be be better served if Lutz dropped the candor in favor of some cheer leading enthusiasm. He could say, “hybrids have not been that successful but Voltec is such an advance in technology, and people are becoming so much more concerned about the environment and dependence on foreign, that we believe the timing is perfect for Voltec to absolutely take off”. IOW take a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook.  

    I agree with your entire comment. But there HAVE been threads where Bob has been a cheerleader for the Volt. The video of him after a test drive springs to mind. The only downside of his becoming another cheerleader (joining the entire engineering team) would be that it would diminish the impact of his comments. Today is the other side of that double-edged sword that is Bob Lutz, and it kinda sucks.
    Steve Jobs would make a great Volt cheerleader, but we’d need to get a box for him to stand on (Bob’s pretty tall)(g).
    As you said, we’ll see how this all works out.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  59. 59
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    stuart22: Tagamet: Happy birthday Bob – and may you have many more (I wonder what in the world someone would GET him for a birthday present!?!). Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get T/B>he Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”! (Quote)

    What to get him for a present? How about a Toyota floormat, framed and ready for hanging…

    Now, Stuart, play nice! (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  60. 60
    MuddyRoverRob

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How much is GM losing per vehicle?
    $500 – $1000 – $3000 – More?Would they break even if 1/2 of the $7500 tax credit goes to the manufacturer?
    (either way that tax credit is paid for by all of us)And, even though I have not seen an invoice yet, I predict the diff between invoice and MSRP will besi small, that the salesperson will be lucky to get a $200 flat voucher for selling one. And gods forbid they sell it over MSRP and get buried by the customer on the CSI questionnaire. Which would cost the salesman even more money.
    Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too.
    The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.  

    I understand your concern and it’s a legitimate one.

    Here’s hoping GM builds in a fair margin for the dealerships so everyone wins.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, gouging over the MSRP is a good way to lose customers permanently but it does have to be fair to the dealer too.

    Personally I have yet to find a truly good dealership for any brand but I hold out hope.


  61. 61
    Roy H

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How much is GM losing per vehicle?
    $500 – $1000 – $3000 – More?Would they break even if 1/2 of the $7500 tax credit goes to the manufacturer?
    (either way that tax credit is paid for by all of us)And, even though I have not seen an invoice yet, I predict the diff between invoice and MSRP will besi small, that the salesperson will be lucky to get a $200 flat voucher for selling one. And gods forbid they sell it over MSRP and get buried by the customer on the CSI questionnaire. Which would cost the salesman even more money.
    Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too.
    The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.  

    Very interesting insight. I did not appreciate the pressure on a sales person to maintain MSRP. Does this low commission translate to salespeople discouraging Volt sales in favor of higher profit ICEs?

    There has been a lot of talk about price gouging by dealerships to sell the Volt above MSRP. I guess this has to be a dealer decision, not at the salesman level.

    Would you comment further on what happens to dealers who sell above MSRP? Is there pressure from GM to maintain MSRP?


  62. 62
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How much is GM losing per vehicle?
    $500 – $1000 – $3000 – More?Would they break even if 1/2 of the $7500 tax credit goes to the manufacturer?
    (either way that tax credit is paid for by all of us)And, even though I have not seen an invoice yet, I predict the diff between invoice and MSRP will besi small, that the salesperson will be lucky to get a $200 flat voucher for selling one. And gods forbid they sell it over MSRP and get buried by the customer on the CSI questionnaire. Which would cost the salesman even more money.
    Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too.
    The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.  

    I know that you’ve voiced this before and I agree with you every time. But at least this time I’d win a steak dinner, because I ALWAYS say Thank You.
    Maybe it’d help to think long term, when the volume ramps up and those $200 (or 300, 400) get to be substantial.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  63. 63
    Schmeltz

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Regarding Bob’s estimates for EV’s in the future, I think he will be happy to be wrong if it’s more than 10%. :)


  64. 64
    Roy H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    Addendum to my previous post:

    The Volt is not a success until dealers and sales people make enough profit to promote it.


  65. 65
    Michael

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Now, Stuart, play nice! (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet  

    This from the guy that said (outloud) “something with which HE could be hung.” LOL
    Better to hang a floormat. OK, I know, play nice. :-)


  66. 66
    Tag

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tag
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:39 pm)

    Dan Petit: We’ll just have to see, but still, it will be great to see people out there driving Volts after all.

    A philosophical change is far, far, far bigger than only the bottom line after all.

    That pretty much sums it up, Dan!

    Having read all the troll vitriol, I think I’ll take a shower. Have you seen the emails that go around that say “They walk among us!” ? Great descriptions of trolls.
    BBL
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  67. 67
    Luke

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Luke
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    “Lutz: Hybrids and EVs Won’t Surpass 10% of US Market Share For 10 Years”

    Fine, but that 10% will include me. Also, the availability of a new technology that I care about will encourage me to buy a new car instead of another one of the very used beaters that I normally drive.

    I’m handy with tools, technologically oriented, and I care a lot more about usefulness than about image. Other than the Prius and the Jetta TDI, the last 10 years have not produced a car that I have-to-have. So, my car-purchases have been driven by my need for a modest transportation-appliance. This means that the only cars on my list are generally either used, or Japanese.

    Build me an affordable electric car, though, and everything changes!


  68. 68
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    Tagamet: *OR* he knew how his comments would be received and was wise enough not to wear something with which he could be hung. (Did I say that out loud)?

    #50

    Too bloody right mate! +1


  69. 69
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (1:14 pm)

    Tagamet: I read this post while scrolling up from the bottom and immediately said to myself “Noel is up”.

    #51

    Well at my office actually, ahem, ahem. But thanks for noticing, LOL.


  70. 70
    Luke

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Luke
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    RB: When the new Obama CAFE-CO2 mandates begin to be phased in during 2012 and thereafter, there are going to be many more small cars than the population is going to want, whether they are “educated” or not.

    I like small cars. The largest vehicle I’ve owned is a Ford Ranger. I’ve driven bigger vehicles when needed for work or whatever, and they’re fine for those purposes — but I never understand why someone would want a big vehicle just because.

    I’ve driven small cars for most of my life. Here’s why:

    * Small cars can be very maneuverable, and zippy, which is fun. Of course, you have to have the right car — I’m not talking about the Cavalier, here.
    * Small cars have the same number of seats as the many of the SUVs/CUVs I that I see on the road. I don’t see why all that mass extra is necessary. If you actually are hauling 7 people, I can see why a minivan or SUV is the right tool for the job — but if you’re hauling 4 people, my car has 4 seats.
    * Safety — I’d much rather avoid an accident by maneuvering myself out than crash a big and cumbersome vehicle and “winning”.
    * Parking — small cars are easier to park. Sure, practice makes parking a big vehicle easier, but in the parking lots that I use, I can just drive the Prius into the spot. In my Ranger, I sometimes have to do a little be more maneuvering. I’ve parked some passenger vans and large pickup trucks, and it’s easier than it looks — but I wouldn’t want to have to do that every day.
    * The big vehicles (especially SUVs) that I’ve looked at don’t have a proportionally larger cargo area. Yes, the cargo area is larger than it is for a small car, but the vehicle weighs 4x as much and only offers 2x as much cargo area. Also, the cargo areas are typically not suited for my purposes — I measured a Dodge Grand Caravan (with those nifty fold-flat seats) the other day to see if it would be a suitable replacement for my Ranger, and the cargo area is 47-3/4″ wide at its narrowest point. Also, the cargo area was 96″ long — with the driver and passenger seats full-forward. This means that it will haul exactly the same number of sheets of 49″x97″ MDF as my Prius — zero. Also, zero sheets of plywood. Yes, I could possibly build some sort of support-structure to hold the plywood, but if I have to do that, I might as well build a roofrack for a Subaru. The cargo area on the Grand Caravan LOOKS cavernous, but it’s no better for the tasks that I have that my compact car can’t do than my existing compact car.

    I just don’t get why people want a big car for the sake of having a big car. I get needing certain capabilities (towing, hauling a certain number of passengers, hauling a certain kind of cargo), but I just don’t get what you were arguing. Is there something awesome about being stuck in a bigger cage than you need?


  71. 71
    DonC

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too.

    The big problem is that the dealer model prevents a car manufacturer from controlling the pricing and service of its product. Dealers are very well connected politically, and the laws are written so that they get, in effect, something of a government created monopoly. So I don’t believe that the dealers will get screwed. If they do, they’ll be hoisted on their own petard.


  72. 72
    Roy H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    DonC:
    The big problem is that the dealer model prevents a car manufacturer from controlling the pricing and service of its product. Dealers are very well connected politically, and the laws are written so that they get, in effect, something of a government created monopoly. So I don’t believe that the dealers will get screwed. If they do, they’ll be hoisted on their own petard.  

    So GM has no ability to ensure their products get sold at or below MSRP?
    You are suggesting that dealers just add what they consider fair markup and this should not be considered as gouging?


  73. 73
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    Mr. Lutz,

    What happens to this pessimistic evaluation when electric drive becomes a performance decision? You’ve experienced EV performance in a positive way from a vehicle which was not particularly engineered to emphasize it. Or would you have been inspired to make the iCar, or Volt, or whatever had the Tesla been an anemic golf cart?

    Adding Voltec in with all hybrids is a mistake that your competitors will make; don’t you make it too.

    Respectfully,

    Jackson


  74. 74
    Tag

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tag
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    Michael: Tagamet:
    Now, Stuart, play nice! (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Michael: This from the guy that said (outloud) “something with which HE could be hung.” LOL
    Better to hang a floormat. OK, I know, play nice. :-)

    Guilty as charged, but I *did* ask if it was out loud….. Anyway, I could submit a transcript of my posts for any given day at this site and get off on an insanity plea.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  75. 75
    Jackson

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:04 pm)

    Tag

    So, are you officially shortening your “handle” at GM-volt.com? ;-)

    OT

    This is a community and not a sparring corner largely because of your beneficent influence. You deserve all our thanks, and have mine.

    Jackson


  76. 76
    Streetlight

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Streetlight
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    #48 Roy H. ……Former Alameda Chevy dealership is a microcosm of the dealership degeneration. I knew the owner. His son and I were buddies. This was a vital part of the city. Everyone knew everyone. The mechanics all certified GM journeymen. This dealership looked after its customers. Not just Alameda – all over North America this story is repeated – hundreds of times. More. You see Congress enacted an arbitration appeal process for some. Its these that Congress lobbying to restore. Now whether the foregoing example dealership is included I’ve not a clue.
    The point of my post is that GM needs to improve its reliability image from the middle of the pack to the top. The cornerstone of this image is restoring whatever dealerships possible. These dealerships were built on selling cars. If GM is to regain its markets it needs high-quality customer-trusted dealers.


  77. 77
    George

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    George
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    Lutz, in my opinion, is being overly cautious–maybe even pessimistic. He’s failing to adequately take into account the extent to which EREV costs will decline dramatically over time, combined with the role of the $7,500 gov’t rebate, and not to mention skyrocketing gas prices resulting from peak oil.

    When you combine the above factors along with the “halo” effect of being able to say that you own the greenest car on the road, combined with the superior driving experience of the Volt, what you have is the “perfect storm” of conditions necessary for a paradigm shift in the industry arount 2015-2020.

    I concur with those who feel that GM has been making all the right moves. Lutz, meanwhile, is looking a gift horse in the mouth. Regards, George, Sudbury, Canada


  78. 78
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: I have yet to find a truly good dealership for any brand but I hold out hope.

    I found one, but, he was old when I bought the car (10 years ago). Probably not there anymore.

    When buying, it’s not so much the dealership, but, how does the sales guy listen to you and treat you. This guy was in the ‘Internet department’.

    The service (for me) is not such a big deal unless they have a major recall. I get my service at quickie lube place and at auto parts stores. I do my own belt and filter changes. The only thing I need to go to the dealer for is if it can’t be fixed without help from their proprietary computer.


  79. 79
    Tag

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tag
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    Luke: I just don’t get why people want a big car for the sake of having a big car. I get needing certain capabilities (towing, hauling a certain number of passengers, hauling a certain kind of cargo), but I just don’t get what you were arguing. Is there something awesome about being stuck in a bigger cage than you need?

    Speaking only for myself, small cars present an issue with simple comfort. I was extremely active in high school sports. After a total “workup”, my orthopedic surgeon’s comment was “You weren’t very good!” (and he was correct). Anyway, I have one totally replaced knee and the other one is arthritic. IF I could get into a small car, I wouldn’t be comfortable for the ride and I’d probably need the “Jaws of Life” to be extracted. I’m ok in a mid-sized car as long as I can keep the seat moved toward the back.
    As one of the first in the wave of “Boomers” reaching uh, maturity, *all* of the car mfg’s should keep us in mind.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  80. 80
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    Unni: Yesterday i took a couple of photos with Volt from the BC power smart village at VANOC. The GM person told. its the same car Lyle drove . He was kind enough to open the doors and gave us a look inside also. They seems to have media drives but only for influential guys and VEVA members (Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association :-)

    I’m glad GM hasn’t completely ignored the Olympics where the Volt is concerned (a fact not apparent from the commercials I’ve seen during the TV coverage: which would give one the impression that the Leaf was the only EV of note). It sounds like the GM people at these events are very aware of Lyle and the rest of us here.

    We should remember that, although very influential, Mr. Lutz does not represent the full and complete position of either the company, or it’s employees.

    Though irritating at times, we cannot minimize the contributions of Maximum Bob to the first years of this project: even if he turns out not to have a lot to do with it’s conclusion (which would frankly surprise me). You have to take the whole Lutz “coin” — both heads and tails.


  81. 81
    Volt45

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    I think the CAFE has been a clumsy bludgeon that forces the industry to make ‘chunks’ of one type of type of *relatively* unpopular vehicle so they can have sales of a ‘chunk’ of *relatively* popular vehicle.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but a “scalpel” of gas taxes, a *very slowly* increasing floor tax and a *very slowly* increasing per gallon sales tax ( in case the floor is too low at any point in time ), would have promoted smoother transition to more efficient vehicles.

    Lutz has been promoting gas taxes recently. And he’s been resentful of the CAFE regime.
    Can one really blame him? Is he not closer to the impossible realities that government imposes on the industry?


  82. 82
    Volt45

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    I think the CAFE has been a clumsy bludgeon that forces the industry to make ‘chunks’ of one type of type of *relatively* unpopular vehicle so they can have sales of a ‘chunk’ of *relatively* popular vehicle.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but a “scalpel” of gas taxes, a *very slowly* increasing floor tax and a *very slowly* increasing per gallon sales tax ( in case the floor is too low at any point in time ), would have promoted smoother transition to more efficient vehicles.

    Lutz has been promoting gas taxes recently. And he’s been resentful of the CAFE regime.
    Can one really blame him? Is he not closer to the impossible realities that government imposes on the industry?
    Lutz has said this explicitly: Government FORCES the auto industry to sell efficient cars whike allowing the fuel industry to sell relatively cheap gas. The price messages to the consumer are schizophrenic.

    Orwell said it takes much work to see what is in front of one’s nose. Don’t blame Bob for telling you the truth of what the reality is.


  83. 83
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:52 pm)

    Jackson:
    So, are you officially shortening your “handle” at GM-volt.com?OTThis is a community and not a sparring corner largely because of your beneficent influence.You deserve all our thanks, and have mine.Jackson  

    Well, I certainly thank you for the extremely kind (and LONG) words!(G). Have you people been private messaging each other to be so extraordinarily kind to me recently???? I know, I know, I don’t know how to take a compliment. But I think that that is mostly because it always moves me deeply. So coming up with verbiage that reflects the effect is next to impossible (and I know a LOT of words!)(lol). Thank You!
    Re “Tag” vs Tagamet – I don’t know how that happened, but posts after #62 say Tag. It wasn’t by intent, so thanks for pointing it out. This post doesn’t SAY who posted it, so I don’t know if it’ll say Tag or Tagamet! HUH.

    EDIT: It WOULD have said TAG, but I could change it in edit – I hope.


  84. 84
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:58 pm)

    OT: Figured out the Tag change. One of our cats (Levi) erased the last 4 letters in the “Leave a Reply” name box. HONEST! They love walking on the keyboard.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  85. 85
    LeoK

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeoK
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (2:58 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: I understand your concern and it’s a legitimate one.Here’s hoping GM builds in a fair margin for the dealerships so everyone wins.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, gouging over the MSRP is a good way to lose customers permanently but it does have to be fair to the dealer too. Personally I have yet to find a truly good dealership for any brand but I hold out hope.  (Quote)

    MuddyRoverRob… keep the faith and keep looking – there are plenty of GREAT dealers out there staffed with professional, knowledgable and honest salespeople. Look for dealers who are actively involved in their community; sponsoring local events and teams; serving on local non-profit boards – these are the type of dealers who understand that long-term success comes one customer at a time. You will find one and they will earn your loyalty.


  86. 86
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:00 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: That isn’t a terrible thing.

    #55

    OT, but did you get to see kd on the Olympic opening ceremony Friday PM? Awesome, IMHO. She went on last, which is equivalent to top billing I guess. She really made the most of it. Joni Mitchell was great as well, but I don’t think it was live, more’s the pity. Anyway, I thought that Canadian culture was on display in the best possible light. The male mogul skier was pretty awesome last night too. I think you guys are on a roll.


  87. 87
    Unni

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Unni
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:04 pm)

    Jackson: I’m glad GM hasn’t completely ignored the Olympics where the Volt is concerned (a fact not apparent from the commercials I’ve seen during the TV coverage: which would give one the impression that the Leaf was the only EV of note). It sounds like the GM people at these events are very aware of Lyle and the rest of us here.

    Yep, He talked on gm-volt site (that was the only reason he opened the car for me to view inside ) and he was saying he was also there when Lyle was test driving and about Lyle’s test drive etc.

    Lot of people were coming in a saying “Wow !! – is this an electric vehicle ? ” .

    If you are in vancovuer you can see volt at Home of future at BC hydro’s power smart village : http://www.powersmartvillage.com/home-of-the-future.html

    If there is enough gm-volt followers in Vancouver, may be we can also initiate , coordinate and negotiate for a Volt drive as we are also plugin enthusiasts ( i am not a VEVA member ).


  88. 88
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    Volt45: I think the CAFE has been a clumsy bludgeon that forces the industry to make ‘chunks’ of one type of type of *relatively* unpopular vehicle so they can have sales of a ‘chunk’ of *relatively* popular vehicle.Hindsight is 20/20 but a “scalpel” of gas taxes, a *very slowly* increasing floor tax and a *very slowly* increasing per gallon sales tax ( in case the floor is too low at any point in time ), would have promoted smoother transition to more efficient vehicles.
    Lutz has been promoting gas taxes recently. And he’s been resentful of the CAFE regime.
    Can one really blame him?Is he not closer to the impossible realities that government imposes on the industry?
    Lutz has said this explicitly:Government FORCES the auto industry to sell efficient cars whike allowing the fuel industry to sell relatively cheap gas. The price messages to the consumer are schizophrenic.
    Orwell said it takes much work to see what is in front of one’s nose. Don’t blame Bob for telling you the truth of what the reality is.  

    Well-said and well-reasoned. I only agree with the last two sentences, but the whole post was well-said and well-reasoned.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  89. 89
    LeoK

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeoK
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:12 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How much is GM losing per vehicle?$500 – $1000 – $3000 – More?Would they break even if 1/2 of the $7500 tax credit goes to the manufacturer?(either way that tax credit is paid for by all of us)And, even though I have not seen an invoice yet, I predict the diff between invoice and MSRP will besi small, that the salesperson will be lucky to get a $200 flat voucher for selling one. And gods forbid they sell it over MSRP and get buried by the customer on the CSI questionnaire. Which would cost the salesman even more money. Like I’ve been saying, dealers are screwed no matter what they sell it for, and if GM is really losing money on every sale, they are too. The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.  (Quote)

    CorvetteGuy, I feel your pain. Every professional salesperson across the county feels your pain. Over the past several years, manufacturers have slashed the traditional margin between ‘msrp’ and ‘dealer cost’, leaving far less negotiating room with the dealer. The result is that most salespeople make a minimum commission on any new vehicle sale. Its not fun and not very rewarding if your are a motivated individual constanting striving to improve your product knowledge and ultimately your annual earnings. Unlike most any other type of sales job, automotive sales is solely based on what you delivered this month.

    Some food for thought…

    From a consumer standpoint, ask yourself how much time you spent with the last salesperson you purchased a car from… include phone calls, emails, shopping, test drives and delivery. Next add in the time the salesperson spends behind the scenes working on verifying insurance, setting up other vehicle documentation, and confirming items related to vehicle financing if any. Now take a flat $100 or $200 sales commission and divide it by the number of hours you spent with that salesperson. For a few, it was a quick sale and a decent hourly wage. But for many, the process is long, drawn out, and results in minimum hourly earnings. How many of you have doctors or attorneys who simply charge a small flat fee no matter how long it takes them to complete the necessary work? I suspect not many.


  90. 90
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    Tagamet: They love walking on the keyboard.

    We die a lot in World of Warcraft when that happens :)


  91. 91
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:27 pm)

    Jackson: This is a community and not a sparring corner largely because of your beneficent influence. You deserve all our thanks, and have mine.

    #75

    Amen! +1


  92. 92
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    stuart22: What to get him for a present? How about a Toyota floormat, framed and ready for hanging…

    #57

    LOL +1

    On a more serious note, I heard an automotive reporter being interviewed this AM on NPR about the Toyota SIA situation. He said that there are currently 34 deaths reported related to this issue, and that it is believed that the number will eventually top 100.

    I had always thought that Toyota would just crank up the spin machine and let this all blow over, but even I am starting to think that it may be a bit more serious than that.


  93. 93
    MuddyRoverRob

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    LeoK:
    MuddyRoverRob… keep the faith and keep looking – there are plenty of GREAT dealers out there staffed with professional, knowledgable and honest salespeople.Look for dealers who are actively involved in their community; sponsoring local events and teams; serving on local non-profit boards – these are the type of dealers who understand that long-term success comes one customer at a time.You will find one and they will earn your loyalty.  

    The issue isn’t really in the showroom, lets face it most sales folks are personable.
    Whether what they say is true or not is another issue of course.

    It’s in the “service” dept which in every instance I have ever experienced it most certainly was not. The sad reality is these places run on lies, deception and extortion.
    ($30 for a ‘flipping’ oil filter!!!)

    Sorry for the downer post… I am a car guy who has been treated badly so may times by dealerships that I have switched to buying used cars to avoid them!

    I’m somewhat conflicted being on this site, I want a Volt but I DREAD going to a dealership.
    The sales people will be pushy although nice enough but I KNOW that servicing will be a nightmare.


  94. 94
    LeoK

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeoK
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:47 pm)

    Happy Birthday Bob!

    While some of today’s comments are old and some new, the general theme is consistent – no one on this site believes there will be enough VOLT’s produced to meet initial demand.

    At the most basic level, this is all about sound business decisions. General Motors has stepped up and invested millions (or billions) in the groundbreaking technology that will form the VOLTEC powertrain. They need to formulate a business plan that gives the company the best chance at gaining a return on that investment. It is not that difficult to judge initial demand for such new technology. The real challenge comes in anticipating what ‘normal’ demand will look like after the initial surge. This is where basic consumer economics comes into play; and where outside factors, such as the cost of oil, will enter into consumer demand.

    Look back at Hybrid demand over the past 10 years. There have been a few spikes, with each one attributed to a dramatic increase in the cost of fuel at the pumps. US consumers have proven to have short-term memory.

    Looking forward, the last thing GM wants to see happen is to ramp up VOLT production (or any other cutting edge hybrid or alternative powertrain) only to have ‘normal’ demand come in short of expectations. The business result: just at the very moment that the corporation needs to begin reaping a return on their investment, which will allow them to up the ante on new R&D, the retail market starts to require sales incentives to move the product they’ve already built. It is a sure-fire way to kill future alternative powertrain development. GM leadership does not want, and cannot afford, to have that scenario occur with VOLT. Thus, they must underpromise – and we all hope – overdeliver.

    Toyota has had a powerful run with the Prius. The marketplace has responded with consistent demand; and Toyota has been able to respond to those spikes in fuel prices with increased Prius production. Over the span of a decade, Toyota has managed to keep the production treadmill at the proper speed to balance supply with demand. Thus, they have been able to build a successful business case for increasing their investment in making the product better with each version. Toyota never fell pray to the ‘build it and then figure out how to sell it’ mentality that all too frequently hurts auto manufacturers long-term business plans.

    GM needs to learn this lesson – and I believe their current leadership has learned it. I sense that GM will be ready to resond should the market’s ‘normal’ demand cycle call for more VOLT’s or other EREV or PHEV or ???. In the end, the TRUE return on GM’s investment in VOLT will be measured by the fundamental shift this vehicle creates in the public’s perception of what GM is all about. The VOLT will lead a change in perception and GM will emerge as a perceived (and true) leader in the drive to wean the US off foriegn oil.

    Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on….


  95. 95
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    LeoK: From a consumer standpoint, ask yourself how much time you spent with the last salesperson you purchased a car from… include phone calls, emails, shopping, test drives and delivery. Next add in the time the salesperson spends behind the scenes working on verifying insurance, setting up other vehicle documentation, and confirming items related to vehicle financing if any. Now take a flat $100 or $200 sales commission and divide it by the number of hours you spent with that salesperson. For a few, it was a quick sale and a decent hourly wage. But for many, the process is long, drawn out, and results in minimum hourly earnings. How many of you have doctors or attorneys who simply charge a small flat fee no matter how long it takes them to complete the necessary work? I suspect not many.

    #89

    We bought our last 2 Chevy trucks locally through the internet operations of 2 different dealers. In both cases, we were satisfied with the prices quoted. We went in and spent at most an hour with the salesperson, and maybe 30 minutes with the person they hand you off to to finalize the sale. They were positive experiences, and we did say thanks.

    Of course, we always end up waiting until the end of the year and take advantage of all the incentives to clear out the old inventory, so maybe that’s why we were so happy with the prices, LOL. But still, there was a minimum of time and efort spent by the sales staff. I think that it may be the wave of the future.


  96. 96
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    LeoK: At the most basic level, this is all about sound business decisions. General Motors has stepped up and invested millions (or billions) in the groundbreaking technology that will form the VOLTEC powertrain. They need to formulate a business plan that gives the company the best chance at gaining a return on that investment. It is not that difficult to judge initial demand for such new technology. The real challenge comes in anticipating what ‘normal’ demand will look like after the initial surge. This is where basic consumer economics comes into play; and where outside factors, such as the cost of oil, will enter into consumer demand.

    #94

    Thank you for this excellent and professional analysis. It has great credibility, coming, as it does, from someone on the front line. I hope that GM will take advantage of your insights in their business planning. Best of luck in your business. +1


  97. 97
    Frank B

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Frank B
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    I think Mr. Lutz is off on this one. Give the American people a spike in gas prices again and that 10% number will happen much much sooner. GM should crank up their production of the Volt to maximum as soon as possible. Some things you just know in your gut, and the Volt’s success is one of those things.


  98. 98
    Constantin

    -6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Constantin
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    “GM will lose money on hybrids” YOU GOT THAT ! GM sould’nt destroyed EV 1 back in 1995 and it would of been now the lider in ELECTRIC CARS ! SORY GM TO LATE !


  99. 99
    Pink Tie Guy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Pink Tie Guy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    I’ve lost my PINK tie and now I’ve lost my mind!

    Ok VOLT fans, we’ll have a few thousand VOLTS at launch and 10,000 over the next 12 months. If the demand increases @ $40,000 (plus generous dealer makups), we’ll ramp up production. Please wait for us to ramp up the factory and don’t go looking at any other EV offerings from any other car companies until production is ready to sell.

    Thx, your good friend MAXIMUM BOB! Keeping the gas dream alive!

    GO EV!!!


  100. 100
    Volt45

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:09 pm)

    “Well-said and well-reasoned. I only agree with the last two sentences, but the whole post was well-said and well-reasoned.
    Be well,
    Tagamet”

    Thanks for the compliment.
    I would like to add a point that I meant to make.
    Is it a matter of virtue that companies, Asian and to a lesser extent European, have been more skilled at making fuel efficient vehicles?
    Or is it *knowing the reality* of high fuel prices in their home base economies?
    The recent “super-sizing” of Japanese vehicles, as NA became more like a home base economy, answers the question for me.


  101. 101
    West Coast Driver

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    West Coast Driver
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    $25.00 bucks and BOOM you’re a member!


  102. 102
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    Loboc: Tagamet: They love walking on the keyboard.

    Loboc: We die a lot in World of Warcraft when that happens :)

    It’s always impressive the intricate combination’s of keystrokes they can accomplish – like hitting “Reply all”, a bunch of nonsense syllables, and then “send”! It was a huge plus when windows moved away from Control/Alt/Delete= reboot. Now they just bring up task manager and allow an “intervention”. Three of the four of our cats have a fairly rich receptive vocabulary – both verbally and American Sign Language. Levi the Elder doesn’t know as many words, because he didn’t live here during his first year.
    Now if I could just train them to clean the fur out of my computer!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  103. 103
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    Over 100 posts, and no one seems to have mentioned what I thought was the most important part of the article:

    I thought that 10,000 units was set in stone for the first year. When did it become “8,000 to 10,000″?

    If we thought it was going to be hard to purchase a Volt when there were only 10,000 units available for the first year, guess what? It will be almost impossible to get one if they only make 8.000!!!!

    IMHO, GM is way off the mark about the demand for this vehicle!! And I belive they could find that out very quickly, if they would start to accept deposits……………..

    As far as a profit on each car, how is it being calculated? Are they building in all of the R&D costs in the first year’s production? If so, then of course they are going to lose money. Otherwise, I am having a hard time seeing the loss. You take a $20K cruze, add about $15K worth of batteries and other components, and sell it for $40K. That looks like a profit to me, not a loss….. And lets not forget that most of those R&D costs were held by the old GM put out to pasture with the bankruptcy.

    Or am I missing something here????

    NPNS


  104. 104
    Michael

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    Tag:
    Anyway, I could submit a transcript of my posts for any given day at this site and get off on an insanity plea.
    Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Me first!

    OT. My ~35 year old daughter asked me to help her look for a better used car to replace her 1995 Escort 4door. A 2001 Prius showed up on Craigslist here (100 miles from said daughter). I contacted the guy on her behalf and he offered to let me take the vehicle home over night and try it out. This is the first time I’ve ever been inside a Prius, much less driven one. Interesting. Can’t wait to see how many people notice it in my driveway.

    Anyone out there want to comment on the reliability factor of a 9-10 year old Prius. It has about 103,000 miles on it, the “main battery” was replaced in 04/09, and he’s asking $5900.


  105. 105
    nuclearboy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    Luke: I just don’t get why people want a big car for the sake of having a big car.

    Well, Many little cars simple are too small. My knees hurt getting in and out of my old escort since it was so low and I had to lean the seat back really far so my head did not hit the ceiling. Little cars are a pain in my ass…., literally. Also, I am in a carpool and the one guy has a small car. I am almost ready to quit the carpool because when he drives we are miserable.

    Bottom line, big cars are great….


  106. 106
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    Volt45: “Well-said and well-reasoned. I only agree with the last two sentences, but the whole post was well-said and well-reasoned.
    Be well,
    Tagamet”Thanks for the compliment.
    I would like to add a point that I meant to make.
    Is it a matter of virtue that companies, Asian and to a lesser extent European, have been more skilled at making fuel efficient vehicles?
    Or is it *knowing the reality* of high fuel prices in their home base economies?
    The recent “super-sizing” of Japanese vehicles, as NA became more like a home base economy, answers the question for me.  

    It’s tough enough to understand what’s in any individual heart, let alone what a “corporate will” is. In both cases though, a good place to start is their behavior.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  107. 107
    Randy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Randy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (4:43 pm)

    BillR Says
    Being in the Northeast, I purchased my home with an oil heating system. After the price gouging a few years ago, I bought a gasification-style wood boiler, that provides all my heat and hot water in the colder months. I’ve reduced my heating oil consumption from 1500 to 200 gallons per year.
    ===============
    Way to Go bill thats what more people need to do is to get completely off oil. I got off in 2002 and since then i saved about $20,000 by NOT buying heating oil for he last 8 years. I changed to a USA source domestic solid fuel heater.


  108. 108
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #75Amen!+1  

    Thanks, Noel! I’m still thinking about a “let’s Gaslight Tag with a bunch of complements” conspiracy. (lol).
    More serious question for you. It seems like it was at least a year or so ago that I had a real war of words with someone on here. I think it was just one night, and we “made nice” the next day. I only remember it because it was the only time on this site that someone used a particular 4 letter acronym with me. The subject matter was “politics” even though I really hadn’t thought that I’d brought them up, and I do remember it was a Californian. Was it you?
    Obviously, it’s not an issue now, but if it *wasn’t* you, I thought that you might remember who it was.
    TIA,
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  109. 109
    Guy Incognito

    -2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Guy Incognito
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    Quote Bob Lutz:
    “Hybrids and EVs Won’t Surpass 10% of US Market Share For 10 Years.”

    Really Bob, hit by divine revelation were we?
    Tell me Bob, where did you get your crystal ball?
    I gotta get me one of them like you got.


  110. 110
    firehawk72

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    firehawk72
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (5:34 pm)

    Michael: Anyone out there want to comment on the reliability factor of a 9-10 year old Prius. It has about 103,000 miles on it, the “main battery” was replaced in 04/09, and he’s asking $5900.

    Where to start.

    The Prius has stellar reliabilty. You would probably have few problems with this car and it would probably serve her well from a mechanical standpoint. But I would suggest looking at much newer cars. Considering you are looking at a 10 year old model, safety would be my biggest concern. Many cars, especially midsize cars, are much safer and get very good gas mileage with very good power. Please consider a newer car ( I would suggest between a 2008-2010) for the safety features alone. You can find many cars with great reliability, with great safety features…including Curtain/Side airbags and Stability control. Don’t dismiss those two at all if your budget will allow it. You have many, many choices with very little additional costs compared to what you are looking at price wise. You can find many cars in the model range I listed with the safety features I listed between 6-12 thousand dollars-even late model cars at the upper price range! I personally recommend looking at Ebay and Autotrader for midsize cars as they are the best value on the market. You will probably be surprised as to what you can purchase one for. Some of the better midsize cars are Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu 2008-2010, and Hyundai Sonata among others, and none will break you up either. If you go smaller, which would be like the 2001 Prius, then the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus are very good buys. I just listed a few and there are many, but if you do decide to go with the Prius, you will probably be fine mechanically. Good luck in whatever you do decide.

    Hawk


  111. 111
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    “…8,000 to 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011…”

    Volt production starts in November of 2010. 10,000 Volts in 13 months equals 750 per month. Just 34 T batteries produced per day in a 22 workday-per-month operation.

    The obvious twist to this puzzle is that GM will be manufacturing more than 34 T batteries per day. GM should produce double this. Supporting a sister program such as a small SUV electric or the Ampera?
    ______________________________

    Nissan is currently running ads during the Winter Olympics. The last one I saw (about 1/2 hour ago) focused on the Leaf. Yes, the Leaf!

    We know the Leaf is limited to a range of under 100 miles per charge. But can be an effective commuter if opportunity recharge is available at the workplace. Nissan will start taking deposits in Spring. Rumored price being $30,000 (less $7500 tax credit).

    ______________________________

    GM will allow the Leaf to reach the consumer before the Volt.

    The best counter to this unfortunate time table is to advertise the Volt as being a more substantial vehicle. Highlighting the 104 mph top speed. And the liquid cooled (and warmed) battery system. And the oil cooled main electric drive motor. I would stop short of labeling the Nissan Leaf a golf cart. As this is not good for the newly invented image of EV. But would emphasize how engineering at GM has skillfully incorporated the expectations of the American car buyer into Volt. Rumored price being $39,000 (less $7500 tax credit).

    Get ready to rumble, It’s now 2010.

    =D-Volt


  112. 112
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    Michael:
    Me first!OT.My ~35 year old daughter asked me to help her look for a better used car to replace her 1995 Escort 4door.A 2001 Prius showed up on Craigslist here (100 miles from said daughter).I contacted the guy on her behalf and he offered to let me take the vehicle home over night and try it out.This is the first time I’ve ever been inside a Prius, much less driven one.Interesting.Can’t wait to see how many people notice it in my driveway.Anyone out there want to comment on the reliability factor of a 9-10 year old Prius.It has about 103,000 miles on it, the “main battery” was replaced in 04/09, and he’s asking $5900.  

    The only input I can provide is that I helped my 23 yr old daughter look for and buy a new Prius (which is no help to you), but I remember my total confusion the first time I sat in it and pushed the Start button. NOTHING HAPPENS. lol. Jenn knew the drill better than I did and of course kinda whined, “Well, GO Dad!”
    Anyway, what I CAN tell you is that her Prius saved her life when she was clobbered by an SUV AND a pickup truck, both coming from the passengers side. She didn’t have side airbags either. They drove her across two lanes and down a 10 foot bank. It knocked her right out of her shoes and she was one big bruise the next day, but the cage stayed intact. She was Life-flighted (I got there quickly enough to help load her on board), but was released from the hospital the next morning! I sure wouldn’t worry about my “kids” driving a Prius for any safety concerns.
    As an aside, Jenn – married to a small church’s Pastor – was taking the Vacation Bible School craft materials to the church when she was hit. It looked like the car had been picked up and shaken vigorously – materials were everywhere. I only went to the car to retrieve Jenn’s shoes (she asked me to get them when I was loading her on the ‘copter). When I opened the driver’s door, there – right on the driver’s seat was her Bible – opened, but not a mark or wrinkle on it. To this day, I wish I’d looked to see what chapter it was opened to, but I didn’t. I was pretty busy praying.
    Good luck with the purchase!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  113. 113
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Tagamet: OT: Figured out the Tag change. One of our cats (Levi) erased the last 4 letters in the “Leave a Reply” name box. HONEST! They love walking on the keyboard.
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   

    HeHeHe! That is funny!

    Cheers


  114. 114
    CorvetteGuy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:02 pm)

    Roy H: Very interesting insight. I did not appreciate the pressure on a sales person to maintain MSRP. Does this low commission translate to salespeople discouraging Volt sales in favor of higher profit ICEs?
    There has been a lot of talk about price gouging by dealerships to sell the Volt above MSRP. I guess this has to be a dealer decision, not at the salesman level.
    Would you comment further on what happens to dealers who sell above MSRP? Is there pressure from GM to maintain MSRP?  

    Roy,

    There’s no pressure from GM (that I am aware of) to sell any vehicle for a specific price. Just to sell as many as possible no matter what. Oh, and keep the CSI ratings up in the process.

    The ‘real pressure’ comes from our owner, who has in the last 2 years been forced to cut back on staff, eliminate pretty much all bonus plans, salary cuts for all managers, just to keep the doors open and not totally cut off health care for employees. I would not want to be him.

    In the last 3 months there has been a modest improvement, so I think the ‘bottom’ has passed and is now behind us, but I laugh when I read postings here from those who believe every car, including the $16000 models, still have $10,000 worth of profit on them.

    Gadz! If that were only true.


  115. 115
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:09 pm)

    Tagamet: …on the driver’s seat was her Bible – opened, but not a mark or wrinkle on it. To this day, I wish I’d looked to see what chapter it was opened to, but I didn’t.

    Very good story Tag. Here’s one of my favorites. Have this text posted in my locker at work.

    Proverbs 2

    1 My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,

    2 turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding,

    3 and if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,

    4 and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,

    5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
    and find the knowledge of God.

    6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
    and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

    7 He holds victory in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

    8 for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

    9 Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.

    10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

    11 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you.


  116. 116
    CorvetteGuy

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    LeoK: Its not fun and not very rewarding if your are a motivated individual constanting striving to improve your product knowledge and ultimately your annual earnings.

    Thank you for the positive comments. My greatest victory on this website has been teaching the nastiest of trolls that ‘not all of us low brow car salesmen’ are “pond scum”.

    I believe I have at least elevated us upwards above ‘physical injury attorneys’ and ‘cold sores’.

    ;)


  117. 117
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    LeoK: From a consumer standpoint, ask yourself how much time you spent with the last salesperson you purchased a car from… include phone calls, emails, shopping, test drives and delivery. Next add in the time the salesperson spends behind the scenes working on verifying insurance, setting up other vehicle documentation, and confirming items related to vehicle financing if any. Now take a flat $100 or $200 sales commission and divide it by the number of hours you spent with that salesperson.

    I try not to waste their time, I will scope a lot on a weekend. If I see a car I like I get the stock number. When I return I will ask for the price, interest & trade value. I have already checked the numbers on KBB & Edmunds… 2 hours at most. If I order a car I expect to pay MSRP. The Prius, took a bit longer to buy. More of an old school sale.

    I do have a favorite dealer, 5 cars. And a favorite salesman…


  118. 118
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    Jim I: …If we thought it was going to be hard to purchase a Volt when there were only 10,000 units available for the first year, guess what? It will be almost impossible to get one if they only make 8.000!!!!…

    IMHO, GM is way off the mark about the demand for this vehicle!! And I believe they could find that out very quickly, if they would start to accept deposits…………….. …

    I guess I was kinda resigned that given the limited rollout, and the fact that I’m not in a “favored” state, that I wouldn’t be seeing a Volt in *my* driveway in 2011.
    I think that the “demand estimate” being way off and needing to be re-examined through deposits is a moot point. Isn’t the reason for the limited rollout that if/when the first “bugs” pop up, there will be a small manageable number of vehicles out there to fix (and the service depts in place to fix them)? IF that is so, then it doesn’t much matter if they could have sold 50,000, does it? I may have it all wrong though, so I’m sure others will chime in.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  119. 119
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:24 pm)

    Dave K.:
    Very good story Tag. Here’s one of my favorites. Have this text posted in my locker at work.Proverbs 21 My son, if you accept my wordsand store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdomand applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insightand cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silverand search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORDand find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom,and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright,he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the justand protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and justand fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you,and understanding will guard you.  

    AMEN! Seems a shame to lose all that good formatting!
    God Bless,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  120. 120
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:27 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #57LOL+1On a more serious note, I heard an automotive reporter being interviewed this AM on NPR about the Toyota SIA situation.He said that there are currently 34 deaths reported related to this issue, and that it is believed that the number will eventually top 100.I had always thought that Toyota would just crank up the spin machine and let this all blow over, but even I am starting to think that it may be a bit more serious than that.  

    And I think that only 13 of the 34 were reported in the last year. Most were much earlier (or I’d suspect copy-cat complaints).
    Kinda makes you go Hmmmm.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  121. 121
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:31 pm)

    54 CorvetteGuy: The only winner is the consumer, and I’ll bet a steak dinner not one of them says “Thank you”.  

    The last two times I bought a new vehicle (different brands, different dealerships) I’m confident I got a good price. In each case I had a lot of help from my two (different) salesman, who of course wanted to make the sale but also told me some useful things along the way. Anyway, after everything was done, I went back to the salesman and told him “thank you, I appreciate the courteous and professional way I was treated.” (which was the case)

    In both cases they seemed so shocked that I could have been pushed them over with a feather, as the saying goes. I think when they saw me coming they were expecting some kind of complaint. Since then I am astonished to hear people bring the sale to completion and then badmouth the person they were dealing with, but I know it happens every day, unfortunately.


  122. 122
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:32 pm)

    Huh Lutz, what happened to peak oil? Did you not just say the other day you believed in peak oil? What about all the rumors of the entire GM line going to Voltec???

    Huh,
    /friggin Bob Lutz

    Stay Tuned (with apologies to Tagament)


  123. 123
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Thank you for the positive comments. My greatest victory on this website has been teaching the nastiest of trolls that ‘not all of us low brow car salesmen’ are “pond scum”.I believe I have at least elevated us upwards above ‘physical injury attorneys’ and ‘cold sores’.   

    Well, at least the cold sores… (lol).
    I know I can be pretty slow sometimes, but it *did* take me a bit before I realized that you might be “in sales”. I guess you just didn’t fit the stereotype (wink).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  124. 124
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Tagamet: The subject matter was “politics” even though I really hadn’t thought that I’d brought them up, and I do remember it was a Californian. Was it you?
    Obviously, it’s not an issue now, but if it *wasn’t* you, I thought that you might remember who it was.

    #108

    Nah, it wasn’t me. I have gotten into a few “political” exchanges her in the past, but I have tried to steer clear of same recently unless it just gets too totally outrageous. I just sort of skim over them and move on. Nobody ever changes their mind anyway, so why encourage the negative energy? If anything, I just try to find someone I agree with and give them an “Amen +1″, LOL. Although a couple of “PDNFTTs” once in a while never hurt.

    I can’t remember who it was, and I don’t want to waste any brain cells trying to dredge it out of my memory. I mean, who really cares at the end of the day?

    I used to frequent the local LA political blogs in an earlier life, and I saw daily examples of nastiness which would make the meanest comments ever seen here look like pretty compliments. That’s why I really appreciate the higher level here, and try my best to give a little positive reinforcement to anyone who tries to maintain it.

    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS! NMST!


  125. 125
    Red HHR

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:41 pm)

    Really, can we as a nation continue our addiction to imported oil?
    I am quite confused about today’s story. After championing the Volt, Bob expects to carry on a usual?

    Could be he knows about a new oil find in Nebraska that rivals Saudi Arabia.


  126. 126
    Michael

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    firehawk72:
    Where to start.The Prius has stellar reliabilty.You would probably have few problems with this car and it would probably serve her well from a mechanical standpoint.But I would suggest looking at much newer cars . . . between 6-12 thousand . . . I just listed a few and there are many, but if you do decide to go with the Prius, you will probably be fine mechanically.Good luck in whatever you do decide.Hawk  

    Thanks for the good information and advice. Bottom line, her budget is $5000. We have five kids in their thirties, so just “helping her out like a good parent” isn’t as easy as it sounds.” We just looked at a 2003 VW Passat wagon with 71,000 miles, for $5900 as well, and from my standpoint it would serve her better.


  127. 127
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I believe I have at least elevated us upwards above ‘physical injury attorneys’ and ‘cold sores’.

    #116

    And United States Senators, IMHO.


  128. 128
    Tagamet

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #108Nah, it wasn’t me.I have gotten into a few “political” exchanges her in the past, but I have tried to steer clear of same recently unless it just gets too totally outrageous.I just sort of skim over them and move on.Nobody ever changes their mind anyway, so why encourage the negative energy?If anything, I just try to find someone I agree with and give them an “Amen +1″, LOL.Although a couple of “PDNFTTs” once in a while never hurt.I can’t remember who it was, and I don’t want to waste any brain cells trying to dredge it out of my memory.I mean, who really cares at the end of the day?I used to frequent the local LA political blogs in an earlier life, and I saw daily examples of nastiness which would make the meanest comments ever seen here look like pretty compliments.That’s why I really appreciate the higher level here, and try my best to give a little positive reinforcement to anyone who tries to maintain it.LJGTVWOTR!!NPNS!NMST!  

    Stellar approach/attitude!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  129. 129
    Michael

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:49 pm)

    Tagamet:
    The only input I can provide is that I helped my 23 yr old daughter look for and buy a new Prius (which is no help to you),
    Anyway, what I CAN tell you is that her Prius saved her life when she was clobbered by an SUV AND a pickup truck, both coming from the passengers side. . . . When I opened the driver’s door, there – right on the driver’s seat was her Bible – opened, but not a mark or wrinkle on it. To this day, I wish I’d looked to see what chapter it was opened to, but I didn’t. I was pretty busy praying.
    Good luck with the purchase!
    Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Thanks for the information, and thanks for the story. It is obvious that she was “covered” with a premium “insurance policy.” :-)

    Back to used car story; the 2001 Prius has a regular key and starter, so it starts pretty normal. It is intereseting to hear/feel the engine just stop at a stop sign. I actually like the feel of the regen braking.

    As I mentioned to Hawk, We are also looking at a 2003 VW Passat wagon on her behalf. Thanks again.


  130. 130
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:49 pm)

    Red HHR: Huh,
    /friggin Bob Lutz

    Stay Tuned (with apologies to Tagament)

    #122

    And maybe apologies to statik too. I seem to remember a few “friggin Bob Lutzs” in his comments from time to time, LOL. +1


  131. 131
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:49 pm)

    When GM decided to go full speed ahead on the Volt about a year ago. Bob Lutz was asked if there will be significant changes to the second year car. I believe his response was that it would be 3 or 4 years before a change.

    It’s obvious that the Nissan Leaf is the car that can benefit most from a design change. Perhaps the Nissan Armada? Basic, functional, clean, and efficient.

    =D-Volt

    2010_nissan_patrol.jpg

    2010_nissan_armada_interior.jpg


  132. 132
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:54 pm)

    Noel Park: CorvetteGuy: I believe I have at least elevated us upwards above ‘physical injury attorneys’ and ‘cold sores’.

    #116

    And United States Senators, IMHO.

    OUCH! *That’s* setting the bar low!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  133. 133
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (6:57 pm)

    Monday February 15, 2010, 5:47 pm EST

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. may offer incentives or increase the length of its warranties as it tries to recover from an embarrassing string of safety-related recalls.

    __________________________

    Monday February 15, 2010, 5:51 am EST

    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has still not decided whether its president will appear before the U.S. Congress, the automaker said Monday, but it promised to look again into possible electronic problems with its vehicles.

    Toyota Motor Corp. has been criticized as being slow in responding to the unfolding recall crisis, which has ballooned over the past four months to 8.5 million vehicles globally with problems with gas pedals, floor mats and brakes.

    =D-Volt


  134. 134
    James

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:00 pm)

    I’m hoping the small independents, Fisker, Tesla and Aptera don’t get swallowed up by GM and Ford, then shelved so they can keep peddling their infernal combustion wares.

    Remember Tucker, anybody?

    I sure want a Volt. I’d be first in line to test it thoroughly and give my earnest opinions and observations. At this stage it appears my sites are focused more on purchasing a Plug-in Prius though. It appears that by the time a Volt would be available for my purchase, the Prius will be on the road and production numbers sufficient to supply demand. Toyota has a track record of showing they can retool factories and match the pace of market needs quickly and efficiently. Add to that – hopefully they will smooth out existing glitches in software and hardware including current headlight problems.

    Lutz may be the voice of “Old GM”, most of their upper execs over 50 have benn canned. He also is the highest ranking “car guy”. If his attitude is truly the direction of GM they’ll be playing catch up again as so often is their history.


  135. 135
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:02 pm)

    Red HHR: Stay Tuned (with apologies to Tagament)

    ARGH! Stay tuned AND TagameNt! (sound of single gunshot)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  136. 136
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    Tagamet: ARGH! Stay tuned AND TagameNt! (sound of single gunshot)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Sorry, think foot stuck in keyboard.

    Cheers


  137. 137
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    James: Remember Tucker, anybody?

    The Tucker is well remembered in the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke Well worth visiting, for that car and many others.


  138. 138
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:20 pm)

    Red HHR: Huh Lutz, what happened to peak oil? Did you not just say the other day you believed in peak oil? What about all the rumors of the entire GM line going to Voltec???

    I’m pretty sure that you just didn’t hear Bob correctly. He said that he had to go “take a peak at his oil..”
    Be well,
    T a g a m e t

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  139. 139
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:29 pm)

    What’s a birthday without a new tie?

    “He knows how to rock a pink tie …” Statik

    =D-Volt

    paisley_pink_5.jpg


  140. 140
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    Michael: Me first!
    OT. My ~35 year old daughter asked me to help her look for a better used car to replace her 1995 Escort 4door. A 2001 Prius showed up on Craigslist here (100 miles from said daughter). I contacted the guy on her behalf and he offered to let me take the vehicle home over night and try it out. This is the first time I’ve ever been inside a Prius, much less driven one. Interesting. Can’t wait to see how many people notice it in my driveway.
    Anyone out there want to comment on the reliability factor of a 9-10 year old Prius. It has about 103,000 miles on it, the “main battery” was replaced in 04/09, and he’s asking $5900.  

    They are very reliable and that one was barely broken in, but you want to look at the service history and how it was driven.. one good thing about Priuses is that they are usually not abused, check wear on the brake pedal etc.. was the battery replaced by a new battery?


  141. 141
    Simpson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Simpson
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    dagwood55: Typical Lutz-speak. The government doesn’t “require” hybrids, the government has set fuel economy targets. They don’t dictate how GM meets them.In January, 2010, 10% of Toyota’s US sales were hybrids. GM’s hybrid sales were probably well under 1%. At 10K/year, Volt sales will be much less than 1% of GM’s sales.  (Quote)

    Daggy Waggy, you’re alive! So how’s your Toy company doing these days. I just heard there is now a suspected steering problem? I guess that tracks: acceleration, braking, now steering. Kind of the holy trinity of things that can never go wrong in a car. Three strikes?


  142. 142
    Michael

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    Herm:
    They are very reliable and that one was barely broken in, but you want to look at the service history and how it was driven.. one good thing about Priuses is that they are usually not abused, check wear on the brake pedal etc.. was the battery replaced by a new battery?  

    Good point, I didn’t think of asking if the battery was replaced with a NEW one. He also said, “only real ‘problem’ is that occasionally when very cold the warning light comes on, then goes off after warming up.” Cold here is 10-15 F this time of year. I guess that’s very cold if you come from Florida.


  143. 143
    dwwbkw

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    dwwbkw
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Tag: Speaking only for myself, small cars present an issue with simple comfort. I was extremely active in high school sports. After a total “workup”, my orthopedic surgeon’s comment was “You weren’t very good!” (and he was correct). Anyway, I have one totally replaced knee and the other one is arthritic. IF I could get into a small car, I wouldn’t be comfortable for the ride and I’d probably need the “Jaws of Life” to be extracted. I’m ok in a mid-sized car as long as I can keep the seat moved toward the back.As one of the first in the wave of “Boomers” reaching uh, maturity, *all* of the car mfg’s should keep us in mind.Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    Well said, Tag. My sentiments exactly. I’m a decade or two ahead of you, and I can tell you it doesn’t get easier. I look forward to when GM brings out the Volt architecture in at least a midsize car. I sure like the comfort of my Cad Deville!


  144. 144
    BlackSun

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BlackSun
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    Lutz has always been grudging in his acceptance of hybrids. I think his ten year figure is wildly wrong when we look at estimates of another oil price spike in the 2013-2015 time frame.

    I predict that they won’t be able to screw together enough Volts to meet demand by mid-decade, and there will be wait lists and the cars will eventually sell for a premium. So get one in the first couple of years while they’re still affordable and the tax credit is in place.


  145. 145
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    dwwbkw: I look forward to when GM brings out the Volt architecture in at least a midsize car. I sure like the comfort of my Cad Deville!

    I went from a Sedan DeVille (via Mustang Convertible) to the HHR. Now the HHR is not a Caddy, however it is better than the Mustang. Proper upright sitting, with a proper shifter. I enjoy the leather clad steering wheel and the simple Art Deco dashboard. Its smothish ride handles the worst of washboard roads…

    Now a Voltec HHR, or Colorado, why not? I am surprised and possibly a bit distressed that they are going the way of the Dodo.


  146. 146
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (8:50 pm)

    BlackSun: I predict that they won’t be able to screw together enough Volts to meet demand

    BlackSun: So get one in the first couple of years while they’re still affordable and the tax credit is in place.

    If one looks at the local street traffic here in Santa Barbara. The thing that jumps out is the huge number of $35k to $65k cars and trucks cruising State Street. People are willing to spend quite a bit of money on personal transportation and on personal entertainment.

    Of the 20-30 something age group. 4 in 5 have some sort of smart phone. It’s common to hear the number “$90 per month” being spent on cellular service.

    If the local (30 mile radius) area receives 8 Volt for the model year 2011. The per car price will be over $40k. These Volts will sell the instant they are available. Wouldn’t be surprised to see lottery or silent auctions at dealerships. Will be great to see the electrification of American moving forward. With real life ownership and driver feedback improving the future Voltec vehicles.

    The management at GM can believe what they wish to believe. 750 Volt produced per month in 2011. Meeting the demand of California, Michigan, and DC?

    _______________________________

    2009 U.S. State population:

    California 36,961,664

    Michigan 9,969,727

    District of Columbia 599,657

    total: 47,531,048 divided by 9000 units

    1 Volt for every 5281 people. And what of fleet sales? Car rentals?

    _______________________________

    The 2010 match up between the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt is reminiscent of the Challenger/Camaro battle of a year ago. Both the Challenger and the Camaro instantly selling as many as the manufacturers could crank out. With the Camaro pulling $1000 over MSRP.

    =D-Volt


  147. 147
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:00 pm)

    dwwbkw:
    Well said, Tag. My sentiments exactly. I’m a decade or two ahead of you, and I can tell you it doesn’t get easier. I look forward to when GM brings out the Volt architecture in at least a midsize car. I sure like the comfort of my Cad Deville!  

    I plan on going all out and getting a Volt with the accessory “Electronic boost-out front seat”. It’s kinda like a chair you can ride up and down stairs only it’s a car seat that boosts you into a standing position (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  148. 148
    mikeinatl.

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mikeinatl.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    It is a mistake to look at Volt as just another model rolling off the line.

    Voltec is a revolution.

    From a MICRO standpoint it gives me far more control of my fuel sources. I have natural gas AND electricity in my home. I lose one, I’m still OK. Why not gasoline and electricity in my car? Dramatically cutting fuel costs and minimizing air pollution are very nice additional benefits.

    From a MACRO standpoint, Voltec could represent a geo-political and economic weapon in the coming war for petroleum that will result as citizens of developing countries acquire millions more cars, all vying for finite petroleum-based fuels that often come from countries that don’t much like America.

    Volt and Voltec represent one of the best reasons for optimism in the area of transportation to date.

    I have enormous respect for Mr. Lutz, but I feel very strongly that he is seriously under-estimating the wide range of needs and desires for this particular new model soon to roll off the line.

    GO VOLT!


  149. 149
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:20 pm)

    toms%20shell.jpg

    mikeinatl.: it gives me far control of my fuel sources

    I agree. Since the $4 per gallon of gasoline price gouging (optional tax program) of 2008. I have left my larger vehicle parked about 35% more often. And increased the use of my 40 mpg motorcycle. The Volt represents a continuation of the effort to reduce the U.S. dependency on foreign oil by at least 30%.

    LOS ANGELES
    Mon Jun 9, 2008 11:31am EDT

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0643890320080609

    =D-Volt


  150. 150
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:40 pm)

    Michael: Good point, I didn’t think of asking if the battery was replaced with a NEW one. He also said, “only real ‘problem’ is that occasionally when very cold the warning light comes on, then goes off after warming up.” Cold here is 10-15 F this time of year. I guess that’s very cold if you come from Florida.  

    Check with the Prius forum.. http://priuschat.com/forums/


  151. 151
    prowler

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:57 pm)

    “Hybrids and EVs Won’t Surpass 10% of US Market Share For 10 Years”

    Does anyone else have a problem lumping “hybrids” with electric cars?

    The VOLT IS AN ELECTRIC CAR with an extender. 78% of the population’s daily use will be ELECTRIC ONLY. HOW IS THIS THE SAME AS A GASOLINE-FUELED “HYBRID”???

    (note that this tirade does not necessarily apply to plug-in “hybrids”).

    PRIUS = Gasoline-fueled vehicle
    VOLT = Plug-in Electric vehicle (with backup capability).

    TWO DIFFERENT ANIMALS!

    The headline should predict what the EV percentage will be in 10 years, what do gas-guzzling “hybrids” have to do with it?


  152. 152
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (9:57 pm)

    I am repeating a common thread here…
    Our overseas “friends” are getting a bit nervous about their neighbors.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100215/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_clinton_saudi_arabia_4
    So far when they say jump, we jump. Or they turn off the tap.

    What will we do? Will Lutz give us a peek at his crude?

    ***I want a VOLT***
    ***For Everybody***
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  153. 153
    Blind Guy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Blind Guy
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    So is GM only going to sell the Volt in the U.S. in the next ten years? If GM is a global competitor, then why focus on U.S. percentage of hybrids and ev’s? I think there will be other countries that will far exceed Mr. Lutz’s prediction of 10% sales of hybrids and ev’s and it will be ashamed that GM won’t be able to be the leader because of their lack of foresight and unable to produce an ev that can be afforded by the majority consumer. ImO GM is not concerned about getting off foreign oil or putting the American worker first or doing what needs to be done for the right reasons, GM just wants to do what they have to do to meet the government standards and nothing more.


  154. 154
    DaveP

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DaveP
     Says

     

    Feb 15th, 2010 (11:51 pm)

    If he’s right, 10 years isn’t bad at all, really. I know we all like things to happen immediately, but it’s been about a third of that since we even heard of the Volt. :) And the Prius has been in production longer than 10 years, now (which took several years to become profitable, too). Shoot, think how long the ICE has been in production, it has quite a leg up. Better 10 years for profit producing EREV than never! The earlier we start, the quicker those 10 years are over. ;)


  155. 155
    West Coast Driver

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    West Coast Driver
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (12:06 am)

    PRIUS = Gasoline-fueled vehicle
    VOLT = Plug-in Electric vehicle (with backup capability).
    LEAF = ALL-ELECTRIC BABY!

    Enough said!!!


  156. 156
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (12:15 am)

    Night all. I’m going to turn in.
    See you soon.
    I wonder what is on the menu for tomorrow?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  157. 157
    Laura

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Laura
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (1:07 am)

    Fact:
    If Nissan delivers a working LEAF for about $20K, I’d buy it rather away.

    If I get a promotion I expect at work and make more money, I’d rather buy a Tesla Model S for $57K than a Volt for $40K.

    I could buy a Volt which utilizes the old combustion engine and requires same engine maintenance than a regular old combustion engine for about $30K. No more than that.


  158. 158
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (1:19 am)

    Dave K.: “…8,000 to 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011…”

    Volt production starts in November of 2010. 10,000 Volts in 13 months equals 750 per month. Just 34 T batteries produced per day in a 22 workday-per-month operation.

    To a car guy, which I think everyone agrees is Lutz, the ‘end of 2011′ is the end of the model year when 2012s come out. I am thinking that the 2012s will come out when the other GM 2012s come out sometime in late summer.

    That’s more like 6 or 7 months or somewhere around 1500 Volts per month. Don’t forget they also have some downtime when they retool the lines for the next model year.

    To ramp up for 60,000 2012s (about 5-6000 cars per month) is probably not a big thing for GM. I think we will be surprised on the amount they can build given proper incentive (ie: huge demand!)


  159. 159
    DriveOn

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DriveOn
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (4:50 am)

    Paul Bennett: Will any of these voltz come to Australia?  

    GM Holden have been reported to say 2012 for the Volt in Australia, but hidden away on a Question and Answer page of their never-updated Volt pages, down the back end of their website, they state “There is no release date for this vehicle in Australia.”
    http://www.holden.com.au/holden-innovation/ecoline/alternative-fuels/volt

    Applying Bob Lutz’s figure of 10% to Holden sales of hybrids within the next 10 years would be a sensational prediction for Australia.


  160. 160
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (5:56 am)

    “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.”

    Loboc: …the ‘end of 2011′ is the end of the model year when 2012s come out.

    You really think so Loboc? Does anyone else feel a sea anchor dragging behind GM? The Volt is the car that will satisfy the tighter government fuel standards. It is also the dealership customer magnet which will replace the Camaro. The love/hate relationship is obvious. When this car hits the road. I believe love will win. And GM will need to produce more or lose market share to other EV manufacturers.

    Here is something fun to try. As you drive along on your local highway. Imagine yourself in a Volt. You have over 20 miles left on the battery. The cabin is church quiet. You are burning no gasoline. You look at the other vehicles in your vicinity. These are mostly pick up trucks and V6 imports. They are all sucking in a steady stream of gasoline. Gallons and gallons and gallons of gasoline. Which is needlessly being payed for, pumped, and burned.

    See how this makes you feel.

    =D-Volt


  161. 161
    Rashiid Amul

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (6:39 am)

    I don’t agree with Mr. Lutz.
    I really think these cars will sell. It will come down to consumer cost and high gas prices.

    The greedy governments of the middle east, the greedy oil companies and gas companies, are going to help put themselves out of business when they raise the prices.


  162. 162
    Simpson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Simpson
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (7:06 am)

    Dagwood, bubby, show us some love! Give us some insight into your thoughts on the complete collapse of your Toy company. Come on, go on the record and show us how its done! :-D


  163. 163
    lousloot

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Aaaww, hurt feelings here! I have a 1999 Cavalier 4spd, with 236k miles I managed to pulse-glide to 40mpg one time — back when gas was $4/gal. (very unhappy wife) Sure, you have to rev it to get appreciable power but I have fun driving it. Even got new low rolling resistance tires for it.

    Luke: * Small cars can be very maneuverable, and zippy, which is fun. Of course, you have to have the right car — I’m not talking about the Cavalier, here.

    Other thoughts;

    10% is huge if he is talking about cars and trucks, not just cars. Those junky little cars (not MY cavalier bud!) won’t stay on the road long so the % in the fleet will keep creeping up.

    CorvetteGuy, I signed up for your list. Sorry to hear you expect to get screwed — ouch! Quick question, I have been hearing ads from FORD dealerships saying they will meet or beat prices on New Tires. New Tires?? Why is FORD selling tires? Are their dealerships that bored? Is it a TRAP?
    Hear any plans from GM about deals like that?


  164. 164
    lousloot

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Dave K.: Here is something fun to try. As you drive along on your local highway. Imagine yourself in a Volt. You have over 20 miles left on the battery. The cabin is church quiet. You are burning no gasoline. You look at the other vehicles in your vicinity. These are mostly pick up trucks and V6 imports. They are all sucking in a steady stream of gasoline. Gallons and gallons and gallons of gasoline. Which is needlessly being payed for, pumped, and burned.

    See how this makes you feel.

    Also, you are sitting at a red light — your car is dead quiet, the HMMR behind you and teh Camaro along side are making lots of noise. The light changes, and you enjoy watching them in your rear-view mirror. Mr Camaro gets upset and floors it — only to catch up at the next red light, which doesn’t upset you since YOU have regen brakes.


  165. 165
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Rashiid Amul: I don’t agree with Mr. Lutz.
    I really think these cars will sell. It will come down to consumer cost and high gas prices.

    The greedy governments of the middle east, the greedy oil companies and gas companies, are going to help put themselves out of business when they raise the prices.

    #162

    Amen. +1


  166. 166
    Eco

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    Mr. Lutz has looked into the bottom of his brandy snifter, and realized he is the Mikhail Gorbachev of the traditional car industry.

    The Volt is the lever by which other forces will force dramatic change. Not the Leaf, not the Prius, the Volt.

    EREV Generations I, II, and III in the next 10 years will level off US gasoline demand, and the price of oil imported for gasoline production. The increased draw on the grid will shore up utility balance sheets while they down-size their carbon emissions-per-kWh. The end of urban air pollution from vehicles will be in sight. Congress will have plenty of room to increase gas taxes for road and train infrastructure and to enact carbon fuel reductions. A smaller portion of the population will be dependent on the automobile for their living as car repairs become fewer and far between, and merely sanp-out-snap-in part replacements by 10 dollar an hour labor.

    He had to. He had no choice. The task fell on him. Adapt or perish, and GM almost perished.


  167. 167
    Don J

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Don J
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    Maximum Bob is correct in that *he* will never see GM sell 10% hybrids.

    But he is 78 . . . he is not going see much more of the future. I don’t mean to be crass, those are just the facts. GM will eventually sell many more HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs in the future. Just not in Bob’s lifetime.


  168. 168
    EVO

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVO
     Says

     

    Feb 16th, 2010 (5:28 pm)

    We went to 3% in the US after one decade, so if 10% in another decade, that means 34% in 2030. Ok, that’ll be about right for us to tweak the infrastructure (including more distributed solar and wind and compressed natural gas, non food ethanol, and bio-diesel range extenders) to a better fit with plug ins of all stripes in real time as their market penetration expands multiplicatively.

    Sometimes, you have to get past a combative tone with some folks to see that they make sense.


  169. 169
    zipdrive

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    zipdrive
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    I like Bob Lutz. I think he is way off the mark on the prediction though. I think the demand for the Chevrolet Volt will be comparable to the Ford Mustang’s debut in 1964. It will sell like crazy.

    If only GM could gear up to make more, I think they would sell more. But manufacturing half a million Volts per year initially will be impossible.

    The Volt, like the Mustang, is a watershed vehicle. Too bad it won’t make money for GM right away.


  170. 170
    jeff j

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeff j
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    Bob Lutz I really like this guy he tells it the way he sees it does not candy coat the issue just gives us some straight talk for a change I don’t agree with his assessment this time but I don’t agree with a lot of people most times. I don’t think anyone can tell what the status of the auto industry is going to be in 10 years if you could guess that probably not have to worry about money because you’d be guessing the status of football hockey in any other game you can bet on. I feel that US sales and global sales will depend on how many players in the auto industry start coming out with electric vehicles. We were promised during the campaign by both parties drill here drill now, it’s just a lie. People seem hell-bent on keeping our gas prices high! I do think the price of gas will have a lot to do with the economic growth of this particular type of vehicle there are only so many people that will buy this vehicle for the novelty of the technology and the electrification of the automobile. I believe there 250 million vehicles in America now I could be wrong, but at this level 10% would be 25 million vehicles. Not a bad start although I do think if the economic conditions are correct or right we could see a lot more maybe 20 t0 25%. Only time will tell I do think the volt has a huge chance to change the way we all drive in the near future.


  171. 171
    Larry Parylla

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Larry Parylla
     Says

     

    Feb 21st, 2010 (9:30 am)

    firehawk72: I would take a broad view to his comments.I would also like to emphasize that in general your older generation like Lutz (no offense to getting older….if we live we get old, period-and I want to get old:-)have the perception that these new fangled cars is NOT what the public wants but we will build them anyway to meet our EPA mileage requirements.I have mentioned the VOLT to many and in general for the people over 50 crowd the response is luke warm to COLD.My barber and I have great conversations about it and he believes it will flop because people simply won’t buy it.Of course, I am saying (I am 37 by the way) that I believe long term this is the direction for the auto and should be better for America because of Energy Independence (although I admit that is still a long way off).It is interesting though because I am also a school teacher of English and History, and my students think this Volt is awesome.In general, and of course there are exceptions, the older generation seems to have touble breaking away from what they are used to.The traditional ICE is what they know.It works and has worked for many generations.I don’t see the ICE going away anytime soon, but I fully believe plug in hybrids in some fashion are the new direction for many reasons including peak oil and energy independence.I also believe this is the new trend until a new technology can compete on a cost effective basis.Anyway, just sharing some thoughts and perspectives.I always try to keep an open mind about things, and I personally don’t think we change just to change; we only change when the change is for the better.Hawk  

    Generally speaking generalizations are foolish (the incongruity of the last statement was intended)

    I was born before TVs were popular and they just started getting popular when I was a child. I have seen the invention of video games, cell phones, color TV, flat panel TV and I love new technology and make a point to buy every new techno gadget I can afford. I am now driving my second Lexus hybrid. I am still amazed at the fact that when I drive from SC to NY I can use my GPS to locate a motel along the intended route and use my cell phone to call ahead and reserve a room.l. I think that being born at a time before these gadgets were invented makes many older folks want them more, While people that grew up with them take them for granted. Hopefully I will be able to get a Volt as soon as it is available to the general public.


  172. [...] “GM will lose money on hybrids,” Lutz said, according to the web site GM-volt.com, as well as several news agencies. “We will continue to build them – they are required by [...]