Jul 31

Volt and LEAF Battle for Lease Customers; Volt Brings Bigger Bat

 


[ad#post_ad]This week General Motors released its long anticipated MSRP for the Volt, and it is no secret that the $41,000 was not received very well. In fact if you were around the comment section here on July 27th, you would have sworn that GM had swooped into people’s houses in the middle of the night and stolen their babies.

For many of these newly child-less persons, the moment of anguish was quickly soothed with GM’s announced of a $350/month, 36 month, $2,500 down lease deal. This was not your typical payment for a car with a price tag starting with a 4, and it was a well calculated figure by GM in regards to its ‘competition’ on the market.

Personally, I have never been a big proponent of pitting two EVs against each other and having them fight fictitious battles to the death to see who reigns supreme. We have exactly zero mass produced EVs on the road now, and quite frankly if we can have 150 different types of SUVs, we surely can have a couple EVs co-exist.

However, it is impossible to not recognize that GM’s lease, is eerily similar to Nissan’s $349/36 month, $2,000 down lease. In fact, it can’t be ignored. The General, newly invigorated with the power of AmeriCredit, has decided to go to war with the LEAF for pocket books of lease customers. For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of competitive pricing spirit against the LEAF ($32,780 vs $41,000, with both cars eligible for a federal $7,500 rebate), General Motors brought out the ‘hurting stick’ to Nissan with the lease.

Before I digress further, I should say, in the majority of situations, heck almost all situations, leasing a car is a terrible idea.

In a lease, your capitalization cost of the portion of the vehicle you use is huge, you have to guard your car against excessive wear/damage, and in the case of the Volt, your are also giving away your $7,500 rebate as a lump sum to lower the payments (that is your money, regardless how you choose to view it).

Specific to the Volt is the fact that a good portion of the cost of the vehicle is in the long term warranty cost on the battery (8 years/100,000 miles), you need to drive the Volt to get any real return from the warranty benefit in this case. The more you drive, the more value you regain…in a lease, you are capped at 3 years/36,000 miles before fees kick in.

Also, just basic driving patterns themselves are counter intuitive to the value of a standard lease. When the last data set came out of the NHTS, they found that the average driver puts 13,673 miles on their car on a year, and it is increasing. Even worse, males drove 16,749 miles per year (10,174 for the ladies). With a 12,000 cap on mileage before fees kick in, the average driver will have a issue using the Volt as their daily driver…which of course is one of the big advantages of GM’s EREV platform over something like the LEAF. The Volt can certainly take on the more meaty commutes some of us have worry free…but with a lease, it is only worry free if you aren’t worried about cost per mile bonus fees.

That being said, there are also some reasons to lease. If you just want a new car every three years or so, free from the hassle and commitment of the ownership and re-sale of a car, then a lease is for you. Also, if you simply cannot afford/qualify to purchase the car, but you really want it anyway…a lease is for you. This financially stressed/under qualified buyer is really what GM’s acquisition of AmeriCredit was all about, regaining the sub-prime consumer, who wants a fancy new car.

So, while most potential customers weighing a decision between the two EVs would be hard pressed to swallow the $41,000 + price associated with a Volt, if they are also considering a lease, the similar structure of GM’s lease along with the added benefit of the extended range should make the choice a virtual ‘no-brainer.’

In the case of leasing, GM will win this battle with Nissan easily. The question now is, how many people want to lease a electric vehicle from GM?

/stay tuned
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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 at 7:03 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 184


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:15 am)

    Glad to have your views on this, Statik! In fact, your description of the reaction Volt aficionados (I qualify!) was amuzing —but accurate in my case! The $41,000 MSRP hit me like my baby had been stolen! Or you might say, like a prize fighter had wsocked me hard in the stomach! :( :( :(

    Either way, it way painful! I spent most of the rest of the day studying leasing and hours later did a full “about face”, however. So I’m now actively talking to dealers about leasing my first Volt. BTW, I think I read somewhere that AmeriCredit has only about 7% leases in their portfolio & wants 21%!


  2. 2
    Ken W

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:20 am)

    This would not be an issue for me, I’d lease the VOLT. As soon as it is available in my area.


  3. 3
    Ken

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:22 am)

    Statik, you truly never disappoint us! On a side note, it was great to hear that GM is increasing the production numbers for 2012 so more of us can buy/lease one.


  4. 4
    Red HHR

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:23 am)

    My commute is 42 miles, if I work five days a week for 52 weeks I would drive 10920 miles a year. That would leave 1080 miles for other activities.


  5. 5
    nasaman

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:25 am)

    PS to my #1: So I guess you might say GM married AmeriCredit, with only about 7% leases in their portfolio but wanting 21%, and they decided to “get pregnant” right away by doing lots of leasing —while at the same time “electrifying GM’s Volt sales” and “shocking” Nissan!

    Whether it’ll be a knockout punch remains to be seen —but it sure promises to be an entertaining fight— and I think we’ll all have fun watching at the ringside!


  6. 6
    Raul

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:31 am)

    Well the price was not what I wanted but very real, GM thank you for being competitive on the lease, if you can’t buy made in USA, at least lease made in USA. There is no problem with being competitive, this is what keeps the price reasonable. GREAT CAR, GREAT THINKERS at GM.
    PS comment on price, for people who can afford 30 & 40 thousand vehicles, don’t be haters, we see a lot of them don’t need the big suv, suburban or truck, it’s just you can and you do, do it for the good of USA, environment, keeping us off foreign oil, we rock, to lead us in the right way whatever reason, but buy GM VOLT because it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO.


  7. 7
    pjkPA

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:31 am)

    The lease does incorporate the $7500 …it goes to GM just like it is going to Nissan. You didn’t mention that. And I do know many people bought the Prius for 32K more than 10 years ago with inflation that’s like over 40k now. Who would lease from GM .. what kind of negative talk is that from a VOLT site?


  8. 8
    RB

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:32 am)

    Volt Brings Bigger Bat

    True, but the Leaf brings both bat and ball, that is, availability of cars long before the Volt.

    Or more particularly, here in central NC Leaf is expected to be delivered in early to mid 2011, while for Volt there are only vague promises of someday, maybe.

    No, California, New York, and Washington DC do not constitute most of the USA. (smile)


  9. 9
    Tom M

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Given the low supply for these cars I wouldn’t expect to be able to get one for $350/month for a while. They aren’t only going to mark up the selling price, many dealers are tacking onto the lease also. I was talking to a salesman yesterday here in NJ and he said he’s not sure what the final cost will be yet, but it’s going to be a lot higher than $350.


  10. 10
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Good morning everyone!

    After seeing what seems both companies wanting the customers to prefer/choose the lease option, why does that seem to be the path they want customers to take as opposed to out-right purchasing the cars? My guess is the long standing notion here that they want to keep the cars on a short leash to monitor technically. Leasing accomplishes that for GM and Nissan. I suspect you will see a lot more of this same scenario with other companies too as they start to bring out their new technologies. I’m looking at Ford next with the Electric Focus.


  11. 11
    Loboc

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:45 am)

    Everyone seems to be forgetting about the amount of fuel you use now vs with a Volt.

    For me (probably not typical) that amounts to $187.50/month for fuel I won’t be spending any more.


  12. 12
    LazP

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:54 am)

    O.T.
    Have you guys noticed the immense negative publicity about the Volt. The New York Time for one called the Volt and GM a Lemon! The 41K price for a small car did not go over well with an important segment of the public. Forced leasing may work now for this limited roll out but will not work long term. I think Whitaker and Co shot themselves in the foot. Having lost great many of the original GM employees responsible for the Volt I think is showing.

    By the way, thanks STATIK for the excellent article about the lease. I especially bookmarked it.


  13. 13
    firehawk72

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:56 am)

    First, I love the photo…wow! I too believe leasing one for 350 per month will be very VERY difficult… if not impossible. One thing left out of the equation will be taxes. This number has surely been left out as it varies from state to state. My state (KY) pays 6%. Some states are much higher say 9-10%. Take your payment of 350 and times it by your sales tax. So 350 times 10% sales tax would be $35 dollars added to the 350 so now your payment is $385. This assumes there were no mark ups on your BASE Volt either. I am not down playing the lease rate. This is still much better than any 40k vehicles lease you are going to see simply because you get a 7500 cap cost reduction from your fellow tax payers, but don’t forget you also plunked down at least 2500 too. I only mention this because if people actually believe they can lease a Volt for 2500 down with a 350 payment they will certainly be surprised, especially if they have never lease before.

    Hawk


  14. 14
    Rooster

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:06 am)

    So what would be the monthly payment if the terms are?

    15,000 miles/year
    20,000 miles/year

    Everything is negotiable, including lease terms. Corvetteman, can you answer this question?


  15. 15
    tom w

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:10 am)

    Great Article Statik;

    You lead up to the main question I still have, What are the Fees? What is the cost for additonal miles. I’m on the Leaf Waiting list, but to compare leasing versus buy for the Leaf and the Volt need to know that additional Fee.

    I expect to drive 60,000 miles in 3 years. I know i can do it with the Leaf AER WITH A typical day of 60-70 miles driving. I’m assuming I can charge a leaf at work but if I can’t I’d be driving more miles than I want using gas. So the Volt is not a slam dunk versus the leaf for me. Though I’d prefer to buy American.

    But the deciding factor will be those fees for those extra 24,000 miles i’d drive over 3 years.


  16. 16
    fred

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:16 am)

    To Expensive. I wanted a no frills model at a no frill price just for work commute.
    GM made an electric SUV, again!
    I’ll be buying the Leaf or Ford Magna. Just awaiting the Ford price before I go plunk my money down.


  17. 17
    JEC

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:16 am)

    tom w: Great Article Statik;You lead up to the main question I still have, What are the Fees?What is the cost for additonal miles.I’m on the Leaf Waiting list, but to compare leasing versus buy for the Leaf and the Volt need to know that additional Fee.I expect to drive 60,000 miles in 3 years.I know i can do it with the Leaf AER WITH A typical day of 60-70 miles driving.I’m assuming I can charge a leaf at work but if I can’t I’d be driving more miles than I want using gas.So the Volt is not a slam dunk versus the leaf for me.Though I’d prefer to buy American.But the deciding factor will be those fees for those extra 24,000 miles i’d drive over 3 years.  

    $1/mile. So, you owe an extra $24,000 at the end to the lease…have a nice day!


  18. 18
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:16 am)

    Hey Statik,

    Is that Joe Frazier??


  19. 19
    Tom W

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Great Article Statik;

    I still would need to know the actual fees for the additional miles before I can make my choice.

    I plan to drive 60,000 miles in 3 years so to evaluate the lease I need to know what I will be charged by both GM and Nissan for those additional 24,000 miles.

    Also it is not a slam dunk for the Volt for people like myself that typically will drive 60-70 miles a day. Unless you can charge at work thats a lot of miles driving using gas that would be all AER with the Leaf.


  20. 20
    Rooster

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Question 2: Do the EV miles count against the lease mileage, or do only the ICE powered miles count against the 12000 mile/year limit? With an 8 year/100K mile warranty on the battery, I’m not sure why EV miles will effect the residual value of the vehicle — assuming you recharge once per day, you’re going to have the same number of battery cycles regardless of the miles driven. It would be easy to add an application to display the miles driven on the ICE, so why not base the lease mileage on this number (miles drive under ICE power). Other than the number of battery cycles, I would think time on the ICE would have the next largest impact on residual value.

    The Volt is unlike any other vehicle on the road, so why shouldn’t the lease be? Just a thought.

    Either way, I would either buy or get a lease with a 20K mile/year limit. For me, 12000 miles/year is too little, I don’t want to have to fret over whether or not I should take the Volt on a 800 mile trip to “Nana and Deda’s” house.


  21. 21
    francomerican

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:30 am)

    LazP: O.T.Have you guys noticed the immense negative publicity about the Volt. The New York Time for one called the Volt and GM a Lemon! The 41K price for a did not go over well with an important segment of the public. Forced leasing may work now for this limited roll out but will not work long term. I think Whitaker and Co shot themselves in the foot. Having lost great many of the original GM employees responsible for the Volt I think is showing.By the way, thanks STATIK for the excellent article about the lease. I especially bookmarked it.  (Quote)

    That was an Op-Ed by Ed Niedermeyer from ttac.com. I have read his material in the past and it seems that Ed is always negative on GM. He is also the editor of ttac.com and I beleive he thinks that he can generate more traffic on his site by bashing GM.


  22. 22
    Tim Hart

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:47 am)

    Having never leased a vehicle before, there are some questions I have. First of all, what is the price if you want to buy at the end of the lease? If its around 25,000 then leasing would be not a bad idea. But from the discussion so far it sounds as if you wouldn’t qualify for the 7500 rebate if you bought the car at the end of the lease. Is that right? If that is the case and somehow GM could work it so the rebate could be deducted at the time of purchase, then buying is a much better way to go if you plan on keeping the car.


  23. 23
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:48 am)

    It’s amazing how much driveway dressing the government subsidizes with tax deductions, probably dwarfs the tax credits people complain about.


  24. 24
    ziv

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:51 am)

    George, it is Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Ali in the Thrilla in Manila. That was a HELL of a fight.


  25. 25
    LauraM

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:51 am)

    RB: Volt Brings Bigger Bat

    True, but the Leaf brings both bat and ball, that is, availability of cars long before the Volt.

    Or more particularly, here in central NC Leaf is expected to be delivered in early to mid 2011, while for Volt there are only vague promises of someday, maybe.

    No, California, New York, and Washington DC do not constitute most of the USA. (smile)

    I’m hoping that that will change once they realize just how much demand there really is out there for this car. They’ve already increased their planned production numbers…


  26. 26
    Steve F

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Really need to find out how much the lease would be for 15,000 miles per year. Expect that is what most drivers would want. Or at least that is what I would need. The other thing about a lease is that the $350 lease is assuming that your credit score is almost perfect. If you do not have very high number they will really get you. Any one know what credit score assumption that $350 per month is based on?


  27. 27
    LauraM

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:00 am)

    LazP: O.T.
    Have you guys noticed the immense negative publicity about the Volt. The New York Time for one called the Volt and GM a Lemon! The 41K price for a small car did not go over well with an important segment of the public. Forced leasing may work now for this limited roll out but will not work long term. I think Whitaker and Co shot themselves in the foot. Having lost great many of the original GM employees responsible for the Volt I think is showing.

    It was an op-ed. As in, not the official opinion of the paper. (Not that I’m happy they ran the piece. I think they were just trying to be controversial. It’s sad what’s happening to the newspaper industry.)

    But the article was bizarre. GM got government money, therefore you shouldn’t buy the Volt? Based that logic, none of us should use the highways or ride on Amtrak. Basically, it’s like saying that you don’t believe the government should support research or new products, so you want everyone to start turning medical treatments because the NIH contributed to their development.

    As a taxpayer, I want the government to do well with its investment because I benefit. And that would be true even if I disagreed with their rationale for making the investment in the first place. Why would any taxpayer want the government to lose money? Do they want to have to pay more taxes to make up the difference?


  28. 28
    francomerican

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:01 am)

    If this Autoblog poll is any indication it looks like the majority of people will want to buy/lease a Volt

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/poll-chevrolet-volt-takes-on-nissan-leaf/

    2011 Chevrolet Volt 9103 (44.0%)
    2011 Nissan Leaf 5632 (27.2%)
    Neither, I’ll stick with an ICE, thanks. 5963 (28.8%)


  29. 29
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:11 am)

    #28 francomerican Said:

    If this Autoblog poll is any indication it looks like the majority of people will want to buy/lease a Volt

    I guess Nissan brought what they could to the plate.

    It will be interesting to me to see how long it takes another major player (Ford?) to bring another EREV to the plate. 8-)


  30. 30
    Crookieda

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:15 am)

    It seems to me that all you guys ever talk about on here is volt ve leaf.
    My mother always warned me to look out for the quiet ones, they are the guys that will
    knock you out when you aren’t looking.
    I think ford with the new focus will be the new king of small cars. They are the only company other than hundai planing a multiple powerplant good looking small car. Don’t like electric that’s ok get the phev don’t want to pay that much ok get the ecoboost , fixed income? Get the base gas engine. If GM management can’t figure out how to make a proffit without abusing the gullible government then they should be allows to die off like the dinosaur they are continuing to act like.

    BTW sub prime customers in expensive suv leases is what caused old gm to fail in the first place.


  31. 31
    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:23 am)

    Thanks for the great article Statik! It’s high praise that I didn’t even know that you were the author until nasaman commented! You were extremely even-handed in your treatment of both vehicles (as I’d expect), but I’m sure that Volt vs. Leaf had to be a dicey topic. I know that I’m saying this very poorly, but great job! (LOL)! You also do a great job running the nisson-leaf.net site (EV sister site)?
    Be well and God Bless,
    Tagamet


  32. 32
    JEC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:24 am)

    LauraM: It was an op-ed. As in, not the official opinion of the paper. (Not that I’m happy they ran the piece. I think they were just trying to be controversial. It’s sad what’s happening to the newspaper industry.)

    But the article was bizarre. GM got government money, therefore you shouldn’t buy the Volt? Based that logic, none of us should use the highways or ride on Amtrak. Basically, it’s like saying that you don’t believe the government should support research or new products, so you want everyone to start turning medical treatments because the NIH contributed to their development.

    As a taxpayer, I want the government to do well with its investment because I benefit. And that would be true even if I disagreed with their rationale for making the investment in the first place. Why would any taxpayer want the government to lose money? Do they want to have to pay more taxes to make up the difference?

    Highways and Amtrak are funded by our taxpayer dollars. Amtrak is a government owned business, not a private or public owned business. We all know and expect to be paying tax dollars for such things. But, we do not expect to be paying tax dollars to every business that is in trouble. The “To Big To Fail” philosophy is a slippery slope, and in my opinion should just be avoided. While you can argue that letting a business as large as GM fail, would have such a rippling effect on so many supporting business’, that it would have paralyzed our economy, I would argue that GM would not just disappear. It may have divided into a different company, and the short term economical impact may have been difficult, but by bailing out the “To large to fail”, you (we the taxpayers) are now on the hook for EVERY “To large to fail” company out their.

    To pick and chose which companies the taxpayers support and which they do not is a terrible precedent. This makes small companies expendable, and since the majority of new business grows out of new, smaller entrepreneurs, you put them at a severe disadvantage. So now, any large company can take risks that smaller companies cannot, and if they fail, they get bailed. Not so much for the small company, which if it makes bad decisions, it falls w/o a whisper in the dark.

    You cannot have it both ways (well you can, but you are no longer operating within the principles of a capitalistic society).

    Would our economy have fallen into a death spiral, if they did not “save GM”? Or, would it have become stronger in the long run, as other companies and entrepreneurs found ways to make a profit by finding new and inventive methods to turn a dollar?

    You seem to believe the prior, I believe the former.


  33. 33
    tom w

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:25 am)

    It seems GM does not expect government to change the 7500 to be at time of lease, so this hurts folks that want to buy or folks that don’t bay 7500 in Fed Taxes. So GM is making the lease the way to go and get your credit at time of purchase, then you have option to buy or not buy after 3 years.

    Regardig lease, some have advised me to work out a 60,,000 mile lease, but what if i only drive 55,000 miles. No I’d want the 36,000 mile lease then either buy the car after 3 years or pay the fees for 20-25,000 miles that I go over.

    Years ago I had a few leases and the charges per mile was like 10 cents and it was a great deal to go over the lease miles and pay at the end.

    So these are all details I would need to know. For now I’m on the Leaf wait list, I’ll probably wait a few more months for more info to trickle in and decide if I want to go for the volt.

    As I said in earlier comment, I want to buy American, but I’m concerned about being able to charge the Volt during the day since its AER doesn’t cover my expected 60-70 miles I drive most days, and the whole point for me here is to not use gas.


  34. 34
    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:29 am)

    francomerican: LazP: O.T.Have you guys noticed the immense negative publicity about the Volt. The New York Time for one called the Volt and GM a Lemon! The 41K price for a did not go over well with an important segment of the public. Forced leasing may work now for this limited roll out but will not work long term. I think Whitaker and Co shot themselves in the foot. Having lost great many of the original GM employees responsible for the Volt I think is showing.By the way, thanks STATIK for the excellent article about the lease. I especially bookmarked it. (Quote)

    That was an Op-Ed by Ed Niedermeyer from ttac.com. I have read his material in the past and it seems that Ed is always negative on GM. He is also the editor of ttac.com and I beleive he thinks that he can generate more traffic on his site by bashing GM.

    Give that man a *prize*! I really think you nailed it. +1.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  35. 35
    Steve

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:31 am)

    Lease or purchase. I think it’s somewhat difficult to elvaluate the car when specifics of it’s performance regarding fuel consumption is unknown. The mileage cap further constrains the idea of leasing it versus a BEV. We’ll see. Apparently customers with money in hand seem to be more than adequate for supply right now.


  36. 36
    JEC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Heres an idea!

    How about GM provide a 6 month, $0 lease?

    Yes, GM could make money doing this. They get my $7500 rebate, and I get to drive a Volt for 6 months for FREE!!!!!

    GM then gets 6 months of real world experience, and if something severe arises, they are in great shape to fix it at the end of the lease.

    Come on GM, Think WAY outside the box!

    “If it’s FREE, it’s for ME!”


  37. 37
    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Crookieda: It seems to me that all you guys ever talk about on here is volt vs leaf….

    LOL, no kidding! They are (currently) the only two major players out there. When Ford fields one, we’ll probably discuss it’s features vs a Volt and Leaf too.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  38. 38
    Tom

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:37 am)

    Red HHR: My commute is 42 miles, if I work five days a week for 52 weeks I would drive 10920 miles a year. That would leave 1080 miles for other activities.  

    That is great and allows you to drive 10 miles every sat and sunday
    Tom


  39. 39
    pdt

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:38 am)

    Slightly off-topic and perhaps covered in the past few days, but…

    Looks like the average new car sales price is around $29000 this year:

    http://www.road-reality.com/2010/07/…rises-in-2010/

    With the $7500 tax credit, the Volt price is effectively around $34000 (depending on your local taxes) or about 17% higher ($5000) than the average new car price this year, just to put things in perspective in terms of affordability. Fuel savings would make up a big part of that difference over time. Yes, I know it’s not fair to compare a 7-passenger vehicle to a 4-passenger vehicle, but I’m just thinking about what people can afford. if you take into account the tax credit and the fuel savings, it’s not that far away from middle of the road in that category.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:38 am)

    JEC: Heres an idea!How about GM provide a 6 month, $0 lease?Yes, GM could make money doing this.They get my $7500 rebate, and I get to drive a Volt for 6 months for FREE!!!!!GM then gets 6 months of real world experience, and if something severe arises, they are in great shape to fix it at the end of the lease.Come on GM, Think WAY outside the box!“If it’s FREE, it’s for ME!”  

    Interesting idea! It’s so far outside the box, that it needs a new box. I’m afraid that it wouldn’t be free to GM to eat the initial depreciation for $7500 though. I know what you mean about getting people to experience the Volt and that given that, they’d be unlikely to give it back, short of at gun-point, but if they DID return it GM would need to turn around and sell or lease a “used” vehicle.
    I’ll need to think on this one a bit more though.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    JohnK

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:38 am)

    Red HHR: My commute is 42 miles, if I work five days a week for 52 weeks I would drive 10920 miles a year. That would leave 1080 miles for other activities.  (Quote)

    My commute is 39.5 miles round trip, but I STRONGLY suspect that the fun factor will push my first year miles up to around 20,000. I’ll be squeezing the pocketbook so that I can come up with the $41K (plus $2500 in sales taxes). Anybody heard what any of the premium paint prices are?
    An example of things that can drive the mileage up: a trip to Florida to see the last shuttle launch; trips to the folks in Ohio; a trip or two to my brother’s new place in Kentucky; a vacation trip or two. That song “See the USA in you Chevrolet..” comes to mind.


  42. 42
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:44 am)

    Thanks for the great presentation Statik. Each Volt and Leaf on the road will result in one less gasoline vehicle on the road. If these EV are sold new then they will eventually have second owners to keep them on the road as used vehicles.

    “A Volt at $41k is just another SUV.” Wrong, an SUV can carry 7 or 8 people. Haul large loads and tow trailers. An SUV is expensive to operate. An SUV offers tank-like crash protection. To be acurate, the Volt is a very well equipped Cruze (Civic, Corolla, Altima). Providing the first hour of driving at a low cost. After this, the Cruze and Volt are similar.

    Many will be thrilled to lease and drive a clean electric car. Nissan will be the net gainer on the EV lease/pricing/sales issue.

    =D-Volt


  43. 43
    omnimoeish

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:47 am)

    The $41k definitely put a damper on things, no question. There’s still a lot of people out there willing to buy though, and GM deserves to make the full amount the car is worth based on supply and demand so you can’t blame them. But combining that with availability being so limited for the Volt. A lot of people will have to settle for the LEAF. I think that’s what I’ll do. 85 miles a day of EV range will be plenty enough for everything but vacations which are usually done in a minivan anyway for us. Good luck to GM, but they have set a precedence here that Voltec is uneconomical and too expensive. You still hear people say that in forums like autoblog (not autobloggreen) about the Prius. Even though that is not the case anymore now that the Prius costs the same as a same size and features Malibu. As weird as it is that people can just look up the price on toyota.com or chevrolet.com, it will probably be another 10 years before people realize how cheap hybrids are (Americans are lazy and obstinate like that as GM should well know) when figuring you can save about $18,000 over the life of the Prius compared to a 25mpg Malibu, and it may take until gen 2 or 3 before EREVs become economical, and it will probably be another 10 years after that for the perception to catch up. This price tag starting with a 4 has been ingrained in the Psychie of America now.


  44. 44
    LauraM

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:48 am)

    JEC: While you can argue that letting a business as large as GM fail, would have such a rippling effect on so many supporting business’, that it would have paralyzed our economy, I would argue that GM would not just disappear. It may have divided into a different company, and the short term economical impact may have been difficult, but by bailing out the “To large to fail”, you (we the taxpayers) are now on the hook for EVERY “To large to fail” company out their.

    GM would not have been divided. It would have gone ch. 7. Because no one would buy a car from a company in ch.11. And,more importantly, with credit markets frozen, no one would have come up with billions in DIP financing. And that would have destroyed the supplier base in the US, so no one could have built a car here. If you don’t believe me, you might want to listen to Alan Mulally at the auto bailout hearings.

    And then there’s Toyota and Honda–they also endorsed the bailout…

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/15/news/companies/overseas_automakers/?postversion=2008121517

    As far as the effect on the economy–auto manufacturing would have moved overseas. (Along with all the other industries we’ve lost to “free trade.”) And our trade deficit would have gone up considerably. And US income would have gone down. If you really believe that helps the economy, I suggest you talk with the South Korean authorities about their efforts to establish Hyundai, and how much better off they’d be if they hadn’t done that. Somehow I doubt you’ll get anywhere.

    JEC: To pick and chose which companies the taxpayers support and which they do not is a terrible precedent. This makes small companies expendable, and since the majority of new business grows out of new, smaller entrepreneurs, you put them at a severe disadvantage. So now, any large company can take risks that smaller companies cannot, and if they fail, they get bailed. Not so much for the small company, which if it makes bad decisions, it falls w/o a whisper in the dark.

    Small companies are already at a huge competitive disadvantage. However, since, there are already huge companies with guarantees by the Japanese/South Korean/ Chinese governments. If the US does not provide any such guarantees, we’re basically putting all American companies at a competitive disadvantage. By your own argument.

    That said, I do think any such guarantees should be industry wide. (Which is why the FDIC should have procedures for winding down larger banks. But I digress.)

    And, by the way, the government already “picks” companies in the form of DOE and NIH grants. Not to mention defense contracts.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:49 am)

    ziv: George, it is Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Ali in the Thrilla in Manila. That was a HELL of a fight.  

    Thanks,
    That was the one where Ali beat up Joe so bad it made me feel sorry for Joe. (If I remember correctly)


  46. 46
    JEC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:49 am)

    Tagamet:
    Interesting idea! It’s so far outside the box, that it needs a new box. I’m afraid that it wouldn’t be free to GM to eat the initial depreciation for $7500 though. I know what you mean about getting people to experience the Volt and that given that, they’d be unlikely to give it back, short of at gun-point, but if they DID return it GM would need to turn around and sell or lease a “used” vehicle.
    I’ll need to think on this one a bit more though.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    If GM is being conservative with the Volt, because of fear of issues that arise in the real world, then this lets them get back the vehicles to avoid the bad press and recalls.

    Maybe the lease requires you to pay something, maybe the $2500, but how great would that be!

    So, GM gets $10,000 per lease, and a 6-month used Volt to resell/lease again. So, they could resell for about $30k and still be ok.

    This puts the car in envelope of nearly anyone, and could you imagine the rush to be in line? The early adopters would be pissed, since they would be in the same line, but you also get the car in the hands of the more common driver.

    WIN, WIN, WIN!!!


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    JohnK

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:52 am)

    You know, the price and the lease.. once again it proves that GM has been listening to us. In particular this is good marketing. Well done, GM.
    We all believe that the Volt is very good. That calls for a good (high) price. We also want it to retain value (the lease says this is the case).
    But, it kind of hints that the price may not be coming down for GEN2 — unless those batteries are going to be put to use in secondary jobs worth more than their use in the car (just don’t see that) and that new batteries don’t come down in price.
    What do you think, Statik?
    So how does a Volt hold its value while Gen2 comes down in price? It might take a while for the price to come down. Do you suppose that we have been right about the demand? Maybe there are 100,000 people in North America willing to pay $41K and 50,000 Europeans willing to pay even more for an Ampera. And then you have lots of people in China.. And gosh, nobody in Australia and New Zealand wants it. Then India, Africa, South America…
    Then when it crosses from early adapters to the general driving public, well by then maybe the price will come down. Maybe even Rush L. will buy one then if the subsidies are gone.


  48. 48
    JEC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:56 am)

    LauraM:
    GM would not have been divided.It would have gone ch. 7.Because no one would buy a car from a company in ch.11.And,more importantly, with credit markets frozen, no one would have come up with billions in DIP financing. And that would have destroyed the supplier base in the US, so no one could have built a car here.If you don’tbelieve me, you might want to pay attention to what Toyota and Honda had to say.http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/15/news/companies/overseas_automakers/?postversion=2008121517As far as the effect on the economy–auto manufacturing would have moved overseas.(Along with all the other industries we’ve lost to “free trade.”)And our trade deficit would have gone up considerably.And US income would have gone down.If you really believe that helps the economy, I suggest you talk with the South Korean authorities about their efforts to establish Hyundai, and how much better off they’d be if they hadn’t done that. Somehow I doubt you’ll get anywhere.
    Small companies are already at a huge competitive disadvantage.However, since, there are already huge companies with guarantees by the Japanese/South Korean/ Chinese governments. If the US does not provide any such guarantees, we’re basically putting all American companies at a competitive disadvantage. By your own argument.That said, I do think any such guarantees should be industry wide.(Which is why the FDIC should have procedures for winding down larger banks. But I digress.)And, by the way, the government already “picks” companies in the form of DOE and NIH grants. Not to mention defense contracts.  

    Ok. So, let the bailouts continue.

    We are not N. Korea or Japan. We can find ways to compete AND win.

    Your arguments just reinforce the idea that we (the taxpayer) will be bailing out every large company that appears to be on the edge of extinction.

    So, which companies are “eligible” for the next bailout? I am sure they will be happy that they have a safety net, so they can make bad decisions and not have to face the consequence.

    Your view seems, unfortunately (IMO), to reflect more and more of the rest of the US.


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    nuttzy

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:59 am)

    I think it makes A LOT of sense to lease the first generation of a vehicle that contains so many new technologies. If you are getting a 2011 or 2012 Volt, you are an early adopter. The next version of the VOLT is also going to be looking mighty tempting too. This attractive three-year lease sets you free to purchase the next one, that will presumably have all the kinks worked out, and the better battery warranty.

    I’m the type that enjoy leasing cars. It’s not like purchasing a car is some wonderful investment. Either way, you are getting into something that will only depreciate in value. There’s something to be said for the ease of leasing, always having a car under warranty, and only at the very end does your car start to seem not so new.

    I have run into issues with the 12k miles, but I have a long commute. With my first lease, I had a very short commute, and was easily able to accommodate a cross-country trip (all four corners) and a second trip from Boston to Florida and back within in my 36k. But if you have a daily commute of 60 miles like I do now, 36k won’t cut it (I take the train)


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    Uncle Rollo

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:01 am)

    For me, the lease is the way to go. Especially for Volt 1.0 Yes, the first version will be a game changer, but I believe the car to buy will be the later generations. GM will learn and make better the battery and engine systems. Like computers, next years is always better. But sometime you have to make the plunge and buy one. Except for the first itteration. With a lease, you get the advantages of the Volt now, with the option of turning the car back in 3years. By then, the car should be leaps and bounds better. That is the time to buy.
    If the mileage restrictions are a worry, negotiate them and factor the fees into what you are paying to determine if it is right for you.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:04 am)

    JEC: So, GM gets $10,000 per lease, and a 6-month used Volt to resell/lease again. So, they could resell for about $30k and still be ok.

    6 month lease won’t happen. But airport rental Volts will be in HUGE demand. Rent a Volt for the weekend for $250.

    =D-Volt


  52. 52
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:19 am)

    JEC: Your arguments just reinforce the idea that we (the taxpayer) will be bailing out every large company that appears to be on the edge of extinction.

    So, which companies are “eligible” for the next bailout? I am sure they will be happy that they have a safety net, so they can make bad decisions and not have to face the consequence.

    Your view seems, unfortunately (IMO), to reflect more and more of the rest of the US.

    I was all for saving GM with the bailout because we do not want to lose this great company. However, I assumed this would mean dismantling the management and the Union and starting over.

    But, it turned out that the bail out became a huge gift to the Union and only the management was shaken up. This added to the shameful behavior of the Union during the Sinking of the ship. They would not give in on concessions even under the threat of bankruptcy (i.e. they were willing to continue to suck blood until the patient died even though their average salary is far above the average American who buys their cars).

    This all changed my mind. The bailout was poorly executed and did not allow GM to fully shed its problems and start over like a true bankruptcy should have. They are not a lean and mean company ready to take on the world. They are the Old GM operating in a grace period. Right now the Union cannot strike for some fixed time but once GM is back to any profitability and the Union time out is over, the Union troubles will return.


  53. 53
    stuart22

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:22 am)

    Buy a Volt outright. Leather seats, check. Red metallic, check. If Lyle can pay $850 per month to lease a prototype EV Mini, why cry about a similar monthly car payment on a Volt I can call my own? You only live once, baby.


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    shortale

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:27 am)

    The main attraction for the lease (IMHO) is that this is the mother of all “first model years”, which every savvy car buyer knows to avoid like the plague. (I had the 87 Delta 88 – super lemon; same platform as 91 Park Av – dream car)

    Obviously this site is for Volt enthusiasts, but sometimes I think folks here often miss the forest. The main significance of the Volt is the EREV platform and whether GM could meet a deadline with a quality product. The price of the Volt is largely a market research exercise in how much is “sex appeal” worth. I doubt GM expects to recoup its investment selling 150K Volts over three years.

    There’s a lot of growling about premium gas and mileage in CS mode, which I will bet money comes in fairly close to whatever is the highway mileage of Cruze, for which the 1.4L engine was built. Whoda thunk? On the other hand, this is about the lowest hanging fruit for improvement in the next generation EREV. You can’t slam GM for dropping in a known but overweight/overpowered engine for genset rather than risk the program on a new but untried 3 cylinder (or microturbine or wave disk!) just to get a better CS MPG, but they don’t have to stick with it either.

    The only lower hanging fruit is the battery technology. The 50 Wh/kg (usable) of the current pack is bound to multiply in the next generation EREV as battery chemistry and cooling technologies developed over the past three years come into play. You sure can’t slam GM for over-armoring and over-cooling the pack in the first build, but they don’t need to stick with it either.

    The Voltec drive train by all reports is shoving the 3500-3900 lb bulk around with authority. This is great news but even with a 400 lb battery pack taken out why does this barely midsize car outweigh the 91 Park Av I mentioned before? The choices in the next generation of EREVs should be amazing.

    The next generation EREV’s should be out in 3 years, just when your Volt lease is up. If you have the cash and you want to buy the original, here’s to you!


  55. 55
    stuart22

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:32 am)

    And another thing. It’s not the Volt the LEAF should worry about. It’s the Ford Focus EV which debuts a few months after the LEAF. The Volt is in a class by itself. The Focus EV however matches up directly with the LEAF, and betters it in important areas such as price, battery management and styling.

    http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articles/ford-focus-ev-nissan-leaf-best-electric-car/


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    David

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Tagamet: Thanks for the great article Statik! It’s high praise that I didn’t even know that you were the author until nasaman commented! You were extremely even-handed in your treatment of both vehicles (as I’d expect), but I’m sure that Volt vs. Leaf had to be a dicey topic. I know that I’m saying this very poorly, but great job! (LOL)! You also do a great job running the nisson-leaf.net site (EV sister site)?Be well and God Bless,Tagamet  (Quote)

    Really Tag? I could tell immediately by the photo it was Statik at work, but a good article nonetheless.

    Anybody willing to guess on the resale of a Volt after the lease? There will still be 5 years left on the battery’s warranty right? Three years is a good bit of testing, but you could buy a used Volt with all its battery management extras and potentially wind up like those RAV4 drivers that are still delighted with their electric vehicle after all these years. It just seems that if the Volt is over engineered you won’t necessarily get all that investment back on the resale – it’s like putting too much into refurbishing a house for sale – you don’t get it back at the point of sale. So a used first gen Volt might be the sleeper deal of the week when everyone else wants the newest EV on the market and I’m guessing there will be more out there in three years.


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    DonC

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:38 am)

    First of all, in order for any of this to be true we’ll have to see how many people actually see this lease offer. There aren’t that many moving parts to a lease. There’s the purchase price, there’s the residual, and there is the interests rate (money factor). So let’s look at how these play out. Given that GM screwed up and is allowing the dealers to set the purchase price it’s highly unlikely too many people will see that initially. The interest rate is bounded by zero, can’t go below that (and current interest rates are low). GM can set the residual high, which means at the end of the lease the buy out price will be above market.

    We don’t have the particulars but the game GM is trying to play is to have the dealers shave a few thousand off MSRP (in various ways including holdbacks) and have GM set the residual a few thousand above what is likely to be market. The interest rate will probably be great but that’s not a big deal since rates are very low to begin with.

    This isn’t a very good situation for lessees who have an interest in buying the car. First of all it’s unlikely that the dealers are going to sell the car below MSRP. Not happening for the first wave of Volts. In fact the issue is whether many will see cars at MSRP. GM can set the residual high, but that means, if you want to buy the car after three years, you’re just postponing the hit. You can of course walk but then you will have paid for the highest depreciating years and you’ll have to do it again (statik’s claim that leasing is always a bad idea is ridiculous but he’s probably referring to serial leasing). The interest rate will be great but at the moment you have to beat off great interest rates with a stick.

    What this means is that the only way someone is going to see $350/month lease payment is if they pony up a was of cash up front. That more or less defeats the purpose. Basically the MSRP is what it is, and you have to deal with it. For people who are thinking they want to own a Volt for ten years the best plan would be to wait until all the first wave of Volts come off lease. Unless gas skyrockets there will be a lot of good deals.

    At the end of the day GM has screwed up by limiting production. It has walked back from the promised 60,000 to a joke of 10,000. By doing that it has put the first few couple years of production out of the reach of most people and opened the door to Nissan. And no amount of hocus pocus with the residual can fix this.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:46 am)

    After my initial disapointment, I have come to believe that GM made a brilliant move here. In contrast to what many have been saying, I think they finally made a strategic long-term decision (very unlike the old GM). While having to endure some negative publicity in the short run, they are now able to sell the vehicle for a profit and recent news shows they have been proved right that there are more than enough people willing to pay the 41k price. Now that they are not selling the car for a loss, they can ramp up next year’s production at will, which they could not have done otherwise without shooting themselves in the foot. The new GM can’t afford that. To soften the blow for average joes, they are offering the lease deal (and can grab a nice fat tax credit immediately) and are forcing dealers to keep a demo Volt that breed more addicts like ourselves or possibly help them sell a Cruze. Basically, they are trying to figure out every way possible to get more money asap and stay ahead of their competitors technologically. With this plan they will be able to start recouping development costs rather than subsidizing the Volt for consumers as they would be if it were “comfortably under 30k”. Since they can spend more on R&D now, by Gen III or so they will have a much more capable car that will cost them a lot less to build- although the tax credit will expire. By that time they will be able to introduce new cash cow Voltec models like small SUVs and thereby reduce the price of the Volt.

    Been a while since I commented, although I obsessively visit the site. Please don’t flame me (that’s just inviting it, isn’t it?). I guess I am satisfied with GM’s decision since I never intended to get a Gen I or even Gen II Volt since it will be a while till my car dies.

    LauraM: And, by the way, the government already “picks” companies in the form of DOE and NIH grants. Not to mention defense contracts.  (Quote)

    But wait, what about competitive bidding? Lol. On any big government contract it’s really just a competition between the congresspeople in whose districts the work will be done. And of course, since we Americans love compromise, the work tends to be spread out all over the US in the most inefficient manner possible.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:49 am)

    francomerican:
    That was an Op-Ed by Ed Niedermeyer from ttac.com. I have read his material in the past and it seems that Ed is always negative on GM. He is also the editor of ttac.com and I beleive he thinks that he can generate more traffic on his site by bashing GM.  

    I was well aware of that. However, how many people read that guy’s blog vs. The New Yourk times. As a consequence this negativity has started to spread all over the Web (May be not including our own website.)


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    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:07 am)

    ccombs: I never intended to get a Gen I or even Gen II Volt since it will be a while till my car dies.

    Thinking out the plan for the Volt on paper isn’t hard to do. GM has an IPO coming. GM executives have stated a ballpark (expected) price for the Volt over the period of the last 2 years. GM is not in the best standing with the public after the bailouts, court rooms hassles, and Union fights.

    On the up side. GM has the benefit of a $7500 credit per car which will offset much of the pain realized through the bailout proceedings. GM offers a product that helps to offset their image of cranking out 400HP street racers. And Suburbans, Hummers, ect.

    So what to do?

    1>Price the Volt at $35k and destroy any chance of the Leaf taking off. Build 80k Volts per year. Make profit as technology becomes cheaper. And manufacturing costs drop with volume.

    2>Price the Volt at $37.5k as expected. Meet the needs of 50,000 people on an unofficial want list with a $30k car (after credit). Maintain momentum entering the IPO. Offer a good alternative to the Leaf and Ford EV.

    3>Price the Volt at $41k. Create an international mind set that buying electric equates to buying a BMW. Price out 80% of perspective buyers. Offer a lease wherein GM takes the tax credit.

    =D-Volt


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:12 am)

    nuclearboy: The bailout was poorly executed and did not allow GM to fully shed its problems and start over like a true bankruptcy should have. They are not a lean and mean company ready to take on the world. They are the Old GM operating in a grace period. Right now the Union cannot strike for some fixed time but once GM is back to any profitability and the Union time out is over, the Union troubles will return. 

    I think you’re factually incorrect on the union concessions. The union traded contractual payments for equity. GM the company is no longer on the hook for health payments. The union has to pay for those by selling sock. Basically the union is bearing the risk. Also, union rates in Detroit are now the same as non-union rates at Toyota or Nissan. Hard to say this isn’t a change.

    On the management I’d have to agree with you. Some faces have changed (and probably for the worse) but GM management is still lacking in vision and the lumbering risk averse bureaucracy remains in place.

    FWIW his is a true bankruptcy. Every bit as true as any other. Actually the restructuring was more extensive than you’d see in most Chapter 11s. Not sure why you’d say it wasn’t but my guess is you’ve never been involved in a Chapter 11 (or 7). I’d give the ATF an A+++ BTW. The Chrysler and GM bankruptcies were the most effective government actions I’ve ever seen. The only downside was the board composition and the inability to find a CEO. The ATF understood that. It just didn’t have time to address these areas.


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    stuart22

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:12 am)

    DonC:
    At the end of the day GM has screwed up by limiting production. It has walked back from the promised 60,000 to a joke of 10,000. By doing that it has put the first few couple years of production out of the reach of most people and opened the door to Nissan. And no amount of hocus pocus with the residual can fix this.  

    Baloney. GM has make a calculated decision based upon past history. Their concern is beyond the early adopter stage – and past history has shown failure for electric vehicles in the mass market. So, GM is playing its cards carefully unlike Nissan who became the darling of the early adopter, pro-EV crowd by carelessly tossing out big, baseless production forecasts.

    At this stage, all these numbers mean nothing. They are not written in stone, signed with blood. All GM has done is say, “Buyers, this car is worth this much money. Now, it’s up to you to show us you want it. We are making this many to start. If you want more, we can do it, and we will do it, but – the ball’s in your court…. we’ve shown you our committment with the product, now show us your committment in your desire for it.”

    GM can ‘up’ their production number at will, and I have no doubt they will if demand justifies it.


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    Wheeler Dealer

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:15 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:22 am)

    LauraM: I’m hoping that that will change once they realize just how much demand there really is out there for this car. They’ve already increased their planned production numbers…


    I’d like to think so, and I agree that a 50% increase in 2012 (from 30K to 45K) is a big jump, percentage wise. But as you know the total remains well under the 60K we all expected for a long time for 2012, and the total is tiny in terms of national sales volumes for any mainstream car.

    It seems like gm management is content to let Volt be a specialty car for a small market niche, much like Corvette, and perhaps one sold only in limited markets.


  65. 65
    nasaman

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Dave K, post #42: “….the Volt is a very well equipped Cruze (Civic, Corolla, Altima). Providing the first hour of driving at a low cost. After this, the Cruze and Volt are similar…”
    =D-Volt  

    Sorry Dave, I have no choice but to correct the misconception your statement above conveys.

    THE VOLT IS A LUXURY CAR, PURE & SIMPLE! There are three people here who immediately come to mind that were POSITIVELY STUNNED when they first test drove a pre-production Volt this year —Dan Petit, Tagamet & myself. Although Dan & Tag can certainly speak for them- selves (as they have!) I’m certain all 3 of us agree the Volt is the smoothest, quietest, most responsive, best handling, most comfortable and best conceived/executed car we’d ever driven —BY FAR! GM knows this, and it’s why they know the best way to sell it is to have people drive it. Hence the GM mandate that every Volt-approved dealer MUST keep a Volt for demo purposes at all times. Yep, it wears a bowtie. So does a $120,000 ZR1 and a $60,000 fully-equipped hybrid Silverado.

    And having a 3-point star emblem doesn’t mean you own a luxury car (ask any Smart owner), just as wearing a bowtie doesn’t mean you do not!

    /rant disabled


  66. 66
    no comment

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:29 am)

    has anyone actually placed an order for a volt? when i called the gm customer service line, they say that dealers are able to take orders. i am beginning to suspect that dealers are actually not taking orders but are instead trying to compile customer lists that they can then use to spark bidding wars.


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    guido

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Statik wrote : “in a lease, your capitalization cost of the portion of the vehicle you use is huge, you have to guard your car against excessive wear/damage, and in the case of the Volt, your are also giving away your $7,500 rebate as a lump sum to lower the payments (that is your money, regardless how you choose to view it).”

    Hey Jay “Statik” Cole ,

    1) How is “giving away your $7,500 rebate” only apply to the Volt lease deal, and not the Leaf lease deal, Statik ?

    2) You whine about the “mileage limit anxiety” of a lease being a big concern – if this is such a big issue to you, why aren’t you more concerned about the “range anxiety” of the BEV Leaf running out of a charge ?


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:30 am)

    George S. Bower: Hey Statik,Is that Joe Frazier??  (Quote)

    I’m a little slow today, but yes. One of my favorite boxing photos of all time.

    Although, my ‘other’ photo (and corresponding video) I almost ran for the piece was about a zillion miles away from the spirit of this one. Lyle and myself decided it was too obscure for the site, lol. (My sense of humor doesn’t always translate so well, heeh)


  69. 69
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:30 am)

    stuart22: Baloney. GM has make a calculated decision based upon past history. Their concern is beyond the early adopter stage –

    …GM is playing its cards carefully unlike Nissan who became the darling of the early adopter, pro-EV crowd by carelessly tossing out big, baseless production forecasts.

    …it’s up to you to show us you want it.

    You can’t have it both ways. It is the fanatic early adopter who will pay $41k, not the future buyer. Nissan is playing the strong hand with high volume and a double tax credit. Ford and BYD lurk.

    =D-Volt


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:31 am)

    RB:

    I’d like to think so, and I agree that a 50% increase in 2012 (from 30K to 45K) is a big jump, percentage wise.But as you know the total remains well under the 60K we all expected for a long time for 2012, and the total is tiny in terms of national sales volumes for any mainstream car.It seems like gm management is content to let Volt be a specialty car for a small market niche, much like Corvette, and perhaps one sold only in limited markets.  

    GM wants committed buyers, not a bunch of wannabies who love the technology but whine about paying BMW prices for it.

    Show them you want it; keep on pounding their doors down. The only things that can hold them back from responding to market pressure are limits upon their production capacity.


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    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Wheeler Dealer: Your statement that leasing is almost always bad cannot be farther from the truth. I have personally authorized thousands of auto leases and virtually all my customers come back for another lease and new vehicle and are very very satisfied customers. You sir are a complete idiot and you have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Please think before you issue such false and misleading statements. It is clear to me having been in the automotive business for more than 30 years that you have minimal knowledge about the business. It just amazes me how many people on the internet spew total garbage out of their mouths via a biased blog. You are just more blogger junk clogging up the tubes of the internet.  

    You’ll gain no credibility here by calling Statik an idiot (lol). The opinion you relate speaks to the *popularity* of leases with your customers, but it should be obvious that just because something is popular, does not validate it as a good idea.
    I have ZERO experience with leases. So help me understand why Dave Ramsey (IMHO a great source of fiscal advice) refers to car leases as “Fleeces”?

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  72. 72
    stuart22

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Dave K.:
    You can’t have it both ways. It is the fanatic early adopter who will pay $41, not the future buyer. Nissan is playing the strong hand with high volume and a double tax credit.
    =D-Volt  

    My statement was not meant to be disrespectful of early adopters; GM will get its fair share of them. It was merely to point out that it is the mass market which is the biggest and most important question mark for GM.

    The absolute biggest key up to now in finding out the answer was the price announcement this week. Now that buyers know what it will take to get one, GM should be able to get a better read on demand reality.

    Look to see production forecasts increase if and when demand – the real, committed, money in hand kind – shows up.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:44 am)

    guido: Statik wrote : “in a lease, your capitalization cost of the portion of the vehicle you use is huge, you have to guard your car against excessive wear/damage, and in the case of the Volt, your are also giving away your $7,500 rebate as a lump sum to lower the payments (that is your money, regardless how you choose to view it).” Hey Jay “Statik” Cole , 1) How is “giving away your $7,500 rebate” only apply to the Volt lease deal, and not the Leaf lease deal, Statik ? 2) You whine about the “mileage limit anxiety” of a lease being a big concern – if this is such a big issue to you, why aren’t you more concerned about the “range anxiety” of the BEV Leaf running out of a charge ?  (Quote)

    It doesn’t only apply to the Volt lease, it applies to both. I did not attempt to infer it did not. Apologies if it reads that way.

    Here is what I said: “In a lease, your capitalization cost of the portion of the vehicle you use is huge, you have to guard your car against excessive wear/damage, and in the case of the Volt, your are also giving away your $7,500 rebate as a lump sum to lower the payments (that is your money, regardless how you choose to view it).”

    I was comparing the Volt itself and your outlay cost to that of a standard lease…in the context of leases are not the most ideal situations in most cases and here is why.

    I really didn’t break down the LEAF lease at all, I really wanted it to be about the pros and cons of the Volt lease. Personally, I think the LEAF lease is twice as bad, and is about the most offensive lease deal I have ever seen from a dollars and sense point of view.


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    statik

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    Tim Hart: Having never leased a vehicle before, there are some questions I have. First of all, what is the price if you want to buy at the end of the lease? If its around 25,000 then leasing would be not a bad idea. But from the discussion so far it sounds as if you wouldn’t qualify for the 7500 rebate if you bought the at the end of the lease. Is that right? If that is the case and somehow GM could work it so the rebate could be deducted at the time of purchase, then buying is a much better way to go if you plan on keeping the car.  (Quote)

    The $7,500 is used up as a product of the original lease. Your total outlay is $22,600. Typically, if you buy a car out at the end of a lease, you’ll be paying a premium of between 10-25% depending on the retailer/’hotness’ of the car. ie) I think the Prius at its peak is a good analog, the standard lease had a total buyout committment of 24% more than a straight purchase.

    Making the decision to purchase is (almost) always much better before you take delivery. The only situation where it is better to lease then own, is when the retailer vastly over estimates the residual value of the vehicle to a greater extend than the premium to lease. ie) 2007 Suburban lease.

    JohnK: You know, the price and the lease.. once again it proves that GM has been listening to us. In particular this is good marketing. Well done, GM.We all believe that the Volt is very good. That calls for a good (high) price. We also want it to retain value (the lease says this is the case).But, it kind of hints that the price may not be coming down for GEN2 — unless those batteries are going to be put to use in secondary jobs worth more than their use in the car (just don’t see that) and that new batteries don’t come down in price.What do you think, Statik?So how does a Volt hold its value while Gen2 comes down in price? It might take a while for the price to come down. .  (Quote)

    This lease deal unfortunately paints a bad picture of the future about pricing in the short term. GM is putting a really high (relatively speaking) residual on this car, somewhere in the 55-60% range, around $25,000 depending on your options.

    If GM lowers the price and even slightly improves the Volt in the short term, every car they sell now as a lease goes underwater. So (as a example) if GM leases 50,000 copies, then lowers the cost in 2014 to $35,000 and/or improves the car, customers could effectively buy the car, which is better than the original for $27,500, brand new, out the door, full warranty, etc.

    What does that do to 2011, 2012, 2013 Volts they have sold and are being returned? It puts them to the negative, uh-oh. So if Volt demand is not increasing at a terrific rate, but has flattened out, GM is in a catch 22 at that point.

    Long story short, this lease indicates the MSRP of the Volt will not be coming down soon, unless it comes down almost immediately before they sell too many cars. (imo)

    …sorry about the longest comment ever


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    KenEE

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    Great to read your take, Static. Thanks!

    I’ll be leasing and my salesman doesn’t care if I buy or lease. But reading around the net on other sites, I think GM has caused a MOUNTAIN of negative word of mouth.

    I think its mainly sour grapes from people who can’t/won’t afford a $41k+ vehicle, but the negative statements are going to be hard to overcome. I can’t count the times I’ve read “only 40 miles vs. 100 miles on the LEAF” and “still 100% fossil fuel since electricity comes from coal”. Silliness, but repeated sooo many times….

    If the price would have been say $32k (plenty to cover Cruze plus battery plus warranty) then all this negativism would be a mountain of excitement…


  76. 76
    maharguitar

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    JEC:
    Highways and Amtrak are funded by our taxpayer dollars.Amtrak is a government owned business, not a private or public owned business.We all know and expect to be paying tax dollars for such things.But, we do not expect to be paying tax dollars to every business that is in trouble.The “To Big To Fail” philosophy is a slippery slope, and in my opinion should just be avoided.While you can argue that letting a business as large as GM fail, would have such a rippling effect on so many supporting business’, that it would have paralyzed our economy, I would argue that GM would not just disappear.It may have divided into a different company, and the short term economical impact may have been difficult, but by bailing out the “To large to fail”, you (we the taxpayers) are now on the hook for EVERY “To large to fail” company out their.To pick and chose which companies the taxpayers support and which they do not is a terrible precedent.This makes small companies expendable, and since the majority of new business grows out of new, smaller entrepreneurs, you put them at a severe disadvantage. So now, any large company can take risks that smaller companies cannot, and if they fail, they get bailed.Not so much for the small company, which if it makes bad decisions, it falls w/o a whisper in the dark.You cannot have it both ways (well you can, but you are no longer operating within the principles of a capitalistic society).Would our economy have fallen into a death spiral, if they did not “save GM”?Or, would it have become stronger in the long run, as other companies and entrepreneurs found ways to make a profit by finding new and inventive methods to turn a dollar?You seem to believe the prior, I believe the former.  

    I tend to be middle of the road in this area. I think that “too big to fail” is a slight misrepresentation of the situation. It’s more like “too important to fail”. The government has stepped in in several industries throughout our recent history. DO a Wiki search on Conrail to see the closes analogy to the GM bail out. In fact, Conrail was wholly owned by the government until it was privatized. The country was looking at the collapse of the entire railroad system in the northeast. It they hadn’t done anything, there was a good chance that there would be no rail service at all in half the country.

    You don’t have to be big to warrant government intervention. Harley Davidson was on the brink of failure in the ’70s and the defense department said that we need some domestic source of motorcycles and Harley was the only one left. They got a substantial bail out.

    I think that most people believe that there are cases when the government has to bail out a private company. Consider a hypothetical example. Suppose that Con Ed, which supplies electricity to a large part of the New York area, were to be on the brink of total collapse. I mean total collapse. Lock the doors, Turn off the lights. In this case, turn off the lights would mean that there would be no electricity for millions of people and businesses. I can’t imagine this happening. The government would have to step in and do something. The ConEd company my not survive but the lights would stay on.

    In the case of GM and Chrysler, the government (both Bush and Obama) decided that a failure of GM could mean a 1930′s style depression for the country and probably the world. The down side of the bail out is not nearly as severe as the potential downside to doing nothing. The choice was one of minimizing risk. Similarly for the financial sector.


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    BLDude

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    Tom W: Great Article Statik;I still would need to know the actual fees for the additional miles before I can make my choice.I plan to drive 60,000 miles in 3 years so to evaluate the lease I need to know what I will be charged by both GM and Nissan for those additional 24,000 miles.Also it is not a slam dunk for the Volt for people like myself that typically will drive 60-70 miles a day.Unless you can charge at work thats a lot of miles driving using gas that would be all AER with the Leaf.  

    With your high miles, you are probably not going to want to lease. As part of any lease, you want to buy extra miles needed up front – not wait till the end of the lease to pay for them. So if you’re purchasing 24,000 additional miles upfront (60,000 total – 36,000 allowed) and pay say, 20 cents per mile for the extra miles, that will cost you an additional $4,800 for your lease, resulting in a higher lease payment of approximately $133.33 per month ($4,800 divided by 36 months).

    You’re probably better off BUYING either the Volt or the Leaf, Probably the Leaf since it will have a lower purchase price and still fulfill your average daily drive.

    Like every major purchase decision, everyone needs to run the numbers to see what makes sense for their own situation.


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    Tom M

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:17 pm)

    Tagamet:
    You’ll gain no credibility here by calling Statik an idiot (lol). The opinion you relate speaks to the *popularity* of leases with your customers, but it should be obvious that just because something is popular, does not validate it as a good idea.
    I have ZERO experience with leases. So help me understand why Dave Ramsey (IMHO a great source of fiscal advice) refers to car leases as “Fleeces”?Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Exactly Tag! Just about any financial planner/expert you will find will tell you that leases are the worst financial decision you can make, as you are basically borrowing a car that you can’t afford to buy. If you can’t afford to buy it, then you really shouldn’t be leasing it. The low lease payments put people in cars they really can’t afford so of course they’re happy, but they really don’t realize how bad a financial decision it is for them. That isn’t the case 100% of the time, as there are people that have money and just don’t want the hassle of buying and selling so they don’t care that they are making a bad financial decision because it’s “easy” but that doesn’t make it a good deal for them. It is good for the dealer because he moves a car that he normally wouldn’t.

    That being said, I think the volt lease is a special circumstance. GM has given the car such a high residual value and combined with the $7,500 credit make the monthly payments extraordinarily low for a $41,000 car. I do believe if you can find a dealer that will lease you one for $350(good luck) and you drive the car at lease between 36 & 50K in the three years that it will make a lot of sense especially when you factor in the fuel savings.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    Tom W: Great Article Statik;I still would need to know the actual fees for the additional miles before I can make my choice.I plan to drive 60,000 miles in 3 years so to evaluate the lease I need to know what I will be charged by both GM and Nissan for those additional 24,000 miles.Also it is not a slam dunk for the Volt for people like myself that typically will drive 60-70 miles a day.Unless you can charge at work thats a lot of miles driving using gas that would be all AER with the Leaf.  
    The Cruze is looking a really lot better now than the Volt, but it’s mileage is not too great. I may be forced to really look at the CODA if it comes out lower priced. Besides the really big negative is “Black Cloth Seats!” That is really hot or the big up tick in price for leather and white or red!


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    Schmeltz

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    I found a good article that frames the EV discussion in a neat way. It’s at Newsweek here if you are interested:

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/29/the-volt-jolt.html?from=rss


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    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    stuart22: Now that buyers know what it will take to get one, GM should be able to get a better read on demand reality.
    Look to see production forecasts increase if and when demand – the real, committed, money in hand kind – shows up.

    Many good points have been voiced here at gm volt dot com over the last three years. One significant point is that we exist in a timeline. We do not exist in a vacuum. Currently on the balance: personal budget, environmental awareness, and transportation needs.
    We know the average family isn’t flushed with cash right now. Many of us are environmentally aware (riding motorcycles, bicycling, taking a bus or train). With being environmentally aware, many of us already own 4 cylinder cars.
    GM has stated that they are coming with a strong 2-mode hybrid program. Worlds biggest battery lab, so on. This is the hand they are playing. It is my gut feeling that this battle should have been fought 5 years ago. But, as you suggest, GM will be getting a better read on demand reality.

    =D-Volt


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:30 pm)

    Wheeler Dealer Said:

    Your statement that leasing is almost always bad cannot be farther from the truth.

    Just answer this question:Is leasing more of a “buying tool” or a “selling tool”?


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    BLDude: 20 cents per mile for the extra miles,

    Bill Dude;
    Your argument against leasing and driving 60,000 miles is that i’d pay 20 cents per extra mile. But thats my questions, how much is the charge. But paying 20 cents a mile AFTER I drive them is actually not a bad deal for a car that costs $30,000 for the first 100,000 miles (30 cents a mile)


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    I can’t work any reasonable scenario where it would be smarter to buy vs. lease on this Volt.

    It’s impossible to get the payments anywhere close unless you stretch it to a 60 month loan, and in FIVE years how much can you expect to get for the volt?

    Lease for 3 then lease another just like it for another 3 if you’re happy. You’ll come out way ahead. In three years there will be many more options. (including the new improved Volt!)

    You pretty much have to be a person who just gets whatever they want no matter what and/or plan on running the Volt into the ground to justify the purchase.


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    America1st

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:55 pm)

    The lease is incredible, but I’m still in to purchase. This is the car I’ve waited for a very long time to have in my driveway. For 20 years of serving the military, there are 3 considerations I’ve had to live with, like it or not. I’m an American, I’m a serviceman, my wife served 20 years as well, and the country is going in the wrong direction.

    - Subsidizing the world. America defends oil to the tune of a over $200 billion dollars while our competitor nations pay nearly nothing. That goes into the competitive disadvantage of all our products, and frankly, the military cost is only available because China, a form of government hostile to our own, lends us this money. Why are we doing this.
    - Our oil costs could pay for a car in every garage if we realign our accounting way of thinking. America imports a net $100 billion dollars to Middle-East oil barons who despise nearly everything we stand for, from religion, women’s rights, human rights, voting freedoms, free speech. Why are we doing this.
    - Energy. Who provides us energy are all the people in the world who hate us, from Hugo Chavez to Middle-East tyrants. Electric cars come from fuel home grown right here, giving our people jobs instead of their people jobs. Why are we doing this.

    I’m more than eager to help give jobs closer to home. This car seems a good value to me and especially if macroeconomics is applied, the government would subsidize electric and get the subsidzy from tariffs on oil. America would win.


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    Streetlight

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    Statik: Is that pix Frasier vs Ali, Rd.1 – 1970…

    “…not received very well…” understates. VOLT’s pricing strategy is much criticized in Congress and the media. Adding fuel to the fire Obama’s visit and VOLT drive yesterday really polarized. Maybe the most kind word by Roll Call on Fox … “Its far premature to take a victory lap”… (One Fox guest called VOLT at $41k a toy for the rich.) MSNBC wasn’t kind either. CNN has lost its edge anyway.

    The immediate consequences are a whole renewed examination of GM’s bailout, its payments, its potential to payback, Obama’s control, and on and on and on. Not good for VOLT nor GM nor its planned IPO. (And not good for the U.S. auto industry.)

    GM must fight back. First to demonstrate The General can stand on its own four wheels (both legs?) AND is not an Administration flunky. Fortunately, Whitacre’s up to the challenge – and that’s only because he’s integrated himself by OJT (on the job) training as Leadership. If not, then GM’s IPO price targets are at risk. Case in point: Tesla (TSLA) June 29-opens at $17, closes $25. Next day $30. Eroding to $16 on July 8. Tesla sends off a series off press releases between July 8-12 — “Tesla delivers protoypes to Toyota”. Stock rebounds to $20 July 16. Been there since.

    In 2010 we’re webcentric. News is minutes and hours. Before it was days and weeks. Imagine the CEO says ‘geez our stock price dropped by 25% better get another press release out.’ And BAM! one click PR- and up climbs stock trading.

    GM must give serious thought to reincarnating Converj. Plus somehow differentiate its EV lines. Maybe a whole new brand – LaSalle! That’ll do the trick. Can you imagine a LaSalle Converj with fuel cell range extender!


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    Here is PLAN “B”:

    Lease the 2011 VOLT for 36 months. Take what I would have used as a big downpayment and buy NGMCO stock. In 3 years’ time, GM gets it together and I make enough to either: a) Buy a 2014 VOLT that has a better battery (dare I say EEstor ?)… or b) Pay cash for the residual value of my 2011 VOLT that still has plenty to go on the 8-year battery warranty!

    Done. And Done.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: Just answer this question: Is leasing more of a “buying tool” or a “selling tool”?

    Yes.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Dave K.: 6 month lease won’t happen. But airport rental Volts will be in HUGE demand. Rent a Volt for the weekend for $250.
    =D-Volt

    I was thinking of just charging $10 bucks per test drive with all of you guys. That will more than cover my lease payment. :)


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Very thoroughly written, statik.
    If only there could be an early buy out at the end of year one.
    That might cause a huge leap in demand if the 7500 credit could be portioned back to the
    lessee, say, two thirds from the buyout cost.
    That huge leap in demand could be the exact ticket to get things up to speed at all levels
    of established economic income in this country.


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    Kurt

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    From an “energy mix” perspective, I was really bummed to see how high Coal’s piece of the pie has become on my electric bill…87% in Ohio. The couple reports I’ve read on the grid’s effect on EVs both stated that the coal ratio needs to be less than half to break even with an ICE. I can save about a dollar a day driving 50 miles compared to the Civic Hybrid, but even though electricity’s more domestic I can’t see the overall equation working anymore. Hope for a great Gen II!


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    nasaman

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:47 pm)

    Autoblog started a poll a few days ago right after the Volt MSRP & lease pricing announcements. As of today, the total number of votes is 20,729 and the way they
    compare is:

    Poll Question: Which electric car is a better buy?

    2011 Chevrolet Volt…………………………..…9119 (44.0%)
    2011 Nissan Leaf………………………………….5642 (27.2%)
    Neither, I’ll stick with an ICE, thanks..5968 (28.8%)

    I find it interesting that 1) they show front & rear photos of both cars; that 2) they give the Leaf price as $32,780 before federal or state incentives, then say “that price will drop to the mid-$20s (after the Fed incentive)”, that 3) the Volt $41,000 asking price drops to $33,500 after the Fed incentive, and that 4) BOTH cars have a 36-month lease rate of ~$350/mo.

    This thread is about Volt vs Leaf, and these admittedly unscientific poll results showing the Volt is heavily favored in spite of its much higher MSRP vs the Leaf, speak volumes to me!


  93. 93
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    Jul 31st, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I was thinking of just charging $10 bucks per test drive with all of you guys. That will more than cover my lease payment.

    Wish we could laugh along with you. Having the Volt available at rental agencies is a way to generate interest in gen 2. GM has overpriced many out of the market. But GM still has our interest. Didn’t expect the Volt launch to be this controversial. The Volt should never have been allowed to be pounded in the media. Why choose the bumpy road when the silver lined path to glory is right next to it?

    =D-Volt


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    Kurt: From an “energy mix” perspective, I was really bummed to see how high Coal’s piece of the pie has become on my electric bill…87% in Ohio. The couple reports I’ve read on the grid’s effect on EVs both stated that the coal ratio needs to be less than half to break even with an ICE. I can save about a dollar a day driving 50 miles compared to the Civic Hybrid, but even though electricity’s more domestic I can’t see the overall equation working anymore. Hope for a great Gen II!  

    If we’re to hope for a Gen II, there has to be a good number of Gen I sold, (and I doubt that that will be any problem). The irony of your comment is that the “knock” on EV’s used to be that they’d lead to more coal plants being built (I think that the # of EV’s sold that would cause another to be built was 500,000). At the very least, coal is domestic. I know that that’s little comfort to single-issue environmentalists, but their *inaction* could help lead to fewer EV’s being built.
    Just an observation.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    nasaman

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    Reference for my post #92:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/poll-chevrolet-volt-takes-on-nissan-leaf/

    /posted separately so #92 itself wouldn’t wind up in moderation, as happened once before


  96. 96
    DonC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    stuart22: Baloney. GM has make a calculated decision based upon past history. Their concern is beyond the early adopter stage – and past history has shown failure for electric vehicles in the mass market.

    GM can ‘up’ their production number at will, and I have no doubt they will if demand justifies it. 

    You’re a good candidate for GM management. Tablet computers have been around for 15 years, and they’ve “failed” every time. So they’ll never succeed, right? But then of course there is the iPad which is turning into a huge success. Product success depends on a number of factors, including timing and the maturing of critical parts, but management skill is also critical. Had GM had better management the EV1 would have turned out to be the greatest success in GM history. But GM management sucked — it ended the EV1 program and went off to lose billions chasing minivans and Hummers — and the EV1 has been turned into a cautionary by those who don’t understand new products.

    As for production levels, GM can’t ramp up production on short notice. GM is locked into the numbers it decided on. At this point the decisions they make today can only effect production two or three years out. It’s a long cycle because suppliers can’t turn it on and off on such short notice, and all the suppliers have to be on the same page since if single part isn’t available then you can’t assemble the car.


  97. 97
    JEC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I was thinking of just charging $10 bucks per test drive with all of you guys. That will more than cover my lease payment.   

    I call first ride!
    I will even tip an extra $20.


  98. 98
    kdawg

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:11 pm)

    RB: True, but the Leaf brings both bat and ball, that is, availability of cars long before the Volt

    We’ll see. As far as I know, no one is driving a Leaf around right now. There’s still so much up in the air still w/Nissan, I don’t think they are as far along as they project.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    DonC: I think you’re factually incorrect on the union concessions. The union traded contractual payments for equity. GM the company is no longer on the hook for health payments. The union has to pay for those by selling sock. Basically the union is bearing the risk. Also, union rates in Detroit are now the same as non-union rates at Toyota or Nissan. Hard to say this isn’t a change.

    The point is, the union owns nothing and was in a position to go down with the ship. They simply lose their jobs if GM goes under. They had no legal or financial ownership of the company. Even under these circumstances, they would not yield to reasonable concessions to try and keep GM afloat. At that point they should have been willing to take a 25% cut in pay to save their jobs.

    Somehow, after the govt did its magic, the unions actually own about 39% of the company. Sure they gave up some 10B in health care concessions but they got 39%. They were owed nothing.

    The bond holders, on the other hand, who normally and legally are first in line at the bankruptcy table were passed over. These bond holders are typically Americans living on a pension.

    This is a clear case of the Govt taking care of the Unions who help elect them at the expense of the non-union worker.


  100. 100
    kdawg

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    DonC: At the end of the day GM has screwed up by limiting production. It has walked back from the promised 60,000 to a joke of 10,000.

    Originally it was 10,000 the first year and 60,000 for the next year. This changed to 30,000 the second year, but then was upped to 45,000. I dont understand your “walked back” “joke” comment.


  101. 101
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    DonC: Had GM had better management the EV1 would have turned out to be the greatest success in GM history. But GM management sucked

    So your GM managment. You would have done what with the small limited range two seat EV1.

    1. Mass produced the EV1 and tried to sell them for a small profit at $50K per car and hope for the best. (knowing you will be replacing every ones 900 Lb battery on 3-5 year intervals).

    2. Mass produced the EV1 and sold them at a loss for the good of the world. (add to the loss the battery replacement).

    3. Changed your business type and produced them in small numbers just to keep them afloat and sold them for what this type of production would cost you ($80 to 100K per car). Maybe they could sell 500 per year. That would be good use of a factory.

    If any of these options, 1, 2, or 3 make sense, then where in the world were the other car makers. Especially the Europeans where electrics make more sense. Were they too stupid to make an EV1 or did they too decide that it was not quite time for electrics.


  102. 102
    firehawk72

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    JUST SOME INFO with a link http://www.leaseguide.com/lease03.htm

    Leasing is kind of complicated…really. I have leased many cars. I enjoy driving a new car every two or three years. We usually lease the wife’s car. Don’t tear this thread apart; just go back to my first sentence and make sure you read the link for those of you that are not lease savy. And I have to make a quick comment about Dave Ramsey. I think he is a great guy that in general gives good advice, but not all leases are fleeces. One of His biggest reason for not leasing is the interest rates are terrible. Not true, I have leased cars for less than 1% interest rate. Where most people really get screwed on the lease is they do not negotiate the purchase price as if they would if they are buying nor do they know the money factor (interest rate) I can and have leased two cars over six years for less than what it would take to pay for one of equal value. Of course I have not built any equity, but then again most six year old cars are generally not worth too much either. With leasing you don’t pay for the whole car and many car companies HEAVILY subsidized the lease with super low interest rates and high residual values. These were very good deals for those who understand leases. In general most of these fantastic leases were lost after the financial crisis and those banks got burned…uh, I mean us tax payers ;-)
    Leases can be very attractive IF you understand the ins and outs of leasing and the pros and cons of it. By the way, we usually only drive around 15k miles a year.
    Biggest draws of leasing for me were.
    Always under warranty
    Always had the newest car
    Always had the newest safety equipment
    Only paid for the part I used
    Super low payments as opposed to buying, again, I could lease two cars over three years for less than purchasing just the one
    Never had to worry about resale value…remember when gas it 4 bucks a gallon, we had leased a Honda Pilot

    But beware, I know of many people who did get fleeced leasing, but it doesn’t have to be that way nor should it. Do your homework before you purchase or lease any vehicle.

    Hawk


  103. 103
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    Jul 31st, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    statik: This lease deal unfortunately paints a bad picture of the future about pricing in the short term. GM is putting a really high (relatively speaking) residual on this car, somewhere in the 55-60% range, around $25,000 depending on your options.

    I don’t think we know this. My guess is that in order to hit these numbers the dealers have to more or less reduce the MSRP to $39K and GM kicks in $2K or so, thereby reducing the cap cost to $37K. Usually when the lease deal is better than an outright purchase it’s the result of a program that reduces the cap price not one that raises the residual to unrealistic levels. I think that’s what we’re seeing here, if in fact we actually see the touted lease rate in practice. My guess is that we’ll see the leases when the dealers don’t think they can sell at MSRP or above.

    PS: On an unrelated topic of long standing interest, Mitsubishi is now saying the I-Miev in NA has a range of 40 – 75 miles. They’re going to upgrade the battery for NA.


  104. 104
    DonC

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    nuclearboy: So your GM managment. You would have done what with the small limited range two seat EV1.
    1. Mass produced the EV1 and tried to sell them for a small profit at $50K per car and hope for the best. (knowing you will be replacing every ones 900 Lb battery on 3-5 year intervals).
    2. Mass produced the EV1 and sold them at a loss for the good of the world. (add to the loss the battery replacement).

    You’re just making up numbers. The next gen lower cost batteries, weighing less and taking less space, and with a range of over 100 miles had already been delivered to GM when it cancelled the program. And if GM had mass produced the cars it wouldn’t have had to sell them for $50K — that’s the magic of mass production — more volume means lower costs per copy. No doubt GM would have lost money for years, just as Toyota did with its hybrid program, but at the end of the day they would have owned the hybrid/EV market and have been light years ahead of the competition.

    Plus you have to compare this to what GM management actually did — the opportunity cost of not proceeding with the EV1. So what did it do with all the free cash it saved by not investing in EVs? Well it lost $82B in four years chasing minivans and Hummers and generally screwing up. So please, don’t start in with the song and dance that losing money on the EV1 would have been an issue. The money lost on the EV1 wouldn’t have been a rounding error in what GM managed to lose everywhere else, and, unlike all the losing bets GM management actually made, the EV1 would have had a future payoff. As you can see from this forum.

    What’s funny is that I know more people who want an updated EV1 than want a Volt and a Leaf combined. People loved that car. Or put differently, now many Roadsters do you think Tesla could sell at $50K. I’m thinking more Volts than GM is planning on making.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    Tim Hart: Having never leased a vehicle before, there are some questions I have. First of all, what is the price if you want to buy at the end of the lease? If its around 25,000 then leasing would be not a bad idea. But from the discussion so far it sounds as if you wouldn’t qualify for the 7500 rebate if you bought the car at the end of the lease. Is that right? If that is the case and somehow GM could work it so the rebate could be deducted at the time of purchase, then buying is a much better way to go if you plan on keeping the car.  (Quote)

    GM has not released any specific details of the lease (implied interest factor, residual value, etc), only the basic terms. It is likely that the residual value will be around $25,000. It is true that GM is getting the $7,500 rebate, but you as the consumer are getting the benefit. That rebate is immediately going toward reducing the capitalized cost of the VOLT into the lease…. or you can look at it as covering the first $7,500 of depreciation. Either way, there is no difference between the effect of the $7,500 rebate on the consumer between lease or purchase.


  106. 106
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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    Steve F: Really need to find out how much the lease would be for 15,000 miles per year. Expect that is what most drivers would want. Or at least that is what I would need. The other thing about a lease is that the $350 lease is assuming that your is almost perfect. If you do not have very high number they will really get you. Any one know what credit score assumption that $350 per month is based on?  (Quote)

    Changing from 12,000 miles per year to 15,000 miles per year on any vehicle for a 36 month lease equates to about $30 per month. Typically, the other thing that changes is the lease end charge for each mile over. Most 12,000 mi/yr leases have a .20 or .25 cent charge per mile over for the term; while most 15,000 mi/yr leases have a .15 or .18 cent charge per mile over.

    If you drive more than 15,000 mi/yr, you can write in extra miles upfront at a cost of typically .12 cents per mile. So the BEST way to enter a lease is to be honest with how you will drive the vehicle. Yes, higher mileage drivers will pay more per month – but they will pay less overall if they calculate the miles into the lease upfront.


  107. 107
    doggydogworld

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    DonC: The union traded contractual payments for equity.

    It was a combination of new bonds and new equity. The real problem is not the nature of their recovery, but the amount. The UAW’s VEBA was by law parri passu (equal standing) with bondholders but the UAW recovered 85-90% of what was owed while bondholders got 10%. It was the most egregiously unequal treatment I’ve seen in bankruptcy. Of course in real bankruptcies the various parties negotiate and/or fight it out in court under the rule of law, the executive branch does not step in and dictate the result.

    What’s even more amazing is the unions gave no concessions on pay or work rules. Actually, that’s not true: they gave up their “Easter Monday” holiday for the next two years. In a non-orchestrated bankruptcy this contract would have been renegotiated or simply rejected. This is the main reason Honda and Toyota supported the bailout: they know they can beat GM and Chrysler as long as those union contracts are in place. A new GM with rewritten or ripped-up labor contracts was their worst nightmare.

    By the way, the politicians make a big deal about GM “emerging from bankruptcy in three months, which our critics said couldn’t be done!” But GM did not emerge from Chapter 11. The case is ongoing. The stock is even still trading (MTLQQ.PK). What happened was the US Government arranged a sham “sale” (Section 363) of the property, trademarks and other operating assets to itself and the UAW.

    Bailout defenders say if not for the government’s actions GM and Chrysler would have liquidated, triggering global depression. There is no way to know what would have happened. Industry after industry has restructured under Chapter 11 without shutting down. But investors will not commit new cash unless wages and work rules are brought in line with reality. That’s why the Obama administration had to take over the process, it was the only way to save the UAW.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    JEC: I call first ride!
    I will even tip an extra $20.

    Save your $40. Just buy a Volt directly from him. If you’re okay with cloth seats it’s fairly reasonable.

    =D-Volt


  109. 109
    LeoK

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:24 pm)

    no comment: has anyone actually placed an order for a volt? when i called the gm customer service line, they say that are able to take orders. i am beginning to suspect that dealers are actually not taking orders but are instead trying to compile customer lists that they can then use to spark bidding wars.  (Quote)

    Dealers who have stayed up-to-date on the development of the VOLT are taking orders. It is also likely that there are many stores, and lots of salespeople, who are just hearing about the VOLT for the first time (if you can believe it…). I simply suggest you keep looking until you find a dealer who is informed – they are out there!


  110. 110
    statik

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    Streetlight: Statik: Is that pix Frasier vs Ali, Rd.1 – 1970… ?!  (Quote)

    Indeed it is. Good eye.


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:33 pm)

    statik: GM is putting a really high (relatively speaking) residual on this car, somewhere in the 55-60% range, around $25,000 depending on your options. If GM lowers the price and even slightly improves the Volt in the short term, every car they sell now as a lease goes underwater. So (as a example) if GM leases 50,000 copies, then lowers the cost in 2014 to $35,000 and/or improves the car, customers could effectively buy the car, which is better than the original for $27,500, brand new, out the door, full warranty, etc. What does that do to 2011, 2012, 2013 Volts they have sold and are being returned? It puts them to the negative, uh-oh. So if Volt demand is not increasing at a terrific rate, but has flattened out, GM is in a catch 22 at that point. Long story short, this lease indicates the MSRP of the Volt will not be coming down soon, unless it comes down almost immediately before they sell too many cars. (imo)…sorry about the longest comment ever  (Quote)

    Statik – great post…. although I believe leasing is a SMART move for any new technology as a simple hedge against a short-term breakthrough…. say a 10 fold improvement in battery capacity or weight or both.

    But on to my comment…. Remember that the $7,500 tax credit won’t last forever. So, eventually, when GM naturally does lower the pricing based on production volume, cost improvements, etc, these early VOLTS coming off lease will still be valued fairly vs. a new, less expensive model without benefit of the early tax break.

    PLUS, the first year models are in VERY limited numbers …. forever there will only be about 10,000 first year VOLT’s, and if they lease 65% of them, then GM has to worry about the value of 6,500 cars …. and I guarantee a good percentage of those customers will execute their lease end purchase option, leaving GM with a very small number of off-lease vehicles they need to worry about marketing.


  112. 112
    doggydogworld

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    Carmakers can make leasing a better deal than buying via three methods:

    1. Sell the car to the leasing company cheaper than to the public (e.g. DonC’s 39k vs. 41k)

    2. Charge a lower interest rate via leasing than buying

    3. Embed an unrealistically high residual into the lease

    There is no financial incentive for a carmaker to do 1 or 2. There can be a financial incentive for 3 as the carmaker can report fake profits which don’t get reversed until the leases end. GM might also have a non-financial reason to favor leasing over buying, such as wishing to keep Gen I cars close to their rollout cities.


  113. 113
    statik

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    DonC: PS: On an unrelated topic of long standing interest, Mitsubishi is now saying the I-Miev in NA has a range of 40 – 75 miles. They’re going to upgrade the battery for NA.  (Quote)

    It is no secret, the i-MiEV was my first love on the ‘next generation’ of EVs…the LEAF has pretty much taken this car’s market. I know I’m ‘not around’ like I used to be, but on a personal level, but I will finally figure out what ‘my range’ will be in a i-MiEV, I have a day scheduled with one late this month. I’ll let you know how it goes/what I get.

    And really I think that is what it is going to take (extended test drives) for anyone/everyone to be confident in the elctric range of any vehicle Volt, LEAF, i-MiEV…whatever.

    Dunno about the ‘upgrade’ Mitsu still has the 16 kWh on the build sheet roll out for 2012MY in fall of 2011. I’ve not seen confirmation on anything else yet. As always, lots of hyperbole in the EV industry.

    /cheers


  114. 114
    Streetlight

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    Hi Statik #110 I just checked Google. Its 1971. Off topic:

    I watched the fight that night – at a CC TV theater in San Jose, Cal. (Then I lived near San Jose) Imagine a zoo turned into a theater.

    The fight being absolutely brutal. Which is how I guessed it might have been early in the fight. That in fact would be near the end of Ali’s incredibly fast swing. Too fast for the TV cameras, you’d hear the leather landing. (Checking my recollection on Wikipedia, both men ended up in the hospital after Frasier’s victory.) All 40 years ago.


  115. 115
    Dave K.

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (4:11 pm)

    Satement from the Whitehouse:

    “General Motors has an extremely competent management, supervised closely by a board of directors. We are confident that they are carefully thinking through what the price of the Volt ought to be, as much as they are with the price of the Cruze or the Cadillac CTS would be. And exactly that sort of decision is exactly what we have resisted the temptation to do.”

    Ron Bloom, senior advisor to the treasury secretary for automobiles

    =D-Volt

    follow-up: Don’t expect the government to step in and slash the price on the Volt. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent


  116. 116
    statik

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    Streetlight: Hi Statik #110 I just checked Google. Its 1971. Off topic:I watched the fight that night – at a CC TV theater in San Jose, Cal. (Then I lived near San Jose) Imagine a zoo turned into a theater.The fight being absolutely brutal. Which is how I guessed it might have been early in the fight. That in fact would be near the end of Ali’s incredibly fast swing. Too fast for the TV cameras, you’d hear the leather landing. (Checking my recollection on Wikipedia, both men ended up in the hospital after Frasier’s victory.) All 40 years ago.  (Quote)

    Curse google for their accuracy. Right match-just a year off, heeh. (RD1@MGS/fight of the century)


  117. 117
    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (4:23 pm)

    Streetlight: All 40 years ago.

    Seems like yesterday. It’d be nice if we were all around 40 years from now to see what became of the Volt! (I had to work hard to not be OT)(g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Dave K.

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (4:27 pm)

    “…acted like a laxative.”

    ali.bmp

    =D-Volt


  119. 119
    Ken Grubb

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:10 pm)

    Oy. Enough of these Leaf versus Volt comparisons already. One is an EV and the other is an EREV. Different vehicles for different market niches. Got my eye on the Leaf as my next purchase. If the Voltec powered MPV5 is built, I’ve got my eye on it as a replacement for my Saturn Relay.

    I for one have been very critical of many GM exec decisions in the past, and killing the EV1 was not the least among them.

    In the words of Larry Burns, “If we could turn back the hands of time … we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier.” However, we can’t so we don’t.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ev1#Reaction

    Now, is the Volt simply CAFE credit to sell a bunch of Tahoes and Escalades? Only time will tell.

    The whole leased versus sold issue does cause me to wonder whether leased vehicles count towards a car makers CAFE numbers for a model year, and if so are they counted differently?


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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    Fourth most searched item on yahoo today: electric cars

    Bad publicity is still publicity.

    =D-Volt


  121. 121
    baltimore17

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    Can’t recall an endless discussion of a topic that had me more wishing for an off-topic digression to paint colors and the sound of the pedestrian alert chirp. :-)


  122. 122
    stuart22

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    DonC:
    You’re just making up numbers. The next gen lower cost batteries, weighing less and taking less space, and with a range of over 100 miles had already been delivered to GM when it cancelled the program. And if GM had mass produced the cars it wouldn’t have had to sell them for $50K — that’s the magic of mass production — more volume means lower costs per copy. No doubt GM would have lost money for years, just as Toyota did with its hybrid program, but at the end of the day they would have owned the hybrid/EV market and have been light years ahead of the competition.
    Plus you have to compare this to what GM management actually did — the opportunity cost of not proceeding with the EV1. So what did it do with all the free cash it saved by not investing in EVs? Well it lost $82B in four years chasing minivans and Hummers and generally screwing up. So please, don’t start in with the song and dance that losing money on the EV1 would have been an issue. The money lost on the EV1 wouldn’t have been a rounding error in what GM managed to lose everywhere else, and, unlike all the losing bets GM management actually made, the EV1 would have had a future payoff. As you can see from this forum.What’s funny is that I know more people who want an updated EV1 than want a Volt and a Leaf combined. People loved that car. Or put differently, now many Roadsters do you think Tesla could sell at $50K. I’m thinking more Volts than GM is planning on making.  

    As difficult a task as it is to carry on a discussion with someone wrapped up in fantasy, I’ve nothing better to do now, so I’ll give it a go.

    The only people I know who dream about having an EV1 are far left romantics who divide the world up into two groups – victims and perpetrators – and who’ve watched the movie and saw fit to fabricate a picture compatible with their good and evil point of view. There’s many people like this who to this very day are holding onto this romanticized picture of the poor EV1 – as if it had skin and bones – being crushed (to death) by the Grand Satan General Motors. DonC, that you say you know many people still dreaming about having an EV1 makes me wonder if you are one of these romantics with their fantasized pictures of how things should be. The only people I know who still dream about EV1s are my far left wing cousins – dear as they are to me, they will never let go of their hatred of GM. No matter that the company has been overhauled, is leaner and with more purpose than they’ve had since I can remember…

    Anyhoo…. it’s time to let go of the EV1. Beyond all the EV fanatics, it wasn’t going anywhere for GM despite your feelings otherwise. The EV1 had the same mass market killing issues today’s BEVs have – poor range, glacially long recharging time.

    Mind you all, I want electric cars to find market success as much as anyone. But one has to look beyond themselves and accept the fact that the average person does not have the same level of interest or acceptance of electric cars and the lifestyle changes they would require. That’s why I like the Volt – it minimizes those required lifestyle changes. And that is why I am skeptical about the long term success of the LEAF and other expensive BEVs – not because I wouldn’t own one (I would) but because I respect the fact that no mass produced electric vehicle has ever found mass market success. So – if not before, why is now different? Because Carlos Ghosn says so? Upon what information is he basing his overly (IMO) optimistic production numbers of the LEAF? Could he just be one of a number of flaky types in this frontier age of the electric motor car? I think he is.

    It will be so interesting to see where things are one year from today. Who will be still in the game; who will be not; what new players there will be; what new technology will show up. My take is that the field will be more crowded, GM will occupy a prominent place; Nissan will be in the dim background. Just my opinionated 2¢.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    stuart22: It will be so interesting to see where things are one year from today.

    I’ll meet you under the US flag in Grand Central Station and we”ll reminisce/compare notes (I’ll be the guy with my 200K miles JEEP keyfob). Liked your post, and figure that I’m about mid-way between you and DonC, on the spectrum. Probably a smidge toward your end…
    After the Volt price announcement, I’ve sworn off predictions for a while (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  124. 124
    George S. Bower

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:44 pm)

    Thanks Statik,
    Tonight I will rewatch my Mohamad Ali DVD of his best fights for the 20th time.


  125. 125
    nasaman

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (5:54 pm)

    baltimore17, post #121: Can’t recall an endless discussion of a topic that had me more wishing for an off-topic digression to paint colors and the sound of the pedestrian alert chirp.   

    I’ll accommodate you.

    First, regarding paint colors for new hi-tech cars (in this case, the LEAF) here’s what statik says about it [and I fully agree with him]:
    http://nissan-leaf.net/2010/06/15/leaf-demographic-old-and-color-blind/

    Second, regarding the value of pedestrian alert noises [I fully agree with this data, as well]:
    http://bit.ly/cF0zOQ

    Enjoy yourself! And statik, forgive me —I hope I DON’T hijack your excellent thread with these two OT issues, although I find both very enlightening reading!


  126. 126
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (6:09 pm)

    How about this for a ‘teaser’ poster….?

    poster1small.jpg


  127. 127
    nasaman

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How about this for a ‘teaser’ poster….?  

    I LOVE IT, CORVETTEGUY!!!

    /You make me proud to be “part Californian”! :) :) :)


  128. 128
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (6:37 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: How about this for a ‘teaser’ poster….?  

    What are you doing playing on the internet. Get to work and finish that pricing sheet!!


  129. 129
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (6:50 pm)

    2 minutes ago: Car Buyers Charged Up For Chevy Volt

    CS MPG 45.5?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38494111

    =D-Volt


  130. 130
    Zim Wolfe

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    Lease Anxiety but not range anxiety. Hmmmm.

    I think I will just watch and see what the Europeans and Hyundai bring to the table in 2012 an become an educated consumer.


  131. 131
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:06 pm)

    Dave K.: 2 minutes ago: Car Buyers Charged Up For Chevy Volt
    CS MPG 45.5?http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38494111=D-Volt  

    Good teaser.

    410/7=58.5

    Why aren’t you in the pool??

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4177


  132. 132
    Loboc

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:06 pm)

    Uncle Rollo: By then, the car should be leaps and bounds better. That is the time to buy.

    The best time to buy is after somebody else takes the first three years of depreciation. :)

    It is very uncertain that the Volt will hold value any better than any other Chevy. I think a three-year-old Volt will be a great deal. Especially with the transferable battery warranty.


  133. 133
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:10 pm)

    Back to the photo:

    It’s a wild swing by Joe.

    Ali was really good at moving his head (and most of his body) straight back so fast nobody could touch him.


  134. 134
    kent beuchert

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:13 pm)

    Prices can only be considered valid when competition exists. Right now, the Volt has no competition, regardless of the presence of the very different Leaf. Whn several other automakes produce their version of the Volt, THEN we will get a good idea of what a vehicle of this type will
    really cost to build and market. The $7500 government welfare being doled out to the
    generally well-heeled Volt buyers, aside from being totally outrageous, is obviously influencing pricing decisions being made by GM. The first Volt driver I see will have to answer my question of
    why he/she needs and deserves my tax dollars to own a car. I may offer them a buck to buy a cup of coffee, although I’m sure it won’t pay for much at the Starbuck ripoff cafes where they
    normally go.


  135. 135
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    George S. Bower: Good teaser.
    410/7=58.5
    Why aren’t you in the pool??

    The Volt fuel tank was speculated to be 8.6 gallons during the last 8-10 months of reports. The latest is that it is 9 gallons.

    When the front air dam was added during MPG testing. Around the time the 230 number was broadcast. It appeared GM engineers were getting desperate for any % gain possible. Why add a snow plow front dam when you’re getting over 40 MPG? If GM knew they had a CS over 40. Why not mention it as a value added feature of the car. Rather than take the keel hauling of this last week? I hope this all adds up. Time will tell.

    =D-Volt


  136. 136
    JeffB

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    Tagamet:
    You’ll gain no credibility here by calling Statik an idiot (lol). The opinion you relate speaks to the *popularity* of leases with your customers, but it should be obvious that just because something is popular, does not validate it as a good idea.
    I have ZERO experience with leases. So help me understand why Dave Ramsey (IMHO a great source of fiscal advice) refers to car leases as “Fleeces”?Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Warning this could be a little boring…like preparing your tax return.

    Sounds like we can agree on a few things :) IMHO…a personal new car is a luxury…even if your reasons are to save the Earth and reduce dependence on a commodity that can create wars. Other ways exist to act on these 2 noble causes and provide your transportation needs/wants (think pre-owned).

    If someone can afford to buy (or lease) their new personal vehicle while agreeing that it is a luxury…great! You worked hard for your money (or a relative did)…enjoy it. Otherwise, it is financially irresponsible. And watch out for those lease terms that do not seem important at purchase time. I suggest taking the lease agreement home for some bedtime reading before signing it. Of course, the Volt is so HOT…you might have a hard time negotiating a few days to study the lease agreement before purchase.


  137. 137
    LRGVProVolt

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:34 pm)

    #55 stuart22: And another thing.It’s not the Volt the LEAF should worry about.It’s the Ford Focus EV which debuts a few months after the LEAF.The Volt is in a class by itself.The Focus EV however matches up directly with the LEAF, and betters it in important areas such as price, battery management and styling.http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articles/ford-focus-ev-nissan-leaf-best-electric-car/  

    Thanks for the link, Stuart.

    It’s interesting that the Focus EV will charge overnight in 6 to 8 hours using 220V; the same amount of time the Volt charges using only 120V. Ford is using lithium-Ion cells from LG Chem just like the Volt. I would agree with you that the Ford Focus EV will more likely be the competition for the Leaf, their being of the same category overall. And it is good news that the Focus EV will be on the market about one month after the Leaf. Yet one more American made EV for us to consider buying.

    I have added a bookmark for this site for future reference. Thanks again.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  138. 138
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:43 pm)

    Dave K.:
    The Volt fuel tank was speculated to be 8.6 gallons during the last 8-10 months of reports. The latest is that it is 9 gallons.
    When the front air dam was added during MPG testing. Around the time the 230 number was broadcast. It appeared GM engineers were getting desperate for any % gain possible. Why add a snow plow front dam when you’re getting over 40 MPG? If GM knew they had a CS over 40. Why not mention it as a value added feature of the car. Rather than take the keel hauling of this last week?I hope this all adds up. Time will tell.=D-Volt  

    Dave,
    Who knows!!!
    Enter the pool. You could be regarded a genius if you win.


  139. 139
    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:48 pm)

    #134 kent beuchert: The first Volt driver I see will have to answer my question of
    why he/she needs and deserves my tax dollars to own a car.

    Answer to your question: “There are 200,000 of each model eligible for the $7500 federal rebate.” It won’t be just the very rice who will benefit from it.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  140. 140
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    Please let me simplify this whole thread.

    If the car will hold it’s value, you are ALWAYS ahead by purchasing instead of leasing. No matter what the economic climate you will pay money to borrow money and when you lease you borrow money ie you pay A FINANCING CHARGE.

    My guess is that the Gen1 Volts will hold their value.

    Gen2 will see an uncooled pack like the leaf and other mods that will lower the production cost of the car.

    Buy
    Don’t Lease

    PS- my guess is the Gen1 packs will go 200,000 miles. Geez, it’s overkill in the engineering department.


  141. 141
    LauraM

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:53 pm)

    JEC: We are not N. Korea or Japan. We can find ways to compete AND win.

    Really? Well, when you figure out how, please be sure to let someone know. Because right now, the US isn’t doing so well. In fact, we haven’t been doing well for the past 20 to 30 year.

    Unless, of course, you think borrowing and spending is a healthy substitute for actually earning money…We are really good at that. And it does make the economy look better in the short run. However, I don’t think that it’s particularly sustainable.


  142. 142
    LRGVProVolt

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (7:57 pm)

    #129 Dave K.: 2 minutes ago: Car Buyers Charged Up For Chevy Volt
    CS MPG 45.5?http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38494111=D-Volt  

    “It has this range-extender, gas-powered internal combustion motor that gives it an extraordinary range of 450 miles,” That’s new information and coming out of a dealer more likely to be good information. Now the question is what is the size of the tank: if it’s six, 410/6 or if its nine, 410/9. At any rate, either will give us good CS mpg.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  143. 143
    neutron

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:01 pm)

    LauraM:
    Really?Well, when you figure out how, please be sure to let someone know. Because right now, the US isn’t doing so well.In fact, we haven’t been doing well for the past 20 to 30 year.Unless, of course, you think borrowing and spending is a healthy substitute for actually earning money…We are really good at that.And it does make the economy look better in the short run. However, I don’t think that it’s particularly sustainable.  

    I agree with your comments. Producing items here with our workers will produce wealth for THIS COUNTRY. We need FREE TRADE Laws that keep the rules fair and a level “playing field” for all.


  144. 144
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    George S. Bower: Dave,
    Who knows!!!
    Enter the pool. You could be regarded a genius if you win.

    Viscous determination, yes. Genius, no.

    If the 2011 Volt were any other low production run 4 wheeler with an injected engine I would agree that it will hold it’s value. Being that the Volt is more of a battery experiment attached to a computer makes one wonder. Look at Pentium 4 computers ($200). Or car GPS ($79). Even the PSP and RASR phones. By 2015 the Volt will be an interesting piece of technology from 4 years ago. If the Volt CS really is 45. GM had better rethink the 2 mode Buick hybrid idea.

    =D-Volt


  145. 145
    LauraM

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:08 pm)

    statik: If GM lowers the price and even slightly improves the Volt in the short term, every car they sell now as a lease goes underwater. So (as a example) if GM leases 50,000 copies, then lowers the cost in 2014 to $35,000 and/or improves the car, customers could effectively buy the car, which is better than the original for $27,500, brand new, out the door, full warranty, etc.

    What does that do to 2011, 2012, 2013 Volts they have sold and are being returned? It puts them to the negative, uh-oh. So if Volt demand is not increasing at a terrific rate, but has flattened out, GM is in a catch 22 at that point.

    Long story short, this lease indicates the MSRP of the Volt will not be coming down soon, unless it comes down almost immediately before they sell too many cars. (imo)

    I think GM is deliberately overestimating the residual value of the Volt in order to give people who lease a discount. Basically, instead of charging a premium (which is normal for leases), they’re giving a discount. It’s the Volt’s version of 0% financing. That doesn’t mean they’re taking a loss on the overall car. It just means that they’re not getting as much margin as they are on the sales.

    Basically, the leases are limited to people who live in one of the launch areas. So more of the people buying the Volts will have them serviced by a trained dealer. They will also be close enough to go to those dealers to have them serviced if GM needs to fix a bug after the launch. The other advantage (to GM), of a lease, is that mileage is limited. Fewer miles, fewer problems. Also, less driving, less wear and tear on the battery.

    So while they’ll take a “loss” on the residual values, I think it’s worth it to them. (Although this might be why they’re limiting the initial roll-out.) And I don’t think it will stop them from coming out with a cheaper, better version as soon as possible.


  146. 146
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    Dave K.:
    Viscous determination, yes. Genius, no.
    If the 2011 Volt were any other low production run 4 wheeler with an injected engine I would agree that it will hold it’s value. Being that the Volt is more of a battery experiment attached to a computer makes one wonder. Look at Pentium 4 computers ($200). Or car GPS ($79). Even the PSP and RASR phones. By 2015 the Volt will be an interesting piece of technology from 4 years ago. If the Volt CS really is 45. GM had better rethink the 2 mode Buick hybrid idea.=D-Volt  

    It’s a poker game. Who knows who will be right.

    Or—

    is it chess Mr. Spock???


  147. 147
    no comment

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:35 pm)

    could someone who actually has ordered a volt comment on how the transaction actually works? what was the amount of the deposit? my impression is that gm is distributing volt automobiles with limited allocations to dealers. did the dealer give a definite/estimated delivery date or did you get put on a “wait list”? for example, the dealer to whom i spoke said that they were getting 3 volt automobiles (and therefore would have only 2 to sell).

    LeoK:
    Dealers who have stayed up-to-date on the development of the VOLT are taking orders.It is also likely that there are many stores, and lots of salespeople, who are just hearing about the VOLT for the first time (if you can believe it…).I simply suggest you keep looking until you find a dealer who is informed – they are out there!  


  148. 148
    neutron

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    Dave K.:
    Viscous determination, yes. Genius, no.
    If the 2011 Volt were any other low production run 4 wheeler with an injected engine I would agree that it will hold it’s value. Being that the Volt is more of a battery experiment attached to a computer makes one wonder. Look at Pentium 4 computers ($200). Or car GPS ($79). Even the PSP and RASR phones. By 2015 the Volt will be an interesting piece of technology from 4 years ago. If the Volt CS really is 45. GM had better rethink the 2 mode Buick hybrid idea.=D-Volt  

    Volt tech, just like computer tech is moving at a very fast speed.

    But there were many older Macs, HPs and IBMs that were in the market for a LOOOONG time doing their calculations very well even as new computers exploded on the market.

    Granted now days many computers are replaced on a 3 to 5 year cycle……. it is just like many cars.

    As far as the VOLT holding its value in the fast tech electric car market is THAT IS THE QUESTION.

    SO… I have come to the conclusion the LEASE idea may be the best option for this first generation car. One might pay a couple of bucks more now but there are many options available later to buy OR turn it in and by the next better electric car.
    Just my 2 cents :+}


  149. 149
    Tagamet

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:09 pm)

    LauraM: …Basically, the leases are limited to people who live in one of the launch areas. So more of the people buying the Volts will have them serviced by a trained dealer. They will also be close enough to go to those dealers to have them serviced if GM needs to fix a bug after the launch. The other advantage (to GM), of a lease, is that mileage is limited. Fewer miles, fewer problems. Also, less driving, less wear and tear on the battery….

    Ordinarily, I think you’d be correct, but this group (eager for the Volt types) has been anything but ordinary. We’re EXTRAordinary (on SO many levels) (g). It’s my understanding that the dealers who have agreed to carry the Volt will ALL be trained as service shops, so my local PA dealers should be able to service my MD leased Volt, no? I don’t think that the 3 hour drive to pick up and eventually drop off the Volt would be *the* deal breaker (keep me from leasing). Then again, the walk home would really suck.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  150. 150
    neutron

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Thanks for the link, Stuart.
    It’s interesting that the Focus EV will charge overnight in 6 to 8 hours using 220V; the same amount of time the Volt charges using only 120V. Ford is using lithium-Ion cells from LG Chem just like the Volt. I would agree with you that the Ford Focus EV will more likely be the competition for the Leaf, their being of the same category overall. And it is good news that the Focus EV will be on the market about one month after the Leaf. Yet one more American made EV for us to consider buying.I have added a bookmark for this site for future reference. Thanks again.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    FORD has been in a roll.. They are building top quality cars.. Making a profit while still having large debt. They announced no more premium for their hybrid models and they are in track, as you noted, to come out with an all electric FOCUS and other electric vehicles next year.

    If the FOCUS is of the same caliber as their other offerings you are very correct these cars will not only be competition for the LEAF but will also have people think about other cars looking. AND… if they just happen slip in some kind of range extension options…. (Who knows they may come up with a Fusion plugin Hybrid) …. well…. it will be a whole new game!!!


  151. 151
    Dave K.

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    no comment: could someone who actually has ordered a volt comment on how the transaction actually works?

    It’s my understanding that deposits taken before 07/26/10 earn the first Volts to be delivered. The delivery date stated as around the end of December. All others, people giving address without payment, are on a dealer list. These people will be contacted by the dearlership manager at a future date (unknown). One by one these people may: decline-lease-or buy a Volt. All people on the waiting list have given details of color choice and options. The local dealership wants MSRP with the standard $750 delivery.

    I do not know what my response will be when called. My details are: red metallic exterior with black leather, heated seats, and black control panel. Wife is against the idea of buying an expensive Chevy. But she is telling her friends that I am getting a new car. So, we’ll see.

    After the first 2 cars are delivered in December/January. More Volts will be coming in month by month. The local dealerships are getting about 21 total (8 + 13). I feel this number may go higher as demand is realized. I am number 8 so at best I’m looking at 4/2011. If this is the case, may wait until the 2012′s arrive in greater number. Hope to get a confirmation on CS before the big phone call happens. This is a huge decision.

    Call the Chevy dealer with your information. Doesn’t cost anything to get on the list. Deposits get the first Volts.

    =D-Volt


  152. 152
    LRGVProVolt

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:21 pm)

    #107 doggydogworld: Bailout defenders say if not for the government’s actions GM and Chrysler would have liquidated, triggering global depression. There is no way to know what would have happened. Industry after industry has restructured under Chapter 11 without shutting down. But investors will not commit new cash unless wages and work rules are brought in line with reality. That’s why the Obama administration had to take over the process, it was the only way to save the UAW.

    If GM and Chrysler were left to fend on their own, they would have gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy since no one in the private sector would have been able to come up with the capitol to restructure them under Chapter 11. The only one able to bring a Chapter 11 restructuring was the government.

    As for wages and work process, the biggest problem in competitiveness of the Big Three vs foreign owned U.S. manufacturing plants was the Job Bank which the UAW gave up around February of 2009.

    In addition, you make it sound like the Obama administration had only one purpose in mind> If you would take time to research, you would realize that the Obama administration put together a panel of knowledgeable people from a broad spectrum including the labor union, banking, other large industries having been “bailed out’, educational institutions, and former economic advisers to government. Anyone reviewing the history of GM’s bankruptcy will realize that it was not as one sided as you make it out to be. The Obama Administration objectives were to save one of the last vestiges of manufacturing in the United, save as many individual’s jobs (est. 3 million) as possible, enable GM to complete its plan to make electric vehicles (whose primary benefit was reduction of foreign petroleum consumption), and begin the transition to a green economy; shall I go on.

    The bankruptcy process is not over but we can already see it is highly likely to have been a worthwhile investment by our government. Ten years from now economists will be able to tell us the true value of the “bail-out”. When they can tabulate all of the financial factors and tell us have many $billions were generated through wages earned and individual income taxes paid, sales of automobiles and corporate income taxes paid from a profitable American automotive industry, and how much of that can be attributed to an electric economy. It will be the Electric Vehicle that is recognized for the transition to electricity as this nations primary source of energy.

    Strength and Security for America!

    Happy trails to you “til we meet again.


  153. 153
    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:36 pm)

    #150 neutron:
    FORD has been in a roll.. They are building top quality cars.. Making a profit while still having large debt.They announced no more premium for their hybrid models and they are in track, as you noted, to come out with an all electric FOCUS and other electric vehicles next year.If the FOCUS is of the same caliber as their other offerings you are very correct these cars will not only be competition for the LEAF but will also have people think about other cars looking. AND…if they just happen slip in some kind of range extension options…. (Who knows they may come up with a Fusion plugin Hybrid) ….well….it will be a whole new game!!!  

    neutron, I was only responding to an earlier posters link but thanks for giving me credit for bringing it up.

    Ford plans on using economy’s scale with it new global C-car platform.

    “The efficiencies generated by our new global C-car platform will enable us to provide Ford Focus customers with an affordable product offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations.” Ford is planning on a Global C platform for 12 to 14 different vehicles with a volume of 2 million units per year. Such volume, common chassis and many common components, can give Ford improved profit margins and room to price hybrid and electric cars competitively.”

    http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articles/ford-focus-ev-nissan-leaf-best-electric-car/

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  154. 154
    LauraM

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    Tagamet: Ordinarily, I think you’d be correct, but this group (eager for the Volt types) has been anything but ordinary. We’re EXTRAordinary (on SO many levels) (g). It’s my understanding that the dealers who have agreed to carry the Volt will ALL be trained as service shops, so my local PA dealers should be able to service my MD leased Volt, no? I don’t think that the 3 hour drive to pick up and eventually drop off the Volt would be *the* deal breaker (keep me from leasing). Then again, the walk home would really suck.

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    It’s a requirement of the lease. At least, according to the New York Times….

    “People who live outside the areas where it will initially go on sale can buy the vehicle if they travel to a participating dealer, but they will not be allowed to lease it until sales are expanded nationwide by 2012, G.M. said. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/business/28volt.html?scp=3&sq=Volt&st=cse


  155. 155
    Tagamet

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (10:24 pm)

    LauraM:
    It’s a requirement of the lease. At least, according to the New York Times….“People who live outside the areas where it will initially go on sale can buy the vehicle if they travel to a participating dealer, but they will not be allowed to lease it until sales are expanded nationwide by 2012, G.M. said. ”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/business/28volt.html?scp=3&sq=Volt&st=cse  

    Then I wonder why the MD dealership is talking to me about leasing? He faxed me the agreement and when I call, I refer to myself as the guy from PA. I’ll call him again on Monday.
    Sigh, it’s never easy.
    Thanks.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  156. 156
    LauraM

     

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    Tagamet: Then I wonder why the MD dealership is talking to me about leasing? He faxed me the agreement and when I call, I refer to myself as the guy from PA. I’ll call him again on Monday.
    Sigh, it’s never easy.

    Well, the New York Times has been wrong before…But, IMHO, it’s always a good idea to make sure.


  157. 157
    doggydogworld

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    Jul 31st, 2010 (11:23 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: If GM and Chrysler were left to fend on their own, they would have gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy since no one in the private sector would have been able to come up with the capitol to restructure them under Chapter 11.

    Not true. Private capital was available, just not under the terms set by the Obama administration. The main problem was that the UAW contracts were to remain in force, but there were others such as the requirement that Chrysler marry a foreign company with expertise in small engines. This shut any financial buyers out on day one. After setting up an impossible gauntlet for new investors to run, the federal government then said “no investors are available so we have no choice but to take over.”

    LRGVProVolt: the biggest problem in competitiveness of the Big Three vs foreign owned U.S. manufacturing plants was the Job Bank which the UAW gave up around February of 2009.

    The Jobs Bank was a PR disaster but not a meaningful cash drain. The real problem is compensation and work rules. The UAW touts studies comparing their wages (not benefits) to hand-picked Toyota plants but they never mention low-wage plants such as the new Toyota truck plant here in San Antonio. More importantly, the transplants have more flexible work rules which allow for higher net productivity.

    But even if you believe a government takeover was necessary, why was it necessary to give the UAW nearly full recovery on their unsecured claims while giving bondholders 10 cents on the dollar? The law says these claims are to get equal treatment. It was even worse in the case of Chrysler, where the law says the secured bondholders must be paid in full before unsecured claimants such as the UAW VEBA get a single penny. The answer comes from the Obama administration official who said “you don’t need banks and bondholders to build cars”. He’s right. Of course you don’t need UAW members, either, and you darn sure don’t need UAW retirees. So why give bondholders the shaft and the UAW a free pass? Politics. The UAW had just put Obama into office. Had the bankruptcy occurred a year earlier, under Bush, the UAW probably would have gotten screwed to the advantage of bondholders. That wouldn’t have been right, either.


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (12:42 am)

    Tagamet:
    I’ll meet you under the US flag in Grand Central Station and we”ll reminisce/compare notes (I’ll be the guy with my 200K miles JEEP keyfob). Liked your post, and figure that I’m about mid-way between you and DonC, on the spectrum. Probably a smidge toward your end…
    After the Volt price announcement, I’ve sworn off predictions for a while (g).Be well,
    Tagamet  

    </blockquote>

    Or why not drive your Volt out west and I’ll meet you at the north anchorage of the Golden Gate bridge. Let’s invite everyone and have a victory party.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (2:12 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Just answer this question:Is leasing more of a “buying tool” or a “selling tool”? 

    Who created the lease the lessee or the lessor?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (5:03 am)

    LauraM:
    Well, the New York Times has been wrong before…But, IMHO, it’s always a good idea to make sure.  

    Right on both counts. Thanks again for the info though. I’ll report back either way.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (5:11 am)

    stuart22: Tagamet:
    I’ll meet you under the US flag in Grand Central Station and we”ll reminisce/compare notes (I’ll be the guy with my 200K miles JEEP keyfob). Liked your post, and figure that I’m about mid-way between you and DonC, on the spectrum. Probably a smidge toward your end…
    After the Volt price announcement, I’ve sworn off predictions for a while (g).Be well,
    Tagamet

    STUART22: Or why not drive your Volt out west and I’ll meet you at the north anchorage of the Golden Gate bridge. Let’s invite everyone and have a victory party.

    I like your idea a lot better, (and a month ago I’d have thought optimistically enough to be the one who suggested that). It’d still be worth it for me to drive out to the festivities in my Jeep :-) !

    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /a lot can happen in the next 12 months though…


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    nuclearboy

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (6:46 am)

    DonC: You’re just making up numbers. The next gen lower cost batteries, weighing less and taking less space, and with a range of over 100 miles had already been delivered to GM when it cancelled the program. And if GM had mass produced the cars it wouldn’t have had to sell them for $50K —

    I was making up the numbers. The real number bantied about is $80K per EV1. I used the $50K number because I assumed they could bring the cost down some if they mass produced the car. The car still had very unique parts in it and it would not be expected to be cheap.

    The bottom line, there was no real mass demand for an EV at the cost of the EV1 just like there is no real mass demand for the Tesla Roadster right now and there is no real mass demand for the Hydrogen cars that are on the road.

    GM spent a total of $1B on the EV1 project (some of this was given by the Govt of course) and this is not the kind of research that you want your competitors to be able to buy and take apart to reverse engineer. The point I am making is simply to point out that there are reasons to not produce the EV1 and there are further reasons not to let them go into the public at the end of the lease. If GM was not going to produce them, they surely could not let the competitors gain advantage from the technology developed. There are logical reasons for killing the program and destroying the cars. Those who cannot see any of these reasons and simply assume GM is an evil corporate entity are blinded by their ideology.

    The bottom line, EVs are barely practical for 2011 and that is with more advanced technology and electronics than those available to the EV1. Today we have higher gas prices, higher concern for the environment, and better batteries and electronics. To claim EVs were ready for mass production 10 years ago just does not make sense.


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    JEC

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (7:26 am)

    LauraM: JEC: We are not N. Korea or Japan. We can find ways to compete AND win.

    Really? Well, when you figure out how, please be sure to let someone know. Because right now, the US isn’t doing so well. In fact, we haven’t been doing well for the past 20 to 30 year.

    Unless, of course, you think borrowing and spending is a healthy substitute for actually earning money…We are really good at that. And it does make the economy look better in the short run. However, I don’t think that it’s particularly sustainable.

    In your own argument you point out the exact issue that we are experiencing. So, if borrowing and spending is such a bad thing, then borrowing, spending (ie bailouts) would be a bad thing. You cannot spend what you do not have (at least that’s how it works in my household).

    Every time another company gets bailed out, you weaken our core economy, not to mention the psychological affects this has on the consumers, who are the real drivers of this economy.

    You CANNOT have it both ways!

    So, now we see the returns we are getting from bailing out banks, GM, and all the other “To big to fail” companies. If you think this is the right thing to do, that’s fine. But I am not drinking that kool-aid today.

    I am just waiting for all the lobbyists to plead the case of company XYZ, that they need a bailout or they will bring the mighty US economy to its knees. Who do you think is in line next, with their hand stuck out?


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    JEC

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (7:36 am)

    This quote just comes to mind, on a similar theme, but related to the bailout happy govt we have:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ”
    - Thomas Jefferson


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    pjkPA

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Just looked at a sticker price on a foreign car in the mall , the car is smaller than the Volt only two seats nothing of a trunk, Amusement park small, the sticker price is over $61K … and it only has a 4 cyl ingine that gets around 30 mpg and the same basic technology of the Model T FORD? And people think $32K is too much for the most advanced vehicle that gets the most mpg of any vhicle .. has no transmission… 273 lbs of torque electric drive that is far superior than any ICE driveline.


  166. 166
    jonboinAR

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (7:42 am)

    JEC: Highways and Amtrak are funded by our taxpayer dollars. Amtrak is a government owned business, not a private or public owned business. We all know and expect to be paying tax dollars for such things. But, we do not expect to be paying tax dollars to every business that is in trouble. The “To Big To Fail” philosophy is a slippery slope, and in my opinion should just be avoided. While you can argue that letting a business as large as GM fail, would have such a rippling effect on so many supporting business’, that it would have paralyzed our economy, I would argue that GM would not just disappear. It may have divided into a different company, and the short term economical impact may have been difficult, but by bailing out the “To large to fail”, you (we the taxpayers) are now on the hook for EVERY “To large to fail” company out their.To pick and chose which companies the taxpayers support and which they do not is a terrible precedent. This makes small companies expendable, and since the majority of new business grows out of new, smaller entrepreneurs, you put them at a severe disadvantage. So now, any large company can take risks that smaller companies cannot, and if they fail, they get bailed. Not so much for the small company, which if it makes bad decisions, it falls w/o a whisper in the dark.You cannot have it both ways (well you can, but you are no longer operating within the principles of a capitalistic society).Would our economy have fallen into a death spiral, if they did not “save GM”? Or, would it have become stronger in the long run, as other companies and entrepreneurs found ways to make a profit by finding new and inventive methods to turn a dollar? You seem to believe the prior, I believe the former.  (Quote)

    The economic activity involved with the attempt over the past 40 or so years to move to a more purely capitalistic or “free-market” economy really looks as if it’s proving to be a disaster for the US, or more specifically, the middle class and below in the US. Put down the Ayn Rand, pal. A really competive modern economy such as several of the Asian ones, that is not merely a preying on the members who aren’t already very rich, is a careful blend of what would be popularly called “capitalistic” and “socialistic” principles. For example, note Korean goverernment support of Li-battery industry. We HAVE to emulate some of that. (BTW, from what I understand, we used to.)


  167. 167
    jonboinAR

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:04 am)

    JEC: Ok. So, let the bailouts continue.We are not N. Korea or Japan. We can find ways to compete AND win. Your arguments just reinforce the idea that we (the taxpayer) will be bailing out every large company that appears to be on the edge of extinction. So, which companies are “eligible” for the next bailout? I am sure they will be happy that they have a safety net, so they can make bad decisions and not have to face the consequence. Your view seems, unfortunately (IMO), to reflect more and more of the rest of the US.  (Quote)

    Having witnessed with mounting horror, beginning in the ’70′s with our consumer-electronics industry, the majority of our manufacturing move overseas, particularly in the direction of Asia, to nations that DO have national industrial policies, and in which the government, and by extension, the taxpayers, ARE involved in choosing which industries to support, many of us US citizens DO wish to start following the winning strategy. YES. Please, before it’s too late, all you Ditto-heads or whatever you prefer to be called, with your brilliant stick-to-message discipline give up that failed pure-”free-market” ideology. PLEASE! We’re begging of you. It’s success has nearly ruined us. (No lie!)

    To LauraM: GO! GO! GO!


  168. 168
    JEC

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:15 am)

    jonboinAR:
    The economic activity involved with the attempt over the past 40 or so years to move to a more purely capitalistic or “free-market” economy really looks as if it’s proving to be a disaster for the US, or more specifically, the middle class and below in the US. Put down the Ayn Rand, pal. A really competive modern economy such as several of the Asian ones, that is not merely a preying on the members who aren’t already very rich, is a careful blend of what would be popularly called “capitalistic” and “socialistic” principles. For example, note Korean goverernment support of Li-battery industry. We HAVE to emulate some of that. (BTW, from what I understand, we used to.)  

    I have no issue with our govt supporting broad based technologies. This is done here, for many technologies.

    The issue is bailouts of companies that have made bad business decisions. IMO this only leads to the weakening of the core of our economy, and creates an “addiction” type of behavior for large companies.

    Do you think we should provide bailouts to any company, or just select companies? If so, what criteria to put on that company getting a bailout in the future?

    This is not a simple question, and the ramifications to our economy are not something to take lightly.


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:26 am)

    JEC: In your own argument you point out the exact issue that we are experiencing. So, if borrowing and spending is such a bad thing, then borrowing, spending (ie bailouts) would be a bad thing. You cannot spend what you do not have (at least that’s how it works in my household).Every time another company gets bailed out, you weaken our core economy, not to mention the psychological affects this has on the consumers, who are the real drivers of this economy.You CANNOT have it both ways! So, now we see the returns we are getting from bailing out banks, GM, and all the other “To big to fail” companies. If you think this is the right thing to do, that’s fine. But I am not drinking that kool-aid today.I am just waiting for all the lobbyists to plead the case of company XYZ, that they need a bailout or they will bring the mighty US economy to its knees. Who do you think is in line next, with their hand stuck out?  (Quote)

    Borrowing can be good when it’s used to invest, not just consume. Also, how about spending an amount of time proportional to the amount of resources the military has been using up these past ten years relative to the nations industrial investment attacking those first. Also, go to Billyblog and some others to see why household finance is a poor analogy to a government that controls it’s own money supply. The US can run a deficit much much longer than a household, to the point that what it spends during this depression really, truly, ain’t gonna matter in the long run. Health care costs and the military are what have to be brought under control. Let’s shriek about the <> that we have thrown away in Iraq and Afganistan, with no economic return whatsoever, except maybe to make oil supplies safe for the likes of Germany, China, and India, before we get all hyperventilating over a few billion spent to save one of our last remaining (or is is our last?) large industries, which money we may get most or all of, back.

    Man, this pure-free-market junk is really, really stupid and destructive. (I’m not talking about your argument any more, but yours ties into the free-marketers). There ain’t no pure free market! Understand this! South Korea does!


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:28 am)

    jonboinAR:
    Having witnessed with mounting horror, beginning in the ’70’s with our consumer-electronics industry, the majority of our manufacturing move overseas, particularly in the direction of Asia, to nations that DO have national industrial policies, and in which the government, and by extension, the taxpayers, ARE involved in choosing which industries to support, many of us US citizens DO wish to start following the winning strategy. YES. Please, before it’s too late, all you Ditto-heads or whatever you prefer to be called, with your brilliant stick-to-message discipline give up that failed pure-”free-market” ideology. PLEASE! We’re begging of you. It’s success has nearly ruined us. (No lie!)To LauraM: GO! GO! GO!  

    Please re-read what is being discussed. I think your going a little far or do not understand the complete discussion.


  171. 171
    JEC

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:32 am)

    jonboinAR:
    Borrowing can be good when it’s used to invest, not just consume. Also, how about spendingan amount of time proportional to the amount of resources the military has been using up these past ten years relative to the nations industrial investment attacking those first. Also, go to Billyblog and some others to see why household finance is a poor analogy to a government that controls it’s own money supply. The US can run a deficit much much longer than a household, to the point that what it spends during this depression really, truly, ain’t gonna matter in the long run. Health care costs and the military are what have to be brought under control. Let’s shriek about the <> that we have thrown away in Iraq and Afganistan, with no economic return whatsoever, except maybe to make oil supplies safe for the likes of Germany, China, and India, before we get all hyperventilating over a few billion spent to save one of our last remaining (or is is our last?) large industries, which money we may get most or all of, back.Man, this pure-free-market junk is really, really stupid and destructive. (I’m not talking about your argument any more, but yours ties into the free-marketers). There ain’t no pure free market! Understand this! South Korea does!  

    You lost me on where your going with this. Borrowing is good or bad? That was LauraM’s statement, so not sure what your getting at.

    Sorry, it’s early Sunday, and my brain is a little slow today.


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:33 am)

    Ok, Onto todays topic…Personalized License Plates!

    This sounds like a nice change of pace…. ;)


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:35 am)

    JEC: I have no issue with our govt supporting broad based technologies. This is done here, for many technologies. The issue is bailouts of companies that have made bad business decisions. IMO this only leads to the weakening of the core of our economy, and creates an “addiction” type of behavior for large companies.Do you think we should provide bailouts to any company, or just select companies? If so, what criteria to put on that company getting a bailout in the future?This is not a simple question, and the ramifications to our economy are not something to take lightly.  (Quote)

    Well, bad business decisions. I don’t know about that. I’ll have to think about it. I know it would be hard, if not impossible to recreate a GM from scratch. I remember in the ’90′s there was talk about creating a flat-screen TV sector in the US. Obviously nothing happened with that. I think we had to save GM. Haven’t they straightened a lot of stuff out? I mean, I understand that before the financial crash that contributed so much to their collapse they were well on their way to turning their ’80′s-’90′s poor reputation around. Also, going into the future, hasn’t the union compromised a lot, like new hires making a more reasonable wage than before?


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:43 am)

    JEC: Ok, Onto todays topic…Personalized License Plates!This sounds like a nice change of pace….   (Quote)

    Sorry to rant so badly.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (9:01 am)

    pjkPA: Who would lease from GM .. what kind of negative talk is that from a VOLT site?

    No kidding.

    Wonder if Nissan will lower the lease price?


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (10:15 am)

    jonboinAR:
    Sorry to rant so badly.  

    Hey, no problem.

    Being passionate about something, beats being passive and not contributing.

    I am not an economy expert, but I have my views in general. I like hearing the other views, and then reflecting on my own views. I am stubborn, but I have changed my views based on logical and sometimes spirited discussions.


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    Tall Pete

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    LauraM: They’ve already increased their planned production numbers…

    It was ridiculously low. The real test is when they decide to go from 60 000 to a bigger number in Year 2.


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    Paul C from Austin

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    Hmmm- the last couple of articles here have led to a firestorm on the differences between the Leaf and Volt- the pricing, the competition- even to a battle between posters here. I would recommend an insightful article on this posted by Dr. Shannon Arvizu on her site, Miss Electric- she puts the differences between the Volt and Leaf into perspective very well. Link:
    http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1240


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (6:22 pm)

    I was always under the impression that you had to have stronger credit to qualify for a lease than a purchase, is this not the case anymore? If it is then there are parts of the article which I don’t understand.

    “Also, if you simply cannot afford/qualify to purchase the car, but you really want it anyway…a lease is for you. This financially stressed/under qualified buyer is really what GM’s acquisition of AmeriCredit was all about, regaining the sub-prime consumer, who wants a fancy new car…”

    Can someone please explain, thanks.


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    jeffhre

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (7:00 pm)

    doggydogworld: Not true. Private capital was available, just not under the terms set by the Obama administration. The main problem was that the UAW contracts were to remain in force, but there were others such as the requirement that Chrysler marry a foreign company with expertise in small engines. This shut any financial buyers out on day one. After setting up an impossible gauntlet for new investors to run, the federal government then said “no investors are available so we have no choice but to take over.”

    Chrysler had already tried one of the “deep pockets financial buyers” – with disastrous results. In fact Chrysler was gladly dumped by their financial buyer.


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    Jim in PA

     

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    Aug 1st, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    JEC: To pick and chose which companies the taxpayers support and which they do not is a terrible precedent.

    But with the auto bailout, the govt did NOT “pick and choose”; They bailed out the two US car companies that were collapsing, and offered to help the third and final one, who declined because it did not need their help. Nobody was left behind, and no car companies went under. That is why the opposition to the bailout is so bizarre. This wasn’t a Bear-Stearns moment. This was a brilliant move by the government that saved the economy of the Upper Midwest.


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    Aug 1st, 2010 (9:14 pm)

    JEC: This quote just comes to mind, on a similar theme, but related to the bailout happy govt we have:
    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    Those who toss around this quote actually misunderstand what Jefferson was trying to say. Jefferson was actually discussing this in the context of how often those rebeling are doing so out of ignorance to the facts. And how the outcome of the rebellion won’t necessarily be the overthrow of the govt, but rather letting the population blow off steam before putting them back in their place. A much more in-context quotation (which includes more of his full idea) is:

    “Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

    Manure?!? Add inappropriate Beavis and Butthead snickering here…


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    JeremyK

     

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    Aug 2nd, 2010 (11:07 am)

    fred: To Expensive. I wanted a no frills model at a no frill price just for work commute.
    GM made an electric SUV, again!
    I’ll be buying the Leaf or Ford Magna. Just awaiting the Ford price before I go plunk my money down.  

    I don’t see the Volt as being a “no frills” car. It’s all about the frills. It’s going to be GM’s electric flagship and it needs to come with all the bells and whistles to get past the image of GM being a sh!tty car company that makes cheap cars. Technology is expensive. The only way to make a profit on a car like this is to build the cost of the batteries and related technology into a nice package. The build quality and features must be high-end to help people rationalize the price. The technology will trickle down, but it will never be in the sub $20K range, which is apparently what some people expect.


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    Aug 2nd, 2010 (11:36 am)

    kent beuchert: Prices can only be considered valid when competition exists. Right now, the Volt has no competition, regardless of the presence of the very different Leaf.Whn several other automakes produce their version of the Volt, THEN we will get a good idea of what a vehicle of this type will
    really cost to build and market. The $7500 government welfare being doled out to the
    generally well-heeled Volt buyers, aside from being totally outrageous, is obviously influencing pricing decisions being made by GM. The first Volt driver I see will have to answer my question of
    why he/she needs and deserves my tax dollars to own a car. I may offer them a buck to buy a cup of coffee, although I’m sure it won’t pay for much at the Starbuck ripoff cafes where they
    normally go.  

    Those tax dollars are a way forward. Not many people are willing to step up and adopt new/unproven technology. Most will “wait and see” (like you presumably). Wait and see what gas prices will do, wait and see what resale values are, and wait to see what the Gen II version will offer. Moving away from foreign oil is in our Nation’s best interest whether the average consumer realizes that or not. For those willing to educate the public and advance this technology, the tax rebate is incentive to do so. PS – As a tax payer, they’re my tax dollars too.