Next month, I celebrate my 5-year anniversary working on the VOLT. What a journey it has been. As many of you know, I was selected as employee #1 (by Messrs. Lutz, Lauckner and Burns) to lead the top-secret project, code named “iCar” and I have watched it blossom into something extraordinary. The team and I have had a truly enriching experience bringing the VOLT to life. Though filled with many sacrifices and some hardships, we continued to persevere with incredible teamwork and a healthy disregard for the impossible. Trying to create a start-up company mentality within a large company like GM was one of the first of many challenges that were faced by the VOLT team. All of the other original founding members have moved on now, and I truly hope that GM will apply the lessons of the VOLT and continue to be bold and to lead in innovation. For me, personally, it has been one of my most cherished life experiences, to begin and ultimately complete the journey, enduring it all and seeing it through, from start to finish.
As we set off on our epic journey to create the VOLT, we knew that “one does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” As such, our journey was fraught with risk and uncertainty, never knowing for sure whether we would reach the new land. No one had successfully attempted to find this new land, one where a plug-in electric car could be sold to the masses and actually be better than a conventional car. At times, the seas were rough, as storms and inclement weather continually tested the mettle of the VOLT team. And yes, there were pirate ships prowling the seas firing shots across our bow with a few shots even coming from ships flying our own flag. At times, the winds would blow us off course and we almost lost our way. The team, to its credit, would always seem to find a way together to plug a hole, mend a broken sail, rescue a fallen comrade or fend off an attacker through the most trying of circumstances.
Every adventure on the high seas requires the guidance of maps, markers, beacons and lighthouses. The VOLT Nation @ gm-volt.com has always been there to light our way. Some four years ago, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a fire was lit that still burns even stronger today. Whenever we had doubts and the seas tossed us about, you provided us with inspiration that reminded us that the freedoms of the new land were something worth striving for. You represented an enthusiastic base of future customers that longed for a solution (a better way to drive) and made our cause feel noble. We came to fully appreciate that passion and the robust dialogue on a wide-array of subjects related to the VOLT and electrified transportation. It is my sense that the site became a beacon for others, thirsting for knowledge. Many journalists confided in me that they viewed the gm-volt.com site on a regular basis and considered it as a rich source of information. As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” You have helped many see the shore, when it was still miles and miles away.
I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Dr. Lyle Dennis, our friendly neighborhood neurologist and founder of gm-volt.com. For many of us, as we think back to January 7, 2007 when the VOLT concept car was unveiled, we could have never even imagined how dramatically our lives have been changed. I still remember our first meeting in early 2007 when we gave the good Doctor a “sneak peek” of the concept car before a show. There was a genuine amazement and curiosity that was most heartwarming. Lyle’s boundless energy and tireless work to enlighten his Nation, but also constructively hold us accountable to our promises, will never be forgotten. He is one of the torch bearers of the new era of electrified transportation.
The ship has landed and people are enthused by the promise of the VOLT and having a real electrified automotive solution. There are still new frontiers to conquer. Torchbearers are still needed to light the way.
Vehicle Line Director, Chevrolet VOLT
This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 7:19 am and is filed under Volt Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.