Jan 10

GM says if necessary it will cut Volt production

 

Yesterday GM said although it’s too soon to tell, if demand is perceived as insufficient, it will not rule out reducing the Volt’s production this year from its present goal of 45,000 for the U.S., and 15,000 for export.

This statement came from the company’s Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson when asked whether GM could meet output targets for the Volt.

“We’re going to match production with demand,” Akerson said just after the start of the North American International Auto Show. “There’re new variables in the equation, so we’ll see.”

Observers and pollsters note the battery investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration – which is reportedly close to concluding – did make an adverse impact on Volt sales that could linger.

 

The upside for GM is the positive customer service gestures it gave particularly with regard to the battery and cooling system updates. This was noted not just by GM-Volt.com, but also by NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

NHTSA’s administrator, David Strickland, was quoted as saying the company “really did put customers first” and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has been said to be pleased with GM’s response.

Yesterday GM’s global product development chief Mary Barry told Reuters she did not know exactly when NHTSA’s probe would close, but said, GM is optimistic based on feedback received.

“We’re a short time frame, not an extended, protracted period” she said with regards to a resolution.

But still in question is demand for the Volt later this year. An industry analyst at IHS Automotive, Rebecca Lindland was quoted by Businessweek as saying GM’s worldwide sales target will require more than just retail deliveries to be achieved.

“I think fleet customers will help but it is going to be tough to reach that 60,000 mark without them,” Lindland said. “These contracts can be lucrative when structured correctly. It is also a good way to get more consumers familiar and comfortable with the technology so it is worth the investment for GM.”

Also potentially muddying the outlook is a congressional subcommittee which later this month which will inquire whether news of a June NHTSA post-crash-test fire was deliberately withheld.

But while GM has said it is willing to be flexible with production, it has not said it won’t build the expected allotment of Volts this year either.

GM’s North American President Mark Reuss said the automaker is still filling orders and may not know until around the second quarter.

“There’s no trend because we haven’t satisfied demand,” Reuss said to reporters. “I told everybody that we’d be looking at satisfying demand right around second quarter. We’re not there yet, so I don’t know.”

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 81


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (6:29 am)

    “…while GM has said it is willing to be flexible with production, it has not said it won’t build the expected allotment of Volts this year either.

    GM’s North American President Mark Reuss said the automaker is still filling orders and may not know until around the second quarter. “There’s no trend because we haven’t satisfied demand,” Reuss said to reporters. “I told everybody that we’d be looking at satisfying demand right around second quarter. We’re not there yet, so I don’t know.”
    ===========================================================

    I’ve been getting a lot of questions from both friends and family about “the Volt fires” because they know I’ve been closely following the Volt’s development for quite a while. May I suggest that you offer the link to Major/Professor Cullinane’s excellent video/story yesterday of a long-term Volt owner’s experiences with his Volt as well as perhaps the link to the very thorough battery fixes video/story just prior to it? Just get their email addresses & email either or both links to them…

    http://gm-volt.com/2012/01/09/chevy-volt-review-video/

    http://gm-volt.com/2012/01/06/gm-chooses-to-%E2%80%98go-extra-mile%E2%80%99-with-volt-battery-protection/


  2. 2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (6:45 am)

    nasaman,

    Thanks Nasaman, here in Belgium people interested by either the Opel Ampera or the Volt seem to be not affected by the problem : they say the problem arised because the battery was not drained as it was required to be done after a serious crash. So what ?

    best regards,

    JC NPNS


  3. 3
    Kup

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:48 am)

    Of course this isn’t great news but it is the only responsible thing to do. After all, if the Volts don’t sell like we believe they should, OF COURSE, you match production with demand. Or if America suddenly wakes up and understands the advantages of the Volt and that it isn’t tied to Obama and demand shoots up, OF COURSE, you match production with demand.


  4. 4
    Bonaire

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:49 am)

    This is too early to make this statement. Demand seems higher than supply in places like Canada and Europe. In the US, demand will go way up if price comes down. Now it’s a budgetary balancing act between input costs and showroom costs. Demand curve will go up sharply with say a $5K decrease in MSRP. $10K even sharper. Snowball effect follows as more friends and co-workers get rides in others’ Volts. The “big sales” will come when the actual dollar value proposition hits the mass market. Right now, the value proposition lies with the buyers who are interested in burning as little oil/gas as possible in a small luxury sedan. We do have a long-lingering unemployment and under-employment issue and the number of buyers is hampered by the economy. If this was the boom-time as it was in1998-2000, Volts would be selling at 20K a year already in the first year.

    Make the federal tax credit an instant showroom rebate and sales would jump too.


  5. 5
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:14 am)

    I’m a firm believer in the fact that GM needs to gets these cars on sales lots across the U.S. in numbers. If people see them in various colors and trim packages, then more sales will come, (at least I hope so). It’s common to see rows and rows of $40,000 Silverados sitting on a Chevy lot of all shapes and sizes. People like to see different configurations and then make a choice. Why can’t the same be done for this car?


  6. 6
    kdawg

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:18 am)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin: Thanks Nasaman, here in Belgium people interested by either the Opel Ampera or the Volt seem to be not affected by the problem : they say the problem arised because the battery was not drained as it was required to be done after a serious crash. So what ?

    I didn’t know you were in Belgium. I’ll be there this summer. Good to know the people are not alarmists. Maybe there isn’t a Fox News Belgium.


  7. 7
    kdawg

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:20 am)

    Bonaire: Demand curve will go up sharply with say a $5K decrease in MSRP. $10K even sharper.

    A significant gas price increase will also increase demand. Remember 2008 prius frenzy.


  8. 8
    nanoman

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:22 am)

    (click to show comment)


  9. 9
    ClarksonCote

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:25 am)

    First, let’s get as many dealers stocked with enough Volts to really push volume, much like their other models. Until you have a real supply available, it’s hard to accurately gauge demand.

    nanoman: It will boost the sales of Prius, Fusion hybrid and the rest!!!! It may help to boost a little bit for chevy volt, but if the gas price goes up significantly, so will the price of Chevy Volt!!

    I respectfully disagree. Chevrolet is not going to increase the Volt sticker price just because gas prices go up. Maybe some dealers would try to hold out for a little more for the final agreed to price, but that’s no different than Prius dealers and the like.

    join thE REVolution


  10. 10
    kdawg

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:37 am)

    nanoman: It will boost the sales of Prius, Fusion hybrid and the rest!!!! It may help to boost a little bit for chevy volt, but if the gas price goes up significantly, so will the price of Chevy Volt!!

    I think it would boost the Volt more due to it using less gas than the others (not including the Leaf which would also see an increase).


  11. 11
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:39 am)

    Good news about complex issues does take a long time to transmit between a select audience of able (technically) listeners and others that can also comprehend the good news on an in-depth basis, so as to be able to meaningfully communicate it further. (Third hand technical communications are essentially between one and five percent of the original comprehension of the first person/knowledgeable speaker.) Feedback from third had parties (whom have heard about the breakthrough automotive analytic diagnostics of my company from original seminar participants, for example), are never able to repeat more than one or two key concepts of the eighty or so main facts contained in the original 7 hour Seminar.) (Although a deep respect for the content is clearly present in the third party listener). The same situation appears to be in effect for Volt to a great extent.

    This was why the imperative in the first place was and is, to “Get people into the car”.

    No matter what happens within the issues described above, a renewed executive directive to “Get as many (comprehending individuals) a ride in a Volt as soon as possible” is the correct thing to do. Those that counter this advice who may work within GM ought to acquiesce and promote more demonstration programs. This has been my advice all these years.

    Make the program a 28 day program per individual, just exactly four weeks. Turn on the OnStar so that there can be more market studies within each “28 day program” promotion.
    Try having the OnStar representative participate in each drive with the three riders in each audience within the Volt. The OnStar representative can be part of the conversation in each Volt. This could be tried for, say, ten Volts across the country for entirely differing audiences, (like the dedicated 1145 technician audience served by my company in over 8 years, for example). (Although to reach most of them, such a program may have to be extended more than four weeks if it worked exceedingly well, which I know it absolutely will.)

    You see, no matter how powerful many people perceive that the internet is, it can never ever even be compared to an in-person, thoughtful, professional and knowledgeable and clear communication of what is going on inside of the Volt. This regards who is respected by whom, and how frequently per day they are in-person contact with others. I visit at least 12 technicians per day, times twenty eight days, would be how many more influential people respecting the Volt first hand? Ninety percent of success regards “showing up”.
    No, the pay scale of a tech is not consistent with a Volt cost at this time, but they most certainly all know when it is time for their customers to replace their current luxury vehicle.
    This opportunity should not be underestimated in it’s powerful group dynamics to accelerate won markets.


  12. 12
    lousloot

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:46 am)

    “if demand is perceived as insufficient, it will not rule out reducing the Volt’s production”

    I read this as:

    If Volts don’t sell, GM isn’t going to build. There is nothing sacred about “60,000 Volts next year”
    Looks like they expect demand to be weak, I guess they are trying to soften (cya) the blow if they are unable to sell Volts like they hope.

    But yea GM… Don’t make stuff you can’t sell.


  13. 13
    Dave K.

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:49 am)

    Demo drives = Sales

    GM needs to get creative. Link Volt demo drives to complimentary tickets to sporting events. It goes without saying that those who pass on the Volt. Will look hard at the Cruze.

    NPNS


  14. 14
    barry252

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:52 am)

    I see dealers’ lots filled with unsold Camaros, Impalas and Malibu’s. Will GM throttle those cars back until demand increases? GM needs to get more Volts on the lots so customers can take a demo ride and make an easy decision. Get those impulse buyers!

    Volt 63


  15. 15
    Bonaire

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (9:13 am)

    #12 loot: Or, in other words “If GM were to produce 60K Volts even if demand waned and they only sold 10K – they would look even worse for sticking to their production plans…”

    I wouldn’t think GM to be “too smart” to be stuck on a planned production number even if sales were down. That would be such a waste of resources. Spend the time and resources building an MPV5 or other model which can co-source the Voltec drivetrain. That would drive sales and maybe make a family a two-Voltec situation. Right now in some two-car garages, a Volt may be parked next to a mini-van which is just dying to be replaced with a Voltec model of similar utility.


  16. 16
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (9:28 am)

    Utility of purpose is an overriding consideration for market share. All other considerations tend to be second to the useful purpose of the purchase in the first place. So a Voltec compact SUV could make a big difference, since more than half of purchases are for trucks and SUV’s for the working utility of their platforms.


  17. 17
    Steve

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (9:46 am)

    Great, likely everything is going to be all done by the time those idiots in congress start having hearings.


  18. 18
    Loboc

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:03 am)

    This is not a new strategy for GM. They went from ‘push’ (keeping the factories busy) to ‘pull’ (build to demand) several years ago. Now most of their lines are ‘flex’ meaning they can adjust the mix of cars built to more closely match demand.

    If you were a manufacturer and had to pay 90% of the payroll whether you built cars or not, what would you do? The reorganization made it possible to curb some of the UAW overhead.

    What GM needs to do is lighten up on the allocation model. If a dealer orders stock, they should fulfill the order.


  19. 19
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:23 am)

    Demand for “Voltec” would increase if GM drops he VOLT from the Chevy lineup and starts production of the ‘Converj’ and the ‘MPV5′ under the CADILLAC banner. I’m not jumping ship, I’m just being realistic. The only complaint about the VOLT has been its price. It’s better to be a cheap Cadillac than an expensive Chevrolet. When the nexgen battery comes out that will make a VOLT under $35,000 before rebates, then they can bring it back.


  20. 20
    T 1

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:24 am)

    “There’re new variables in the equation…”

    Yep–the competition’s growing quickly in a mkt that is still, unfortunately, small. Currently, one vehicle is displacing another in the broad hybrid/ev mkt. I think this big picture will remain largely unchanged until some combination of gas prices rising a lot and hybrid/ev prices dropping a lot.

    I still hope the Volt does great, but consumers can increasingly see that their high mileage choices are expanding rapidly. I fear that the Volt’s lead is evaporating.


  21. 21
    Gary

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:33 am)

    I get a feeling that a lot of Republicans in office are high-fiving each other right now after hearing this “great news”. Pffffffff!


  22. 22
    T 1

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:37 am)

    Whenever I hear “fleet sales” and the Volt, I’m reminded of GE’s big order. What ever happened to that?


  23. 23
    HaroldC

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:37 am)

    Why does GM not just put ten different colored and /or trim volts on every dealers lot ? l am sure they will sell. just like the cruze,camaro,malibu,etc. all the other vehicles on their lots usually have ten ,maybe even 20 or thirty examples of each to sell. If the dealer you go to doesn’t have color or trim you want you could always go to another or have the dealer order or switch with another.
    Somehow l don’t see these cars sitting on the lots for very long. Don’t we see year-end clearance sales every year ? If GM brought out all the other models in this manner their sales would probably plummet. l know of friends who were really interested a year ago but since then three of them have bought other makes and another bought a cruze (likes it but would rather have a volt).
    Here in canada l think we got a whole 250 volts…wow!! Our local EV club has at least ten members willing to buy……but no cars available………managed to see one at a club meeting last month…also a tesla and a leaf..
    just thinking out loud……sad situation


  24. 24
    BLIND GUY

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:43 am)

    Many people don’t like to buy the first or second year of a brand new model; until some of the bugs are worked out. This vehicle is quite sophisticated and must prove itself to owners, technicians and critics to its true value and reliability over a sufficient period of time. Having an Instant Rebate at time of purchase would make the vehicle more affordable to more people and it would relieve any concerns of people having their potential tax credit yanked away from them by Congress as well. Whatever the 2012 Volt sales turnout to be; GM should aggressively plan for Volttech Gen. II. High volume sales better be GM’s goal with EVs or GM may as well get out of the way. Quality better be job#1 and make sure that service departments are getting enough training to diagnose and make repairs with pride and confidence. Go GM!


  25. 25
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:56 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Demand for “Voltec” would increase if GM drops he VOLT from the Chevy lineup and starts production of the ‘Converj’ and the ‘MPV5′ under the CADILLAC banner. I’m not jumping ship, I’m just being realistic. The only complaint about the VOLT has been its price. It’s better to be a cheap Cadillac than an expensive Chevrolet. When the nexgen battery comes out that will make a VOLT under $35,000 before rebates, then they can bring it back.

    Although I follow your reasoning, and probably agree that the Volt maybe should’ve been a Cadillac instead of Chevrolet, that ship has sailed. Just my opinion, but perhaps a better course of action at this point would be for GM to hurry up and launch the Cadillac ELR (Converj), and then simultaneously lower the price of the Volt. The larger margin made on the ELR would (in theory) subsidize a lower priced Volt, yet still make a net profit when considering the sales of the 2 cars combined. I wonder what volume a Volt priced at say $29000 after gov’t. rebate would sell? That’s Camry Hybrid territory at that price for a vehicle that get 100+ mpg. $39,995 list price – $7500 gov’t. rebate, – $3500 subsidized by higher profit margin on Cadillac ELR = $28,995. That doesn’t sound all that far fetched to me. Any thoughts?


  26. 26
    Charlie H

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:00 am)

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  27. 27
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:04 am)

    I think it is time that we forward think.

    What IF (and I do mean IF) Volt demand is only 1200 cars/month???

    What will GM do???
    Cancel it??—no they won’t.
    Keep selling 1200/month and hope that cost reductions will allow a lower price??
    Perhaps.

    or——

    Morph it into another product (products)??

    The problem is that this car is too expensive. I can remember countless discussions on the forum about this and it was often said that, if the car is going to be 40K$++ it should have a Cadillac emblem on it.

    So this is what I think GM should do if demand does not increase:

    Morph the Volt into 2 products:

    1) a cost reduced MPV and

    2) the Cadillac ELR

    In order to cost reduce the MPV you make the following mods to Voltec:

    1) smaller battery kwh—use ALL the battery not 60%
    2)eliminate the liquid cooling system
    3)put the batteries in the floor

    This would result in a lower wt, lower cost and more utilitarian vehicle.


  28. 28
    Bonaire

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:12 am)

    For me, my goal this year is a $27K Volt through buying a base model – 7500 Federal – 3500 state – 1000+ of GMCard credits – haggling.

    Interesting thing about the Volt and its eco-numbers.

    They are both software and hardware upgradeable.

    If they wanted to add the “pulse and glide” highway efficiency mode, they could do it through a software upgrade and give maybe 43-45mpg on the highway.
    If they want to alter the T-pack and sell it in 2015 to older Volt owners and it’s packed full of higher density cells with 20kWh in the same T-pack, they can and offer 60+ AER miles down the road.

    Will they offer this? Hard to know, but it’s possible.

    Most car buyers are not historically used to “upgradeable” cars other than in a tuning shop. The mpg stays or goes down over time. A Volt may be able to increase AER over time. That’s the future of Electric Autos – some surprises to increase efficiencies without actually buying a new vehicle.


  29. 29
    dave

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:23 am)

    George S. Bower:
    I think it is time that we forward think.

    In order to cost reduce the MPV you make the following mods to Voltec:

    1) smaller battery kwh—use ALL the battery not 60%
    2)eliminate the liquid cooling system
    3)put the batteries in the floor

    This would result in a lower wt, lower cost and more utilitarian vehicle.

    Do you think they limited the capacity of the battery because they felt like it?
    There is a reason that laptop and cell phone batteries only last two years. Because they are not temperature controlled, and they are over charged and discharged all the time. If you want a battery to last 8-10 years, you have to treat it with care.

    I like the batteries on the floor like the tesla, but I wonder if it will see more fires on impact.


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    Charlie H

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:26 am)

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  31. 31
    Charlie H

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:30 am)

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    Mark Z

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:41 am)

    When the HOV Volt arrives in California after they start making them in February, then sales should rise in the heavy traffic areas of the state.

    Cadillac drivers would like some fuel savings. Getting 12 mpg in an Escalade on city streets is no fun.


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (11:52 am)

    kdawg: A significant gas price increase will also increase demand.Remember 2008 prius frenzy.

    #7

    Right. +1 And it’s gonna happen, sooner or later. Wait for it.

    Only this time GM is going to be better prepared, with something to sell besides Suburbans and Silveradoes.

    Anyway, isn’t that what businesses do? Adjust production to match demand? Lots of Volts sitting around in inventory aren’t making anybody any money IMHO. Maybe GM is just a bit ahead of the curve for once. It will pay off in the end.

    And, if people are on waiting lists in Canada, why don’t they ship some more there? I totally do not get it. Discounting off of MSRP in LA, and people are on waiting lists in Canada? Huh?

    All I know is that I drove to work today and didn’t use any gas. The more I do it the better I like it.


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    BeechBoy

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:07 pm)

    I don’t know why people are surprised by the statement GM made to match production to demand. So what if they don’t build/sell 60k next year? What is so magical about the 60k? The important thing is that the Volt sales keep increasing. This happens in spite of: (1) completely new and unproven technology (2) GM’s reputation that has not yet fully recovered and (3) all the bashing in the media. But the Volt still sells because it is game changer and such a superior product. The fact is that the vast majority of the people that own a Volt will never go back to an ICE vehicle or a hybrid.


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    Shock Me

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    As far as I’m concerned they shouldn’t make any more than are asked for. If a dealer wants to sit on extras well that is their problem.


  36. 36
    pjkPA

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:31 pm)

    Last I checked the Chevy Dealers in my area have all of their allotment of Volts spoken for.

    What needs to happen is for our government to stick up for our American manufacturers… we need to level the playing field for GM Ford and all our manufacturers… right now our top competitors are putting huge tariffs on our cars and trucks .. this has to stop if we want to see real improvement in our economy.

    Another thing that has to happen is for Volt owners and readers to respond to untrue and negative articles placed by yellow journalists… we should not let them get away with false negative yellow journalism.


  37. 37
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:39 pm)

    OT: for those interested in going to the NAIAS (aka Detroit Auto Show), here’s the cars revealed so far. I’ll be there on Saturday.
    (I want Voltec in the Chevy 140S Concept. What a sweet ride that would be)

    Worldwide vehicle introductions unveiled today (Monday, Jan. 9) included:

    Acura ILX Sedan
    Acura NSX
    Acura RDX
    Audi Q3 Vail Crossover
    Bentley Continental V8
    BMW ActiveHybrid 5
    Cadillac ATS
    Chevrolet Code 130R Concept
    Chevrolet Sonic RS
    Chevrolet Spark
    Chevrolet Tru 140S Concept
    Dodge Dart
    Ford Fusion
    Hyundai Genesis Coupe
    Hyundai Veloster Turbo
    Lexus LF-FC
    Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
    Mercedes-Benz E300 Hybrid
    Mercedes E400
    MINI Roadster
    Nissan Pathfinder Concept
    Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
    Porsche Cayman R
    Smart-For-Us Concept
    Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept
    Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
    Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:42 pm)

    dave: Do you think they limited the capacity of the battery because they felt like it?

    I think they made due w/ the best cell chemistry they had at the time.
    The Pip is not water cooled, uses close to 100% of the battery (4.4 kwh=15 miles) and also has an equivalent warranty to the Volt.

    Nissan also has an uncooled (totally uncooled vs air cooling for Pip) and uses close to 100% of it’s battery.


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    Schmeltz

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:47 pm)

    kdawg: OT: for those interested in going to the NAIAS (aka Detroit Auto Show), here’s the cars revealed so far. I’ll be there on Saturday.

    A friend and I are intending to go Monday. There looks to be a good list of cars to see. I’m particularly interested to see the Ford Fusion Energi PHEV.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:06 pm)

    HaroldC: Here in canada l think we got a whole 250 volts…wow!!

    Allocation for Canada is definitely too low. I’ve heard of 500 only for 2011. As for 2012, I didn’t hear a number yet but dealers are saying we can’t have any for months.

    I don’t understand GM’s position : price of gas is much higher in Canada than in US – we are frequently above 5$ a US gallon; we are already buying lots of compact cars in Canada, compared with our neighbours; we have an instant credit on buying an electric car of up to 8000$ and I believe it’s even higher in Ontario; our unemployment rate is much lower in Canada and we were not as severely hit by the recession. We didn’t have to rescue our banks.

    Volt allocations should be much higher for Canada. This car will sell here. A lot.

    And one more thing : it’s too bad one can’t get the Bose sound system (685$) without the navigation system (2295$).


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:11 pm)

    George S. Bower: Morph the Volt into 2 products:

    I disagree. It’s a good strategy to have several models to offer. It would be very bad, image wise, to abandon the Volt. Keep at it GM and don’t panic.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:16 pm)

    Tall Pete: And one more thing : it’s too bad one can’t get the Bose sound system (685$) without the navigation system (2295$).

    GM’s website let me build a Volt w/the Bose system an not the Nav system.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:19 pm)

    George S. Bower: The Pip is not water cooled, uses close to 100% of the battery (4.4 kwh=15 miles) and also has an equivalent warranty to the Volt.

    Nissan also has an uncooled (totally uncooled vs air cooling for Pip) and uses close to 100% of it’s battery.

    Let’s see how it plays out in the next 8 years. Then we will know if this approach was fine. If not, they will replace a lot of batteries down the road (or make a lot of unsatisfied customers by not changing the batteries under warranty).

    Time will tell.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:28 pm)

    kdawg: GM’s website let me build a Volt w/the Bose system an not the Nav system.

    I tried it again right now on http://www.gm.ca/gm/ and it worked. Last I tried, a couple of days ago, I was getting an error message forbidding me to do it. I tried several times.

    Must have been a problem with the web site.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Tall Pete: It would be very bad, image wise, to abandon the Volt. Keep at it GM and don’t panic.

    #43

    I agree. +1


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    RedBowtie12

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    kdawg: GM’s website let me build a Volt w/the Bose system an not the Nav system.

    I can confirm that. I ordered my 2012 Volt with the Bose system and no Nav. And I love it. :)


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:40 pm)

    BLIND GUY: Many people don’t like to buy the first or second year of a brand new model; until some of the bugs are worked out.

    Absolutely! And don’t think those people aren’t patting themselves on the back as this battery reinforcement issue has shown up. Those people were waiting for something…what, they didn’t know. Now that the something has been addressed, and turned out to be more of a lab issue than an on-the- street issue, I’d expect those folks to be more interested next year. I believe those folks wouldn’t believe that enough volume had been sold to find the ‘something’, until something had been found. Now they are placated.


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    Charlie H

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (1:46 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Volt Issue

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    Boy, a lot of you are sounding like the haters that you folks have been labeling in the past. The wake up call was made a long time ago, and not after this article.

    60K IS an important number. GM’s retooled its factory to build that many. Money spent…now money going to waste if production decreases.

    It’s also a target point which pricing and cost was based on. All the supplier contracts are negotiated at that number. If that number is not reached, either there will be abundant parts lying around (money wasted) or suppliers will increase their parts costs based on the lower numbers, as outlined in the contracts. Translations: much higher cost to produce Volt. Not only won’t one see a chance of Volt to have a lower MSRP (which is unlikely to begin with, even if 60K is met, based on Dan’s comment on lowering cost only in previous reports), but more likely, a higher MSRP, which will adversely affect Volt sales, a 3 years old product by then.

    It’s important because if 60K is not met, then other products under the same architecture is very likely, because future products are projected by company planners, based on current acceptance level, i.e. sales. It’s like saying, I have a brand new product A. It doesn’t sell that many. Let’s make something else, product B & C, brand new too, using the same sort of components of A. Product B & C will sell like crazy. Next thing you’ll see – this person starts sending in resume.

    Remember, GM CEO’s responsibility is NOT to you folks. He is NOT there to support Volt sales, though that may be something he wishes. His #1 and only responsibility – make sure that GM is making money, so that its share holders will get money, and LOTS OF IT. PERIOD. Shareholders are the ones that will pressure him to cancel the Volt if it’s just a niche vehicle. He has to, or he’ll be looking at the severance package.

    And don’t be childish to suggest “stock dealers with as many Volts as they can.” GM doesn’t pay the salary of dealers’ sales, and sales salary is 99% made up of profits on the vehicles being sold. You can ask the sales here to confirm. GM’s providing a lot of incentives to sell those Cruze, Malibu, and whatnot, which don’t eat into the profits/salaries. It is also providing a lot of incentives on the trucks and SUVs, which already have a profit margin of $5K or above on a better equipped models (some even has $10K margin). There’s little margin on the Volt = little profit = low salary. So which vehicles do you think that the sales will try to sell you? You are not interested in a SUV, then please move over, so that I can talk to the other customers who are interested in the SUV.

    So you have dealerships with quite a few Volts sitting in the lots (4400 in the US, as per Mark). Who do you think will pay for the interests to the bank, after 90 days of inventory? Not GM I can tell you.

    And why do you think that many dealers are marking up the Volt so significantly? Read my comments on SUV/PU sales. Those spending $40K on a vehicle at Chevy are buying vehicles with a lot of profit margin, so they are sticking it into Volt sales!

    Same time next year, I will not be surprised about how GM’s happy about the Volt’s “project” for the past 2 years, but as with all good things…


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (2:42 pm)

    RedBowtie12: I can confirm that. I ordered my 2012 Volt with the Bose system and no Nav. And I love it.

    Is the Bose system supposed to sound better too, or is it just more energy efficient?


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (2:49 pm)

    Volt Issue: 60K IS an important number. GM’s retooled its factory to build that many. Money spent…now money going to waste if production decreases.
    It’s also a target point which pricing and cost was based on. All the supplier contracts are negotiated at that number. If that number is not reached, either there will be abundant parts lying around (money wasted) or suppliers will increase their parts costs based on the lower numbers, as outlined in the contracts.

    You don’t understand how the auto-biz works.

    Volt Issue: So which vehicles do you think that the sales will try to sell you? You are not interested in a SUV, then please move over, so that I can talk to the other customers who are interested in the SUV.

    Yeah, i’m sure CG pushes Volt people aside all the time at his dealership… lol. I think you are thinking of the douche in PA, George “Mike” Kelly.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    Volt Issue:
    ….All the supplier contracts are negotiated at that number.If that number is not reached, either there will be abundant parts lying around (money wasted) or suppliers will increase their parts costs based on the lower numbers, as outlined in the contracts.

    You were of course in the room when they negotiated and you have copies of the contracts. Do you mind sharing them with us?


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (2:55 pm)

    Volt Issue: Shareholders are the ones that will pressure him to cancel the Volt if it’s just a niche vehicle.

    #51

    A similar scenario took place in late 1954 concerning the disappointing sales of the Corvette. Many bean counters in GM wanted to cancel it, but Zora Arkus-Duntov famously convinced Ed Cole that doing so in the face of the Thunderbird would make GM the laughingstock of the industry.

    Instead they persevered, constantly improved the product, and it is still around 57 years later and making money every year. I predict that the same will happen with the Volt, even if they don’t sell 60K next year. They built 3500 1954 Corvettes and had 1000 left at the end of the model year, LOL. True fact.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:01 pm)

    kdawg: I think you are thinking of the douche in PA, George “Mike” Kelly.

    #53

    I think you’re on to something here, LOL +1

    How about a naming contest? So far I’m thinking “The Pr__k in PA”, or maybe The Poop Head in PA”. The latter is what I call my JRT when he acts out while I’m walking him, which is about every 30 seconds, LOL.

    “Pain In The A__ in PA”? “Pompous A__ in PA”? Come on guys, you can do better than that!


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:37 pm)

    I live a half mile from a Chevy lot that I pass everyday. They hide the Volts in back and they sell anyway. I didn’t buy my Volt from them because they were charging 10K over MSRP.

    I think one of the problems GM is facing with the Volt (other than the ridiculous and misleading press coverage) is that their own dealers don’t want to sell them because they have so little maintenance required. Most dealers make a lot of money on the maintenance required by the traditional ICE cars. Unless dealers change their business models, they will try very hard NOT to sell cars like the Volt.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    I don’t think Chevrolet can afford to cancel the VOLT. I really hate bringing up politics, but every VOLT built reduces the ‘Fleet Average’ MPG’s… and isn’t there some kind of mandate that the Fleet Averages have to be increased overall by 2014?


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:40 pm)

    I meant ‘increases’ the Fleet MPG’s.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    Maybe people want it to be priced around the Prius then maybe sales would go up? But you would also have to show crash testes and as well showing results of a crashed Volt sitting for seven days or longer and prove them that the car didn’t catch on fire at all just to say.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (3:44 pm)

    Local newsflash: A Diamond White VOLT came in with a damaged passenger side rear fender. It was towed in for our ‘Certified Techs’ to properly discharge the battery, then it was loaded up again on a flatbed to go back to some body shop for repairs. Apparently they did not want to do any welding until after the battery was discharged. They’re learning!


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    Sheffield

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    George S. Bower: I think they made due w/ the best cell chemistry they had at the time.
    The Pip is not water cooled, uses close to 100% of the battery (4.4 kwh=15 miles) and also has an equivalent warranty to the Volt.

    Nissan also has an uncooled (totally uncooled vs air cooling for Pip) and uses close to 100% of it’s battery.

    No the Leaf does not use 100% of its battery. It shows a range of state of charge between 0 and 100 just like the Volt does, but, just like the Volt, that really reflects large buffers on both ends for managing battery life. The Leaf has a 24 kwh battery with 18 kwh (75%) usable. Volt has 16.4 kwh with 10.4 kwh usable.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (4:55 pm)

    George S. Bower: I think they made due w/ the best cell chemistry they had at the time.
    The Pip is not water cooled, uses close to 100% of the battery (4.4 kwh=15 miles) and also has an equivalent warranty to the Volt.

    Nissan also has an uncooled (totally uncooled vs air cooling for Pip) and uses close to 100% of it’s battery.

    No the Leaf does not use 100% of its battery. It shows a range of state of charge between 0 and 100 just like the Volt does, but, just like the Volt, that really reflects large buffers on both ends for managing battery life. The Leaf has a 24 kwh battery with 18 kwh (75%) usable. Volt has 16.4 kwh with 10.4 kwh (64%) usable. But Charging the Leaf to rated capacity is discouraged because of battery life issues.


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    George S. Bower

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (4:56 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Local newsflash:A Diamond White VOLT came in with a damaged passenger side rear fender. It was towed in for our ‘Certified Techs’ to properly discharge the battery, then it was loaded up again on a flatbed to go back to some body shop for repairs. Apparently they did not want to do any welding until after the battery was discharged. They’re learning!

    The discharge policy is a two edged sword as Li batts don’t like to sit around discharged very long or it ruins them. Was the pack damaged or just the fender??

    I don’t think it is good policy to drain the battery after EVERY fender bender.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (6:13 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I don’t think Chevrolet can afford to cancel the VOLT. I really hate bringing up politics, but every VOLT built reduces the ‘Fleet Average’ MPG’s… and isn’t there some kind of mandate that the Fleet Averages have to be increased overall by 2014?

    #56

    True that. Good point. +1


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    Selling Volts at Sundance

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (6:16 pm)

    BLIND GUY,

    Sudden Ah Ha Moment!

    We have an “Instant Rebate”. When Leasing, the $7,500 Tax Credit is captured by Ally/US Bank, reducing the cost to you NOW and dropping the Lease Payment to the Chevrolet.com quote of from $399.00 month, 3yr/ 36,000 miles!

    Granted, this is with 7% or so-upfront, plus a small monthly use tax in in most states.

    Remember-Volt All Electric Range or CD ( Charge Depleting ) Range is 25-50 Miles!

    So, let’s take this common example:

    Mr. and Mrs Smith have 2 children and have been driving a 2006 Chevy Impalla. They bought the car as used in January of 2008 as a 2 year old car with 38,000 miles on it.

    Their loan was for $13,500.00, 5yrs at 6% with a payment of $270.00 per month. Like all Impalla’s their hwy/ city combined fuel economy is about 20 mpg.

    The Smiths drive 30-45 miles daily and buy on average 2 gallons of gas a day.

    In March of 2011 when gas prices were pushing $4.00 a gallon they worried that they could spent up to $240.00 a month in fuel costs, $2,400 a year!

    The Smiths are concerned that gas could rise again to $4.00 or so a gallon in the near term and are looking for a way to spend less.

    Currently the 2006 Impalla while still clean has 85,000 miles on it and will need maintenance and service averaging $40.00-$60.00+ dollars a month average over the rest of the life of the car……

    12 months, Car Payments: $3,240.00
    12 months, Gas Payments: $2,880.00 ( at $4.00 Gas )
    12 months, Repairs: $600.00

    Totals Yearly: $6,720.00 divided by 12 months=$560.00 Cost to Drive!

    For the Smiths’ at this time The Amasing Chevy Volt EREV would be a smart and cost effective move possably costing them less going foreward then the prospects of staying with what they have!

    The Trade Value on the 2008 Impala is $7,500.00.
    The Payoff on the 2008 Impala is $4,000.00.

    $399.00 a month, trade equity covering lease up fronts, plus $40.00 or so charge cost, plus some gas monthly, plus use tax equals $470.00 a month Cost to Drive.

    With their local utility charging bout a buck and twenty cents to top off the Volt, a day, they are removing at least $90.00 a month including used car service costs from their monthly budget if driving the Volt as their primary car!

    In the above common senario the Smith’s will save about $90.00 a month by switching to The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV NOW!!!

    Lease Benefits:

    1 ) Affordable payments offset by a severe reduction in the cost to drive each 40 miles!

    2 ) Three year Lease term only-Gen 2 or Volt 2.0 on scene when lease ends-UPGRADE!

    3 ) $7,500.00 Fed Tax Credit-Now!

    4 ) No 5, 6, 7, 8yr contract!

    5 ) Most States, pay tax on Lease Payment only not MSRP or Sale Price!

    6 ) Lease Repeaters-Always under Full Factory Warranty!

    ———————————————–]=

    Follow Me-@AmazingChevVolt


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (6:49 pm)

    It’s good GM’s being pro-active with the retrofit for Volt owners. I’ve driven the Volt and enjoyed the experience. However, for better or worse, most folks probably continue to view electric cars as too expensive and not convenient. An affordable e-car equivalent of Ford’s historic Model-T, a car that genuinely captures wide public acceptance and enthusiasm, has yet to appear. That any of the auto OEMs are able to develop a new power train technology at all, given the complex regulatory climate and public funding controversies, is remarkable.

    Significant engineering advances in Solid-State batteries with superior performance and safety were reported by the European press during (2011) making the Volt’s “state-of-the-art” battery tech appear out of date. But is it realistic for the public to expect OEMs to retool assembly lines, at great expense, to accommodate every engineering innovation? Like with advances in faster computer chips advanced solid-state energy storage R&D is happening. We can only hope some of the innovations eventually become available, and are affordable, for auto consumers in North America.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:00 pm)

    George S. Bower: Was the pack damaged or just the fender??

    No pack damage. Just the body. It looked like someone backed into them in a parking lot or something. Painful to look at. The owner must have been in tears or really pissed!


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:11 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: No pack damage. Just the body. It looked like someone backed into them in a parking lot or something. Painful to look at. The owner must have been in tears or really pissed!

    Then I am not sure discharging a 10,000$ battery pack was a good idea in this case!!


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:12 pm)

    There I was, up at number eleven above, suggesting what I did to promote Volt awareness, then comes the post on the front page of this site.

    “Chevrolet Volt Tear-Down Coming Soon.”
    The EETimes, apparently bought one to tear down and analyze.

    (GM might not be too happy about that).

    I would suppose that all the software would instantly “deres” to null.

    Might there be something in the sales agreement about proprietary restrictions?

    I guess who should be surprised that that would happen someday.

    Then what happens to all the parts? Are they going to be sold to competitors or does the EETimes have ethics and rules about what they say they are going to do? Wouldn’t that be illegal to do??

    But what if it actually had the effect of promoting the Volt in ways that the sum of the parts all together never could?

    Basically, I doubt that there would be very much more found out that had not already been shared here by GM engineers and execs/managers. Also, the patents are pretty solidly locked in for Volt, so not much good would come of it to realistically benefit a competitor anyway.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:28 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Demand for “Voltec” would increase if GM drops he VOLT from the Chevy lineup and starts production of the ‘Converj’ and the MPV under the CADILLAC banner. The only complaint about the VOLT has been its price. It’s better to be a cheap Cadillac than an expensive Chevrolet.

    Totally agree Corvette Guy.

    I would make it even simpler and rebadge the AMPERA as Cadillac (in the US w/ subtle trim changes…..

    At the same time,, get the MPV Voltec done for the cost conscious crowd..

    Target price for the MPV = same as Prius plug in.

    The UPSIDE of this marketing plan is that all owners of gen1 volts would see the value of their Volt INCREASE. (Since the only Volt you could get would be a more Expensive Cadillac.)


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:43 pm)

    Loboc: If you were a manufacturer and had to pay 90% of the payroll whether you built cars or not, what would you do?

    I think I would build, build, build, if it only cost me 10% to do so.


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    Jan 10th, 2012 (7:54 pm)

    Kup:
    Of course this isn’t great news but it is the only responsible thing to do.After all, if the Volts don’t sell like we believe they should, OF COURSE, you match production with demand.Or if America suddenly wakes up and understands the advantages of the Volt and that it isn’t tied to Obama and demand shoots up, OF COURSE, you match production with demand.

    VOLT’S SHINING HOPE — Don’t defend the fires, the stories and NHTSA’s dilemma – EXTOL VOLT’S VIRTUES and hope gas prices take care of the rest.


    This won’t balance upon Volt fires. Of course, if NHTSA comes out with an OFFICIAL RECALL, this is the 2,000 lb. elephant in this room. You know it, GM knows it. GM bent over backwards to satisfy consumer angst with probably about 20% culpability – because yes, it did ship Volt in November 2010 without a battery drain procedure and tools for this function to major first responder suppliers and the dealer network. 80% of this whole dilemma is fueled by NHTSA’s screw up and they, and GM hope it will all just go away. Unfortunately it may not, with the hooks in, media and the Republican overseers see this as a chance to kill the Volt in it’s tracks. If this happens, look no further than your friendly BIG OIL COMPANIES and SUPPLIERS. Good thing is, this is an election year and the talking heads will be blabbing and yammering constantly about gossip, strategy and intrique surrounding debates, primarys and the big run up to the 2012 November presidential fiasco ( I mean hundreds of millions wasted re-electing the shoe-in Obama second term. Here in America, we call this the “democratic process”, but it’s a big media circus, and this time around there is little doubt Obama will get his 2nd term?)

    The bright shining hope of us Corvair…ahem, I mean VOLT proponents is: Gas prices. Look at how much a gallon of gas went up just because Iran shouted some threats to close up the Strait of Hormuz! I don’t think any amount of manipulation and elongation of the NHTSA/GM screw up by politicians will be able to counter the sheer cost of a gallon of crude. This summer may bring record prices to a barrel of oil and the result may indeed be the salvation of our beloved EREV. There will be lots of competition in the “40 mpg…( er…HWY… ) promos of many hybrids, compacts and subcompacts this 2012 model year. This may slow down a rush to dealers for gas-frugal Volts. The common Joe buys into the ( holy 40 mpg hype ) yet doesn’t realize that car will see him a good 25 mpg overall.

    So instead of putting out fires ( Nasaman ) re: the Volt actually not catching fire. PLEASE resist this defensive posture and promote the positive qualities of a Volt vs. Prius, hybrid or 40 mpg subcompact. I know the knee-jerk response is to defend Volt’s facts. This is indeed the wrong message – instead go on the OFFENSIVE and extol the virtues of a car that they can commute in on American-made electrons and very tiny smidgens of gasoline. You may think most Americans have even seen a Volt but they haven’t. To this day many I talk to are shocked at the cargo capacity of a hatchback like my Prius – so let people know about tax credits and how practical a Volt purchase really is. Tell them there is no Prius that can do what the American-made Volt can do.

    We are the best Volt sales staff – You Volt owners are doing a great job of providing info and test drives to family, co-workers, associates and friends. These seeds of positive PR take hold in the mass thought process of the community when gas prices soar through the roof. People remember. Nothing more convincing than seeing an attractive sporty American compact Volt speed by you, and you know the guy/gal is probably doing so cheaply on electricity! Positive always sells – defending the Volt like it was a political doctrine is a turn off. On another pro GM website I read reems of input from people when questioned if Volt got a fair shake. Responses varied from political rants to defenders of Volt as a premise to the future. Yet No response hit home like the simple one-line post from a Volt owner named Kathy who simply stated: ” We love our Volt, I’ve had it for four months and 4,400 miles and have used 1.4 gallons of gasoline!” That says it all – doesn’t it? K.I.S.S.

    Seriously, I still believe the Volt may well end up the Corvair of our time – it’s looking more and more this way each passing day….But to keep hopes up and be absolutely positive is the only way IMO, so watch Volt sales rise as does the price of a gallon.

    CHEER UP VOLT FANS – Fight the Good Fight! ,

    James


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:34 pm)

    James:

    The bright shining hope of us Corvair…ahem, I mean VOLT proponents is

    Please James,
    bad analogy.
    Change Corvair to Corvette and I would agree.


  73. 73
    James

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:37 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    There I was, up at number eleven above, suggesting what I did to promote Volt awareness, then comes the post on the front page of this site.

    “Chevrolet Volt Tear-Down Coming Soon.” The EETimes,apparently bought one to tear down and analyze.

    (GM might not be too happy about that).

    I would suppose that all the software would instantly “deres” to null.

    Might there be something in the sales agreement about proprietary restrictions?

    I guess who should be surprised that that would happen someday.

    Then what happens to all the parts? Are they going to be sold to competitors or does the EETimes have ethics and rules about what they say they are going to do?Wouldn’t that be illegal to do??

    But what if it actually had the effect of promoting the Volt in ways that the sum of the parts all together never could?

    Basically, I doubt that there would be very much more found out that had not already been shared here by GM engineers and execs/managers.Also, the patents are pretty solidly locked in for Volt, so not much good would come of it to realistically benefit a competitor anyway.

    Dan , Dan, Dan. You are such an engineer, buddy ( this is a good thing, really! ).

    But Dan, don’t you realize every single company on earth buys their competitor’s products and breaks them down? I’m reading the Steve Jobs book and in it, you see how they buy every single product they deem a threat or competition, tear it down ( and usually ridicule the heck out of it ).

    It’s war-it’s the free market, it’s competition – it’s good!

    I would bet you a steak dinner Ford has bought Volts and has them strewn all over garage floors. Same with Toyota and all the rest. It gags me when people say they’re so afraid China will reverse-engineer Volt and rip us all off. Man, the Chinese probably tore down a Volt 14 months ago! Big deal! Do you honestly think they can turn around and make a Chinese Volt that would be half as good just because they understand how it works?! By then GM could have a 2nd or 3rd gen Volt in the pipeline.

    If this were true you and I would be seeing Russian and Chinese drones as good as ours flying about the borders of the world within a couple years. Remember Iran grabbing the fully functional top-drawer U.S. drone a few weeks back? You know our enemies’ engineers have had that thing apart in pieces and analyzed it. Didn’t seem to swing things back in the Cold War, did it? Sure clones can and will be made. History has proven copies cannot match originals – usually they only make the copiers look miserably incapable ( which they usually are ).

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Raymondjram

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (8:48 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Local newsflash:A Diamond White VOLT came in with a damaged passenger side rear fender. It was towed in for our ‘Certified Techs’ to properly discharge the battery, then it was loaded up again on a flatbed to go back to some body shop for repairs. Apparently they did not want to do any welding until after the battery was discharged. They’re learning!

    Did they drain the gas fuel tank, too? Gas vapors ignite if there are welding sparks nearby. That will be another Volt fire!

    Raymond


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    JeffB

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:15 pm)

    George S. Bower: Then I am not sure discharging a 10,000$ battery pack was a good idea in this case!!

    Hmmm…does this type of discharge damage the battery pack (or shorten its life)? If so, a small fender bender could end up being very costly.


  76. 76
    Charlie H

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (10:55 pm)

    Selling Volts at Sundance: Currently the 2006 Impalla while still clean has 85,000 miles on it and will need maintenance and service averaging $40.00-$60.00+ dollars a month average over the rest of the life of the car……
    12 months, Car Payments: $3,240.00
    12 months, Gas Payments: $2,880.00 ( at $4.00 Gas )
    12 months, Repairs: $600.00
    Totals Yearly: $6,720.00 divided by 12 months=$560.00 Cost to Drive!
    For the Smiths’ at this time The Amasing Chevy Volt EREV would be a smart and cost effective move possably costing them less going foreward then the prospects of staying with what they have!
    The Trade Value on the 2008 Impala is $7,500.00.
    The Payoff on the 2008 Impala is $4,000.00.
    $399.00 a month, trade equity covering lease up fronts, plus $40.00 or so charge cost, plus some gas monthly, plus use tax equals $470.00 a month Cost to Drive.

    Oooohhh… it’s magic… a 2006 Impala morphs into a 2008 Impala!

    Of course, 7% down plus years of indentured servitude vs just paying off the Impala? It’s that kind of financial “planning” that put a lot of American families on the rocks.

    If they want to cut their gas expense, I suggest they carpool. Or start biking. Walking is good for you, too.

    If they can’t stand the Impala (and, really, who can?), they should look into buying a Corolla or a Yaris. They can get a Yaris for $14K. They’ll spend $120/month or so in fuel, and it will last for years with low maintenance (I’m running about $15/month, all told, on my decade-old 100K+ mile Toyotas, they’ll do much better if the new Yaris has a timing chain instead of a belt). Take $3500 off that by trading the Impala and they can finance it for something like $240/month for 4 years. So, they have a new car with room for 5 for under $400/month. The Yaris also won’t cost much to insure or register. And no $2,000 charger installation, either.

    And after 4 years, they OWN it, they can use as many miles per year as necessary, without penalty and don’t have to pony up another 7% and get back on the leasing merry-go-round when the Volt lease expires after 3 years.

    Bottom line: If you’re concerned about your finances, leasing a $40K car is idiocy.


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    Jan 11th, 2012 (3:09 am)

    George S. Bower: Please James,
    bad analogy.
    Change Corvair to Corvette and I would agree.

    Actually, in case you missed it, a while back I listed the brief history of the Chevrolet Corvair. How an unknown lawyer named Ralph Nader made a name for himself falsley accusing it of being a deathtrap. How ensuing tests, even ones made 30 years later showed it was safer than it’s peers and one of the most misunderstood risks any automaker ever made. Unlike the Ford Edsel, the Corvair was fundamentally, a swing at out-VWing the Beetle using new tech. It was lower and larger than the Bug, not top-heavy, air-cooled and rear engined. It was supposed to create a market between the Ford Falcon and the VW. It made sense – it had great weight distribution over the midsection and rear drive wheels.

    The Corvair did get variations, and GM even endowed it with stabilizer bars and a sexier body for a 2nd generation. But Nader’s Raider’s accusations rang inside buyer’s heads and Corvair never could overcome the attacks. It didn’t sell well. GM finally put it out of it’s misery.

    Corvette’s history has none of this drama – although some have nicked it’s bad fiberglass body fit over the decades and have lamented it’s poor interior quality – it has remained an icon and a good halo, showing GM can build performance. There were a couple times Corvette was rumored to be on GM’s chopping block during years of poor sales or gas crisis, but it has soldiered on as a showcase of what GM can do. It’s still a Ferrari/Porsche fighter made in USA. For it’s price and seating capacity, it still sells quite well to the mid-life crisis, and sheer performance crowd.

    Yes, the Volt is much maligned and much falsely attacked, just like Corvair was. We can only hope the price of lithium falls fast as a gallon of gas rises. This will be the only scenario that will find Volt with a resurgence of buyers – thus making Volt a survivor.

    RECHARGE! .

    James


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2012 (7:41 am)

    James,

    Yes, of course I know all that. Just trying to stimulate the conversation. And, of course GM knows all that for the last hundred years. Many readers don’t, so I was just pointing out a benchmark of sorts.

    The competitors don’t strew the parts around, they put them up on pegboards and tables, then, their accountants come through, the engineers come through, the designers come through, and on and on.

    The same thing will happen to Fords, BMW’s, etc, etc.

    But what good thing out of all this that **does** happen, is that the other OEM’s do NOT want to spend millions of dollars accidentally coming up with an already patented design.

    This is called “Zietgiest” or the (spirit of the times/thinking of the times) tendency for entirely different groups to come up with exactly the same idea or invention. (I was thinking that someone would respond with something like this.) Thanks for your response that you did post.


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    terry

     

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    Jan 12th, 2012 (1:35 pm)

    Bonaire,

    The Ontario tax rebate is done at the Dealership level.(Taken right off invoice). Come on GM build sold orders first! That is how this car will succeed!


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    Jan 12th, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    dave: I like the batteries on the floor like the tesla, but I wonder if it will see more fires on impact.

    Batteries on the floor would require an all new platform, resulting in dumping everything previously geared around the idea of a MPV and requiring the additional investment of hundreds of millions to create a new, purpose built, flat bottom, small SUV/minivan chassis from existing chassis configurations.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 12th, 2012 (4:19 pm)

    kdawg: Yeah, i’m sure CG pushes Volt people aside all the time at his dealership… lol. I think you are thinking of the douche in PA, George “Mike” Kelly.

    CG has a much different attitude than the dozens of wanna be Mike Kellys and the dealers with the Volts in back like the one Brenda saw in #55. CG has pushed back against Volt limitations suggested by people in high positions at his location for years.