Mar 02

Volt and Ampera selling relatively well – UPDATED

 

See midway down for a brief update inserted under Volt news.

As the dust settles from the batterygate debacle that GM hopes to relegate to forgotten history, U.S. Volt sales jumped to 1,023 last month, and in Europe, they cannot get enough a good thing in the form of an imported from U.S. Ampera.

Volt sales in this year’s 29 days of February leaped above weak January numbers of 603 Volts that GM executives have said were low because of bad press, not to mention January is normally a slow month anyway.

 

This month, the E-REV outsold the Nissan Leaf – side note: why do we compare the Volt to this car? Because they are both two different approaches to electrification? What ever the case, since we’ve done it since they both launched, we’ll keep the tradition going and mention the Leaf sold only 478 units, a decline from 676 sold in January, and 954 in December. Nissan has nonetheless said it hopes this year to double the 9,700 Leafs sold in 2011.

And speaking of goals, GM has abandoned its long-standing 2012 North American sales target of 45,000 units, and as it had begun hinting a while back, will match “supply to demand.”

UPDATE (3/2/12):

As the line above says, we knew GM would curtail supply, but more specifically, today GM said it is halting production of the Chevrolet Volt for five weeks from Mar. 19-April 23 as it works to sell down its existing inventory.

“We have more than enough to meet our demand,” said GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho.

As part of the shut-down, GM will temporarily lay off 1,300 workers at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

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While we expect critics – including those who for some reason lurk around GM-Volt, and who are being watched for the attitude they project – may pounce on the above statement, GM has said it is still working on rebuilding its damaged image.

It bears repeating because it is true: The Volt’s reputation was damaged following fictional reports of Volt batteries “exploding” and other extravagant tales. I’m still asked by people about the alleged big fire risk. The misinformation was willfully spread, it didn’t happen in a day, and its reversal won’t either.

But over in Europe, news is a bit brighter for the Volt’s cousin. They are only doling out perhaps one-quarter the U.S. number of E-Revs, and if GM will extend its policy of matching supply with demand, it should probably think about increasing the Euro allocation.

Ampera

There had been reports not many weeks ago that General Motors was holding back European deliveries of the Opel Ampera until issues in North America surrounding its sister vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, were resolved.

Since the reports of a federal investigation into battery safety were properly settled, last week Opel announced customer deliveries have begun of the extended-range electric vehicle.

The company says it is approaching 6,000 European orders, is well on the way toward its (conservative first-year) sales goals, and is taking sales away from premium brands.

“Our first deliveries are running smoothly and I’m pleased to confirm that our sales target of 10,000 units for 2012 is on track,” said Enno Fuchs, Opel’s e-mobility launch director. “We’re very happy that our European customers can now drive our revolutionary Ampera.”

 

Opel is apparently also happy that sales of the Ampera represent a “premium brand conquest” as clients transfer loyalties to the American-produced, environmentally friendly vehicle.

“The majority of Ampera retail customers previously owned top premium brand cars and are making the switch to the Ampera and Opel because they want to be the first to use such cutting-edge technology,” Opel said.

A similar phenomenon occurred last year among high per-capita earning first adopters of the Volt in the U.S., but in Europe, Opel notes the majority of Ampera clients have been fleet or business customers.

Last August, Opel chief Nick Reilly said he was already hoping to be allowed to import more than only 10,000 units in 2012, and that around 75 percent of Ampera pre-order customers were fleet buyers. This latter assertion Opel reiterated this month, mentioning some of its top fleet accounts.

“These include big names such as Lease Plan, ALD and Europcar,” Opel said. “A number of big global brands have placed orders and further showcase their environmental commitment by having Amperas in their fleet.”

For now the vehicles are being imported from GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, although if success continues, GM is looking to produce Opel and similar Vauxhall-badged Amperas and Chevy Volts closer to their point of consumption.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 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: 130


  1. 1
    GSP

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:52 am)

    The Volt and Ampera can save Euripean customers quite a bit of money. Here is an example:

    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/7269-Petroleum-Prices-Set-Records-in-2011?

    With this economic benifit, plus the joy of driving the Volt, GM should be able to sell way more than they originally planned.

    GSP


  2. 2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:58 am)

    GSP,

    Right GSP, my own calculations show that AT CURRENT FOSSIL FUEL PRICES, the TOC (Total Ownership Cost) of the Ampera despite its high purchase price compare to the TOC of an “equivalent” Opel Astra on the time of the battery warranty (8 years). For this the user must must cover at least 28,000 km/year.

    Best regards,

    JC NPNS


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    Mark Z

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:25 am)

    Volt orders and sales in California should hit new highs with the HOV sticker appearing at the end of the Volt fast food commercial last night during American Idol on our local FOX network. There is a voice over and plenty of small print to read. The large HOV sticker graphic covering the left side of the TV screen (in Eco green instead of white to stand out) is an attention getter. The HOV message gives the viewer an upbeat reason to buy after seeing the Volt driver’s hamburger being eaten by the server.

    The small print includes a warning that Volts without the emissions package are not eligible for the HOV sticker.


  4. 4
    Jason M. Hendler

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:34 am)

    If the Ampera is a luxury brand conquest vehicle, then the Fisker Karma must also be selling very well in Europe, so a partnership / acquisition between Fisker Automotive and any other automaker that wants to have a presence in the luxury brand market in Europe.


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    Jim I

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:06 am)

    The Volt’s time has come……………..

    We were just smart enough to see it first!

    C-5277 – Proudly Purchased 10-04-2011 – In Youngstown, Ohio


  6. 6
    mmcc

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:13 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Mark Z

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:25 am)

    Here is a screenshot of the Volt commercial mentioned above. Having this information at the end of the Volt ads in California should encourage many Volt buyers to order the Low Emissions Package.

    6946269317_5eb7693454_z.jpg


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    Nelson

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:38 am)

    And speaking of goals, GM has abandoned its long-standing 2012 North American sales target of 45,000 units, and as it had begun hinting a while back, will match “supply to demand.”

    I’ve always said that is the best model for manufactures, as proven by the desktop computer industry. No waist and no room for sales shenanigans. Although I know most people need to see and sit in the particular car they will purchase. Dealers should be happy about the decision. My friends always buy their cars from dealers with a lot of inventory because they think they’ll get a better deal. Their line of thinking is (large inventory = no sales = discounts).

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  9. 9
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:46 am)

    Mark Z: Volt orders and sales in California should hit new highs with the HOV sticker appearing at the end of the Volt fast food commercial last night during American Idol on our local FOX network.

    I do not watch the E! channel, but it was on at a friends house and they were talking about the Fisker Karma. Justin Bieber was given one yesterday for his 18th bday. They mentioned George Clooney owning one. And even showed a clip in 2-1/2 men where Ashton Kutcher was driving one and explaining how it is a high-tech luxury vehicle.

    (as much as I hate to link a fauxnews article)
    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/01/12/ashton-kutcher-seen-getting-some-good-fisker-karma/

    Notable Karma owners include Leonardo DiCaprio and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    Really, Colin Powell?

    An outspoken environmentalist, Kutcher has also been seen driving various Toyota and Lexus hybrids, as well as a 14,000-pound NaviStar CXT pickup truck that gets an estimated 7 mpg.

    I didn’t see the Volt on this list, but I don’t think Fox is allowed to broadcast positive news on the Volt.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:53 am)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin:
    GSP,

    Right GSP, my own calculations show that AT CURRENT FOSSIL PRICES, the TOC (Total Ownership Cost) of the Ampera despite its high purchase price compare to the TOC of an “equivalent” Opel Astra on the time of the battery warranty (8 years). For this the user must must cover at least 28,000 km/year.

    Best regards,

    JC NPNS

    Are there a lot of taxes that get tagged on the Ampera because they are imported from the US?? Will the Amperas that get manufactured in Europe by Vauxall be less than the ones that are imported?


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    ronr64

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (9:22 am)

    Is this some sort of warning of impending censorship?

    – including those who for some reason lurk around GM-Volt, and who are being watched for the attitude they project –

    I know these guys can be a pain in the rear but I would strongly urge you to not go the route of censorship of opposing opinions. We should never fear the truth, nor should we fear demonstrable untruths. For example I posted earlier about Eric Bolling and his hatchet job on the Volt and that I think what he did is actually a good thing long term for the Volt. He went so out of his way to try to make the Volt look bad that it became comical. Any neutral person would pick up on it immediately and even those who have been previously led to not like the Volt might be jarred into some free thinking with his so obvious false claims and exaggerations.

    So don’t censor the anti Volt propagandists just make sure they have enough rope.


  12. 12
    Dave K.

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (9:28 am)

    My local Chevy dealership had three Volts on the lot 2 weeks ago. They all had white center consoles. Two had cloth seats. All three are now sold. Somebody likes driving without burning gasoline. What’s your guess on percent of population who have demo driven a full size EV? How many will consider taking a demo drive as oil products inflate in price?

    No Plug, No Sale!


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    Jeff Cobb

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (9:30 am)

    ronr64: Is this some sort of warning of impending censorship? … We should never fear the truth, nor should we fear demonstrable untruths.

    You have no worries. People have asked me repeatedly to censor them. I’ve always said no – as long as actual points are being made with a respectful attitude, with decent language, and no personal attacks or excessively or persistently snotty attitudes laced in. I’ve been getting complaints that some comments are for no other purpose than to upset people. Please do not read into what I say for interpretations that are not expressed. I am capable of stating what I mean. The policy is the same, and my statement says nothing more.

    ronr64: For example I posted earlier about Eric Bolling and his hatchet job on the Volt and that I think what he did is actually a good thing long term for the Volt. He went so out of his way to try to make the Volt look bad that it became comical …

    You say essentially fear no truth, then you say Eric Bolling did a service for the Volt? I will not comment on that, but speaking from a journalistic ethics POV, I never endorse willful misrepresentations or a “hatchet job” by someone who is trusted to disseminate news, even if someone wants to tell me the ends justified the means.


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    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (9:52 am)

    I’ve been censored :)

    (My comment is in moderation… must be because I mentioned Justin Bieber, LOL)


  15. 15
    Jeff Cobb

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (9:57 am)

    kdawg:
    I’ve been censored :)

    (My comment is in moderation… must be because I mentioned Justin Bieber, LOL)

    Found it! See comment #9.


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    Steverino

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:11 am)

    It seems there is pent up demand in Canada and Europe. At this point it would be hard to see why GM would not supply that demand. All the slow ramp up stuff is behind us. So I expect supply to catch up to demand quickly. Go Volt!

    As far as hatchet jobs, my 80 year old mother told me she got an email passed along to her by her friends. Yup, the malicious, deceitful, lie filled “electricity is $1.16/kWh and it costs $18 to fill the battery” email. The good thing about my mom and her friends and there friends is they pass *everything* along, including every email address this message was sent to since it started life in someones toilet.

    Rest assured, they all got a second email about the Volt from a Volt driver.


  17. 17
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:12 am)

    “As the dust settles from the batterygate debacle that GM hopes to relegate to forgotten history, U.S. Volt sales jumped to 1,023 last month”
    ———————-

    I think 1000/month is pretty good when you compare the Volt to other $40k hybrids

    Look at the Lexus HS. It’s been around for awhile and only sold 150 last month.

    All of last year the Lincoln MKZ hybrid only sold 5739.


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    Jackson

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:21 am)

    Another important step on the journey to make EREV mainstream. There are more prerequisites ahead, but we will keep our eyes on the prize.


  19. 19
    Jim Fallston Md.

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:31 am)

    If GM wanted to try and minimize some of the complaints from those who wish the Volt to fail. They should produce all of the current version of the Volt/Ampera for the overseas markets in the US until more retooling needs to occur for the next generation. This would cut the operating costs of setting up a new European plant to produce there. Add some extra dollars to the freight costs and keep more Americans working for the # 1 selling auto maker in the world. This would also help with QC as Hamtramick allready knows what to look for. I think this action would also boost sales here substantially when fuel prices rise here very soon, and the general population see’s more of their neighbor auto workers being called back to work.


  20. 20
    DonC

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:34 am)

    mmcc: Not to nitpick, but according to the “Chevy Volt battery pack fire” time-line posted from Green Transportation on this site recently, there was possibly an explosion…

    Not to nitpick but that was not the battery exploding. There was an explosion and a battery which was not properly depowered caught on fire. All of which NHSTA could not reproduce. Just by the numbers, if the Volt caught fire at the same rate as an ICE vehicle, two should have caught fire. How many actual real world fires has the Volt been involved in?

    The lead in article understates not overstates the BS the right wing media manufactured. My guess is that some right wing nut job planted a small bomb which destroyed the Volt at the NHTSA storage facility. I have no evidence whatsoever to back that up but since flights of fantasy are in order I’ll go with that one. It fits my preconceived narrative and victim like paranoia.

    BTW, applying the same math the right wing whack jobs apply to the government bailout and the Volt, the gas you put in your tank last week cost taxpayers four billion dollars (the total tax subsidy paid to oil companies divided by the gallons of gas you pumped). That’s right isn’t it?

    My point here is that there seems to be two completely different standards. If someone like Eric Bolling (who by the way the comedian Lewis Black has said is great because ” here’s a guy who says what only @ssholes think”) manufactures a fictional piece masquerading as journalism that’s OK. But if Jeff writes something that is in any small way not 100% technically accurate then there is an issue and we need to “nitpick”.


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    Loboc

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:45 am)

    Jim Fallston Md.,

    GM should also sell the Ampera here. Possibly as a Buick Electra.

    I love the body work on that car!


  22. 22
    ronr64

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:46 am)

    Jeff, Glad to hear you are opposed to the censorship of ideas. Censorship of profanity or personal attacks is another issue and if I was running a site they would have no room on my forum either.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough on Eric Bolling. He certainly wasn’t intending on doing the Volt any favors – quite the opposite. But he had a lot of demonstrable untruths in his hit piece. For instance the “ran out of juice in the Lincoln tunnel” bit. If one reads only the title then damage is done. But if one watched his piece and saw it ran out of juice – and keep right on going seamlessly – one cannot help but recognize how misleading the title was and how untruthful he was. How do you not at that moment start to question everything else he says? The reality is that he unintentionally perfectly demonstrated the best of the Volt – that once the battery runs out the gasoline engine kicks in, and if you are not looking for it you won’t even notice it. Now I know most people can not quote their electric rate off the top of their head but the figure he gave was so out of whack that anyone giving it a bit of thought (much more likely now that his credibility is in question for the viewer) would start to question it and go find their last power bill. Again his credibility takes a hit. This is what I mean by his piece actually long term doing a service. That is not to condone his action, just looking for the silver lining I guess…


  23. 23
    ronr64

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:59 am)

    Here is another way to explain my point of view on Bolling. This is a bit abstract perhaps… I remember in high school we had some guy come in to talk to us about the dangers of drug use. Probably everyone of us has had some version of this happen to us. He starts out by asking us if we knew that you could die the first time you use cocaine. Now that may indeed be true but everyone of us teenagers was thinking the same thing. And that is we’ve seen plenty of people use drugs and none have ever died the first time they used it or for that matter most didn’t know anyone who had died from drug use at all much less the first time. So that guy instantly lost credibility and was a complete waste of time and a dis-service to his cause. That is how I view Bollings piece. A complete dis-service to his cause because he is so outlandish that his credibility will be damaged to his crowd. It is not important what Volt fans think of his piece, it is more important what his likely audience thinks. His likely audience is already anti-Volt so if he manipulates, exaggerates and out right lies – good! It is more likely to open their eyes. Would it be even better if the Eric Bollings and the Rush Limbaughs became Volt converts and started singing the praises to their audiences? Of course it would but lets stick with reality! :)


  24. 24
    Charlie H

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:00 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    stuart22

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:18 am)

    Well after 24 responses, there’s nothing been said about the LEAF’s dismal sales result so maybe the Volt vs. LEAF ‘rivalry’ angle has become an exaggeration.

    If so, good – the Volt is a different solution to a common problem and if February sales results are an indication of the beginning of a sales trend, then it looks great for GM and Voltec. I have been waiting for this day to come and I hope it has…

    Many of us have long felt that BEV’s are not yet ready for the mass-market, me included.

    My feeling is not from an anti-BEV standpoint but simply a pragmatic one. To me, the typical car owner sees a car as a tool – it needs to fit their lifestyle rather than they need to make major changes to their habits to fit the car. Today’s BEVs demand these major changes be made, or they demand that owners have a backup car which ultimately cancels out a BEVs owner’s claim to addressing that common problem mentioned earlier.

    The Volt is the tool that can fit people’s lifestyle with minimal changes of habits – plugging in. Beyond that it makes no demands on one’s driving habits, yet it does offer rewards to owners who make conscious efforts to maximize their EV only miles and minimize their CS miles. No painful penalties for those who drive beyond their EV ranges.

    I said it long ago and I’ll say it again – the Volt will go down in history as the car most responsible for turning a niche product into a full blown EV market segment in the automobile world. Someday BEVs will be commonplace, but it will be the Volt they will have to thank for paving the way for them to happen.


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    dave

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:19 am)

    mmcc,

    Re: Not to nitpick, but according to the “Chevy Volt battery pack fire” time-line posted from Green Transportation on this site recently, there was possibly an explosion…

    I think it is much more likely that the plastic in the batteries ignited, eventually generating enough heat to ignite the fuel tank which if nearly empty would have had enough gas and oxygen to cause an explosion.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:27 am)

    Charlie H: I pity the poor car manufacturer who has do try and get along without government largesse propping up his product.

    But it’s okay with you that the Prius will still get $4,000 from feds and $1,500 from CA… That’s okay because it’s LESS than what a GM car gets… Is that about right? F’n hypocrite.


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    Jeff Cobb

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:43 am)

    ronr64: one cannot help but recognize how misleading the title was and how untruthful he was. that anyone giving it a bit of thought Again his credibility takes a hit.

    I won’t have time to continue this discussion today, but will answer you briefly. As Yogi Bear used to say, I think you may be “smarter than the average bear,” or IOW, you are a thinking person, and taking time to analyze (with a positive slant, I might add). In today’s world of sound bites and information overload piled on top of busy schedules, how people process info is often confounded by being distracted, already misinformed, biased, or not really even caring all that much.

    I attempted initially to avoid getting into this discussion because it opens a can of worms we could go on about at length. I simply said from a journalistic ethics POV, there’s a reason why you don’t “go there” in deviating from sound news reporting principles that have been worked out since lessons learned in the 1800s, and muckraking days, and days of yellow journalism, and all through the 20th century.

    Philosophy 101 introduces students to the concept of a “slippery slope,” which is what one steps onto when he willfully distorts the news. Unintended consequences follow along with intended. You are accentuating the potentially positive of this relatively new deviation from principles long established. To that, I’ll say perhaps you make valid points, but in my view it’s not such a good thing to see erosion of standards. It’s very concerning, and really, represents an experiment in the face of evidence that it is not a good idea. Those journalistic standards I refer too (“fair and balanced,” which Fox says it adheres to) were put there for a reason, through trial and error.

    ronr64: His likely audience is already anti-Volt so if he manipulates, exaggerates and out right lies – good! It is more likely to open their eyes.

    We hope so, don’t we? Can we count on it? Your guess is as good as mine. I appreciate your optimism and willingness to adapt to the new world order, but the scientific method says these are hypotheses, not verifiable conclusions you assert.

    I will not call it at this juncture, but willful dissemination of wrong info by those trusted to tell the whole truth always gives me great pause. For my part, I resist stepping on that slope as much as is humanly possible.


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    markwbrooks

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:57 am)

    Charlie H,

    That still does not even the playing field. With billion in yearly give aways to the “drill baby drill” big oil companies and an established distribution infrastructure paid at least partly by tax dollars, its still an uphill hike.
    A good start would be to cut the estimated $4 billion a year in tax credits oil compaines get, or alternatly increase the ev tax rebate to match ( in 2011 it was $200 million, so that would be a 20 x increase).
    I am in favour of justing cutting all rebates completely… the assocated increase at the gas pump would simple drive EV sales.

    Just so that we are clear, between 2002 and 2008 the three largest fossil fuel subsidies were,
    Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion), Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion),
    special rules for righting off Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion).

    Cutting these give aways would also help address complaints from US trading partners about unfair trading pratices.

    Its time to give big oil the finger.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:02 pm)

    ronr64: So don’t censor the anti Volt propagandists just make sure they have enough rope.

    #11

    I agree and have said so before. On the other hand, I don’t see anything wrong with wondering out loud what the hell they are up to.


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    SharkVolt

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:03 pm)

    mmcc: “…fictional reports of Volt batteries “exploding” and other extravagant tales.”Not to nitpick, but according to the “Chevy Volt battery pack fire” time-line posted from Green Transportation on this site recently, there was possibly an explosion… “The windshield and rear view mirror were “dislocated” from the vehicle. That is, they were found on the ground well away from the vehicle. The manner of this indicates a “pre-fire pressure event” (a.k.a. explosion) they believe was due to cells venting electrolyte due to a thermal event (a.k.a. heat) in the battery pack.” Not a big deal in my mind, I’m just saying.

    That would be quite a trick, considering the fact that the entire battery pack is completely outside the interior of the Volt and separated by solid steel.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:04 pm)

    kdawg:
    I’ve been censored

    (My comment is in moderation… must be because I mentioned Justin Bieber, LOL)

    #14

    Naaaaahhh, we just don’t like your attitude, LOL. +1


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:06 pm)

    Steverino: It seems there is pent up demand in Canada and Europe. At this point it would be hard to see why GM would not supply that demand.

    #16

    Amen! +1

    Exports are GOOD!


  34. 34
    pjkPA

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:06 pm)

    Charlie H,
    “I pity the poor car manufacturer who has do try and get along without government largesse propping up his product.”

    Just look into how much Japanese German and Korean car companies get from their governments… routinely… and I’m not talking about loans.

    Good article Jeff …


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    Noel Park

     

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    ronr64: This is a bit abstract perhaps… I remember in high school we had some guy come in to talk to us about the dangers of drug use.

    #23

    Reminds me of Sister Mary Elephant and Sergeant Stadenko, LOL.


  36. 36
    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:12 pm)

    stuart22: I said it long ago and I’ll say it again – the Volt will go down in history as the car most responsible for turning a niche product into a full blown EV market segment in the automobile world. Someday BEVs will be commonplace, but it will be the Volt they will have to thank for paving the way for them to happen.

    #25

    True that. +1


  37. 37
    Tall Pete

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    Steverino: It seems there is pent up demand in Canada and Europe. At this point it would be hard to see why GM would not supply that demand. All the slow ramp up stuff is behind us. So I expect supply to catch up to demand quickly. Go Volt!

    Just contacted 2 dealerships in Montreal and Laval, Québec, Canada to see if any Volts were available in the near future. These two mainstream big volume dealerships have 1) no Volt demo 2) not a single Volt on the lot.

    One said I can order the car and delivery will take 8-10 weeks. The other one said he has one Volt not spoken for coming in April (~ 6 weeks). The salesperson was on vacation this week and will contact me next week upon return.

    So I would say there is definitely a demand in Canada that is yet to supply. I long the day I will see ONE demo Volt on ANY dealership in my neighborhood. You know, parked up front, where people can see that the car exists and is available. Actually, is it available if no one can see it on the lot or in the showroom ?

    P.S. And did I mention that regular gas is around 5.28$ to 5.45$ a US gallon in my area depending on the day of the week and the mood of our beloved oil companies ?


  38. 38
    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: We hope so, don’t we? Can we count on it? Your guess is as good as mine. I appreciate your optimism and willingness to adapt to the new world order, but the scientific method says these are hypotheses, not verifiable conclusions you assert.

    I will not call it at this juncture, but willful dissemination of wrong info by those trusted to tell the whole truth always gives me great pause. For my part, I resist stepping on that slope as much as is humanly possible.

    #28

    Amen to that too. +1


  39. 39
    Tall Pete

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:24 pm)

    pjkPA: Just look into how much Japanese German and Korean car companies get from their governments… routinely… and I’m not talking about loans.

    If a foreign government does it, it’s OK.

    If a US government does it, it’s against the free market and we must let the market pick the winner.

    But let’s give Charlie H. credit where credit is due. He wrote : “I was wrong by a factor of 2.5. It would seem that GM’s production and delivery ran way ahead of my estimate.”

    Any prediction for March ?


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (12:47 pm)

    Sorry OT: does the standard Volt stereo support USB devices, like an Ipod or thumbdrive, or do you have to get the $2000 Audio/Nav option? Same for bluetooth devices. I’m trying to find my notes on the MyLink info, and what options are or are not required as well. I know you need OnStar for MyLink to work.


  41. 41
    leeG

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:01 pm)

    mmcc:
    “…fictional reports of Volt batteries “exploding” and other extravagant tales.”

    Not to nitpick, but according to the “Chevy Volt battery pack fire” time-line posted from Green Transportation on this site recently, there was possibly an explosion…

    “The windshield and rear view mirror were “dislocated” from the vehicle. That is, they were found on the ground well away from the vehicle. The manner of this indicates a “pre-fire pressure event” (a.k.a. explosion) they believe was due to cells venting electrolyte due to a thermal event (a.k.a. heat) in the battery pack.”

    Not a big deal in my mind, I’m just saying.

    Start a fire in a confined space, such as the interior of a car with doors and windows closed, and enough heat and gases can be generated from the combustion to increase the interior pressure enough to blow the windows out.

    Roughly similar to how an “internal combustion” engine works.

    Just saying.


  42. 42
    lousloot

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:01 pm)

    Moar stories about the cool Guts of the Volt please! I love to read about this wonder — but we tend to get bogged down by politics. Oh well it is what it is.

    I believe the Volt will sell 45k units (if they make them) this year… With all the doom about oil prices, efficient cars like the Volt are suddenly back on everyones must-have list. Battery fires? oh its safe, they fixed that… Its a good talking point to turn someone to the Volt. Being able to charge up at home and get 40 miles of electric driving is very* sexy! Expec. if you are a teenager and your daddy is paying the electric bill.

    Must Lock Attitude Projector on “Happy Happy/Joy Joy”

    “– including those who for some reason lurk around GM-Volt, and who are being watched for the attitude they project –”

    I have a wonderful attitude! Everything is fine here! No, you don’t have to visit — we have a minor reactor leak. Give me some time to lock it down…


  43. 43
    Jim I

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:19 pm)

    Noel Park: #23

    Reminds me of Sister Mary Elephant and Sergeant Stadenko, LOL.

    ================================

    Cheech and Chong!!!

    That takes me back in time to lots of fun……………..
    :)

    C-5277


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    jeffhre

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Charlie H: I pity the poor car manufacturer who has do try and get along without government largesse propping up his product.

    For the time being you don’t have to worry about that since there aren’t any. As long as the billions in petroleum subsidies stay in place.

    Maybe you should pity the poor taxpayer that has had the oil and gas subsidies on his back for generations instead.


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:34 pm)

    Jim I: ================================

    Cheech and Chong!!!

    That takes me back in time to lots of fun……………..

    C-5277

    #43

    Aah, a person of taste and culture! +1 “Far out, man!”


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (1:35 pm)

    jeffhre: For the time being you don’t have to worry about that since there aren’t any. As long as the billions in petroleum subsidies stay in place.

    Maybe you should pity the poor taxpayer that has had the oil and gas subsidies on his back for generations instead.

    #44

    And there’s yet another amen! +1

    You guys are truly preaching the gospel today. LOTS of “+1s”. I love it! Preach on!


  47. 47
    statik

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (2:49 pm)

    Just a random thing I thought might be of interest:

    I had a looksie at the production version of the Spark EV (while at least I assume it to be production ready) recently. Which, in and of itself I guess is news to some degree. The car looks mostly as the ICE Spark does….although I confess to perhaps not being a student of the design of Spark, lol

    Front is smoothed/flattened somewhat, but now sports the Volt like front air dams. Charging port is still in the same place as in the Spark mule video GM put out several months ago (front left). GM has moved the side signals off the front quarter panels and integrated it into the side mirros…of which, the mirrors have also been redesigned/reshaped. The rear looks to be exactly the same except for the bumper panel smoothed out to eliminate the weird hole for the tailpipe.

    Again, there might be some other minor changes between the two, but my working knowledge on the spot of the Spark is pretty limited.


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    john1701a

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: But it’s okay with you that the Prius will still get $4,000 from feds and $1,500 from CA…

    It’s $2,500 not $4,000.


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:11 pm)

    statik: I had a looksie at the production version of the Spark EV

    #48

    Bring it ON! +1


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:11 pm)

    john1701a: It’s $2,500 not $4,000.

    #49

    Good!


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:29 pm)

  52. 52
    statik

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:46 pm)

    kdawg: statik, http://www.cheersandgears.com/page/index.html/_/articles/chevrolet-news/spied-chevys-smallest-ev-drops-its-camo-r420

    Yes sir, thats the car I saw, (=

    /nice find

    What I find interesting about the Spark EV story is about where it is being built. I’ve never seen GM take so long/so close to production to make it known.

    Originally, you would have thought it would have been out of India, what with all the original REVA riff-raff (and it being one of the Spark ICE production facilities) and GM clearly marking this car first and foremost as a ‘global’ car and not a US car…but India seems like there are kind of being an a**hat about the electrification of the automobile.

    Seems more likely it ends up out of Korea now (which also makes the Spark ICE), considering the relationship with the battery maker there, and SAIC (that aldo does lots of other twirlly things with GM/EVs).

    Have to believe there is an impending announcement/PR blitz on this car shortly considering they annouced its going to be on the market in the next 15 months or so.

    I will say, it is wicked small and cheap. Not to the extent of the Mitsui, but not that far off. With minimal cosmetic changes and the batteries just stuffed in the back, I’d wager it comes to decently well below 30k (pre-rebates).


  53. 53
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (3:54 pm)

    good catch kdawg,
    I wonder if GM put the Spark EV in the wind tunnel or if they just guessed on the aero refinements. It will be interesting to get more info on this little unit especially in the battery dept.

    Cooling?? or nada like the leaf. I would say Nada since A123.

    Batteries in floor like the Leaf??

    and $
    ????


  54. 54
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (4:00 pm)

    George S. Bower: I wonder if GM put the Spark EV in the wind tunnel or if they just guessed on the aero

    I wish it looked like the 140 Tru

    214479-chevy-tru-140s.jpg


  55. 55
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    George S. Bower: Batteries in floor like the Leaf??

    Here’s the guts.

    Chevrolet-Spark-EV-fotoshowImage-72a5adb4-556417.jpg


  56. 56
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (4:48 pm)

    kdawg: Here’s the guts.

    Hmm…that’s a pretty big radiator. Are those coolant lines coming forward from the pack?? The plastic battery case looks alot like the Volt’s. Maybe the batteries ARE liquid cooled.


  57. 57
    mmcc

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (5:28 pm)

    leeG,

    et al.
    Don’t shoot the messenger. I was just quoting a previously posted article on this blog. If you read my comment, I didn’t say the battery exploded.


  58. 58
    Opel issue

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    I don’t know the basis of how building more Amperas can help. From N. American point of view, it seems to make sense on Amperas…but what about from European point of view? Wonder why most clients were fleet?

    Opel’s CEO is about to get his butt kick out the door, and GM’s already announced major restructuring on Opel due to poor sales. 20K Ampera fleet sales won’t help Opel at all. It’s not a luxury brand for the price tag that Ampera carries, it’s not big for many European streets, and its fuel savings are not that big since most Europeans purchase diesel vehicles (hence great mileage). It’s similar to asking most of the Prius “C” crowd to go for a Volt in order to save fuel cost.

    Bear in mind, after this 5 weeks shut down, there will be another summer shutdown (typical in the factory). This is right after the extended Christmas holiday…something’s definitely not going right here.


  59. 59
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:34 pm)

    Thx for the update Jeff,
    I don’t see this as a big problem. We just have to work thru some inventory.

    But I don’t understand why they would shut off Ampera production. That does not make sense w/ the 6000 unfilled orders for Amperas


  60. 60
    Why I oppose Volt?

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:44 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  61. 61
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:46 pm)

    statik: Seems more likely it ends up out of Korea now (which also makes the Spark ICE), considering the relationship with the battery maker there

    Isn’t A123 making the Spark EV batteries (not Korean LG)? A123 is headquartered in Mass. (howerver they do have a facility in Korea)

    A123 Systems Korea
    254-1 Maegok-ri Hobeo
    Myeon
    Icheon-si Gyeonggi-do 467-821
    Republic of Korea


  62. 62
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:55 pm)

    George S. Bower: Hmm…that’s a pretty big radiator. Are those coolant lines coming forward from the pack?? The plastic battery case looks alot like the Volt’s. Maybe the batteries ARE liquid cooled.

    Looks like coolant lines to me too. I would assume they would use a lot of the Voltec in the Spark EV. Some specs may even be posted somewhere, but I didn’t do any digging.


  63. 63
    Raymondjram

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:57 pm)

    john1701a: It’s $2,500 not $4,000.

    The lesser the better for the Prius! Move out, Toyota, your dominance has ended! It is the Home Team winning now!

    Go GM!

    Raymond


  64. 64
    kickincanada

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:57 pm)

    statik – can I live your life for a day? How do you get access to things like this? Friends in high places I guess…….

    statik:
    Just a random thing I thought might be of interest:

    I had a looksie at the production version of the Spark EV (while at least I assume it to be production ready) recently.Which, in and of itself I guess is news to some degree.The car looks mostly as the ICE Spark does….although I confess to perhaps not being a student of the design of Spark, lol

    Front is smoothed/flattened somewhat, but now sports the Volt like front air dams.Charging port is still in the same place as in the Spark mule video GM put out several months ago (front left).GM has moved the side signals off the front quarter panels and integrated it into the side mirros…of which, the mirrors have also been redesigned/reshaped.The rear looks to be exactly the same except for the bumper panel smoothed out to eliminate the weird hole for the tailpipe.

    Again, there might be some other minor changes between the two, but my working knowledge on the spot of the Spark is pretty limited.


  65. 65
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:58 pm)

    kdawg: Looks like coolant lines to me too.I would assume they would use a lot of the Voltec in the Spark EV.Some specs may even be posted somewhere, but I didn’t do any digging.

    Totally cool then “so to speak” in the battery dept.


  66. 66
    Raymondjram

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (6:58 pm)

    Why I oppose Volt?:
    I have interest tied to Toyota, what is why I often posted nasty stuff here. I get my paycheck from Toyota!!!

    Are you John1701a?


  67. 67
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:01 pm)

    kdawg: Looks like coolant lines to me too.I would assume they would use a lot of the Voltec in the Spark EV.Some specs may even be posted somewhere, but I didn’t do any digging.

    Plus I bet this unit is less wt than the Leaf but has the same 80 kw motor.(could be wrong on that though)


  68. 68
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:12 pm)

    I was on A123′s website and saw a “T”-shape battery displayed and in exploded view (no pun intended).

    Is A123 making a T-battery for someone, or is this a leftover from when they were trying to get the Volt bid?

    a123.jpg


  69. 69
    Spin

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:14 pm)

    Raymondjram: The lesser the better for the Prius! Move out, Toyota, your dominance has ended! It is the Home Team winning now!Go GM!Raymond

    Toyota’s dominance might end someday but it was not last month. The Prius sold 20,589 units.


  70. 70
    Eco_Turbo

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:19 pm)

    Spin,

    Seems a pitance, considering it’s sold in 70 countries.


  71. 71
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:23 pm)

    George S. Bower: Plus I bet this unit is less wt than the Leaf but has the same 80 kw motor.(could be wrong on that though)

    It will have an 85Kw motor.

    “According to General Motors, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV will be equipped with an electric motor that puts out a whopping (for the car’s size class, that is) 114 peak horsepower (85 kilowatts). That motor will be built at a plant in Maryland, making this motor the first of its kind assembled domestically.

    Sustained power from the motor will reportedly come in at 75 horses, which is rather impressively about two-thirds of its available peak power.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/10/27/chevy-spark-ev-shows-off-its-114-hp-electric-motor-w-video/


  72. 72
    Spin

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:25 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: Spin, Seems a pitance, considering it’s sold in 70 countries.

    That is the figure for US only:

    http://toyotanewsroom.com/releases/february+2012+sales+chart.htm?siteid=DMG_rss_201203_RLA_explan_toynew_February+2012+Sales+Chart


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:33 pm)

    Spin: Toyota’s dominance might end someday but it was not last month. The Prius sold 20,589 units.

    And Chevy sold that many Cruze’s. (Or is it just Cruze?) Depends on what your criteria is for “dominance” i guess. If it’s sales.. here’s the top 10 sellers.

    6a00d83451b3c669e20168e83cb1e6970c-800wi


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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (7:58 pm)

    kdawg: And Chevy sold that many Cruze’s. (Or is it just Cruze?) Depends on what your criteria is for “dominance” i guess. If it’s sales.. here’s the top 10 sellers.

    The word “dominance” was used by a previous poster. I just used his phrase in my post.


  75. 75
    kdawg

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    Spin: The word “dominance” was used by a previous poster. I just used his phrase in my post.

    I don’t know how Raymond was using the word “dominance”. Maybe he was referring to the Volt’s technological dominance. You used the word in reference to sales figures. I think everyone has their own “dominance”. For some it’s 0-60 time, others is most efficient, others most cargo area, or towing capacity.


  76. 76
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:12 pm)

    kdawg:
    I was on A123′s website and saw a “T”-shape battery displayed and in exploded view (no pun intended).

    Is A123 making a T-battery for someone, or is this a leftover from when they were trying to get the Volt bid?

    I remember A123 came very close to winning the original Volt contract.. they were pretty much told they would get another shot. Very good IMO since A123 is an American company. (but having mfg in China).


  77. 77
    pjkPA

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (8:42 pm)

    kdawg,

    The top 10 in sales would be a lot different if our government would support our American companies like the rest of the “global market”… put the same tariff on Japanese vehicles like the Japanese put on American vehicles and see this “top 10″ completely change in one month… and watch our unemployment go down in reflection.


  78. 78
    Tariffs

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (10:41 pm)

    Yes, the top 10 list will be all Japanese imports, because US will place no tariff on any import vehicles, just like that of the Japanese gov’t.

    News flash to youk pjkPA. Japan gov’t doesn’t impose any duty or tariff on imported vehicle. The US, otoh, does, plus chicken tax, plus gas guzzler tax…

    Here’s some proof, and not just your flapping gums with nothing but vapor…

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/japanese-import-restrictions-shall-we-draw-you-a-map/
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/the-toyota-cavalier-and-the-truth-about-japanese-import-barriers/
    http://edition.cnn.com/2002/BUSINESS/asia/09/12/japan.cars/index.html

    “Japan itself already has no tariffs on passengers cars, trucks and parts, and although the United States, its major export market, also imposes no duties on cars, it has a tariff of 25 percent on trucks.”

    Funny thing is, I don’t hear the Europeans complaining about Japanese tariff…


  79. 79
    Jackson

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    Mar 2nd, 2012 (11:26 pm)

    UPDATE (3/2/12):

    As the line above says, we knew GM would curtail supply, but more specifically, today GM said it is halting production of the Chevrolet Volt for five weeks as it works to sell down its existing inventory.

    “We have more than enough to meet our demand,” said GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho.

    As part of the shut-down, GM will temporarily lay off 1,300 workers at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

    For now the vehicles are being imported from GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, although if success continues, GM is looking to produce Opel and similar Vauxhall-badged Amperas and Chevy Volts closer to their point of consumption.

    Seems like the smart thing for GM to do is keep Hamtramck fully manned in order to build the Cr@p out of some more right-drive Amperas …


  80. 80
    kdawg

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:04 am)

    Tariffs: News flash to youk pjkPA. Japan gov’t doesn’t impose any duty or tariff on imported vehicle. The US, otoh, does, plus chicken tax, plus gas guzzler tax…
    Here’s some proof, and not just your flapping gums with nothing but vapor…

    It’s fun to cherry pick Google links!

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.clients/aapc/aapc/media/181/Japan's%20Protected%20Auto%20Market%20copy.pdf?1327366930

    http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/levin-citing-japans-closed-auto-market-urges-president-obama-to-keep-japan-out-of-trade-negotiations

    PS: speaking as someone who has worked as an engineer for a Japanese company for almost 20 years, and been to Japan many times, I’m exposed to this type of behavior all the time. Its not just “vapor”.


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    Tariffs

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:58 am)

    So where is the tariff?

    All I see are 2 links from 2 biased source, with no mention on tariff anywhere…

    Did you read the article from CNN? Or even that article from the Michigan state senator?

    In case you missed it, here’s from your 2nd link, 3rd paragraph on the letter

    “Japan has no auto tariffs…”

    You first link also states that there is “non-tariff” in the auto industry in Japan.

    So yes, all these talks or accusation on Japanese tariff are indeed, vapor…

    Not a cent of truth in it!


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (5:41 am)

    You have to understand the mindset of GOP leaders or their surrogates .. They wud say anything bordering on lies, half truths, bizzare .. they keep the followers in their back pockets (those with low IQ & easily swayed by propaganda) All they have to do is spread the rumor, keep the hatred going and pay no attention to facts, does it make sense? , hyperbole they relish, on and on.
    Even religion has become a tool for them to deploy when necessary or as needed… Alas many buy it.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (7:04 am)

    pat,

    Republicans and Fox News are just responding to what CNN and Democrats have done for years.


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    George S. Bower

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (8:08 am)

    Good morning Volt heads. There was a front page article on the shutdown in the wsj today. It was a relatively unbiased article.
    The article ended with this:

    “GM’s Mr. Reuss said the reduced lease price will make the vehicle more affordable. Demand also will increase once the newly modified version of the vehicles are on the road, he said. A planned new national advertising campaign and rising gas prices also should bring in more consumers, he said.

    “There are some really good things happening and we are going to keep that momentum,” Mr. Reuss said.”

    GM has not and will not give up on this car.

    I wonder if Reuss is referring to Gen2 when he said: ” Demand also will increase once the NEWLY MODIFIED VERSION of the vehicles are on the road”


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    joe

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (8:46 am)

    Tariffs:
    So where is the tariff?

    All I see are 2 links from 2 biased source, with no mention on tariff anywhere…

    Did you read the article from CNN?Or even that article from the Michigan state senator?

    In case you missed it, here’s from your 2nd link, 3rd paragraph on the letter

    “Japan has no auto tariffs…”

    You first link also states that there is “non-tariff” in the auto industry in Japan.

    So yes, all these talks or accusation on Japanese tariff are indeed, vapor…

    Not a cent of truth in it!

    Perhaps you should read more on how Japan trades with the USA and the world…..this is not vapor.

    http://www.uwsa.com/issues/trade/japanyes.html


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (8:51 am)

    Built Volt here for export. GM has the line running and its base of suppliers is well run. Labor cost is higher in Europe unless one open a plant in old russian empire countries such as Bulgaria etc. Assemble the Volt is Australia to avoid the high tax for imports. Volt will sell even better in other enivironmental concious countries. Added bonus more wmeicans employed in US.

    It is luxry car and sell it like that in S America etc. Go Volt Go GM.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (10:24 am)

    statik: Yes sir, thats the car I saw, (= /nice find—What I find interesting about the Spark EV story is about where it is being built. I’ve never seen GM take so long/so close to production to make it known.Originally, you would have thought it would have been out of India, what with all the original REVA riff-raff (and it being one of the Spark ICE production facilities) and GM clearly marking this car first and foremost as a ‘global’ car and not a US car…but India seems like there are kind of being an a**hat about the electrification of the automobile.Seems more likely it ends up out of Korea now (which also makes the Spark ICE), considering the relationship with the battery maker there, and SAIC (that aldo does lots of other twirlly things with GM/EVs).Have to believe there is an impending announcement/PR blitz on this car shortly considering they annouced its going to be on the market in the next 15 months or so.I will say, it is wicked small and cheap. Not to the extent of the Mitsui, but not that far off. With minimal cosmetic changes and the batteries just stuffed in the back, I’d wager it comes to decently well below 30k (pre-rebates).

    Statik,
    A123 just announced yesterday about the partnership with SAIC to build a battery plant in China. So, if Spark EV is made in Asia, this plant will supply the cells (IMO).

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/02/a123systems-idUSL4E8E25YK20120302?feedType=RSS&feedName=cyclicalConsumerGoodsSector&rpc=43


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (11:51 am)

    We have (6) VOLTs in the pipeline and we were expecting 2 to 3 of them in the next 2 weeks. With our General Manager out of town on vacation, I don’t know how fast I can get verification if our orders ‘already in production’ will be affected by the temp shutdown. If there is a delay, maybe we can pick up a couple from stores that don’t know how to SELL the Volt.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (11:56 am)

    I really mean no offense to Jeff, but this is one of those times I really miss Lyle.

    I think he would have been in contact will everyone he knew at GM to get the real back story on why the plant is being shut down, just when sales are starting to pick up and the export models are in such short supply.

    I would just really like to know what is going on. Without information, all we have is speculation, and that usually leads to all kinds of conspiracy theories. And those tend to get passed around so often, that they become the “truth” reported by so many of the less than responsible journalists on both sides of that very thin center line…..

    After seeing the plant shutdown report on the NBC nightly news yesterday, my wife looked at me and said “Someone out there really hates the Volt.”

    IMHO, that is the feeling of the general public out there in the real world.

    GM better do some real work to counter that opinion. And they better do it quickly!!!!

    C-5277 – The Best Car I Ever Owned & Proudly Purchased On 10-04-2011 In Youngstown Ohio


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (12:27 pm)

    Jim I: I really mean no offense to Jeff, but this is one of those times I really miss Lyle.

    I think GM used Lyle when they could. They didn’t always give him the full information or even the truth. No reason to think they would do so now.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    So now there is a report posted that production will resume April 23rd.

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/gm-laying-1300-due-low-volt-sales/406771

    So, we’re talking a 60 day hiatus. That’s all. By that time Regular Gas will be about $5.50 a gallon. I sure hope we have the HOV VOLTs in the showroom on that day.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (12:31 pm)

    kdawg: Here’s the guts.

    #55

    Awesome catch! +1

    “How does he do it?”


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: If there is a delay, maybe we can pick up a couple from stores that don’t know how to SELL the Volt.

    #88

    Right on! +1

    Plus, if the allocation for Canada is really as pitiful as our Canadian colleagues here report, I don’t see why they don’t gather up all of the “excess inventory” from the US dealers who don’t know how to SELL the Volt, and truck them on up to the “Great White North”.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:08 pm)

    Jim I: I really mean no offense to Jeff, but this is one of those times I really miss Lyle.

    I think he would have been in contact will everyone he knew at GM to get the real back story on why the plant is being shut down, just when sales are starting to pick up and the export models are in such short supply.

    What specific questions would you suggest? What back story do you want beyond the ongoing up front reporting about myriad variables bringing us up to today’s circumstances? The car suffered a huge setback following batterygate. CNN says GM now has 6,003 units on hand as of end of February, or a 154 days supply. What ever the actual figure, GM Spokesperson Michelle Malcho said GM does not need more at this time. GM’s executives have been saying since last month or longer it was looking at trimming production, and now it is doing it. I’ve been told some GM dealers have been hesitant to sell the car fully, and GM itself relegated the Volt to a halo drawing customers to less expensive fuel efficient cars. If GM wants to sell more Volts, it could use more aggressive marketing both to the public and internally. It also is not announcing any new Voltec models, and reportedly won’t before 2015. These and other issues have all been said. I do not think it is a conspiracy. Its issues are public, including ongoing enemies in the open public we see as well. Aside from early adopters, GM will need to do more to break beyond a thousand-something sales per month.

    As of the end of February, GM sold 1,676 Volts. To make sales of 45,000 in calendar year 2012 would mean in the next 10 months, GM must sell on average 4,332 Volts per month.

    Even Nissan only wants to sell maybe 20,000 Leafs in 2012 to the U.S. and its CEO is gung-ho about this doubling of last year’s sales of just 9,700.

    These are all facts. I’m sorry things are not happening faster, and wish GM could break out. Odds are it will in time. Mark Reuss says he is not concerned in the long run, but as of early March, this is where we are.

    As for Europe and the potential for the export market, I will look into that. Not sure why. I mentioned in the article GM should increase exports, but how much could be absorbed is in question.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:32 pm)

    Jeff, I guess it can all be summed up in what you said here:

    “CNN says GM now has 6,003 units on hand as of end of February, or a 154 days supply.”

    Quoting other sources is fine, but there was something more when the story came straight from the sources, with a bit extra given for explanation.

    When we hear from posters that there are no Volt’s available in Canada, there are waiting customers in Europe, and Corvette Guy is concerned that his existing orders will not be fulfilled, the “oversupply” story just does not ring true.

    And again, I meant no offense to you. If I did offend you, I truly apologize.

    IMHO, things just seemed different when gm-volt.com had GM’s ear.

    C-5277 – The Best Car I Ever Owned & Proudly Purchased On 10-04-2011 In Youngstown Ohio


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:38 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: If GM wants to sell more Volts, it could use more aggressive marketing both to the public and internally.

    I think this is the key. The soft-spoken Tim Allen ads just don’t do it. The 3D-alien ads were kinda funny, but still fall short of explaining how much money people can save on gasoline by driving the EREV VOLT.

    Who cares if your lease payment is $399 to $549 if you are saving $250 to $300 per month on gasoline? This is the point Chevy Ad execs have failed to get across. So customers only feel “sticker-shock” instead of “savings-shock”. [Oooo! I like the sound of that! Chevy execs can use that phrase in their next ad and just send me a VOLT from an over-stocked dealer that I can have!]


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,
    In reference to line 13

    I don’t think we should think that it’s okay for some of the media to lie, because the truth will only come out at the end. The truth does not always come out at the end and sometimes it come out, but too late. Many people lives and companies have been destroyed because of lies. The media is suppose to report the truth and we will hold them to it.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:43 pm)

    Jim I: And again, I meant no offense to you. If I did offend you, I truly apologize.

    IMHO, things just seemed different when gm-volt.com had GM’s ear.

    No worries Jim. I did what I could within constraints yesterday after 5 to update the story to reflect GM’s closure. Automotive News does not have a deeper probing story either.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20120302/OEM05/120309955/1186

    As I said, the export question is a mystery to me.

    GM has done all it can to bottle up insider revelations, and is playing its strategy with some “transparency” but not as much as it used to.

    Regards,

    Jeff


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:50 pm)

    joe:
    Jeff Cobb,

    I don’t think we should think that it’s okay for some of the media to lie, because the truth will only come out at the end. The truth does not always come out at the end and sometimes it come out, but too late. Many people lives and companies have been destroyed because of lies. The media is suppose to report the truth and we will hold them to it.

    Agreed. Those are aspects of a big discussion about media ethics and American culture we could get into if I had the time.

    I have noted a number of the media misinformation spreaders in past reports. This is not because I love politics or want to take this Volt forum in that direction, it just so happens to be among the biggest issues GM is itself grappling with. Even Dan Akerson said in January although it had not intended it to be, the Volt had become a “political punching bag,” and GM is reeling under the effects. I talked to an analyst in Michigan we consult with for HybridCars a half hour ago, and he also agrees that GM needs more effective marketing …


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    stuart22,

    Nothing is said about the Leaf because Japanese companies are Teflon coated. This been going on for decades. Use Toyota as an example, Consumer Reports will always rate them as the best even when it’s a piece of crap.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    SharkVolt,

    I’m sure if the Volt had been in an accident , all occupants would have had ample time to get out. Is three weeks enough? Maybe not to the ant-Volt media.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (2:09 pm)

    kdawg: I don’t know how Raymond was using the word “dominance”.Maybe he was referring to the Volt’s technological dominance.You used the word in reference to sales figures.I think everyone has their own “dominance”.For some it’s 0-60 time, others is most efficient, others most cargo area, or towing capacity.

    I was using Toyota’s marketing dominance. I heard once that Toyota wanted its name associated with the “car” as Oster was for the blender, and Gillette was for the disposable razor. Since I was a small child, I always associated the “car” with Chevrolet.

    But for Toyota’s sake I can associate them with “crap”.

    Raymond


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (2:20 pm)

    kdawg: It’s fun to cherry pick Google links!

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.clients/aapc/aapc/media/181/Japan's%20Protected%20Auto%20Market%20copy.pdf?1327366930

    http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/levin-citing-japans-closed-auto-market-urges-president-obama-to-keep-japan-out-of-trade-negotiations

    PS: speaking as someone who has worked as an engineer for a Japanese company for almost 20 years, and been to Japan many times, I’m exposed to this type of behavior all the time.Its not just “vapor”.

    This reminds me of the famous “Girl Scout Cookie” incident that happened in 1988 when the U.S. Navy received boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for their aircraft carrier while stationed in Japan:
    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1988_542532/navy-japanese-resolve-girl-scout-cookie-crisis.html
    Raymond


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (2:48 pm)

    Raymondjram: But for Toyota’s sake I can associate them with “crap”.

    #102

    Yes but Raymond, what do you really think? Hahahahah! +1

    And, just for the record, I agree 100%.


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    Charlie H

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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (3:18 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (3:38 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (4:32 pm)

    Out of the woodwork, LOL.


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    Mar 3rd, 2012 (5:39 pm)

    Propaganda can be very effective No one knows better than the Gop and the Fix news. They are good at it. Damn the facts or reality. They did make a dent in the Volt image and the its sales. Ofcourse the public at large just dont have the time to check the facts – just run with it. Those who did the research and enthusiastic about EV or EREV bought the car and love it.

    History does tell us that Germany in 40′s World war 2 also led massive propaganda efforts to keep the public in line. Gop knows that too.


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (10:29 am)

    George S. Bower:
    I wonder if Reuss is referring to Gen2 when he said: ” Demand also will increase once the NEWLY MODIFIED VERSION of the vehicles are on the road”

    I believe he is referring to the battery (non)issue fixes and HOV eligible Volts. GM did some great engineering and design with the Volt but not being eligible for the HOV stickers and higher level California ZEV benefits from day one was a huge mistake. Perhaps GM believed that the CARB changes made a couple of years ago would have properly classified the Volt as first produced. I could understand GM having the wrong expectations, as I strongly believe CARB screwed up in this matter. Regardless, GM should have put themselves in position to fully qualify from day one. California is just too big of a potential Volt market (north of 2k/mo IMO) to make this mistake.


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (10:47 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    So now there is a report posted that production will resume April 23rd.

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/gm-laying-1300-due-low-volt-sales/406771

    So, we’re talking a 60 day hiatus. That’s all. By that time Regular Gas will be about $5.50 a gallon. I sure hope we have the HOV VOLTs in the showroom on that day.

    Per the original article it is 5 weeks (3/19-4/23). A Volt Adviser asked around and told a forum member that it was only the extra production being trimmed, not ALL production. If this is true, then GM has made a HUGE PR blunder by misreporting and/or not correcting the inaccurate reports of a complete shutdown.

    Jeff, perhaps you can elicit a clarification from GM about the details of the situation.


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (11:42 am)

    Noel Park: #102

    Yes but Raymond, what do you really think?Hahahahah!+1

    And, just for the record, I agree 100%.

    Toyota is quick to sell here in Puerto Rico because it is cheaper (in all the correct sense of the meaning) and the dealers only show low down payments in their ads, not the full or the “real” retail price (price plus the extras). Toyotas don’ t last long, since those who have bought one later tell me that they bought a new one after three or four years. Maybe because it is a “disposable” brand that makes Toyota the most sold as published in the papers, and the most found in junk yards (which isn’t published).

    But they are getting competition by the South Korean brands (Hyundai and Kia) and losing their dominance. GM and Ford sell moderately, and their dealers publish the full price in their ads, so there is no sales gimmicks. Obviously they don’t sell as many since their vehicles last longer (my average per GM vehicle is about sixteen years and my Olds Ciera lasted 26 years), are stronger (most fatal accidents occur in imported vehicles , such as Toyotas and Mitsubishis), and unfortunately have a low used car value, but are resold and reused many times (all of my past GM vehicles were resold to another driver).

    So GM has the unique problem of selling vehicles that last longer, and that reduces their new car sales. Their dealers keep up by selling services and parts for those old vehicles.

    Toyota is getting phased out slowly by the better South Korean vehicles here in Puerto Rico. They are more import, but they are reducing the Japanese dominance worldwide. I expect the arrival of the new smaller domestics (Focus, Fiesta, Cruze, Spark, Sonic) and the Ford EVs and hybrids to continue Toyota’s downfall.

    Raymond


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (11:57 am)

    Charlie H,

    Yes. We all know that there has NEVER been a Prius buyer who ‘accepted’ the Federal, State, or other Rebates to get one. They have such ‘high’ moral standard. B-F’n-Horse-Crap!

    You clowns stop by every day to bitch a about 2 things: Price and Gov’t subsidies. You guys enjoyed the bennies when it was only Toyota, but those days are pretty much gone. There’s a newer, better technology for tax incentives to go for. If you don’t like our govt giving Electric Cars the money, vote Republican next time. But shut the hell up. Your arguments only enforce your stupidity around here.


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (1:52 pm)

    Goppers will all whine about the price, Govt subsidy as I said they will whine about everything else and some will stick that is how they operate. there is no doubt that the Gop has hurt the sales of Volt and Fix news aided in the lie that Volt can catch fire in an accident. However, GM should have responded vigorously to this lie by the media especially the Fix news.
    However, that is in the past. I fell that GM should focus on exports to europe, canada, australia etc. Folks are better educated in these countries, are environment concious and high gas prices Volt will fit in very nicely for commute and long distance travel. Volt has been tested well in cold/hot climates and with temp control battery, it will do well in many countries. Exports should become GM top priority as my sense is it will do very well in many countries.


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (3:03 pm)

    Fun Sunday ! I just took a fresh order for an HOV Lane Approved 2012 VOLT !
    A very happy couple just left to tell their friends about it.


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    Freemon SandleWould

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (3:24 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nelson

     

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    kdawg,

    I think Fisker Karma is using that battery.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


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    Spin

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (4:32 pm)

    Raymondjram: Toyotas don’ t last long

    And then you woke up?


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    Mar 4th, 2012 (5:38 pm)

    Freemon you are biased alright …Fix (Also called Fox) news is a propaganda channel … in the middle you say that is load of BS. CNN ABC CBS is leftist outlets? How so? Truth hurts No! That is what they report but in your twisted mind they are all leftist. Give some examples ho wthey are leftist Not just dcelare them ..
    On the other hand Fix news lies, twists the truth (example of Volt) not one volt has caught fire in an accident .. they lie about energy policy. This nation has to become independent of arab oil or else we will continue to pay heavy price Like going to Iraq! Why did US go to Iraq?

    Only alternative energy sources will make us independent of arab oil, pollution etc Wind Solar nuclear CNG we need to exploit here including ocean. These sources will not start on their own. It will need seed $$ from Govt private sources to start .. That is how some european countries are pushing such policies to become independent of oil.


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    WVhybrid

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Fun Sunday !I just took a fresh order for an HOV Lane Approved 2012 VOLT !
    A very happy couple just left to tell their friends about it.

    Keep up the good work CG. Maybe if you sell enough they will open the factory back up sooner.


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    nuclearboy

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (9:22 pm)

    pat: Folks are better educated in these countries, are environment concious and high gas prices Volt will fit in very nicely for commute and long distance travel.

    Better educated… but apparently needed to wait for the knuckle dragging low IQ Americans to design and build them a viable electric car.


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    kdawg

     

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (9:38 pm)

    Nelson: I think Fisker Karma is using that battery.

    I think you are right. I didn’t know Fisker went with the T-shape as well. I wonder how they did on the side impact after non-discharge and 3-weeks?

    2012-Fisker-Karma-2%25255B2%25255D.jpg


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    kdawg

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (9:41 pm)

    Freemon SandleWould: Fox News is only considered “conservative” because ALL the other cable channels are so leftist. Otherwise it is what is known as “middle of the road” ……..unlike the Volt which is for all indications appears to be a loser. 1000 cars per month is approximately ZERO in the car industry.

    I guess you’re an example of why Fox “News” viewers are rated the least informed viewers in the country, even lower than people who don’t watch the news.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/fox-news-viewers-less-informed-people-fairleigh-dickinson_n_1106305.html


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    volt11

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (10:14 pm)

    john1701a: It’s $2,500 not $4,000.

    I object to any of my taxpayer dollars going to help sell Japanese cars. If Japan ever provides subsidies to help sell American cars in Japan, I might reconsider. In other words, I’ll never have to reconsider.


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    ILikeLosers

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    Mar 4th, 2012 (10:37 pm)

    Freemon SandleWould: Fox News is only considered “conservative” because ALL the other cable channels are so leftist. Otherwise it is what is known as “middle of the road” ……..unlike the Volt which is for all indications appears to be a loser. 1000 cars per month is approximately ZERO in the car industry.

    You tell these liberal leftist electric car lovers, brother! Fox is middle of the road, hoo-rah!

    Kill a commie for mommie!

    The Volt is a human incinerator. Fox tellz it like it iz.

    My name is I Like Losers, and Freemon, you are a non-person after my own heart!


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    Jim I

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    Mar 5th, 2012 (12:28 am)

    Attention GM:

    Here is what you have created with your latest press release, done with such style:

    http://jalopnik.com/5890072/gm-halts-chevy-volt-production-because-sales-suck

    And also this:

    http://jalopnik.com/5878376/gm-dealers-say-no-to-more-chevy-volts

    Is this really what you want the world to think of the technological marvel that is the Chevy Volt????

    First Fox News, and now this…. It is truly sad.

    C-5277 – The Best Car I Ever Owned & Proudly Purchased On 10-04-2011 In Youngstown Ohio


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    Mar 5th, 2012 (1:40 am)

    Jim I: Attention GM:
    Here is what you have created with your latest press release, done with such style:
    http://jalopnik.com/5890072/gm-halts-chevy-volt-production-because-sales-suck
    And also this:
    http://jalopnik.com/5878376/gm-dealers-say-no-to-more-chevy-volts
    Is this really what you want the world to think of the technological marvel that is the Chevy Volt????
    First Fox News, and now this…. It is truly sad.
    C-5277 – The Best Car I Ever Owned & Proudly Purchased On 10-04-2011 In Youngstown Ohio

    I read both of those articles (was hard to get past the Onion-esque headlines). What I appreciated the most was the comments after the article. They were actually thought out and civil. I expected a bunch of asinine political posts, after reading the article titles, but most (if not all) seemed to be comments by Volt fans or at least EV fans.


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Mar 5th, 2012 (2:53 am)

    George S. Bower,

    Hi George,
    The maths are approximately as follows : take the US Volt MRSP (without rebates, tax credits, …) remove the sales tax, add the shipping cost from Detroit to Western Europe, add at least 10% import duty and the Value added Tax (in Belgium 21%) and you get the Ampera Price.

    The Ampera is today announced in its base trim level for 37,685.95 € (excl.VAT) that is 45,600 (VAT incl.).

    At the current exchange rate 1.32 $ for 1 € that is 49,745 $, removing the 10% duty gives 45,222 $ CIF. Take 37,500 $ as the (Sales tax, tax credits, etc. excl.) MRSP fotr the volt in the US, this gives about 7,500-8,000 $ margin for transport costs and other margins.

    Best regards,

    JC NPNS


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    Mar 5th, 2012 (4:22 am)

    Interesting links kdawg. One cant compare Prius to Volt in terms of technology. Prius is an ICE car with good mileage & needs maintenance like a regular car even more so with a small battery. Volt on the other hand is new technology with a silent ride, good torque and less maintenance.

    Now when folks look at prices be careful -m advertised prices are very different than what you will actually pay to a dealer. Ever get the feeling geez I thot I was going to pay x $ for the car and with this & that option I paid almost 25% more… when I took delivery. However, the difference between Prius and Volt price is very small but buying Volt one gets new EV technology and other benefits mentioned above. To me buying a Prius dont make sense at all.

    Volt is a luxury car and will be mostly bought by higher wage earners, educated drivers with interest in technology, environment and savings in gas consumption. Volt is ideally situated compared to leaf, tesla, ford EV which are coming in near future.


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    Darius

     

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    Mar 5th, 2012 (5:54 am)

    But Volt haven’t reached all dealerships even in US. Is it so?

    Why they are halting production? You can hardly find Ampera within European Opel dealership.


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    Mar 5th, 2012 (2:20 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    I really agree with you completely, Jeff.

    One wonders why more people, especially representatives in Washington do not seem to completely understand these advancements (yet), may be because if they were able to “inside trade” for their own enrichment (as not being illegal), then, I ask also this question:

    Are members of the House and Senate compelled to manage newly gotten riches more than to manage the responsibilities to learn as much as possible about this new set of breakthroughs which are clearly part of an entirely new set of answers to our energy and security pictures?

    This was one of the reasons why it used to be that members of various bodies of legislation were deliberately paid lower wages in the distant past, so that they would not be preoccupied with their own business instead of the business of matters at hand at both the Federal levels of government, as well as at State levels of government.

    Also, it seems that there is too much emphasis on high levels of monetary circulation of money as described with the concept of “M1 money supply” (to banking institutions), yet no set of economic algorithms to focus on lower levels of money circulation. There ought to be M2, M3, M4, and M5 (the lowest level of money circulation), that way, we could immediately see how money should be used as a tool of transaction, rather than a trophy for who can grab the most of it PDQ.

    (I hope my post makes it past the moderator software filter.)