Mar 06

Volt/Ampera Win European Car of the Year; new Chevy TV ads

 

Note: I could have written this from GM’s press release, but part-time HybridCars writer Huw Evans is at Geneva covering the motor show for his other gig with AutoGuide and submitted this brief. And below that, I mention some ads for the Chevy brand and Volt. – Jeff

By Huw Evans

This year, out of seven finalists, the European Car of the Year Award was shared by the Chevrolet Volt and its European cousin, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera.

As it has since 1964, the announcement of the winner for the annual contest preceded the Geneva Motor Show – now open to the press and the public will be admitted March 8-18. The decision to pick the American-made cars came from a panel of 59 voting auto journalists from 23 different European countries.

 

The Volt/Ampera along with the other finalists were judged on a number of different factors, ranging from design, to comfort, performance and technology.

When the dust settled, the Volt/Ampera had garnered a total of 330 points, followed by Volkswagen’s pint-sized Up! With 281 points and Ford’s 2012 Focus with 256.
Chevrolet’s current Managing Director for Europe, Susan Docherty, along with Opel CEO Karl-Friederich Strake were on hand to receive the award.

 

Docherty remarked that “it is a proud moment for us and an honor to receive this award.” Strake added that the announcement “encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of mobility.”

Given that both the Volt and Opel AG have been struggling of late, the announcement probably could not have come at a better time.

Under the Blue Arch YouTube channel

Here’s the first of a series of Chevrolet commercials based on a TV sitcom theme of which Fast Company says, “The ads, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, take place at a car dealership notable only for a lack of customers and its resemblance to every car dealership you’ve ever been inside. The absence of customers isn’t a slight on the product, however, but rather a way for viewers to see the Chevrolet employees interact with each other in a dead-on spoof of the modern workplace sitcom.”

This is part of a broader Chevy brand campaign, and there are five episodes so far. If you click on the link (immediately preceding), it starts with the Volt ad (also posted directly below) but plays through four more “Under the Blue Arch” themed ads.

Here is the Volt ad where the kid is being serious and grown-ups respond by kidding around …

“It’s a joke that anybody who’s ever seen NBC’s Thursday-night lineup will get immediately,” continued Fast Company about the overall idea of a sitcom theme. “And even if they don’t, the opening salvo in the campaign, a spot titled ‘Team Building,’ [above with nerf gun fight] lays out the self-aware premise.”

Do you think these ads will be good for Chevrolet in general and the Volt in particular?

Owner testimonial Volt ad

Here is another new Volt-specific commercial from GM. The subtext comments on the Volt owner Priya’s more lively first-hand discussion.

GM opens it by saying that Volt owners are the happiest drivers on the planet. But Priya says also that the extended-range car happens to be like a spaceship, and best of all, GM says it will save a boatload of money …

What do you think?

Is GM onto something that will properly present its message(s)?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 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: 46


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (6:12 am)

    Kudos to Chevrolet/GM and Ampera/Opel for the European Car of the Year award! This award is especially impressive because it was based on the votes of 59 auto journalists from 23 different European countries. The vote totals aren’t “squeekers” at all —Volt/Ampera received 330 votes, followed by VW’s Up! in a distant 2nd place with 281 and Ford’s Focus in 3rd with 256 …and the icing on this cake is the winning car was designed & is (presently) manufactured ONLY in the USA!


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    Mar 6th, 2012 (6:24 am)

    Allright! I don’t think that these ads will win any awards, but it’s better than the Assembly Line ad. Congrats to GM for Euro Car of the Year!

    Volt 63


  3. 3
    nasaman

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (6:38 am)

    Regarding the new ads: the sitcom-like ads do NOTHING for me except make me feel like the ad agency just doesn’t “get it”! However, the last ad (“Priya’s” testimony) is a real winner although its lip sync is shaky and it doesn’t even mention the Volt is an electric car* —because of her phrase “a crapload of money”, which leaves little doubt this was an UNSCRIPTED testimonial —the best kind!

    GM, you’ve found the right approach for Volt ads with well-done testimonials like this —keep it up!!!

    *Note to GM: Revise the fine print at 15-17sec to read, “EPA Est: 37MPG (Gas), 94MPGe (Electric)”


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    JamesMcQuaid

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (7:35 am)

    Congratulations GM for Volt/Ampera winning European Car of the Year! Thank you Huw for providing first hand coverage.


  5. 5
    Ulrich

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (7:44 am)

    So, well. Next award aquired. Fine.

    So only one more thing todo… ship the damn car!

    Cheers

    Ulrich (from Germany, waitung for my Volt since 3 months in addition to the first shipping date).


  6. 6
    Dave K.

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (7:54 am)

    Good going Ampera! A great looking car. Especially in white.

    No Plug, No Sale!


  7. 7
    Schmeltz

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:01 am)

    I thought the Blue Arch ads were funny, although I don’t relly think they are going to sell a crapload, sorry, boatload of cars. :)

    I definitely liked the Volt ad with Priya’s testimonial. I think this is the right direction. I would recommend showing real world mpg’s next to the people in text everyone can easily see and read. Make more of these showing multiple, average people with their mpgs flashing by. We need to get across how efficient this car is, and that it’s not just another expensive car for doctors and lawyers. Harp on that good lease deal, that is one of the best kept secrets out there. Most people are too lazy to always go to the website and discover these things. GM needs to keep spoon feeding information on the car until it starts to sink in.

    I did like all 3 of these commercials better than their predessessors.

    That’s my 2 cents for this morning.


  8. 8
    Mark Z

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:49 am)

    With Europe falling in love with the Volt and Ampera, there are two more awards yet to covet. China and Japan car of the year awards! Now that major news web sites proclaim the European title (yes, even Fox News) the Volt once again is crowned with the accolades it deserves.


  9. 9
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:54 am)

    The first add was terrible.
    The second add was great and made me laugh and gets the point across big time.
    The third add was just OK….not sure I liked the crapload comment.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:58 am)

    Ulrich:
    So, well. Next award aquired. Fine.

    So only one more thing todo… ship the damn car!

    Cheers

    Ulrich (from Germany, waitung for my Volt since 3 months in addition to the first shipping date).

    How much do you guys have to pay for an Ampera. Is there a big import tariff put on the car.?? Lot’s of taxes. What is the retail vs bottom line after taxes??


  11. 11
    Ulrich

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (9:06 am)

    George S. Bower: How much do you guys have to pay for an Ampera. Is there a big import tariff put on the car.?? Lot’s of taxes. What is the retail vs bottom line after taxes??

    There is no import tarif (tax duty), but in Germany you have to add 19% vat.

    BUT you don’t get any money from the government and heaven knows what the car makers calculate into their prices.

    So you end up with at least 42K € for the Volt and 43K € for the Ampera base model… (the base Volt has a longer feature list). Best of show: Opel and Chevi INCREASED the price by 1K € in February. Great show!

    But anyway. It seems to be impossible to move the Volts/Amperas from the storage yard to customers driveway :-( .

    Cheers

    Ulrich


  12. 12
    George S. Bower

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (9:20 am)

    Ulrich: There is no import tarif (tax duty), but in Germany you have to add 19% vat.

    BUT you don’t get any money from the government and heaven knows what the car makers calculate into their prices.

    So you end up with at least 42K € for the Volt and 43K € for the Ampera base model… (the base Volt has a longer feature list). Best of show: Opel and Chevi INCREASED the price by 1K € in February. Great show!

    But anyway. It seems to be impossible to move the Volts/Amperas from the storage yard to customers driveway .

    Cheers

    Ulrich

    Interesting, Thx for the input. While the vat tax sucks at least you have the strong Euro working in your favor.


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    Loboc

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (9:29 am)

    The last commercial is playing on Velocity channel. I like it.

    This morning on Fox news, they mentioned that (paraphrasing) ‘An electric car that is not selling well in the US is wildly popular in Europe.’ They went on to explain the award and then said: ‘GM has shut down production in the US.’ What? No ‘temporarily’ in there anywhere? Where the heck do they think these Volts/Amperas are being built?


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (9:59 am)

    George S. Bower: The first add was terrible.

    I have to agree with you.
    At our store, we are required to keep our NERF guns unloaded and locked in our cars!
    Seriously, I am not a fan of The Office, so I didn’t like it, but I’m sure my wife will think it’s funny.

    The second commercial with the kid I can relate to. 2 days a week, because of my wife’s work schedule, I bring my 10 year old son to work after school and he sits in my office and does his homework first thing. And I’ve taught him about how the VOLT works. I also pick him up from school on occasion in our VOLT demo car which has the giant logo decal on the sides. He loves that!

    The third commercial is great. It still should have used “Extended Range” in there somewhere. The ‘crapload’ of gas savings is funny…. because it’s true. :)


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    Energy Tyrant

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (10:03 am)

    I like the one where Priya gives her teztimonial. Actual real drivers are gonna do much more to warm up buyers to the Volt.

    But I think this could be taken a step farther that would really drive it home, and would make things super simple for GM, from a production/creativity standpoint…

    They need to let Volt owners film their OWN commercials.

    They could do some type of contest, give some guidelines on what the home videos could cover… Then just stand back and wait on the entries to roll in.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Volt owners are above average intelligence… And there’s no doubt that there’s creativity waiting to be unleashed, too.

    The production costs for GM? Almost zero.

    Impact on viewers? Huge, because this is pretty well as grass-roots as you can get with an advertising campaign. It’s genuine… From the hearts and lives of real-world Volt owners.


  16. 16
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (10:13 am)

    Energy Tyrant:

    They need to let Volt owners film their OWN commercials.

    They could do some type of contest, give some guidelines on what the home videos could cover… Then just stand back and wait on the entries to roll in.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Volt owners are above average intelligence… And there’s no doubt that there’s creativity waiting to be unleashed, too.

    The production costs for GM?Almost zero.

    Impact on viewers?Huge, because this is pretty well as grass-roots as you can get with an advertising campaign.It’s genuine… From the hearts and lives of real-world Volt owners.

    That’s a good idea!


  17. 17
    MichaelH

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (10:25 am)

    Energy Tyrant: I like the one where Priya gives her teztimonial. Actual real drivers are gonna do much more to warm up buyers to the Volt.

    From the GM web site: “There are several new ads we’ll be sharing with you which feature everyday owners talking about their Volt. The first one, with an owner named Priya, is embedded below. Take a look and let us know what you think.”

    So they are saying more to come.


  18. 18
    nasaman

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (10:35 am)

    MichaelH: From the GM web site: “There are several new ads we’ll be sharing with you which feature everyday owners talking about their Volt. The first one, with an owner named Priya, is embedded below. Take a look and let us know what you think.”

    So they are saying more to come.

    I emailed my comments here to a manager at GM responsible for Volt ads this morning & just got this reply back: “Keep an eye out for our next testimonial featuring Adam, I think you will like it.”

    So they’ve clearly got a new campaign under way to produce Volt ads featuring owner testimonials. Many here at gm-volt.com recently suggested that very approach, so we can feel proud that GM agrees and is now running with owner testimonial ads!


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    Open-Mind

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:07 am)

    I think one of their ads should mention simple facts … like the fact that electricity costs a fifth to a tenth the cost of gasoline per mile. And that it’s 100% domestic energy.


  20. 20
    Tim Hart

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:17 am)

    Testimonial ads are definitely the way to go with the Volt!


  21. 21
    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:24 am)

    After watching the first commercial a few more times, I see why they made it. It makes sense as the “lead in” for the “series” of commercials… to introduce the cast because otherwise the 2nd commercial seems to start ‘in the middle’ and unless you’ve seen the first commercial, you might not ‘get it’ that it’s a spoof of “The Office”.

    Okay ad guys. I getcha now! We’re good.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:26 am)

    One more thing… Our dealership like most others in CA are undergoing the remodeling to the “Blue Arch” standard. Ours should be completed by end of May.


  23. 23
    Truman

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:30 am)

    I’d like to see the price of oil included in Volt ads, somehow.

    800px-Brent_Spot_monthly.svg.png

    In the 1990′s, oil averaged $30/barrel (today’s money), and most drivers weren’t concerned about MPG.

    Welcome to the 21st Century – where oil marched right up to $140/barrel, until the economy crashed. Now it’s on the march again … what will YOU be driving when we see $200/barrel oil in the next few years?


  24. 24
    Tall Pete

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (12:02 pm)

    Ulrich: But anyway. It seems to be impossible to move the Volts/Amperas from the storage yard to customers driveway

    I have to agree. You don’t sell them if they are not visible. On one hand, they stop production temporarily. On the other, people are waiting to get a hold on the car. I don’t get it. Not for a second.

    It’s as if they don’t believe the car will sell. When you call a dealership, they don’t engage much because they know they won’t have enough allocation.

    How will they ramp up production if they don’t put the cars at point of sales (like any other car) to, well, sell it ?

    Tim Hart: Testimonial ads are definitely the way to go with the Volt!

    I have to agree also. It sounds real. People will relate to that. Here in Canada, the fact that you can heat the cabin in advance while plugged in is an interesting perk, especially if your car is not in a garage and there is, say, icing rain, like we had recently.


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    Mar 6th, 2012 (12:13 pm)

    Not so sure about the sitcom theme, the loud, inane character portraits don’t attract me but I’m willing to give it a chance. At least the energy level of the actors is high when compared to the guy at the hamburger window and the sleepy owner talking to aliens in his garage.

    Testimonial ad – finally!….. It’s cleanly done, yet its script takes fewer chances than what I wished for – IMO it had her mostly talking about ‘soft’ virtues (e.g. styling) but did climax with her ‘saving money’ comments. I think if Chevy makes about 4 or 5 of this type of ad in the same format but with different owners giving their own testimonial, then runs 2 or 3 of them during the course of a televised sports event or hour long TV show, sales are going to happen.


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    DrInnovaiton

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (12:24 pm)

    The sitcom is even dumber than the gas-statio commercial. Its shows chevy sales people as a set of self-absorb out of touch idiots. Heck I don’t want the office-sitcom genre and even I know they exist. The commercial sends the message of delusion at the office.

    Second one is okay, better then most of what they have now.

    Last one is good — definitely more owner testimonials.


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    pjkPA

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (12:31 pm)

    What GM needs is a level playing field … all the commercials in the world will not sell cars unless we get the playing field leveled. It’s the tariffs that is holding back sales in Europe.


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    nasaman

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    pjkPA: What GM needs is a level playing field … all the commercials in the world will not sell cars unless we get the playing field leveled. It’s the tariffs that is holding back sales in Europe.

    Did you see the post below from a guy (Ulrich) in Germany with an Ampera (or Volt) on order?
    (As with many if not most European countries, the VAT replaces sales taxes, income taxes, etc.)

    Ulrich: There is no import tarif (tax duty), but in Germany you have to add 19% vat.

    BUT you don’t get any money from the government and heaven knows what the car makers calculate into their prices.

    So you end up with at least 42K € for the Volt and 43K € for the Ampera base model…


  29. 29
    Bonaire

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (1:00 pm)

    23: Truman, is the nominal blue line there in the graph indicating that the value of the dollar is 1/2 now in 2011 versus 1987? It has to be worse than that, more like 1/3. They show $20 in 2011 dollars back in 1987 at a $40 point. At least, if I compare tuition for my college in 1986, the price today is almost exactly 3x what it was back then. Autos are roughly 3x the cost as back then.

    http://observationsandnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/100-year-declining-value-of-us-dollar.html

    I was reading a book produced by a neighbor last night. A 100 year history of a local golf club near where I grew up. In 1919, they bought 247 acres of prime land in NY for about $15,000. They built a huge clubhoues at this place for about 50,000 back then. Our buying power surely has dropped – which is the whole point of such currency. It must devalue to cause riches for those who have money while keeping hourly workers basically stagnant. But as I always say: “An economy that requires growth to survive – will eventually do neither.”


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    Streetlight

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Well folks, its back to the drawing board, sort of. At least now VOLT’s fully proven. So we can say back to the marketing drawing board. The ads?…Just hard to say. The kind of creative mass marketing that made GM numero uno for a 100 years does not appear to apply to EV’s. How is it Tesla sells out 2000 $125k cars over three years with very limited funding to a tiny niche market without one super bowl ad–and here VOLT sweeps all awards, ans spends a ton on mass marketing… And Tesla just announced its presold 500 of its just announced Model X gull-wing crossover.

    If its that GM must pioneer mass EV marketing, its competition is in the same boat. Believe me, those feature ad videos in critique above, need rethought. In other words, I’m not sold GM can sell what these ads purport to sell.

    What on Earth does the cast of characters have in common with a genuine VOLT customer–none of them look like they earn enough to afford to buy a $50,000 car.


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    Truman

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (1:43 pm)

    pjkPA:
    What GM needs is a level playing field … all the commercials in the world will not sell cars unless we get the playing field leveled.It’s the tariffs that is holding back sales in Europe.

    It’s also the very high gasoline taxes there that make the Volt a great choice in Europe. At $6 to $8 per gallon, Americans would be buying Volts by the millions/year.


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    Loboc

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (2:01 pm)

    Truman:

    I’d like to see the price of oil included in Volt ads, somehow.

    No way GM is going to do this. Their bread and butter is still ICE-based and will be for a long time.

    I’m actually surprised that there isn’t MORE objection to Volt since it represents a stepping stone away from oil-based vehicles. The oil companies are very powerful. More powerful than GM.

    Most of our lifetimes (and probably our kid’s) we won’t see a major shift away from fossil fuel transportation no matter how much we will it to happen. We may see a shift from gasoline to NG, but, that’s still oil. The oil companies won’t care. They’ll probably get taxpayer incentives to build NG refueling stations.


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    Mar 6th, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    Here’s another thought … instead of spending millions on just ads, apply some toward dealer discounts comparable to all their other cars. My local Caddy/Chevy dealer has all their prices online. Every $40K-$45K CTS (17 of them) is priced $4K to $6K below MSRP. Yet their one-and-only Volt is just $1.4K below MSRP. That creates the perception of being over-priced, whether or not it’s true.


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    Ulrich

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    Tall Pete: I have to agree. You don’t sell them if they are not visible. On one hand, they stop production temporarily. On the other, people are waiting to get a hold on the car. I don’t get it. Not for a second.

    It’s as if they don’t believe the car will sell. When you call a dealership, they don’t engage much because they know they won’t have enough allocation.

    How will they ramp up production if they don’t put the cars at point of sales (like any other car) to, well, sell it ?

    Well, maket is differnt in Europe. Usually you check out the demo car. After this you order the configuration you like. Not a lot of cars are just hang out on the dealer’s lot waiting to be catched by customers.

    But, once you ordered a car the shipping date should be provided to the customer and it’s clear that this shipping date should be meet in reality.

    That’s the way all the other car makers are doing it but GM seems not to be able to follow this best practices (doesn’t matter if its Opel or Chevi, just the same poor show).

    Also the information policies of Chevrolet is a joke. In fact there is no information policy! Opel is doing a better job in marketing but information transfer to dealers and customer is wack too.
    Cheers

    Ulrich


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    wainair

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (3:17 pm)

    I think they are great commercials! Funny and informative. The testimonials really need to get out there. Volt owners know they are driving the best car on the road, who’s better to tell everyone else? “Math”was very funny too! No gas, no gas, no gas LOL!

    Oh and congrats on Euro Car of the Year!!


  36. 36
    Noel Park

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (3:29 pm)

    nasaman: Kudos to Chevrolet/GM and Ampera/Opel for the European Car of the Year award! This award is especially impressive because it was based on the votes of 59 auto journalists from 23 different European countries.

    #1

    I totally agree. +1

    For Europeans, who IMHO tend to be very loyal to their homegrown brands, to recognize outstanding American innovation and engineering in this way is indeed especially impressive and very valuable, again IMHO.

    Congratulations to GM and to the entire Volt team.


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    James

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (3:51 pm)

    It’s kind of a painful progression of ad campaigns. Yes, Priya is great – and it’s a great step in the right direction.

    The dealership ad flops because yet again, they forgot to clearly define how the car works. The 30 mile commute only covers the EV part, not the gas for the next 340 part.

    Owner testimonials in front of a white screen? How about at the owner’s home or work? How about mentioning what the “crapload” of savings is? I like the “crapload” part because it’s real and seemingly unscripted. I like that they used a woman. I think other’s comments today are golden – tell folks what electricity costs vs. gas, then say after 40PLUS miles of AC, you go 37mpg on gas.

    Have an owner say – “It’s the most misunderstood car on Earth! – I get great gas mileage but if I plug it in I can drive 40PLUS miles on zero gas – FUEL AT HOME – and USE 100% AMERICAN ELECTRICITY FOR FUEL! It’s SO WIN-WIN, it’s not even funny!”

    Show Volt from behind, hatch up with a bicycle and a large cooler in back. Or better yet, at the warehouse store loaded with boxloads of groceries.

    CHEVY RUNS DEEP — GAS IS STEEP! ,

    James


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    George S. Bower

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (5:02 pm)

    Loboc:

    The oil companies are very powerful. More powerful than GM.

    Most of our lifetimes (and probably our kid’s) we won’t see a major shift away from fossil fuel transportation no matter how much we will it to happen. We may see a shift from gasoline to NG, but, that’s still oil. The oil companies won’t care. They’ll probably get taxpayer incentives to build NG refueling stations.

    Agreed Loboc,

    The oil companies are already pushing the idea that we have enough domestic oil and natural gas to make us energy independent….ie they are taking away one of the major selling points of EV’s…no dependence on foreign oil.

    I also suspect that they will back the hydrogen initiative. Being in the hydrogen business would be a natural transformation for them.


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    Loboc

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (5:49 pm)

    George S. Bower: natural transformation

    Lol. Good choice of words since Hydrogen is made almost exclusively by cracking Natural Gas.


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    pat

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (6:30 pm)

    To add to effectiveness of ads & other media outlets GM should create CD/DVD explaining the fetaures of Volt ..drive etc and give it out to folks who come visit to dealerships, or malls where they can out a Volt and hand out Cd/DVD for folks to take home… More folks will watch and see the benefits and high tech of Volt .. many qualities of driving and EV… Some folks may share them with their frineds etc .. Idea being that folks take their time to see the many pluses of a luxury car … Gm should make all out efforts to get Volt in front of consumers …
    I know I know prius is selling well ..but to me the car looks ugly…


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    nasaman

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (7:10 pm)

    BREAKING: Here’s the next TV testimonial ad GM promised this morning, the “Adam ad”. I like it for the same reason I liked the “Priya ad” —it’s very casual & seemingly unscripted. And it has only one line of “fine print”: “Volt drivers average 900 miles between fill-ups”. It’s credible and informative. Another solid “base hit” GM!

    Click here for a look…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ElFHRSBIvlI


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    nasaman:
    BREAKING: Here’s the next TV testimonial ad GM promised this morning, the “Adam ad”. I like it for the same reason I liked the “Priya ad” —it’s very casual & seemingly unscripted. And it has only one line of “fine print”: “Volt drivers average 900 miles between fill-ups”. It’s credible and informative. Another solid “base hit” GM!

    Click here for a look…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ElFHRSBIvlI

    Geez Nasaman,
    I don’t know what to say about that one.!!


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    Truman

     

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (8:30 pm)

    Loboc: No way GM is going to do this. Their bread and butter is still ICE-based and will be for a long time.

    GM thought, in the 90′s and 00′s, that their ‘bread and butter’ was SUV’s. It didn’t work out too well for them – they needed a bailout from the Government just to survive. Hummer is dead.

    Now, they are a lot more worried about swiftly changing business conditions. Peak Oil qualifies rather nicely… I’m sure some at GM are watching this development closely.

    I’m actually surprised that there isn’t MORE objection to Volt since it represents a stepping stone away from oil-based vehicles. The oil companies are very powerful. More powerful than GM.

    And yet, every single major car company, and a lot of startups, are working on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, extended range electric vehicles, or some other strategy for using less oil. Huge companies are powerful, but they can’t stop the march of history. Ask the Mexican government how the Cantarell field is doing these days…

    Most of our lifetimes (and probably our kid’s) we won’t see a major shift away from fossil fuel transportation no matter how much we will it to happen. We may see a shift from gasoline to NG, but, that’s still oil. The oil companies won’t care. They’ll probably get taxpayer incentives to build NG refueling stations.

    Oil is definitely going to get very expensive in the next 10 to 20 years.

    As for natural gas, if the world’s vehicle fleets switch over to use this, the depletion rate will skyrocket. I don’t think fracking is going to be allowed in the USA for decades, since the effects on groundwater will be more and more pronounced. And bringing in LNG from the huge fields of Qatar, Iran and Russia has it’s own problems – mainly a shortage of tankers, and the occasional mushroom ball of fire when an unloading port blows up.


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    Ron in Omaha

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    Mar 6th, 2012 (11:52 pm)

    Priya does a great job of getting attention, and not just because she’s female. The honest-to-goodness enthusiasm for her car is exactly what GM needs to be showing to potential customers. It’s almost like reviving Toyota’s “Oh what a feeling!” ads from the ’80s.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 7th, 2012 (12:28 am)

    Truman: It’s also the very high gasoline taxes there that make the Volt a great choice in Europe.At $6 to $8 per gallon, Americans would be buying Volts by the millions/year.

    Canadians have been saying the exact same thing and some are begging for more cars.


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    kdawg from FL

     

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    Mar 7th, 2012 (1:11 am)

    One item I think they need to mention in the ads is the ability to remote “start” and pre-condition the Volt from anywhere, and also with grid energy if plugged in.

    This is a very cool feature that gets a lot of Wows when I tell people about it.