Web trends were part of why GM reduced the 2014 Volt’s price.
And, GM said yesterday, it will see new talent at the helm of its world-wide powertrain development operations, as well …
General Motors’ first major reduction of the Chevy Volt’s price by $5,000 for the 2014 model year has been attributed to incremental reduction in some production costs and the need to stay competitive, but there were other nuances involved as well.
According to a Wards Auto report yesterday, GM says online consumer shopping habits also drove the decision.
“The market dynamics are changing, there are savings [we] have identified and then there are consumer habits at some of the shopping Web sites,” General Motors Vice President Chris Perry told Wards. “Their cutoff has always been $35,000 and below, and we were always above that.”
Essentially, many shoppers were missing the 2013 Volt in searches because it had a starting MSRP of $39,995.
This is true despite the fact that last year’s Volt might have met their price criteria considering dealer discounts, a $7,500 federal and possible state subsidies. Because of shoppers’ random criteria, the car was as good as invisible to those with sites set on a $35,000 maximum.
So, GM was further coaxed to lop off the top $5,000 which it had essentially been all but doing in some cases already.
Perry however would not divulge what the 2014 Volt’s price cut did to GM’s profit margins, and focused instead on key benefits for the car which the EPA says goes 38 miles on electricity alone, and then seamlessly continues with a 1.4-liter gasoline generator.
“It has always been about showing [consumers] the technology we can bring to the market,” he said to Wards. “That car, in my mind, is still the most technically advanced in the industry with its E-REV technology.”
And, if consumers want to wait another year, GM expects the 2015 Volt will sell for even less.
How much less, is up in the air however. Perry did not say, nor did he say whether a redesign for the so-called “gen 2” Volt would take place that year.
More likely, it may be 2016 according to reports, but this too is not certain for a car slowly but surely gaining acceptance in the general marketplace.
GM Names Steve Kiefer As Vice President Global Powertrain
Yesterday General Motors announced that Delphi executive Steve Kiefer will lead its global powertrain operations effective Sept. 1.
The appointment of Kiefer, 50, follows the ousting of Sam Winegarden, GM’s vice president for global engine engineering in July over an emissions-fixing scandal in the Indian market.
Since 2011 Kiefer has held the role of senior vice president and president of Delphi’s Powertrain Systems. During his career spanning back to the early 1980s, he has served in engineering and leadership roles over at both GM and Delphi and the company says he brings extensive engine development expertise and knowledge of the global auto business.
“As GM continues to bring new vehicle engine and drivetrain technologies and innovations to the marketplace, Steve’s customer perspective, technical expertise and proven leadership will further bolster our global powertrain team,” said Mary Barra, executive vice president, Global Product Development & Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Kiefer will report to Barra and Jim Lanzon, vice president Powertrain Global Transmissions, will continue to lead the company’s transmission development and engineering activities, reporting to Kiefer.
“The collective expertise and experience of Jim and Steve brings a new dynamic to the Powertrain team. Together they will lead the global team and work to strengthen GM’s position as an industry leader in powertrain technology.” Barra said.
GM’s new global powertrain chief has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University, and this included engineering studies at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.
Kiefer will be based at GM’s Powertrain Headquarters in Pontiac and GM notes that as a Michigan native, he will play an active role representing GM in Detroit-area philanthropic and civic activities.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 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.