Archive for the ‘Release Date’ Category

 

Jun 21

Volt Nationwide Rollout Complete by End of 2011? Maybe. Maybe Not.

 


[ad#post_ad]GM has told us exactly which markets they will roll out the Chevrolet Volt initially. These are statewide California, Michigan, and Washington DC.

We expect dealerships in those areas to take deliveries of the first Volts in November. It is unknown how first buyers will be chosen, as GM has declined to produce or at least unveil a pre-ordereing process.

GM has said all along the Volt will be a car that can thrive in all areas of the nation, and thus will be available for sale in the whole country, eventually. The question is how eventually.

In a recent webchat, Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz appeared to clarify this.

“The Volt is still on schedule to being production for retail customers in November of 2010,” said Posawatz. “First customers in our published launch regions should receive cars before the end of the year. Those launch regions are California, Michigan and greater Washington D.C. area.”

As for the rollout.

“By the end of 2011,” he added. “(The) Volt will be in Canada and nationwide in the U.S.”

Volt communications manager Rob Peterson would not confirm this.

“We won’t be nationwide by end of 2011,” said Peterson. “By that time we expect to be shipping vehicles to Canada, Europe and several markets beyond those we’ve already announced.”

I also had the to ask Tony DiSalle, who is GM’s director of Volt marketing, what the timeframe for Volt national rollout will be.

“That’s all still work in progress and will clearly be dependent on the ability of the production facility to ramp up as planned and all those kind of things,” said DiSalle. “Im not in a position to tell you by X-date we will be nationwide. I will tell you we’re heading towards national distribution and theres no question about it.”

“The Volt is not to be a localized state-specific car,” he added. “Volt is going to go across the whole country.”

“Believe me I’d much rather be out there talking about very specifically to the person in Illinois or Iowa or pick a state and say ‘hey this is the date’” he said. “But its not quite that finite at this point.”

As to whether GM has an internal timeframe plan. “Yes theres map,” admitted DiSalle declining to be more specific.

So what is the real answer? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.
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Sep 07

Lutz: No One Will Get a Volt Earlier than 2010

 

One of the most frequent emails I get from folks is a request to be test drivers for pre-production Chevy Volts.  I would say many of us here, myself included, would love to get their hands on an early Volt and enjoy the ride.

It is known that as GM moves closer to the launch of Volt sales in 2010 they are developing more and more refined pre-production prototypes in ever increasing numbers.  It has been reported that a significant sized fleet of these cars will be on the roads by the end of next year.

Rumors have also arisen that Chevy dealers could get prototype shells as early as next year as showroom bait, something that GM officials and leading Chevy dealerships deny any knowledge of.

As to whether anyone outside of GM will able able to get their hands on a Volt prior to launch, GM vice chair Bob Lutz has apparently laid down the law:

“We’ll start releasing (the car) to the public in November of 2010. No one, no one, will get one any earlier.”

Source (DailyTech)

 

May 22

GM CEO: Chevy Volt Out Earlier by 2010 and for Less Than $30,000?

 

We have a teaser of an interview that GM CEO Rick Wagoner gave to the German Publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung which will be published tomorrow.

He is reportedly quoted as saying two very big things.

1. GM wants to put the Volt out by 2010 as opposed to the end of 2010.
2. They want to sell them for less than $30,000.

Wagoner is quoted as saying, “Our two challenges are lowering the cost of batteries and convincing consumers of the advantages of the Volt.”

I haven’t gotten access to the full interview yet, but I confirmed these statements directly with the author of the referenced press release. She told me the interview publisher’s quote is “GM has a clear goal: We want to put the Volt on the market in 2010, at a price of less than $30,000.”

[UPDATE: The full interview is out and doesnt really say any more than what we have above. It seems translation is still a factor here. Im looking for verification from inside GM. Translation by Google]

Source (Interactive Investor)

 

Apr 20

GM CEO: Chevy Volt 2010 Deadline Down to the Wire but So Far So Good

 

At the Beijing Auto Show, GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced plans to bring the Volt to market in China, as automakers are in increasing competition to grab market share of the rapidly growing Chinese auto market.

On the sideline of the show Wagoner told reporters:

"At this point the focus for us 100 percent is getting the Volt produced in the U.S.,"

and

"So far, so good, but it’s going to be right down to the wire to meet the production deadline we’ve set."

He also said GM was moving closer to picking one of the two lithium-ion battery pack-making teams (CPI/LG vs Conti/A123), but indicated the production contract could be given to one side, while a development contract is maintained with the other.

GM representatives also apparently said China would be next to get the Volt after the North American market of U.S. and Canada.

Wagoner encouraged China to move away from oil and towards hydrogen derived from nuclear power. Last years’ Beijing auto show was indeed the location where the fuel-cell E-Flex variant, now considered on a production track, was unveiled.

Wagoner also acknowledged how financially important the China market was for GM, saying " it could be huge," and "the company that gets China right is going to be the dominant player for the next 25 years."

He also notes the economy of scale benefit for the Volt via China, "the sales volume for E-Flex in China could be a huge factor over time for reducing cost’"

Source (Reuters )

 

Jan 09

GM CEO Rick Wagoner Now Says 2010 a “Stretch” for Chevy Volt Production but he is Optimistic

 

wag_volt2.jpg
picture from autoblog

In the year I’ve been writing this blog, never has there been quite so much word-mincing and media attention to production date as has occurred since I first asked GM CEO Rick Wagoner in an online chat how confident he was the Volt would be released in 2010. As you know, his answer at the time was that he could not guarantee it (post).

Prior to hearing it from Mr. Wagoner, most press about release dates came from vice-chairmen Bob Lutz and not direct from GM’s CEO.

After the initial negative press blitz, I was able to obtain direct statements from the E-Flex team on the front line, that there had been no change in production status, and that 2010 was still the internal target (post).

Today on the sidelines before his speech at CES, Rick Wagoner told reporters himself that his comments last week were indeed misinterpreted. He noted that there have been no “glitches” in Volt development, that initial battery tests are indeed favorable, and that the 2010 launch date has been a “stretch” from the start and remains so. He noted that there is still “plenty of work to do”, but believes the company can “stay on schedule”.

OK, I thinks it’s time we put this topic to bed for now, and check back in the spring when we test drive the mules. I am sure since Nov 2010 is a mere 2 years and 9 month away, and that GM only has two test prototype packs in hand, achieving the timeline goal will indeed be a challenge. But we are here, and numbering in the tens of thousands, to cheer them on.

Sources (AP) and (Wall Street Journal)

 

Jan 07

Did GM CEO Rick Wagoner Really Change Anything about the Volt’s Release Date?

 

wag_volt.jpg

Last week I asked Rick Wagoner, GM’s CEO if he was confident the Volt would be released in 2010. He responded that it would be great, but that he couldn’t guarantee it. That remark prompted a flurry of news reports suggesting GM might be balking on their original plans for release. Here are some of the stories that resulted:

Autoblog (Volt might not come in 2010)

Detroit News (2010 no sure thing)

CNN (GM might miss target)

CNBC (GM’s Volt not ready to electrify)

Winding Road (Maybe not 2010)

Daily Tech (GM adds wiggle room)

Indianapolis Start (Volt might be delayed)

Wall Street Journal (GM’s salvation stuff of science fiction)

Now the first thing that’s interesting is did anyone quote GM-Volt as the source of the news, being that I asked the question…Nope.

Second. Is there really any new information here? Recently Bob Lutz had stated he was 55% confident the Volt could be released in 2010 (post). What does the E-Flex team think of these news reports?

Here’s what the E-Flex spokesman Rob Peterson had to say about it:

I think people are reading more into this than what’s really there. Program timing for the Volt has not changed, nor has our commitment to this program.

Mr. Wagoner’s response while phrased differently, is consistent with what we have said all along, “we continue to work aggressively toward our 2010 internal target, but that date is dependent on the availability of battery technology that meets our safety, performance and durability requirements.”

While initial test results for the batteries over the past two months continue to be very encouraging, more data is needed to reliably predict how this battery will perform over 10 years of cycle life in varying conditions. Only through rigorous testing of the battery, which is ongoing as we speak, will we be able to accurately determine where we are in the development of the battery and the ultimate production date of the Volt.

OK..there are the details…its’ still all about the batteries. They need cycling time to see if the slope of capacity drop-off suggest the packs will still give 40 miles of range at 10 years…When they know, we’ll know.

Now will this post cause a flurry of press? Don’t hold your breath.

 
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