By on August 1, 2010

If you want, and if you don’t feel discouraged by Ed’s op-ed piece in the New York Times, you can go to your friendly GM dealer and pre-order the 2011 Volt for an MSRP of  $41,000 (before a $7,500 federal tax credit). A 36-month lease costs $350 a month, with $2,500 down. Bring a cot, we are given the impression that there are long lines at the dealerships. GM’s spokesman David Darovitz told Automotive News [sub], that based on customer reactions, GM expects demand for the Volt to exceed the 10,000 units it will build between its launch and the end of 2011.

To avoid shortages, GM has raised 2012 production plans for the Volt from 30,000 to 45,000. units from 30,000. Why they aren’t building more right away if  demand outstrips supply will remain one of the big mysteries of the industry.

Come on. Barak Obama already took the Volt on a test-drive, which PBS calls “the shortest joyride in history.” And he likes it.

While touring a General Motors plant outside Detroit Friday, POTUS was invited to take the Volt for a spin. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. “I hope it has an airbag.” After driving for 10 feet, the president deemed the ride “pretty smooth,” and the test-drive was over.  He had already bought the car anyway. For all of us.

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61 Comments on “GM Drowns In Volt Orders, Can’t Keep Up With Demand...”


  • avatar
    buzz phillips

    I can remember when GM drowned in orders for the VEGA!

  • avatar
    BDB

    Shortage during launches of highly anticipated vehicles seems to be General Motors SOP. Remember when dealers were demanding paying over sticker for the G8 and the GTO? And how difficult it was to find a current gen Malibu in 2008?

  • avatar
    tced2

    I ordered a Cavalier in April of 1982 and got delivery in September of 1982. I had a very bad case of buyer’s remorse by the fall of 1983. Last car I ever pre-ordered.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    Guys, I think you all are pre-judgmental. This is a new product designed under a new leadership, different from the previous leadership that produced the hunk of junks people have grown to love to hate.

    Seriously, if the Volt proves to be a reliable and average-handling car, why the hell not buy it? If people fork cash for what is essentially a 55MPG gasoline car (Prius), then a car that makes all your city commute pure EV-based is a hot seller, IMO.

    Is TTAC becoming the slashdot of autosites? Aka criticizing everything GM does just because they were let down in the past, even if the new leadership does mostly good things? Why?

    PS: The Vega could have been GM’s big break if the corporate overlords of that era did some testing on the engine before rushing it of the design door straight to the dealers. Same on the Chevette, Citation etc… These guys should only run bakeries, not car companies.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      kurkosdr – “a new product designed under a new leadership, different from the previous leadership that produced the hunk of junks people have grown to love to hate.”

      The volt is a carryover from the the old leadership. The new leadership did not have the balls to properly kill it.

      “If people fork cash for what is essentially a 55MPG gasoline car (Prius), then a car that makes all your city commute pure EV-based is a hot seller, IMO.”

      The Prius is about $23K where I live…..Show me a study that says the gas savings of the $41K Volt makes up the $ difference over the ownership of the car.

      “Is TTAC becoming the slashdot of autosites? Aka criticizing everything GM does just because they were let down in the past, even if the new leadership does mostly good things? Why?”

      There has been no concrete evidence of true change at GM…..I think the “We paid back all our loans” fiasco is proof of that.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    One wonders what the level of anti Volt vitriol on this site would be if Ford, Nissan, or Honda was building it.

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      Probably the same here at TTAC. If this were C/D, though, and if the Volt was a BMW, it’d be number one in the comparo–at least for the first 40 miles, and as long as they didn’t have to use the AC or heater.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Very true. At C&D, BMW can do no wrong.

      I have to believe that the TTAC readership is risk averse to the extent that 90% of them would be completely satisfied in a new Hyundai Sonata with an automatic transmission. Not too high performance, not too much unproven technology, driveable by even the most incompetent significant other (see again: automatic transmission) and pretty decent safety and fuel economy, and not built by a socialistic UAW-affiliated labor union.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Unfortunately South Korea offers its citizens both health care and pensions – so much for a non socialist state. Maybe the tata nano is the ticket.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Probert, the Sonata (for US consumption) is built in a non-UAW plant in Montgomery, AL.

      http://www.hmmausa.com/

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Sam P… not quite…

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/hammer-time-protectionism-uber-alles/

      My loathing of the rigged game that is the global auto industry goes far beyond this brief write-up.

      On the flip side, I also believe that folks should be encouraged to keep their vehicles longer and generally work and consume far less than they do.

      I don’t know what that makes me in the so-called politics of TTAC land. Politically apathetic would probably be it since I also believe that political parties shouldn’t exist and that most problem solving should be done outside the realm of politicians and lobbyists.

      As for the Sonata… it’s definitely not my thing. I always opt for the rare, well built and interesting regardless of the price of admission.

      Sonatas? Meeehhh…. I would rather drive a Volvo 240 GT with a 5-speed and a very long list of mods. Take a look at one of my favorite videos here…

  • avatar
    mpresley

    According to GM: Volt’s electric miles per charge will vary. Like all vehicles, electric vehicles are less efficient in extremely hot or cold temperatures. In addition to outside temperatures, use of features like air conditioning and heat [and] additional cargo in the vehicle…will affect the electric range.

    OK. If I live anywhere where it doesn’t get hot or cold, and if I never have to go to the grocery store or Home Depot, it looks like a sure winner to me.

    • 0 avatar
      kurkosdr

      OK. If I live anywhere where it doesn’t get hot or cold, and if I never have to go to the grocery store or Home Depot, it looks like a sure winner to me.

      Unless you live in saharan heat or polar cold, the range will not fall under 30 miles, as test drives have indicated. 30 miles are still good for most people’s daily commute.

      After all, doing 30 miles on EV and 10 miles on gasoline is still better than doing all the 40 miles on gasoline, so you still get back the extra K’s you paid for the EREV feature.

      OK, I may not be very objective with this because I ‘m a bit of a treehuger, but com’on! People are forking money for Priuses, which cannot do any kind of EV transportation.

    • 0 avatar
      dhathewa

      Kurkosdr wrote: “OK, I may not be very objective with this because I ‘m a bit of a treehuger, but com’on! People are forking money for Priuses, which cannot do any kind of EV transportation.”

      True. But the Prius is not double the cost of a vehicle with similar capability (5 seat midsizer) and the possibility of savings is real. If “green” cred or concern about future oil prices or supply are selling the car, they are selling it for a relatively small premium.

      The Volt does not have this advantage. There is a sizeable market of people who want to go EV at any price and the Volt will sell up to the saturation of that market. We’re about to find out how big that market is.

    • 0 avatar
      Facebook User

      IMHO I don’t think the prius (bought new) savings are real. You want gas mileage? Buy a scooter. You need highway speeds? Buy a motorcyle. Cheaper and same/better gas mileage for commuters.

      Don’t most people do most of their miles commuting? Keep your luxo-box/4 wheeler for the family.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Ehhh, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    “He had already bought the car anyway. For all of us.”

    Well said. We will never know now whether the Volt makes any economic sense or not. You change the whole game when you put $50 billion into a company. Any score that comes out is meaningless.

    (That “drive” was, by the way, one of the silliest things I have ever seen. He gets in, fiddles around for 30 seconds, and drives the car 10 feet? And then everyone claps like it means something? Suckups.)

  • avatar

    I assume they’re nit increasing first-year production because they prudently want time to work the bugs out of this rather unusual car, and maybe even give themselves more leeway for getting running changes into the year 2 cars.

    My take is the Volt makes conceptual sense: a flexible car that for people like me who do a great many days of less than 40 miles of driving, and a few with longer drives.

    The devil is in the execution: if GM makes the car feel like a $30k car, they’ll sell as many as they can make for as long as it takes other makers to catch up.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’ll wait and see whether the Volt delivers on its promise. If it does, then well done GM. If it doesn’t it will be one of GM’s greatest epic fails.

    • 0 avatar
      kurkosdr

      I’ll wait and see whether the Volt delivers on its promise. If it does, then well done GM. If it doesn’t it will be one of GM’s greatest epic fails.

      I guess that sums it all.

      Which also means that the public’s future perception of the entire EREV concept lies entirely on GM’s hands (*crosses fingers*)

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    That “drive” was, by the way, one of the silliest things I have ever seen. He gets in, fiddles around for 30 seconds, and drives the car 10 feet? And then everyone claps like it means something? Suckups.

    It’s the second most important part of being a president or candidate: Aka ‘testing’ and visiting in person stuff you will never understand, just so the idiots at the back can cheer. Because relying solely on the professionals that were hired to assess the situation will sound both expensive and bureaucratic in the eyes of the aforementioned idiots. Mind you, the ‘walk’ Obama takes on every infrastucture or factory that is built is as idiotic to construction professionals as this ‘drive’ of the Volt, but it’s neccesary to get the idiots to vote.

    I just forget about it and focus on what was built…

    • 0 avatar

      At the 2010 NAIAS, Transportation Secretary Ed LaHood beclowned himself by talking through his posterior about the auto industry in front of hundreds of pretty well informed automotive writers. He acted like he was an expert about the industry because he was “in Detroit a few months ago for a couple of days and spent a half day at GM, a half day at Chrysler and a half day at Ford.” [paraphrased from memory but if you want, you can find the video online]

      Visits like Obama’s stop in Motown this past week are nothing but dog and pony shows. They make people less informed.

      In my mind I’m comparing a political visit to actual journalism.

      At the big car show media previews there are a variety of journalists. In addition to the folks who write about cars by interest and by vocation, there are many general journalists assigned to cover the show who have no particular interest in or knowledge about automobiles.

      During the open mic sessions that some mfgs have during their press conferences or in the gaggles of journalists surrounding the execs after the pressers, you know right away to which group of journalists that a questioner belongs simply from the automotive knowledge quotient in the question.

      You can see how the car company people react, whether they give a canned soundbite answer or whether they stop for a second, think, and then give an informed and considered answer (I always try to think of questions that are not run of the mill and will elicit the latter rather than the former).

      When 16 members of the US House and another half dozen or so US senators came to the NAIAS this year, some press/politician encounters could only be described as ignorance squared, with people who know nothing about cars and the car biz asking questions about same from politicians who also know nothing about cars and the car biz.

      Alternatively, there were clueless politicians being asked serious questions by folks who know cars, which is actually funnier because they know enough to put the pols on the spot.

      That’s not entirely fair. Some of the politicians try to be informed beyond a superficial level and some general journalists are serious enough about their profession that they do their homework and ask deeper questions

      Rep. Gary Peters, with whom I disagree politically about 80% of the time, was very frank with me and described his colleagues in Congress as “clueless” about the auto industry.

      The President goes to a factory, shakes a few hands, gets the Burger-dotted short form PowerPoint presentation, and then makes a speech and gets his picture taken. It’s worse than insubstantial because it makes the pretense of substance.

      I’m no engineer, but I’m pretty sure that when I interviewed Jonathan Hurden and Don Runkle at EcoMotors that I asked better informed questions than President Obama would or could.

      Obama and much of the political class that rules America can’t be bothered with actually knowing how to make and fix things, knowing real math, science or engineering. We’re ruled by people who are good with words but challenged when dealing with empirical things. Somehow I think we’d be better off if 2/3 of Congress had gone to medical school instead of law school, and even better if those docs had BSs in engineering.

      We have politicians, mostly lawyers like Jennifer Granholm and Barack Obama, with limited technical knowledge or abilities, deciding which technologies will be favored with the taxpayers’ billions. In the tradition of TTAC, what’s wrong with that picture?

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      “the ‘walk’ Obama takes on every infrastucture or factory”

      We used to always joke in my plant that execs and state/local government officials must all think that factories smell like fresh paint and toilet bowl cleaner. You could always tell how important the visitor was by the amount of new paint and restroom scrubbing that occurred.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      We have politicians, mostly lawyers like Jennifer Granholm and Barack Obama, with limited technical knowledge or abilities, deciding which technologies will be favored with the taxpayers’ billions. In the tradition of TTAC, what’s wrong with that picture?

      Not that I think Obama or Granholm are the best-equipped to do otherwise, but Detroit had decades of supposed “industry insiders” who couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

      A good manager or leader doesn’t necessarily need technical skills. Entry-level management does, yes, but at the upper levels that kind of tendency leads to micromanagement, arrogance and myopia, all of which the domestic marques’ leadership had in spades.

      I don’t think the government’s shakeup was necessarily a bad thing: it was painfully obvious, towards the end, that GM’s leadership had no intention of changing course, despite three decades of cash, marketshare and goodwill loss.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    On the comments about Obama driving it… when was the last time he drove a vehicle? Not defending him, I can’t stand his policies, but seriously, it was probably the safest distance he should go behind the wheel right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      I give Dubya some credit. He retained his Ford Super Duty on his ranch to drive around with various foreign dignitaries (and probably didn’t forget how to drive by the end of his term). Obama probably hasn’t driven a car since the mid 2000′s.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Yeah Sam P – That Dubya – son of multi millionare’s sons – grandfather indicted for aiding the enemy during WW2 – he’s just a good ol’ boy. Too bad about bankrupting the country and sending other peoples sons and daughters to die in 2 wars. Juss a good ol’ boy.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      “Obama probably hasn’t driven a car since the mid 2000’s.”

      Obama was just the junior senator from IL and the father of two until he announced for the presidency in 2007. I’m certain that he did his share of driving until then, and probably for some months after. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t suffered physical injury would forget how to drive after 3 years of no practice. However, with the amount of press in attendance documenting every second that he was behind the wheel, I expect that the briefest possible drive was in order. There’s no way that he can shine by driving a Volt, but plenty of opportunity for embarrassment if even the slightest thing goes wrong. Remember him bowling during the primaries?

    • 0 avatar

      Clutch,

      Taking the Volt for a 10 second “drive” is such an obvious photo op that it takes the concept to absurd Dukakis-driving-a-tank levels. I think that more effective politically and in terms of hyping a company mostly owned by the Treasury Dept. would have been an actual test drive. Both the Warren Tech Center and the Milford Proving Grounds are a short drive from the plants that Obama visited in Detroit, have more real world driving opportunities and both have levels of security that would please the Secret Service and allow the President to actually drive the Volt for the cameras, not just a silly 10 second stunt.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Well, in all fairness, George W. Bush tried driving a Segway on the White House lawn for a photo op, and fell off it.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Ronnie,

      Yes, the “test drive” was nothing more than a photo op. A serious test drive would not have allowed the press to participate, and the point of the event was to get press for the Volt. Like it or not, a significant part of the presidency is to be Cheerleader-in-Chief. As much as I would like Obama to share his honest and intellegent views on such things, the media does not support anything more than photo ops and sound bytes, and I fear much of the American public could not digest anything more. Clinton’s greatness was his ability to make a lot of people feel positive, something both presidents Bush were not as good at (remember the checkout scanner incident?), and that positive public mood goes a long way in oiling the wheels of policy and economy. And even if Obama took the Volt for a spin around the proving grounds, what would it really show? That a carefully prepped Volt can make a 20 mile test drive? Personally, I would prefer that politicians skipped gratuitous photo ops and instead offered substantive discussions, but then what would cable news do to sell ad time?

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      If Obama had taken a long test drive, he would have been lambasted by the right as ‘taking a joyride while America crumbles’, or some such crap.

      Obama’s attempts to shift America towards a high-tech, energy secure future is like a trip to the dentist – painful at present, but ultimately a good thing.

      Of course, if we hadn’t waited 8 years to go to the dentist, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad right now.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      probert – “Yeah Sam P – That Dubya – son of multi millionare’s sons – grandfather indicted for aiding the enemy during WW2 – he’s just a good ol’ boy. Too bad about bankrupting the country and sending other peoples sons and daughters to die in 2 wars. Juss a good ol’ boy.”

      Pick up a book and read some actual history on Prescott Bush rather than from sources other than conspiracy theorists.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    “Why they aren’t building more right away if demand outstrips supply will remain one of the big mysteries of the industry.”

    I can think of a couple of reasons to restrict supply at the outset. Customers waiting for delivery of a Volt will keep news stories going for some time after the initial release. I remember just such stories about the Prius early in its day. Another reason to limit supply of a brand new design is to limit liability while the design goes thru what is effectively a massive beta test. GM doesn’t want to have to recall and repair 50K+ cars if something develops into a big problem (which is quite possible with a car as different as the Volt).

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    @Probert

    Taking the party line (much of it legitimate) about George W. and extending it to his grandfather is class warfare at its most transparent. By continuing to promulgate lies, you only destroy what is left of your credibility.

    From Wiki:

    In 2003, the Anti-Defamation League said:

    “ Rumors about the alleged Nazi ‘ties’ of the late Prescott Bush … have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated. Despite some early financial dealings between Prescott Bush and a Nazi industrialist named Fritz Thyssen (who was arrested by the Nazi regime in 1938 and imprisoned during the war), Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathizer.”

  • avatar
    BDB

    Bush drove his truck because he wanted to look like a Texas cowboy and have a ranch jut like Reagan and Johnson. The only difference is, Reagan and Johnson actually knew how to ride a horse and were actual ranchers, whereas Bush not only never learned how to ride but is actually scared of horses. He was playing windshield cowboy.

    • 0 avatar

      LBJ was a schoolteacher who followed his father into politics, not a rancher. It’s easy to answer the question how someone with salaries as low as LBJ’s managed to acquire a large “ranch” in Texas when you consider that Johnson was a wheeler-dealer par excellence. If you’re going to say that George W. Bush was a poseur when it comes to ranching, you can probably say the same about LBJ, and Reagan too, though come to think about it, when Johnson was president I read two newspapers a day and watched two national news shows every night and can’t ever recall seeing photos or film of LBJ doing any kind of work on his ranch – and Reagan and GWB both worked clearing brush and other chores on their respective “ranches”.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      can’t ever recall seeing photos or film of LBJ doing any kind of work on his ranch

      http://i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2007/11/28/lbjx.jpg
      http://www.congresslink.org/civilrights/images/big_left_feb181964.gif

      Took me two seconds on Google image search.

      you can probably say the same about LBJ, and Reagan too,

      No, you can’t. LBJ and Reagan knew how to ride horses, LBJ’s ranch was actual working ranch (IIRC Reagan’s was, too), with cattle being raised for profit and everything*. They also both kept their ranches after leaving office. Reagan only gave his up once his disease became too advanced. Johnson even left his ranch to the National Park Service after he died under the condition that they keep it a working ranch and not a museum piece.

      Bush, by contrast, bought his ranch in 1999 right before he announced for the Presidency and after leaving office, preferred to live in a wealthy Dallas suburb. The cattle in the photo ops? They actually still belonged to the previous owner, who did the actual job of raising them. His “ranch” was just a glorified vacation home/photo op.

      As to LBJ and his salary, by the 1950s he was Senate Majority Leader. US Senators get paid well into the six figures.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      “Bush, by contrast, bought his ranch in 1999 right before he announced for the Presidency and after leaving office, preferred to live in a wealthy Dallas suburb. The cattle in the photo ops? They actually still belonged to the previous owner, who did the actual job of raising them. His “ranch” was just a glorified vacation home/photo op.”While likely true, I think Shrub’s move from Crawford to Dallas had more to do with the local law enforcement being unable to afford the kind of security and protection that was required, even while retired. I think the last price I saw was something like at least one million per year. Crawford’s police department just didn’t have that kind of money.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      I can see your point, but former Presidents get Secret Service protection for ten years. He could have stayed on his “ranch” until 2019 without burdening the Crawford police too much.

      Before 1994, btw, Secret Service protection was for life for former Presidents and their family.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, US Senators’ salaries did not reach six figures until 1991. Here are congressional salaries for the years when LBJ was in the House and Senate:

      1935-1947 — $10,000 per annum

      1947-1955 — $12,500 per annum

      1955-1965 — $22,500 per annum

      Now before 1977 there were no limits on honoraria that members of Congress could receive, so it’s possible that LBJ augmented his salary that way. Still, Johnson earned about $300,000 during his career as a Representative and Senator. Though he acquired the family’s 250 acre farm from his widowed aunt in 1951 gratis, it’s hard to square the 2,700 acre showpiece that he eventually built with his relatively modest congressional salary.

  • avatar
    mdwheary

    No wonder he only drove it 10 feet. The Volt ain’t no hemi-powered 300C. (His former ride)

  • avatar
    carguy

    The insanity of this websites fatwa on the Volt is astounding. Since no one here has actually driven this car, the only basis for this attitude can be that “it has been paid for with my tax payer money”. Really? So when a $300B+ farm subsidy bill passed no one said a word (despite record food prices), when the 2005 Energy bill included billions of dollars of additional subsidies for oil companies (bring it to $15-36B per year depending on how you do the math) – no one said a word. Give GM a one off government loan/subsidy and the its like the greatest tax payer injustice ever.

    I’m against all forms of corporate welfare but this selective (and synthetic) outrage over the GM assistance is either endearingly naive or pure partisan populism (I am hoping for the former).

    • 0 avatar
      ccttac

      Amen!

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Lemming

      You get used to TTAC’s slant after a while. Or not and drift away. What I find irritating is when writers depend so heavily upon right-wing sites like the Washington Times for their Drudge-style, gotcha stories.

      You’d think that a site with the name The Truth About Cars would either offer real, independent journalism or at least offer a range of ideological perspectives in its postings. Instead, there’s a fairly consistent slant toward the political right by most of the writers. What’s a little weird is when they don’t acknowledge their bias.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Really? So when a $300B+ farm subsidy bill passed no one said a word (despite record food prices), when the 2005 Energy bill included billions of dollars of additional subsidies for oil companies (bring it to $15-36B per year depending on how you do the math)

      This is a CAR site. Government idiocy from spending to subsidies to tax policy exists. But when such idiocy relates to the CAR industry, it will be discussed here, The Truth About Cars.

      If this site were called “The Truth About Crappy Government Policies That Annoy People With Foil Hats”, you may have a logical point. But it’s not, so you don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      @ihatetrees,
      This being a car site doesn’t make carguy’s point any less valid. The fact of the matter is the anti-GM mantra on this site goes back much further than the bailouts. That the government got involved is just so much fanning of the anti-GM flames, especially for the hard right that magically appeared in January, 2009.

    • 0 avatar

      Dr. Lemming,

      It isn’t so much a deliberate ideological slant to “the right” as the simple fact that Farago, Niedermeyer, Baruth, Lang, and myself all have some libertarian leanings. Still, I doubt we’d all agree on more than a handful of political issues.

      Is that a sin? Is it worse than Jalopnik’s liberal tilt and their crossposts from the other Gawker sites? I like Ray Wert and Jalop is a cool site, but Ray’s last job was working for Gov. Granholm. Do I really need to read some feminist misandry crossposted from Jezebel on a car site?

      I suppose that some of the articles and editorials that I’ve contributed to TTAC have touched on political themes, but I try not to make those posts my personal political soapbox. I want to be funny, provocative, entertaining, informative and most important of all something that Ed will buy. Though I might tweak a nose or two, offending ~50% of your readers is not a good way of growing your brand.

      TTAC has plenty of left of center readers like yourself – that’s obvious from the comments and for the most part I don’t think they feel unwelcome.

      I guess the key is to not be obnoxious regardless of political stance.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I lean to the left (perhaps too far!) but I enjoy coming here and reading the articles regardless of their slant. I certainly don’t feel unwelcome.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Jimal:

      While the farm subsidy may not be relevant to cars – the oil subsidies are. For a site that complains heavily about ethanol subsidies, they sure don’t seem to mind when oil gets a handout. Subsidized oil also leads to subsidized gas which in turn distorts the market and makes larger vehicles more attractive.

      Either way, my view is to subsidize nothing, but if we are going to talk about the merits of automotive and energy subsidies then we should treat the all equally and not engage in rampant populism.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Yeah, seriously , I miss Robert Farago

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    @ SamP

    One wonders what the level of anti Volt vitriol on this site would be if Ford, Nissan, or Honda was building it.

    Much, much less.
    Vitriol at TTAC is proportional to bailout funds taken from taxpayers. GM gets what it deserves.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    Like Fannie and Freddie, the Washington/GM/UAW axis is not reformable. The sole solution is to break the axis by shutting GM down cold.

    The only way to do this is to boycott GM.

    Otherwise, GM & its friends will continue to be a graveyard for tax dollars, and there are 1,000 clandestine ways for Washington to channel our money into the Detroit trough. Only consumers can stop these thieves and thugs, because federal politicians never will.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    While we will never know the real answer, one can’t help but wonder what the state of affairs would be, economy-wise, if the Bush-Obama automaker bailout never took place. How about the bailout of the profiteering bastards in the financial industry who engineered the economic collapse in the first place? In that case, a depression that would have made the 1930s look like a trip to Disneyworld is my opinion.

    Regarding GM, at this point who gives a crap anymore? If the product is good any you have confidence in it, buy it. If not, buy something else. Government largess comes/came in many sizes. Taxpayers should be more pissed that the government practically gives away land use rights to resources (finite resources, I might add) to Big Oil when we should be making real money on those resources. You can use whatever example you want, but the concept is the same.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    It would be nice to move the discussion back to the Volt…and off politics.

    Using the term “drowning” to describe 10,000 sales, is a bit of a stretch. That is wayyy too few sales to make any impact on the market whatsoever, and not enough to judge if it could be a success. In comparison, the Prius sold almost 18K vehicles in it’s first full year…in Japan alone. It sold 20K it’s first year in the world market and has been doing over 100K a year for the last 5 years, in the U.S. alone.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Initially, I found the Volt to be a “half measure”, that lugging an ICE around was too much of a compromise – now, not so much.

    At the present level of battery technology, it makes good sense to have an ICE, especially if this car is purchased as the only car.

    But, GM should not close the door on a full EV-Volt, offering the option of swapping the ICE with additional batteries when the tech improves.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I am seriously considering a Volt as my 60-mile round trip commute could be at least half EV only and I think I can even finagle access to a 120v outlet at work.

    I contacted my local Chevy dealer (here in Northern California) with questions about ordering a car late last week and here’s what I found:

    1- He had no idea how to place an order for this car. He’s making a list of interested customers but said that despite media reports, Chevrolet had no mechanism for him to actually put in an order and he hasn’t received any specifics regarding colors and option availability.

    2- The $350/month lease sounds good, but neither the dealer nor Chevy’s own toll-free Volt line folks have ANY information about the specifics behind this lease… how many miles per year, for example.


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