By on September 24, 2012

 

The latest from USA Today suggests now is a good time to buy a Chevy Volt, if that’s what you really want.  I checked in with former(?) TTAC scribe Captain Mike Solo, currently helping someone lease a Volt, and he says about the same: lease for $270 a month, with $1500 down.  Which includes the government tax credit built into the residual…probably. So what does this all mean?

So far this year, the Volt’s outsold half the cars currently on sale.  And while a $40,000 Chevy (that isn’t a Vette or a truck) is a hard sell, cash on the hood gets everyone hot and bothered. Especially truck buyers, regularly seeing discounts of $10,000 or more. Sales rise, then fall.  A dealership’s floorplan falls, then rises once again.  Automakers calm down, then heat things up. And now we know that it’s no different with the Volt. Surprised?

Unless you have Ferrari’s rabid customer loyalty, this is just the game in action. No matter the Volt’s cutting edge technology, no matter what was sold to us in Washington by people no longer in play, it all comes down to the Money, Honey.  And this incentive cycle is just business as usual, so you can decide if the Volt is a success…or a flop.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

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91 Comments on “$10,000 Off a Volt, Haters Gonna Hate?...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    So… now… how many 10’s of thousands of dollars per Volt is GM losing with each sale?

    I think this car is leagues above the Prius, Leaf and Mitsu i, there NEEDS to be some better accounting when it comes to this car in order for it to have a continued fighting chance. This mentality of “recovery over long sales periods” is not going to float a company that can’t get its branding structure straight…. again…. which kicked them into oblivion the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      magicboy2

      Per unit, they are not losing money with each sale. The article you are referencing factored in the total Volt program’s development cost to arrive at its (asinine) conclusion. However if you only take PRODUCTION costs into account, the article stated that each Volt is sold at a profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        If you only took production costs into account GM wouldn’t have needed a bailout. Asinine is as asinine does.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Sure, it makes sense to factor in development costs for overall profitability, but it doesn’t make sense to say “loses money on each one” when development is a fixed, sunk cost that is there regardless. Each Volt sold decreases its unprofitableness. Thus, each makes money–otherwise the unprofitableness would get worse with each one sold–but it will be a while before the overall project breaks even.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        Would they still make money if there was no $7500 government subsidy?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It depends upon how you define success or failure.

    If you define it by short-term profitability, then the car is a failure. There is no way that the car could possibly be making any money at this point in time. But it makes no sense to evaluate products like these through that short-sighted lens, so the point is moot.

    If you define it in terms of a brand-building exercise, then the jury is still out. But I would say that the risk was necessary, given GM’s relatively low standing as a manager of car brands in today’s market.

    If you define it in terms of establishing a sustainable $40,000 price point, they’ve clearly failed to do that. But if this is about establishing a $30,000 price point and using today’s $40k sticker to justify a temporary tax incentive (that indirectly subsidizes GM, more than anyone else), then that may not be relevant, either.

    The emotions about the car are excessive and clearly motivated by politics. At the end of the day, it’s just a car. I suspect that GM will have a tough time competing with the Prius, and that’s the yardstick that matters most.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      There’s no stronger indication of failure than the first line of your defense attempting to establish an ambiguous definition of success.

      The bottom line is GM spent an assload of money on a punchline of a car that nobody buys. It’s been crystal clear for four years now that the market conditions the Volt was designed for – and would have succeeded in – are gone forever.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        Dan,
        You are wrong here. Not all cars are going to make a manufacture money, but provide real R&D benefits that along the way, will be useful.

        But, there are several cars that the Volt is outselling this year that would surprise you. Your assumption that nobody buys this car is incorrect. Therefore, the market conditions for this car seem to be correct. Just not what GM thought it was going to sell originally.

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        Danny Boy Since you are so good at predicting things after the fact, why don’t you list some predictions of future events concerning the auto industry? I bet you didn’t predict that GM would be the Number 1 automaker last year. I also bet you didn’t predict how well Chrysler is doing, either. So let’s see what you forecast for both GM and Chrysler, and we’ll see if your Crystal Ball was tuned to the Auto Channel or the Cartoon Channel.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “There’s no stronger indication of failure than the first line of your defense attempting to establish an ambiguous definition of success.”

        You did a nice job of misinterpreting my point.

        Perhaps I should be more blunt: Most of the metrics that people like you use to measure success or failure are completely bogus.

        A car can easily cost $1 billion to develop. Even a face lift can cost a few hundred million. I would guess that the New GM’s cost for finishing off the Voltec drivetrain was a few hundred million.

        There isn’t a car company in the world that can consistently recover those amortized costs within a year or two. Nobody sells enough units to do that.

        Car making is a marathon, not a sprint. Short term thinking leads to long-term failure. The old GM was guilty time and again of prioritizing the short term at the expense of the long term. It sounds as if you are fond of the old GM way of doing business.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        “A car can easily cost $1 billion to develop. Even a face lift can cost a few hundred million. I would guess that the New GM’s cost for finishing off the Voltec drivetrain was a few hundred million.”

        It would be an interesting exercise for those with the data to come back with the a/b comparison of cost to build (just for parts and labor) and average transaction price. At the layman’s level, that’s what I think of as profit/loss for the very reason that tech can be used in other applications, but if you can’t sell it for what it costs to screw together, well, make of that what you will.

        Complicating it further would be to include the implications for the low lease price and expected resale value at the end of the lease period.

      • 0 avatar
        rmay635703

        They sell roughly as many as they sell corvettes, obviously every low volume car is a failure.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      “It depends upon how you define success or failure.”

      I would argue that the Chevrolet brand is all about providing a good value in transportation with a good dose of Americana in the styling. In my opinion the Volt can’t win because nothing about it fits with the Chevrolet brand. For Chevrolet to be successful, it’s most important models should be class-competitive while also being clearly American. Affordable and practical, but with a little swagger available on the options list. The long-running Silverado and Suburban trucks are mostly faithful to the Chevrolet brand, but the Malibu and Impala are not. Chevrolet lost the connection between the classic 60s Chevelle Malibu and Impalas that people lovingly restore and the recent Malibu and Impala that people abuse as rentals.

      Maybe the Volt should have been a Cadillac instead. Easier to justify a $40k price for a Cadillac and the combination of quiet propulsion and mass fit the Cadillac brand better. I think the current Cadillac design language could work with a “car of the future” theme.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Look at the segment. As electric cars and plugin hybrids go, the Volt *is* a good value. It may or may not stay that way, but everything you say about the Chevrolet brand applies to the Volt relative to the segment.

        On the other hand, I’m guilty of applying the same reasoning to the $40k Suburban. Unless you’re hauling around a work-crew and a trailer full of heavy equipment, I don’t see the point. However, within the mega-SUV segment, it is a good value. For a vehicle that size, it’s also efficient and reliable. The people who use them to commute alone to while collar jobs makes me make assumptions about their owners, but it doesn’t detract from the value it provides relative to the other vehicles in the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I would argue that the Chevrolet brand is all about providing a good value in transportation with a good dose of Americana in the styling”

        That doesn’t preclude something like the Volt. If there is a car in the Chevrolet line up that screams out “branding conflict”, it’s the Corvette.

        “Maybe the Volt should have been a Cadillac instead.”

        That would have been a mistake. Cadillac is allegedly a luxury brand, and luxury brands are about status. A product can carry an above-average price tag without necessarily having status. There is a reason why the Prius was launched as a Toyota, not as a Lexus.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    It is not business as usual when one person’s tax money is used to help another person buy a 40 thousand dollar car. I have nothing against the Volt except that I don’t want to buy one for myself and I don’t want to pay for someone else to buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      magicboy2

      As someone who doesn’t use any gasoline, I don’t want to contribute to the $4B in subsidies the oil industry gets every year, but here we are.

      • 0 avatar

        My favorite response all day. Well played.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I wonder what someone who doesn’t use any gasoline ate for lunch today.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        @ magicboy2:

        Only in the interest in playing devils advocate here. But you may not directly use gasoline everyday. But you are still benefiting from it. The tar used in the asphalt bike path you bicycle on to the grocery store stocked with foods transported to the store with trucks that run on oil derived fuels.. Mail and packages delivered to you from the USPS and Amazon Prime, and so on and so on.

        There may be a handful of people in the United States who don’t benefit from oil subsidies. But they also don’t have internet.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Wow, you don’t use gas? How do you get electricity? Get food to your house, buy clothes, and use the computer you typed your message on. No AC or heat in the buildings that you work in or live in?

        You must be Amish. Oh wait, you have a computer.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Then we agree. No government subsidies of private businesses. No argument here.

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        magicboy2,

        You run your computer by pedal power?

        Cool!!!

      • 0 avatar
        rrrtripler

        great point. but to also “play to devil’s advocate here”. dynasty, I think he meant that he does not literally pump “gasoline” into his form of transportation. He did not mean “crude” oil. And yes, he would still be paying for his ups deliveries, groceries deliveries, everyday household items that we use. He is and is willing to pay for those, he doesn’t get his deliveries groceries for free. He is talking about the gasoline companies that get billions on tax breaks. Ppl love hammering the auto industry. Thank God we had these companies during WWII, when OUR government used their services to produce weapons and fleets

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      Agreed. At my income level, I paid around $10k in Federal income taxes last year….I willingly paid those taxes so that our borders would be secure. I willingly paid those taxes so that our military would have the best weapons and equipment. I willingly paid those taxes so roads could be kept in good condition. I willingly paid those taxes so that crime could be fought.

      I did NOT pay that much in taxes so that Barrack Obama and his cohorts Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid could give it away to GM so that they could subsidize someone’s car purchase. I didn’t pay that much so that it could be given away by Obama to a lazy welfare mother. I didn’t pay that much so that it could be money-laundered to Obama’s election campaign thru ill-advised loans to the likes of Solyndra.

      The Lord giveth, and Obama keeps sucking it away….

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “I willingly paid those taxes so that our borders would be secure. I willingly paid those taxes so that our military would have the best weapons and equipment.”

        A little off topic, but these are some of the main reasons the economy in your country has stagnated.

        Also interestingly, I paid more income taxes in the US last year than you did, yet I don’t even get to vote on these things that directly affect me. I guess I’m the sucker.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        IIRC, the tax credits for electric and hybrids were created by Bush, not Obama. And I think the auto industry bailout was too, or at least Bush and Obama agreed on it, since it happened on the cusp of Obama taking office.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        I, too, willingly paid income taxes. Mostly I paid them so that our nation’s citizens, including me, could live decent lives in a civilized society.

        This includes keeping foreign invaders at bay, which to me emphatically does NOT require mammoth quantities of “the best weapons and equipment” for the prosecution of multiple foreign wars.

        I say without shame that I also wholeheartedly approved of paying taxes 3-1/2 years ago so that my government would step into the void created by a shell-shocked and disabled banking industry, to prevent the needless dissolution of an auto industry that provided a decent middle-class living to more than a million of my fellow citizens. I understood, as millions of others did, that this was not a permanent parasitic condition, but an emergency response to a moment that teetered on the brink of a lastingly devastating nationwide replay of the Great Depression.

        Today, I am delighted that the destructive impact of that pivotal moment was minimized for my fellow citizens whose homes, families and communities depended on those workers’ wages. I understand that the specific companies that were helped may eventually fail of their own accord, and I’m okay with that.

        Even so, I like the billions used to save those millions jobs much better than I like the trillions stolen by our unelected lords of Wall Street — the oligarchs who finance the anti-worker fake news reports that some of my fellow Americans unfortunately swallow without question.

        As for the Volt itself, I think it’s truly regrettable that its merits as a car have been swallowed up in today’s tendency to annihilate the honest discussion of absolutely anything, just because of an obsession with destroying one political party and the current president. It is an outstanding technology, far more viable than a Leaf-type design that will ultimately fail to sell because drivers won’t want to get stranded when their batteries’ charge runs out. If there was a mistake, it wasn’t the car but the marketing: selling this car as a Cadillac would have sustained the $40,000 price point better than the Chevy brand could. But with the need to sell the GM rescue package to the skeptical, the showcase tech had to be attached to the mass brand.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @tonycd:
        “… it’s truly regrettable that its merits as a car have been swallowed up in today’s tendency to annihilate the honest discussion of absolutely anything, just because of an obsession with destroying one political party and the current president”

        It was Mr. Obama who referred to the Volt as an example of “the cars Americans want to buy” in defense of the bailout. The Volt has been a centerpiece of his green agenda, the bailout agenda, pro-subsidy agenda, and the pro-union agenda of the Obama Administration.

        Obama takes credit for the bailout, which is a politically hot topic. The Volt is inextricably linked to the bailout, so opponents of the president have justification in attacking it.

        It isn’t Obama’s opponents who placed him next to the Volt, it was himself.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        But do you honestly think that if McCain had become President, the govt wouldn’t have still bailed out the auto industry? It was happening no matter what. And do you really think that McCain wouldn’t be standing there now taking credit for it during this election, and talking up the Volt as a great product offered by GM??

        I sincerely doubt that any of this would have been any different regardless of who was in office. And whoever was in office would still be bragging about it now. Whether or not you agree with the bailout, politically it is considered a success worthy of advertising.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Mark, El Presidente Boosh got the ball rolling with bailout money.

      • 0 avatar
        sfay3

        In other words, you think that the only things the government should provide is the stuff you want. Sounds reasonable.

      • 0 avatar
        rrrtripler

        I don’t think ppl pay taxes willingly, i think we are FORCED. If you don’t pay, just ask Wesly snipes what happens when you have an accountant that didn’t pay for his taxes lol

        Im with you though, I wish my taxes didn’t go to pay for meaningless wars also. There are many things that I don’t agree with what the government does with my money.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    $1,500 down, $270 a month on a 3 year term reflects less than $25K of transaction price AND excellent residual value. This is a real $10K discount on top of the direct tax subsidy and questionable profitability at the fantasmic MSRP. For anyone really short with the right sort of commute and shameless willingness to suckle on all the teats of corruption available to them, the Volt makes lots of sense at that price. Just like stealing makes more sense than working when you have no moral compass and you think you can get away with it…

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Most of the people who hold their political values ‘that’ close to them are either:
      A) not able to comprehend the auto bailouts to a sufficient degree to actually not purchase a GM product or
      B) are objective enough that stigmas don’t bother them

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      “moral compass” = sucker.

      Haven’t you been paying attention?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Please CJ…show me the math that proves this is a ‘real’ $10k discount on top of the direct tax subsidy.

      Leasing a leftover 2012 Volt…GM has 5k cash in the deal and a 59 residual on a 36 month lease. 2013 Volts have a 63 residual with $2500 GM cash.

      Follow me here:

      39k Volt
      59 residual (bank gets the rebate)=$23,010
      $5k GM Cap Cost reduction
      $11,220 in customer pay ($270 per month plus $1500 down)

      Where the hell is the other 5k to make the 10k in additional money beyond the tax credit that you discovered???

      You really don’t understand how leasing works so quit pretending you discovered an extra $5000 when it doesn’t exist.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I was thinking the same thing, wheres the money?? I checked the website, as a $10k discount sounded like enough reason to check out a Volt. I do not see anything close to $10k off. The lease is a decent deal, but when you look at equivalent leases for pretty much any GM car they are right in line; over-inflated residuals to try to move metal. Plus, isn’t the $7500 a tax credit?? It is not as if they are lowering the price of the car, I just get back a credit at the end of the year. Or does it come off the top if you lease, but not if you buy? Overall, very confusing to see the real discounts.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        1. The leasing company (bank) gets the tax credit on a lease and you do get it back in a way with the residual.

        2. The ‘overinflated’ residuals aren’t so overinflated when you factor in the strong used car market in this country.

        3. You won’t find the 10k discount because it is, by and large, a myth. There might have been a couple dealers at the end of August throwing out their own discounts on a leftover 2012 to meet a sales objective…but the 10k discounts wrapped into a lease really don’t exist.

        All the articles now quote truecar showing 10k discounts. I haven’t dug thru their entire site, but I don’t see a single reference to that # anywhere I’ve looked…but yet the article and related blog posts all reference it as coming from truecar.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I punched the numbers into Edmunds lease calculator with California 92109 as my zip code. For a $39K car discounted by $5K with a $1500 cap reduction and a $23,010 residual with an money factor of 0.0029, the lease payment would be $576 a month with an extra 500 down. If I bump the residual to $30,510 in order to maximize the possible impact of the tax subsidy, the payment falls to $375 a month +500 down. That means the customer pays $15,500 instead of $11,220. Call it an $8,280 discount instead of $10K if you want.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Ok CJ…now lets go over how a real lease works. Lets agree that the customer amount owed is the difference between the transaction price and the residual value plus interest.

        So, lets go with actual MSRP #’s. This is before the dealership discounts a single dime out of their own pocket. And, important to note, before TTL. Taxes vary quite a bit regionally on leases.

        Volt MSRP=$39995
        GM funded Cap Cost Reduction= $5050

        That takes us down to $34945
        Residual value of 59 on a 36 month lease against the MSRP=23,597

        The difference between the two numbers (MSRP-GM Cap Cost Reduction and the residual value)=$11,348

        That’s what the customer pays before interest of 1%. Over 36 months, the interest would be about $173 so the total is $11,521. Put $1500 down lowers that total to $10,021. Divide $10,021 by 36 months and you get $278 per month.

        Again, thats before the dealer discounting a dime. To remind you, that’s before taxes etc and that’s with 5k of GM money. The residual is helped by the leasing company giving back some of the federal tax credit in the form of a higher residual.

        Anyone else familiar with leasing please feel free to chime in if I’m wrong.

        Take it full circle in 36 months. Lets say US Bank leased the car and they sell it for the residual.

        US Bank made:
        23.5k sale of used car
        11.5k customer pay
        7.5k tax credit.

        They receive $42,400 for the Volt–and I’m sure there are some fees in there (acquisition fee, termination fee etc) that are not a part of my basic lease calculation without additional fees.

        I don’t see $8000 in that deal. I see $5000.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The interest cost on a lease is based on the full financed amount, which is MSRP + delivery + license and registration fees. It is not based on depreciation, as the full cost of the car must be carried. I haven’t seen a Volt window sticker that was under $40K, so I was being generous to you by taking your $39K pre-rebate price. 1% interest is also a discount. GM is eating the difference between 1% and the real interest rate. If you don’t think this is a $10K discount, have fun trying to lease the in-demand $35K car of your dreams for $1500 down and $279 a month.

        BTW, I rode in a Volt tonight. It is still a very expensive, very cramped economy car, even at $279 a month.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Cool…more interest for the leasing company. Buying down interest rate a point or two must be about $5k in your world?

        So you were in a Volt and it was a bit cramped…wow a car with a gigantic t shaped battery running thru it to allow it to run 35 miles or so on battery power is a bit cramped….shocking.

        Do your in-demand 35k vehicles that you are looking to lease have a $7500 federal tax rebate going to the leasing company? I ask because your original post claimed proof of 10k from GM beyond that credit.

        Read some more on real world Volt pricing/leasing please and show me 10k of GM money in all these deals in California. Dealership is doing some discounting.

        http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?16609-Keyes-L.A.-NEW-2013-Volt-Leases-starting-at-325.00-INCLUDING-TAX-for-36-months

        Here’s another reality check with actual deals over the summer:

        http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?15488-What-was-your-Volt-deal

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You do realize that in your effort to dissemble you’ve linked to a thread where a guy put ‘zero down’ with a $325 security deposit and only $308.50 a month including tax and tags, right? That’s hilarious. Thats’ $7229 for two years of a $40,690 car. I buy or lease a few cars a year, have been doing so on and off since 1987. You are ridiculous and feign ignorance. I could show you a worksheet that I snapped a cell phone photo of a couple months ago. It was for a $29,430 Jetta SW TDI. $505.11 paid for 15K miles a year. $556.87 would cover 18K miles a year. Anything too far off those numbers is subsidized. Sure, some of it is on the taxpayers shattered backs when it comes to the Volt, but not 50% of the total cost.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Cool…you found one example….of course that means every Volt comes with 10k GM Cash on the hood in your world? Perhaps, was that dealer motivated to make that deal?

        Care to comment on the rest of the examples? Of course not.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Here’s my comment on the other link: Did you notice that all the replies can be paraphrased as ‘I’m glad I got my Volt last week when you were giving them away on 24 month terms!’ Even the dealer said he snapped one up for the 24 month steal. Then one person said they missed the super discounts and the dealer replied that he would check with his finance manager because maybe 24 month terms were released later, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, the cars are still practically free if you are smart enough to ask rather than accept what is posted on a Volt fan forum.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        You still have not shown me how there is 10k of GM cash in any of those deals. 24 month leases have higher residuals…they will have lower payments…as someone who leases all the time, you should know that.

        Ok…you don’t like fan sites….how about edmunds forums:

        http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/volt/2012/consumer-discussions.html

        http://townhall.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f2479c8.f2475df/104

        Read the ‘Car man’ posts…he knows what cash is involved.

    • 0 avatar
      passive

      As Mitt Romney would say, it would be irresponsible to not take advantage of tax breaks available to you. But people can disagree about that (I mean, he overpaid his taxes this year just to make his rate look higher). ;)

    • 0 avatar
      dodobreeder

      My brother in Palm Springs traded his old Prius for a Volt and took advantage of the $10,000 “discount” and $7500 tax credit.

      It’s a crock. The date of manufacture on his Volt states it was made in Aug 2010. So he buys a “new” $45K Volt in Sep 2012 that is more than two years old for a hell of a lot more than it is worth, even after the “discount” and the tax credit.

      The tax, title, license and registration were added to the FULL MSRP, not the discounted sell price, so that isn’t such a good deal either, although that may vary from state to state.

      And you might have guessed it, driving on I-10 to get anywhere, he runs on the gas engine generator most of the time.

      When he came to visit me in Yucca Valley that sucker wanted to plug his Volt into MY electrical outlet and have ME pay for the electricity to charge his Volt. Imagine that!

      That thing will suck up some juice. My meter was already spinning because of my air conditioners, but when he plugged in that cord it really set the meter flying, just clicking off the numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @dodobreeder

        The first Volts for consumers were built around October/November 2010…not August 2010. How many miles did it have?

        Your story sounds a bit strange. I would expect a 10k discount on a 2 year old Camry being sold new now…much less a Volt.

        Also, do you typically charge houseguests for plugging in their bathroom applicances and cell phones? How about water? Perhaps for toilet paper and other random household items? Might I suggest a coin slot for your guest bathroom? If he grabbed a couple of decent quality beers out of your fridge, he would have cost you more than one plug in on a Volt.

        Geez…I’m glad I don’t have any brothers.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr.Radar

        Just to add some numbers to back sunridge place up: The Volt’s battery has a capacity of 16 kWh. Even assuming the charger only has an efficency of 75% (a very conservative estimate; I would guess it would be more like 90-95% efficnient but I can’t find hard numbers) and your brother’s Volt’s battery was totally flat when your brother arrived (which it wouldn’t be due to the range extender) it would take (16/0.75) = 21.3 kWh of electricity to charge.

        Where I live electricity is $0.08 per kWh (that’s 8 cents per kWh) so it would cost you $1.70 to charge his battery. Even if you paid $0.22 per kWh (the highest rate in the US, paid in Hawaii and New York City) it would still only cost you $4.69 to charge his car. You’re telling me you wouldn’t lend your brother $5?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Sounds like he bought one of the Volt demos that Chevy pushed on dealers and then paid them to dump. Quite a business plan there.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Come on CJ…even a Volt hater like you would admit dodobreeder is a bit cheap by not letting his brother plug in his car at his house?

        The Volt test drive program really wasn’t that bad an idea. Dealer gets a car and pays for it…they have to follow rules by keeping it as a test drive unit…then, if they follow those rules they get a bonus to help them sell a unit with miles on it.

        Please…tell us what is so terrible about that program?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        He’s already subsidizing his brother. Everyone has their limit, particularly when the average opportunist makes $170K a year. We pay a dear price for the moral and intellectual failings of the soulless and vacuous today. Were I in his situation, I would probably be gracious towards my brother. It would haunt me though.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        “We pay a dear price for the moral and intellectual failings of the soulless and vacuous today”

        Yes we do. Its called Wall Street. And the sad people who cannot see that its better to work together instead of selfishly hording everything for yourself, and thereby see the world as Ebenezer Scrooge. An empty sea of poor people who stand waiting for a handout from rich, fat, caucasian middle-aged men who refuse to share.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Steege

        I don’t think Dodobreeder is cheap. People have limits. Sounds like his brother is pretty well off so why should he bum off Dodobreeder?

        I have family members who came over to my house to fill up their water bottles and jugs with MY Reverse Osmosis water!!!!!!!!!! Used to torque my jaws!

        First it was my folks. Yeah, that was OK. That was like maybe a 5-gallon jug every week for their Primo dispenser system. I was delighted to help them.

        Then it was one of my brothers, then the other, and then my sister, and they came with three or four 5-gallon jugs each and every week, week after week.

        It got to the point I had to invest in a 25-gallon storage tank, and my filters lasted only about three or four months.

        The RO element had to be replaced every six months instead of every year and if you ever owned one of these setups, the filters and membrane are not cheap, by any means.

        And, of course, my water bill nearly doubled, so that was another irritant.

        No, I don’t think Dodobreeder is cheap. I am one of those people who’s not rich but I worked hard for what I got, and I don’t want to share either. I’ll help my folks but the rest of my kin are on their own especially since many of them make more money than I do.

        My solution was to get my own Primo water dispenser and dismantle the RO setup the last time it died. It’s amazing what happened after. I never see my folks or family drop by my house again. There’s a limit, even to my generosity.

        I noticed no one else in my family decided to get a Reverse Osmosis setup. They can all afford it. Maybe THEY feared the rest of the clan dropping by to drain off their drinking water….

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    “…cash on the hood gets everyone hot and bothered.”

    This is so ridiculous to me. At the end of the day you are paying a price for a car. Just because the discount is large, doesn’t mean the price is good.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      Agreed, it’s like being the tallest midget on the basketball team.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      You would love to learn about economic irrationalities, especially subconcious stimuli that affect shopping.

      There are some behaviors people have because our brains are hardwired for it, and this hardwiring impedes rational decisions. A great example is how people view gains/losses, such as when gambling. People are so negatively affected by having lost some money that they go to irrational lengths and risks to regain it and thus lose even more.

      “Cash on the hood” is another one of those irrationalities. On one hand it is akin to survival instincts that direct us to get what we can when we can, and on anothe it is a form of reciprocity where we feel that since the deal is doing something for us, we are obligated to do something in return.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Thousands of tax dollars on the hood, giveaway lease rates, our investment in the company stock sitting well below the IPO.

    It’s not hate, it’s more like anger that Other People’s Money is being used this way. This is no longer about not buying oil from the middle east so we don’t have to fight wars, or saving polar bears, or stopping the seas rise.
    You don’t solve a 18K $ price gap with tax rebates and lease gimmicks, it just transfers the costs to others.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Say what you want about the politics behind the car. My FiL picked one of these up at the current fire-sale lease rates last month, it’s been reliable and he hasn’t put a gallon into the gas tank since he bought it – 1500 miles ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      I’ll do what I always do and point people at voltstats.net.

      15 Million fleet miles, and an average fuel economy of 129 and/or 65, depending on how you want to count it. Prii are decidedly under 50.

      If you want to use less gas, and not need a second car, I don’t see anything on the market that’s better.

      Also: has anyone done the math on subsidy cost avoidance (to the oil companies) vs. subsidy cost (on the volt). Could be one of those cheaper-to-buy-houses-for-the-homeless deals.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        A Prius doesn’t cost $40k. Using less gas at any cost isn’t my goal.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        If you want to use less gas, don’t buy crap you don’t need, get more efficient at running errands together, and develop better driving habits. You don’t need a 40k car marked down $18k to use less gas.

      • 0 avatar

        ‘slippy,

        The Volt is NOT a Prius…

        Prius Battery – Nickel Metal Hydride (cheap), Volt – Lithium
        Prius range on Battery – 1 mile, Volt – 40 miles
        Prius 0-60 – 8.0 seconds, Volt – 6.5
        Prius – noisy, harsh braking and transition to gas, Volt – quiet, luxurious, sporty, 93% Customer Satisfaction rating from Consumer Reports.

        Is it twice the car as the Prius ($20K to $40K)? No, but then it doesn’t cost $40K, now does it? ($40K base – $7500 = $32,000) Is it 50% better than the Prius? Yes, for the 75% of people who have a 40 mile or less commute. And if you lease, it will start saving you money, the day you drive it home from the dealer…

        http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1108_2011_chevrolet_volt_vs_2011_nissan_leaf_vs_2011_toyota_prius_comparison/viewall.html

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @TCBRacing:

        I know the Volt isn’t like a Prius. But you’ve described the problem with the Volt – commuters don’t drive enough miles to realize a monetary savings in gasoline, and highway drivers only get the same fuel economy with a Volt as with a V6 Buick, let alone a Prius.

        The $15k price difference between these cars buys about 150k miles of Prius driving.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    So if sales pick up, that indicates that the market has decided that a $40k Volt is actually worth $22,500. Sounds like Chevy has a lot of work left to do to build value in the eyes of the public.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    All I can say is that how much did Toyota “lose” on each sale of the original Prius when it had only been on sale for two years? A metric butt-load would be the answer if figured in the (completely stupid) way that article used. But they kept at it, and they have a great product. If a comprehensively dull one. :-) If GM sticks with the Volt platform and continues to refine and develop it, they will have a great product too. It is “pretty good” right now. But I agree it should not have a tax incentive, and it should have been a Cadillac. But GM has a history of getting products 95% right, then abandoning them.

    I don’t particularly LIKE the bailout, but I think the alternative would likely have been far, far worse, and GM and Chrysler going down could have easily brought down the entire US auto industry by taking out multiple suppliers. And the Great Recession could have easily become The Great Depression MKII. On the political front, I am a good Maine Independent, I think BOTH parties are packs of thieving liars, and neither is any better than the other! It’s always a choice of the lesser of two evils for me.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Did anyone really expect GM not to drop the price? They just followed the model of purveyors of electronics. You know that there are people out there that must have the latest and greatest the second it hits the shelves (or lot) and are willing to pay more than the rest of the customers. Rather than let the dealers rake in the big bucks with their ADP stickers GM kept it for themselves. The data I’ve seen suggests the real cost of producing the Volt is not much more than $20K depending on the source. Yes a huge amount of money was spent on the development but that will likely carry over to other models in the future. Certainly GM never expected to recoup those costs in the first year or two of selling the Volt and only the Volt. Whether they make money overall on it in the long run or not won’t be know for at least another few years.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “Certainly GM never expected to recoup those costs in the first year or two of selling the Volt and only the Volt.”

      Another interesting theory to test. What was GM’s expectation of profit for the Volt? They knew they would get $7500 of extracted sugar from the taxpayer’s wallets, so going in, they are likely thinking, hey, $7500 before we start negotiating! What else can we get subsidies for, other than the bailout?

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    What good will EV’s be when we can no longer generate electricity that is affordable?

    http://www.kxlh.com/news/ppl-montana-will-close-billings-power-plant-in-2015/

    • 0 avatar

      What could be wrong? We have an Energy secretary that thinks it’d be a good idea if we paid twice as much (or more) for gasoline and a president who said that under his policies electricity rates would “skyrocket”.

      I go to enough old car events to recognize the need for the Clean Air Act, but the EPA is criminally out of control. When an executive branch agency goes beyond the authority granted to it by Congress, that’s illegal, not that our country’s chief law enforcement officer would do anything about it. Gosh, even Bobby Kennedy was probably more ethical than Eric Holder.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        +1, Ronnie

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Ronnie, how is the EPA criminally “out of control”? In what way has the Constitution been written to cover all future contingencies such as Nuclear capabilities, space exploration, and internet issues? How about the invasion of sovreign nations without the Constitutional authority of Congress to declare war, whose funding raced our economy to recession? Should we have strung up the Defense Department for that Contitutional abuse?

        The EPA saved so much of our land and water. The Cuyahoga River for example, was one of the most polluted rivers in the United States, catching fire due to pollution a shocking 13 times, the first occurring in 1868. The last one in 1969, had the factories and plants that caused it built bigger blast walls instead of admitting they were the cause and cleaning themselves up. The EPA did an outstanding job of keeping us from going back to that grey world of profit over sanity.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ronnie is correct, emission standards and CAFE are very much out of control. With regard to the existence of an EPA it probably good there is one but there has to be a balance between industry and enviroweenies. I have yet to see federal EPA side with industry over any issue, the best they seem to do is postpone some kind of draconian regulation after they are dragged into court. I say set loose nationwide environmental standards, cut 90% of people out of the dept, and give actual environmental enforcement to the states to handle if they wish to tighten the screws a bit.

        If you going to talk Constitution how often in the past hundred years has dot gov skirted around or violated it? The Bill of Rights should have included an amendment detailing penalties for members of gov’t who violate it.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Everyone loves rewriting history. The Volt was an engineering feat. Until the fiasco, the likelyhood of it ever going to be put in production was remote. It would have been another Chryco turbine car. Interesting, but not relevant to the day to day operations of the Corp.
    Then the meltdown. It became the rallying flag around which GM could something than no other company had that also fulfilled a political agenda. A Green car and technology that no one else had that would surely die if GM wasn’t bailed out. It became a linchpin of GM’s bailout and from then on, it must be made! No matter whether it made economic sense, that wasn’t the point. And now we have this. Because it is a political football, not a car, we have subsidies, tax relief and manufacturing schedules that defy ROI protocols.

    As long as you remember that, then it’s an acceptable tradeoff to keep this thing alive. Just remember, it’s not just a car.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Everyone loves rewriting history.”

      Apparently, you’re one of them.

      The Volt was Bob Lutz’s answer to the Prius. Circa 2006, TMC had established that there was a market for hybrids (or at least for Prius hybrids) in the US, and TMC had announced that it was working on a plug-in hybrid. Lutz wanted to get a piece of that action, rather than allow TMC to kick GM’s backside yet again.

      Also around that time, the agitprop film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” lambasted GM for killing off the EV-1 and scrapping them. It would seem that Lutz was a bit miffed, and wanted to prove the critics wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Dimwit

        But Lutz was having a hard time making a case for it as a production vehicle. That prototype went around to showcases for years. No engineering was done for production at all. When GM went hat in hand for 2008 that’s when suddenly the Volt was pushed as a viable vehicle and was instrumental to getting funds. That’s why it took two more agonizing years to get a *lot* of bugs worked out before it was ready to be made.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “But Lutz was having a hard time making a case for it as a production vehicle.”

        You were right about people making up history. Why do you keep on doing it?

        Here’s some actual history below. Note the date of the articles, and the degree of progress made by early 2008.

        There were over 200 engineers working on it. They had planned for a late 2010 launch as early as 2007. What’s surprising is that they were able to make it more or less on schedule.

        There is no way that this car was created in the short timeframe that you claim. Your position would suggest that you don’t know much about the sort of time that is required to develop a new vehicle. You aren’t close to being accurate.

        http://www.gizmag.com/go/8213/

        http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/news/2008/01/lutz_volt_qa

        http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/17/autos/chevrolet_volt/index.htm

        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/16/spy-shots-chevy-volt-caught-testing-for-the-first-time/

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/05/01/us-gm-wagoner-idUSN0145819820080501

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    There are two GM vehicles in my drive way. They were purchased before the bailout. They will be the last GM vehicles purchased by me. Ask the GM shareholders and white collar employees that were thrown under the bus what they think of the bailout. The only ones to benefit were obama’s cronies. They are the biggest bunch of thieves this country has ever seen.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      To be fair, they weren’t really Obama’s cronies, they were Bush’s cronies. But they are thieves no doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I would imagine the white collar staff are happy to still be working. Not all of them are high level management who can easily land another similar level job in another corporation by virtue of the fact that they made it into the “club”.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly! I am a white collar GM employee (and my opinions are my own) since 2006 and am very happy to still be working there. Most of the salary people that lost their jobs retired or were the lowest performing anyway. The few that had low seniority and got caught up in the downsizing are back to work here now. The company is leaner and stronger and most of the people here now are pulling their weight. We are streamlining Management and Processes everyday and it is showing. The reviews of the latest vehicles have all been positive, warranty costs continue to drop, we are managing recalls (Ranked 5th of all auto manufacturers in 2010 and 2011 for number of vehicles recalled behind Ford, Toyota, Honda and Chrysler) and our stock is up almost 30% this year compared to Ford who is down 4%. Definitely on the right track!

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @TCB…..I’m a retired GM Canada hourly guy. Your information, and informed opinion, helps me sleep better.

        Keep up the good work.

        BTW Don’t let the 08 Mustang fool you. Thats a new Camaro parked beside it

  • avatar

    Some AMISH people in this area do drive Trucks, they also use Computers, they have them in the Barn, right next to there Milk Cooler, they probably would not like a Volt but as long as the Vehicle was Black in Colour, it would be just fine too. This is a Smile for Today!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    It is interesting in America today, the number of people who act (or vote) against their own best interests.

    The chorus of “This car is a waste, I’d never buy it.” As well as, “I’ll never buy a Government Motors car ever again,” reminds me that:

    The majority stakeholder now in New GM is the US government.

    The US government is you. Us. We. The. People.

    So in effect, New GM is…ours.

    And it will continue to be ours until such time the government sells off its shares. But it cannot (or will not) do that until New GM’s share price hits a break-even or profit level. And to hit that, GM needs its owners — you and me and everyone else — to become owners or service customers. Well, not all of us. But a good few of us.

    So when I hear someone belly-aching about GM’s bailout, or being Government Motors, I can accept that someone may have disagreements with how this situation came to be. But the fact remains, it’s here. It exists. Now we all must deal with it in a way that reflects our own best interests. OUR own best interests. ALL of our best interests. And hating New GM, or boycotting its products and services is not in your — or my — best interests.

    Excuse me now while I call me Chevy dealer and get a quote on a new Volt. Cuz if I can all-in buy one of these for mid-20s, I’m going to exercise my own best interests and drive one’a these home.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Do even more… buy two! You’d be such a wonderful person. We’ll sing songs about you!

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        Alas, no. There is no $10k discount. Not even close. At least, not any at any Chevy dealers near me. So no Volt, let alone two. That does not prevent you from singing or writing songs about me, AJ. I ask that you stick to the key of D minor (I like to drop-tune to D, it’s darker, and gives a grungier, grittier vibe). I like mixed meter, too. Weeds out the time impaired.


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