By on August 6, 2013

voltparade_r

General Motors announced that the 2014 edition of the Chevy Volt will start rolling off the assembly line at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant today. They also announced that when those new Volts arrive at dealers in a few weeks they’ll be $5,000 cheaper than the 2013 model. The move is in response to price cuts and lease deals on competitors’ EVs. After Nissan cut the price of the Leaf by $6,400 in January, its sales are up 300% from last year for the first half of 2013, just barely outselling the Volt. In July, Ford lowered the price of the Focus Electric by $4,000 and the recently launched Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark EV are offering $199/month leases.

The base MSRP on the 2014 Volt’s Monroney label will read $34,995, plus $810 to get it from the factory to the dealer. After applying the $7,500 federal tax credit, that puts the effective price of the Volt at $27,495, about what a nicely equipped Chevy Cruze would cost. One of the criticisms of the Volt has been that it’s expensive compared to the Cruze, with which the Volt shares a platform.

So far this year, Volt sales are up 9% to 11,463.

GM said that it has made “great strides” in reducing the manufacturing cost of the Volt, though no dollar figures were released. GM execs have said that the 2nd generation Volt, scheduled to go on sale in 2015, will cost them between $5,000 and $10,000 a unit less to build than the current model.

Apparently one reason for the current price cut is how people now use the internet to shop for cars. The lower MSRP is expected help the Volt show up in consumers’ search results. “Before, if you were going to price-shop a hybrid or a plug-in, the Volt didn’t even show up because of price point,” GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said.

Though the recent price cuts have raised the sale of EVs and PEVs, they’re still a small fraction of the market. Total U.S. sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids were 41,447 units for the first six months of the year. Chrysler sold more Darts that that figure, and the Dart isn’t exactly moving up the sales charts in its segment.

Chevy dealers were already discounting the Volts they had in stock and GM itself is offering rebates of $4,000 on 2013 Volts and $5,000 on the 2012 models still in stock, so the price cut is not going to have much of a real world effect on transaction prices. Truecar.com reports that the average transaction price on the Volts that were s0ld was $38,578, with a total average incentive per car at $10,489. The dealer part of those incentives are essentially subsidized by a GM bonus program for dealers who hit company determined sales objectives.

 

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92 Comments on “Production of 2014 Chevy Volts Begins, Along With a $5,000 Price Cut...”


  • avatar
    hf_auto

    After the tax credit, that’s getting pretty close to the price of a Prius for a hell of a lot more car. If GM can emphasize the $27k number, this could be huge. A $40k Volt is really tough to swallow, but $27k will get some attention.

    Also, this is exactly why I leased my Volt. Commoditization rates of EVs are way too steep to justify buying one right now, even with this price cut. Part of the reason I got mine was curiousity, at $27k I could make the case for a Volt lease on financials alone, but I wouldn’t risk purchasing one.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Agreed! Sage reasoning.

      Yet it is satisfying to find that reality has finally set in and GM lowered the price of the Volt by $5K, which was already waaaay overpriced from the onset.

      It may entice those Buy American fans who are interested in a Volt, but could not otherwise afford to buy or lease one, to make the leap of faith and gamble their future transportation needs on this turkey.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @highdesertcat…..Could you perhaps share with us your experience with the Volt. Most reports,that I’ve seen,or read on the Volt have been of a positive nature.

        Now its $5000 cheaper. Why the “turkey” handle?

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Hey Desert Cat, the last turky I owned said Toyota Highlander on it, or as I called it the Shitlander. Bet if I get a Volt it doesn’t fall apart at 70K like like that lousy Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I think you should rush out and buy a Volt RFN — do not pass Go and do not collect $200!

          Fortunately for me, MY ownership experience with a 2008 Japan-built Highlander Limited has been exquisite and continues to this day as my 16-year old grand daughter uses it as her daily wheels and personal transportation.

          Living 26 miles away from civilization sort of mandates we train our young to drive early in life and furnish them the means for their own mobility.

          I make no bones about it. I converted to Toyota in 2008 and I’m a believer, at least until MY experience equals yours.

          Prior to that I drove the rest. Now I want the best.

          Surprisingly, the 2012 Grand Cherokee has been a pleasant surprise, but I won’t keep it beyond the warranty period based on the rich history of the Chrysler crap cars.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            Ah, so this is where we disagree.

            Toyota is hardly competitive in many of the segments in which it competes, let alone “the best.” I could give plenty of examples.

            Anyway, bias aside, the 2012 Grand Cherokee is nothing like it’s predecessors. I’m sure it will serve you well.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tuffjuff, it’s OK to disagree because I speak only for myself, my own ownership experiences and thus my own current preferences. I don’t care what other people buy.

            I owned several GM products, also Fords, and a host of other used vehicles I bought for all the kids raised in my household, so I have a fair idea of what worked for me, and what didn’t.

            The best GM products I owned were my ’72 Olds Custom Cruiser and my ’77 Toronado, but they were far from trouble-free. My ’88 Silverado had all the problems of that vintage, and my 2006 F150 personified the Fix Or Repair Daily syndrome. No such drama with our 2008 Highlander or 2011 Tundra.

            So I converted to Toyota in 2008, although I was broadminded enough in 2012 to buy my wife that Grand Cherokee. So far, so good.

            But GM and Ford? Forgettaboutit! Why would I want to buy more of their products and reward them for my bad experiences with their products? I’m not the Lone Ranger. Many others feel the same way. Been there and done that.

            I don’t want to tool and wrench on my rides any more. I’m too old for that now. Give me the appliance like reliability of a Toyota product any day!

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Not any different from the price cuts Toyota made with the 1st gen Prius and more recently what Nissan did for the Leaf.

        If GM can cut the price by another $5k for the 2G Volt, then we should see a similar spike in sales for the Volt as we saw for the 2G Prius (which saw sales spike with a significant price reduction).

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Let’s hope the price cuts don’t come with heavy decontenting, or with quality degradation. Volts are rumored to be some of the most reliable on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Given the very high initial cost and the rapid improvements one expects when tech is in a growth phase (I believe them when they say cut costs $5k-$10k), GM should be able to maintain the price without decontenting.

            However, this is GM, and if they don’t decontent, who will?

  • avatar
    redliner

    “the price cut is not going to have much of a real world effect on transaction prices.”

    I would think it would in fact have a very real impact on USED transaction prices. Why buy a used 2013 when you an buy a new 2014 for the same money.

    I see this as good news, as I have been eyeing volts, but, as awesome as the drive train is, it’s simply too expensive for what it does for me… move me from point a to b.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree. I also see this as good news, especially for people interested in driving a Volt, either bought or leased.

      I just hope we don’t see a corresponding price increase in Cruze and other GM products of this size and weight class to even out the $5K cut on the Volt.

      There is no free lunch, and GM will squeeze blood from this turnip somehow, some way, some where.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        …as long as it’s not my turnip, squeeze away…

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Wellllllll….., You may remember that old saying, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction….”

          …..and I fear that in order to compensate for the $5K price drop on every 2014 Volt, we’ll see an increased price in all GM models across the board, disproportionate to what the annual price increases would have been had the Volt not been reduced in price.

          The equalizing and balancing money has got to come from somewhere, trucks, Caddy, whatever, because it certainly is not going to come from European operations which are losing money hand over fist.

          It really is not going to affect me since I am no longer a GM fan, and never have been a believer in EV/PEV/Hybrids.

          But it will affect the future buyers of GM products, where GM’s future lies, many of who are young and not as financially established as those who have left the GM fold over the past 40 years and defected to the foreigners and transplants.

          OTOH, GM cannot afford to be TOO profitable either because if it becomes TOO profitable, the UAW will step in and demand higher wages, better benefits and profit sharing at the expense of the shareholders. If the UAW doesn’t get what it demands, it will threaten crippling strikes.

          It’s happened before. It will happen again. No doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            The Volt sells something like 25000 a year in the US. With GM selling somewhere in the region of 2 million vehicles so the cost spreading is minimal from a mathematical basis.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            It may be minimal, but it ain’t free, like the loss to the US taxpayers was not “free”.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            The Volt offers an opportunity to bring new blood into the fold. And GM’s fate depends on it. Those older buyers that recall the Malaise Era and GM’s indifference are never coming back – witness High Desert Cat’s animosity. But for younger buyers that were not burned and the dark days are just folklore, well they are GM’s future. Even less than average reliability today would outclass the reliability that built Japan’s reputation in the 80s. So, the vast majority of the new customers today are not going to be complaining about unreliable cars. And if GM acts responsibly for those who do have problems, they can turn lemons into lemonade. But I worry that GM beancounters will not allow for that…

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Agreed this is great news, but GM finding ways to cut costs is all too loud.

        Hopefully they got rid of those ridiculously expensive headlights, but one has to wonder where the money is coming from, toyota originally supsidized Prius sales with profit from their trucks, hopefully this isn’t whats causing GM truck prices to go so high.

        But regardless GM has definately made the volt much more competitive.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The US taxpayers are subsidizing the Volt sales of this failed, nationalized albatross we’ve come to know and love as the new GM.

          You can’t find a better backer than the full faith and credit of these here United States.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            That’s right the US Government and therefore the taxpayer does cover all sorts of costs including industrial, pension rights for public sector workers, some of whom can retire very early after only 20 years work.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            There’s a difference between “earned” and “failed”, as in bankrupt, broke, dead.

            It matters not, this comedy of errors, that caused the demise of GM, although there were many contributing factors for many decades.

            Once YOU have earned your forty quarters, you, too, can enjoy the life of leisure, because you “earned” it!

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @highdesertcat…..I “earned” every nickel of my GM pension. I went work everyday for 36 years, and did my job.

            I guess you did the same thing. Now you can tell me what to f— you done so different.

          • 0 avatar
            TurboDeezl

            Give it a rest plz…

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            You made your point about taxes several times over now please stop cluttering up the reply threads.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Bringing up the demise of GM and subsequent taxpayer funded bailout always gets the GM fanclub’s hackles up.

            It’s called rejection of the facts of life.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Mikey: You’re damn right you have earned your pension. From your posts it sounds like you put pride and your heart into your job. Perhaps few others you worked with did not, but you did so your retirement has been earned. I don’t understand why so many people view a pension as a near-criminal activity.

        • 0 avatar
          Beerboy12

          I suspect the $5K cut is just profit margin cut, and, I suspect, there is room to spare.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Now its a Turkey, and a Turnip? I’m looking for some mashed potatoes,and some gravy.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    let me know when the economics make sense, until then this is just a product for middle-upper incomes with a guilty conscience.

    • 0 avatar
      magicboy2

      When do the economics of a Porsche or 3 series make sense? Electric drive has a unique set of advantages over ICE that aren’t all about money. Butter-smooth, instant, silent gobs of torque around town is very easy to get used to.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Long ago when the Volt was new on the scene, I commented on three things Chevy needed to do to increase Volt sales.

    1.) Improve the quality of the interior, particularly materials after of the front row of seats, which isn’t the most pleasant place to spend time.

    2.) Expand the Volt “range” as Toyota has with its dominant Prii, starting with a roomier, more versatile Volt 5-door, which has been teased as a concept.

    3.) Reduce the cost.

    Looks like Chevy is taking care of #3, and the Spark EV could be a bit of #2, though it’s such a low-volume, limited availability affair it doesn’t make much of a dent against, say, the more conventional Prius C.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I doubt if ANY other EV/PEV/Hybrid offerings from any manufacturer have much impact on the dominant sales of the Prius line of cars.

      From Toyota’s perspective, “It’s good to be King!”

      Toyota is the preeminent force in this niche and it will be a long, long time before Volt will have sold even one million of its copies.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It does help that the Prius has been out for 10 years. I would have hoped it would sell more.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        That’s b/c no other automaker really has a “one-off” hybrid specific model (now models) like Toyota with the Prius line, tho Ford is starting to do that with the C-Max Hybrid.

        And when it comes to hybrid trims of traditional models, Ford with the hybrid Fusion and Hyundai/Kia with the Sonata/Optima hybrids have made big inroads with regard to sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      The Volt should never have been a Chevrolet. Volt should have been a stand-alone brand available through any GM store. Without the bowtie on the grille pricing on the Volt becomes much more flexible. Right now it is tied to Chevrolet pricing mores.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Like Saturn?

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Or perhaps the resurgance of Geo?

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          More like what they did with the EV-1. The Volt as a vehicle doesn’t really fit with any of the current GM divisions, but as a vehicle it also doesn’t warrant its own dealer network. Instead, offer it through existing stores as a stand-alone model. Same for service.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Re servicing the Volt, there’s quite a bit of training involved before someone is qualified to service a Volt.

            Ditto with Emergency First Responders rescuing people in a mishap involving an EV/PEV/Hybrid.

            EV/PEV/Hybrids are likened to the live electrical breaker box at a house, unsafe to work on until you yank the meter out of its socket and interrupt the power line to the breaker box.

            All that training costs beaucoup bucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            But it is no different from any other new model. If it was done correctly from the get go, dealers would have to be Volt certified in order to sell the cars. Then as Voltec was adopted in the other divisions, dealers would have a Volt certified tech ready to go when the hybrid Chevrolet, Buick or Cadillac came down the road.

            Branding it as its own vehicle would have completely changed the game.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Jimal, you could be right. Maybe the GM folks reading this thread will take note.

            You can bet your bottom dollar that a lot of GM eyeballs are tracking how well the $5K reduction on the Volt is received on all media and how much interest in the Volt it has stirred up.

            I found that even Bloomberg covered it when I played back my recording.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Unfortunately the horse is long ago out of the barn. It wasn’t even something I considered when it would have mattered because I wasn’t paying attention at the time. I am going to predict that the main criticism of the ELR is that they’re sticking Chevrolet technology into a Cadillac.

            They got this whole technology rollout thing backwards.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Maybe this is the strippo model, with no A/C or radio, crank windows, and vinyl seats?

    Or maybe the thing was just ridiculously overpriced to begin with?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “Though the recent price cuts have raised the sale of EVs and PEVs, they’re still a small fraction of the market.”

    What would it take for this constant refrain at TTAC to disappear? The market share of EVs and PEVs has doubled in one year from 0.5% to 1.0%. Nobody expects EVs to displace the F150. Say, what fraction of cars are convertibles?

    You know, GM’s problem is that they chronically overbuild, so every model – not just Volts – eventually receive heavy discounts. They have the same problem with trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      They usually overbuild, but is that the case with the Volt now after previous production stoppages. Both the Focus EV and the Leaf have had major price cuts so natural the Volt would.
      I wouldn`t hold up trucks as an example of over build. Remember the articles on here from BS and others about large inventory towards the end of last year. Seems like GM was correct in this particular case with truck sales picking up markedly and inventory neatly coming down in time for the new trucks for 2014. All involving no bigger discounts than Ford is using on its current F150 or % wise what Toyota is using for the Camry – neither of which are runout models.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        The business drivers of the “overbuilding” are history. Most sideline observers don’t understand the reality that old GM had no ability to control labor costs and had to pay workers regardless of whether there was work or not. Better to get something out of them than to pay them to stay home. Brand image deterioration was a nasty side effect. Tier 2 workers, elimination of jobs bank and other provisions of the 2007 UAW contract changed all of this.

        GM today is running at or near capacity and has demonstrated discipline in adjusting production to meet market demand. The idea that they have recently overbuilt trucks is inaccurate, ignores the changeover shut downs for the 2014’s.

        Volt’s are almost certainly unprofitable even at the old prices. Just as Toyota “dumped” Lexus in the beginning to build share, GM is similarly willing and able to absorb losses on Volt to boost volume as they pursue aggressive cost reductions. They are still making a great deal of money in North America today after absorbing these losses.

    • 0 avatar

      While doubling market share is impressive, 1% of the market is still 1/100. Wouldn’t you say that 1/100 a small fraction?

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        It depends on the effect you’re looking for.

        Cyanide – at 270 parts per million – will kill within minutes. A tiny amount is significant.

        Convertibles have small market share but aren’t criticized for it.

        Leafs outsell 911s, but 911s get a lot more press time at R&T without comment about their sales volumes.

        Something has to have small market share, and the nascent EV products will obviously be in that category. However, unlike other stable technologies available, the EV share seems to be growing quickly right now. To its credit, TTAC did feature this point the other day.

        To me, continuously knocking the EV market share is akin to reminding your 6th-grade son that his swimming skills aren’t quite like Michael Phelps’. Instead, maybe you’re just glad he can swim.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Does anyone know if the tax credit for the Volt is refundable (ala EIC)?

  • avatar
    Josh_Howard

    “Apparently one reason for the current price cut is how people now use the internet to shop for cars.”

    Hmm… where have I heard this before? OH YEAH! Earlier in the year, Nissan dropped the price on almost every single one of their cars for this specific reason.

    From AOL and the like…
    “Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers.”
    Dated: May 1, 2013
    http://autos.aol.com/article/nissan-price-altima-murano-sentra-juke-rogue/

    Monkey see… monkey do. I’d say they’re just following the trend.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      How is it possible that car makers are just now realizing how people shop for cars?

      I conclude they already knew, but the line is just there to deflect attention from their real reason. I don’t know what that reason is, and I won’t assume it’s bad at all–it could be a matter of corporate strategy.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    According to Steve Rattner, who oversaw the GM bankruptcy, the GM’s cost to manufacture the Volt was nearly $40,000, which did not include amortizing the development costs of over $1 billion. Thus GM loses money on every Volt sold at the 2013 price of $40,000, so I guess they lose even more with the new lower price. A good deal for the consumer, but not a good deal for GM investors.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      They’ve undoubtedly been working on the costs. I expect there will be some decontenting in the base 2014 but they probably also found some ways to squeeze out some more money in parts or manufacturing.

      Still, Akerson said they were losing money earlier this year, before the big incentives went in. I doubt they’ll sell it profitably unless they carve out $6K or more in manufacturing and parts costs. And that is not easy to do.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        They can fiddle with the costs, but the big issues are the battery and recovering the development costs. Figure they eventually sell 100,000 Volts, which divided by $1 billion in development costs yields $10,000 per unit. Add $10,000+ cost on the battery and you are at $20,000 and you will still need to put 2 motors, gearbox, body, suspension, interior, manufacturer profit, and dealer profit for less than $15,000. There is no way they make a profit on this car. Gas guzzling trucks, cross-overs, SUVS, and sports/luxury cars subsidizing the Volt. Tesla is in the same boat – probably $20,000 per car for development amortization, and probably $25,000 for the battery, so you are already well over halfway to the sticker price – no wonder Musk wants to bypass the dealer profit margin, because he needs to keep it himself to try to minimize the losses.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Reasonable maths, but since they aimed to sell 25K in the US and similar in Europe with the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera it seems likely that more than 100K of version 1 will be produced, thereby reducing the $10K per development cost. Also I would expect some of that $1B would be applied to version 2 of the car (whenever that is) which reduces it further. I would think $30K is probably around the breakeven point at the current economies of scale.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Volt specific development costs were no where near $1B!! Besides, much of the technology will be used in future vehicles with ultimate volumes rising into the millions. I don’t forecast the current rate of growth will continue, but as a thought experiment, one can calculate that in just 5 years of doubling, EVs would account for about 1/3 of the market! I would bet “a dollar to a donut” that they will be over 10% in that time frame. Volt is, after all, just the first baby step. Vehicle electrification is inevitable, resistance is futile.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      A couple things:

      People need to stop including sunk cost in calcs about “losing money on each one sold.” If selling more will eventually recoup development costs, they are not losing on each one sold. They may still have a negative ROI, but that’s a different thing. If the actual transaction price is less than manufacturing costs, then yes, they lose money on each one, and I certainly believe that was the case early on for the Volt.

      From the article, GM said they have cut manufacturing costs by $5k-$10k, which suggests that it only costs them in the low 30s to make, so selling at $35k is not terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, they’ll be able to spread the cost around somewhat when the Cadillac ELR is on sale.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s great and all, but I do wish they’d change the front-fascia. It’s no longer all that coherent with Chevy’s lineup…

  • avatar
    Steakandeggs43

    The reason people buy the Volt is the same reason people buy Priuses and Leafs. To tell people they have one. Thats why you see some of them with the word “VOLT” plastered on the side, and why the Prius says “hybrid” on it about a dozen times. The owners want everone to know what they are driving. They are appliances, not cars. If I want something to plug in I will buy a toaster, or maybe a waffle maker.

    • 0 avatar
      AustinOski

      “The reason people buy the Volt is the same reason people buy Priuses and Leafs. To tell people they have one.”

      Bad generalization.

      Why did we buy one? $155/mo. lease and $125/mo. net energy savings. Even including the $2300 down, it’s dirt cheap when you consider the almost total lack of maintenance. What’s it going to cost us net? $100/mo. over two years? What else can I drive for that (that I would actually drive)? Don’t tell me a Versa or something. Not the same car, not the same feel. We get a really quiet car, leather, all the electronics you could want for nearly nothing. For us, it’s economics, some real, some perceptual (never buying gas for it is great) and maybe a bit of novelty. I took a drunk friend for a drive. He just sat in the back and laughed the whole time then told a bunch of friends how fast it was. It’s not really, but it has a unique feel to the acceleration and it sure conflicts with many people’s preconceived notions.

      And, we’re not outliers. Lots of other reasons people do. Ask the hundreds, yes hundreds, of Prius drivers I saw on Long Island in just a couple of hours the other day.

      Last month I sat in my rental car, in traffic, for over two hours on the LIE. As I sat there, hundreds of cars passed me by, on my left, cruising down the carpool lane. I’d say nearly one out of two cars were Prii. I’ve never seen anything like it (okay, maybe in the San Francisco Bay Area).

      They did it for the sticker, likely the gas savings. My sense is Long Island isn’t populated by a bunch of “tree huggers” whose friends would be impressed.

      And, btw, it’s pretty cool never to have to buy gas or spend time at a gas station. Amazing how quickly you get used to it. My wife was driving my car the other day and threw a fit because it needed gas.

      You are right about one thing – it’s an appliance. But that’s part of why we bought it. We have three other cars I actually care about. This one we can thrash and give back in two years.

      • 0 avatar
        Steakandeggs43

        Economically I guess that makes sense. I know EVs and hybrids have loads of torque so the acceleration would be a bit fun, but the cars themselves are pretty awful to look at. The Volt is better to look at than the Prius, which takes its styling cues from a soy bean and I have only seen a few Leafs in person, but I’m not a fan. I live in a small river town in Kentucky and drive about 20min to work. I used to drive into Cincinnati at about 125 mile round trip so an EV would have never worked, but a hybrid would have been nice. I could afford neither so opted for a 92 Saab 900 convertible 5speed that gets great gas mileage and is fun to drive. If for some reason I ever get forced to plug my car in, then I would have to have a fun car as well to keep my sanity.

        • 0 avatar
          AustinOski

          We sure didn’t buy it for the looks. We even let our 4 y.o. daughter choose the color. It’s an appliance, we don’t care what it looks like.

          We also bought it because I don’t want the family to destroy our pristine 1994 E320 wagon, which is for special occasions. Odd “collectors car”, I know.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      And the reason people buy BMWs is because they want to tell their friends that the 4 door, 4 cylinder car with a slushbox and two child seats is the “Ultimate Driving Machine”.

      And the reason people buy SUVs is so they can pretend their two hour commute on a logger-jammed freeway is really a trip along the Rubicon Trail.

      Ain’t generalizations great ?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    It would seem fairly normal to me to bring the price of the Volt down at this time. As sales increase (as they appear to be doing) and the investment costs (R&D, tools and training) are paid off the price can easily come down.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Didn’t they plan on selling 60,000/yr?
    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/20/akerson-gm-wants-to-build-60000-chevy-volts-in-2012/

    If they build it, they will come?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      That was the initial expectation but was adjusted down later. Much like the Tundra sales expectation of 200K a year was adjusted down based upon actual data. You think Honda is meeting their original sales goal with the CRZ and Insight?

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        This is true but neither Toyota nor Honda had their own El Lutzbo talking smack for years about how the Tundra, Insight and CR-Z were going to take the industry down.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I see several reasons the Volt price cut makes CENTS !!

    * The need to increase the price spread between the Volt and the upcoming ELR.

    * The lower priced Volt can become a zero sum profit game to create economies of scale while mining the profits from the ELR that will use most of the Volt components.

    * More Volts on the road breeds acceptance of the platform for other configurations.

    * Hedge your bets on gas prices. You do not want to kill your production system and suppliers. Rebooting is not an option.

    BTW.. The site tranformation is very positive with the recent changes. Keep it rolling, Rene

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Have we forgotten that hybrids and Ev’s are quantum leap in automotive technology? Yep, they’re mainstream nowadays. As for those who call them appliances? No kidding, I have one of the most boring commutes on earth. I need a finely tuned example of an automobile for what? To sit at the next stoplight? I’m quite sure the anti-union ilk have overlooked things like the weekend, an 8 hour workday, or medical benefits. I’m sure they’d rather have big business empty out the orphanages because children’s tiny hands can fit into such close places. As for bragging about earning your pension and poo-poo others? Coffee’s still two bucks at Denny’s. Then again, there are some on here who’s wives look at them and say “you’re the reason are kids are ugly.

    • 0 avatar

      If you’ll allow me, a little automotive history. It’s a myth that organized labor gave us the 8 hour day and the 40 hour 5 day work week. That was Henry Ford.

      Ford’s business model was based on productivity. Ford went to an 8 hour work day in 1914, when he started paying $5/day. That allowed him to run three shifts and run the factories 24 hours a day. In 1926, Ford went to a 40 hour work week, eliminating the half shift on Saturday. That then let him run production 24/7/365 if he wanted to.

      He also set up an employee health clinic in something like 1913.

      The American auto industry wasn’t organized by the UAW until the late 1930s, after the passage of the Wagner Act, which gave unions power. The big Flint sit down strike and the “battle of the overpass” at Ford’s Rouge plant, took place in 1936 or 1937.

      BTW, the reason why Ford started paying $5 a day was not, as some mistakenly think, so his employees could afford Model Ts. It was because working in his factory was a terrible job. Henry Ford didn’t invent the assembly line. He might have brought it to cars, but moving assembly lines, standardized parts, etc. had all be done before. Henry’s contribution to mass production was breaking the job down into the simplest tasks so even unskilled labor could do the work. That meant it was a mind numbing job. Add in noise, no concept of industrial safety (had someone explained to Henry that he’d be able to crank out more Model Ts if people didn’t get hurt on the job, he would have made safety an issue). Henry was all about productivity. Anyhow, Ford had an insanely high turnover rate, he had to keep hiring thousands of people just to keep the plants staffed. To reduce that turnover rate, he paid a higher wage.

      It was legislation, not collective bargaining by organized labor, that outlawed child labor.

      While we’re discussing greedy capitalists, can we give a mention to the topic of race and trade unionism? It’s not a pretty topic and the UAW itself doesn’t exactly have an unblemished record on that topic.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, but Ford was one company. The 40 hour workweek wasn’t adopted as a matter of law until 1937. That happened because public opinion about workers’ rights evolved, and the evolution began long before 1915. The key driver of that evolution was the labor union movement. Before the movement began (the AFL was formed in 1886), workers believed they had no rights; after the movement began to take hold, the idea that workers had certain rights and deserved fair treatment began to resonate with the American people, and by the 1920s and 1930s, public opinion reached a critical mass that Congress couldn’t ignore.

        Is it coincidental that this happened around the same time that unions were beginning to wield real political power? I don’t think so. Nor do I think it’s coincidental that the longer these laws stay on the books, the weaker unions get. The things they pushed for 100 years ago are mostly accepted cultural norms and business practices today.

        But clearly unions played a HUGE role in making all that happen.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Thanks for the history lesson, Ronnie! Unionists are adept propagandists.

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    The price drop won’t help the Volt’s biggest issue: that the public still doesn’t really understand what it is (“I don’t want to have to wait for hours after 40 miles!), and the public’s general misconceptions that GM has let go uncorrected (“I don’t want to have to buy a new battery every five years!”). Until the public gets its misconceptions put straight, the Volt won’t succeed at any price.


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