The Truth About Cars » gm volt The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » gm volt June Sales Down By Double Digits In Japan – Imports Continue To Defy Detroit Propaganda Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:06:53 +0000
Sales of all new motor vehicles in Japan were down 10.8 percent in June, continuing a down trend after the Japanese government discontinued subsidies on eco-friendly cars in September last year.  Sales of minivehicles, and especially sales of imported cars softened the blow.

The percentage drop looks worse than it is. It compares with a June 2012 when sales were up 43.6 in a last rush to cash in on the soon to expire subsidies. Later in the year, the percentage drop should normalize when we compare with more sedate sales in the prior year.

Regular vehicle sales Japan June 2013
Manufacturer June ’13 June ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Daihatsu 339 306 10.8% 1,221 1,579 -22.7%
Hino 3,826 3,687 3.8% 22,382 21,276 5.2%
Honda 26,757 45,159 -40.7% 155,827 269,272 -42.1%
Isuzu 4,858 5,087 -4.5% 28,419 30,234 -6.0%
Lexus 3,935 4,081 -3.6% 22,890 22,863 0.1%
Mazda 14,592 16,116 -9.5% 88,001 91,431 -3.8%
Mitsubishi 3,053 4,481 -31.9% 30,174 30,488 -1.0%
Mitsubishi Fuso 3,233 3,497 -7.5% 16,817 18,264 -7.9%
Nissan 37,309 42,614 -12.4% 266,278 278,411 -4.4%
Subaru 10,595 7,959 33.1% 66,619 47,881 39.1%
Suzuki 7,067 9,077 -22.1% 42,400 50,545 -16.1%
Toyota 121,514 148,788 -18.3% 762,576 871,483 -12.5%
UD Trucks 846 912 -7.2% 4,181 4,845 -13.7%
Other 28,989 25,388 14.2% 133,247 118,362 12.6%
Total 266,913 317,152 -15.8% 1,641,032 1,856,934 -11.6%
Domestic 232,282 286,735 -19.0% 1,470,304 1,706,266 -13.8%
Imports 34,631 30,417 13.9% 170,728 150,668 13.3%
Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

In the regular vehicle category,  sales were down 15.8 percent. Domestic cars were down  19 percent, however, Japanese  continue to buy more cars imported into a market that Detroit automakers say is closed. Luckily, Japanese buyers don’t listen to the propaganda. They also don’t seem to be affected with the slightly lower yen, which should make imports more expensive.

Mini vehicle sales Japan June 2013
Manufacturer June ’13 June ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Suzuki 53,598 54,400 -1.5% 318,326 316,507 0.6%
Daihatsu 54,592 67,354 -18.9% 341,002 380,079 -10.3%
Mitsubishi 11,396 7,459 52.8% 39,439 47,427 -16.8%
Subaru 4,473 5,313 -15.8% 28,715 46,836 -38.7%
Honda 33,217 29,841 11.3% 212,240 161,676 31.3%
Mazda 4,439 4,226 5.0% 28,960 28,087 3.1%
Nissan 19,144 14,293 33.9% 81,368 88,207 -7.8%
Toyota 3,055 5,299 -42.3% 20,560 21,580 -4.7%
Other 1 4 -75.0% 6 23 -73.9%
Total 183,915 188,189 -2.3% 1,070,616 1,090,422 -1.8%
Data courtesy Japan Mini Vehicles Association

Japan’s love-affair with the minivehicles continues. Sales of kei cars were down only 2.3 percent. Nissan and Mitsubishi profit from the launch of the Dayz/ek Wagon.

Total vehicle sales Japan June 2013
Manufacturer June ’13 June ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Daihatsu 54,931 67,660 -18.8% 342,223 381,658 -10.3%
Hino 3,826 3,687 3.8% 22,382 21,276 5.2%
Honda 59,974 75,000 -20.0% 368,067 430,948 -14.6%
Isuzu 4,858 5,087 -4.5% 28,419 30,234 -6.0%
Lexus 3,935 4,081 -3.6% 22,890 22,863 0.1%
Mazda 19,031 20,342 -6.4% 116,961 119,518 -2.1%
Mitsubishi 14,449 11,940 21.0% 69,613 77,915 -10.7%
Mitsubishi Fuso 3,233 3,497 -7.5% 16,817 18,264 -7.9%
Nissan 56,453 56,907 -0.8% 347,646 366,618 -5.2%
Subaru 15,068 13,272 13.5% 95,334 94,717 0.7%
Suzuki 60,665 63,477 -4.4% 360,726 367,052 -1.7%
Toyota 124,569 154,087 -19.2% 783,136 893,063 -12.3%
UD Trucks 846 912 -7.2% 4,181 4,845 -13.7%
Other 28,990 25,392 14.2% 133,253 118,385 12.6%
Total 450,828 505,341 -10.8% 2,711,648 2,947,356 -8.0%

All in all, sales were down 10.8 percent in June, and 8 percent for the first half of the year. Forecasters had expected a much bigger drop after the subsidies had pulled a lot of sales forward.


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Volt Becomes World’s Best-Selling EV Tue, 12 Mar 2013 13:43:09 +0000

The Chevrolet Volt is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, followed by Toyota’s plug-in Prius and Nissan’s Leaf, Bloomberg says.

Global EV Deliveries 2012
Chevrolet Volt 30,090
Toyota plug-in Prius 27,181
Nissan Leaf 25,435

Total sales of electric vehicles are said to have exceeded 100,000.

Carmakers and politicians hoped for much higher sales. The U.S. accounted for 46 percent of global sales of electric vehicles. Japan and Europe were tied for second place with 23 percent.

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Volt Gas Mileage Flap: GM PR Blames “Lazy Reporting” Fri, 27 Aug 2010 01:58:09 +0000

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does journalism. GM has been trumpeting the Volt’s 40 mile target AER (all electric range) since it was first announced on January 7, 2007. From that very day three years and eight months ago, journalists and enthusiasts have been asking The Big Volt Question: what is its fuel economy in CSM (charge sustaining mode)? There has never been an answer, except that at the 2007 announcement Bob Lutz “reasoned that…(after the battery was depleted) the engine sipping fuel at a rate of 50 m.p.g.” An early target or a Lutzian wild speculation that GM soon refused to verify or qualify. Ever.

Fast forward to August 24, 2010: gm-volt announces that an astute reader has made a screen capture of an Aol Volt test drive promo video, that indicated that the Volt traveled 16.1 miles after the battery depleted and used .59 gallons, equaling 27.3 mpg. Did anyone really think that was a truly representative fuel economy for the Volt, not knowing precisely the conditions under which it occurred? Note the word “Hints” prominently in TTAC’s story. So far, it’s been the only shred of evidence to The Big Volt Question. But rather than use this fantastic PR opportunity to state a target CSM mileage figure, which could only (presumably) look good compared to that 27 mpg number; GM’s Volt Communications person Phil Colley (pictured above) states it delicately:

Yours (plugincars,com) and the other stories yesterday and today show a complete lack of understanding of the process and are quite frankly, lazy reporting.

The “process” that Cooley refers to is that the EPA and and GM are still hashing out the methodology and labeling of the EPA sticker, which may likely not happen until after the Volt hits the streets. Big deal. How about an educated guess or target? GM has been driving fleets of Volts for tens of thousands of miles all over the country, and it can’t come up with a ballpark number? GM can, but it chooses not to. Here’s why:

Back in August of 2008, GM announced that the 2011 Cruze would get 40 mpg or better, on the EPA highway cycle. The EPA tests for the Cruze are still not final or announced. But obviously, it suited GM to have the press endlessly regurgitate that 40 plus mpg number, which it faithfully has done for two years. And GM had the info on the Cruz’ anticipated mileage way back then.

Yes, the Volt involves some new technology, but there’s absolutely no doubt that GM has a very good idea of the Volt’s  mileage in CSM, and/or what its fleet of testers are averaging. And here’s what GM needs to say now right now:

because the methodology of the final EPA sticker is not complete, we’re not going to guess or project what that will say. But the CSM component of it will probably be between X and Y mpg, based on our experience.

How hard would that be?

GM is holding back, because even if the CSM mileage is on the low side, it wants to score a BIG number on the EPA’s new standards for plug-in vehicles, likely to be the SAEJ1711 methodology. That will be a blend of electric and gas modes, and therefor look BIGGER than what a straight CSM (gas only) number would be. And lazy journalists might just spread information about the Volt’s actual fuel consumption that might contradict that.

GM took a lot of heat for their silly 230mpg draft methodology in 2008. Now it’s the other extreme: Volts will likely be sold without an EPA sticker until the favorable new EPA numbers are finalized. And so the world’s largest manufacturer releases a new car without a fuel mileage target. In lieu of that, “lazy reporting” will just have to do. Unless GM is willing to let us, or any other lazy journalist drive the Volt in CSM for a full tank of gas. We’re not too lazy for that; just tell us where and when.

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Buick Regal To Get Doubly Hybridized Fri, 13 Nov 2009 19:41:14 +0000 how well has this timeline worked out?

Crank up production of the big green Hybrid stickers, ’cause the Regal is going to sport some serious hybrid regalia. No less then two of GM’s raft of hybrid systems may find their way into the Opel/Buick. cites a report in Ward’s Auto [subscription] that GM will start production of an updated version of their not-even mildly successful mild-hybrid belt/alternator/starter BAS system in late 2011. The current version of that hybrid in name only system was available on the Malibu, but its economics compared to the four cylinder/six speed automatic made it irrelevant, as in canceled. But this new version has a plus symbol attached, so its going to really fly this time:

The new BAS+ has a 120 V li-ion pack, so it takes up less space and has 33% more belt yanking ability. But that’s not all: The Regal’s line director, Jim Frederico, told Ward’s that the Regal is just the right size to also host the upcoming 2-mode transverse plug-in drivetrain as well. You haven’t forgotten about that one yet, have you. It’s the one that was intended for the Saturn VUE. After the VUE’s demise, GM said it would have its second coming in a similar-sized small Buick SUV.  Negative public feedback killed that plan stat, and GM has been mum about where the drivetrain would re-appear. Since  Buick is going to take on Lexus and California, it’s going to bring its HS 250 killer to the hybrid shootout.

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