Noticed that things have been a little slower around here this week? Yes, well, it’s summer and I’m much harder to motivate in the summer. Also, I’ve been working on this op-ed on the Chevy Volt for the New York Times. My conclusion on the Volt?
In the end, making the bailout work — whatever the cost — is the only good reason for buying a Volt. The car is not just an environmental hair shirt (a charge leveled at the Prius early in its existence), it is an act of political self-denial as well.
If G.M. were honest, it would market the car as a personal donation for, and vote of confidence in, the auto bailout. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of cross-branding that will make the Volt a runaway success.