Two years after the Volkswagen Golf was launched, it received a fuel sipping diesel in 1976. I presented the launch campaign in Wolfsburg, and the ground shook. It wasn’t because of my campaign. It was because of the body stamping presses. The offices of the Zentrale Absatzförderung, VW’s advertising department, were two floors above. (Read More…)
Since the early days of the Volt, the folks at GM loved to compare the car to putting a man on the moon. That analogy wasn’t without its problems. The moon program did cost more than three times its original budget of $7 billion, all it produced was a few rocks, and it ran out of money before it could get going in earnest. 40 years after Eugene Cernan and Apollo 17, the moon has remained untouched by human feet. But what the heck, GM loves the symbolism. To death. (Read More…)
More and more of the daily news we consume is not written by people, but by robots and spiders. The people at Motor Trend will be painfully aware of that fact when they come back to work on Monday. Today, MT reports that “General Motors is investigating complaints that XM radios installed in Chevrolet Volts do not pick up the satellite radio service’s Fox station.” (Read More…)
New and old media feigned outrage about the crapload of money the Chevy Volt supposedly saves its drivers if the new testimonial ads are to be believed. Honestly, we don’t give a crap. GM’s agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners probably told the client that in order to cut through the clutter, you need some shock value. When that didn’t work, the admen most likely put up a PowerPoint that showed that a YouTube video with “crapload” will receive 695.5 times the clicks of an ad that uses “a whole lot of money.” That would clinch it with Joe Ewanick, who wants to save a true crapload of money by increasing the efficiency of GM’s ad dollars.
No, being Thetruthaboutcars.com, we think the ad is shit, because the statement simply is not true. (Read More…)
Toyota is getting frisky. Per a press release, Toyota U.S.A. reports brisk sales of the game-changing Prius c compact hybrid. Then, TMS goes on to say that “In its first three days on the market, it sold 1,201 units, making it one Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles and eclipsing Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf sales for the entire month of February.” (Read More…)
The repeated stoppages of the Volt production triggered rumors that GM might discontinue the Volt altogether.
Then, Akerson did something really bad. Surprisingly, Akerson used Toyota as a benchmark and reportedly said that “Toyota sold about the same amount of Prius in its first year as the Volt in its first year.”
Utter nonsense. (Read More…)
”Do you want to accompany? or go on ahead? or go off alone? … One must know what one wants and that one wants”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight Of The Idols
This week’s news that GM would stop production of the Chevrolet Volt for the third time in its brief lifespan came roaring out of the proverbial blind spot. Having watched the Volt’s progress closely from gestation through each month’s sales results, it was no secret to me that the Volt was seriously underperforming to expectations. But in the current media environment, anything that happens three times is a trend, and the latest shutdown (and, even more ominously, the accompanying layoffs) was unmistakeable. Not since succumbing to government-organized bankruptcy and bailout has GM so publicly cried “uncle” to the forces of the market, and I genuinely expected The General to continue to signal optimism for the Volt’s long-term prospects. After all, sales in February were up dramatically, finally breaking the 1,000 unit per month barrier. With gasoline prices on the march, this latest shutdown was far from inevitable.
And yet, here we are. Now that GM is undeniably signaling that the Volt is a Corvette-style halo car, with similar production and sales levels, my long-standing skepticism about the Volt’s chances seems to be validated. But in the years since GM announced its intention to build the Volt, this singular car has become woven into the history and yes, the mythology of the bailout era. Now, at the apparent end of its mass-market ambitions, I am struck not with a sense of schadenfreude, but of bewilderment. If the five year voyage of Volt hype is over, we have a lot of baggage to unpack.
The Chevrolet Volt has been lauded as America’s answer to global warming. But it isn’t green enough to get the coveted California Clean Air decal. Apart from the feel-good effect, that sticker comes with a $1,500 rebate, courtesy of the State of California, and the privilege of driving solo in the state’s carpool lanes. GM is doing something about that. (Read More…)
GM noted that Fox has issues with the Volt. They give Eric Bolling a Chevy Volt for a week. And this is what GM receives in return. Ingrates.
Starting in March, the Chevrolet Volt will be eligible to use the HOV lane on California highways. The catch? You have to buy a new Volt to use the carpool lane.
A few days ago, the Washington Post demanded the execution of the $7,500 tax credit for EVs. Republican Congressman Mike Kelly is ready to comply. He introduced H.R. 3768, legislation that would repeal the $7,500 tax credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles. The odd thing is: Kelly is owner of Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac in Butler, PA. The not so odd thing is: He knows firsthand whether the car is worth tax payer money or not. Kelly does not think so: (Read More…)
The Volt’s battery woes are having an effect on its European sibling. Automotive News [sub] reports that Opel/Vauxhall will delay delivery of the Volt’s sister-model Ampera, while investigations by U.S. authorities into battery fires following government crash tests of the Volt continue. An Opel spokesman told AN: (Read More…)
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seeking:
“All records, documents, internal and external documentations between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and General Motors between June 1, 2009 and December 1, 2011. These requested records shall include communication regarding the Chevrolet Volt, also known as the Chevy Volt.”
That’s a lot of paper if the request will be granted. (Read More…)