Volt Birth Watch 16: GM Kicks the Volt Down the Road

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
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volt birth watch 16 gm kicks the volt down the road

Bob Lutz said it last month. Rick Wagoner confirmed it this month: you won't see a Volt on the road until after 2010. According to The Detroit News, GM's CEO had an online chat about GM's 100th anniversary yesterday. During this e-schmooze, Wagoner said "We continue to put massive resources into production as soon as possible. 2010 would be great, but (we) can't guarantee that at this time. We'll keep you posted regularly on our progress." He wouldn't say exactly why they were backpedaling so fast on their promise to have the plug-in electric Hail Mary hybrid on the road by 2010, but Rabid Rick did say they were still working on the design of the production version and testing battery packs. Even though the current Volt looks nothing like the production model– the brass is tap dancing around the design of the tweaked production version– GM still uses the "cobbled together" (Maximum Bob's term) concept car in its ads as if it was readily available for purchase right now. But then again, GM's doing the exact same with the Malibu so why should we be surprised?

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  • Naif Naif on Jan 04, 2008

    i'm not going to say i said so, but i will anyway. i told you so.

  • Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez on Jan 05, 2008

    The difference between Boeing and GM is that Boeing faced reality and made huge changes in their organization after Airbus became #1. Such big changes that they were actually able to reclaim the #1 spot and have a better business plan for the future. Now it is Airbus that is bleeding and fighting to survive. I was hopeful that GM would do the same, but it does not appear they are going that direction. They are running out of time.

  • Carguy1964 Carguy1964 on Jan 05, 2008

    It might take Holden that long to build one of their own so that GM can slap their badge on it, or who knows maybe they'll badge a Toyota instead, then they can say "hey we're right on time!

  • Lionel Lionel on Jan 05, 2008

    Apologies for the length... but I have to speak up. My wife and I went to the Saturn dealer to check out the Saturn Vue Green Line. I didn't think this was such an unreasonable thing to do because heck... Toyota has hybrids, Honda has hybrids, Ford has hybrids. Besides you can even price a Hybrid Vue out on the Saturn Web. Plus I swear I've seen them around. I live in the Detroit area. Proudly born and raised in Detroit as a matter of fact. "They were supposed to be out last fall, not till spring now. The one's you saw had manufacters plates on them", we were told. Hmmm... got me to thinking. Let's see... When I was 3 years old the Trolley cars and electric buses were taken off of the city streets of Detroit. I understand that GM had a hand in their demise. I still remember seeing the overhead lines and the tracks at Mack and Alter in Detroit. I think they ended up in Mexico City and eventually in New Orleans. How prophetic I thought. "We'll build freeways and everyone will drive cars instead." GM said So how did they do with the replacement process. Initially I would judge not bad. Energy was cheap. They had a lot of good ideas but the execution was lacking thereof. And some decent ones that actually stuck around for a while. They are able to incorporate front wheel drive into big cars. The Corvair, I actually liked. But GM bailed on that one, public opinion turned against them. I knew too many people that had Corvairs only to have the engines drop out after a few winters on Detroit's salty streets. The engines blew oil. But Geez... Porsche did and still does produce rear engined cars. Despite the Chevy Vega being the disaster that it was, I recall the hoopla over the new technology that was developed for weight saving gains like the all Aluminum cylinder block that didn't require steel liners. There was even a Cosworth derivative with dual overhead cams and 4 valves per cylinder. Big stuff at the time. Who bailed? GM. Who delivered? Mercedes and Porsche. GM promised us a rotary engined car. I believe it was a Corvette. Who bailed? GM. Who delivered? Mazda GM promised us Diesel Engines in our passenger cars. Who bailed? GM. Who delivered? Mercedes and Volkswagen. WHere is the Vue Green Line? GM's competitors seem to be able to do this successfully. It will be interesting to see who delivers on the Fuel Cell promise or the Electric vehicle promise. My gut tells me it won't be GM. They had a go at it with the EV-1. I saw several on the road... oh ya... Manufacturer's plates. Well, according to the dealer, they're getting better at making promises. The Volt is a really nice looking promise. It must be a promise, because it is not, and I fear will it never be, a car. ********** Message to GM ********* Dear GM, I don't buy promises. I cannot drive a promise. Take as long as you need to, get it right, because now Mr GM, Mr #1 Car company, the race is on and you're playing catch-up. These aren't practice laps, the competition has already started and you're going to need good wheels to catch up. If you want to secure a dominant place in this race, you need to produce the Volt. THE VOLT. The one you display on your website, the one that you have been dangling in front of us for the past year. To do anything else is another red flag. You know, the ones that say, "I'm not real" The problem with red flags is, they slow you down when you're trying to race. Oh... and while you're at it. Can you put the Trolleys and buses back in Detroit, they ran on electricity in case you don't remember. You don't have to put them all back, because you see... there aren't too many of us around to use them anymore.