Volt Birth Watch 19: Would You Like Butter With Those Waffles?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Will they or won't they sell it by 2010? It seems every day there's another version of when Chevrolet's plug-in electric – gas hybrid Volt will hit the streets. In March, GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz said GM would have a running prototype by the end of 2007. The septuagenarian also said The General had "an internal target of production in 2010." Last month, Lutz said, " well, maybe not." This month, GM CEO Rick Wagoner said, " well, maybe not." The very next day, Bob Lutz said " oh yes, we will." Aware that GM's served-up more waffles than IHOP, Autobloggreen wants to set the record straight. "When a product program is still three or more years from production and contains technology that may or may not work, [the chairman] has to equivocate." Why "even the outspoken Lutz has never actually said that GM 'will build' the Volt by the end of 2010." So, never mind Maximum Bob's November promise at the LA Auto Show that GM would have the Volt on the road by November 2010. In conclusion, Autobloggreen tells Volt watchers "Depending on what happens between now and then [the end of the decade], the Volt will be produced 'on time' or not, but you won't hear it officially until much, much closer to that time." And there you have it (or not): we'll see the Chevrolet plug-in gas – electric Volt in some form some day. Eventually. Maybe.

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  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Jan 09, 2008

    Bunter1 +1. GM isn't going to set a personal best design to production time with new technology never mind the time it takes to go from concept to production.

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Jan 09, 2008

    guyincognito- Exactly, it would be an ambitious schedule for a totally conventional new platform vehicle. Personally I think Lutz probably shot off a ridiculous number one day ("No! Not Bob!")and GM is trying to save face as long as they can. I don't think anyone can put out a totally new vehicle with untried technology, regardless of how plausible, and have it truely durability tested and consumer ready on that schedule. I only think that because no one has. Shoot, how long have GM, Chrysler etc. been working on the dual mode hybrid system?

  • Jazbo123 Jazbo123 on Jan 09, 2008

    Finally, a positive "Watch" series with a finite end! October 2009. We hope.

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Jan 09, 2008

    What happens Oct. 2009? Bunter1 I think the Ford GT had an accellerated timeline not to far from Lutz's fantasy. And that was a $140,000, low production car that had it's fair share of problems and it used existing technology for the most part. Wasn't the engine a suped up V8 from somewhere in the Ford family. Can anyone verify the GT timeline I'm not usre now. I was hoping someone with a little more knowledge about the car and the industry to explain this imaginary $30,000 price tag for the far in the future Volt. Are they insane this far out from having a real car to even put a number like that on it. And I'm not talking about the batteries when I ask this, those will add on another breifcase of cash to the cost. Are they just hoping material costs, energy costs, labor costs, etc. wont increase in that time. Not to mention they have no idea if any suppliers will be able to meet their component costs projections for parts that dont exist yet that far in the future. How can THEY even know when they haven't designed it yet. Then add in the development costs that need to be added in to the cost of the car to recoupe the investment. I really think we are looking at a $50,000 car without them even making a profit. If they can do the Volt(brand new technology, fast timeline, high development cost) for $30,000 shouldn't the Corvette(platform tweeks, mild body changes, proven powertrain with added hp, moderate development costs, tons of existing suppliers) be costing around $20,000? The Pruis wasn't as ambitious as this when it came out 10 years ago and it was near $30,000 back then with little to no profit until they started to make volume. Add in the fact that this car is the "Next Best thing" savior of the company. So it has to sell at least at a modest profit with a high volume to do any good for them. In order for it to sell at a high volume the car has to be perfect, I mean PERFECT, especially with GM's past, or people will stop buying the $50,000 family sedan with rental batteries. We will be kissing GM goodbye after that for sure because the losses on this car will be HUGE if it's not a smashing success. Am I wrong? Can someone with a better grasp of the costs involved break it down?