Volt Birth Watch 27: Any Way the Wind Blows

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
volt birth watch 27 any way the wind blows

Once again GM shows its right hand doesn't know what the Lutz hand is doing. Last week, Car Czar to the Stars Bob Lutz spoke about their plans for the Volt's eventual introduction: "In the first year… we'll do about 10,000 units, and keep them fairly close to home so we can deal with any issues before we really crank up for high volumes." But Reuters reported yesterday that GM's VP for global program management has a different idea. Jon Lauckner told a forum at the Competitive Enterprise Institute that GM's planning a "healthy roll-out" for their plug-in electric – gas hybrid In fact, Lauckner said "we're talking about large numbers — in the tens of thousands." However, Lauckner didn't seem to share Lutz' confidence that the Volt would be a smash hit; he urged Congress to "approve tax incentives to help spark demand." Your tax money hard at work.

Join the conversation
4 of 19 comments
  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Feb 01, 2008
    wsn: 1) only 100 FCX's will be available 2) leasers must live a relatively short distance from a hydrogen fueling station, and the home filling station will not be immediately available

  • GS650G GS650G on Feb 01, 2008

    GM's problem is they are not alone in making cars, so they don't get to dictate the market for electric cars. They have to compete or die. Everyday the volt remains unattainable means a loss for GM through R&D, market share, and ordinary cash burn for the engineers. People don't change cars every year , they sign up for years and don't cash out because of the resale hit. Once your into a Hybrid the race is on to at least break even on it, treehugging props not withstanding. By the time RenCen puts a FEW of the Volts into a FEW dealerships ( like the malibu debacle) Honda and Toyota are going to be full hybrid makers with alternative power sources on tap. Hydrogen, plug in, solar, windmill, squirrels, you name it. And who is going to trust these brand new vehicles first year they are out? The big 2.8 have trouble making decent transmissions , would you drop 30 large on a Volt and feel confident that your not going to get screwed? People trusted Toyota and Honda to bring something like hybrid technology out, they look like they know what they are doing. Your not going to get the warm fuzzy feeling from the domestics on something this complicated no matter how badly you want them to succeed.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Feb 02, 2008

    Frank said: "And as far as the Prius is concerned, the ONLY incentive Toyota offered on Prius during the year was reduced rates on very short term financing." Sorry Frank, but I think you are mistaken on that one. Toyota also offered discounts on certain options packages in mid 2007, discounts which had not previously been available on those options packages. That is what I found when we considered buying one last year. You can read the press release detailing those deals here: " Toyota Announces 'ECO-nomic Savings Bonus' Incentives Up to $2,000 TORRANCE, Calif., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., today announced new "ECO-nomic savings bonus" incentives on 2007 Toyota Prius resulting in savings of as much as $2,000 on certain options packages." http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-04-2007/0004559399&EDATE=

  • Frank Williams Frank Williams on Feb 02, 2008

    jhorner: Toyota also offered discounts on certain options packages in mid 2007, discounts which had not previously been available on those options packages.

    Offering discounts on " certain options packages" where you have to buy the car with specific equipment or at a specific (higher priced) trim level to qualify isn't the same as offering rebates or reduced financing/lease deals across the entire model line (which most people think of when you say "sales incentives") . Perhaps I should clarify my statement to read "the only incentive offered across the entire Prius model line was..." to differentiate from those package deals where you have to buy a lot of stuff you normally wouldn't, just to get a slightly reduced price.