Volt Birth Watch 74: Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
The Volt PR drip-feed continues. The Hail Mary's Design Director hung with his homies in Traverse City (rated E for everyone), then jumped into GM's FastLane to release some teaser pics and say absolutely nothing ("The Chevrolet Volt’s exterior design is an attractive balance between aerodynamic performance and styling.") The Volt's Chief Engineer was more forthcoming– and forthright. Andrew Farrah tells the AP [ via Autonet] that "GM workers are testing batteries to make sure they last at least 10 years or 150,000 miles. It would cost more than $10,000 to replace them." The batteries or the engineers? Anyway, "The Volt also is going through the same design issues as a new car powered by a conventional engine, Farah said. 'The program has all of those same things built in. We're just doing them faster because we have to.'" How reassuring is that?
Ressler: "Well, then, you have an opportunity to correct her misguided conclusion, right?" I'm sure "Uncle Lokki" did just that... "When they have proven reliability, into a decade and more, then you should reconsider that, my dear." The notion that worry is a natural part of life for the middle class auto buyer is a significant part of the reason why GM is on the ropes. And if GM takes the stance that "10 years for a $10K - or even a $5K - part is perfectly natural," the Volt will be DOA. You can buy a lot of miles in a Prius for $1K/year, you can even buy a lot of miles in a Prius for $500/year. Of course, GM hasn't built the Volt, yet, anyway, and may never.
Ressler: "you can today buy Detroit 3 products that eliminate worry as effectively as anyone else does." Few believe that. Without the belief, there is worry. And you're evading the issue of an extra $10K of worry. Ressler: "However, battery replacement cost isn’t going to be their inhibitor if there is one." Repeatedly asserted, entirely unproven. Ressler: "... but people in the market for “next” will pave the way for worry-warts and vanity brand seekers to shed their fears." The people in the market for "next?" They already bought a Prius.