Volt Birth Watch 82: "Chevy Volt is the Most Valuable Brand in the GM Portfolio"
For a company with so much history and so many brands, you'd think GM's problem would be having too many valuable nameplates. Not so, according to GM President for the Americas. Troy Clarke tells Edmunds Inside Line "At an awareness level, the Volt obviously has consideration intent (based on 80,000 leads submitted on GM's Web site)." Clarke seems to have conveniently forgotten that the car business involves actually building and selling cars. And overhyping a car that hasn't been built actually has some downsides, even if it is GM's "MVB." "Everybody who's heard of the Volt can give you a description of what they think it is," explains Clarke. "Part of the role of our market research is to understand that, so that we make sure that as we execute the vehicle on something other than just its technical basis, we can build on the brand that the concept has already created." Translation: we still need to figure out which elements of our all-encompassing Volt hype we'll actually have to deliver. Meanwhile, Clarke confirms how much GM is actually relying on the Volt by admitting how badly GM has flubbed its post-SUV strategy. Crossovers like GM's Lambda triplets were supposed to provide a more-efficient alternative to downgrading SUV owners. Clarke says market research shows SUV owners are actually "falling into cars," while CUV buyers are upgrading from cars. In short, one-time SUV buyers can survive in a "regular car." Who'd have thunk it?
Well, I am no fan of GM but I hope the Volt works. I support the Volt concept but I have little faith in GM. Lets hope GM doesn't rush the Volt to market and ruin everything. Or if they do screw it up I will purchase Toyota's version.
Wondering how the reception will play when Toyota comes to the table with an actual plug in product? Everyone will be sporting a chub? After all, GM already HAD an electric plug in. All they have to do is make another one. They were the first to market with one when gas was cheeep. They already have the technology.
In my area of California, GM brands have negative equity. As in, you could sell an unlabeled generic car and have higher consumer interest and pricing. In my social circle, GM has about the same brand cachet with the exception of the Corvette as the inferior Chinese plastic housewares sold at Walmart. I firmly believe GM should just give up and bring in new models badged as Vauxhall, Opel, and Holden as blank slates to replace Buick and Pontiac. Those brands are not just damaged and worthless but have been rendered liabilities by decades of inferior products.