Volt Birth Watch 88: No Profit Here
Well duh. Still, it’s refreshing to see a GM exec admit the inescapable. You know, eventually. Although, it must be said, not unequivocally. “Most of our Gen 1 technologies, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a situation where we make money, particularly when you load all the costs in,” GM COO Fritz Henderson told Automotive News [sub]. “So I don’t necessarily think this is going to be the exception.” Not necessarily going to be the exception? How elliptical is that? Not quite as oblique as GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz, who couldn’t resist adding his 2.8 cents. “We’ve made very, very conservative assumptions on battery warranty. And that huge lump of battery warranty in the cost calculation helps diminish the profitability.” Sounds good! Details? “Lutz wouldn’t provide specifics but said GM is assuming it will have to replace ‘quite a few’ batteries. If battery reliability and life proves to be better than assumptions, GM can relax ‘some of that scary warranty provision,’ giving the Volt a shot at earlier profitability, he said.” Earlier than what?