Bailout Watch 433: PTFOA To Drive Chevy Volt (A Bit)
The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) rolls (flies?) into Motown today for a pow-wow with the ow-ow brigade. But wait! There’s more! Photo op alert! The AP tersely reports that “members of the government’s auto task force will test drive a General Motors Corp. electric car and tour a Chrysler LLC pickup truck factory on their Detroit-area visit Monday.” Whoa! GM has an electric car? Ohhh. They mean the electric – gas hybrid Hail Mary known as the Chevrolet Volt. The Detroit News—which previously linked their Volt-driving headline to a story on GOP opposition to more bailout bucks that forgot to mention either cart or pony (oops!)—is [now] a bit more forthcoming.
The PTFOA will test drive “a demonstration vehicle equipped with the Volt’s hybrid electric drive.” That would be the MaliVolt. What’s the bet the deal will go down on a closed course for a VERY short period of time?
Regardless, it’s clear the PTFOA is going for the “Detroit as tomorrow’s lean, mean. green vehicle building machine” meme. As the Brits would say, blech! No, wait, that’s Charlie Brown. I mean, there will be tears at bedtime.
"electric - gas hybrid Hail Mary" The full name of the Volt is the "Prius-fighting-FUDmobile-oh-crap-now-we-actually-have-to-BUILD-this-with-$4-gas-oh-crap-now-this-is-the-only-thing-keeping-the-bailout-bucks-coming-mobile". I understand the desire to shorten that, of course.
What on earth is being accomplished by this dog and pony show? OTOH, the members of the PTFOA, being primarily bureaucrats and politicians, might gain an appreciation for the technical resources and abilities of the folks who work in GM's Tech Center. Also, it's likely that most of the members of the PTFOA have no first hand experience with GM's latest products like the Malibu and CTS so the visit might help convince them that GM can build competitive product. In addition to the Volt mules, I'm sure that GM will have a few Cruzes on hand as well.
As I understand it, just Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom (plus entourage of course) will be in Detroit. Seems more like a junket than anything. Drop in to get their rings kissed, some noses browned up their butts, and then go back home. Just a dream of mine, but wouldn't it be great if they went to Detroit with replacements for Wagoner and Nardelli? Walked in at both companies with a new CEO and said, sorry, but you're being relieved? Just like some presidents we have had with their military commanders. There would be change I could believe in.
"is Bugatti german" Errr..yes technically, at least in the early days.