Volt Birth Watch 143: Did He Just Say "Under Budget"?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volt birth watch 143 did he just say under budget

In an interview with gm-volt.com, The General’s global product honcho, John Lauckner, reveals the impossible: the Volt is somehow under-budget. According to Lauckner, “. . . were [sic] very pleased that were [sic] on time on target and under budget.” After all, “you can’t ask for more than that when your running a program the size of the Volt and with the amount of technology that we’re [See? It’s not that hard] designing developing and implementing largely on the fly.” Yes, but what does “under budget” mean when you’re talking about a $40K bailout-baby green halo car?

According to Lauckner, the Volt is already successful because “the initial reaction was to question whether we were sincere or whether it was some sort of PR stunt . . . in the months and years since that point and time people have figured out that we’re very serious about this thing.” By announcing that the program is “under budget” after GM had already announced that it wouldn’t make money on the Volt “for years,” even at $40K? Sorry, GM, but “leading the conversation” doesn’t count for much if you don’t have a cost-competitive product.

As if to prove how far down the rabbit hole the Volt project has gone, Lauckner ends the exchange by asking fans to pay no attention to the year-long Volt hype. When gm-volt asks, “is there anything more at this point that could derail the Volt launch,” it’s hard to tell if Lauckner replies out of ignorance of the relentless Volt-boosting or indoctrination in it.

So far so good. All of us who have grown up in a technical community are understandably cautious about making big pronouncements when you are only part of the way there, because its always possible for something to pop up that wasn’t foreseen and so we’re naturally very cautious.

At the same time we need to be careful that our training by nature to be cautious isn’t somehow misinterpreted that we’re not optimistic and extremely pleased, because we are, more so that we’ve ever been. And were very pleased that were on time on target and under budget. You can’t ask for more than that when your running a program the size of the Volt and with the amount of technology that we’re designing developing and implementing largely on the fly.

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2 of 8 comments
  • Lw Lw on Jun 22, 2009

    So the budget was $20 Billion and they did it for $19 Billion?

  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 23, 2009

    Everyone serious who has looked at this knows and says that the Volt is not going to make any profits for GM over the next five years. So, it is in fact mostly a great big PR effort.

  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.