Volt Birth Watch 157: GM's SEC Filing, Form 8-K, August 7, 2009

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

GM’s SEC Filing, Form 8-K, August 7, 2009 is 3100 pages long. Full marks, then, to someone at Autocar [UK] for reading the document and winkling-out this bit about the Volt’s viability (there’s that word again). Props, also, to our Justin Berkowitz for finding the unidentified source of Autocar’s report and doing same. It should be noted that SEC filings, like all corporate disclaimers, are obliged to moot the gloomiest possible scenario (i.e., CYA). Even so, this is pretty sobering stuff, considering it was released four days before the 230 mpg hoopla.

We intend to invest significant capital resources to support our products and to develop new technology. In addition, we are committed to invest heavily in alternative fuel and advanced propulsion technologies between 2009 and 2012, largely to support our planned expansion of hybrid and electric vehicles, consistent with our announced objective of being recognized as the industry leader in fuel efficiency. Moreover, if our future operations do not provide us with the liquidity we anticipate, we may be forced to reduce, delay or cancel our planned investments in new technology.

In some cases, the technologies that we plan to employ, such as hydrogen fuel cells and advanced battery technology are not yet commercially practical and depend on significant future technological advances by us and by suppliers. For example, we have announced that we intend to produce by November 2010 the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car, which requires battery technology that has not yet proven commercially viable. There can be no assurance that these advances will occur in a timely or feasible way, that the funds that we have budgeted for these purposes will be adequate or that we will be able to establish our right to these technologies. Moreover, our competitors and others are pursuing similar technologies and other competing technologies, in some cases with more money available, and there can be no assurance that they will not acquire similar or superior technologies sooner than we do or on an exclusive basis or at a significant price advantage.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Aug 13, 2009
    This is saying that the battery technology has not yet proven commercially viable. That's just a factual statement. They've made a big deal about it, so they have to CYA by saying that the big deal may not turn out to be such a big deal, after all. They would say this no matter what. This is almost certainly a way to protect themselves against the VEBA and any future shareholders that they may have. If everything implodes, they just shrug and say, "We told ya so."
  • Mcs Mcs on Aug 13, 2009
    This is saying that the battery technology has not yet proven commercially viable. What are the chances of a Volt catching fire while charging in the middle of the night inside someones garage? That scenario would doom the car and GM.
  • Yuda 1) EVs are garbage and a complete waste of time and money 2) Ford IS a business after all, cars and trucks ain't free, they take a lot of time and money to Actually make, manufacture, and build 3) SD trucks are actually useful and practical
  • Tane94 If there is market demand, build the vehicle. That's what Ford is doing. Kudos
  • Cprescott Looking like that? Egads
  • The Oracle This thing got porky quick.
  • Kwi65728132 I'll grant that it's nicely kept but I'm not a fan of the bangle butt designs, and I know better than to buy a used BMW while living anywhere in the world other than in the fatherland where these are as common as any Honda or Toyota is anywhere else.