Should GM Kill the Chevy Volt?

Chevrolet Volt. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

Few cars have taken more flak from media critics in recent years than General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) innovative green car, the Chevrolet Volt.

Of course, few of those critics are auto reviewers. Those reviewers, like most folks who try a Chevy Volt, tend to like the car. It's a great product, one of GM's best -- and believe it or not, GM's best are now as good as anybody's. It's comfortable, well made, and does what GM says it will.

I've talked to plenty of Volt owners, and every single one sings the car's praises. That's apparently typical: The Volt is tops among compact cars in J.D. Power's APEAL customer-satisfaction survey.

In fact, the Volt has delivered on every one of GM's major goals for it. Every goal, that is, except one: the sales goal.

And that's where the problems start.

Is the Volt really a big money-loser for GM?
Nobody disputes that the Volt hasn't met the ambitious sales goals announced for it in more optimistic days. It didn't come close to the company's target of 45,000 U.S. sales last year, and it isn't doing much better in 2013.

In fact, Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) expensive electric sedan, the Model S, appears to have outsold the Volt in the first quarter, at least in North America.

That's more ammo for partisan critics who contend that the Volt is a money-losing boondoggle that is somehow subsidized by taxpayers (never mind that -- officially speaking, at least -- GM paid off its bailout ages ago) and should be killed off.

What's holding up sales isn't the car, it's the price: With a list price of nearly $40,000, the Volt is expensive for a compact Chevy, even a high-tech one. The sticker shock turns off a lot of potential buyers before they can hear the case for the car.

But is it really a money-loser for GM?

Why the "GM loses X dollars for every Volt sold" argument is flawed
No automaker, including GM, will tell you how much it's making (or not making) on any specific vehicle line. Critics doing flawed back-of-the-envelope calculations have contended that GM must be losing tens of thousands of dollars on every Volt sold.

But retired GM product chief Bob Lutz, who drove the Volt's development, has argued persuasively that the Volt is probably priced appropriately to cover its incremental costs.

In other words, each Volt sold probably pays for itself in terms of the parts and labor that went into that particular car. It probably also contributes a little toward paying down the big investment ($750 million, give or take) that GM made upfront to develop the model.

That's how the car business works.

So the real question isn't "How much is GM losing on every Volt?" The real question is whether GM will sell enough Volts over time to pay back GM's upfront investment in the Volt's technology with a profit. (It almost certainly hasn't so far.)

That makes the suggestion that GM should kill the Volt right now kind of a dumb one. GM absolutely shouldn't kill the Volt.

At least not yet.

Every Volt sold probably reduces GM's loss
Even if Volt sales don't pick up, the program's numbers will look better and better as more GM models incorporate the technology that was developed for the Volt. GM already sells a Volt sibling in Europe, the Opel Ampera. And the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe that uses the Volt's technology, is set to make its debut early next year.

Any sales of those models represent additional payback on GM's initial investment in developing the Volt's technology. And as Lutz argues, the knowledge (and green cred) GM gains from the Volt program has a value in and of itself.

So whether the Volt program ultimately turns a profit or not, it's really not a financial boondoggle for GM (or for taxpayers). There's no good argument for killing the program now: Most of the money has been spent, and every additional sale narrows the loss.

But should there be another Volt?
Here's the thing: The Volt's technology is unique. To oversimplify a bit, it's an electric car with an onboard gas-powered generator -- an arrangement no other automaker uses. It's innovative and works well in practice, but it was expensive to develop.

But functionally, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid: You charge it up at home, and then you can drive a moderate distance (38 miles on the latest Volt, says GM) on the battery before the gas engine kicks in.

If you have a short commute, you might only buy gas a few times a year. But for longer drives, you'll need to fill up more often -- just as you would with the plug-in versions of Toyota's (NYSE: TM  ) Prius or Ford's (NYSE: F  ) Fusion hybrids.

And that raises this question: Should GM push forward with this unconventional technology?

The truth is, GM is already pushing forward. GM CEO Dan Akerson said this week that he expects the next Volt to be significantly less expensive (and to be profitable), which suggests that its development is already well under way.

But in terms of technology, is this really the right direction for GM to be going in? Does it really offer advantages over conventional plug-in hybrids that are worth its cost?

I don't know the answer to that question, at least not yet. But I'd like to hear GM address it.

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  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 9:54 AM, LasPaled wrote:

    History has shown it takes many years for new technology to gain a foothold. It took five years for the Prius to eclipse the 100,000 units sold mark in the USA and that car had been in production for 3 years previously in Japan.

    Companies talk big pre-production numbers in order to appease stockholders from shooting down an idea before it can get to market. Anyone with any sense knows the sales projections are always "wishful thinking" numbers. Once the investment is made into the R&D and the hard dollars are spent it is extremely hard to back away from the LRP.

    The Volt technology is solid. 85% of my miles fall within the electric range of the vehicle and if I want to take a road trip I don't have to swap out my car due to a lack of range. The driving experience is on par with an Audi A4, BMW 3 series or Lexus IS (less Horsepower, yes but more torque and comparable interior amenities)

    For the masses, until EV's cost @ or <$30k, can travel 300 miles per charge and re-charge in less than 20 minutes this is the best technology that is out there. Once those numbers are achieved you will see the emergence of the Resto-Stop. A place to park your car, plug it in, and enjoy a quick meal while your car is recharging for the next 300 miles.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:46 PM, PluggedInDon wrote:

    One also needs to contemplate CAFE standards and how alternative drive trains help manufacturers meet those numbers. While most wishfully think of battery advances as though they were similar to meteoric rises in hard drive capacities, there is a much longer curve in terms of increasing capacities and decreasing charging times.

    The Volt drive train is a marvel of engineering and the car is a delight to own and drive. However, the purchaser is buying a good part of the energy costs up front in the price of the vehicle. My savings over the first 12 months of owning the car are right at the $160 per month range given they way I use the car. Over a 5 year period (the warranty for the batteries is 8 years/100K miles) the savings over my previous car are roughly $10,000 and the further out you go the better the numbers. The problem is Americans are notorious for buying the cheapest up-front cost alternative and disregarding the longer term cost of ownership. When you add in the zero percent financing and zero down payment (not a penny to drive from the showroom!) my cash flow for owning the vehicle ranks with any alternative vehicle purchase. With the Volt environmental battery conditioning among the best available and the real-life experiences suggesting battery life between 5-20 years, the Volt may turn out to be a pretty spectacular investment.

    However, limiting the seating to 4 occupants is a killer for many families and up-front purchase cost is a tough hurdle to jump over for many consumers.

    GM desperately needed to develop a competitive drive train and it is an exceptional engineered product. Perhaps spreading it out to other product lines and platforms will help them capture more market share, but until long-term performance is proven in the marketplace, sales are likely grow only moderately.

    A much as I love the Volt, I could not turn down the lease of a Nissan Leaf for a second car due to the absurd leasing incentive price of $116.00 per month. That vehicle now saves more in gasoline and energy costs that the lease costs. The Leaf is nowhere near as versatile but is a great car for daily commuting. GM's problem then is how to capture some of the High-End market vs. Tesla (tough task now) and fend of the low end and second car portion of the market Leaf leases (also tough). That leaves them to compete with the compact sedan and family market (also tough). GM now tells us to "find new roads" and appears to need to do the same for their product line. Volt should sell spectacularly but until consumers are analysts they will simply look at the price tag. What a shame.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 8:14 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    I'm sure glad that we are beginning to see the media writing positive stories about GM again. I know they deserved some of it, but for a while I thought things would never change.

    I now own two GM cars and love them both, and I've had many in my lifetime. Hope more people find the same as I did.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 8:17 PM, markwb wrote:

    When the Volt was first introduced, the media was full of doomsayers predicting ( usually without even seeing or driving the Car) every sort of calamity. By their reckoning 2013 should be a year full of unhappy owners dumping their volts at rock bottom prices, assuming they could even sell them. Battery replacements every three years? First responders electrocuted? Huge rental car bills while the Volt was once again in the shop? So what happened, have any of these predictions come true, even close, no one, really?

    Instead, Over the last two years the Chevy Volt has been sold to and driven by customers all around the world. There are now 40 times as many Volts on the road as any previous type of electric car in history. Unlike previous compliance cars of California fame, these electric rides are being driven in all type of harsh weather conditions by normal drivers.

    The real news here is not the Volt drop in sales, but rather the explosion in Leaf and Tesla Sales.

    Electric Drive is here to stay and GM made it happen, now it has to not just make the engineering work, that's a done deal, but scale up sales, cut prices and get ready for a wave of Volt Clones hitting the market over the next year from everyone from BMW to Volvo....

    Get it in Gear General!

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 12:40 AM, EMTresponder wrote:

    On the contrary the 2014 Volt is green lighted as well as a new Cadillac model the ELR which uses the same Volt drivetrain. You don't buy the Volt, you lease it....it s dirt cheap to lease. More than fifty percent of all Volts sold are leased.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2013, at 1:08 PM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @EMTresponder: The 2014 Volt isn't going to be the all-new one. The all-new car is likely in 2015 or 2016; GM hasn't said yet, and the GM rumor mill is (for once) quiet on that front as far as I've heard.

    Thanks for reading.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2013, at 6:00 PM, gene132 wrote:

    Electric cars make no sense. Funny how the American consumer knows best-while the government loses huge amounts of taxpayer monies..trying to accomplish the impossible. Frankly, CNG makes much more sense. When all of the market-distorting subsidies are gone, nobody will buy an electric car. Ask the president of Fiskers.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 1:25 AM, Oppknocking wrote:

    From the start I have been astounded that GM would try to sell a $40k Chevrolet. Chevy buyers don't buy $40,000 cars, and Upscale buyers who can afford $40k don't drive Chevys when their friends are driving BMWs and Mercedes'. From that standpoint, this should have been a $50,000 Cadillac from the start.

    I have come to the conclusion that GM did understand this, and that they must have started this technology in the Chevrolet division because, if there were problems, those problems would hurt the company less if they occurred in the bottom end division rather than in the top end division.

    As a Cadillac, I think it will be extremely successful.

    Plug-in hybrids will prove to be an excellent solution for a good time to come, requiring the added cost of only enough battery for typical short daily commutes, yet allowing drivers to drive as far as they need to at any time.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 10:31 AM, moneytrail wrote:

    John:

    Be careful, you’re articles might begin to sound like your colleague Morgan Housel’s articles. Articles that are based on a preconceived ideological agenda rather than fact based economic analysis.

    Firstly; in ’09, GM, its unions and Obama’s government hooked-up to rape GM’s bondholders when they bilked the bondholders out of billions of their hard earned dollars invested in GM bonds by abrogating the terms of the bond indentures that secured the bonds with GM’s assets. In a country where private contracts are honored that means the bonds would be paid before stockholders and the rapacious, corrupt unions.

    Secondly; the government and its union comrades then pushed out a public offering which soaked investors for another $50 billion at an offering price that would have Mark Zuckerberg lamenting the “give-a-way” price of last spring’s, Face Book, investor offering fiasco.

    Thirdly; in addition to the billions of dollars expropriated by the government from GM’s bondholders, taxpayers are still out-of-pocket more than $12 billion of the money invested in a Company that skirted normal bankruptcy channels to protect Obama’s UAW base of gangsters.

    Fourthly; each Volt that rolls off the assembly line comes with a $7500 tax credit, as "standard equipment." Of course, this is paid by taxpayers so the ridiculous $40,000 price tag (for a Chevy, no less) isn’t closer to $50,000.

    Fifthly; and perhaps most laughably, are the claims that volume will eradicate these per unit losses, as if the laws of mathematics can be suspended. (E.g. $10,000 loss per unit (x) 100 units = $1 million in losses; and, $10,000 loss per unit (x) 100,000 units = $1 Billion in losses.) Simply stated, unit losses of this magnitude are not erased with volume; they tend to tank the Company. (In the case of GM that might be a blessing so the Company could be reorganized by a real bankruptcy proceeding where bankruptcy laws are actually followed and existing coventants between investors and the compnay are honored.)

    The Volt is an Obama mandated green agenda mutation. It has no business in the marketplace. It wouldn’t be in the marketplace were it not for the Obama green agenda, which actually crowds out economically viable green products by subsidizing losers like the Volt by forcing taxpayers to pony up thousands of dollars for each Volt sold to support a dog product.

    Please stick to economic analysis based on facts, rather than fostering your political agenda and your personal version of economic realty upon MF readers.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 11:21 AM, Bagginz wrote:

    moneytrail:

    The Volt concept was unveiled to great fanfare in January 2007, well before Barack Obama took office. It was not an "Obama-mandated car." If electric cars were an Obama mandate to GM, why didn't he demand the same to Chrysler, who produced no hybrids, and who also got a bailout?

    The electric car tax credit is from the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, signed into law by George W. Bush, not Barack Obama. The tax credit takes the net price of the Volt from about $40K to about $32.5K, not from $50K to $40K.

    This 'dog product' has won an armful of automotive awards, and has the highest Consumer Reports customer satisfaction than any other car, including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, etc.

    "Please stick to economic analysis based on facts [...]"

    Please do the same.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 11:39 AM, richmacmf wrote:

    People are aware that The Obama Administration aided in the union/labor takeover of the company stealing it from shareholders and bondholders who got NOTHING! How does one stakeholder survive with government aid and the others get killed? Especially the one stakeholder most responsible with deadly labor contracts that made GM uncompetitive in price and quality? A travesty of justice. GM deserves to not have any buyers out there. Freedom to choose is critical in America and Freedom to fail. Government picking winners and losers in this most amazing display is outrageous and wrong and criminal/corrupt! I choose to not buy GM products or support it in any way and I presume there are many others who feel the same.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 1:20 PM, moneytrail wrote:

    Bagginz:

    Thank you for your historic corrections regarding the investment tax-credit, my oversight. However, this has nothing to do with my analysis of the Volt or GM.

    Were it not for the ’09 Obama bailout of GM, the theft of bondholder assets and their redistribution to the corrupt UAW, GM would not exist in its current configuration. As a result, the Volt wouldn’t exist; no one would produce it, it’s an economic loser, a dog.

    The car may very well have high consumer marks. The problem is it’s a concept car with negative marketplace value because it cannot be produced and sold at a competitive price without taxpayer subsidies. And those who are enjoying it are doing so on taxpayers’ money.

    It is a government created mutant. Just as most government subsidized green products are: solar panels, wind mills in locations where there isn’t enough wind to sustain economic viability, subsidized nuclear power, hyper-priced corn due to ethanol subsidies; I think you get the picture.

    Ironically, the production and operation of electric cars is still a net negative for the environment when compared to newer high MPG, internal combustion engine cars because of the former’s toxicity level in the production and disposal of the batteries used to power the vehicle. I believe this will not be the case within 10 to 20 years; however, promoting the production of government chosen products that befoul the natural and economic environment is not the best way to attain that goal.

    In short, Rosevear’s article promotes the continued production of a product that exists because of government (taxpayer) life support. The marketplace should determine which of these products should survive because of economic viability, not because of redistribution of taxpayer money to favored political allies of the President, such as the UAW. This sounds more akin to Hugo Chavez economic corruption than marketplace economics.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2013, at 4:02 PM, s1974 wrote:

    John Rosevear states: "That's more ammo for partisan critics who contend that the Volt is a money-losing boondoggle that is somehow subsidized by taxpayers (never mind that -- officially speaking, at least -- GM paid off its bailout ages ago) and should be killed off."

    So it took me, what? 15 seconds of research to determine that this was a lie? From Chevy (aka GM's) own website:

    "California residents can save big on the purchase of a new 2012 Chevrolet Volt with the Low Emissions Package by combining a federal tax credit from $0 up to $7,500† with a state of California rebate of up to $1,500.† Plus, Volt with the Low Emissions Package is currently eligible for California's HOV lanes.†"

    Now, if the Volt is not being subsidized by the taxpayers then why are there taxpayer-funded subsidies for purchasing one?

    This is why informed people have so much contempt for journalism today because not only is Rosevear wildly lying, he is insulting my intelligence by assuming that me, his reader, will be too stupid to spend those mere seconds to visit the official Chevy website.

    So, Rosevear, will you do the right thing and correct your article or will you do the wrong thing and perpetuate a lie? Of course we know what you will do...

    I chose California from the site because of it having an unusually high number of environmental fundamentalists.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 2:35 AM, Bagginz wrote:

    moneytrail sez:

    "Were it not for the ’09 Obama bailout of GM, the theft of bondholder assets and their redistribution to the corrupt UAW, GM would not exist in its current configuration. [...]"

    You are neglecting the first bailout installment by the Bush administration. Don't lay this all at the feet of Obama. People might think you're partisan.

    "[...] As a result, the Volt wouldn’t exist; no one would produce it, it’s an economic loser, a dog."

    Uh-huh. Sure. By that logic, if Apple weren't effectively bailed out by a cash infusion by Microsoft in 1997, then no-one would produce the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. They'd be iEconomic iLosers. iDogs. Nor would Samsung nor Google _ever_ get the ideas for the Android phone.

    But iSeriously, I don't know if the Volt (or plug-in hybrids) will be a long-term success or failure, but neither do you. Don't pretend that you do.

    "Ironically, the production and operation of electric cars is still a net negative for the environment when compared to newer high MPG, internal combustion engine cars because of the former’s toxicity level in the production and disposal of the batteries used to power the vehicle."

    Your sources for this please? Lithium is not classified as a hazardous waste. The lithium battery in a Volt is less toxic than the NiMH battery in a Prius.

    "The marketplace should determine which of these products should survive because of economic viability, not because of redistribution of taxpayer money to favored political allies of the President, such as the UAW."

    Puh-leeze...investment banks got way more scratch from Obama than Detroit ever did. You think Wall St. was Obama's BFF in 2012?

    I'll repeat my question: If electric cars were an Obama mandate to GM, why didn't he demand the same to Chrysler, who produced no hybrids, and who also got a bailout?

    Had GM and Chrysler collapsed in 2009, they would have taken the entire American auto industry with them. Without them, many of their suppliers would have also failed, and they also make stuff for Ford and branch plants for Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagon and plenty of other consumer goods manufacturers. No 3rd party parts, no cars. It would have been the biggest collapse in American manufacturing since the Great Depression. The auto industry got bailed out because there was no other way. Granted, the executive suites at Renaissance Center weren't that clever, but the credit freeze brought about through the sanctimonious stupidity of Ayn Rand acolytes in the Bush Administration (particularly the Treasury and SEC) did more to weaken the auto industry in 2008/9 than the UAW ever could.

    And actually, the marketplace is speaking. Thumbs up to the Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf, and the Telsa. Thumbs down to Fisker and Coda.

    BTW, the early Prius was also subsidized by tax credits. Now the Prius is ubiquitous, has demonstrably saved on oil consumption, reduced air pollution, and doesn't need the tax credit anymore. Problem?

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:26 AM, moneytrail wrote:

    Bagginz:

    Bush provided several billion dollars in December ’08, to keep GM running until Obama took office. It wasn’t an “installment;” it was bridge financing to enable GM to survive until the new Obama took office; big mistake. GM and Chrysler would have survived fine if the legal bankruptcy process every other failed organization used until Obama’s arrival was applied. The one difference would be that bondholders would have collected their due under the indenture agreements covering GM’s bonds and the unions would have had to rethink their parasitic relationship with the GM it, along with GM’s compliant management, killed.

    I guess we can go back and forth on this; however, this isn’t about Bush or Obama. It’s about the government rewarding its political friends with taxpayer money and about Rosevear’s biased reporting of this fact by presenting one of the many bastard children of this vicious cycle, Volt, as a worthy product that the marketplace is accepting when, in fact, the vehicle only exists because of taxpayer subsidies. It’s really a pretty simple concept for those willing to see the obvious.

    Unfortunately, some are more interested in deflecting the truth about the government’s use of taxpayer money to support its political allies – unions, and every other organizaton that feeds at the government money trough, than understanding the basic fact that government use of taxpayer money to pick winners and losers in the marketplace is at the heart of all government corruption - using other people’s money to buy votes and power. It always leads to the waste of citizens’ hard earned dollars and corruption.

    Volt, is one of the many, many failures born from this cycle of government corruption. To those of us who see the obvious connection between the hapless Chevy Volt and this process find articles promoting it as an emerging success as both dishonest and disrespectful to those who look to MF for serious financial/investment analysis. It appears that too many pseudo-investment analysts, such as Rosevear and his like-minded sycophants are either unwilling or unable to see the obvious.

    Good luck.

    Moneytrail.

    PS: I don’t usually do other people’s research for them. However, in your case I will make an exception. If you want sources for my statement about the deleterious effects of electric car production on the environment simply BING or GOOGLE “electric car manufacture and pollution,” or any variation thereof and you will find a plethora of information on the subject.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 4:03 PM, 12VOLTS wrote:

    Since I'm a new owner (Had mine a week now), I purchased the Volt over anything else because it made the best sense and was an investment in the USA!

    I do see a problem in that GM does not provide enough information for the power requirements when it comes to chargin the car.

    I do wish it had longer range on the EV, however, what I really wish is that GM had invested in Fuel Cell Technology and we'd be off the Oil Company Grid.

    12VOLTS.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:24 AM, Bagginz wrote:

    Moneytrail sez:

    "GM and Chrysler would have survived fine if the legal bankruptcy process every other failed organization used until Obama’s arrival was applied."

    Oh, hogwash. GM and Chrysler were headed for a Chapter 7 liquidation, not a Chapter 11 restructuring. The companies would have been sold piecemeal because the money for restructuring wasn't there in the private sector in 2008/9. Government money was the only thing that could have saved either of them.

    "[...] however, this isn’t about Bush or Obama."

    You could have (Motley) fooled me. You're the one who used such delightful phrases as "Obama's government hooked up to rape GM's bondholders," and "Obama’s UAW base of gangsters," and "Obama mandated green agenda mutation."

    I'll ask for the third time: If electric cars were an Obama mandate to GM, why didn't he demand the same to Chrysler, who produced no hybrids, and who also got a bailout? Let me answer: There was no mandate. It was GM's decision to market the Volt, not the Obama administration's.

    "[...] the basic fact that government use of taxpayer money to pick winners and losers in the marketplace is at the heart of all government corruption [...]"

    Huh? How does this apply to corruption scandals like Watergate?

    Governments have always supported construction projects and nacent technologies if they're judged to be in the national interest. Sometimes they fail, but sometimes they pay off handsomely. Land grants to the railroad companies helped open up the western U.S. The Panama Canal was partly funded by the U.S. Government. The satellite that feeds your TV is the progeny of government projects. Every nuclear power plant uses technology paid for by the Feds. The very internet you and I are debating on was initially developed on the government dime by DARPA and the universities.

    Weaning ourselves from foreign oil is in the national interest, and the technology inside the Volt helps to do that. You've been pontificating that the Volt is a "dog" and a "failure" and "hapless" and "unworthy." The trouble with your analysis is that anyone who has driven a Volt can see that it IS a worthy product. It's a good car. It saves gas. People who bought it, like it. Sales haven't been spectacular, but they've been ok, and they're trending up. The technology is already finding its way into other cars. That's the point of the tax credit, much like what was done for the early Prius. Fourteen years later, hybrids are an unqualified success. Do you think the tax credit for early hybrids was a bad investment? Srsly.

    "Volt, is one of the many, many failures born from this cycle of government corruption."

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard about Solyndra. So where's the campaign against the Chevy Cruze or the new Dodge Dart? After all, these cars wouldn't exist if not for the bailout. Where's the campaign against the Ford Fusion Energi and Nissan Leaf? They're getting a tax credit too.

    "It appears that too many pseudo-investment analysts, such as Rosevear and his like-minded sycophants are either unwilling or unable to see the obvious."

    My, what fervor! Oh, look! There's here's a cloud in the sky. Maybe if I shake my fist at it hard enough, it will go away.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:46 AM, moneytrail wrote:

    Bagginz:

    As often happens during dialogue with those who are emotionally invested in a discredited belief, such as the myth that government is able to spend (currently characterized by ideologues as “invest”) money more effectively than those who actually earn it, attempts at intelligent discourse disintegrate into personal diatribes. They, such as so-called analysts like Rosevear, are more interested in promoting this political agenda than in analyzing data and deriving rational investment conclusions from those data.

    The ability to engage in an intelligent investment dialogue must involve at least 2 well informed parties willing to place political agendas aside, both of whom are able to remain focused on the facts at hand. Authors such as Rosevear and several others at MF, along with their ill-informed devotees, do not posses these traits. Hence, any attempt at investment analysis quickly mutates into a defense of failed economic policies that have brought down countless economies over time.

    I wish you the best of luck in your investment efforts.

    Moneytrail.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:39 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    As someone who was critical of John Rosevear's earlier piece on the Volt, I have to say this article was more cogent.

    I still think that the comparison of the Volt vs the Tesla and Leaf is not valid though. There are a limited number of buyers who can afford the Tesla at it's current prices and a limited number of buyers for the Leaf, which while more affordable than the Tesla, still requires you to have a second car for those longer trips.

    The Volt can do it all. Who knows, I may have bought a Fusion PHEV if it came out sooner, yet it's much lower range and it's not being made in America was an instant turnoff. Please don't tell me about the C-Max. My wife rejected it out of hand just from the pictures in the brochure after I test drove it. I just saw it on the road and.........well......No thanks.

    MoneyTrail. You lost me at $50,000 cost per volt and $10,000 loss per vehicle even if they built 100,000 of them. I'm sure everybody else who read your post saw the flaw in the math. You really need to read the Forbes article link where Bob Lutz explains the math behind the cost of development. Yes, he was the guy who behind the Volt but his explanation is of the costs is irrefutable. Yet, I'm certain you will refuse to read it and learn something. From the way you write, it's apparent you already have your mind made up and won't let those pesky facts get in the way.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:42 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    MONEYTRAIL:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/09/10/the-real-stor...

    Here's the link for you. It's in the above article but I posted it here to save you the time. Please read it and get back to us here so we can hear your take on it.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 6:19 PM, moneytrail wrote:

    DanManusos:

    Thanks for your heads-up. Perhaps I can clarify your confusion.

    The $50k Volt price to which I referred was a mistake. The number was intended to denote the $50k loss per vehicle presented in several financial sources, MF and Forbes being 2 of them. The Forbes’ article refers to auto industry GAAP accounting and how it would calculate the $50k loss per vehicle differently, keeping in mind that GAAP is nothing more than one way of quantifying a company’s financial results and, as such, has its own inherent flaws.

    The $10k loss per vehicle was referencing comments in MF articles and by Fools indicating that the loss per vehicle could be made up with volume. The point in my example was general and simply illustrates that a $10k production loss per vehicle is the same whether company manufactures 100 of its products for a $1 million total loss; or, 100,000 for a $1 billion loss. I believe the math is correct. I hope this clears up your confusion.

    My bigger point with Rosevear’s article, as stated several times in my comments, has to do with the corruption of the capital allocation process when the government picks winners and losers in the marketplace; which, more often than not results in the taxpayers funding losers.

    This is the occurs for 2 reasons:

    First; political appointees and government bureaucrats are generally people without experience running companies or selecting successful industries. A prime example is Obama’s “green” bender. Neither he nor his advisors have any clue what it takes to turn a profit, since most have been on the public payroll their entire careers. Hence, decisions regarding the allocation of taxpayer money are motivated by political considerations, such as channeling money to political supporters. In the case of GM and Chrysler that is the UAW. In the case of other so-called “green companies,” it is political bundlers who helped him get elected.

    Second; the government is spending taxpayers’ money; e.g.- other peoples’ money. Therefore, the selection process determining which organizations will receive money is further warped by the fact that there are no consequences for bad money allocation decisions because it isn’t the decision makers’ money. To them it’s play money, monopoly money. This is why socialist governments throughout the ages have been terrible stewards of citizens’ money and generally impoverish many of their citizens when third party spending of citizens’ money is institutionalized. Our current government is no different from the countless others who have damaged their citizens’ economic well being by confiscating their money through taxes for the purpose of redistributing it to

    their political supporters.

    The Volt is one of many the bastard products and government services have engendered by this process. It would not exist without taxpayer subsidies in the form of $7,000 credits to purchase this mutant; or, government bailouts that confiscate bondholders’ money and redistribute it to political supporters.

    I hope this clarifies any confusion my previous comments may have caused you.

    Moneytrail.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:37 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Moneyshot,

    I believe the Forbes article you are talking about is the very one mentioned and debunked by Bob Lutz in his follow on article.

    I have to ask........Did you click the link and read the article??????

    I have no confusion to clear up. The "loss" per car decreases as each additional car is sold and the development cost are spread out over more and more units. Even more so when GM uses what they learned on the Volt in other cars without having the expense of the research.

    I actually agree with your sentiment about the current administration hacks with no real world experience. However, as a Desert Storm Veteran (Oil War 1) I agree with GW Bush in regards to America's addiction to oil. If it had not been for that, I wouldn't have witnessed the Iraqi Scud missile explosion that killed 34 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen in Saudi Arabia in late February of 1991.

    It's areal shame that so many people have no problem waving the flag and putting up yellow ribbons for the troops as they go off to some dirtbag country to fight VERY expensive wars to secure the oil fields, yet they wet their pants about the minuscule amount of money the government spends to entice the development of cars and technology that would drastically reduce the need for imported oil. It's even more amusing watching these people protest this "give away" of taxpayers dollars yet nary a peep is heard from them when some Southern Governor gives away millions to a foreign car company to build a plant in their state.

    As far as I'm concerned, anybody who set foot in or overflew the Southwest Asia war theater should be GIVEN one of these awesome Volts by the Saudis.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 12:01 AM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    Hey guys, I am not here to make a rational or cogent point. However, watch this video and then tell me you want to buy a Volt- or invest your money with GM.

    Lambo Gallardo flybys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5UCH0pvoUE

    Would you rather have an electric clown car or the Lambo? If you haven't been spayed or neutered, I think the answer is obvious.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 12:23 AM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    Some guys that help me in my company, I suggested to them to help me build Lambo kits. Actually, there are two different business just down the the street from mine that build race cars.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 12:58 AM, Bagginz wrote:

    Well, Moneyshot, I guess you and I are just going have to agree to disagree. I believe in capitalism, but one that is pragmatic, and not laissez-faire. I also find your personal attacks on Mr. Rosevear rude, undeserved and uncalled-for.

    Thank you for your good wishes in my investing, and I wish you the same.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 6:30 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @moneytrail, I don't have any political ax to grind. My job is to look at GM as a business, and as an investment. If I wanted to write about politics or political philosophy (my undergrad major, by the way), I'd be doing it elsewhere.

    Of course, it's easy to say that. The reality is that any discussion of plug-in vehicles from a business perspective is likely to run afoul of someone's vision of ideological purity (especially if that someone has been reading the late Ms. Rand.)

    The reference in the article to which you're objecting is aimed at the suggestion that the *bailout* money somehow continues to subsidize the Volt program, which it doesn't.

    Of course there are all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies connected to this class of vehicles; I should have been clearer in that reference. From an investment perspective, which is the perspective I try to write from, I am agnostic on the social desirability of those subsidies.

    The real point of this article is that the Volt is a) a very good product and b) not a particularly big deal to GM's bottom line in the grand scheme of things. And one more, larger point: Whatever you may think of the politics of the bailout, GM is doing pretty well under its new management.

    Those points get lost in exactly these kinds of discussions, and they deserve to be emphasized.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 10:52 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @NOTvuffet: Truth be told, the Gallardo does nothing for me. Not my thing. I'd rather have a Murcielago, or any V12 Lamborghini old enough to have carburetors -- or for that matter, since we're ostensibly talking about GM, a Cadillac CTS-V.

    I don't have a Lamborghini, but happily, I do have a CTS-V.

    Thanks for reading.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 11:58 AM, DanManusos wrote:

    NOTvuffe,

    Well, I watched most of the video. Personally I'm not impressed. As parents of 11 and 13 year old girls, my wife and I feel that the kind of guys that drive like that are overcompensating for something.

    Why do they feel a need to impress total strangers, most likely with the low net worth and high debt load they probably have to drive a car like that?? Rather than drive in style, being concerned about the safety of those they share the road with and enjoy the ride, they prefer to find their pleasure in short self pleasuring sprints while they leave their road mates behind.

    The more I think about it, it's a good thing the windows are tinted so dark on those cars. I'd hate to have to explain to my daughters what they may see the drivers doing in the car when you pull up to a stop light next to them and they are sitting in the car all by themselves.

    In all fairness, cars (except the Volt) don't impress me. They only have one engine (actually the Volt kind of has two), only four wheels, can only legally go about 75 mph max, and only seat 4-9 people. I prefer MD80's and even that piece of eurotrash Airbus.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 1:08 PM, SwanPondBottom wrote:

    Buying a $40K compact car that only takes you 38 miles on a charge is exactly why sales are low.

    Who cares about its performance. This product is a subsidized loser suggested by the same genius who thought Solyndra was a great investment.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 2:26 PM, moneytrail wrote:

    Bagginz – Perhaps you find my criticism of Rosevear’s article “rude” and “offensive” because you do not understand the issues addressed in the article. There is nothing rude about taking someone to task for presenting a government (taxpayer) subsidized product as a winner when, in fact, this product and most others subsidized by the government are abysmal failures and waste taxpayers money. They also divert precious investment capital away from wiser, private sector investments in emerging technologies.

    Also, please keep in mind you are not the “Polite Police,” and your views on the alleged rudeness of various critiques are irrelevant. Especially, since your missives are dripping with sarcasm.

    Best of luck!

    Moneytrail.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 4:33 PM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    " when, in fact, this product and most others subsidized by the government are abysmal failures "

    Actually, it's not. It's a good car. Check your premises. Or just ask anyone who owns one.

    And speaking of products developed with government assistance, the Tesla Model S is a great car. What do you say to that?

    As for the rest, you seem intent on demanding ideological conformity from a source (that would be me) who has zero interest in playing along with Tea Party purity tests.

    That is an error. To throw your own phrase back at you, you aren't the Ideology Police.

    If your goal was to persuade me of something, you have so far failed. Or was your goal something else?

    John Rosevear

    ps: You led by comparing me to Morgan Housel. You meant it as an insult, but it doomed your argument to failure from the start. Morgan is one of the best writers I know. If I'm being compared to him, I'm probably having a good day.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 4:44 PM, linkdonald wrote:

    Most poorly researched article on Volt I have ever read. GM has NOT paid back our (government) loan and won't until the stock hits $38. In addition; those of us (taxpayers) who do not own EVs are subsidizing a $7200 tax credit for the limosine liberals who buy these throwbacks to the Baker Electric. The Volt is technically deficient. The author says so when touting the Prius. The car loses money with every unit sold under any sound system of cost accounting. The best thing for GM to do would be to humbley ask Toyota to loan them an engineer to show them how it's done. But wait; it was GM that screwed Toyota to the wall with that ill-fated joint venture known as NUMI in Fremont Ca that wound up eliminating all the union jobs it was supposed to save.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 5:21 PM, Bagginz wrote:

    "They also divert precious investment capital away from wiser, private sector investments in emerging technologies."

    Uh, it wasn't the private sector that built the early jets, satellites, and rockets. It wasn't all private money that built the Erie Canal, the Panama Canal, and the Hoover Dam. And it wasn't private money that funded the early internet. These are just a few examples of government priming the pump -- sometimes for military purposes, but sometimes because it's makes economic sense.

    Over the past 30 years, the reach of a meteorological forecast has gone from a couple of days to a week. Who do you think paid for the research and development for the computer models to do this? It wasn't The Weather Channel.

    I provide counter-examples to your "facts," and you keep saying the same thing over and over. You're no fun.

    "Also, please keep in mind you are not the “Polite Police,” and your views on the alleged rudeness of various critiques are irrelevant. Especially, since your missives are dripping with sarcasm."

    If I was the Polite Police, I'd have the power to shut you up. I have no interest in doing that, but, hey, I plead guilty to the snark.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 6:22 PM, moneytrail wrote:

    John Rosevear -- I’m not sure how the Tea Party made it into your missive; but it speaks volumes about your perspective.

    Regarding Housel; yes, he is an excellent writer. However, his articles always seem to use facts and charts, selectively, and his conclusions appear to echo themselves in each article: “the economy is doing fine and getting better.”

    A preposterous premise when 4 full years after the end of the recession every meaningful metric indicates that tens of millions of Americans are suffering like never before in our lifetime: U6 unemployment (almost 15%); 24 million unemployed or underemployed; almost 50 million on food stamps; 1 in 6 Americans living in poverty; $7 trillion in new debt since February ’09. And this is just a short list. A large part of this sorry state of affairs is caused by a government that stifles economic growth and creativity and promotes reliance.

    It doesn’t surprise me that you are flattered by the comparison to Housel: you both view the world through glasses blurred by the belief that the government actually creates growth and wealth. It does not; nor has it ever; nor is it capable of doing so. The more government intervention there is in the private sector, the fewer growth jobs and new industries the Country will enjoy. This has been true throughout history and is currently true in Europe. This is not Tea Party speak, as you glibly infer; this economic history.

    Rather than touting the merits of a vehicle that needs taxpayer funding to the tune of 18% of the car’s selling price to produce anemic sales; perhaps you might want to point out in a fine Investment Letter like MF that the Volt would not survive in the marketplace without taxpayer funding. You could also explain the environmental stress caused by the production and operation of the Volt, as compared to increasingly efficient internal combustion and hybrid cars, one of which I own. Electric cars and many other transportation innovations will find their way to the marketplace. They will be born as a byproduct of creative competition, not by ham-fisted politicians, most of whom have never created anything of value.

    And no, I’m not trying to persuade you of anything. I am simply providing you a perspective that might cause you to reconsider your analysis of investment issues. Rather than touting the merits of a dog of a product such as the Volt which costs taxpayers more than $7,000 each time one happens to be sold; you might consider how products such as the Volt stifle innovation because they are brought to market before they are ready for prime time. You see, without taxpayer funding the Volt would be a better product. It would not come to market until it is able to make a profit at an unsubsidized market price and would not have to be partially paid for by those who aren’t purchasing it, otherwise known as taxpayers.

    Moneytrail.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 6:55 PM, moneytrail wrote:

    Dear Bagginz – no one ever said the government cannot produce “things.” It does so, primarily, and inefficiently I might add, for national defense and strategic purposes.

    The point is, yet again, that investment “analysis” articles such as Rosevear’s, touting products which cost taxpayers money every time one is sold, are bereft of common sense. Products, other than fighter jets, aircraft carriers, canals and dams, etc.; products that flow into the consumer marketplace, should not cost someone (taxpayer) other than the purchaser of that product money.

    Again, bringing you back to the original point: products that enter the consumer market place with subsidies would be better products and wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything if they were not released before they needed subsidies provided by corrupt politicians as political payback. And, as importantly, the companies producing them would be better companies.

    This is the fundamental investment point that seems to elude some of the MF analysts, as well as a few of their readers -- Bagginz my friend.

    Pretty simple concept; got it?

    I hope so, because I’m starting my week-end. Have a good one!

    Moneytrail.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 7:01 PM, bruceh100 wrote:

    As a fan of the daily comic strip, "Non-Sequiter", I invite all of you to join the current movement started by one of the main characters, Danae.

    And I quote:

    "She says all the problems stem from the noise in people's heads leaking out of their pieholes.", so she started the "Shut up and mind your own stupid business" movement.

    Judging from the posts here about GM's Volt, I think she's onto something....

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 8:39 PM, mbless1982 wrote:

    I read a couple articles that explain that if you buy a Chevy volt over their gas efficient Cruze model.... That you would have to drive the Volt for between 9 - 12 years without ever filling it up with gas once to match the price difference between the two cars... And that is not factoring in the electricity costs and any other equipment costs that come with the volt... So I can understand the sticker shock argument. Plus for the price of a volt you can buy a Camaro... Screw being green a camaro is just way cooler.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 11:25 PM, JCoeur wrote:

    The right-wingers hate the Volt because it works and is still available because of government action. They would rather have seen GM and the domestic suppliers industry go under so they could get on with their program of turning the US into a manufacturing wasteland for political and economic gain. Thanks to Obama, it didn't work. But don't worry, those Wall Street bondholders got their bailouts, too. Everybody got bailed out except the homeowners who were screwed by the bondholder institutions.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 11:33 PM, 3jaguar wrote:

    Kill the Volt. Not all companies borrowed from the govedrnment--Ford didn't.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 12:25 AM, DanManusos wrote:

    Limousine Liberals??

    I own a Volt. I am a Desert Storm Veteran. I have voted Republican my whole life. NRA member since 1999. I have had a Ford Expedition since 2001. I replaced my 1997 Ford Explorer with the Volt.

    I was about to join the Tea Party movement before I realized most of their members were TriCorn hat wearing Chickenhawks who were the same guys that stood by the sidelines while they cheered us on as e were sent off to secure the oil supplies for their SUV's. They sat home and watched the festivities in their Mommies basement.

    Over half of the Volt owners I have met are Iraq War Veterans, most have the Bronze Star and Silver Star license plates.

    As to "This product is a subsidized loser suggested by the same genius who thought Solyndra was a great investment." I've got a history lesson for you.......

    Obama had nothing to do with it. Suggested by Obama???? Really??? It was the conservative Republican Bob Lutz who initiated the Volt. It was GW Bush that said we were addicted to oil and who signed the tax credit. The same Bush who signed the bailouts for the Auto makers (after demanding concessions from the Unions, but never from the Wall Street swine who started the whole mess and needed us to bail them out)

    I'm no fan of Obama whatsoever, but I am a fan of the truth. He had nothing to do with, no matter what O'Reiley, Dobbs, and Cavuto (all of who I used to trust) tell you.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 12:28 AM, DanManusos wrote:

    I forgot to mention. Just to cause great confusion among those who expect one to follow strict ideology, I am going to get Liscence plate holders for my Expedition that say "Desert Storm Veteran. I earned the right to waste gas. What's your excuse??"

    For the Volt, I 'm going to get ones that say "Desert Storm Veteran. No more Wars for Oil"

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 11:24 AM, HurricaneJohnson wrote:

    Wow, a story about the Volt, how remarkable it is, how much people love it, but not a word about the tax credits the Government provides (to it's union voters) for the common person to own one. I'm sure enough of my personal taxes have been redirected by the government that I feel I should own one.

    The Government's policies cause market dislocation. This car is a loser for GM even with the Government subsidies on each and every one.

    If it's so great, remove the subsidy, let it be priced at what the market will accept, then GM can either kill it or invest more in it.

    Sorry folks, just the "old school" coming out.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 5:13 PM, Bagginz wrote:

    HurricaneJohnson sez:

    "I'm sure enough of my personal taxes [through the tax credit] have been redirected by the government that I feel I should own [a Volt."

    Hey, my taxes helped you buy your house through the mortgage interest deduction. I guess that means I can sleep on your couch every now and again.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 7:46 PM, Bagginz wrote:

    "Again, bringing you back to the original point: products that enter the consumer market place with subsidies would be better products and wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything if they were not released before they needed subsidies provided by corrupt politicians as political payback. "

    Dear Moneytrail:

    First, I envy your ability to look at things without nuance, without shades of gray, and to find convenient villains. It makes things soooo simple.

    Second, I find it remarkable how you like your (conventional) hybrid car without acknowledging that the introduction of hybrid cars (and hybrid technology) were helped in the marketplace by tax credits. That goofy-looking 2000 Prius got a $2,500 tax credit, which eased the pain of its $20,000 sticker price over a similar-sized $14,000 Corolla. But it to helped to get hybrids (and more importantly, hybrid technology) a foothold in America, and you're a downstream beneficiary of this.

    Now the Prius is the 14th strongest seller in America, #1 in California, and demonstrably reduced smog and dependence on fossil fuels, and doesn't need the tax credit anymore. How many UAW workers were paid off by corrupt politicians by subsidizing the first Priuses?

    Third, the tax credit for the Volt (and the Leaf, and the Tesla, and all the other EV's and plug-in hybrids) is limited to a fixed number of cars. It's not time-unlimited like, say, the mortgage interest deduction. Have you ever taken that deduction? Can we have the money back?

    Fourth, government projects, like dams, canals etc. DO flow into the consumer marketplace by providing a means to generate electricity, control floods, and moving goods around. The know-how from defense research (not off-the-shelf stuff) finds its way in myriad ways to the consumer. Like GPS, for instance.

    "This is the fundamental investment point that seems to elude some of the MF analysts, as well as a few of their readers -- Bagginz my friend.

    Pretty simple concept; got it?"

    Fifth, I'll see your condescension, and raise you a snark.

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2013, at 12:26 AM, DanManusos wrote:

    Anybody can buy a Volt and get the Tax Credit.

    However, homeowners who are perpetually drowning in Mortgage debt because of their serial refinancing and cash out refis, get to deduct the interest and closing costs. Meanwhile, those of us who just pay the stupid thing down and off don't get the deduction.

    Yep. That's fair and rewards responsibility. NOT!

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2013, at 8:06 PM, nephi101 wrote:

    I have owned GM cars all my life. However, I will never buy another GM car, electric or any other after what the Obama administration has done to share holders, dealers and other individuals while advancing the interest of the unions and special interest groups. There are other options.

  • Report this Comment On May 13, 2013, at 10:06 AM, TurboJohn wrote:

    Bagginz's and moneytrail's lively debate include several claims that match to reality. I am dismayed that Obama lay waste of bondholders in favor of unions. Mitt Romney promoted a structured chapter 11 process and Obama criticized it. Outcome would have been different for unions, though.

    The important point is that GM's financial maneuvering over the last five years should be unhinged from the Volt development and production. For more than 100 years, auto makers have developed numerous innovations, some of which succeeded and some failed. Indeed, several auto makers have come and gone, again the outcome of innovation. Failure of the Volt to pay for development expenses is an acceptable outcome in the field of innovation.

    Merits of govn subsidies of Volt are relevant to this discussion if subsidies were only reason for development of Volt, and I do not see arguments in Housel's articles or subsequent blogs to conclusively support that.

    Important in the bigger picture to applaud GM employees at the working level for developing the Volt, in the face of YEARS of GM executives' rejecting the need for ANY hybrid or alternative technology. Bob Lutz (Vice Chairman of GM for product development), was quoted in Oct 2008 as backing the Volt. That would have been leadership if he had said it in Oct. 1998. Toyota began selling the Prius in Japan in 1998, so it would have been real leadership if he said in 1995 or so.

    The future of cars will be an electric motor on each wheel, like train locomotives for last 40 years. Innovation will be in electric power supply, whether piston engine driven generator supplied (Volt) or battery (Tesla, Volt). GM will learn much from the Volt and future generation autos will make May 2013 musings over the technology look unenlightening.

    Although it may be unfair to suggest that writers have direct familiarity with the products for which they write about, the American experience is so imbued by the auto, protocol, or perhaps disclosure, on a (different) auto blog includes the writer's owned fleet on the signoff. Perhaps that would be enlightening here; city dwellers with no autos excused.

    '87 Buick GN, '03 Prius, '05 Mercury Montego

  • Report this Comment On May 13, 2013, at 12:12 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    nephi101,

    In regards to your "I will never" proclamation: I said I would never watch CNN ever again after what I saw and when their news editors told me "We're not news. We're not education. We're entertainment"

    These days, I can't trust Fox after all of their outright lies and distortions about the Volt.

    Can anybody suggest an unbiased news source in this country???

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2013, at 1:11 PM, nwvoltownr1 wrote:

    I have been a volt owner now for a month I used to Drive a Chevy Tahoe, My gas payment a month was 650$ a month if I didn't go anywhere. Add another 200$ if I had to. I went from that and a payment of 580. to 450$ and 40$ this month in gas... Seriously! People need to get on board.... its just the stigmata but really its amazing.... IF you work and the company pays your mileage then its a no brainer.. Lets get off kicking the volt and get on board promoting it...

    Thanks

    p

  • Report this Comment On May 22, 2013, at 7:46 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    hey guys, i don't know why and i have not the slightest clue, but i have zatoichi like skills with a common kitchen knife

  • Report this Comment On May 22, 2013, at 7:59 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    i stuck a knife in a board from 30 ft. away

  • Report this Comment On May 22, 2013, at 9:44 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    1 time seemed like a fluke, so i did it 5 more times. 4 times were successful.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:42 PM, mattdedeking wrote:

    WOW! I thought I was reading a car review, but found out everyone just wanted to talk politics.

    We have had our Volt for one year, and 15000 miles.

    The only thing we have done is rotate the tires.

    The generators engine still has 50 percent oil life left. I can see why dealerships are not really interested in selling electric cars. Their service departments would starve to death if everyone had one. This is a very luxurious - amazing car to drive. It handles great, even in the snow. Our lifetime MPG is 133 mpg. You would think the right would love this car. It is the 6th most American made car, and the electric juice that powers it is 100% made in the USA..

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