The 2014 Chevy Volt will have a starting price of $34,995, $5,000 cheaper than the 2013 model. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Chevy Volt was widely hailed by green-car enthusiasts when it debuted a few years ago -- but it was panned by critics of GM's 2009 "bailout", who saw the Volt program as an expensive boondoggle catering to political interests.

The Volt has never sold in the numbers that GM expected. Yet owners love the car -- the Volt has one of the highest owner-satisfaction ratings of any vehicle.Still, GM has long hoped for wider sales -- and is now taking drastic steps, with a $5,000 price cut for the 2014 version of the Volt.

Does that mean GM is getting desperate, or is some other motivation at work? In this video, contributor John Rosevear looks at the likely story behind the Volt's price cut -- and explains why it probably has a lot more to do with Toyota (NYSE:TM) than with politics.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. Follow him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.