The economy is bad and while the computer industry has been hard hit, the hardest hit of all may be the automotive industry. Executives from the largest American automakers have been begging for help from the U.S. government, despite flying down to beg for money in private jets.
In the midst of the economic turmoil, the future of alternative fuel vehicles like the Chevy Volt may be question marks in many minds. However, GM is putting the Volt at the forefront of its business plan as one of the keys to justifying loans for the U.S. government to prevent insolvency of the automotive giant.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner told a congressional committee, "We're putting a lot of money into the Chevy Volt, which we're endeavoring to get into production by 2010. It will not be at that point fully cost competitive."
GM is saying that it will take the better part of a decade for vehicles like the Volt to become profitable. The issue right now for GM is how to maintain its business until alternative fuel vehicles, like the Volt, that consume massive sums of money in research and development provide a return on the investment.
GM told congress that it has spent more than $750 million to develop the Volt with much of that amount going to battery research. GM spokesman Rob Petersen says, "The Volt is the first step in a long-term viability plan."
GM also says that expensive and research intensive projects like the Volt can lead to other technologies that can be used in other vehicle types to improve efficiency. The battery research alone can yield improvements in product categories far removed from the automotive industry such as the consumer electronics realm.
Peterson says, "We expect to reposition General Motors as a technology leader in the industry."
quote: Hopefully they can do what it takes to survive to see it pay off.
quote: 2) not using independent suspension in any car should be illegal. with modern valve and spring technology it can be done reliably and inexpensively and it is ludicrous to consider anything else.
quote: A fixed rear axle is far stronger and less prone to wheel hop than IRS.
quote: If smaller cars is such bad business why is the Japanese big 3 not teetering on the edge of bankruptcy right now?
quote: Well that clears it up. :/ Are you sure you were responding to the right post?
quote: If my tax dollars to to bailing them out they better damned well be ready for the next one.
quote: Plus it is a guessing game if gas stays this low, consumer demand will bring back the trucks/suv's.
quote: you have to keep in mind it's an interest rate trap: the rate will be 0% for 6 months or so and then if it isn't 100% paid off by then will shoot up to the maximum legal rate (24+%).
quote: The US automaker manufacturing capacity is geared towards an economy of scale that does not match demand for their product. They have to sell lots or they take massive losses.
quote: If they increased demand by making cars people want then suddenly their business model works.
quote: Nov 08 Ford F-series - 37,911 GM trucks - 40,031 Fit - 4909 Yaris - 4545 Prius - 8660
quote: The number of foreclosures soared in 2007, with 405,000 households losing their home, according to a report released Tuesday. That's up 51 percent from the 268,532 homes that were repossessed in 2006.
quote: A record 1.35 million homes were in foreclosure in the third quarter, driving the foreclosure rate up to 2.97%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday. That's a 76% increase from a year ago, according to the group's National Delinquency Survey.
quote: The number of homes going into foreclosure in 2008 is on track to hit 2.2 million, Brinkmann said.
quote: Their profit per vehicle is a fraction of the Japanese.
quote: You didn't See Honda/Toyota/Nissan doing this did you?
quote: Toyota (TM) reported that its sales fell 34% from last November and 14% from October. That was far worse than the 24% year-over-year drop in sales expected by Edmunds.com.And Honda Motor (HMC) reported a 32% drop in sales compared to a year ago, while sales were down 11% from October. Edmunds.com had forecast only a 21% annual decline for Honda, which had been closing in on Chrysler for the No. 4 spot in U.S. sales.
quote: I'd much rather see them sink $750M USD into a technology that will give them leadership in a tech the will be driving the future
quote: developing and marketing new trucks and SUVs that few want.
quote: True, but given the fact that they already had a "production" electric car in 1999, that $750 million spent on the Volt project seems a bit ridiculous.
quote: rather than spending that money on developing and marketing new trucks and SUVs that few want.
quote: No, a smug sense of outsmarting the big 3 is not enough to keep me from freezing to death.
quote: One of the advantages of electric motors is that you don't need starter motors to get them running.
quote: RnD spending must be a foreign concept to American car companies. Sigh.
quote: You can learn just as much from failure as you can with success.
quote: Taking that to an extreme aren't we?
quote: No line has to be drawn.......this doesn't mean because one does it then everyone has to
quote: When you and a friend were kids and you pooled your money together to go buy a bottle of pop from the store to "share"
quote: Executives from the largest American automakers have been begging for help from the U.S. government, despite flying down to beg for money in private jets.
quote: The economy is bad and while the computer industry has been hard hit, the hardest hit of all may be the automotive industry.