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Chevrolet Volt
GM is charging ahead with Chevy Volt development

The Chevrolet Volt is probably one of General Motors' most highly anticipated vehicle launches in its long and storied history. The Volt promises to revolutionize the way people commute and GM is investing an incredible amount of money and manpower into ensuring that its upcoming launch is smooth and as awe-inspiring as expected.

Development of the vehicle is progressing nicely and GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz stated that he is confident that the Volt will show up on schedule. "I would say there's almost no reasonable doubt in our minds anymore that this is going to work," Lutz told Reuters.

GM is currently using a previous generation Chevrolet Malibu as a test platform for the Volt's innovative powertrain. The vehicle uses a powerful lithium-ion battery pack to power the vehicle for 40 miles. Once the battery pack exhausts its stored energy, a 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine cranks up to recharge the battery pack and keeps the Volt moving along. The Volt can also be recharged from a standard household outlet for those that wish to recharge a nearly empty battery overnight.

Even though the launch of the Volt is still more than a year and a half away, Lutz says that battery testing is currently meeting expectations. "They've routinely had it to the high 30s, low 40s and they go up hills with it and everything."

One thing that Lutz said needs to be worked on before the Volt arrives on dealer lots, however, is the tiny internal combustion engine (ICE). In its current form, it's not quite refined enough for the public.

"It all works real well, it's just that the transition from battery power to the internal combustion," stated Lutz. "They said it's still noisy and it's a little rough. But heck, we've got a little more than a year and a half to work on that."

Although Lutz was mainly interested in talking to Reuters about the Volt, he took a jab at Toyota which he feels gets a pass from the media for poor decisions and much praise for its good decisions.

Nearly a year ago, Toyota shunned lithium-ion battery technology for automobiles citing problems with exploding cells (a la the massive Sony notebook battery recall). The company also tried to shed doubt on GM's ability to provide lithium-ion batteries in its stated timeframe.

However, Toyota recently announced that it will begin producing lithium-ion batteries in 2009 with partner Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and that the batteries will show up in production vehicles the following year.

"They told the world that GM was taking a huge risk, that lithium ion batteries were prone to explode and that we were putting our customers at risk and that they would stay with the tried and true," fired back Lutz. "When it comes to Toyota, let me tell you, the press has a short memory."



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Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 9:42:37 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
When it comes to Toyota, let me tell you, the press has a short memory.


And its because press touts Toyota as the fun, innovative manufacturer while GM is the evil manufacturer thats in collusion with the oil industry to keep giving them their profits.




RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 9:52:43 AM , Rating: 5
To be honest, GM wasn't exactly making great cars from the 90s and into the early 2000s -- instead, they decided to focus on trucks/SUVs while their cars languished.

During that time, Toyota was the rising star and was basking in the sunlight.

It wasn't until recently that we've seen GM firing on all cylinders. We've got the new Malibu, the Solstice/Sky, the G8, the upcoming Camaro, the new Lacrosse and Aura on the way, the Enclave/Outlook/Acadia, the 2nd generation CTS, the Saturn Astra (even though it has a 300+ day supply on the lots), etc.

There was plenty of reason to hate on GM a few years ago with their car lineup -- not so much now as the new models come in.

But the tide appears to be changing, slowly, to start giving Toyota a harder time. As Toyota gets closer to the top, it will become more of a target for hate/criticism.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By DrKlahn on 6/18/2008 10:00:53 AM , Rating: 5
People need to cast off the notion that domestic auto's are substandard and start supporting them. We need to keep what manufacturing we can to not only support the people who engineer and build them, but to keep the U.S. manufacturing goods and not just consuming them. I do realize that some foreign makes are manufactured here, but for the most part we simply represent a cheap labor pool compared to their domestic market.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Cheapshot on 6/18/2008 10:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
but for the most part we simply represent a cheap labor pool compared to their domestic market


Not neccessarily a bad thing... as the US dollar gets cheaper... more and more countries such as the UK will turn to us for outsourcing. As it stands now the UK can outsource workforce labor at .50 cents on the dollar. Putting foreign monies into our economy and saving them money.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Hiawa23 on 6/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 10:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
Planes are not cars. Airlines don't just buy new planes every 10-15 years. A vast majority of planes are still from the 70s and 80s. They upgrade and maintain due to the high cost of a new airplane.

And with the financial struggles airlines are in, they have an even smaller ability to procure new planes.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 10:58:00 AM , Rating: 5
> "why aren't the people who make the airplanes trying to make more efficient planes to help the airlines? "

That's exactly the design philosophy behind Boeing's new Dreamliner.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By CPA on 6/18/2008 11:00:51 AM , Rating: 3
I'm wondering why you would be commenting on the airline industry when it's obvious you don't know what's going on in the airline industry. Just as an example, Boeing's new Dreamliner is made out of lighter material and pruported to use 20% less fuel than current similar models being used.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Screwballl on 6/18/2008 10:49:12 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
People need to cast off the notion that domestic auto's are substandard and start supporting them. We need to keep what manufacturing we can to not only support the people who engineer and build them, but to keep the U.S. manufacturing goods and not just consuming them. I do realize that some foreign makes are manufactured here, but for the most part we simply represent a cheap labor pool compared to their domestic market.


First, what constitutes domestic anymore? Hyundai, Honda, Nissan and Toyota all have factories right here in the US that have several of the vehicles in their line created right here on our soil. When it is cheaper to use american labor than to pay all the import fees and taxes, it blurs the lines of domestic versus import.
One thing you will notice that Hyundai has greatly increased their build and overall quality once they started producing them stateside... so that tends to point to the fact that the original domestic companies already made a quality product, its just people forget to look at the newer cars and only see these cheaply built 80s and 90s vehicles breaking down and use that as an indicator for domestic vehicle brand quality.
I will have to find the numbers again but something like 80% of all vehicles bought and used in the US were manufactured in North America.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 10:52:35 AM , Rating: 3
Yes but to me its also a matter of where the money goes. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai. The money all goes back overseas. GM, Ford, and Dodge, the money is here.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:02:14 AM , Rating: 5
> " Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai. The money all goes back overseas. GM, Ford, and Dodge, the money is here"

The money goes to the shareholders. Toyota and Honda shares can be bought on the NY Stock Exchange -- and plenty of foreign investors buy shares in GM and Ford.

Given that, and the number of "foreign" cars built in the US and "domestic" cars built overseas, the notion that buying American keeps the money in the US is quite a bit farfetched.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By BladeVenom on 6/18/2008 11:40:57 AM , Rating: 3
Also a huge cost of a car is labor costs. So where the car is manufactured is where much of the money goes in wages.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By DrKlahn on 6/18/2008 12:22:39 PM , Rating: 3
If the majority of the companies infrastructure, not just manufacturing, resides here then the money stays here. How much of the foreign cars design and engineering is done here? How much of it's profit stays in the U.S.?


RE: Ain't that the truth
By dever on 6/19/2008 1:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How much of it's profit stays in the U.S.?
Did you realize that you're replying to a post that explains where the profit goes? And just as US companies can have foreign shareholders, foreign (car) companies can have domestic shareholders. If you buy stock in Toyota, then you too could share in the profits.

Protectionism does not benefit American companies or American citizens. I benefits a FEW American companies at the expense of all consumers and all other companies, foreign and domestic.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By bighairycamel on 6/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 1:57:39 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
"you need to research exactly how the stock exchange works. Profits DO NOT go to shareholders ...Only the initial release of shares actually come from the company as a way to raise money"
Err, what? Have you never heard of dividends? It's a direct payment of cash, from the corporation to its shareholders.

While still paid, dividends aren't as common as they used to be, because many companies today prefer to give their profits to shareholders in a different manner -- by investing it back into acquisitions, R&D, or some other manner, which in turn increases the share price. However, the principle is exactly the same. The company's profits have flowed back into the shareholder's pocket, by virtue of the increased value of your share prices.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Obsoleet on 6/18/2008 8:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeahhhhh... and I'd love to compare your foreign car to my newly purchased American Pontiac G5. With 80%+ of American made parts and assembled in Ohio (and engineered in Detroit).. I'd love to compare whatever foreign car you might drive.

Please, post the percentage of parts in your car produced in the US and where it's assembled so we can settle this debate with all the huff and puff that you offered there.

We've all heard all the propoganda before, but put reality on the table please and post the info on your car if it is foreign.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 11:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the car but here's some numbers.

Toyota Camry is 65% down from 80% from last year.
Honda Accord 65% up from 60%
Honda Civic 70% up from 55%


RE: Ain't that the truth
By oab on 6/19/2008 2:12:57 AM , Rating: 2
The Pontiac G6 is made in Australia .....


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 9:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
He said G5 not G6.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 11:04:55 AM , Rating: 3
Not all of the money goes back "home". You got workers salaries and taxes that stay right here. Employed people by those companies spend their money here, not in Japan. And the taxes go to the local governments too. It may be cheaper for them to operate here but we benefit from it. And if you think about it, that's a substantial amount of money that's NOT going to benefit Japan's economy.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By steven975 on 6/18/2008 11:06:08 AM , Rating: 3
The money goes here, but the jobs with the "domestics" go elsewhere.

Ironic, isn't it, that the "imports" are shifting to US jobs an US design while the "domestics" invest elsewhere?

While the Japanese companies ultimately make the money, they have plenty of US shareholders. Also, much of those profits are invested in the USA in new production capacity.

IMO, Honda and Toyota are more "domestic" than the Big Three!


RE: Ain't that the truth
By dblind1 on 6/18/2008 2:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget nissan! We have a plant right here in Mississippi!


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
Let me guess, every product you own says "Made in America" and you don't buy Japanese/Korean electronics either? Why stop at just cars, why don't you extend the philosophy into everything you purchase?

Living in a bubble is hard thing to do and not very smart either when there are often better products out there for equal or less money.

Why give money to a company if they aren't making the best product? Aren't you the one always talking about free market economics?

Let the customer decide -- if GM, Ford, and Chrysler can't make the cut, let 'em fail.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By HVAC on 6/18/2008 11:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if GM, Ford, and Chrysler can't make the cut, let 'em fail.


Let them fail slowly. Sudden changes in economies are more brutal to individuals than gradual changes.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 11:50:12 AM , Rating: 4
1) No every product I own does not say "Made in America". I'd love it if they did. But its not reality.

2) The unfortunate truth is that the customer often decides based on the opinions of the media and those who review cars. And both have a largely anti-American car sentiment.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 12:02:33 PM , Rating: 4
2) With the exception of GM, most of that sentiment is warranted. Chrysler interiors are still for the most part junk, and Ford doesn't exactly have an appealing car lineup.

As for reviews and media opinion, the new Malibu has done well against the Camry in most every comparison test (in which both competed) I've seen in print or the web.

Beat the Camry here:
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparison_tes...

Came in second behind the Camry here:
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_080...

That being said, even GM knows that it still has a ways to go before it can truly tackle Toyota and the Camry. GM ran a promotion last year where it actually BOUGHT Toyota Camrys and placed them in the showroom to compare it to the Saturn Aura to prove they had a better car.

Turns out, people came into the showroom, sat in the Camry, and walked off -- presumably to buy a Camry ;)

Needless to say, the "promotion" didn't last very long.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By mles1551 on 6/18/2008 1:25:20 PM , Rating: 3
Since when is GM truly a US brand?

I've owned 7 GM trucks/suvs so far and only 1 of those was made in the US. The rest were from Canada or Mexico.

I also couldn't care less, I buy what I feel like is the best truck on the market and if I need a set of metric sockets to work on it then so be it.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By wannabemedontu on 6/18/2008 1:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with Brandon Hill. Let the customer decide. My dollar will never follow the blind allegience to "Made in America". To suggest that the professionals that review cars have some sort of bias is just stupid. For example, just gaze at the reliability and repair history of all the makes in the Consumer Reports publication. It is very obvious that the Big 3 here still have a long way to go compared to what Japan puts out for example. JD Powers also supports the FACTS about the quality and reliability of these cars. Does anyone make a perfect, lemon free car?, no. But the traditional domestics still fall far behind as a whole. I will give them credit for finally getting smart and making more attractive cars without the Wal-Mart interiors though. Improve on reliability and quality and stop whining and maybe they will have a shot at Honda and Toyota in a couple decades. Keep politics and patriotism out of my wallet please.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By DrKlahn on 6/18/2008 12:16:33 PM , Rating: 4
I try to buy domestic products whenever possible. I don't find it smart to allow my countries manufacturing disappear. Being a nation whose economy is dependent on consuming is a dangerous place to be. As far as automobiles go, the customer has been conditioned to think that foreign automobiles are much better than domestics when it's no longer the case. If we don't support our domestic industry now, there won't be anything to support in the near future.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Hiawa23 on 6/18/2008 4:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you are saying about supporting local instead of foreign, but, as far cars go, based on my history, I really don't want anything other than a Toyota, Honda or Mitsubishi. I don't buy based on this "Buy American," only cause in most cases the products are made elsewhere, & so far the forgeign autos just appeal more to me. I got an Xbox1 & Xbox 360 so I think I am covered, & my computer uses Windows XP.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Obsoleet on 6/18/2008 8:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
So what is your problem with giving preference to a brand based in your own country? I understand buying the best product, but when it's essentially equal, why wouldn't you prefer products that are sourced more-so from your own nation? Some people support families on those jobs.. and yes, GM/Ford are MORE American sourced products than Toyota all things considered.

I don't accept the constant attempts of foreign car enthusiasts attempting to win an area they cannot win in (having a product that benefits our own economy more). It sounds nice trying to make yourself happy with foreign sourced products, but in the end you're shooting yourself in the foot if the American counterpart is as good of a deal. It's ignorance/arrogance.

I bought American recently with my Pontiac and I love it. I saved a bundle over a Civic and have more HP, and the mileage (which is great) is far outweighed by the significant savings and great standard feature set I received with choosing this car.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 2:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's ignorance/arrogance.
Actually, the ignorance and arrogance comes from people like yourself. A better product is a better product regardless of its origin. Some people ahve stated facts about a products origins and your ignorance and arrogance simply refuses to accept the facts.

What I think is hilarious is when the imports meet your standards, you simply change the standards. First it was, "well that company doesn't make cars in a America. If it's not built here then it's not American". So now the imports build cars here. Then you said, "well if it doesn't have American parts then it's not American". So the imports put majority American parts in their cars. Now, you say, "well the imports money goes back to Japan so it's not American."

Make up your friggin minds already!!! In conclusion, I could give a rats a$$ what your types think and neither does the rest of the market apparently.

In all truth, GM has made a turnaround and their current cars are TONS better than the previous garbage they putting out before. Ford and Chrysler still have their heads up their a$$ but it seems Ford is trying to turn things around also but, IMO, they still aren't in tune with the market yet although the new Focus is doing very well and the Lincoln MKS looks promising.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 10:54:42 AM , Rating: 1
I have only ever owned GM vehicles. And I hope to keep that streak going for the rest of my life.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By theapparition on 6/18/2008 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a big supporter of GM, having owned many cars. But to say you won't own any other car reguardless is a little short sighted. How do you know how other cars compare? Even I drive some Ferrari's and Lambos now and again to remind my why I'm sticking with vettes. ;)


RE: Ain't that the truth
By 67STANG on 6/18/2008 1:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
I have owned only Fords (2 F-150s & 4 Mustangs) and a couple BMW's. It's all the way that you're raised.

My dad brought me to hate GM and judging by all of my friends GM cars that were constantly in the shop, I can see why. I hear that they're quite a bit more reliable these days though.

Quite frankly, as I get older, I've found that all companies make duds now and again. I think the big 3 can easily match or exceed imports-- and in some cases they already have.

Now if only Cadillac or Lincoln could make a car that lasted as long as a Lexus...


RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 4:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
My family is the same way on Fords. ;)

But I'll admit the new Mazda's look pretty good. Still don't impress me enough to buy one though.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By tallcool1 on 6/18/2008 2:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by FITCamaro on June 18, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I have only ever owned GM vehicles.

You need to get out more...
break out of that bubble! :-)


RE: Ain't that the truth
By elgoliath on 6/18/2008 11:03:10 AM , Rating: 1
People don't need to cast off the notion, the domestic auto makers need to convince us. They need to stop being so reactive and be more proactive to consumer market forces. It's not like we haven't been here before what with high gas prices, domestic auto makers pushing out gas hogs and foreign cars becoming the consumer favorite.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Drexial on 6/18/2008 11:14:02 AM , Rating: 3
about two years ago I almost fell out of my seat laughing in the irony when a NASCAR announcer had to swallow his pride and say the following line:

"A lot of people have objected to bringing Toyota to the sport. But when you consider the manufactures racing, the Toyota is the only one that's made in the US. The rest are Mexico or Canada."

There is very little manufacturing left in the US for US car companies. But others like Toyota, Honda, Subaru, VW all have assembly plants in the US.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 1:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
Thats due largely to unions. Not a lack of desire to manufacture here. The UAW crippled GM, Ford, and Dodge's ability to manufacturer here. When you've got competitors either producing their cars in foreign countries paying only a few dollars an hour or them producing in non-union plants paying $10/hr less or more, its hard to compete. Luckily with some of the wins by GM and Ford recently, hopefully things will start to change.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By 67STANG on 6/18/2008 5:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. The UAW is horrible for the big 3. The other big killer is health care costs. The system is so screwy in the U.S.

I read an article a while back that stated that over $1,500 of EVERY GM vehicle produced goes to paying employee health insurance. That's F'ing ridiculous. I'm sorry.

If someone wanted to really "stimulate" the economy, they'd figure out a way to not let Blue Cross/Blue Shield/Kaiser rape everyone...


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Chudilo on 6/18/2008 11:34:05 AM , Rating: 1
Well, American cars are (at least were) substandard for many years throughout the nineties and up to maybe 2004 or so.
All surfaces and all components that you would normally interact with, meaning knobs and switches and surfaces looked and felt like total crap. Up to the point where you would be afraid to adjust the stereo /AC while the car is in motion, because the knobs felt like they were about to come off.
And I'm not talking about some low budget sub-compact. (I had a '98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP) While the performance was pretty nice, after about 60k every single component started showing signs of aging. The alternator went (as they always do on GM cars, unlike in a Japanese car), suspension and so on and so forth. It seemed that these cars were engineered to fall apart at a specific time. Because after a short while after that, all components started failing one after the other, like something was telling them to. And it's not like it was some crooked mechanic that was telling me this, I know a thing or two about cars. It WAS slowly falling apart.
They have finally got a clue when Lutz Joined. They started using materials that at least feel better. But I am not going to be the Guiney Pig for them this time around. Let others drive them and until I hear widespread praises for the new GM cars, I am not switching back. Consumer reports and JD Power and talk all they want, independant opinion can be influenced (if not with money, then with A LOT of money)
At this point, I would much rather pay $600/month for a Honda Clarity FCX (first production fuel cell car) and drive a half an hour out of my way to gas up with Hydrogen then buy another GM, that maybe someday, will help GM create a fuel cell vehicle.
And don't start telling me that it would be unpatriotic, and that I should support technological advancements domestically by buying domestic cars. I tried and what did I get, a 35k car that was worthless in 8 years. At $364/month I could've leased a nice brand new car instead, which is what I'm doing now.

At the very least, look at what GM sells abroad! We don't get the good quality stuff here. Because there is less competition and they don't care as much. Well guess what, unless they turn the company around and stand up for their own products, I am not buying another GM.

Yeah unions may be giving them grief, and they might be bringing costs up, but I'm sure there is a way of changing your quality assurance procedures to require a certain degree of quality. Make each assembly worker be responsible for each part that he/she makes (and make it traceable in each vehicle the way the Japanese do. And then can everyone who consistently produces bad quality parts. Refine assembly lines that don't meet the more stringent quality standards. Track if parts from a particular plant fail more often , see what can be done to address the issues. Then you'll have an upper hand with unions. If they don't perform they have no leverage in a negotiation and you will have evidence to show for it. I understand , this is no small task. But this sort of a turnaround and nothing less is what would make people to re-evaluate GM's products.

That's the type of stuff is what we should all be hearing in the media instead of: "Another SUV plant closing"
Great! About freaking time.
Will that improve quality at other plants?
Hek no!
Quality and respect of your own work is what it's all about.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:59:22 AM , Rating: 2
> "But I am not going to be the Guiney Pig...Let others drive them and until I hear widespread praises for the new GM cars"

Those praises are already coming out. American cars are still not quite the equal of Japanese in quality, but they've handily trumped the European and Korean brands.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Chudilo on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ain't that the truth
By Digimonkey on 6/18/2008 2:18:45 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
(well engineered and good materials). Not quality.


What is your definition of quality?


RE: Ain't that the truth
By bighairycamel on 6/18/2008 11:45:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
People need to cast off the notion that domestic auto's are substandard and start supporting them.


I'll tell you what, with Dodge's lifetime powertrain warranty and $2.99 gas/12k miles/3yr deal it's a really hard deal to pass up. The Avenger gets a meager 30mpg so it's still better than average.

I also looked up the requirements for the lifetime warranty thinking they would be stringent, but it was the opposite. All they require is that you come in once every five years for an inspection at no charge to you. The only downside is that it's not transferrable so you have to buy the car new, but still not a big deal.

Seriously considering a Dodge for my next car.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By therealnickdanger on 6/19/2008 8:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
As a one time (not including the POS Horizon I had more than a decade ago) and last time Dodge owner, I have to chime in:
quote:
Dodge's lifetime powertrain warranty

Covers next to nothing and you'll pay about double the cost for "scheduled maintenance" as you would at any local garage for the same sub-par job.

I'd rather pay $5/gallon for any other car. My experience with Dodge hasn't been horrible, but I can't really recommend them.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By tastyratz on 6/18/2008 12:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
you make it sound like its a minority,

you would be surprised if you found out just how little we import cars from overseas automobile makers now vs how many utilize usa workers for production... its actually quite impressive.

The problem is not that manufacturing standards with the usa are called into question, its the engineering standards and reliability we get from domestic car makers. Many have formed their own opinions and thats fine. If toyota was not japanese and was fully usa housed I would gladly buy a toyota here as well. GM and the likes have cast a very negative shadow on their vehicle qualities and its going to take a very long time for them to change that image and mentality set in a large portion of consumer minds.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By mooncancook on 6/18/2008 12:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
at the end of the day, I just want the best possible quality/price product with my hard earned money, regardless where the product is made


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Wolfpup on 6/18/2008 2:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
They ARE substandard and they have been for decades. This isn't some quaint notion, just look at the reliability reports in Consumer Reports year after year after year.

The only good cars I'm aware of from GM are the OLD original Saturn design (it's replacement is garbage), as well as a lot of Buicks (actual Buicks, not the SUVs they've sold under that brand the past decade). The Impala which is a twin of some of the Buicks has been good many years too (I don't know if it currently is or not).

The other good GM of course was their electric car, which got not only canned, but forcibly recalled from people.

Meanwhile Toyota and Honda have had nearly every vehicle have above average reliability year after year after year.

I have a Buick (precisely because it was the only good American car when I bought it), but I'm not going to sit here and pretend American cars are decent on the whole.

What really stinks is the workers making them are getting screwed. It's not their fault insane managers didn't decide to make cars that worked back in the 70's and 80's. Late 80's I *thought* GM was finally getting it...I thought they were incredibly late, but maybe still had a shot to turn things around. But nope, two more decades of junk vehicles (aside from the above mentioned ones)...and Ford has generally been worse, and Chrysler worse still...not that they're even an American company.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 4:20:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
People need to cast off the notion that domestic auto's are substandard and start supporting them.


But they are, and you know it. Ford and Chevy are garbage. I love this country, but I'm tired of being burned.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By andrinoaa on 6/18/2008 9:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but your cars are poor quality compared to the best out there. Even Ford and Gm insiders will tell your USA made cars are inferior. The rest I can agree on as we want the same for our country. The manufacturers need to lift their game with more investments in r&d. Protecting the manufacturers doesn't do the job - we have first hand experience of this. It takes a real disaster to wake them up ie huge losses on vehicles which are hard to sell!


RE: Ain't that the truth
By onelittleindian on 6/18/2008 10:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
To be honest, GM wasn't exactly making great cars from the 90s and into the early 2000s -- instead, they decided to focus on trucks/SUVs while their cars languished.
Blame your friendly federal government for that. It gave US carmarkers better profit margins on trucks and SUVs, by keeping the import duties for those classes of vehicles much higher than those for cars.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By stryfe on 6/18/2008 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To be honest, GM wasn't exactly making great cars from the 90s and into the early 2000s -- instead, they decided to focus on trucks/SUVs while their cars languished.
You forgot the second half of the 70s and all of the 80s as well. Their trucks have always been good but their cars have been garbage for a long long time.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By 67STANG on 6/19/2008 1:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, my cousin is the original owner of a 92 Chevy S-10. Always garaged, only has around 60k on the odometer. The headliner is currently being held up with push-pins. both door panels are falling off. Neither of the power windows work. The truck barely passes smog and idles like a jackhammer.

So, you can probably say that their "Full-size" turcks have always been good. Their smaller trucks suck as bad as their cars.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 5:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It wasn't until recently that we've seen GM firing on all cylinders. We've got the new Malibu, the Solstice/Sky, the G8, the upcoming Camaro, the new Lacrosse and Aura on the way, the Enclave/Outlook/Acadia, the 2nd generation CTS, the Saturn Astra (even though it has a 300+ day supply on the lots), etc.


I could not have put together a more uninspiring list of auto's if I sat here and tried for a week.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 6:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
Those are all good cars and, quite frankly, the equal of their competitors and I'm a staunch Japanese car owner. Even my truck is Japanese (Tundra). My Solstice is my first American car and it is just as good as any other car I've owned. GM is indeed getting better and the reviews of their new products back up what I'm saying.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 6:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
The Solstice is a nice car. But... well look I don't want to offend anybody but, the Miata is going on almost 20 years old now. How is GM on the cutting edge and " firing on all cylinders " again with copycat designs that are ten or fifteen years too late ?!

The Malibu ? Is that a joke ? Mimicking a Honda Accord doesn't mean its as good as one. The only people who buy Malibu's are senior citizens who don't know any better and who still think America is #1 in auto's.

The only thing that has changed is after decades of being unable to compete with Japan, US automakers have now simply resorted to claiming they are in commercials. The most blatant being Ford's new campaign which states " Studies show Ford is now equal to Toyota in quality " Hahahaha !! Oh man, thats good for a laugh every time.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 12:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, you need to read some reviews and look at actual cars. The new Malibu is definitely NOT an old persons car. It is finally a good competitor to the Camry and Accord. The interior improvement alone is fantastic. The only negative as far as I'm concerned is that there is no manual tranny option like the Accord, Camry and Altima all have. The Impala still sells better than the Malibu currently but the Malibu is growing at a very rapid pace. They got a good car on their hands. It will interesting to see how the number stack up at the end of the year.

I'm biased by the Solstice is a good car. A poll taken on the Solstice forum showed that most people did not cross shop the Miata. Most people cross shopped the S2000, 350Z convertible, and BMW Z4. I didn't cross shop the Miata either but I wasn't looking for a roadster I was interested mainly in having a RWD turbo car. The direct injection sealed the deal.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2008 1:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dude, you need to read some reviews and look at actual cars. The new Malibu is definitely NOT an old persons car. It is finally a good competitor to the Camry and Accord. The interior improvement alone is fantastic. The only negative as far as I'm concerned is that there is no manual tranny option like the Accord, Camry and Altima all have. The Impala still sells better than the Malibu currently but the Malibu is growing at a very rapid pace. They got a good car on their hands. It will interesting to see how the number stack up at the end of the year.


Sure the Malibu is improved. Just because GM finally got off their ass and started getting a clue doesn't mean its a world beater. So the Malibu went from one of the worst sedans in recent years to a significant improvement a few years later. So we give them a medal ? No.

Its still an entirely average car. Its only getting so much praise because it used to be total CRAP. Thats a good thing now ? I do read reviews. Notice something. Every SINGLE one for the Malibu raves how its " so improved ! ". Hell, if you improve on a piece of crap you have what ? A less crappy mediocre result. Congrats !

Ok, its a competitor to the Camry and Accord. If you say so. One problem though, there ARE Camry's and Accords aren't there ? And the Malibu is neither. So why bother and take a chance with a GM when, for the same price, you could have a Camry and Accord. Are you telling me the Malibu has anywhere NEAR the track record these cars have ? I mean really GM, its a bit late isn't it ? You are just NOW delivering what me and other import loyalists have enjoyed for YEARS !

GM is a complete riddle to me. How is it that the same company who perfected the Corvette, can also turn out forgettable cars and trucks/suv's year after year ? In fact, I'm convinced there is no way GM could have designed, engineered, and tuned the Corvette seeing as how everything else they have touched is pure crap. Somewhere in a GM building is a kidnapped team of engineers they nabbed from Ferrari to work on the 'Vette.

quote:
A poll taken on the Solstice forum showed that most people did not cross shop the Miata. Most people cross shopped the S2000, 350Z convertible, and BMW Z4.


Well I can't put much stock in polls from a group of people who actually test drove these cars, and ended up with a Pontiac.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 2:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well I can't put much stock in polls from a group of people who actually test drove these cars, and ended up with a Pontiac.
A lot of those people are very objective unlike like yourself. I am also. If you go there and read up you'll find many owners that consider the Miata and all of those other cars to be great cars but chose the Solstice because of its styling. The Solstice/SKY has brought in a TON of buyers that never would've considered an American car (I'm one of them) before. This is what GM and other American manufacturers need to do. GM is on the right path. Ford and Chrysler have some catching up to do.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2008 3:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
Look Spuke, I get it ok ? We get it. You bought a Solstice, you like it, so the world must bow down. I know, thanks for the reminder.

I'm surprised you haven't pulled the " IT was in Transformers !! " line yet...


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 4:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
No, you frankly don't get it. I'm not participating in the mine is better than yours contest. I don't care. The point is that GM is making better cars as evidenced by good reviews and such, irregardless of what you choose to believe. They are now (finally) competitive. It's not a belief. Magazine reviews, racing results, and anecdotal owner and passenger impressions support my assertions.

Masher2,
The 350Z, Miata, Z4, S2000 are ALL great cars. Except for the Miata, I have considered purchasing all of them. The 350Z was almost purchased. If there was no turbo Solstice, I'd be driving a 350Z right now. I'm not one of those people that thinks my decision is the only one nor do I need to degrade another car to justify why I bought mine.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By lwatcdr on 6/18/2008 11:04:36 AM , Rating: 3
I think you will find that most people don't classify Toyota as fun. In the fun department they are very lacking. Honda, Subaru, and Mitsubishi are the "fun" Japanese car makers.
Yes GMs cars have been the pits for a long time. They where living high on the hog on trucks and SUVs but then so was Toyota in the US. The Land Cruiser, Rav4, 4Runner, and all the Toyota trucks where just as big and got about the same millage as the US trucks in the same class.
Toyota does make good cars but their one big media darling is the Pirus. That is it. The Honda Insite even bet it to the market but being just a two seater it was to extreme to be a big hit not to mention it was introduced when gas prices where at an all time low.
I am not bashing Toyota's products in anyway just that the Press seems to give them a lot more credit then I feel they deserve.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:14:14 AM , Rating: 2
> "Honda, Subaru, and Mitsubishi are the "fun" Japanese car makers..."

Ahem, Nissan? I think a convertible 350Z trumps anything Subaru has made the last few decades.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Come on Masher, a 350Z -- an overweight convertible version no less -- isn't exactly the pinnacle of automotivedom. Hell, I'd take a Honda S2000 or Pontiac Solstice GXP/Saturn Sky Redline over a 350Z convertible.

A Subaru Impreza WRX STI would smoke a 350Z from here to Timbuktu.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 12:15:12 PM , Rating: 3
Posting a picture of a 13-year old WRX -- you're losing your passion and drive ;)

Current WRX
http://i25.tinypic.com/33x99w8.jpg

I personally don't even like the STI, but only a fool would say that the worse handling, heaviest, and least stiff 350Z you can buy (the convertible version) is more fun than anything Subaru made in the past twenty years. Hell, the 2002 Subaru WRX pretty much brought back "fun" in the sub $23,000 market and paved the way for Mitsubishi to bring over the Lancer Evo and Mazda with the MazdaSpeed3.

Don't get me wrong, the 350Z is a great car, but it isn't exactly the best handling car out there. It should be much better though with the upcoming 370Z which is supposed to be about 200 to 300 pounds lighter. The current 350Z is a bit porky since it shares it platform with the G35 and the FX35/FX45 crossover.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By tallcool1 on 6/18/2008 2:23:26 PM , Rating: 3
Brandon busted you on that one Masher!
Posting that 13 year old out dated picture and trying to pass it off as a direct comparison! Talk about being in the spin zone!!! You might as well compare an 8088 processor to a Core 2 Duo.

quote:
for looks, handling, and sheer driving acceleration

A STI or an EVO wins hands down in ALL of these catagories over the 350Z convertible.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 1
You guys are forgetting the STI and Evo are cheater cars.

If they were rear wheel drive like the 350z, nobody would touch them. They are glorified 4 door grocery getters. They are fairly heavy, and their chassis are good, but not excellent. Except for the new STI, which for some reason was turned into a direct facsimile of a Ford Focus hatchback. God its ugly !

I co drive my friends STI at his autocross club sometimes. Its dominated by STI's, WRX's, and a few Evo's. Why ? Not because they are great cars, but because the AWD systems could allow a trained monkey to turn in good times. Every once in a while a damn good driver brings his 350z, and destroys everyone else.

The 350z is a purists sports car. Its got a great chassis, great engine, and makes no apologies for being RWD. Like a sports car SHOULD be. Yes, it could have more power. Yes, it could weight less. So what ?

And why are you comparing the STI to the 350z ? Thats not fair. The STI is the factory tuned version of the WRX turbo. Wouldn't it be more fair if you compared the STI to the Nismo 350z ?


RE: Ain't that the truth
By stryfe on 6/18/2008 4:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
The autocross club where I live is dominated by Honda S2000s. At an average event with 75 cars there'll be 10 S2000s and it's a rare day when one doesn't take first place. There's also about 5 STIs and a couple 350zs on a regular basis but boy, do they ever have to have good luck to beat the S2000s.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By 67STANG on 6/19/2008 1:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen Mazda Miata's DESTROY S2000's in autocross. Of course, with the complete lack of low in torque in S2000's, that's not suprising.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By stryfe on 6/19/2008 10:12:06 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the Miatas do really well too, they beat a lot of stuff most people wouldn't believe (seeing as stock they make between 110-140hp). At least in our club though the S2000s usually win. Several of the Miata owners have sold theirs to buy an S2000.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 6:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Posting that 13 year old out dated picture and trying to pass it off as a direct comparison! Talk about being in the spin zone!!! You might as well compare an 8088 processor to a Core 2 Duo.


Whats funny is how little the car has changed since that pic up to the 2007 model. Spin zone ?

Hell he did you guys a service. He could have posted a pic of the visual abomination 2008 Ford Focu... err I'm sorry, I meant '08 STI. Hard not to get them confused :)

Because of World Rally rules, Subaru is constrained in what they can offer in regards to their consumer versions of WRX and STI. Thats great if you want a daily driver that looks like a part time rally car. With a rear wing and hood scoop that only a ricer would love :P All that in the ultimate personification of a sports car... 4 doors. LOL.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 6:46:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
All that in the ultimate personification of a sports car... 4 doors. LOL.
Meanwhile, the 350Z gets smoked by them. Sorry, but cone chasing ain't a true test of a cars abilities like a good road course. That's where the men get separated from the boys.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 7:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
I never said the 350z is the ultimate sports car on the planet. But it IS a sports car, not a glorified turbo sedan.

quote:
Sorry, but cone chasing ain't a true test of a cars abilities like a good road course.


Road course ! How about the ULTIMATE road course ? How about the Nismo 350z running 7:38 on the Nurburgring while the Subaru STI Spec-C ( the version too hot for the US ) dialed in a 8:06 ???

And yes, I'm using the Nismo's times because comparing an STI to a convertable 350z is bullshit and you know it. Compare factory tuned vs factory tuned and things look quite a bit different don't they ?

Nurburgring IS the true test of any performance car. Argument over. STI's and Evo's are great, but just because they smoke a 350z in Grand Turismo 5 PS3 doesn't mean jack.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 9:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
> "Meanwhile, the 350Z gets smoked by them"

I'm sorry, but simple straight-line acceleration is not the apotheosis of sports car design. There's more of a difference between a twin-turbo Mustang and a Ferrari Enzo than simple quarter-mile times.

Furthermore, convertibles (especially the 350Z ragtop) aren't meant to be pure sports cars -- they're cruisers. I certainly could have saved $15K and bought a cheaper car that has better off-the-line acceleration. But I wouldn't have got the same looks, refined driving, and creature comforts. In a convertible, there's more to "fun" than acceleration times.

As for a Solstice, there really is no comparing it a Z. The ride is louder and harsher, you're missing tons of amenities like the automatic one-buttom operation top, heated 6-way power seats, the slapstick transmission, satellite navigation, and many others. Sure, the Solstice is lighter....look at all they left out!


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2008 12:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for a Solstice, there really is no comparing it a Z. The ride is louder and harsher, you're missing tons of amenities like the automatic one-buttom operation top, heated 6-way power seats, the slapstick transmission, satellite navigation, and many others. Sure, the Solstice is lighter....look at all they left out!


Yes, plus its a Pontiac. Thats strike one right there.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 2:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
Then check last years SCCA SSB and T2 champuionship winners. No 350Z there. A certain Pontiac took BOTH of those. And I never said the straightline was the only performance measure. I do a bit of road racing myself. All around performance is what I'm interesting in.

There IS a comparison between the 350Z and the Solstice. Just because you say so doesn't make it so. They race in the same categories. People cross shop them on purchases.

Of course the Solstice louder. LOL! It's a friggin convertible! It also has less amenities because it's meant to get back to sports car basics. Not be a Cadillac with two seats. I've driven a 350Z MANY times, the ride is harsher in that car. The first comment I get from people is how great the ride is in my car. They expected a MUCH harsher ride. This is from teens to gray haired old women. I think the ride in my Solstice is too cushy and I would like to get the GM performance suspension. My wife is afraid that I'll mess up the ride. Don't care. I'll buy a different car if I want a cushy ride.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2008 3:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then check last years SCCA SSB and T2 champuionship winners. No 350Z there. A certain Pontiac took BOTH of those. And I never said the straightline was the only performance measure. I do a bit of road racing myself. All around performance is what I'm interesting in.


New cars often win championships in SCCA because they fall into grey areas within the rules and have an unfair advantage. Expect the Solstice to be put in a different class next year where it won't have an advantage.

I think last year some version of the Mustang destroyed everybody because it fell into a class that it was honestly overpowered for. Now lets get real, the Mustang isn't exactly a world class sports car. By your line of logic, because it beat BMW's in autocros its an all around superior car ?

You know your really getting annoying man. Yes, you OWN a Solstice. We get it !! How long are you going to beat that over our heads ? Jesus, talk about biased.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 4:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, plus its a Pontiac. Thats strike one right there.
And you're not biased, right?


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2008 5:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
Avoiding Pontiac isn't biased. Its good for my financial and mental wellbeing.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 12:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Solstice GXP/SKY Redline and 350Z rates acceleration are basically the same even with the 350Z's hp advantage. When you're almost 400 lbs lighter you don't need the extra power to get similar performance. I own a Solstice GXP and have driven 350Z's many times. I was going to buy a 350Z before I learned of the GXP/RL. Both cars are great handlers. The 350Z has more grip stock but the Solstice has wimpier tires.

Grippy tires transform the Solstice to another level but a tire upgrade (and a sway bar upgrade) on the 350Z has a similar effect. The nod goes to the Solstice though as it feels fantastic in the twisties. The Z felt more like my 2004 Sentra but with RWD which isn't bad but the Solstice just feels light on its feet even with the crappy, IMO, tires.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By emarston on 6/18/2008 12:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
The GTR is being sold under the Nissan label and your little Impreza WRX STI would be left eating its dust in every way.
http://www.gtrnissan.com/?Site=nissanusa&Area=GT-R...
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_080...

Granted it won't be cheap but it is a Nissan and will compete easily with Porsche for a lot less $$$


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 12:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
The GTR is a monster and I've written about it before here on DailyTech. It's superb.

I was simply referring to Masher calling the slowest and worst handling 350Z out there more fun than anything Subaru has put out in the past 20 years.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By emarston on 6/18/2008 12:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, fair enough then. Although I understand the upcoming 370Z should be improved over its predecessor with a new platform and engine.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 12:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A Subaru Impreza WRX STI would smoke a 350Z from here to Timbuktu.
It would smoke a Pontiac Solstice GXP/Saturn Sky Redline too. I do agree the 350Z convertible is heavy and a bit mediocre but the 370Z should fix that.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2008 12:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 370Z looks to erase the sins of the current generation model -- namely the weight and interior quality. It also looks pretty sweet as well.

Leaked image of the actual production model:
http://i31.tinypic.com/mkulns.jpg

Artist's rendition:
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f169/andy2_v/unt...


RE: Ain't that the truth
By AntiM on 6/18/2008 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
American car manufacturers are still suffering from their business philosophies of the 70's and 80's. As with most American companies, their philosophy has been...lets make our product as cheaply as possible and price is as high as possible; seems to make good business sense. However, the Japanese philosophy became... lets make a good product and sell it for a good price. It never ceases to amaze me how foreign car engineers and designers seem to know more about what Americans want than American car manufacturers seem to know. Maybe domestic makers are learning their lesson. As already mentioned though, the line between domestic and foreign is rather blurry these days. I hope GM is correct in their faith in the lithium ion battery.


RE: Ain't that the truth
By 1prophet on 6/19/2008 6:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
American car manufacturers are still suffering from their business philosophies of the 70's and 80's. As with most American companies, their philosophy has been...lets make our product as cheaply as possible and price is as high as possible; seems to make good business sense.

And that is why they were pushing suv's and trucks so hard, on some models they were making approximately 15,000 dollars profit, as opposed to cars little to no profit.

Unfortunately money talks marketing walks, no matter how fancy your advertisement campaign upto and including using the movie Transformers to promote your suv's and trucks if people can't afford them or the gas they won't buy them.


back to the car itself...
By m1ldslide1 on 6/18/2008 11:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to divert the conversation from which manufacturer is more 'fun', but the Volt looks gorgeous. More so than any other 'merican car I've seen in a long time. I can't imagine it'll be less than $45k or so.




RE: back to the car itself...
By Hiawa23 on 6/18/2008 11:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to divert the conversation from which manufacturer is more 'fun', but the Volt looks gorgeous. More so than any other 'merican car I've seen in a long time. I can't imagine it'll be less than $45k or so.

my thought exactly, 75-85% of Americans won't be able to buy at that price.


RE: back to the car itself...
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 1:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's a start. But hopefully they can get the price down to around $30,000 fairly quickly.

Of course another thing to consider is that someone who drives less than 30-40 miles a day will hardly use any gas. If you take the money you spent on gas and add it to your car payment, you might be able to afford it. I drive less than 20 miles on an average day. So a single tank of gas would probably last me months.


RE: back to the car itself...
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 1:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
I also have a hard time understanding why they'd put that huge glass roof on it. Glass is heavy. Nor do I really like the idea of an all glass roof. Hopefully that would be an option, not a standard feature.


RE: back to the car itself...
By jimbojimbo on 6/18/2008 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
They did it so when it's hot out you have to crank your AC up and wind up getting 10miles per full charge. I'm just guessing here but any time I hear about battery operated mileage I want to know what additional items they had running. If I ran the heater, radio, and lights, would it still get ~40miles on a charge? Probably not anywhere near.


RE: back to the car itself...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 4:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I also have a hard time understanding why they'd put that huge glass roof on it.


I think it goes back to the way GM designs things. They take a huge hat and fill it with random ideas and draw to see which ones win. Like, for example, the excessive use of pointless bolted on plastic body paneling. I mean, I guess it SOUNDED like a good idea at the time... to somebody... maybe.


RE: back to the car itself...
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Some of you guys don't think before you speak. The Volt is a CONCEPT car. Who knows what the actual production Volt will look like let alone what features it will have.


RE: back to the car itself...
By jimbojimbo on 6/18/2008 2:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you won't be paying much for gas but you'll be paying more for your electricty bill.


RE: back to the car itself...
By elgoliath on 6/18/2008 3:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
Only if you choose to plug it in. From what I see it's perfectly okay to just recharge it via the on-board ICB.


RE: back to the car itself...
By elgoliath on 6/18/2008 3:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
ICB=ICE


RE: back to the car itself...
By Ringold on 6/18/2008 5:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting to see what that would cost, 40 miles worth of power from a wall socket.

Another concern will be if environmentalists allow the grid to expand with coal, natural-gas, or nuclear plants. If there ends up being millions of these around the country, utility companies might have big problems in areas with heavy adoption of Volts.


RE: back to the car itself...
By tallcool1 on 6/18/2008 4:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
If they want to compete with the Prius and other cars of the like, the volt needs to be priced accordingly.
If they want to seriously move volumes of this car, it needs to be under $30K.


RE: back to the car itself...
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
They're not competing with the Prius. The Volt is a serial hybrid, the Prius is not. Therefore, there is no competition with it. GM already has standard hybrid cars. The Volt is not another one of the those.


RE: back to the car itself...
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 4:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the Prius barely seats 4. The Volt will easily seat 4 and carry cargo. And while the Prius might get 50-60 mpg, the Volt on the gas engine is rated around 150 mpg.


...hmm
By Cheapshot on 6/18/2008 9:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
If Chevy can figure this out they could save thier butts from the inevitable. Perhaps even lead the world in luxury/sport cars that get 60+ mpg. And wasn't it chevy that designed the car that runs on sea water?

As it stands they better do something as even I have gone from an SUV to a small foreign car that gets 30 mpgs... and that is still not enough at this rate.

Time to start investing in scooters I think.




RE: ...hmm
By Polynikes on 6/18/2008 10:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
I'm getting a crotch rocket.


RE: ...hmm
By amanojaku on 6/18/2008 10:38:58 AM , Rating: 3
That's what my girlfriend said. So I cried.

;)


RE: ...hmm
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 10:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
I would consider a motorcycle but I don't trust other people on the road.


RE: ...hmm
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 11:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm keeping the same cars I have now. I'm not going to be one of those buy a $15,000 car to save $150 a month in gas idiots. Our truck will be paid off soon and my wife wants a sportier car. She seems to like the MINI's so we'll probably get one of those.


RE: ...hmm
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 11:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
Where did I say I was going to or even thinking of buying a new car? My car already gets 30 mpg. But if I trusted other people enough, I would consider spending $2-3000 for a used motorcycle that gets 60mpg to ride back and forth to work.


RE: ...hmm
By Spuke on 6/18/2008 3:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where did I say I was going to or even thinking of buying a new car?
I didn't mean to imply that, I just wanted to make a point to others.


RE: ...hmm
By Obsoleet on 6/18/2008 8:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could sell the truck for what it books for (if you can find a buyer).. and then rebuy a car with that money that gets 35+MPG.. probably make money back from the whole swap AND save $150 a month in gas (which is not insignificant).


RE: ...hmm
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
I have horses and a mini ranch. If I didn't have that, I would never have bought the truck in the first place. My wife and I had sedans before.


RE: ...hmm
By Hiawa23 on 6/18/2008 10:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I own a 1997 honda Civic DX with 220000, still gets over 30MPG, & also own a Mitsu Lancer Ralliart 2006, 2.4 liter engine which has little miles on it but only gets about 250 miles per tank & parked cause the old Honda is more efficient for me to drive, which I commute 60miles round trip everyday here in central Florida, & there is no Transit going from my house to Orlando, so what do you do?

As prices continue to go up, it's getting really scary, especially with the cost of food, childcare, electric, everything going up but your job cutting you hours back, & you actually have less to $$ to work with.

It's getting really scary even for people with college degrees. Everyone is hurting, well, accept the people at the top of the pyramid & the rich. Regular John doe just really doesn't have a chance.


RE: ...hmm
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 11:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
My work is looking to move to four 10 hour days so employees can save gas.


RE: ...hmm
By Ringold on 6/18/2008 5:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's getting really scary even for people with college degrees.


http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2008/06/...

Also:

quote:
The average starting salary offer is 4% higher for 2008 graduates than last year's alumni, according to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Additionally, hiring is expected to increase by 8%.


Engineering & business majors have rose faster.. some have skyrocketed over the past few years.

It's not the best of times, but it aint the end of the world. If the "Regular John" didn't get a lazy BA History degree, the Regular John shouldn't be under water.


RE: ...hmm
By djc208 on 6/18/2008 11:20:06 AM , Rating: 2
Well I'll repeat myself in saying that I think this may be the most important release in the companies history. The underpinnings of this car are basically going to be the small block chevy of the next century.

Just like Toyota's "synergy drive" the entire system outside of the motor can be scaled to work with just about any vehicle they want in whatever capacity they need. The power source (turbo gas engine now) can easily be swapped for any other as they become more viable (turbo diesel, fuel cell down the road, etc.)

Getting the battery system, drive motors, and control electronics all sorted out and packaged is the groundwork for probably every they will eventually produce.


Tons of ignorance hereabouts
By theBike45 on 6/18/2008 11:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
It's funny observing how many falsehoods are floating around about electric cars, due mostly to the nonsensical lies in "Who Killed the Electric Car?" a film that somehow concluded that of the three automakers who devloped, made available and then canelled EV models (GM< Toyota, Honda) it was somehow magically GM's action that killed a technology that had been dead since 1906 and still was during the 1990's. There is also just plain battery iognorance , like the fool from down South who claims that li ion batteries melt or overheat in their weather. There are at least 10 different types of li ion batteries - those in the Volt were tested in 140 degree ambient temperatures, without the battery cooling system in palce, ans hardly wearmed up. The cooling system has nothing to do with overheating batteries -0 it is there to maintain a temperature around 70 degrees so that the batteries will last over 10 years. I'm sick and tired of reading nonsensical junk from ignorant pimply faced 13 year internet morons with no brains and big mouths.
As for Toyota, they suck - they bashed the Volt for more than a year making totally ludicrous claims that anyone even remotely aware of battery technology knew were pure lies. Take those f$^%king Toyota senile execs and flush them all down th etoilet. Each Chevy Volt will produce 12 times less carbon emissions and burn 12 times less gasoline that Toyota's pride and joy baby buggy wheeled Prius, a vehicle I wouldn't be seen dead in. And GM has more cars getting over 30 MPG than Toyota , Honda and Nissan combined.
So much for their "Hummer" reputation. Anybody want to discuss the gas guzzling Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Titan
or Toyota Tundra?




RE: Tons of ignorance hereabouts
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 12:54:24 PM , Rating: 4
People love a good conspiracy theory...and generations of Hollywood movies have taught us that all corporations are evil. It'sa dangerous combination, to be sure.


RE: Tons of ignorance hereabouts
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
Corporations (the people that employ us) = BAD juju
Celebrities (sex and drug addicts with money) = GOOD juju


By steven975 on 6/18/2008 11:09:03 AM , Rating: 1
As most here know, Lithium Ion batteries are destroyed by heat. How long does a battery last if left in a laptop before capacity is halved? 12-18 months?

It is not practical to air condition the battery pack as that just lowers efficiency. NiMH batteries are more realistic right now for a car because they actually last the life of the car. Li-Ions will not, and will cost 2x more to replace in 2 years.




By blaster5k on 6/18/2008 1:22:13 PM , Rating: 3
They won't be using the same kind that are used in consumer electronics. They're using a variety that stores less energy, but has longer life and more resistance to temperature changes.

That's not at all true that NiMH will last the life of the car. It depends on the usage pattern, environmental conditions, and other factors. Some Prius owners got 200,000 miles or more out of their original batteries. Many others have had them die shortly after 100,000.


By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some Prius owners got 200,000 miles or more out of their original batteries. Many others have had them die shortly after 100,000.
Really? Have any of them had their batteries replaced? I'm interested in learning more about this. Do you have some links I can go to?


Meh
By Suntan on 6/18/2008 2:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of the day it will still just be an expensive car that doesn't go very fast and requires you to plug and unplug it every night and morning.

If I just wanted to save money, I could find a better option somewhere between the extremes. If I wanted to save the envirnment, I could find a better option for that too.

Anyway, the technology is sound. When they put this drivetrain design into a car that can dish out the same battery charge in about 5 miles compared to 40 miles, I'll look at that. On my daily commute, I normally get about 2 miles of free, twisty road to enjoy. The rest of the commute that little engine can spend recharging the battery while I’m stuck in traffic.

-Suntan




RE: Meh
By elgoliath on 6/18/2008 3:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what you are saying. The car can run on the battery for 40 miles before it kicks the ICE in and starts recharging the batteries.


RE: Meh
By Suntan on 6/18/2008 4:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
I’m saying, give me the same sized battery, but a motor big enough to suck it dry in 5 miles instead of 40 miles. Then the little engine can take the rest of the slow, boring commute to recharge it.

-Suntan


Short distance..
By krwhite on 6/18/2008 6:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Tesla owns this thing in distance, and speed. It's out already too. Why can't GM make something to compete with the Tesla?




RE: Short distance..
By pauldovi on 6/18/2008 6:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla is $100,000 too.


RE: Short distance..
By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
The Tesla requires a recharge after 220 miles of combined driving (EPA). The Volt will just keep going using its gas motor to recharge the batteries.


By darkos on 6/18/2008 3:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
perhaps someone else has already said this, but, hey, if the Volt can go 40-ish miles on a single charge, and you happen to work somewher around that distance from home, if they had solar panels, it could charge up while sitting in the sunny parking lot (while you're working), so that it might (weather permitting) be ready for the return trip home. Of course, I expect that the ICE will be replaced with another type (perhaps water) based generator when it becomes reliable, cost effective and available.




By pauldovi on 6/18/2008 6:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Solar panels would not fit into the weight and price constraints of this vehicle. Even if they did, the power they supply isn't huge.


By someguy743 on 6/18/2008 4:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is a good conference for folks wanting to get up to speed on plug-in vehicle technology and other various issues. Trust me, plug in hybrids are going to get HUGE in the next 5-10 years.

http://www.stefanoparis.com/piaev/WhyWeNeedPlugIns...

The Chevy Volt is going to be AWESOME folks. Watch the video with Troy Clarke - President, GM-North America for details on the Volt development. GM is very serious about the Volt. I love GM these days. They "get it". They KNOW we have to deal with our oil addiction ... not 10 years from now but RIGHT NOW.

GM is moving pretty quickly on developing their hybrid technologies. The Volt is definitely going into production by late 2010 or so. I bet the exterior and interior is going to look pretty cool. I hear it might have a 0-60 time of 7-8 seconds and that quiet, instantaneous torque just like with the Tesla Roadster. It'll get up to 150 miles per gallon! Need I say more? Some Volt owners who drive under 40 miles a day will be filling up with gasoline or E85/C85 only 5-6 times per YEAR ... vs. the 24 or more times a year that most people fill up with their typical 15-20 mpg gas guzzlers. The Volt will REALLY "stick it to OPEC and Big Oil". We won't need their super expensive, polluting gasoline and diesel nearly as much. :)




By Spuke on 6/19/2008 3:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yes! At $40k+options+markups a pop AND the fact that it STILL uses gas not to mention the initial production will be capped at 10,000 cars a year, we'll REALLY be sticking it to the oil companies!


So much promise
By therealnickdanger on 6/18/2008 10:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
I am very excited to see this car come to market. I'm hopeful that they will be able to deliver it at a moderate price with minimal subsidies. The prospect of never (rarely) filling up a gas tank is almost beyond my ability to comprehend. Plus the car looks damn cool. The hardest part will be finding one to purchase.




By wannabemedontu on 6/18/2008 2:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with Brandon Hill. Let the customer decide. My dollar will never follow the blind allegience to "Made in America". To suggest that the professionals that review cars have some sort of bias is just stupid. For example, just gaze at the reliability and repair history of all the makes in the Consumer Reports publication. It is very obvious that the Big 3 here still have a long way to go compared to what Japan puts out for example. JD Powers also supports the FACTS about the quality and reliability of these cars. Does anyone make a perfect, lemon free car?, no. But the traditional domestics still fall far behind as a whole. I will give them credit for finally getting smart and making more attractive cars without the Wal-Mart interiors though. Improve on reliability and quality and stop whining and maybe they will have a shot at Honda and Toyota in a couple decades. Keep politics and patriotism out of my wallet please.




recalling past memory....
By The0ne on 6/18/2008 3:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this will go the way of the EV1 :) /sarcasm




No offense GM
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2008 4:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
But maybe you should prove you can make regular cars worth a crap before investing in electric ones ?




By Aeros on 6/18/2008 5:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
It cannot be "for" the year 2010. So tired of people using "for" TIME.




Parallel > Series Hybrid
By pauldovi on 6/18/2008 6:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
Parallel hybrid is much better.




!
By Chiisuchianu on 6/19/2008 10:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
I am very excited for this car! I'm not a fan nor a hater of any particular fuel-saving technology... all I say is bring on the competition between manufacturers with innovative new cars and technology! This is going to be fun to see.




nice front ugly back
By James Wood Carter on 6/21/2008 6:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
Backside looks ugly in my opinion




EV1 all over again
By hide9999 on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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