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The 2011 Chevy Volt  (Source: Flickr)
Some dealers looking to take advantage of limited initial supply of Volt EVs

Dealership markup on past vehicles are nothing new -- when "Cash for Clunkers" was in full effect last fall, we revealed that some dealers were marking up Toyota's best-selling Prius hybrids by $4,000 to $5,000.

That markup may be downright tiny, however, compared to what some Chevrolet dealerships have in store.  A reporter from 
Edmunds inquired at a local dealership about the price of the 2011 Chevy Volt electric vehicle and was told that they were going to be charging $61,000 USD for the vehicle ($52,750 after tax credit).  That price includes a $20,000 USD markup going directly into the dealer's pocket.

The dealer writes:

Hello *****

Thank you for your online request, as you know the Volt is going to be a very limited production vehicle for the first 2-3 years. Demand is going to far exceed supply for this vehicle, initially our asking price for the Volt is going to be MSRP plus $20,000, we are expecting only receive 9 Volts all of next year.

I will keep you in my customer base for when the Volt comes out and I will contact you with any information as I receive it. We are taking orders right now for the Volt, if you would like more information, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you. Thank you.

***** *****, Internet Specialist
******* Chevrolet
********, CA

Since the email exchange, General Motors announced that it would increase Volt production by 50 percent in 2011, producing about 45,000 units next year.

The markup also seems particularly ironic, given that a GM spokesperson in June stated, "We also aren't expecting our dealers to overcharge anyone for this vehicle, either, and will monitor the situation closely when we launch.  We'll be paying close attention when the vehicle launches and do our best to strongly discourage this kind of behavior, as we always do with any GM-branded vehicle."

If dealerships 
do choose to add a $20K or even a $10K markup to the vehicle, some customers may decide to jump down to the Nissan Leaf.  Many already complain that the Volt is overpriced.

No one is questioning that the Volt is a highly anticipated vehicle right now.  But if GM dealers let greed get in the way, they may be sabotaging the Volt's launch which GM worked so hard towards.

If your dealer does charge some sort of astounding markup, you can lease a Volt for $350/month (with $2,500 downpayment).  If you can find one, that is.

In related news, the base price of the Volt has also come under criticism.  Ford’s vice president of global powertrain engineering, Barb Samardzich states, "Our perspective is we want to be able to provide a solution that works for all of our customers, and at $40,000 or $41,000, you are taking a lot of customers out of that equation."

Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering says that his company has a captive market, arguing, "It’s in a market of its own.  Where else are you going to go to get one of these things? There is no other choice.  Look, it’s not like we’re trying to sell two million of these."

He adds, "I look at it and say with a federal tax credit, it is $33,500.  We think there will be a plentiful supply of customers at that price."

The company's chief rival will be the 2011 Nissan Leaf EV, which retails for $32,780 USD ($25,280 after tax credit).  The all-electric Leaf, however, has a much shorter overall range of 100 miles. 

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By corduroygt on 8/4/2010 9:21:09 AM , Rating: 4
The markups are there as long as there are idiots willing to pay them, once that supply dries up, prices come back to normal levels, which are near invoice for most cars.

By supermitsuba on 8/4/2010 9:25:56 AM , Rating: 1
I would have to agree, the tone will change if they cant sell these things, but in the mean time, let the upper middle class test that out.

A side note, i thought it was interesting that they said the MSRP was 40K and no one thought of dealership markup, like its a different car altogether.

By michael67 on 8/7/2010 6:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
For 32k MSRP you get a Lexus HS 250h, that would be properly more reliable and maybe even more luxurious then the Volt, and if you going to pay 60k, the Lexus GS 450h (53K) wins whit his hands behind his back and blind folded ;-)

But if you need a Hybrid going here first would properly be a good idea

I for one am looking at the HS to replace my 4y old GS 450h as it is about 50% more fuel efficient, even do just a little less comfortable.

By Alexvrb on 8/8/2010 9:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
More reliable than a serial hybrid without a transmission? Only if the Li battery pack proves less durable than anticipated. Also, I love how some people think they're "green" by owning the latest, most efficient vehicles. I would never think of selling a 4 year old car unless it was seriously problematic. Especially if the replacement was less comfortable.

By mindless1 on 8/13/2010 1:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the majority of cars do not have a transmission failure within the (average age of cars on the road) lifespan.

"Could" a hybrid be more reliable? Certainly, after years of refinement. Until then, all current buyers are beta testing the tech in real-world applications.

By amanojaku on 8/4/2010 9:29:28 AM , Rating: 5
The dealers must be selling to this guy.

By Mitch101 on 8/4/2010 3:07:06 PM , Rating: 4
Ive been saying for a long time its not the car manufacturers that keep me from buying a new car its the dealershits that keep me from buying one.

By Elakrab on 8/5/2010 11:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
By Brandon Hill on 8/4/2010 9:30:01 AM , Rating: 4
I have never understood the need to pay over MSRP for a car. Only an idiot would do something like that for an item that is going to quickly depreciate anyway. OK, maybe idiot is too strong of a word -- perhaps foolish?

Besides, when you turn around to sell the vehicle, that extra $$$ that you paid isn't going to mean a damn thing.

By MrBlastman on 8/4/2010 9:38:57 AM , Rating: 4
I only know _one_ person ever who could claim to have made a profit on purchasing a new car. The guy bought a prius before the markups became excessive--after they did, he could have sold it for quite a bit more than he paid for it.

Cars are depreciating items, not assets, paying 50% more for it is pissing money down the drain.

By acer905 on 8/4/2010 12:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
I know one person who did make a good profit buying a new car. Granted, he bought a brand new Chevelle SS in 72, kept it in a garage, drove it on sundays once around town, sold it in 2004 with only 12,000 miles on it, everything was original, and he got something like $30,000 for it...

By MrBlastman on 8/4/2010 12:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh but how much did he pay for it? There was enormous inflation between 72 and now so you have to take that into account. Between 1972 and 2009, 1000.00 would have inflated to 5071.30, so basically 5x inflation.

Did he pay less than 6000.00 for it?

By acer905 on 8/4/2010 1:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
Don't quite know exact values, but during the late 60's even a Corvete could be purchased for $3500. Just looked up a couple sites, and i find that the original MSRP for the Chevelle was 3515. So even with a couple options it puts it well below the 6000 limit to account for inflation.

By lelias2k on 8/4/2010 1:17:40 PM , Rating: 1
So 30 years of not enjoying your car to make less than 80% on it... He probably would be better served with a savings account.

Like someone said before, cars are NOT assets. :)

By acer905 on 8/4/2010 5:50:34 PM , Rating: 5
He did enjoy it. For 30 years. AND he managed to make a bit of money in the end. He actually used the money from it to buy a brand new Corvette, which he takes out every Sunday for a drive around town, just like he did the Chevelle. It was never about making money. He just liked having a nice car to take around the town for a stroll.

By mindless1 on 8/13/2010 1:32:53 PM , Rating: 1
... in a possessive lunatic kind of insane way. Crack-heads enjoy crack too, but it doesn't make them rational or smart.

By acer905 on 8/4/2010 5:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
I never said that it was a sound investment, nor was it ever planned as one. However, for him having the car gave him an hour once a week, most every week, to do something he found greatly enjoyable. How much is the cost of going to see a movie once every two weeks (2 hr vs 1 hr) for the last 30 years? But thats getting off topic. My point was that he made a profit based on the purchase, and subsequent sale of a car.

By mindless1 on 8/13/2010 1:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
30 years of maintaining, storage, tax and license, contrasted with having the money in a bank drawing interest.

Sorry, but "profit" can't only be considered by a simple paid vs sold cost, it has to include all expenses and time, not to mention... get ready for it... that the value of a dollar changed a lot too.

By CharonPDX on 8/4/2010 3:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, remaining stock of 2003 Prius right after the redesigned 2004 came out jumped in value instantly, solely on the popularity of the newer model.

We went looking for a 2004 in mid 2004 (many months after introduction,) and had three choices:

Buy a used 2003 for MORE than a brand-new 2004.
Get on a waiting list for a 2004 at MSRP; with the waiting list mostly exceeding 4 months.
Call one of the few "no waiting list" dealerships every day seeing if they got new stock. All of the local ones that did this were charging ~$5000 over MSRP.

By callmeroy on 8/5/2010 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
All kidding aside I can't think of any material good that depreciates faster than a car...considering the exact moment you pull out of the lot the value plunges (obviously the rate of this depends on exactly what make/model we are talking about).

On the other hand cars can turn into assets - at least certain ones, if you bust your arse to keep them in top form for about 30 years.....

The auto auctions on TV are proof of this.

By Nik00117 on 8/4/2010 10:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't really that uncommon. The Fiesta is selling for about $500 more then MSRP on Avg, the 2011 Mustang? It was at initial price point $750-$1,000 above MSRP.

By Akrovah on 8/4/2010 10:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
$750-$1000 is understandable, perhaps even reasonable. The dealership does have to try and turn a profit after all. But 20 grand markup on a 40 grand vehicle? This is insane and anyone who pays it is a fool.

By sigmatau on 8/4/2010 12:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that but the Volt is not that limited production. The Nissan GT-R sold for a nice mark up at first but they only made 2k-3k or less for the US. I guess a lot more want the Volt though.

By lelias2k on 8/4/2010 1:21:20 PM , Rating: 1
Interesting you brought the GT-R up, since I saw one at the dealership a few months ago and the markup on it was around 20k.

Now THAT car I'd pay an extra 20k for it any day. The Volt? Please...

By Flunk on 8/6/2010 10:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you're buying cars but the GT-Rs were never marked up at all at the Nissan dealer around here.

Actually, now that I think about it the concept of marking up cars over MSRP seems preitty strange to me. I can't think of ever seeing it happen. Maybe it's illegal in Canada.

By vol7ron on 8/5/2010 12:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or does MSRP not mean manufacturer suggested retail price?

The dealership buys a car at cost (lower than the MSRP) and many times they receive discounts. If you bought the car at the MSRP, the dealership would be making a profit, depending on the overhead of the dealership.

Charing $20K over the MSRP is charging a "$20K and a slap in the face" plus the already ~$5K markup over cost to MSRP. That's the dealership calling you stupid and lacking principle.

By zmatt on 8/5/2010 8:01:35 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed, You don't go to Walmart and haggle with the cashiers over marked up prices on items in the store, where do dealerships get off? I think people put up with it because few buy a car outright and most finance. Because of this it's hard for them to keep track of the money and it has less meaning to you. Out of sight out of mind. If people had to pay the full price or a large percentage upfront then they probably would be more stingy.

By Hyraxxx on 8/8/2010 6:47:37 PM , Rating: 1
This coming from a hardware enthusiast website?

I agree, I own a $50 videocard, because it was the best bang for the buck. I don't want to spend $400 on a videocard when it will be $100 in a year or two.

By Iridium130m on 8/4/2010 9:34:02 AM , Rating: 2
fully agree, its a relatively free market, and there is pretty pure competition in the auto industry (unlike the pharmaceutical industry). If you need a car, you don't have to buy a Volt and give away $20K needlessly.

By inperfectdarkness on 8/4/2010 9:45:23 AM , Rating: 4
irrevelant. all cars are subject to price-equalization due to market forces.

what's absurd in this case is that the volt is a hybrid. i.e. something that is supposed to save you $$$ in fuel costs.

anyone who is willing to pay markup on a "hybrid" isn't going to save $$$ versus just buying a normally priced, conventional, fuel-efficient vehicle.

By djc208 on 8/4/2010 11:00:00 AM , Rating: 5
The core of this market has been those people who want to look environmentally correct. They're not doing it to save money or gas, they're doing it because they're saving the Earth, even though they're not.

The early Prius market was all about reducing emissions, not fuel costs. It wasn't till gas prices went over $3/gallon that the demand for them as fuel efficient cars came in. Once the prices dropped so did the demand.

This is no different than the Tesla, no one buying a Tesla is concerned about saving money on gas, it's an "I'm green and cool" statement, nothing more.

Eventually the prices will drop, and it will make sense for those looking to save money, though even that is debateable unless fuel prices rise given the cost of electricity in most larger urban centers.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 11:06:52 AM , Rating: 2
The Volt only makes sense if you are in the tiny minority of people who can do all traveling on the battery's small range. Once the ICE motor kicks in, you are losing money compared to any fuel efficient regular car.

By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:10:21 AM , Rating: 5
No, you're not. You're just not making up the money you lost when you bought it. It still hits >40 mpg on the generator, and there's actually a majority of folks whose commute is <40 miles/day.

By 67STANG on 8/4/2010 11:47:44 AM , Rating: 2
So if you're using the Volt in Winter in say... North Dakota, you still think you're going to get 40 miles? What if you're using it to carpool and the car is fully loaded with 4 people in the Winter (worst case scenario)?

I bet this thing probably gets ~25 miles on the battery pack in those situations.

Either way, this vehicle is too expensive for anyone other than eco-hipster's wanting to show off their environmental prowess. Remember, you have to front the total price tag if you want to buy this thing and then wait for tax credit. That's a lot of cheddar.

By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 12:45:04 PM , Rating: 5
If you live in North Dakota you should be buying a Subaru, thought you would know that.

By JediJeb on 8/4/2010 2:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Another question on the tax credit. Do you just get the amount added to your refund, or actually get that amount taken of the total taxable income for the year. If the latter then you will only get back a fraction of what the credit is in cash.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 12:34:38 PM , Rating: 1
You're just not making up the money you lost when you bought it.

I assumed that was implied. Which still leads to a net loss, especially given the Volt requires premium fuel on top of it's egregious sticker price.

there's actually a majority of folks whose commute is <40 miles/day.

Maybe to work and back, but who JUST drives to work and back? You would be surprised how fast 40 miles goes by in our day to day activities. Trip to the store here, an errand there etc etc.

Personally I think that "40 mile" figure is highly optimistic anyway. I have doubts.

By clovell on 8/4/2010 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough - we'll see how these things shake out after some real world use.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 5:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Also nowhere did I use the word "commute" in my original statement. I said "all driving".

By sigmatau on 8/4/2010 12:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Tiny minority? LOL! That's a good one. Take a grade school geography class as you don't know most people live in cities and don't commute past 20 miles. Most would rather not waste their life on their commute buddy.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 1:18:47 PM , Rating: 1
A "commute" is always a straight line best-case scenario. In the real world, you do a LOT more driving than just to work and back. And if you have kids? Forget about it! Volt is not for you.

By clovell on 8/4/2010 1:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Most days I don't drive anywhere but to & from work - kinda boring I guess, but I really value my free time at home. I think it really depends on how the city you work in is laid out, its relation to your home, etc. The beauty of an all electric drivetrain (serial hybrid), is that you don't waste battery charge when you're sitting at a stoplight.

I'm trying to dismiss your concerns, here, Reclaimer - they're valid, but I seem to be a bit more optimistic than you are.

By clovell on 8/4/2010 1:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
Dammit - I meant to say that I'm NOT trying to dismiss....

I'm really out of it today. Prolly not the best idea to be posting so much...

By JediJeb on 8/4/2010 2:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
My situation is similar. I drive to work and back, and try to make all my stops for gas, food, supplies, ect on my way home in the evenings. Not really any out of the way trips except when I visit my parents about every other month. Most of the time after work I am messing around the house or shop. But I think the Leaf for me would be a better buy than an overpriced Volt. Not that I would even pay what they are asking for the Leaf just to have an electric car.

By Spuke on 8/4/2010 2:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
Take a grade school geography class as you don't know most people live in cities and don't commute past 20 miles.
So you only drive your car when commuting? You don't stop at the store, go to the bank or anything like that?

By n00bxqb on 8/4/2010 9:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I only drive my car to and from work. Banks are closed before I go to work and closed when I get off of work (8-5). Same with anything errand-related except groceries, which are done on the weekend, anyways.

Does anyone actually go to the bank, anymore ? All my banking is done online now (chequing, savings, investments, line of credit, and mortgage). I don't think I've been to the bank since I got my mortgage ...

By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone actually go to the bank, anymore ?
Yep. My wife and I go on occasion. Ours is open till 6 pm. And my wife usually goes to the grocery store after work too. Most of our errands are done after work. It's more convenient and saves us gas. Sometimes we do go grocery shopping on weekends but only if we're running other errands too.

We live about 12 miles from our credit union, the grocery store and most everything else we use so we use less gas(and time) by going after work. Actually my wife does most of the errands as it's WAY out my way. There is a grocery store that's closer but does not have the selection and prices are higher. We only go there for onesie twosies and that's on my commute so I do that.

My commute is 60 miles round trip and that is short for our area. My wife's is a little shorter. Most people commute to LA or its suburbs. That's more like 100-150 miles round trip. Hell, you can live in an LA suburb and STILL have an 80 mile commute!!! I'm from the eastern US and it took me a while to get used to the distances out here in CA (and the west in general) but now driving 100 miles is nothing. Now I have to drive nearly 300 miles before I start to feel like I've driven far.

By n00bxqb on 8/5/2010 3:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ouch, that's a brutal commute ... My "commute" is about 5-10 minutes each way (depending on traffic). I usually only drive when the weather sucks (it's BC, so that's pretty often 8 months of the year) or when I'm running late. I spend ~$50/month on gas (Civic), most of it on weekend outings.

By marvdmartian on 8/4/2010 10:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
I guess all the haters that thought I was full of it, when I proved that I would have to drive 500,000+ miles in order to break even on a Volt, are really going to hate it when they realize that figure could easily surpass 750,000 miles, with a $20K dealer markup!

Great concept, grossly overpriced from the manufacturer. 'Nuff said!

By sigmatau on 8/4/2010 12:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't retailers mark up things like the iphone 4? I'm sure some will be willing to pay $500 plus contract for it.

By Solandri on 8/4/2010 1:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Because Apple and AT&T controlled all the retail outlets initially. And even there, you had individual buyers listing the phones on eBay and selling them for >$1k.

As egregious and immoral as these markups sound, I'm starting to think they may actually be a good thing. When you try to thwart market forces, a black market usually develops, so it's going to happen anyway. By sanctioning it, the manufacturer would reap the full reward for what they're producing, and not some middleman. And the people stupid enough to pay that much for it lose more money, and thus their ability to influence the market with their stupid decisions is lessened a little bit.

By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 12:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
$61,000 buys a whole lot of years worth of gas for my v6 Toyota tacoma prerunner. Even at a measly 18mpg I'm guessing it would buy me enough gas to drive my tacoma for the rest of my life.

By JediJeb on 8/4/2010 2:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
274,500 miles worth of gas if you average $4/gallon.

In my F150 that would be almost 20 years worth at the rate I am now putting miles on it with similar mileage. It is currently 14 years old with 210k miles on it.

By HoosierEngineer5 on 8/4/2010 2:38:20 PM , Rating: 3
Think of it as the iVolt, and all your questions are answered.

What's The Point?
By mgilbert on 8/4/2010 9:42:39 AM , Rating: 2
I thought the point of electric vehicles was to save on fuel costs. You could almost buy a Hummer, which gets about 12 MPG, and come out ahead in the long run!

What's the point of buying an electric car, if it costs $30,000 more than a gas equivalent car? $30,000 buys a helluva lot of gas!!!

RE: What's The Point?
By FITCamaro on 8/4/2010 9:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
At $30,000 the Volt isn't a bad deal (no tax credit should be given in the first place so I mean $30k, not $30k-$7500).

At $61,000, you're a freaking moron. You can buy a slightly used C6 Corvette and drive it for years before you'd hit $61,000. Unless gas hits $8-10 a gallon which I'm sure liberal Democrats and some idiots on this site would love to see.

RE: What's The Point?
By Iaiken on 8/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: What's The Point?
By tng on 8/4/2010 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 4
No really that is what a allot of the green politicians are calling for, huge taxes on gas. Their justification is that Europe and Asia pay that much so we can do it as well.

I don't think that they realize that while much of Europe is pleasant to visit, I would not like to live there. High taxes for failed social programs has strangled the economies there.

RE: What's The Point?
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:41:20 AM , Rating: 2
Do you know how much it costs to buy a car in some European countries? There's a 180% tax on new vehicles in Denmark.

I was shocked when I heard that - I can't imagine that ever going over well in America.

RE: What's The Point?
By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 12:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
Did you know that people living in Denmark rank much higher on all surveys measuring happiness then Americans? Don't knock a different culture until you know more about it. Personally I feel like kicking my ancestors butts for moving from Denmark to the US.

RE: What's The Point?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 1:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
All that proves is people in Denmark don't know any better. So what? And honestly, how can you even claim to accurately "survey" the "happiness" of an entire population?

Happiness is a state of mind and it's highly personal. I doubt it's directly tied into the country you live in. I was treated for depression years ago because my father abandoned my family when I was a child. What does that have to do with the country I live in?

RE: What's The Point?
By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 1
They seem to think being focused on getting rich and spending all your time at work is not the way to happiness. Different philosophy.

RE: What's The Point?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
They seem to think being focused on getting rich and spending all your time at work is not the way to happiness.

AKA, trying to better yourself and the life of your family. Yeah it sounds terrible. It's much better to live off the government cheese.

RE: What's The Point?
By consumerwhore on 8/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/4/2010 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 3
Only in America do we think that "slaving away making someone else rich while not spending time at home" means "better yourself and your family's lot".
I'm not an advocate of working yourself to death but that's an individual choice. We adults know better. Some people just like to work, and in the US, our culture revolves around working. That's just how it is. Europe's culture is NOT around working. Not a bad thing, just different from the US. Whoop dee ding ding. Really not a big deal here.

About the so-called surveys of happiness. They're straight BS. How can you compare what one culture calls happiness with what another culture calls happiness, even asking the same questions? The answers are up to individual and cultural interpretation.

RE: What's The Point?
By clovell on 8/4/2010 2:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but when you take a look at people's subjective opinions of their own happiness and Americans rate their own happiness lower than, say Danes rate theirs...

Well, you start to wonder. Again those are society-level observations, and don't necessarily apply to any single person.

RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
Right, but when you take a look at people's subjective opinions of their own happiness and Americans rate their own happiness lower than, say Danes rate theirs...
You still can't compare them as the cultures are different and an "unhappy" American may be as "happy" as a Dane or vice versa or something totally different. Americans are "never satisfied". WE are always WORKING toward a goal and unless that goal is reached, we are not "happy". If you gave me that poll, I would probably rate an "unhappy" too because I have things I want to accomplish and until they're done, I'm not happy. Get my drift?

PS - think pioneer, self sufficient, entrepreneur, do or die, work hard/play hard...that's American culture...not better or worse, just different

RE: What's The Point?
By corduroygt on 8/4/2010 5:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
You can have the best of both worlds in the USA by working for the government :) You get to stay at home more and still make good money, as well as a fat pension.

RE: What's The Point?
By Jeffk464 on 8/5/2010 2:17:44 AM , Rating: 1
tough to get, but ya, you are on the right track.

RE: What's The Point?
By Nutzo on 8/4/2010 1:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends on how you define happiness.

It's much more a cultural attitude than a direct quality of life comparison. Americans expect a higher standard of living, larger homes, etc, than people in Europe.

I'm sure if you took most Americans and dropped them in Denmark, they'd be even more unhappy than they are now.

RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/4/2010 2:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure if you took most Americans and dropped them in Denmark, they'd be even more unhappy than they are now.
I'm sure if an American moved to Denmark, they would be happy because that's where they want to be. Happiness is individual. There's no such thing as group happiness.

RE: What's The Point?
By clovell on 8/4/2010 1:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't mean to knock it. It sounds really nice, and I've been hoping to visit (my mom's family is from Sweden). I was just saying that I can't imagine that going over well here in the US. There are political factors, socioeconomic factors, cultural factors, and, most importantly, geographic factors that make it less than feasible.

We may get there one day, but there's about a thousand intermediate steps we need to take. If Obama ever gets off his ass and builds those high speed trains, we'll be one step closer. Cheers!

RE: What's The Point?
By YashBudini on 8/4/2010 5:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
" High taxes for failed social programs has strangled the economies there. "

They actually have the same problems we do with ours. Gross inefficiency, lack of law enforcement with cheaters, the general path that the law will work and can be forgotten about. But none of that means everything about a social program is bad, unless the nay-sayers are misanthropes, which in this country, they are.

RE: What's The Point?
By n00bxqb on 8/4/2010 9:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
I understand the concept of the proposal. Additional taxes on gasoline to provide greater funding for public transit and to deter people from driving so much. It helps relieve emissions and traffic congestion considerably.

However, it just wouldn't work in countries like the US and Canada. First of all, I highly doubt the local governments would use those tax dollars efficiently. Secondly, both countries are geographically massive compared to European countries with many rural communities that don't have anywhere near the tax base necessary for an adequate public transit system. Also, since they're such large countries, they're heavily dependent on transport trucks for shipments, so tax exemptions or tax reductions would be critical to those companies to prevent a sudden increase in inflation on shipped goods.

This method would have to be done locally on a community-to-community basis to work in North America, limited mainly to metropolitan areas.

RE: What's The Point?
By sigmatau on 8/4/2010 12:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
If there is no tax credit for new technology to help bring them to market then you should not get a tax credit for having kids. Or maybe we should not give tax credits to oil companies in the tens of billions of dollars that have been making record profits for the past several years.

RE: What's The Point?
By Nutzo on 8/4/2010 1:18:35 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, that is what we really SHOULD do. Tax credits and deductions give the government too much power to screw up the economy (can we all say housing bubble)

There should be a flat income tax rate for all income over a certain amount, like 120% of the poverty rate.

Even better, drop the income tax all togather, and institute a Federal sales tax. Exempt housing and food since that is a major living expense for the poor.
This way, when the drug dealer buys a new car, he's automatically paying taxes. People working for cash under the table, they'll be paying taxes too when the buy the wide screen TV.

RE: What's The Point?
By clovell on 8/4/2010 1:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but I think the primary concern there would be a lack of diversity in your tax revenue streams. It's easy to hide the true cost of goods in our current system, and the government still gets funding if the savings rate triples and spending grinds to a halt.

The elephant in the room is that economists see the latest recession as a 'downturn' rather than what it truly is - a correction. Easy credit inflated the economy, and now that it's dried up, spending is going down. Imagine how well a national sales tax would encourage spending...

Personally, I think we all need to stop living beyond our means - so a national sales tax is cool with me - don't even exempt food and stuff - just cut people a rebate check and call it a day.

RE: What's The Point?
By Steve1981 on 8/4/2010 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 4
Wonderful example of the two wrongs make a right fallacy.

If there is no tax credit for new technology to help bring them to market

Seems like they don't need any help bringing it to market in the first place if dealers are contemplating a 20k markup.

I would also argue that things like research grants are a far more effective use of money than trying to subsidize uncompetitive products.

RE: What's The Point?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 1:30:59 PM , Rating: 3
Seems like they don't need any help bringing it to market in the first place if dealers are contemplating a 20k markup.

Well said. Hard to argue with such crystal clear logic.

The Volt "tax credit" has little to do with business, and everything to do with politics.

RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like they don't need any help bringing it to market in the first place if dealers are contemplating a 20k markup.
Great point!!!! The dealers obviously know the demand for this car. That also says that GM's price is right on the money and doesn't need any artificial lowering.

RE: What's The Point?
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 10:52:15 AM , Rating: 4
No what is sad, really, are the arm chair quarterbacks that think they have a right to tell a private enterprise how to they should conduct their business.

Of course the logic boils down to just one argument and we all know it, not fuel saved, not trees saved, nothing logical, economic and certainly not an environmental justification for it. Just one thing: “I want that fancy car with the fancy drivetrain and I’m willing to pay a premium for it.”

And quite honestly, if that is the way you feel, I guess I don’t have a problem with that. (Although I do have a problem with a person buying it out of personal desire, yet getting my tax dollars for it.) As long as you aren’t being a douche and buying it because you think you are saving the trees or saving money in the long run.


RE: What's The Point?
By xprojected on 8/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
The point is to use less fuel, not to save money on it.
Nah. Suntan hit it right on the money. Nothing to do with fuel savings.

The less fuel we use, the more we'll have later on, the less fuel prices will rise.
Wrong! Fuel prices are dictated by the oil cartels...I mean OPEC. Do you really think that OPEC is going to take a pay cut just because the US decides to use less gas? LOL! And what about China and India, do you really think that two HUGELY populated growing capitalist countries are going to reduce their fuel usage? China has passed the US in energy usage and they're just getting warmed up! Expect MORE fuel usage and HIGHER fuel prices.

RE: What's The Point?
By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 12:57:46 PM , Rating: 1
The point of electric vehicles is that they are probably going to be the future of personal transportation. If you look around in 20 years you probably won't see to many gas powered cars. Now does it make sense for the average person to buy one right now, no, but you have to start somewhere. When the first pc's came out they made absolutely no sense for the average person. Of course as human population keeps growing exponentially and cities keep getting more crowded the move is going to have to be towards mass transit. Cars just aren't very effective in super high density cities. I heard it said that it was faster to get around beijing on a bike 20 years ago then it is to get around it by car nowadays.

RE: What's The Point?
By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
Of course as human population keeps growing exponentially and cities keep getting more crowded the move is going to have to be towards mass transit.
Are you from the same planet as the rest of us? LOL! Mass transit works and works well in MANY cities already. There is no go to mass transit, it's already here. Does it suck a$$ in places like LA? Yep but that's because there's a huge "green tax" you have to pay build ANYTHING in this state. CA is not representative of the US nor anywhere else for that matter. Public transit in the D.C. area was awesome 20 years ago, for example.

There is no exponentially growing human population in the US, Europe and Japan. The US is very low and Europe and Japan are actually putting people back in the womb.

RE: What's The Point?
By Jeffk464 on 8/5/10, Rating: 0
At least drop the tax credit - it's not needed
By bathotropic on 8/4/2010 9:56:20 AM , Rating: 5
I think that the tax credit should be dropped. Why give a tax credit to people who are more than willing to buy this car on its own merits. If it sells above MSRP then no tax credit.

RE: At least drop the tax credit - it's not needed
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 10:11:38 AM , Rating: 5
Personally, I am of the opinion that I should be able to hail anyone driving a Volt (or any other car that my tax dollars helped finance) and be given at least one free transport to my destination of choice as compensation for my tax dollars.

(Same goes for the houses in my neighborhood that got tax money to help bail them out of the mortgage they couldn’t afford in the first place. I should be allowed to store at least one box of junk in their garage.)


RE: At least drop the tax credit - it's not needed
By Spuke on 8/5/2010 12:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
I should be allowed to store at least one box of junk in their garage.

By Suntan on 8/5/2010 11:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
My other notion is that people who received bailout money for their houses should be required to put a big sign on their garage door stating, “I’m sorry for being a drag on society.”

But I don’t think that will get much traction in the government ranks where it is currently popular to make their constituents believe it is their “right” to be offended when a bank has the audacity to expect you to make good on the promises you’ve committed to.


By Dr of crap on 8/4/2010 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 3
Man you hit the nail on the head right there.
The morons that are willing to pay for this over priced crap of a car DO NOT need my tax money to help them buy it!

I've only bought one new car, and that was 25 years ago. I'll never buy new again. I buy 2-4 year cars and they last just as long as new, have no problems, and I save many $$$$$!

By tallcool1 on 8/4/2010 12:01:54 PM , Rating: 3
I completely agree!!!

No one is questioning that the Volt is a highly anticipated vehicle right now.
More like anticipated, not highly. If anything, over hyped based on all things considered, price, tax incentive, etc...

Brings a whole new meaning to "over charging" for a car called the "Volt".

By Nutzo on 8/4/2010 12:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's just more Democrat tax credits for the rich!

Another Stealership...
By MrBlastman on 8/4/2010 9:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
I hate buying cars or dealing with pushy salespeople--thinking about it actually makes my stomach rumble. However, I fully participate in it and pride myself in being one of the most annoying customers they may ever face as I don't give in easy when making a purchase. I'll stand my ground and eventually, we'll settle on a good deal.

While it might be an unpleasant process, I suppose it at times is a neccesary evil. I might not really be getting a good "deal" at all, but instead basically the price I should be paying.

There _are_ alternatives though. My wife purchased her Subaru Forrester via internet sales with the same dealership I bought my WRX through. As it turned out, it was a very pleasant and fair process. She actually got a better price than I thought she would going in the front door and it actually beat the price of a used Forrester that was a couple years older for sale at a local CarMax. New car, less money--worked for us.

I'm not sure if it was a weak salesperson or instead, the dealership figured they could make up for profit per car instead through volume in online sales.

This 20,000.00 markup though, I find it to be excessive. If anything, Edmunds or DT should publish the name of the stealership that quoted them that price. I think it is only fair, actually, as then the people will truly decide if that is a price they want to pay for that car.

I've seen cars get marked up before because of limited supply... hey, that's capitalism and free markets, but, never by 50%. I've seen 20% before, sometimes 25%, but this is a bit outrageous. I wish them luck in selling those cars, I am sure people will find other dealerships willing to settle for less money in these tough economic conditions.

RE: Another Stealership...
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 9:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people think there is magic in buying a car at “the lowest price” based on how good of a haggler you can be. The reality is that the price you can get away with is based a lot on factors before you even walk into the dealership. Is it a new car with high demand and little inventory? (as in this case) you’re not starting with much leverage. Is it a vehicle with rows and rows of inventory sitting on his lot and few takers interested in it? (You’re going to have a lot more leeway.)

The reality is that the lowest price you can get for a car will already be set based on how much the dealer thinks he can get for that car from someone else in the immediate future, not how good a person is at haggling. Of course, being a bad negotiator will only increase the price from this baseline.


RE: Another Stealership...
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:20:48 AM , Rating: 2
Dealer holdback, incentives, time of the year, time of the month all affect the price the dealer is willing to take before you even step on the lot, too.

Negotiating online is a bit easier because price is the only way they have of differentiating themselves online. It gets down to your common denominator a lot quicker.

RE: Another Stealership...
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 10:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
If anything, Edmunds or DT should publish the name of the stealership that quoted them that price. I think it is only fair, actually, as then the people will truly decide if that is a price they want to pay for that car.

Forgot to add, I at least give the dealer marks for being forthright and stating that they are charging MSRP + 20K. Instead of trying the shady tactic of insinuating that the “normal price” is actually the elevated price they are asking for. At least it gives the buyer correct information to base their choice on. If they want the car, they pony up the dough. If they think they can get it from another dealer for less, the internet is right there for them to try.


RE: Another Stealership...
By MrBlastman on 8/4/2010 11:47:32 AM , Rating: 2
Oh of course, free market rules, I agree. Whoever steps onto a car lot better have done their research beforehand. He who does not is a sucker waiting to spend their money. Car salesmen love those who are not informed.

What if the problem?
By namechamps on 8/4/2010 11:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
Dealers are simply just applying free market principle.

If a dealer can sell a Volt for a $100,000 then good for them.

Personally I think these dealers are deluding themselves. There may be MSRP markup but I think it will be more like $2K-$3K over MSRP and even that will fade quickly.

Still dealers have ever right to try and maximize profits. Limited Supply, High Demand (or at least that is what dealers believe) thus prices should rise.

These things tend to sort themselves out quickly.

a) the volt is still attractive at $50K-$60K at which point GM is foolish for selling them at $40K
b) the volt isn't attractive at $60K and dealers drop the markup until they get to a point where they can move the product.

Last time I checked that concept is applied billions of times every day in free(er) markets

RE: What if the problem?
By xprojected on 8/4/2010 12:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm fine with supply and demand, but the Volt is supposed to be a "halo car" for GM. Dealer price hikes will hurt positive PR efforts. A car that's supposed to represent a whole new GM shouldn't fall to the same old dealer tactics. Leave that to the Camaros and other traditional cars.

RE: What if the problem?
By Chaser on 8/4/2010 12:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
ESPECIALLY since it's going to be subsidized by the taxpayer as well.

RE: What if the problem?
By YashBudini on 8/4/2010 5:22:00 PM , Rating: 3
Subsidies should be canceled for any vehicle selling over sticker price.

I love being right.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 10:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
So everyone last week who downrated me and said I was wrong when I stated the Volt would NOT be selling for "just" 41K, I have a bunch of hats over here to pass out for you to eat.

RE: I love being right.
By Chaser on 8/4/2010 12:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
So $41,001?

As soon as you can site a sold one from a GM dealership for that much over MSRP I'll give you my mailing address.

RE: I love being right.
By Chaser on 8/4/2010 12:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
err 20K. Not 1 cent ;-)

RE: I love being right.
By YashBudini on 8/4/2010 5:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
Some people paid full price for "Going Rogue." You didn't mention anything back then. This is just a repeat performance.

By DougF on 8/4/2010 9:26:09 AM , Rating: 2
If dealerships do choose to add a $20K or even a $10K markup to the vehicle, some customers may decide to jump down to the Nissan Leaf.

Quick, someone tell Wal-Mart! You've just stumbled upon an incredible market philosophy that could revolutionize the way we do business! [sarcasm] I think the dealerships know this little tidbit you just dropped on us, very well indeed.

"If dealerships do choose to add a $20K or even a $10K markup to the vehicle, some customers who can't get one because they sold out months ago , may decide to jump down to the Nissan Leaf." There, fixed it for you.

RE: Amazing...
By Iaiken on 8/4/2010 9:44:42 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to the Volt, the supply and demand paradigm will be turned on it's head as the supply of Volts will be far lower than the supply of idiots willing to pay $61,000 for one.

For that price, I could buy a Lexus IS250 and $30,000 worth of gasoline. Anyone with high school math can do the CVA and realize that even at the $35 rebate price, you needed to drive 170,000 electric miles before you broke even vs a similar passenger class car.

RE: Amazing...
By DougF on 8/4/2010 3:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
But, but, wouldn't be driving the "in" thing, you wouldn't be "cool", you wouldn't be one of the "eco" snobs...LOL

The sad thing is....
By Skott on 8/4/2010 10:17:57 AM , Rating: 2
There are people who will pay it. People with more money than common sense. The scary part is other dealers will see what the the dealer is doing and follow suit. They will feel like they are thumbing their noses at GM, the Govt., and get richer while doing it. Just sad really to the point of pathetic.

RE: The sad thing is....
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 10:43:30 AM , Rating: 4
No what is sad, really, are the arm chair quarterbacks that think they have a right to tell a private enterprise how to they should conduct their business.

What right do you have to tell them how to run their dealership? Why shouldn’t the dealership make hay while the sun is shining?


Not Really.....
By tng on 8/4/2010 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
"It’s in a market of its own. Where else are you going to go to get one of these things? There is no other choice. Look, it’s not like we’re trying to sell two million of these."
Well.... Just saying that there are allot of cars out there that are comparatively "Green" that are better priced, not just EVs and hybrids. Also allot of these cars make much for sense for people who don't live in urban areas.

Also did you find this statement as arrogant, or was it just me? No wonder GM is having problems.

RE: Not Really.....
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:38:50 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely arrogant, but right now he's right - the Volt is the only mass-produced PPHEV on the American market.

Honestly? Good for Them
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:16:52 AM , Rating: 2
Somewhere amidst the trees here, there's a forest.

When Toyota had this going on with the Prius, we all screamed bloody murder - how stupid can you be to pay thousands over MSRP for a car that's supposed to save you money??? These smug b@stards must really dig the warm fuzzies they get from "going green"! Yada-yada.

Cool story, bro.

I actually find it more interesting that Chevy was able to put out PHEV that people want to buy so much that they're willing to throw down major bank like this. Yeah - it's stupid money, but has anybody stopped to think how much that is to Chevy's credit? True, they don't see the markup - but, they've got a hot piece of merchandise in term of market demand. Let's hope they don't mess it up and we can see how far PHEVs will go.

By hduser on 8/4/2010 1:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Woe to the person who'll buy it anywhere near the $60K price. For $60K I'd get a BMW M3 and say "Suck it fuel economy!"

By jah1subs on 8/4/2010 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
I worked as a Ford salesperson for two years. When people complained about the Ford Escape Hybrid being marked up over sticker, I would remind them that this was old news.

The PT Cruiser went for more than sticker when it was launched.

Even a minivan went for more than sticker when it was launched. The example was the first generation Honda Odyssey that was designed and built by Honda (not the earlier rebadged Isuzu). I knew one fellow dad, who had the money to do it. His wife demanded that they replace their existing minivan (probably Chrysler) with a new Odyssey immediately. As I recall, they paid $10,000 over sticker for it.

I am surprised only that the volt is $20,000 over sticker. That seems high, especially considering that most buyers in our Ford store were scared of hybrids in 2008. They wanted to take a wait and see position until they heard enough positive feedback on hybrids.

Word Problem
By Ammohunt on 8/4/2010 3:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
Fro the $41k price of a volt I can purchase a small economy car say a Toyota Yaris for about $11k leaving me with $30k to buy gas at lets say $3 a gallon. if you figure an average of 35mpg i can drive my Yaris for 350,000 miles for the base price and 584,000 miles for the $61k the are talking about. So right now the only reason i can see to by a volt is the warm fuzzy feeling you will get for owning GM's first electric car...epic fail!

By andrinoaa on 8/5/2010 6:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
You guys have missed the point COMPLETELY. You don't want one? Guess what, you don't have to buy one! Too expensive , bad luck. Just like the queues for an Ipad or Iphone, you just don't get it. Its supply and demand 101.

Joke, right?
By dfgoodwin on 8/10/2010 9:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
Let me get this straight, I can by a Chevy Volt for 61K? Oh but wait, right next to the Volt is a brand new Z06 Corvette for 61K.

I don't care how friggin green you think the Volt is, I'm buying the Vette.

Do people actually understand why the car companies do this? Because there are people out there STUPID enough to believe that electrical cars are greener than my Corvette!
You people keep dreaming.

You want green? You better start asking your politicians why we haven't switched to hydrogen. Here is a little hint, large corporations cannot make enough money off it.

Chevy VOLT
By mandoman on 8/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Chevy VOLT
By Runiteshark on 8/4/2010 9:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
Oh man, you better not of seen the markups on GT-R's when they first came out. 40k+.

The Camaros, challangers and the new 2011 mustang are marked up too, but again only an idiot would pay anything above msrp.

RE: Chevy VOLT
By Suntan on 8/4/2010 9:49:10 AM , Rating: 3
It isn’t GM doing this. It is the dealer. (Personally, after the hassle that GM’s governmental puppet-masters put a lot of dealers through I can’t say as I’d blame them.)

In any case, if you don’t think Mercedes dealers aren’t just as slimy as any of the other car dealers, you probably haven’t actually gone in to buy a car from one of them...


RE: Chevy VOLT
By Jeffk464 on 8/4/2010 1:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
True, I get more excited over the audi A5 coupe or chevy camaro then this thing. But again we should probably thank the initial buyers for helping to fund this new technology. An all electric sports car has a lot of potential for extreme performance.

RE: Chevy VOLT
By JediJeb on 8/4/2010 2:34:17 PM , Rating: 1
That's why I usually buy cars that are 1-2 years old. Let someone else take the initial depreciation hit and find any manufacturing bugs.

RE: Chevy VOLT
By YashBudini on 8/4/10, Rating: 0
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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