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Chevrolet Volt
GM isn't going to let a little thing like a lack of money prevent the Volt from coming to market in 2010

General Motors has been in a downward spiral all year with lagging sales and losses in the billions. GM and its cross town rival, Chrysler, asked Congress for monetary assistance to stave off bankruptcy by the end of the year. In the end, the Senate failed to hand over even $14 billion USD to the two struggling Detroit giants.

Now as the White House mulls what plan it will present to help GM and Chrysler stay in business during 2009, GM is stating that it will bring the Chevrolet Volt to market no matter what. This confidence in the Volt program comes despite that fact that GM announced yesterday that it would halt the production on a new engine assembly plant which will produce the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator for the vehicle.

Despite the setback with the engine assembly plant, billions of dollars in losses, and a production schedule that leaves little room for error, GM is still committed to bring the Volt -- and the Chevrolet Cruze -- to market by the end of 2010 as it has always stated.

If the engine assembly plant is unable to be completed in time to get the production Chevrolet Volt and Cruze out the door in 2010, GM will be forced to rely on one of its overseas facilities to produce the engine according to the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly enough, the Chevrolet Cruze is already available in overseas markets like South Korea albeit with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine -- two years ahead of the car’s North American launch.

"Everything that involves heavy cash outlays obviously is under review," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel on Wednesday. "Our intent is to still go forward with a new facility bringing that engine to Flint, Michigan."

"Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled," added one GM executive.

GM is banking on the Volt to bring it some of the same positive press that has been bestowed upon the Toyota Prius. However, the Prius and its rival, the Honda Insight, have base prices below the $24,000 mark. The Volt, however, will be priced near or will surpass the $40,000 mark before a $7,500 tax credit.

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RE: Price
By Suntan on 12/18/2008 4:09:04 PM , Rating: 3
Why not take out some of the fancy gadgets and advanced features and offer a low end model that more people can afford?

What kind of fancy gadgets would you take out?

The monitoring system that makes sure the batteries don’t discharge to the point that they fail after a short lifespan? The charging/switching system that can make sure that doesn’t happen? The high current switching system that allows them to offer variable motor speed (also known as acceleration controlled by the driver’s foot) without a horrid efficiency penalty? The engine or the generator that allows a person to travel farther than 40 miles?

Some of those “gadgets?”

Sorry, people have continually asked for cars that can get more gas mileage, those were offered but by that time nobody wanted to buy them. Now people are asking for even higher mileage *and* fancy new technology to make it happen. This type of drive train is both more complex and completely new to the industry. It doesn’t come for free and it shouldn’t be expected to be as cheap as the old, familiar engine bolted directly to a bunch of gears.

This thing isn’t expensive because it is loaded down with an MP3 player or a GPS system. It’s expensive because the tech is new and complicated.


RE: Price
By Reclaimer77 on 12/18/2008 4:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
It’s expensive because the tech is new and complicated.

And 20% of the cost is going to the union.

RE: Price
By foolsgambit11 on 12/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Price
By Suntan on 12/18/2008 6:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, yeah. Without getting into a long, tired and already beaten to death debate about union this and union that. The fact remains that Chevy (even with their current union contracts) can build low cost, relatively good gas mileage cars, it's just that nobody wants to buy them.

For anyone that complains the Volt is overpriced with the features it has, there's your low cost, mild featured, 25/37mpg car that you think will work so much better.


RE: Price
By TheSpaniard on 12/18/2008 5:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
how about the high powered stereo or digital displays...

power seats and power side view mirrors

maybe even manual windows.

or how about that iPod looking dash, replace it with cheap plastic

there are lots of little places you can cut corners on a car like that

RE: Price
By rudolphna on 12/18/2008 5:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
call me a moron, but I think most of those come standard on most cars... Not to mention GM is trying to move forward, and those would be moving backwards. Not to mention, those parts constitute a very low amount of the cost that goes into these vehicles.

RE: Price
By Ringold on 12/18/2008 5:56:20 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm. Yeah. That'll sell well. a $30,000 car that has the features and cheap appearance of a $10,000 car.

The only people that would buy a Volt are people with money anyway. Why cater to a low-end demographic that won't buy it anyway?

RE: Price
By Spuke on 12/18/2008 6:54:09 PM , Rating: 4
Why cater to a low-end demographic that won't buy it anyway?
Ding! Ding! Ding! All of the complainers wouldn't buy one at ANY price anyways! So, like you said, why cater to them? There's already a long waiting list of more than willing potential owners for this car and will be for quite a while especially at 10k units a year.

This a niche car to be built in niche numbers. It's not intended to be a Camry or Accord challenger. GM is NOT looking for mass acceptance, they're looking to make this tech cheaper for the future.

PS - Who else has a serial hybrid in the works? Not a press release serial hybrid, an ACTUAL car?

RE: Price
By Reclaimer77 on 12/18/2008 7:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
Niche cars and niche markets aren't going to keep a gigantic sized corperation like GM in the black.

RE: Price
By Spuke on 12/18/2008 8:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the topic of this thread, who cares!! The Volt is what it is. If you want a lower cost car, go buy one, there's plenty on the market, even from GM. If you want the Volt and its accompanying technology, prepare to pony of the cash AND wait in line for it.

RE: Price
By Spuke on 12/18/2008 8:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
* pony UP the cash..

RE: Price
By TheSpaniard on 12/19/2008 12:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
I was offering up some ideas

not that its perfect but savings can be had

also a smaller vehicle would probably benefit from the design pressed into the Volt (like a redesigned Cobalt which, comparing Volt to other sedans, would end up being about 25k. that would be a sweet spot for any car company to hit for full electric capabilities, although I doubt the Cobalt could handle the setup in its current design(but if it could they could call it Cobalt Fully Charged or something)

RE: Price
By inighthawki on 12/18/2008 7:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
The monitoring system doesnt need fancy led screens, for one. Just hop in a brand new car, then in one from 10 years ago and you will notice the subtle, but clearly more expensive features that are in it.

RE: Price
By Suntan on 12/18/2008 7:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
A) what you are looking at up there is the stylized "Concept" car. Not the final production version. The interior of the production car will not look like that (they never do.)

B) If I wanted to buy a new car with a cheap 10 yr old interior, I'd just as soon buy two used 10 yr old cars (one as a backup to get around the issue of potentially reduced reliability inherent in older cars.) It would be cheaper in the long run. People don't go out and buy "new" cars *just* to save money.


RE: Price
By Spuke on 12/18/2008 10:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
What's cracking me up is these are the same people that chastise GM for crappy interiors. LOL!

RE: Price
By inighthawki on 12/18/2008 10:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
10 year old "looking" interior is not the same as a 10 year old car. If you want to do that, go ahead, but its under the hood that really matters in a car, and you'd be getting crap

RE: Price
By Suntan on 12/19/2008 9:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, a 10 yr old interior is a 10 yr old interior. Do you see any of the car companies putting out stripped down, cheap, old interiors to save a buck? No, because they have learned time and again that it is a stupid thing to do. People expect a nice interior, even in “cheap” cars.


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