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GM hopes to launch small pure-electric vehicles to China sometime in the next few years.  (Source: Inhabitat)

GM is convinced that pure electrics are unwanted by U.S. customers, though.  (Source: YouTube/GM)
In the U.S. GM is talking smack about BEVs, but abroad its all flowers and roses

In a company as big as General Motors Company, a certainly level of differences in approach when it comes to different international branches is fairly standard.  However, GM's approach to pure electric vehicles (also known as battery electric vehicles -- BEVs) is nothing short of bipolar.

Abroad GM is brimming with enthusiasm for BEVs.  In Germany it's testing a fleet of Opel Merivas transformed into electrified BEVs.  GM India President and Managing Director, Karl Slym, says that a new BEV -- based on the Chevrolet New Sail -- may be shown off sometime next year.  And in Korea GM is showing off an all-electric Chevrolet Cruze test vehicle at the G20 summit.

But perhaps most significantly it's talking about introducing a low cost BEV to the Chinese market, which recently passed the U.S. market in sales for GM.  The new EV will be based on the EN-V concept, which enjoyed a strong response at Shanghai Expo.

Meanwhile in the U.S. GM has aired no plans to release a pure electric, and in fact seems to be minimizing their exposure.

Apparently convinced that American consumers don't want pure electrics, it's been airing a commercial not-so-subtly jabbing at BEVs like the Nissan LEAF EV.  The new commercial, which promotes the 2011 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) states:

This isn't a country where plans made at 9 necessarily apply at five.  This is America, man. Home of the highway, last-minute detours and spontaneous acts of freedom... So doesn't it just make sense that we build an electric car that goes far... really far.

The message seems clear.  Pure electric vehicles are great, especially for the lucrative Chinese market -- just not for the U.S.  

Has GM correctly tapped into the public sentiment, or is it missing the pure electrics boat that its domestic rival Ford and international rival Nissan seem happy to jump on?  That remains to be seen over the next couple years.



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RE: My 2 cents
By Motley on 11/5/2010 12:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
Companies typically don't do what you suggest. They look at demand for a product (demand is determined by the consumer not the company), then they take a look at the associated costs involved with bringing it to the market. If the profit to cost ration weighted by risk and costs associated with possible diversification is better than their current plans then they typically deliver. Otherwise, they do exactly what GM is and say the demand isn't strong enough to warrant the investment at the current time.


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