GM Says Bad Publicity from Fire Investigation Hurt Volt Sales
January 27, 2012 9:52 AM
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GM now working on making Volt image better
GM is hard at work on fixing the tarnished image of the Volt after the fire investigation. The Volt drama started when a crash tested vehicle caught fire three weeks after being tested while sitting in the parking lot of a government test facility. The fire was large enough to damage vehicles nearby.
GM's CEO was called to
before a House panel as part of the investigation into the fire and the methods in which the fire was disclosed. The day after the testimony was given; GM has acknowledged that the fire investigation had an impact on sales. GM started airing a new commercial on TV stations around the country that focuses on the Volt in an effort to improve the car's image.
The new commercial is called "Morning in Hamtramck." Hamtramck is the city where the Volt is constructed and is a suburb of Detroit. The commercial sees the Volts rolling down an assembly line on the main street of Hamtramck. The commercial touts the Volt as "the car that America had to build" and the commercial says that GM built the car for "for our town, for our country, for our future."
The commercial is perhaps the most visible part of the efforts to buff the tarnish off the Volt image. GM North American VP Mark Reuss sent a letter to Volt owners around the country this week that thanked the owners for their support. Despite GM offering to
Volts from worried owners no one asked for their car to be bought back. GM also offered loaner vehicles until the investigation was complete.
Detroit News reports that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was at the Washington Autoshow and noted that he is satisfied that the Volt is safe. LaHood also denied GM was given any preferential treatment in the investigation. There were some allegations that the delay in telling the public about the fire in testing, which spanned months, was preferential to GM. LaHood also said that it would have been inappropriate to disclose details on the fire until the investigation was complete.
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RE: I feel warm and cuddly
1/27/2012 10:53:16 AM
Ahhh, no Jason Mick spin, good article!
I completely agree that the Volt suffers from bad PR. Unfortunately, it's not just the battery which is really minimal, there is a campaign by oil companies to spread false rumors and bad PR paid into Fox News, among other conservative media (Jason included) outlets.
The Volt has become less an engineering marvel and more a political stint to portray its failure as a presidential fail. I hate to see politics as a prime suspect in the bad PR, but in the failed civility of our congress and their representative people, nothing is safe from this bigotry.
The Volt is an amazing platform to transfer our transportation infrastructure into a viable alternative for more reliable transportation. It is in the interest of our nation to invest in these technologies to make our economy more resilient.
RE: I feel warm and cuddly
1/27/2012 10:54:51 AM
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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