Print 172 comment(s) - last by Dan Banana.. on Feb 28 at 8:11 PM

Bob Lutz has had enough of the Volt flaming

Bob Lutz has never been one to back down from a fight. The former Marine has served at a number of car companies over the decades including General Motors, BMW, Ford, and Chrysler. Most recently, Lutz served at GM's Vice Chairman for Special Advisor Design and Global Product Development.
When it comes to hardcore "car guys" in the auto industry, there aren't many as rabid as Lutz. In recent years, Lutz is responsible for spearheading the development of enthusiast-oriented vehicles like the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac G8, fourth generation Pontiac GTO, Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky, and the upcoming Cadillac Converj (now called the ELR).
One of Lutz's most famous "babies", however, has been the Chevrolet Volt. He has been an ardent supporter of the plug-in hybrid, so it should come as no surprise that Lutz is coming to the Volt's defense after a barrage of negative press has rained down on it.

[Source: Patrick Arena/VW Vortex]
Lutz, writing in a column for Forbes, went straight after those that have been most critical of the Volt. He rattled off six “truths” about the vehicle including the fact that the Volt was conceived before GM's federal bailout and that no Volt has caught fire on public roads during an accident. Lutz also asserted that 278,000 gasoline-engined vehicles caught fire between 2003 and 2007, but no one seemed to launch an attack campaign against those vehicles.
But Lutz saved his harshest criticism for the "right-wing media" which has gone after the Volt with many a hollow-point bullet:
But the Oscar for totally irresponsible journalism has to go to The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, with, as its key guest, Lou Dobbs. Amid much jocular yukking, the Volt was depicted as a typical federal failure. In attempting to explain why Chevy has sold fewer than 8,000 Volts, Dobbs states, flatly, “It doesn’t work.” He elaborates, “It doesn’t go fast and go far on electricity. What happens is it catches fire."
Lutz then went on to try to clear up any confusion about who enabled the $7,500 tax credit that has been another sore point for people upset over the very existence of the Volt:
To top it off, these two media pros lamented the fact that the same government that had forced GM to produce the Volt was now extending $7,500 tax credits towards its purchase, thus squandering even more of “our taxpayer” dollars on this failed Socialist-collectivist flop. Truth? The $7,500 tax credit was enacted under the Bush administration!
Lutz’s column comes just days after GM CEO Dan Akerson testified before Congress to defend the Volt's safety record. "The Volt is safe. It's a marvelous machine. It represents so much of what is right at GM and, frankly, American ingenuity and manufacturing," said Akerson in his testimony last week. "The Volt seems, perhaps unfairly, to have become a surrogate for some to offer broader commentary on General Motors' business prospects and administration policy."
Late last week, GM introduced a new commercial to put the Volt in a more positive light.

Source: Forbes

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Don't balme Fox - do the math
By JimboK29 on 2/1/2012 4:22:59 AM , Rating: 0
An ASE certified technician told me the Volt is a $40,000 Honda Civic. The Civic is selling well due to the math. Bash the media all you want, but did you ever stop to think that maybe buyers ran the math to justify a Volt? Let's see...Volt needs a new $8,000 battery every 8 years or 100,000 miles. That is $1,000/yr in battery costs on top of your $40,000 "investment". Now take the cost of gas even at $5/gallon and take in the cost difference of a $20,000 Civic (32 MPG).

RE: Don't balme Fox - do the math
By Denigrate on 2/1/12, Rating: 0
By homebredcorgi on 2/1/2012 4:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
Well if the talking heads would have used facts in the first place, this "lib" wouldn't be upset - a lot like your comment.

RE: Don't balme Fox - do the math
By Flunk on 2/1/2012 10:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
It's not "liberal" or "conservative" to use facts to make a reasonable point. A compact gasoline car is much more cost effective than even a less expensive hybrid because of the lower cost of maintenance and the relatively low cost of gasoline coupled with the different in fuel economy between a hybrid and a compact gas car.

A $7,500 subsidy doesn't really make sense because the only people it benefits are those rich enough to decide that they can afford to by a less cost effective vehicle. That money would be better spent in public transit or reducing the overwhelming deficit that the current and previous administrations have racked up.

RE: Don't balme Fox - do the math
By theapparition on 2/1/2012 4:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong. Stop spreading misinformation.

The cost of battery replacement is included in the Volt purchase price, with a new battery scheduled for replacement in it's 8 year/100,000 mile warranty period.

RE: Don't balme Fox - do the math
By Kurz on 2/1/2012 10:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
No they don't include it in the price sufficiently.
The Warranty is offered to give consumers some ease of mind and to cover the infrequent failures that may happen.

The Battery is meant to last a long time probably more than 8 years, so it will not fail in the 8 year timeframe. Though its still up in the air how long they will last.

RE: Don't balme Fox - do the math
By Jeffk464 on 2/1/2012 11:08:18 AM , Rating: 2
Replace Honda Civic with mazda 3 or Ford Focus and you might have something there. Civic is no longer reviewed at the top of the small car market. That being said it is always going to cost a lot to have to power trains you have a massive increase in parts. For prices to come down you need all electric(which is actually mechanically super simple) and a drop in battery prices. If you used something like the new Ford Focus electric for 10 years as a commuter car it is probably already cost effective at today's battery prices. But the sticker shock will keep most people away. Long term you look at gas savings and maintenance cost savings and the total 10 year picture will look different.

By Jeffk464 on 2/1/2012 11:12:46 AM , Rating: 2
Myself I would probably rather buy myself a nice BMW 3 series for the sticker price of the volt and pay the extra cost of ownership that it comes with.

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