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  (Source: jalopnik.com)
GM only sold 603 Volts in January

General Motors' Chevrolet Volt has taken a serious beating over the past year or so after its battery fire issues were brought to light, and that beating showed as January Volt sales plummeted.

For the month of January 2012, GM sold a total of 603 Volts, which was significantly lower than December 2011's total of 1,529 Volts. GM sold a total of 7,700 Volts in 2011.

Chevrolet's plug-in hybrid electric Volt had a very up-and-down (but mostly down) 2011. In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a side-impact test on a Volt in its Wisconsin testing facility. Three weeks later, the Volt caught fire while parked in the testing garage, leading to an investigation of the safety of lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can catch fire if the internal cells or the battery case are pierced by steel or another ferrous metal.

In November, the NHTSA conducted three more side-impact crash tests with three additional Volts. Two of them sparked or caught fire while the third remained normal. From there, GM did everything it could to make customers happy, from buying Volts back to offering loaner vehicles to scared Volt drivers.

In early January, GM recalled all 8,000 Volts on the road as well as the 4,400 for sale in showrooms. The automaker added steel to the plate that protects the EV's 400-pound battery. The NHTSA said this fix did the trick, but GM CEO Dan Akerson still had to testify before Congress in regards to the fires.

The entire situation seems to have put the Volt in a bad light for some, possibly affecting the January 2012 sales numbers. In fact, former GM Vice Chairman for Special Advisor Design and Global Product Development Bob Lutz said earlier this week that the media ruined the Volt's reputation with negative coverage. More specifically, Lutz targeted "right-wing media."

"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," said Lutz. "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.'"

Source: The Detroit News



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RE: If I'm GM's PR Department
By LordSojar on 2/2/2012 11:14:41 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Lutz, you have the hottest car in the country right now. And NOBODY from GM is talking about it. The Chevy Cruze (remember that car?) depending on what source I found, is the #1 selling car in America. It's beating the Camry! When's the last time GM did that!?


Now Reclaimer, while it's not outselling the Camry, you do have a point.

However, let's just take your point and move it outward. They could just design a Volt-esque PHEV vehicle inside the Cruze's body and sell it as the highest end luxury package. This way, you'd see better sales numbers, you wouldn't have the fugly that is the Volt and you'd be able to get away from the "BURNING UP THE ROAD BABY (oh and your family in the car)" stigma that the Volt has now. Honestly, if they let me be CEO for a few weeks even, I'd have GM doing some pretty good things.

The unfortunate thing is that they let totally investor centric people be CEOs or they let these guys who have this "marvel of technology," that they push even if it tosses their company into an early grave, be CEOs.... never someone who is balanced and... ya know, intelligent on both fronts (or as I like to call it, practical/pragmatic).

The Volt's issue is many fold, but two big ones are that it was a first generation technology that still had a few bugs (which I'm sure GM has easy fixes for at this point), it was way too expensive, it was ugly as all get out (my opinion, you can agree or disagree), and it wasn't marketed in a manner that really would have sold it to the general public.


RE: If I'm GM's PR Department
By BPB on 2/2/2012 1:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The unfortunate thing is that they let totally investor centric people be CEOs or they let these guys who have this "marvel of technology," that they push even if it tosses their company into an early grave, be CEOs.... never someone who is balanced and... ya know, intelligent on both fronts (or as I like to call it, practical/pragmatic).

Who is they? This man was essentlially given the job by the Whitehouse. The same folks who killed my car, which was selling very well but has a V8 for a motor.


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