Print 49 comment(s) - last by Qapa.. on Feb 3 at 9:37 PM

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: No need to blame the media
By kmmatney on 2/2/2012 1:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
There was supposed to be a $7500 government rebate for the first 200K cars sold. is that still on?

RE: No need to blame the media
By Spuke on 2/2/2012 1:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a rebate, it's a tax credit.

RE: No need to blame the media
By bobsmith1492 on 2/2/2012 4:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
Same difference...

RE: No need to blame the media
By Solandri on 2/2/2012 7:10:02 PM , Rating: 3
A rebate is $7500 cash back. A $7500 tax credit is equivalent to cash back only if your federal income tax exceeds $7500.

$5800 standard deduction
10% of next $8025 = $802.50 tax
15% of next $24525 = $3678.75 tax
25% of next $12075 = $3018.75 tax

Total $50425 income = $7500 tax

So if you make less than $50,425 and take the standard deduction, you can't get the full $7500 tax credit. If you're married, head of household, or itemize your deductions, the income threshold is even higher before you can take the full $7500 tax credit.

RE: No need to blame the media
By bobsmith1492 on 2/3/2012 9:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
True, I figured anyone who can shell out $40K for a car should be paying that much in tax easily.

RE: No need to blame the media
By JediJeb on 2/3/2012 12:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
I always wondered just how that tax credit worked. For me I would not qualify since I make about $48K(even less taxable because of my 401K contributions ) and really I am considered middle to upper middle class in this area. This really is a rebate only for mostly wealthy people.

Oh and around here there are people making less than me paying $40k for vehicles, though I don't know how in the world they finance them.

RE: No need to blame the media
By Qapa on 2/3/2012 9:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, but what is really bad is that, maybe someone getting $30K/year and think about getting this car but you'd pay more than someone getting $60K/year.

This "discount" is to make it easier to get more people to buy this "new tech" so that more people get informed about it and is it easier for it to penetrate the market.

So, how does it make any sense to help most the people that would have the less problem in buying it?!

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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