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Next-generation Volt could cost as much as $10,000 less to produce

In the world of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt has been the most high-profile entry aimed at consumers. However, the biggest problem for GM when it comes to the current Volt is that the vehicle isn't profitable.

"This car, on a technology scale, is off the charts vs. what you [have] seen," said GM CEO Dan Akerson, who owns one personally. "We've sold about 26,500 of them [and] we're losing money on every one."

Akerson says that the loss GM takes on every Volt that it sales will soon come to an end. The automaker has significant improvement planned for the second-generation vehicle, including making it lighter. Less weight means that the electric driving range can be made extended without adding larger battery packs -- the battery pack on the current generation Volt battery weighs 400 pounds alone.


According to Akerson, GM believes that the cost to build the Volt can be reduced in the range of $7,000 to $10,000 on the second-generation model. That doesn't necessarily mean buyers will see a discount, but it will mean GM doesn't take a loss on each vehicle it sells.

The current Volt has proven to be a hit with owners, as many are claiming they can go as far as 900 miles between fill ups.

Source: Fortune



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RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 11:46:39 AM , Rating: -1
The Volt seems to be an impractical solution for the problem it's trying to solve.

The Prius, on the other hand, is a practical solution for the same problem.

With gas prices rising, people want to save money by using less fuel. A Prius costs about $24k and gets 50 MPG on average using its hybrid powertrain. A Volt costs about $39k and gets 37 MPG on average using its hybrid powertrain.

Sure, the Volt is probably a nicer car but it comes at a really steep price, and on top of that it doesn't deliver the extra fuel economy that you've spent that extra money for.

This is why they've only sold 31,000 Volts/Amperas in 2012 (at a loss, no less) while Toyota sold over 500,000 Priuses (with a profit).


RE: Bailout Mentality
By jimbojimbo on 5/3/2013 12:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
37MPG? Where have you been? You do know that you can plug in the Volt and charge it right?


RE: Bailout Mentality
By theapparition on 5/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bailout Mentality
By Dr of crap on 5/3/2013 12:53:21 PM , Rating: 1
THE HONDA!
AND yes the Volt will go all of 35 miles on a charge. Yahooo, 35 MILES, THEN it uses gas.

IF YOU live in the city, you probably don't need a $40,000 Volt anyway!


RE: Bailout Mentality
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/3/2013 12:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
Honda for me as well. I miss my 05 SI Hatch :(


RE: Bailout Mentality
By BRB29 on 5/3/2013 1:20:47 PM , Rating: 1
I live in the city and I wish I have a Volt. Both prius and volt are great city cars as idling won't use up gas. I save a lot of money as my ICE car right now average 15mpg because I shit in traffic all day.

The Prius blows balls on the highway while the Volt cruises much better.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 2:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I live in the city and I wish I have a Volt.


Why don't you buy a Volt, then?

I suspect the main reason is the same reason that I and most other people don't buy them- they're too expensive for what you get.

Sure, the Volt looks like a very nice car. I'd like to have one, too. But they're almost $40,000. Even if someone gave me $40,000, there would be more practical uses for the money. I could buy a less expensive car and use the extra money to pay down my mortgage.

My main point of contention isn't the quality of the Volt, it's the practicality of the Volt when you consider the price. The Volt would be an awesome $25k car. It's a lackluster $39,145 car.

It's the same problem that plagues the Mazda 2. I've driven one and it's a great little car. But they priced it almost the same as the Mazda 3. Hardly anyone would buy an awesome "budget" car like the Mazda 2 when it's priced the same as a higher end car like the Mazda 3. It's a sales failure and I wouldn't be surprised if it was discontinued.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By Mint on 5/3/2013 5:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
Price will come down, as evidenced by this article.

Plug-in hybrids are basically hybrids with a larger battery and a charger. The C-Max Energy is only a few grand more than the equivalently equipped C-Max SEL Hybrid. You can make up the cost difference in a few years.

However, it clear that in these early stages some manufacturers want higher margins on plugins, e.g. the Fusion Energi. It has the same powertrain as the C-Max, but the price premium for the plugin is way higher.

This'll go away with more competition, once again highlighting the importance of getting the ball rolling.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 1:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't bust his bubble. It takes a lot of effort to only present the facts that support your argument.


I was clear in the context of my post. The other poster had to go out of their way to pick it apart. They made huge leaps in logic to do so, including completely disregarding key words in my post. It was really just poor reading comprehension and reasoning ability.

quote:
It does cost more, and would take a long while to earn the cost difference back,


Which is a huge problem when your main selling point is its efficiency.

quote:
but a 25mpg Mercedes also costs more than a 25mpg Honda. Guess which one most people would pick if they had the choice.


I would pick the Honda. Until automakers start giving away cars for free, price is going to be a huge factor in a purchase. You get a lot for your money with a Honda. The build quality is excellent, they're comfortable, they're reliable, and they're priced right.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 1:35:27 PM , Rating: 1
How poor is your reading comprehension? Do I have to circle key words in crayon?

Here's what I said:

quote:
and gets 37 MPG on average using its hybrid powertrain


Now let's head over to fueleconomy.gov and look at the official rating for its hybrid powertrain:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&...

You'll see that when running on gas using its hybrid powertrain it gets 37 Combined (35 City, 40 Highway)

Reading is fundamental, kid.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By BRB29 on 5/3/2013 1:18:33 PM , Rating: 4
Your comparison is whacked. The Prius was funded by both Canada and Japan. The Prius had also been on market for a long time so it is in its profitable stage.

The volt weighs ~3.7k lbs
The Prius weighs ~3k lbs

The volt drives much better
The Prius drives like a boat

The volt can charge and go up to 40 miles in full EV
The Prius can't even get 5 miles

The Volt cost more
The Prius cost less

The volt has just recently been debuted and sold
The Prius has been sold since 97

The Volt has tax credit
The Prius also had tax credit

Conclusion: The volt is a better car but it cost more. It is a compromised evolution to become a full EV.

GM is approaching a practical EV starting from a hybrid. Tesla is approaching a practical EV starting from a luxury high tech EV.

We will get an EV either from Tesla or GM that can get 200 mile range in less than a decade that cost less than 40k. Eventually, we will get full EV with 300 mile range for 30k but don't expect it this decade.


RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 1:45:33 PM , Rating: 1
As I clearly said in my initial post the Volt is probably a nicer car but it comes at a really steep price.

The problem is that they're selling the Volt at a premium price but they're marketing it as a "practical" car. You market fuel efficient econoboxes as "practical" cars. When you're trying to sell a $40k car you better have a better selling point than "it gets good fuel economy".

As a product goes, it's in "no-man's land". It's too expensive for the "practical" market they're targeting, but too bland for the luxury range in which it's priced.


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