GM Expects Next-Generation Volt to Be Profitable, Cost $10,000 Less to Build
May 3, 2013 9:04 AM
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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
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RE: Bailout Mentality
5/3/2013 2:09:00 PM
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
5/3/2013 5:11:57 PM
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.
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