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
5/5/2013 11:05:05 PM
There's a very good reason that cars now have this feature. It is for safety. Specifically, doors are waaay less prone to open (by a strength factor of almost 4to1) in a crash/impact when the door latch is in the "secondary" latching position. And when the door latch is "locked" it helps to keep the latch in the "secondary" latched position. Furthermore, most passive restraint seat belt systems, as well as air bag systems, "monitor" via sensor the position of the door latch's "fork bolt" (this is the part of the latch that engages the car body's striker bolt, keeping it shut). In some cases, if the latch is not fully latched (ie. in the secondary position) and locked, the belts and/or the bags may not work properly, or at all.
I was one of the product design engineers for the "mini wedge" and the follow-up "global" door latches for GM. These latches are also found on many other vehicles from Toyota, Subaru, Isuzu, etc.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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