I got to see it at the LA Auto Show earlier last month.
It's overpriced for what it's trying to achieve. A $30K+ car is a not an economy car. And take away the fact that it's an electric car -- everything about it from the exterior styling, performance, interior, etc. makes it more comparable to an economy car than a BMW 3-series or even a Mini Cooper.
For an electric car like this to really make a difference, it needs to be an economy car (in terms of pricing) that would be up against the Civic, Corolla and Hyundais (i.e. ideally less than $20K). That's how it can truly be mass market. Price it to compete directly with a Civic or Corolla, and it could be a compelling enough alternative for economy minded buyers.
Problem with American manufacturers is that they're stuck in the middle - the Japanese/Koreans are market leaders in the economy segment, and the Germans/Italians/Brits are market leaders in the luxury segment, so they're stuck in that middle, which is no man's land. Only segment where they are market leaders are SUVs, trucks and fleets (taxis, police cars). The irony is, they're coming out with this electric car to save a company that was dependent on gas guzzling SUVs.
And $32K is a bit of a death zone - because it prices out a lot of economy-minded households, and lacks the cachet that would attract those who would rather buy a European car (the 3-Series brand new is in the mid-$30K and up). And it's even more expensive than a Prius.
Money matters. I don't know why GM thinks consumers are willing to pay that much of a premium for a supposedly greener car (I say "supposedly" because so long as the electricity it uses comes from utilities companies that generate most of its electricity from fossil fuels, it's not as green as they say it is). Perhaps a $1-3K premium over an economy car, maybe. A $10-20K premium? That's a very very hard sell, even for the hardcore hippy environmentalists in the Bay Area who'd rather stick to their Volvos.
In short, it's a good car, but completely mispriced in my opinion.
Now *this* is a plug-in electric car:http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com ... erlive.jpg
The hybrid isn't it's main selling point. It's the fact that it's a 500hp high performance Porsche, and the fact that it's a hybrid is a bonus. Yes this is one extreme, but if GM wants to sell the Volt, they need to go the other extreme by making its main feature as an "entry level car" (like so many wonderful entry level cars in the past - Civic, Corolla, Escort, Pinto, Fiat 500, etc.) with its main selling point being price and reliability, with its "environmental impact" as a bonus. Otherwise, this in-between crap just won't work in my opinion.
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