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# What are you thinking about the GM VOLT?

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08 Dec 2010, 23:12
I saw the add pop up on GMAT Club for the GM Volt and apparently it is shipping to 7 markets.
Not a car most applicants can afford \$35-40K (including the tax rebates/refunds/etc) but very cool nevertheless based on what I found on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt

and

http://www.chevrolet.com/volt/
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09 Dec 2010, 01:40
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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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09 Dec 2010, 03:16
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Actually, GM says they are lossing money for every car, so ...
However, it is still the beginning, I am sure price will go down eventually, and the price matches their production capacity. They are not able to make more than 30 000 cars a year, and they expect more demand than that, so for them it just make sens to price at this level.
It s a new technology, so we can t expect it to be affordable right from the beginning, and available to all drivers... but we are definitely on the good path
P-S: I work in the industry, so I could write down more lines but you got my point
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09 Dec 2010, 12:38
Interesting. The small production numbers may help to sell enough of them (we'll see though).
The novelty factor is there and the car is more than just an entry level. Features such as remote start, an App for the car, Bose sound, navigation, HDD, etc. There is always a group of people who wants to be different and they will likely be the first buyers.

However!!! looking at how heavily it is advertised, I am not sure that the sales are going so well....
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09 Dec 2010, 13:57
Not to worry, I'm sure the government will step in to purchase the entire production run if there isn't enough private demand. Gotta keep those green jobs!

All kidding aside, I don't think it'll do too well, other than as a status symbol for wealthy people/celebs who want environmental cred. I just don't trust GM to be able to compete effectively in the small car segment.
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12 Dec 2010, 16:43
Not really a fan of GM and for 30K it ain't getting a penny from me nope.

^^ YUP
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13 Dec 2010, 06:28
I think it's a really great car. The technology on it is just amazing. It's a right step forward in our quest to reduce fossil fuel dependence. At the price range, it's definitely not targeting the average Joe like the Prius is. GM is probably trying to built a premium brand around the Volt.

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13 Dec 2010, 11:29
2011 Best Cars still rates a lot of the GM cars in the lower bracket =(
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16 Dec 2010, 16:03
Great concept, but the infrastructure to support the car just isn't there yet.

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Re: What are you thinking about the GM VOLT?   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2010, 16:03
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