Yes the Leaf is single purpose, but it still fits the needs of many drivers. And electricity is more readily available than gasoline, so I don't get the fear of not being able to recharge it. And really Ruess should be concerned with an Aveo and Impala that are pathetic, a Corvette that doesn't sell, and full size SUVs with sales dropping at a 20% rate.
Few people could live with the Leaf as an only car. Most people have lives at are more 50 miles from home.
Second electric is all around us but few places are able to recharge a leaf just anywhere. Yes there are plans to put charging stations in but the issues is many will not install them till there are more cars and with no charging stations few people are willing to buy the cars. The Chicken and the Egg Principal is in play here.
The story in Autoweek points out that when you leave home you have to figure out your miles you need and see what you have. Then you need to monitor your usage as the 75 miles you left with may not go 50 miles if you are driving hard or if the weather is cold. They had this very issue. They then tried to make it to a known charging station and could not make it. So they went to a electican they knew and tried to hook up a charge when it fried the cords they used to get from the outlet to the car. Even then the time it would have taken to charge would have put them into the next day at the least. In the end it ended up on the Flatbed of shame as they called it.
I know there are people out there that live close to work and could use this for short trips but they are in the great minority. Most people who will have these will have at leat one or two other vehicles to drive if needed and that is fine. As batteries get better and charging faster this could be a vehicle for all needs. The bottom line is the Volt is a car that any average driver can own and live with as a single car the leaf is not. The Volt gives you the short run all electric deal for daily commutes but will fill in for the car that you can go see grandma in San Deigo and still get home back in Orange County that night. Heck there are many in LA that could not even get to work and home in a leaf as they drive more then 50 Miles one way a day just into downtown.
Neither the Leaf or the Volt are the final solution to the gas issue. The Leaf is just a little early and is need of better power cells while the Volt is a compromise to make a electric car the average buyer could live with. Both will improve and evolve in time but we are years from either having a system that could even think might dominate the gas powered car. It is nice to have these as an option but that is all they are for now and the Volt is the best option at this point for the normal car owner. Yes this title will change in time many times.
As for Mark he is doing his job. If he is to lead GM he needs to speak out on why you should buy his products. He is a salesman just as much as he is anything els. He is still new to the job and has to learn a few things just as Bill Ford and Allen Mually did over at Ford. Speaking out is a two edged sword as it can help you a lot but it also can back fire with a poor choice of words or comments. If care is used in the statment and if they are spoken from the heart he will do fine. He needs to just speak how he really feels and be honest. Like Lutz if you agreed with him or not you knew where he stood and how he felt will little.
As for his issues at GM I think he has most well on their way to be delt with. The Aveo is gone in witht he Sonic, The new Impala is well on the way, two new Vettes are being worked on at the same time. GM is cutting production on the slower large trucks and is adding better MPG SUV'S to the small SUV's they already have. The only hold up is time right now as many of these programs got started once they got the loans. The Goverment could money buy they could not loan them time too. If he can keep the profits up as they have been he can say what ever he wants and people will listen.
Edited by hyperv6, 11 May 2011 - 07:08 PM.