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Oracle of Delphi

Want a Volt in 2010? Then take $40,000 to your nearest Chevy dealer

21 posts in this topic

Posted Jan 27th 2008 11:27AM by Jonathon Ramsey via Autoblog

voltgoesfor40kev7.jpg

Wired magazine got in the queue for some face time with Bob Lutz at the Detroit Auto Show, and came back with a quote that's raised a few brows. When asked what the target market for the car would be, Lutz said "I don't know. You'd like to have it at about $30,000 for the customer, but what I'm hearing from the team is we're not going to get there.... f it costs closer to 40 than 30, well, that's too bad."

The issue is the timeline. His engineering team said that if they had more time they could cost-optimize the car, but Lutz doesn't want to wait for that. As for the recent go-round about when the Volt would appear, November 2010 is such a firm deadline in his mind that when it comes to the internal team, his only question is: "What is there about November 2010 that you don't understand?"

Lutz must know how important it will be to price this car competitively. A $40,000 Volt before you start checking options boxes will do a lot to keep people looking elsewhere for green options. For Lutz, though, the Volt -- like the moon landing -- is much about prestige, saying, "If it doesn't work, it's not fatal. But if it does work, it will be sensational." It is also just as much about a return to the kind of design and technological form that the marque hasn't seen in a long time. "GM's credibility is rapidly returning and it's beginning to be reflected in the marketplace.," Lutz said, "ut there is no doubt you'd like to be able to leapfrog Toyota and come out with a car they aren't ready to do. There's nothing magic about the technology. Two or three years after the Volt is introduced, everybody will have something like it. We'd just like to be first for once."

[source: Wired]

Link: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/01/27/want-a-...rest-chevy-dea/

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This could be bad for the Volt. It needs to be at least Quasi-Affordable.

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And that is when the Volt program floundered. I honestly believe they should sell it at a loss for a bit. That would do much more for GM's image and future sales than it would take away financially.

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Hmmm... a $40k Volt sounds like a tough sell, unless the strategy is to market it as a status symbol and cheaper alternative to the Tesla..

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Hmmm... a $40k Volt sounds like a tough sell, unless the strategy is to market it as a status symbol and cheaper alternative to the Tesla..

Are you thinking of the Volt being a halo yet affordable car for the Chevy brand in terms of 'greenness'? Much as the Corvette is performance-wise?

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Are you thinking of the Volt being a halo yet affordable car for the Chevy brand in terms of 'greenness'? Much as the Corvette is performance-wise?

Yes.

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Yes.

That'd fit with those news of GM wanting Chevrolet to have a green image. I just hope they don't come up with a rule of 'no GM car can be greener than the Volt'...

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Toyota sold initial Priuses at a loss, but at $20K demand remained high and constant, and now they've sold a million of them.

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And this is the weak spot that Toyota will capitalize on.

They'll come in with their massive hoards of cash and undercut the price of the Volt significantly.

They'll market it as "The affordable electric car. Toyota: Moving EVERYONE forward."

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Toyota sold initial Priuses at a loss, but at $20K demand remained high and constant, and now they've sold a million of them.

If GM wants to get all the good press the Prius got, they're going to have to eat it like Toyota did the first few years.

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And this is the weak spot that Toyota will capitalize on.

They'll come in with their massive hoards of cash and undercut the price of the Volt significantly.

They'll market it as "The affordable electric car. Toyota: Moving EVERYONE forward."

I concur 100%

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I guess it depends on what this baby can do.....

MAKE IT WORTH THE MONEY. :yes:

This is more key than anything. I don't see a problem with the price if the car is worth it. $40k would be about where the "affordable" luxury-performance RWD Zeta-based Impala would have topped out at. Considering everyday people are buying $32k Accords & Camries, I see no problem with Chevrolet offering one of the greenest mass-produced cars in the world at $40k.

There will eventually be other "volt" based vehicles that will help bring costs down. I'd love to see Buick's Riviera coupe concept turn into Buick's version of the two-door Volt. A luxury hybrid/electric coupe for around $50k? Pretty nice flagship for Buick. They'd probably sell every one of them at a profit too. It'd give Lexus' h-trim something to chew on.

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This is more key than anything. I don't see a problem with the price if the car is worth it. $40k would be about where the "affordable" luxury-performance RWD Zeta-based Impala would have topped out at. Considering everyday people are buying $32k Accords & Camries, I see no problem with Chevrolet offering one of the greenest mass-produced cars in the world at $40k.

There will eventually be other "volt" based vehicles that will help bring costs down. I'd love to see Buick's Riviera coupe concept turn into Buick's version of the two-door Volt. A luxury hybrid/electric coupe for around $50k? Pretty nice flagship for Buick. They'd probably sell every one of them at a profit too. It'd give Lexus' h-trim something to chew on.

The problem is that a $40-50k high tech Buick flagship would work, a $40k Delta based Prius-fighter won't.

I've expressed my skepticism about the Volt before---but this appears to be one more example of Lutz running off at the mouth. A $40k vehicle that changes everything* could save GM's bacon--a $40k 'converted Cobalt' would be a disaster.

I'm concerned that with the timeframe of '10 the result will be the latter, rather than the former.

*plug-in, 40+mi. electric range, practical, sporty, good looking and reliable---with tech that can be transfered...

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I think GM will be willing to eat some of the cost to get the price down a bit.

A gamble , to be sure, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

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$40K is a lot of money... but you don't get much for that anymore. Still it's too much!

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The problem is that a $40-50k high tech Buick flagship would work, a $40k Delta based Prius-fighter won't.

This isn't the same Delta platform that's currently out. It's the NG Delta. Let's wait and see. It's supposed to be a lot better. :AH-HA_wink:

And you know this will have tax credits and/or other government incentives on top of whatever GM plans to eat on the costs.

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This is more key than anything. I don't see a problem with the price if the car is worth it. $40k would be about where the "affordable" luxury-performance RWD Zeta-based Impala would have topped out at. Considering everyday people are buying $32k Accords & Camries, I see no problem with Chevrolet offering one of the greenest mass-produced cars in the world at $40k.

There will eventually be other "volt" based vehicles that will help bring costs down. I'd love to see Buick's Riviera coupe concept turn into Buick's version of the two-door Volt. A luxury hybrid/electric coupe for around $50k? Pretty nice flagship for Buick. They'd probably sell every one of them at a profit too. It'd give Lexus' h-trim something to chew on.

:yes:

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