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Free Press writeup of Volt

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The article compares the Volt to the iPhone, saying that people bought the $400 original iPhone because it was "cool", even though they could have chosen "free phones". And somehow this is like comparing the Volt to regular cars and hybrids, and warranting the rumored $42,000 initial price.

The problem with this idea, is that the iPhone shouldn't be compared to free phones, but to the smart phones available from other manufacturers, which are also in the $200 and up range, with contract. Comparing the iPhone to a "free phone" is like comparing the Volt to a scooter. Sure they both get great gas mileage, but that's about the only thing that's similar between them.

The iPhone was a bit overpriced when it first came out, as admitted indirectly by Apple with the $200 price cuts. However there's a huge difference between someone willing to pay $400 for an iPhone instead of $200-300 for a Smart phone from someone else, and someone willing to spend $42,000 for a Volt as opposed to $20,000 for a regular economy car (or Insight, for example).

To put it obviously, a $100-200 price difference is something the average consumer can easily swallow, but $20,000? Not quite. The "working folks who really need to cut their gasoline bill" will not be the ones to buy the Volt at first, which is one of the complaints the article says is incorrect, but is actually indeed correct.

It will be interesting to see what leasing programs GM offers for the Volt...

Edited by siegen
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It will be interesting to see what leasing programs GM offers for the Volt...

I think that besides whatever tax credit GM can squeeze out of Washington, GM will subsidize the leases (heavily?). They want volume so that the technology can become cost-effective...

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There are a lot of cost variables, but then nobody said buying a Prius was about saving money either!

Even if the Volt comes out at $15-20k more than similar hybrid-electrics, a $5-7k federal tax rebate and then a savings of $1,500+ in gas costs would wipe out the cost differential within a few years - for some people.

I have no doubt the Volt will sell out for the first production year. It is year #2 I am concerned about. First of all, there had better not be any significant production gaffes with the vehicle. (The public may tolerate all the electronic glitches the Prius has had, but then that is TOYOTA - and they walk on water!) Secondly, GM had better realize cost savings very rapidly so that the price of the Volt can come down and GM can make a profit.

This could be a more significant vehicle than the original Taurus was for Ford, or the K-car for Chrysler, but it absolutely, positively must go off without a hitch.

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