longtooth

Will the Chevy Volt save the world?

29 posts in this topic

Please! It isn't even enough to save General Motors.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor

(first paragraph)

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Given the prolonged drum roll of publicity that accompanied the unveiling of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle last week, it isn't surprising that any number of onlookers got caught up in the enthusiasm. When people begin referring to it as a "game changer" and a "paradigm shift," it's time to inject a bracing dose of reality...

http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/22/news/compa...rce=yahoo_quote

Volt is a lightning rod. I am definitely interested in acquiring one for myself when they are ready. I know that internally GM is attempting to price the Volt closer to the mid-30 thousand dollar price-point and cross their fingers in the hopes of Congress allowing a $5000 to $7500 tax credit for purchasing one. We'll see provided that GM isn't stopped in its tracks by some as-yet-unforeseen wrinkle in the tenuous economic fabric of our times.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's pretty obvious that this guy hasn't got a clue.

If he was really an automotive expert, he would know that the value of the Volt is NOT profit or the number of cars sold.

Hell, any business man can tell you that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's pretty obvious that this guy hasn't got a clue.

Actually, he was spot on. But then I am biased because I have spent the past year or so saying pretty much everything he wrote.

It is about time that the media stopped passing along GM's PR without critical thought.

If he was really an automotive expert, he would know that the value of the Volt is NOT profit or the number of cars sold.

Hell, any business man can tell you that.

He didn't claim that was the value of the Volt. In fact, he didn't even say it. Mike Jackson, CEO of Autonation did. In fact, I think the author wrote the very thing you are alluding to, "It is hoping the Volt will help it regain bragging rights from Toyota." Or were you ignoring the author's criticisms and referring only to Mike Jackson's comments?

It was just one of many reasons listed as to why the Volt isn't what it was cracked up to be.

Got any real criticism?

Edited by GXT
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but....but..... it's a game changer!

Heh. Chrysler showed three game changes...er moon shots... of their own today.

Chrysler co-president Jim Press said “We are well ahead of where people think we are. Perhaps that’s because we haven’t tooted our horn up till now.” Zing!

Not only that, it looks like Chrysler will be getting batteries from one of the companies in the running for the Volt. And it sounds like Chrysler already has working product. That puts them ahead of GM.

I think it is becoming painfully obvious that the main purpose of the Volt was always PR and not product. Otherwise they would have shut up and built it rather than spent so much time talking about it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Volt needs to make money. GM can't afford to lose money. Besides, the VOLT isn't going to draw people into the showroom, who then decide to buy another Chevy vehicle.(Well maybe the Malibu Hybrid), or what little do won't offset the loss in profit from selling the Volt at a loss. GM must price the vehicle to be profitable. If they can't price it to be profitable and sell it then they shouldn't do it. GM has enough liabilities as it is. They just added a 4th shift to the Cobalt plant. The Cobalt loses money! So GM is adding a 4th shift that will make them LESS profitable.

GM needs to price it's vehicles profitably. If they can't sell a vehicle profitably then they need to drop it from the lineup.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Got any real criticism?

Nope..

I like to see the finished product before I make my final decisions, unlike the jack ass that wrote the piece.

We don't even know what the Volt has 'under the hood' yet. How can we even make judgements?

I guess the same way the media judged the HHR a FLOP before it even released to the public. Or the same way they judged the GMT900s a flop based on concept, before they even debuted. See the pattern?

"Free ride on PR."

That's laughable at best.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh. Chrysler showed three game changes...er moon shots... of their own today.

Chrysler co-president Jim Press said “We are well ahead of where people think we are. Perhaps that’s because we haven’t tooted our horn up till now.” Zing!

Not only that, it looks like Chrysler will be getting batteries from one of the companies in the running for the Volt. And it sounds like Chrysler already has working product. That puts them ahead of GM.

I think it is becoming painfully obvious that the main purpose of the Volt was always PR and not product. Otherwise they would have shut up and built it rather than spent so much time talking about it.

And how is that any different from the Prius? (Especially the FIRST Prius and first half of the second gen)

In fact, how is that any different from 90% of "green" technology?

Do you honestly think a 'machine that was created to make money' (A corporation) will go out of it's way to incur unneeded cost for the sake of generations we won't even know?

The ONLY reason corporations are becoming "green" is because society is demanding that they become "green". And trust me, MOST of the "green" technology resides in the Marketing and PR dept.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Volt needs to make money. GM can't afford to lose money. Besides, the VOLT isn't going to draw people into the showroom, who then decide to buy another Chevy vehicle.(Well maybe the Malibu Hybrid), or what little do won't offset the loss in profit from selling the Volt at a loss. GM must price the vehicle to be profitable. If they can't price it to be profitable and sell it then they shouldn't do it. GM has enough liabilities as it is. They just added a 4th shift to the Cobalt plant. The Cobalt loses money! So GM is adding a 4th shift that will make them LESS profitable.

GM needs to price it's vehicles profitably. If they can't sell a vehicle profitably then they need to drop it from the lineup.

But that's the core problem...

GM cannot make any margins on anything smaller than a truck. Until they can find a way to produce small cars that have higher transaction prices, they will be doomed. (But then again, that was the plan right? With CAFE and all)

Unfortunately, that (profitably producing small cars) probably means the end of excitement and most of GMNA operations at GM. (Again, wasn't that the plan?)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But that's the core problem...

GM cannot make any margins on anything smaller than a truck. Until they can find a way to produce small cars that have higher transaction prices, they will be doomed. (But then again, that was the plan right? With CAFE and all)

Unfortunately, that (profitably producing small cars) probably means the end of excitement and most of GMNA operations at GM. (Again, wasn't that the plan?)

While I agree that GM seems to be scaling back on 'enthusiast' product for the future, it seems logical that GM would be looking for ways to add perceived value to smaller products in order to get better transaction prices...

...as for the Volt--there's so much that is unknown about the product, from pricing to performance, that I'm not sure any conclusion can be drawn from the program at this stage.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I agree that GM seems to be scaling back on 'enthusiast' product for the future, it seems logical that GM would be looking for ways to add perceived value to smaller products in order to get better transaction prices...

...as for the Volt--there's so much that is unknown about the product, from pricing to performance, that I'm not sure any conclusion can be drawn from the program at this stage.

Malibu? Wonder how that'll play out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malibu? Wonder how that'll play out.

You can't fill an entire 8 division line-up with Malibu rebadges, can you? (although they sound like they may try that route.) And how's that Aura working out? Or the Astra? Premium product (vs. previous line-up) that simply haven't come close to projected sales....

*Remember 2 things about the 'bu's success:

1. It's getting much higher transaction prices than its subpar predecessor, but not premium pricing vs. its natural competition (as GM 'plans' with Cruze)

2. 1 of 3 bu's are going to Fleet---a clip 4-6X its Honda and Toyota comparables..

I think diviersified Alpha is the answer...not more G3-type stuff, but hey, that's just me....

Edited by enzl
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can't fill an entire 8 division line-up with Malibu rebadges, can you? (although they sound like they may try that route.) And how's that Aura working out? Or the Astra? Premium product (vs. previous line-up) that simply haven't come close to projected sales....

*Remember 2 things about the 'bu's success:

1. It's getting much higher transaction prices than its subpar predecessor, but not premium pricing vs. its natural competition (as GM 'plans' with Cruze)

2. 1 of 3 bu's are going to Fleet---a clip 4-6X its Honda and Toyota comparables..

I think diviersified Alpha is the answer...not more G3-type stuff, but hey, that's just me....

I thought that I was being more transparent than that.

I mean that GM should apply the same ethic and thoughtfulness, shown in the Malibu's gestation and execution, to every product going forward. Starting right this moment. No half-hearted efforts.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"2. 1 of 3 bu's are going to Fleet---a clip 4-6X its Honda and Toyota comparables.."<<

That includes the Malibu Classic; the new Malibu's fleet percentage is reportedly 9%- equal to the camry.

Convert the percentages to actual quantities, and there are FAR more '08 camrys to be found going across the fleet manager's desk than the new 'bu.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And how's that Aura working out?

Since this past Saturday when I went to go look at my Cutlass for the first time to this evening, I counted about 7 or 8 Auras other than the one my parents own (even one that was identical to the one they own). The number of Auras I've seen over the past year has only steadily went up. I'd say the Aura is doing reasonably well for itself.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought that I was being more transparent than that.

I mean that GM should apply the same ethic and thoughtfulness, shown in the Malibu's gestation and execution, to every product going forward. Starting right this moment. No half-hearted efforts.

That I 100% agree with....not sure that's the direction they're going, however.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since this past Saturday when I went to go look at my Cutlass for the first time to this evening, I counted about 7 or 8 Auras other than the one my parents own (even one that was identical to the one they own). The number of Auras I've seen over the past year has only steadily went up. I'd say the Aura is doing reasonably well for itself.

I really don't want to go through this "I see alot of them, therefore they're selling BS..."

Real data is produced every monthly by GM---it's called a monthly sales report...they are reporting a sales rate of 4-6k/mo., far below GM's initial projections of 100k/yr (that's 8k+/mo.)

They are at least 25-33% below what they had hoped---that's a big fail--it's not a reflection of the product, but a botched model mix and marketing campaign. Period. Regardless of your cub reporting...that's the reality.

I wish I were making it up or twisting facts---GM is still floundering to market its GOOD product like the Aura & Astra.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>>"2. 1 of 3 bu's are going to Fleet---a clip 4-6X its Honda and Toyota comparables.."<<

That includes the Malibu Classic; the new Malibu's fleet percentage is reportedly 9%- equal to the camry.

Convert the percentages to actual quantities, and there are FAR more '08 camrys to be found going across the fleet manager's desk than the new 'bu.

The old 'bu is referred to as a 'Classic', IIRC...I'd like to see those figures you're quoting.

As far as gross numbers, of course if you're selling 500,000 Camries/yr., a small percentage would be a large number...as you well know, GM would kill to have a singular car selling anywhere near Camry/Accord/Civic/Corolla #'s.

Why on earth would Chevy report them together when it has such a dramatic effect on residuals, et al...? And if it is true, does that mean that reported sales figures also include the old one? That would dramatically alter the 'success' of the new 'bu, wouldn't it? Quick math means that a little less than 1/3 of 'bu sales aren't even new bus...

Edited by enzl
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The old 'bu is referred to as a 'Classic', IIRC...I'd like to see those figures you're quoting.

As far as gross numbers, of course if you're selling 500,000 Camries/yr., a small percentage would be a large number...as you well know, GM would kill to have a singular car selling anywhere near Camry/Accord/Civic/Corolla #'s.

Why on earth would Chevy report them together when it has such a dramatic effect on residuals, et al...? And if it is true, does that mean that reported sales figures also include the old one? That would dramatically alter the 'success' of the new 'bu, wouldn't it? Quick math means that a little less than 1/3 of 'bu sales aren't even new bus...

Those numbers you typed are report on the U.S Government fiscal year bases , which is October,1-September,30.

So mid- year is October,1-March,31.

Production of the new Malibu did not start until November with many Chevrolet dealers did not get the Malibu until January.

So in that six month period there's alot of Malibu Classic in those's numbers.

Edited by Toyota.vs.GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really don't want to go through this "I see alot of them, therefore they're selling BS..."

Real data is produced every monthly by GM---it's called a monthly sales report...they are reporting a sales rate of 4-6k/mo., far below GM's initial projections of 100k/yr (that's 8k+/mo.)

They are at least 25-33% below what they had hoped---that's a big fail--it's not a reflection of the product, but a botched model mix and marketing campaign. Period. Regardless of your cub reporting...that's the reality.

I wish I were making it up or twisting facts---GM is still floundering to market its GOOD product like the Aura & Astra.

agree with your point on how regional data substitutes actual data, however, by-region sales for Saturn would be very itneresting to look at. i've been in chicago, away from my coastal paradise home [tear], for a month now. i've noticed, interestingly enough, a dearth of saturn sales compared to what I was seeing back home. in fact there is some acceptance of outlooks, aura, and of course vue back home. granted, los angeles is one of the biggest, if not the biggest car market, with more new cars purchased every month, so you're gonna see a lot of different cars there. it's not significant that los angeles sees some saturn movement, what is interesting is that this point in the Midwest is very very poor for a GM brand. traditionally, chevy is huge here. which means tradition still rules the roast with these people and since they're not saturn buyers, they never will be.

another huge reason to invest in Pontiac. Chicago is Pontiac's biggest market, traditionally speaking. these are buyers with loyalty, consistency. [read: boring, don't dare to change] [did I say that?]

Edited by turbo200
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

goes to show how much environment can affect our perspective. people living in the Midwest and hardly traveling outside the Midwest think the world revolves around GM and national sales for GM are thriving [if there area is any indicator]. though this is a point that has been repeated consistently on these pages......

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goes to show how much environment can affect our perspective. people living in the Midwest and hardly traveling outside the Midwest think the world revolves around GM and national sales for GM are thriving [if there area is any indicator]. though this is a point that has been repeated consistently on these pages......

You've obviously never spent significant time in the midwest to make such a gross and inaccurate generalization. Typical Californian. :neenerneener:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
agree with your point on how regional data substitutes actual data, however, by-region sales for Saturn would be very itneresting to look at. i've been in chicago, away from my coastal paradise home [tear], for a month now. i've noticed, interestingly enough, a dearth of saturn sales compared to what I was seeing back home. in fact there is some acceptance of outlooks, aura, and of course vue back home. granted, los angeles is one of the biggest, if not the biggest car market, with more new cars purchased every month, so you're gonna see a lot of different cars there. it's not significant that los angeles sees some saturn movement, what is interesting is that this point in the Midwest is very very poor for a GM brand. traditionally, chevy is huge here. which means tradition still rules the roast with these people and since they're not saturn buyers, they never will be.

another huge reason to invest in Pontiac. Chicago is Pontiac's biggest market, traditionally speaking. these are buyers with loyalty, consistency. [read: boring, don't dare to change] [did I say that?]

No to thread-jack, but Saturn's problem is that they have ignored their traditional base--and the limited penetration of stores yields limited market presence that compounds the terrible job GM has done getting the word out about Saturn's new (and pretty strong) line-up.

Despite this, the reason that GM clings to Saturn is the psycho-graphics (sp?)---more people will consider a Saturn (vs. Pontiac or Buick or Chevy) and these people are, generally, import oriented. Whether or not this will convert into real sales is another issue, however, if one takes a strong S-series sales year and adds that # to the current sales minus Astra---you've got sales of 350k-500k---which I'm assuming is GM's target or hope at some point in time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've obviously never spent significant time in the midwest to make such a gross and inaccurate generalization. Typical Californian. :neenerneener:

my statement should have conveyed the idea that people in any given area could presume the entire country to reflect thier area's patterns because environment affects our thinking heavily......which is an idea some of us have discussed here at length. of course there are people everywhere who are more aware or familiar with the situation. but a couple things about our society in this country enforce individualistic thought, which can lead to people having an idea they think to be right that nobody has ever corrected them on.

i've lived in the midwest my whole life and just recently began a new life in Los Angeles. there are plenty that don't care enough to find out the truth so they go on with a false idea.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That I 100% agree with....not sure that's the direction they're going, however.

Seeing what I've seen over the years it was my greatest wish and often my bitterest disappointment.

I trust that this upheaval ongoing will resolve it self into a more wieldy and responsive GM. My fondest regret now is that I'll only be on the sidelines shortly...not that my contribution exerts one erg-fraction for the good, but I firmly believe that I gave it hell while it lasted.

Now, as to Volt, if they pushed as far as prudent, could we see Volt in one year's time? Anyone?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...