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Oracle of Delphi

Bob Lutz Shares Details of the Chevrolet Volt

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I am surprised that the designers weren't more concerned with aerodynamics when they were first designing the concept, and that they only discovered it had horrible aerodynamics after showing the completed concept to the public (or perhaps they knew it had horrible aerodynamics and needed to change, but still showed it).

When Honda unveiled the Clarity concept for the first time it was nearly finished, and the production version only had minor tweaks and a different grill compared to it. Same with the Insight.

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The original Volt concept was a powertrain exercise wrapped in hot looking package.

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I also think the first Volt was done in a very short time so odds are aero was a priority on this let alone even put it in a tunnel.

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I still think some cues from the original Volt might evolve into some other production car.
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The original Volt concept was a powertrain exercise wrapped in hot looking package.

The original Volt concept had a theoretical powertrain and was powered by a tub of detergent and a golf cart motor.

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I also think the first Volt was done in a very short time so odds are aero was a priority on this let alone even put it in a tunnel.

Except that the press release for the Volt concept contained this heading in regard to the exterior, "Environmentally conscious vehicles can be aesthetically appealing". It also contained this, "The Volt’s athletic design challenges the notion that an environmentally conscious vehicle can’t be beautiful and possess an aesthetic spirit that matches its driving characteristics." and, "“First and foremost, this is an advanced technology vehicle that uses little to no fuel at all. But we didn’t see any reason why that should compromise its design,” said Anne Asensio, executive director, GM Design. Asensio led the design team that created the Volt concept, with designs solicited from GM’s studios around the world." Finally, "“Our job was to design a vehicle people could easily imagine,” said Asensio. “It couldn’t be a ‘science project,’ because that’s not what this car is all about. It had to be realistic, executable and carry the essence of the Chevrolet brand.”"

Can you believe that was in the PR and they actually had no idea if the Volt was or wasn't aerodynamic? At least I assume they were being incompetent and not deceitful. For me, it is just more evidence about how very little actual work/research had been done on the Volt when they started making all their claims that have proven so inaccurate.

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I am surprised that the designers weren't more concerned with aerodynamics when they were first designing the concept, and that they only discovered it had horrible aerodynamics after showing the completed concept to the public (or perhaps they knew it had horrible aerodynamics and needed to change, but still showed it).

When Honda unveiled the Clarity concept for the first time it was nearly finished, and the production version only had minor tweaks and a different grill compared to it. Same with the Insight.

I think the major difference was that Honda was showing cars they intended to build. GM was showing a car for PR (as per Lutz) that they didn't intend to build (as per the PR at that time).

It is very funny in retrospect, now that we know how GM pretty much knew NOTHING about the Volt and how they inflated pretty much every number that mattered, that that the detergent powered brick concept was assumed a working moonshot that leap-frogged Toyota.

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To look at it another way, GM spent two and a half years creating technology (where there was none before) that will deliver on what were at the time empty promises made by GM's PR about a concept that was essentially based on vaporware.

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To look at it another way, GM spent two and a half years creating technology (where there was none before) that will deliver on what were at the time empty promises made by GM's PR about a concept that was essentially based on vaporware.

Except that they aren't really delivering.

e.g.

1) Price will apparently be $40K+, not under nicely under $30K

2) ICE MPG will likely be in the 30's, not 50.

3) Electric range will be 32 miles (city EPA) and probably less on the highway, not 40 miles.

4) Availability will be niche for quite some time, not the "gotta be a Chevy to show how it is an average person car" mantra.

5) Range is 300 miles, not 600 (not that this really matters as far as I am concerned).

6) Appearance is more Prius/Insight-like and less Camaro-like.

I would also argue whether or not the technology existed. I don't think anything particularly new has been created since the time of the concept. On the contrary, I think the battery breakthrough that GM was banking on hasn't happened and that is why they are falling so short on the important metrics.

Edited by GXT
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Except that they aren't really delivering.

e.g.

1) Price will apparently be $40K+, not under nicely under $30K

2) ICE MPG will likely be in the 30's, not 50.

3) Electric range will be 32 miles (city EPA) and probably less on the highway, not 40 miles.

4) Availability will be niche for quite some time, not the "gotta be a Chevy to show how it is an average person car" mantra.

5) Range is 300 miles, not 600 (not that this really matters as far as I am concerned).

6) Appearance is more Prius/Insight-like and less Camaro-like.

I would also argue whether or not the technology existed. I don't think anything particularly new has been created since the time of the concept. On the contrary, I think the battery breakthrough that GM was banking on hasn't happened and that is why they are falling so short on the important metrics.

You could just cut and paste your anti-Volt diatribes, or just right 'ditto' on your posts: save the uninitiated the pain of having to read them all from scratch. Tell me, what is Toyota paying you to be their spokesperson? The fact that Toyota began to attack the concept of the Volt from the beginning is enough proof for me that GM has been and is on the correct track here.

I agree that perhaps Lutz and others shouldn't have over-hyped it from the beginning, but with Consumer Reports and others constantly rehashing Toyota and Honda's press releases, GM needs to bleat their own horn because nobody else is doing that.

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1) Price will apparently be $40K+, not under nicely under $30K

2) ICE MPG will likely be in the 30's, not 50.

3) Electric range will be 32 miles (city EPA) and probably less on the highway, not 40 miles.

4) Availability will be niche for quite some time, not the "gotta be a Chevy to show how it is an average person car" mantra.

5) Range is 300 miles, not 600 (not that this really matters as far as I am concerned).

6) Appearance is more Prius/Insight-like and less Camaro-like.

Nothing here is that out of line.

I would also argue whether or not the technology existed. I don't think anything particularly new has been created since the time of the concept. On the contrary, I think the battery breakthrough that GM was banking on hasn't happened and that is why they are falling so short on the important metrics.

I couldn't argee more. Battery technology is evolving very slowly, regardless of GM's investments or not, as the technology is used in SO many other applications.

You could just cut and paste your anti-Volt diatribes, or just right 'ditto' on your posts: save the uninitiated the pain of having to read them all from scratch. Tell me, what is Toyota paying you to be their spokesperson? The fact that Toyota began to attack the concept of the Volt from the beginning is enough proof for me that GM has been and is on the correct track here.

I agree that perhaps Lutz and others shouldn't have over-hyped it from the beginning, but with Consumer Reports and others constantly rehashing Toyota and Honda's press releases, GM needs to bleat their own horn because nobody else is doing that.

He's not being anti-Volt, as least as far as I see... Toyota and Honda's efforts aren't much farther along. To keep touting GM breakthroughs that aren't breakthroughs hurts GM's creditability.

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Nothing here is that out of line.

I couldn't argee more. Battery technology is evolving very slowly, regardless of GM's investments or not, as the technology is used in SO many other applications.

He's not being anti-Volt, as least as far as I see... Toyota and Honda's efforts aren't much farther along. To keep touting GM breakthroughs that aren't breakthroughs hurts GM's creditability.

I don't see anything out of line either. The Volt at over $40,000 is a joke. That is as affordable as a BMW 3 series. Except, it's a Chevy.

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You could just cut and paste your anti-Volt diatribes, or just right 'ditto' on your posts: save the uninitiated the pain of having to read them all from scratch. Tell me, what is Toyota paying you to be their spokesperson? The fact that Toyota began to attack the concept of the Volt from the beginning is enough proof for me that GM has been and is on the correct track here.

I agree that perhaps Lutz and others shouldn't have over-hyped it from the beginning, but with Consumer Reports and others constantly rehashing Toyota and Honda's press releases, GM needs to bleat their own horn because nobody else is doing that.

I do feel kind of repetitive... I'm not sure how many times I have told you that I don't particularly like Toyota, have never owned one, and don't particularly want to own one. I don't want to get in the way of your persecution syndrome, but sometimes it isn't quite that black and white.

Toyota was correct when they criticized the Volt... and take note that that was when GM was claiming the Volt's performance was much better and the cost was much lower than what it seems today. It makes even less sense now.

Initially GM tried to pretend that what they were doing was some leap-frog moon shot, but now we know that wasn't the reality at all. Lutz has admitted that the Volt was a compromised attempt to one-up the Prius and now it is pretty clear that at the time of the concept they really had very little idea what they were talking about. That also means that they most likely decided to go ahead based on public reaction to their claims (as well as government money) and not based on what actually made sense. So don't blame Toyota for pointing out the obvious.

The reality is that Toyota could do what GM is doing if they wanted. And while I suspect they will one day, they will probably wait until it makes sense. Rushing to put out a vehicle that doesn't make much sense for the consumer and loses money for automaker doesn't make sense.

Edited by GXT
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Rushing to put out a vehicle that doesn't make much sense for the consumer and loses money for automaker doesn't make sense.

You mean like the first 3 generations of Pruis and the first generation of Insight?

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Oh, the joys of a a free society and the internet: we get to attack GM before it builds something, during and then through hindsight attack things we overlooked.

We are watching the final few moves of a massive game of chess on a global scale.

What did GM learn from the EV-1 project? Answer: we don't know.

Why didn't GM worry about aerodynamics on the Volt from the beginning? Answer: we don't know.

How much will the car actually cost IN ANOTHER YEAR WHEN THEY START SELLING THEM? Answer, we don't know.

What eventual mpg will the car get, when its real marketing trump card is that for 70% of the drivers out there, it will never run on gas? Again, we dont' know.

A whole lot of speculatin' goin' on. The difference is, some of us are HOPING for the best, while others are HOPING for the worst.

I'm starting to see why Nero chose to play the fiddle while Rome burned......

[and puhlease! I know the fiddle was invented a thousand years after Nero died...it's just an allegory!]

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You mean like the first 3 generations of Pruis and the first generation of Insight?

Are you saying that Toyota lost money on the 3rd gen Prius? I've heard people make that argument about the first gen, but you can't seriously be making that argument about the 3rd and 2nd gen too?

Now if you had stuck to the first gens then I could have seen your point to an extent. But I believe even the first gen Prius made much more sense to Toyota and the consumer than the first gen Volt. More to the point, one of the causes of the first gen hybrids was government money, and in that regard I guess Toyota and GM aren't so different.

Regarding whether they make sense for the consumers, I don't know enough about the 1st gen Prius to say how the volume proposition has changed, but yes, a 2nd and 3rd gen Prius driver could make up the cost premium.

But let's assume you are correct and say the Prius doesn't make sense for the consumer. Lets see how the Volt compares.

Assumptions:

Price premium for Volt ~$18,000 (40K vs 22K). This actually flatters the Volt as depreciation and financing costs will widen this gap significantly. I know there is a tax credit for the Volt, but that the government has to prop it up just proves the point all the more. Let's assume the extra financing, depreciation and taxes equals the tax credit.

Prius gets 50MPG. Volt gets 30 miles electric range (as per EPA city of 32 - slightly lower for highway) for $0.80 ($0.10/KWh) and 35MPG on ICE. Assume gas costs $2.50. Volt users get up to one full charge per day.

Let's look at someone who drives 5,000 Miles/year, 10,000 miles/year, 15,000 miles/year, and 20,000 miles/year. For simplicity assume that they drive the same number of miles per day (this favors the Volt as it optimizes the number of miles that will be on elecricity).

5,000 miles/year:

Prius uses $250 in gas.

Volt uses no gas, and $133 in electricity.

Volt saves $116/year over Prius.

Volt premium over prius after 8 years of driving $17,067.

Volt premium over Prius has a 154 year payback.

10,000 miles/year:

Prius uses $500 in gas.

Volt uses no gas, and $267 in electricity.

Volt saves $233/year over Prius.

Volt premium over prius after 8 years of driving $16,133.

Volt premium over Prius has a 77 year payback.

15,000 miles/year:

Prius uses $750 in gas.

Volt uses $290 in gas, and $292 in electricity.

Volt saves $169/year over Prius.

Volt premium over prius after 8 years of driving $16,650.

Volt premium over Prius has a 107 year payback.

20,000 miles/year:

Prius uses $1000 in gas.

Volt uses $646 in gas, and $292 in electricity.

Volt saves $61 year over prius.

Volt premium over prius after 8 years of driving $17,507.

Volt premium over Prius has a 292 year payback.

So if the Prius makes no sense for consumers, what does that mean for the Volt if even in one of the most Volt-friendly situations it has a 77 year payback premium?

I picked 8 years for the cost comparison because that is apparently when the Volt's battery warranty will expire.

Now you are saying, "GXT that price will come down." OK, lets say GM manages to drops the price by $9,000 and for some reason the Prius doesn't manage to realize any of those savings. Now you have a 77, 39, 53, and 146 year payback respectively.

Even if you give GM all their original goals (including the $30,000 price, 50 MPG ICE, 40 miles electric) and $4/gallon gas, the Volt payback is still many many times worse.

Edited by GXT
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Oh, the joys of a a free society and the internet: we get to attack GM before it builds something, during and then through hindsight attack things we overlooked.

We are watching the final few moves of a massive game of chess on a global scale.

What did GM learn from the EV-1 project? Answer: we don't know.

Why didn't GM worry about aerodynamics on the Volt from the beginning? Answer: we don't know.

How much will the car actually cost IN ANOTHER YEAR WHEN THEY START SELLING THEM? Answer, we don't know.

What eventual mpg will the car get, when its real marketing trump card is that for 70% of the drivers out there, it will never run on gas? Again, we dont' know.

A whole lot of speculatin' goin' on. The difference is, some of us are HOPING for the best, while others are HOPING for the worst.

I'm starting to see why Nero chose to play the fiddle while Rome burned......

[and puhlease! I know the fiddle was invented a thousand years after Nero died...it's just an allegory!]

As I've pointed out many times, I'm still here and I will be when the Volt comes out, for better or worse.

However I think you are viewing GM's actions with rose-coloured glasses. It isn't like they set out with reason and knowledge to build the right vehicle and fell short only because of bad luck or because of facts that are only apparent now.

Here is what I believe we know from observation and public statements:

1) From interviews we know Lutz believes the demand for fuel efficient cars is largely media hype.

2) From all sources we know the Volt was Lutz's baby.

3) From interviews we know Lutz wanted to build an all-electric car for the purposes of getting Prius-style PR.

4) From interviews we know Lutz was told that was not practical, and the bastard Volt was created.

5) A Volt concept was shown with impressive claims. We now know that the Volt is falling short on all the important metrics originally claimed. We also now know that GM was claiming things which they could have known one way or another at that time (e.g. aerodynamics), but for which they clearly did not have even the most basic evidence. We don't know if that was deceit or incompetence. GM (correctly, I think) used the "we need a battery breakthrough" disclaimer to cover their butts.

6) PR floods in. Government retooling money was on the table for efficient vehicles. Cash burn was so high that bankruptcy was probable.

7) Ford, Toyota, Honda (and me! :)) point out that a car such as the Volt doesn't make sense and there are better avenues to pursue.

8) This is spun by GM and sites like this as evidence that GM has accomplished something that no one else could accomplish... even though we now know the Volt was little more than a box of detergent apparently filled with ignorance and PR-dreams.

9) In spite of all the above, GM decides to proceed with the Volt immediately.

10) That no one else is jumping off the cliff with GM is spun as further evidence that GM is performing some kind of "Moon shot" of which no one else is capable (Chinese company BYD proves this incorrect by selling a car similar to the Volt in 2008. Chrysler also demonstrates a EREV prior to the Volt being demonstrated.)

Just to put that in context, let's compare GM's actions with Ford's. GM built some crap hybrids (with 4ATs!!!) and then started their Volt slight-of-hand routine described above. Instead of jumping off the cliff with GM, Ford demonstrated that they could one-up GM, then pointed out that it was a bad idea, and then, while GM was busy building their PR production lines so as to play make-believe, Ford ACTUALLY one-upped Toyota by putting out the most fuel efficient midsize sedan. It was on sale years before the Volt, profitable (I suspect), a reasonable purchase for the consumer, wide availability, no government subsidies, probably cost a lot less than the Volt to develop, and Ford doesn't have to worry about looking like idiots because they made up a bunch of facts they couldn't ultimately back up.

Edited by GXT
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The Economics of the Volt are compelling to me... but my interest in purchasing one would determine on gas prices.

When I graduate from University in 2013 I intend to put down a 15'000$ down payment on a new car (as I have intended the Impala would be kept and garaged, its gas costs constant and therefore not a factor in this scenario). Assuming that MSRP on a topped out Cruze LT will be like 25k$ and the Volt will be about 45K$ before the 10K$ tax credit as promised by Stephen Harper and Ed Stelmach.

According to statistical research done by my university I should expect to earn 62-68k$ right after I graduate within a 95% confidence interval. At that salary with a mortgage down-payment of 60-80k$ the only place I could afford to live in something bigger than a 900sqft apartment is outside the city limits. I currently put 7000mi on my car annually but this number will realistically be more like 15500mi when I'm out on my own (estimating a commute of 30mi each way, 70/30 hwy city split). I'm assuming paying exactly MSRP for both vehicles.

1. Gas where it is now (3.50/gallon)

Cruze 1.4L LT AUTO

Combined MPG 35.5MPG
Miles Driven: 15'500
Annual Gas Cost: 1480$
Annual Finance Payment: 2364$
Monthly Gas Cost: 123.30$
Monthly Finance Payment: 197$
ANNUAL TOTAL- FINANCE + GAS: 3844$


Volt (assuming a battery range on the average commute of ONLY 20 MILES)

Combined MPG: 34MPG
Miles Driven: 15'500
Miles on Gas Engine: 3'500
Annual Gas Cost: 363.30$
Annual Finance Payment: 4560$
Monthly Gas Cost: 30.27$
Monthly Finance Payment: 380$
ANNUAL TOTAL- FINANCE + GAS: 4923.3$[/b][/u]

~ at current prices I would lose 1000$ a year for five years before the car would begin to pay for itself.  Assuming 5000$ over the finance period and net 10000$ in price difference it would take almost fifteen years for the car to pay for itself, prohibitive because I would only likely keep it as long as the battery warranty (8 years).  Advantage Cruze.

2. Gas where industry watchdogs speculate it will go by 2013 (7.50/gallon)

Cruze 1.4L LT AUTO

Combined MPG 35.5MPG
Miles Driven: 15'500
Annual Gas Cost: 3171$
Annual Finance Payment: 2364$
Monthly Gas Cost: 246.66$
Monthly Finance Payment: 197$
ANNUAL TOTAL- FINANCE + GAS: 5528$


Volt (assuming a battery range on the average commute of ONLY 20 MILES)

Combined MPG: 34MPG
Miles Driven: 15'500
Miles on Gas Engine: 3'500
Annual Gas Cost: 778.50$
Annual Finance Payment: 4560$
Monthly Gas Cost: 30.27$
Monthly Finance Payment: 380$
ANNUAL TOTAL- FINANCE + GAS: 5420.50$

~ at 7.50/gallon I would gain 100$ a year for five years.  Assuming 500$ in gains over the finance period and net 10000$ loss in price difference it would take nine years for the car to pay for itself, prohibitive because I would only likely keep it as long as the battery warranty (8 years).  Advantage Cruze.

CONCLUSION: Unless gas hits 11-12 dollars per gallon the Cruze remains a more responsible, financially feasible purchase. The numbers look even worse for the Volt if I put it against a Cruze that was bought through an inventory reduction promotion, for less than MSRP, likely with 0% apr. It's a defeat akin to the Battle of Little Big Horn for the Volt if I were to compare it to a Cruze that was bought as a year old low mileage car that's already taken it's first-year depreciation hit and sells for 17000$. The only caveat is that the Volt over the eight years gives off less emissions than the Cruze. Since this is somewhat substantially offset a la Prius by the processes that must go into making the batteries, and because I generally don't believe Al Gore, I don't give a $h! about this point.

poster55890084.jpg

*Disclaimer*

I'm not saying that the Volt won't work for anybody at all, I'm just saying that in my reality it isn't really a better solution than what's already available.

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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The Economics of the Volt are compelling to me... but my interest in purchasing one would determine on gas prices.

When I graduate from University in 2013 I intend to put down a 15'000$ down payment on a new car (as I have intended the Impala would be kept and garaged, its gas costs constant and therefore not a factor in this scenario). Assuming that MSRP on a topped out Cruze LT will be like 25k$ and the Volt will be about 45K$ before the 10K$ tax credit as promised by Stephen Harper and Ed Stelmach.

According to statistical research done by my university I should expect to earn 62-68k$ right after I graduate within a 95% confidence interval. At that salary with a mortgage down-payment of 60-80k$ the only place I could afford to live in something bigger than a 900sqft apartment is outside the city limits. I currently put 7000mi on my car annually but this number will realistically be more like 15500mi when I'm out on my own (estimating a commute of 30mi each way, 70/30 hwy city split).

I like your dedication to the facts. But why are you putting $15,000 towards a cobalt/cruze instead of your mortgage? Your mortgage will surely be at a higer rate than the car. You are throwing away money.

Your numbers are minimizing the cost difference between the Volt and the Cruze. If the Volt is 40,000 in the US it will be 45,000 in Canada and therefore nearly 50,000 with taxes. The Cobalt LT2 1SB is about 25,000 right now with taxes. Even assuming you waste my taxes (Ontario should get their own fiscal situation in order before they decide to so profoundly waste transfer payments) for a $10,000 credit, the Volt will be 15,000 more, and probably at 6% more per year (I wouldn't expect any deals on a niche product like the Volt). $40,000 for 60months @ 7% = ~$9,500/year. $25,000 for 60 months @ 1% = ~$5,130/year. That is an extra $1,200 per year for the Volt over your original numbers.

Also, as someone who found this out the hard way, I would encourage you to research depreciation rates if you haven't already done so. I think you will see that buying a new GM is a bad idea.

e.g. a $24,859 Corolla LE will cost $445.58/month for 60 months at 2.9%, and a 2005 model is currently worth $9,100 black book. (e.g. It will cost 17,634 over 5 years.).

A $25,355 Cobalt LT2 1SB will cost $443.31/month for 60 months at 1.9% (I assume you can get a slightly better rate on the cobalt) and a 2005 model is worth $6,900 black book. (e.g. it will cost $19,698 over 5 years, or $2,000 more than the Corolla.)

Edited by GXT
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Your numbers are minimizing the cost difference between the Volt and the Cruze. If the Volt is 40,000 in the US it will be 45,000 in Canada and therefore nearly 50,000 with taxes. The Cobalt LT2 1SB is about 25,000 right now with taxes. Even assuming you waste my taxes (Ontario should get their own fiscal situation in order before they decide to so profoundly waste transfer payments) for a $10,000 credit, the Volt will be 15,000 more, and probably at 6% more per year (I wouldn't expect any deals on a niche product like the Volt). $40,000 for 60months @ 7% = ~$9,500/year. $25,000 for 60 months @ 1% = ~$5,130/year. That is an extra $1,200 per year for the Volt over your original numbers.

I know what depreciation is, I'm not a moron. We've bought leaseback GM vehicles in 2006, 2007 and 2008 I have a general grasp of the residuals on GM vehicles. My 15'000$ down-payment would become a 4000$ down-payment if I bought a year old car. The number is simply for illustrating a down payment that could be applied to both cars at new in the context of my own scenario (hypothetical at this point).

If what I want is available as a leaseback at a year old that's what I'll buy... I'm not stupid. I'm just trying to illustrate the differences here. The numbers aren't spot on they're rough and approximated, not including taxes, and whatnot for the sake of simplicity. I gave the Volt plenty of leeway to illustrate that it just doesn't work for me even in mildest of conditions.

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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Also, as someone who found this out the hard way, I would encourage you to research depreciation rates if you haven't already done so. I think you will see that buying a new GM is a bad idea.

e.g. a $24,859 Corolla LE will cost $445.58/month for 60 months at 2.9%, and a 2005 model is currently worth $9,100 black book. (e.g. It will cost 17,634 over 5 years.).

A $25,355 Cobalt LT2 1SB will cost $443.31/month for 60 months at 1.9% (I assume you can get a slightly better rate on the cobalt) and a 2005 model is worth $6,900 black book. (e.g. it will cost $19,698 over 5 years, or $2,000 more than the Corolla.)

:lol: Depreciation? You had to learn that the hard way?? The second you drive off the lot you lose money, everyone knows that much. :lol: That is some mighty good research and insight.

I'm sorry what were you bitching about? :smilewide:

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Oh, GXT, you are so funny. I wish you'd come and bought a car from me when I was working at GM: my commission off you would have been well over $1,000. Keep up the good work, your posts are my daily thrill.

First of all, by comparing a LE Corolla with a LT2 Cobalt, you are showing your true colors: they don't match up in features by HALF. Secondly, get off the internet will you? Both the GM and Toyota websites don't show accurately what their prices are or their equipments lists. If you would pay $21k plus taxes for a Cobalt LT2, then you are stupider than I thought you are.

(Sorry, I know I shouldn't get personal, but this kind of sheer ignorance just cannot go unchecked. It's people like YOU, spreading your lies and ignorance that are destroying GM. Some people might actually think you know what you are talking about!!)

Your half-assed analyses are getting annoying already! I worked for a GM store that owned 2 Toyota stores. I worked there for 10 years. For $h!s and giggles (and with the used car manager hovering over my shoulder) we crunched the REAL numbers many times, and forgetting the cost of money and forgetting the MANDATORY 3 money trips to the Toyota dealership, the Cobalt was literally $3-5K cheaper than the Toyota. Nobody uses black book, especially on newer vehicle. Black book is only shown to idiots that walk in the show room to prove the dealer is being 'honest.' It's the auctions, stupid. They change daily, literally.

But the real proof is working at both a Toyota and Chevrolet store and SEEING the differences, not speculating about them like Cars.com or whaver half-asses sites you use. It's the mythology that Toyotas hold their value better that is keeping the Toyota mistique circulating.

And people dredging up BS speculation about a car that GM isn't even building yet, hoping to topple it before it gets off the ground, is what is destroying North America. How can GM counter such mindless drivel when people believe it to be true?

I don't even work for GM anymore, so really, I shouldn't give crap, but honestly - I can't countenance fools either.

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Actually Carbiz, you made a point awhile back about the Cobalt and Cavi that really, really stuck with me. And I'd like to elaborate.

You talked about how GM overbuilt things like door hinges, trunk locks, suspension mounting points, et al-things that will go bad when you really drive one of these things in a harsh environment like Toronto or Columbus Ohio.

I like to wrench on cars once in awhile, and I love salvage yards. After you brought up that point...I started paying CLOSE attention to the Toyotas and Chevy's rotting away in a yard after ten or fifteen years of service.

Imagine THAT: A CANADIAN of all things was actually RIGHT about something. The Body structure of a Chevrolet/GM product seems to hold up MUCH better over real world time and real world use than that or a Toyota. Not only that, when they are smacked hard, the body structure of the Cobalt holds up really well.

Off topic but..saw a red Cobalt 2 door sitting next to a Corolla at the Local Pick N pull. I've watched the crash test video's on you tube, but to me looking at actual wrecked cars seems to tell the true story. AMAZING how much better the Cobalt seemed to hold up from a similar accident. I am a family guy, and if I had to send my daughter off to college in a car, it would DAMN sure be a Coblat rather than a Corolla based on what I've seen in yards.

But I'm just a ranting yankee, eh? YMMV.

Chris

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Off topic but..saw a red Cobalt 2 door sitting next to a Corolla at the Local Pick N pull. I've watched the crash test video's on you tube, but to me looking at actual wrecked cars seems to tell the true story. AMAZING how much better the Cobalt seemed to hold up from a similar accident. I am a family guy, and if I had to send my daughter off to college in a car, it would DAMN sure be a Coblat rather than a Corolla based on what I've seen in yards.

Careful about that comparison, as I've done a lot of 'armchair crash analysis' at Pick-a-Parts, as well... and while drawing similar conclusions, I also take my observations with two large bits of salt...

First, most P-a-P junk yards don't put severely crashed cars in the lot. Ones drenched in blood or mangled to the point where most parts are damaged. These are crashes that can be most telling about structure or survivability.

Second, I've noticed that the higher residual value of the imports keeps them out of the P-a-P. _All_ the import cars in the local yard are clapped out, have physical damage and are loaded with JC Whitney clearance items. There are domestic cars in there that have NO DAMAGE at ALL! Plus our yard puts notes on the cars, so you can note if a car has serious engine or tranny damage... these are cars with tens of thousands of perfectly good miles on them. So my theory is that a good deal of the import cars that take less damage are repaired instead of junked.

Also, a third thought, and one I don't completely subscribe to, but if an car crushes more during an impact, it is that less energy is transferred to the passengers... so those imports with more damage were (to a degree) inflicting less injury on the passengers.

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