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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

General Motors push to release Volt early hits snag

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General Motors push to release Volt early hits snag

Drivers may not get hands on it until fall

BY TIM HIGGINS

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre's push to put the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car in customer hands prior to the November launch is running into hurdles, the Free Press has learned.

After adding CEO to his title in December, Whitacre quickly talked about the possibility of bringing the car out earlier than expected in a limited number.

But as executives hustled to implement the idea, they've run into challenges that are complicating that push, several people familiar with the situation said.

The idea has "a number of problems, and the car isn't one of them," one of those people said.

GM insiders are concerned that Volts sold before the official launch could require tweaks and changes that are routine as a vehicle prepares for an official rollout, but could be misunderstood if the car is released too early.

That could result in public relations problems for the post-bankruptcy company, which aims to use the Volt to bolster its image as a reinvigorated automaker that is environmentally friendly and technologically advanced.

Not wanting to chance it, some executives are now leaning against putting the Volt into the hands of consumers prior to the official launch. "There's a lot of hard work that needs to be done between now and November, but the team remains on target to deliver," said Rob Peterson, a GM spokesman.

LINK:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100301/BUSINESS01/3010325/1210/BUSINESS01/General-Motors-push-to-release-Volt-early-hits-snag

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Well, if they let them know that they are being tested...

Some people don't have to look for a reason to bash the product anyways.....

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Google has been in "beta" for how many years now?

Attractively lease the first batch to people who are willing to beta test a car. I'm sure C&G could drum up a few volunteers.

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Attractively lease the first batch to people who are willing to beta test a car. I'm sure C&G could drum up a few volunteers.

I agree. You would think GM would want to take advantage of some "beta testers" for this purpose.

I don't get this part of the article:

"The idea has "a number of problems, and the car isn't one of them," one of those people said.

GM insiders are concerned that Volts sold before the official launch could require tweaks and changes that are routine as a vehicle prepares for an official rollout, but could be misunderstood if the car is released too early."

So the car is ready, but it isn't ready?

If I were GM I would wait as long as possible to release the car. There is really very little upside for GM actually having it on sale. GM has already been realizing more PR upside than the car warrants for a year or more now. When myth becomes reality it rarely lives up to the hype. Potential problems, money lost on each sale, and general disappointment that it doesn't live up to the claimed specs are all on the table.

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