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L.A. auto show: Ewanik road-trips in a 2011 Chevrolet Volt


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L.A. auto show: Ewanik road-trips in a 2011 Chevrolet Volt

By GREG MIGLIORE on 11/17/2010

General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanik drove a Chevrolet Volt from Detroit to Los Angeles for the auto show.

Dusty and grey, it rolled onto the stage under the bright lights of the Los Angeles auto show--a crowning moment for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the reborn General Motors. But why display a car that looked like it drove to California?

Because it did.

Vice president Joel Ewanik piloted the car from GM's base in Detroit to Los Angeles in five days, clocking 2,290 miles in the process. His mission: prove to the nation that the Volt does what it's supposed to do, which is drive mostly under electric power with a generator kicking in to extend range.

Ewanik's personal Volt logged 1,100 miles this year and only used one gallon of gasoline. He actually laughed the first time he had to fill it in Gary, Ind.

“I didn't even know where the button is,” he chuckled.

The display at the L.A. show begins even more marketing for the Volt, which will be in the hands of some owners right after Thanksgiving. About 300 to 500 vehicles are expected to be on the road by the end of the year in some markets before the full rollout begins next year. TV and film star Tim Allen pitches the Volt as “more car than electric” in new commercials.

GM will also do a bit of flag-waving with the Volt's technological prowess, and Ewanik said the car could be critical to reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

“This is something that's important to America,” he said. “This is something we built.”

One future customer, Kris Trexler, was a former EV1 leassee and is on the Volt consumer-adviser board. He said he's excited about the new Chevy and ordered a red one.

“It just got this solid, heavy feeling--a substantial feel,” he said.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20101117/LOSANGELES/101119871#ixzz15h7C5Nh8

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