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GM to hire 1,000 to boost electric vehicle efforts


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GM to hire 1,000 to boost electric vehicle efforts

By CHRISSIE THOMPSON

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors said today it plans to hire 1,000 electric-vehicle engineers and researchers over the next two years as it prepares to deliver the first Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars next month.

Volt production started early this month, as reported by the Free Press. GM plans to keep the first Volt off the line to display in its Heritage Center in Sterling Heights.

The company will auction off the second Volt, with proceeds to benefit math and science education at Detroit Public Schools, GM said today in a news release ahead of a planned announcement by North American President Mark Reuss at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

GM first announced development of the Volt in 2007, following the urging of former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz to create a car that would help GM’s image as the Prius had done for Toyota. The Volt gets 25 to 50 miles of range from its Brownstown Township-assembled battery pack before switching to power from a gasoline generator.

GM plans to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 and at least 45,000 in 2012. Initially, the Volt will sell in California, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. Next spring, those markets will expand to include Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and the rest of New York and Texas. Within a year and a half, GM plans to sell the Volt nationwide.

People can bid in the Volt auction until 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 at www.bidonthevolt.com. The opening bid is $50,000. Chevrolet will announce the winner on Dec. 16 and deliver the Volt that month, complete with a 240-Volt charging station.

The upcoming engineer hires continue a trend started after GM’s 2009 bankruptcy. In mid-January, GM started hiring college graduates and experienced engineers, focusing on green technologies, hybrids and electric vehicles. By September, the automaker had added 200 electrification engineers and at that time had 50 more openings, said Micky Bly, who heads GM’s electric vehicle, hybrid and battery development.

Electric-vehicle engineers often bring youth to GM’s engineering staff, which aged as the automaker cut back on hiring during its financial difficulties. The median age of a GM electrification engineer is 27, Bly said in September. The median age of all vehicle engineers is 47, he said.

Read more: GM to hire 1,000 to boost electric vehicle efforts | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101130/BUSINESS0101/101130015/GM-to-hire-1-000-to-boost-electric-vehicle-efforts#ixzz16mRD0GaN

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GM touts beginning of 'electric era'

GM's live webcast today is highlighting the electrification of the automobile, including the new Chevy Volt, shown here on the assembly line at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

Laurén Abdel-Razzaq

Automotive News -- November 30, 2010 - 9:55 am ET

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson and lead engineers are on hand at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant today touting the start of the company's electric era with the Chevy Volt.

“It's a step into the future and a precursor to what will eventually happen -- the electrification of the car,” Akerson said during a GM Webcast from Detroit-Hamtramck this morning. “This is an exciting day here in Hamtramck and it should be an exciting day all around the world.”

Akerson also announced the addition of 1,000 new jobs, not specifically for the Volt, but to research and improve the infrastructure, batteries, charging and motors for future electric vehicles.

The Volt, which was named Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, can travel 35 miles on battery power alone. The four-passenger car also has a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that, when combined with electricity, gives it a range of 379 miles.

The EPA lists the Volt in the same compact vehicle segment as the Ford Focus, the Cherolet Cruze and the Toyota Corolla. The Volt, however, also competes with the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric vehicle that can get an EPA-estimated range of 73 miles on a full charge.

Both the Volt and the Leaf are expected to go on sale in December.

PRESS RELEASE: First Chevrolet Volt for Sale to be Auctioned Online, Benefitting Math and Sciences Education in Detroit Public Schools

• Bidding begins today at www.bidonthevolt.com; winner to be announced Dec. 16

DETROIT – The first Chevrolet Volt available for retail sale will be offered at public auction with the proceeds benefiting math and sciences education in the Detroit Public Schools.

“Every aspect of the Volt – from its aerodynamic shape to its battery chemistry – is a testament to the importance of math and sciences,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “By encouraging Detroit-area students to pursue these topics, we hope to cultivate the next generation of engineers who will build upon the Volt's innovative technologies.”

Reuss announced the auction during an event at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, where the Volt is assembled. At the event, Reuss announced the first Volt built during regular production will be retained by Chevrolet in recognition of the team's efforts to bring the revolutionary car from concept to reality. The first Volt bearing the vehicle identification number ending in BU100002 – will be auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.

The Volt offered in the auction has a Viridian Joule exterior, Light Neutral interior with dark accents, Premium Trim Package, Rear Camera and Park Assist Package, and polished wheels. The auction also includes a 240-volt charging station and home installation. The opening bid is $50,000.

Bids for the first retail Volt will be accepted at www.bidonthevolt.com until 6 p.m. on Dec. 14. The winning bid will be announced by Chevrolet on Dec. 16. The winner's Volt will be delivered in December.

Funds raised through the auction will be donated to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation to support initiatives such as robotics competitions – including students' entry fees, travel costs, and competition-related equipment.

“One of our primary focus areas is science and math enrichment,” said Chacona W. Johnson, President & CEO of the foundation. “Knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math is critical for the success of our students in higher education, and in their future careers in the 21st century workforce.”

The tax-exempt Detroit Public Schools Foundation is dedicated to supporting Detroit students. In addition to science and math enrichment, the foundation supports fine and performing arts programs; early childhood investment; building academic and athletic leadership; and college preparatory investment.

“An estimated 80 percent of jobs in the next decade are going to require skills based in math and science. With the support of GM, Detroit students will be better equipped to make a difference in Detroit, in Michigan, and in the United States,” said Robert Bobb, Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager. “We appreciate General Motors' support in developing the next generation of engineers.”

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle that can operate under a range of weather climates and driving conditions with little concern of being stranded by a depleted battery. The Volt has a total driving range of up to 375 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 340 miles on a full tank.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101130/OEM01/101139991/1261#ixzz16mbFlegk

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GM to hire 1,000 in Michigan

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. will add 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to work on technology behind vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

Beginning today, the new hires will work to expand GM's vehicle electrification expertise to lead in the development of hybrids to electric vehicles with extended-range capability like the Volt.

Chief Executive Dan Akerson made the announcement today at an event at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant to mark the start of Volt assembly. Akerson arrived on stage driving "Job 1," the first Volt off the line, which will go to GM's Heritage Center in Sterling Heights.

The first Volt built for retail sale, bearing the vehicle identification number ending in BU100002, will be offered at a public auction with the proceeds benefiting math and sciences education in the Detroit Public Schools, Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, announced. He said Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky planned to be among the first bidders.

"Every aspect of the Volt — from its aerodynamic shape to its battery chemistry — is a testament to the importance of math and sciences," said Reuss. "By encouraging Detroit-area students to pursue these topics, we hope to cultivate the next generation of engineers who will build upon the Volt's innovative technologies."

Akerson said the new researchers and engineers will work on battery technology, electric motors and power control technology.

He called it the "first step in a long journey," as GM is determined to be a leader in this field by having this expertise in-house.

And the CEO said he expects more production jobs will be needed in the future. "There are studies under way to see what we could do if we had to double production or triple production," he said in response to questions from the media.

Akerson admitted the first-generation Volt is "close to cost" but said the timeline for second and third generations of the vehicle includes taking cost out and increasing volume.

Steven Rattner, part of the Obama Administration task force that oversaw the bailout of GM in 2009, wrote in his book "Overhaul" that the Volt costs about $40,000 to build, not counting development costs. The car retails for about $41,000.

The car is "an investment in the future of the company and we will ride cost down on the technology," said Reuss.

Akerson said GM is "going to lead the industry in the adoption of various vehicle electrification technologies, whether its electric vehicles with extended-range capability, like the Chevrolet Volt, or the recently introduced eAssist technology that will debut on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse. We want to give our customers energy choices other than petroleum and to make the automobile part of the solution when it comes to the environment."

Akerson said he wouldn't bet against breakout battery technology that allows a car to go 300 or 400 miles on electricity alone in the next 15 years.

Michigan has the best engineers around, said Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who noted there are 17 companies devoted to this segment of the auto industry.

GM's electric vehicle engineering investment expands on the more than $700 million GM has invested in eight facilities in Michigan to support Volt production.

In addition to an advanced battery systems lab at its Warren Technical Center, GM has invested $336 million at the Hamtramck plant and $43 million at a battery pack manufacturing plant in Brownstown Township. An additional $162 million investment was announced last week to support powertrain operations in Flint and Bay City, and Defiance, Ohio.

The Volt is expected to appear in showrooms in early December.

A derivative, the Opel Ampera, goes on sale in Europe next year. And more models for other parts of the world are being explored.

Reuss said the biggest challenge is "having people understand what the car does," referring to technology that allows it to drive 25 to 50 miles on electricity; after that, a backup gasoline engine kicks in to produce electricity to take the total range to 350 miles.

As for the Volt going up for auction, it has a "Viridian Joule" exterior, light neutral interior with dark accents, Premium Trim Package, Rear Camera and Park Assist Package, and polished wheels. The auction also includes a 240-volt charging station and home installation. The opening bid is $50,000.

Bids will be accepted at www.bidonthevolt.com until 6 p.m. Dec. 14. The winning bid will be announced by Chevrolet on Dec. 16. The winner's Volt will be delivered in December.

Funds raised through the auction will be donated to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation to support initiatives such as robotics competitions — including students' entry fees, travel costs, and competition-related equipment.

"Every aspect of the Volt — from its aerodynamic shape to its battery chemistry — is a testament to the importance of math and sciences," said Reuss. "By encouraging Detroit-area students to pursue these topics, we hope to cultivate the next generation of engineers who will build upon the Volt's innovative technologies."

"One of our primary focus areas is science and math enrichment," said Chacona W. Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit schools foundation. "Knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math is critical for the success of our students in higher education, and in their future careers in the 21st century workforce."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101130/AUTO01/11300386/GM-to-hire-1-000-in-Michigan#ixzz16oc3Fw26

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GM to hire 1,000 to boost electric vehicle efforts

BY CHRISSIE THOMPSON

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors plans to hire 1,000 electric-vehicle engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years as it prepares to deliver the first Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars next month.

Volt production started early this month, as reported by the Free Press. GM will keep the first Volt off the line to display in its Heritage Center in Sterling Heights. The company will auction off the second Volt at www.bidonthevolt.com, with proceeds to benefit math and science education at Detroit Public Schools, North American President Mark Reuss said today at a media event at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

GM first announced development of the Volt in 2007, following the urging of former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz to create a car that would help GM’s image as the Prius had done for Toyota. Its development continued as GM hurtled toward its 2009 bankruptcy and changed CEOs three times during its restructuring.

The finished product gets 25 to 50 miles of range from its Brownstown Township-assembled battery pack before running on a gasoline-powered generator.

“It would have been easy, given everything that General Motors has been through in the last couple of years, to let the Volt die, but you didn’t let that happen. It would have been easy to scale the Volt back and make it a battery-only vehicle, but you didn’t let that happen, either,” CEO Dan Akerson said.

He gave Detroit-Hamtramck workers “V” for “Volt” signs when he arrived onstage in the first Volt. Lutz made a cameo appearance by arriving in the second Volt.

GM plans to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 and at least 45,000 in 2012. Akerson said he has a “gut feeling” that demand will require additional Volts in 2012, so the company is studying ways to increase production.

Initially, the Volt will sell in California, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. Next spring, those markets will expand to include Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and the rest of New York and Texas. Within a year and a half, GM plans to sell the Volt nationwide.

GM has consistently declined to release the number of Volt orders, but more than 240,000 people have already indicated their interest in buying a vehicle by registering to receive production information on the Web, Reuss said.

The company also plans to start exporting the Volt to Europe next year as the Opel Ampera, but Reuss said vehicles sold overseas would not hurt North American supply.

The biggest constraint on Volt production is battery cell production, he said. GM gets its battery cells from LG Chem in South Korea. Compact Power, LG Chem’s Troy-based subsidiary, will start making the cells in Holland, Mich., when it opens its plant there in 2012.

People can bid until 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 to get to the front of the line and buy the second Volt built. The opening bid was $50,000, but by early afternoon, the highest bid was already $80,000. The Volt’s suggested price is $41,000, not including at least $7,500 in federal and state tax credits.

Chevrolet will announce the winner on Dec. 16 and deliver the Volt that month, complete with a 240-volt charging station that allows the battery to recharge in four hours instead of eight to 10 via a standard 120-volt outlet.

Along with building enough Volts, GM’s other challenge is pressing engineers to cut the cost of the Volt to make it profitable.

The new electrification engineers announced today include an undetermined number of contract workers, spokesman Kevin Kelly said in an e-mail. The hiring continues a trend started in mid-January, when GM began hiring college graduates and experienced engineers, focusing on green technologies, hybrids and electric vehicles.

By September, the automaker had added 200 electrification engineers and at that time had 50 more openings, said Micky Bly, who heads GM’s electric vehicle, hybrid and battery development.

Electric-vehicle engineers often bring youth to GM’s engineering staff, which aged as the automaker cut back on hiring during its financial difficulties. The median age of a GM electrification engineer is 27, Bly said in September. The median age of all vehicle engineers is 47, he said.

link:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101130/BUSINESS0101/101130015/1210/BUSINESS01/GM-to-hire-1000-to-boost-electric-vehicle-efforts&template=fullarticle

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What a joke!! GM got their bailout money and happy days are here again woo hoo!! Let's burn through all the money they got like a teenager at the mall with their parents credit card is the way their operating these days. I'm extremely critical because I watched a lot of people I know get let go, and some people went out by way of an ambulance...serious stuff!! And now, oh how we forget. A lot of these people are still out of work, and do you think GM is going to hire some of these people back, I think not.

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