• Sep 13th 2007 at 7:43AM
  • 15

The Chevy Volt is still at least three years away from start of production and a good four to six months from real running prototypes. However none of that is slowing down General Motors from using the car to charge up its image. The Volt is continuing its world tour in Frankfurt this week and banners and billboards are turning up in high-visibility locations.

The banner on the building in the photo was put up during the Woodward Dream Cruise last month. A Volt billboard also stands next I-94 near the Detroit Metro Airport. Many magazines over the last six months have also featured the image of the range-extended EV and now there is a TV ad as well.

While all of this keeps the Volt in people's minds, it does pose a risk for GM. If the development of E-Flex encounters any obstacles that lead to delays (or, worse, cancellation), this campaign could prove to be an even bigger PR disaster than the EV1 fiasco. Of course, if GM can't build a car like the Volt, the ad campaign will be the least of their problems. You can check out the video of the ad after the jump.

[Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, thanks to Michael for the tip]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The advertisement doesn’t state that the volt is gas free only that Chevrolet is working on gas free options it is part of their new environmental program. If you notice at the end of the commercial it shows the five new symbols that represent their progression in environmental friendliness. The first is fuel economy, the second is ethanol (not my favorite, followed by Hybrid, then electric, and finally fuel cell. That’s the gas free statement. Hence the gas friendly to gas free statement.

      @ Blogged to Death
      GM is not "way behind on the times" it seems you are still focusing on 5 years ago, many peoples vision of GM is still based on bad experiences of years ago when they are clearly producing better cars and better technology. yes I agree that the belt driven "mild hybrid" doesn’t improve much but it is an inexpensive alternative. They could have just not developed it at all. Or how about the new two mode SUV's able to get 20 MPG city and 21 Highway, like it or not SUV's are still some of the best selling cars on the road. So if you can make those more efficient why not?

      @Good Cheer
      I agree with your statement however I have a feeling they are further along on the program than we may think. At least I hope that they are because if they aren’t they need to fire their advertising company, who wants to hear about a car for 3 years before they can buy it. The Camaro created such buzz when it was introduced now when people hear about it they say when is it ever going to get here, or they have lost interest all together.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Der Alte

      "At least Toyota is up front about its problems with Li-on and the next gen Prius"

      "If only Toyota had so upfront with the customers who owned the 3.5 million engines with sludging issues..."

      I was one of those unlucky ones who owned one of these. '97 Lexus. It's funny how all my maintenance records vanished from my glove box after bringing it in for this issue.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I suppose it's an academic point, but has any other car company, in the history of building cars, advertised a vehicle for which there is not even a running prototype? A press release here and a car show appearance there is one thing, but this is ridiculous.

      I love the concept of the Volt (though I still cringe when they call it an EV), but if it were GM's objective to confirm that it's really only intended to promote a green image they couldn't really do a much better job than by hanging 9-story tall banners and running TV adds THREE YEARS from the when they could possibly appear in the showrooms.

      Good grief.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM is very good at designing and producing press releases and promises that are never met. It seems the effort is to distract everyone from the fact that they are way behind the times or that they have back tracked on their "environmental leadership" promises 4-5 years ago where GM instad focused solely on their SUVs. The result thus far...an alternator based Hybrid system. So instead of delivering on their engineering promises they will advertise a car that's 2-3 years out then when people forget about it they shut down the program or delivery a car that does not meet those promises.
      • 8 Years Ago
      And more to the point, if they do deliver on the Volt, will be a quality vehicle or one prone to breakdown? All this hype is building public expectation to be able to buy the darn thing in the very near future. What if there is an R&D stumbling block or problems with the production prototypes that need time to iron out? Do they cave to pressure and put out a sub par product or waste their advertising money and delay the product in order to get it right? They are putting themselves in a no win situation unless everything goes perfectly as planned in the next 3 years.

      With so much technology that is so radically different from any other production vehicle currently offered, it would be rather naive to think all will go smoothly. At least Toyota is up front about its problems with Li-on and the next gen Prius. For GM its all sunshine and roses with the Volt....and I have a hard time believing that everything is running as perfectly as the image they seem to be portraying. Nothing pisses people off more and drives away customers than building up their hopes and then destroying them when you either can't deliver or don't deliver as expected. Perhaps if the production prototypes were well underway undergoing all their testing with no problems at all...then it might be time to roll out the ad dollars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow is that smug, and yet also misleading; this is just like the "electric cars are silent" trope: sure, when they're idling, they are very quiet. However, throw some tire noise in, and they're no quieter than an ICE car at cruising speed.

      The Volt, while cool, is hardly "gas-free".
      • 8 Years Ago
      With VOLT, I feel GM may be on a public relations damage control attempt for the continued recent public out cry as to who and why the EV1 was killed
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM is in it up to thier necks now. They know it's sink or swim. If all else fails at least they have led the other manufacturers into the "electric drive" pool. Swim GM, SWIM!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pathetic Pathetic Pathetic
      GM can't make cars that people want...ever. So they promise more cars that they will never make. They are also advertising a fuel cell car that they will never make. GM will never learn, they will just wither and die.
      • 8 Years Ago
      At least Toyota keeps its' word on mileage of it's Prius cars...Oh wait...No they don't. But you can all overlook that and start blaming Gm now for your speculation of what 'could' happen 'if' they don't deliver. Please. If Toyota were advertising now for a new type of hybrid or electric car you would all be whooping and hollering about how they are the greatest car company ever, how they are ro-environment and would be bashing GM as usual. Have you seen the SUVs that Toyota makes? Not exactly gas friendly.
      If you are all sick of hearing about the Holier-than-thou Prius comments, than you should hush-up about the SUV comments and GM. I am sick and tired of the Prius/hybrid debate vs. GM/SUVs. It's old news. Stop holding on to it, and let's all move on together.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If GM fails to deliver the Volt, bye bye GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hello EM1, I mean Volt, goodbye Volt.
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