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Right now hardly seems like the time for General Motors to be planning a celebration. Its market share has dropped below twenty percent and it's burning through cash at a rate that has financial analysts everywhere warning of bankruptcy. Nonetheless companies don't turn 100 years old every day. With that in mind, GM is apparently planning something special for the big birthday party this September. In a bid to get people looking forward to the future rather than focusing on the apparent financial meltdown of the present, the guest of honor at the birthday party may be the production version of the Chevy Volt.

We all know that the design team lead by Bob Boniface has had to rework the Volt in order to get some decent aero numbers. The big question is how much will the design have to change from the original concept? However, even while looking ahead another two years to Job 1 for the Volt, the question of financials still can't be ignored. With battery packs that are expected to cost upwards of $10,000 per car at start of production, GM has already acknowledged that the price of the car will be higher than they hoped at launch and they are still likely to sell it at a loss. Unfortunately, GM doesn't have the luxury of profits elswhere in the company to subsidize the Volt the way Toyota did when they launched the Prius a decade ago. Regardless of the cash situation, this remains probably the most anticipated GM car in decades. Hopefully, it won't bankrupt the company in process of coming to fruition.

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lutz was talking about what the price should be based on the initial manufacturing cost and a reasonable profit margin. I don't think GM has any intention of trying to put a sticker price anywhere near that on the car. They know they will sell the car at a loss initially just the way that Toyota sold Priuses at a loss to get it established.
      • 6 Years Ago
      More BS from GM.

      The volt will not reach production for at least 3 years. By then its likely GM will no longer exist.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I’m all for EVs, REEVs, and Volt success, but the volt looks like its going to miss the mark. Its not shocking that the Volt Prototype has poor air specs, look at it. Its tires are huge, its wheels are not very aero, the pressure recovery looks average and its cross-section looks too wide.

      I know they are going for the “I want to get laid” –look, but what is with the bubble sides and the “I cant see” - hood?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I guess it's good the prototype is just a prototype and that they're spending lots of time in a wind tunnel to better the aerodynamic profile of the car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, what about those EV-1s? :)

      GM is got the right idea with the Volt, but taking WAY to long to get it out. Once again GM, how about we look at getting the EV-1s back on the road, or even look at making an EV Cobalt till you can get the Volt out or like DJL stated, get some two mode cars on the road instead of trucks. You got the research from the two mode Tahoe, lets figure out how make a two mode transmission for a front wheel drive car that could get over 50 MPG.
      • 6 Years Ago
      smitastic stated that the Japanese "stole" American techniques in manufacturing. It isn't true. They bought into them by hiring Edward Deming to set them on the right path. Unfortunately the Big Three ignored him.
      But he is correct about the parity issue. American cars are almost as good, but don't forget the Japanese are building here too, skewing the stats.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's a reason to look forward to their party. Too bad it's two months off...
      • 6 Years Ago
      You got that wrong... GM doesn't have the free Japanese government money Toyota got to develop the poor concept Prius. They had to come up with the superior concept CHEVY VOLT on their own ... despite having to "compete" in a rigged US market where Japanese companies like TOYOTA get to keep there markets closed while selling the the big dumb USA at a advantage over GM and FORD.. they pay no US TAXES!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess you'll believe anything GM says or are you under their employ?

      Anyway I choose to be skeptical of their constant PR cheer leading.

        • 6 Years Ago
        You obviously missed the videos of batteries beng tested in the lab and in "mules" on the road.

        The big question now is who wins the battery competition?
      • 6 Years Ago
      My gut tells me GM is milking this for all the free publicity they can get out of it. I think they will keep pushing out the projected launch date for the Volt until they know it can be produced at a cost and volume in which they can make a profit on each unit. Also think they will just take the current Volt mock-up and push it to the Cenntenial Celebration.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually GM has never changed the projected launch date of the Volt. When they unveiled the concept in January 2007, they said it could be built by late 2010 and that h has remained consistent ever since.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering they don't have batteries yet I have no idea how they would know the range anyway.

      A target is great, but without a bullet, its just a piece of paper with circles on it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sam's correct.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First of all they know enough about the characteristics of the battery and car to create a simulation model that will give them a reasonable estimation of what to expect. Beyond that GM now has about twenty prototype battery packs from the two suppliers, LG Chem/CPI and Continental/A123, several of which are running in pre-prototype "mule" vehicles. The first packs arrived for lab testing last November and vehicles have been running with the batteries since late April
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think bashing gm is exactly the wrong way to react to them making an attempt at a car that both is an electric hybred and looks cool. I don't currently own a gm product or a hybred but i'm in the market for one over the next 2 years as soon as i see something that has an all electric range and is stylish and not a $100,000 the fisker karma is the only one i've seen that i like but it's 80,000. I own a wrx sti and like cars that look cool the volt does. Sorry the prius is ugly and as far as honda all there cars have always been under powered and ugly except maybe the s2000. Yes i have owned a honda and it had issues too and yes i currently have multiple honda motorcycles in my garage because they are the best so i have nothing against honda. The point is for our economy and all those people that work at gm i hope and pray they can be successful with the volt and even if their not all there r&d will better both future hybred or pure electric cars made by them or others so what is the point of bashing them. what does it gain?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perhaps GM needs the Volt for P.R.

      But they could have released a two mode Cobalt and a two mode Malibu by now with the R&D money they've spent on the Volt. And that would make a lot more sense than a $40,000 Volt.
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