• Aug 11th 2009 at 7:50AM
  • 13
2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report on Autocar, General Motors submitted a regulatory filing with the U.S. Treasury on Sunday that disclosed a number of potential problems with the Chevy Volt program. Not only is it possible the car may not be ready by its promised launch in November of 2010, but GM knows it will very likely lose money on each unit sold even if it does hit the market on time.

Further, GM states that there is no guarantee that it will get any of the $5.7 billion it requested from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which would very likely go a long way towards defraying the cost to set up the Volt's assembly plant. Lastly, the report suggests that GM could be leapfrogged by another company before it gets the Volt to market:
Our competitors and others are pursuing similar technologies and other competing technologies, in some cases with more money available. There can be no assurance that they will not acquire similar or superior technologies sooner than we do.
Granted, this is a regulatory filing that's likely just painting a worst possible case scenario and probably isn't anything to get worked up about. Still, as The General itself points out, the Volt has a long way to go before it makes an appearance in a Chevy dealership near you.



[Source: Autocar]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you develop a superior electric vehicle, distribute it to the public, forcibly take it back and destroy it. The lawyers said it was a good idea to destroy the EV1 irregardless of how the people driving it felt. The EV1 set the standard that EV's are still measured against and also showed how good a car GM could build.

      Now the best GM can pump out in 2011 is measly a 40 MPC while the 1999 EV1 got 140 MPC on "inferior" NiMH batteries. 40 MPC is so low a range extending ICE has to be built in to make the car sellable. Adding to the cost by developing 2 power sources.

      We are now reaping the rewards of the 2003 big EV crush revealed in the film "Who Killed the Electric Car". Today there is very little that can be purchased that doesn't run on imported petroleum from unfriendly sources. We can't tell these countries "buzz off we don't need your product." Whatever the price is we have to pay it no matter what it does to the economy..

      We could have spent the last 10 years getting into a position to say "buzz off." But the car makers in pursuit of the 3 P's (profit, profit, profit) decided that America didn't need electric cars. The oil companies also have a lot to loose so they were doing their best to keep America using more and more oil.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They should not have crushed the EV1s, why destroy something people want to use and are willing to pay for? Also what is the patent on NiMH that's limiting(?) their use? This patent should be overturned for the good of the species if all it is doing is stopping a useful technlogy from being used to fill potential.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Please stop bringing up the EV1, It Hurts Man.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Amen Randy C.

        Dear US Treasury:

        We here at GM will need more billions if you want to keep us in business, you see the reason you bailed us out is to make huge changes in mpg. Yes we did say we have a product coming out that is revolutionary and will be massed produced and we made you believe it is the "Volt" but now that we received your money we have come to understand that there are many problems with the Volt and due to leap frog issues and not actually being able to make a profit from the Volt we believe our hydrogen vehicles will be our first and best bet for fuel economy.

        Our hydrogen cars will get 500,000 miles to the gallon (creative calculating) and no one will be able to afford it or the hydrogen and it will be released in 2019. Please keep your treasury bank open and handy cause were going to need some more cash to lobby the treasury with. After all we are to big to fail.
        Thank you very much. CEO of Treasury relations.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Standard financial boiler plates. If you read the 10K statement of any public company, they all start that way. Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan have the same thing going on.

      The part's that's really important is their reliance on the CEO and/or Bob Lutz. I wonder how much he is seen as a success factor by the company. Apple and Pixar's 10Ks used to be full of "If Steve Jobs leaves, we're screwed".
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM is scared of the Treasury?

      Had the law and the Constitution been obeyed by both the Bush and Obama administrations, bankruptcy reorganization without taxpayer bailouts would have been allowed. There would now be 5-10 new automakers who used private investor capital to purchase the assets of the old, bloated GM.

      These independent automakers (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Wuling) plus MANY others would NOT have to compete AGAINST the Government Motors. These automakers would have hired back all the workers that GM laid off and would be paying them fair, competitive wages & benefits in this global business environment.

      These new automakers would now be competing against each other to make more innovative, less expensive cars that we WANT to buy instead of cars currently designed by a gov't committee in DC. If Voltec drive makes economic sense (I think it does), it would live regardless of ever-changing politics.

      Per the Autoblog article: ($97.4 Billion, with a B.)

      "That's the total you get when adding up the initial $25.4 billion that automakers were promised to help retool their plants to build more fuel efficient cars; the $25.5 billion that auto suppliers have banded together to seek from the Feds and the $39 billion in loans that General Motors and Chrysler have requested from the feds to stave off a worst case scenario."

      http://www.autoblog.com/2009/02/20/total-bailout-bill-97-4-billion-with-a-b/

      Now, what kind of stimulus would there have been if the American People were allowed to keep and spend that $97 Billion themselves instead of corrupt politicians FORCING taxpayers to give it to a few GIANT for-profit corporations because they have high-paid lobbyists and UAW special interests?

      (Now the progressive-fascist children, still sucking at the nanny state teat will get all frustrated and conduct personal attacks because they can’t fight truth. How nice.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tim, I must complement you on your cogent, well-crafted, points! Keep up the great work!

        (P.S. You can drop the fascist/progressive/teat sucking/etc. portion next time, it detracts from your great points!)

        Smooches!
        Anti-Tim (I'm thinking about retiring my name!)
      • 6 Years Ago
      No surprises here. GM has a long history of over promising and under delivering. The probability of them being leapfrogged is very high, but that term suggests they actually have a product to leapfrog.
      • 6 Years Ago
      TOLD YA!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Our competitors and others are pursuing similar technologies and other competing technologies, in some cases with more money available. There can be no assurance that they will not acquire similar or superior technologies sooner than we do."

      Are they seriously going to cry about this? I mean come on, Ford has been developing their tech for a while now without bailout money and you don't hear them crying about maybe getting beat to market by Nissan on their electric vehicle their working on!

      I'm sick and tired of seeing an unfair business advantage being given to GM over other automakers, especially over other American automakers. I thought we lived in a free market economy where companies lived and died by their decisions?!

      I guess I should start an automaker and claim I've got a 500mpg hybrid auto that I just need 5.7 billion to get things up and running for... I could develop a new car for that!
      • 6 Years Ago
      No surprises here. A shift to a new technology is always expensive. Toyota lost money on the Prius for its first seven years of production. Toyota, just like GM, could not afford to price the Prius at its true cost of production since that would kill sales, resulting in even bigger losses. You have to spend money to make money. The hope is that down the road the losses can be recovered.

      The big problem with the Volt is morphology. It's the wrong shape for its primary task, the moving of one person on a daily commuting route. It's too much vehicle for the task. A $40,000 daily commuter makes no sense.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lead-frogged? More like running over and splattered by the competition. Even if they did deliver on time, they wouldn't be competitive... and, ha, wait a couple years and it's gonna get even worse GM... just bring back the EV1.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM should be concerned. I've heard that they over-promised when they announced the Volt, that the technology wasn't proven and still isn't ready for prime time. They may very well get leap-frogged by the competition, which could very well bury their chances for a revival.
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