The ongoing hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives over the Obama Administration's fuel economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 brought Republican Congressman Mike Kelly to testify before the committee last week.

Kelly represents Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district but he's also a car dealer. After college, Kelly moved to Butler, PA to work at Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, a company founded by his father in the early 1950s. Kelly took ownership of the dealership in 1995, expanding its operations to include Hyundai and Kia.

At the hearing, Kelly reportedly ripped apart General Motors' green halo vehicle, the Chevy Volt. The words below come directly from a quote posted on The Truth About Cars. We're guessing TTAC got hold of transcripts from the hearing, but that's not been verified. Quoting Kelly:

I'm a Chevrolet dealer... we have a Chevy Volt on the lot, it's been there now for four weeks. We've had one person come in to look at it, just to see what it actually looks like... Here's a car that costs $45,763. I can stock that car for probably a year and then have to sell it at some ridiculous price. ...

When you look at this, it makes absolutely no sense. I can stock a Chevy Cruze, which is about a $17,500 car and turns every 30 to 40 days out of inventory... or I can have a Volt, which never turns and creates nothing for me on the lot except interest costs...There is no market for this car.
Kelly said he didn't want a Volt in the first place, apparently asking his employee who ordered the car: "Under no circumstances were you to order a Volt. So, why did you order it?" To which the employee replied, "Because General Motors told me." This employee then reportedly lost his job. Head over to TTAC for more.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      Smurf
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Congressman!!! Sell your unwanted Volt to "my" dealership. We have a waiting list!!!
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        I'll take it off his hands for $35K.
      nosoupforyou
      • 3 Years Ago
      So would he rather people not come to his dealership at all? Until last weekend when I test drove a Volt at a local dealership for the first time, I had NEVER been to a Chevy dealer. I was blown away by the car and plan on buying one next year when I am in a position to have a car payment. Without the Volt, I had no reason to visit a Chevy dealer as none of their other cars interest me. It will take time for the technology in the Volt to trickle down to cars that are widely affordable. Airbags didn't start out in models that anyone could buy. They were originally packaged in high-end cars, but now even low end cars have plenty of airbags. Hopefully fuel economy laws will encourage the tech to be widely adopted like airbags are.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nosoupforyou
        Good point, I agree. My long standing distaste for GM caused me to never visit any of their dealerships, until they launched the EV1, and Chevy S10 electric: and I came back for my third visit to take a look at the over priced volt. For $45+k it is nearing Tesla Model S price.... and the Tesla model S although not out yet, is the coolest car on earth!
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nosoupforyou
        The Volt is the only Chevy that has been able to bring large numbers of new customers into GM dealerships who never considered a Chevy before.
      Levine Levine
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Because GM told me." GM told everyone lots of nonsense, too. Like how the Volt is selling so well that production can't keep up. How about the one about Cadillac having a Chevy engine or Caddy's 4-6-8 cylinder deactivation that's goes 0-0-0 deactivation on the freeway sometimes. Or the Volt not having any mechanic linkage between the ICE and driving wheel. Or the one about On-Star sending information to certain companies about the driving habit. Or the one about its diesel engine block cracked because it's converted from gasoline ICE. Or the one about .................. forget it.
        Julius
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I find it odd that half your rant was about engines discontinued some thirty years ago... And I'm not sure where you're going with the "Cadillac having a Chevy engine"... they're all corporate engines now anyway.
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      It didn't cost him $45,763 I even doubt that the MRSP is $45,763 as it seems pretty bare bones although he is truthful in that he is selling it for $45,763 Its VIN: 1G1RD6E49CU101781 A silver 2012 volt with cloth upholstery and painted aluminum wheels = no options that I can tell.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peter
        So he is trying to sell the car for $5K over the MSRP and he is wondering why it won't sell? This guy is huge liar or idiot.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          "This guy is huge liar or idiot." Or both...
      dragonrage1191
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what I got from his little speech "Hi! I'm Mike Kelly, I'm an unfair biased moron , that will say anything to get progression a bad rep, thank you!"
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      So what we have here is a politician/cardealer with a grudge towards GM for trying to steal his Caddy dealership...Yeah that sounds like a recipe for the truth....
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        There definitely is a huge grudge against GM clouding his judgment. He's got a manager who is sitting on what looks like over 5 million dollars of new and used car inventory on his lot, and he fires him for no reason other than buying a single car? At even just a 60 day turn-over, that is over 30 million in inventory blowing through his dealership each year, and he's so worried about a few thousand in interest costs on a single Volt that he fires an otherwise perfectly good manager? Either he's lying, or his grudge against GM is stronger than his business sense.
          j
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          "At even just a 60 day turn-over, that is over 30 million in inventory blowing through his dealership each year, and he's so worried about a few thousand in interest costs on a single Volt that he fires an otherwise perfectly good manager? Either he's lying, or his grudge against GM is stronger than his business sense." PR, It does seem odd doesn't it. More so when you consider elctrNmbliT's comment, "I called Mike Kelly's Chevrolet and asked about their Volt listed on their site. The sales person said that the Volt they have is a demo model and is not available yet for sale (no surprise there). He then told me that they did have one in stock recently but it sold and that he could give me a call back when they get more inventory in the next couple of weeks." At the very least, the stories are quite inconsistent. Hopefully that poor sales guy was not so uninformed of Kelly's wishes that he will get fired as well.
          Julius
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          Odd, you'd think that the dealership would worry more about the hundred-plus day supply of Silverados GM is sitting on than the costs of one Volt demonstrator...
      Jim Illo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Despite comments below, VIN 1G1RD6E49CU101781 is NOT a base Volt. It actually has EVERY option possible on it (details below), with exception of a premium color. The dealer was probably right to fire the person who ordered this car, not because "GM Made me do it", but because knowing the Butler market (I used to live pretty close to there) the dealer should have ordered a base Volt. That all being said, Mike Kelly sounds like a bit myopic, and odd for a Republican that he wants to keep sending billions of our dollars overseas to people like the Saudis, Putin and Chavez. Yes, a totally optioned-out $45,763 Volt might be a hard sell in Butler, but I'm sure there are buyers for a $32,495 Volt (after rebates) in his area. And if Mike Kelly is really advertising the Volt as a $45,763 car, and NOT touting the rebate, then he is an idiot of a businessman. In fact, I had to make a deal to get my Volt by my local dealer in NJ vs. a person from the district next to Mike Kelly's in PA. (I think the fact that I was already a customer of this NJ dealer helped me). Vehicle: 2012 Selected Style: CHEVROLET VOLT VIN: 1G1RD6E49CU101781 Exterior: Silver Ice Metallic Interior: Jet Black/light Titanium MSRP: $45,763.00 Options: LEATHER APPOINTED SEATING, $ 1,395.00 BOSE PREMIUM SPEAKER SYSTEM $ 495.00 REAR SEAT STORAGE BARRIER $ 99.00 POLISHED ALUMINUM WHEELS $ 595.00 VEHICLE COVER $ 350.00 AUDIO SYSTEM WITH NAVIGATION, $ 1,995.00 FRONT WINDOW SHADE $ 99.00 CARGO NET $ 45.00 REAR CAMERA & PARK ASSIST PACKAGE INCLUDES: $ 695.00 TOTAL OPTIONS $5,768.00
        Peter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim Illo
        well not sure where you get your info I appreciate it that you may be right If you look at the dealers website the car doesn't have a picture nor are the specs that of the car you describe http://www.mikekellyauto.com/details/New+2012+Chevrolet+Volt++1G1RD6E49CU101781+Butler "Wheels, 17" 5-spoke forged painted aluminum" "Seat trim, Premium cloth"
          Jim Illo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Peter
          Hi Peter, I went to this link: http://www.mikekellychevrolet.com/VehicleDetails/new-2012-Chevrolet-Volt-5dr_HB-Butler-PA/1259850823 Which has a link to the sticker: http://www.gmbuypower.com/ws/nvlWindowSticker.vs?make=ch&makeDescrip=Chevrolet&style=Hatchback&makeId=001&vehicleModel=/images/gmbp/13001/vehicle/2012/med/2012.gif&year=2012&sellingSource=13&subModel=&subModelId=&BAC=113467&modelId=&pvc=500&mmc=1RC68&modelDesignator=1RC68&brand=&model=&type=&typeDescrip=&styleDescrip=Hatchback&styleId=Hatchback&partnerID=900001&userType=&tempUserType=&searchType=4&VIN=1G1RD6E49CU101781&nav=&iPi=5&fPi=5&dPath=FRDP&linksInCCT=true&zip=16002&dealerName=KELLY%20CHEVROLET-CADILLAC%2C%20INC.&dealerURL=http://www.mikekellychevrolet.com/en_US/HomePage&distance=0.0&dealerStreet=252%20PITTSBURGH%20RD&dealerCity=BUTLER&dealerRegionCode=PA&dealerPostalcode=16002-3996&dealerBpManagerName=Joe%20%20Bratkovich&dealerBpPhone=(724)%20287-2701&nameplateids=001^
      Jim Illo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Found the full video (linke below). Skip to the 40 minute mark to see Mr. Kelly's rant. Interestingly, he mentions that in PA, the total available tax credits are $11,000. I will say that he sticks to his principals about not wasting taxpayer money, but that means he could advertise a base Volt as less than $29,000. He can't really tell us that nobody buys a car for $29,000 in Butler. Also, Mr. Kelly seems to be completely unaware that Volts/Amperas will sell like crazy in places like Europe and Japan where it makes total economic sense with the price of gas in those places. It doesn't surpise me that someone with Kelly's myopic view doesn't understand the value of increasing American manufacturing jobs, and reducing the trade deficit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JIez19rx320#! "How the Obama Administration's Green Energy Gamble Will Impact Small Business & Consumers"
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim Illo
        I think you are forgetting that you have to be paying that much in federal income tax after all your other credits and deductiona to get that federal credit. Most people pay more in payroll taxes than income tax. You need a household making around $100k to get the credit... which isn't that common in that part of the country. If you were in a place like NYC or San Francisco with high cost of living and typically high incomes, advertising including the credit would make sense because most people would qualify. In rural areas with low incomes, not so much. This guy's experiences shouldn't be generalized to the rest of the country. However, it does point out how GM's dealer allocation strategy was not really the most efficient way to move expensive hybrids. There are much better places to send the cars if you plan on selling them quickly, and there are better ways to distribute the cars if you intend to sell as many as possible. However, it may be a good idea from a halo marketing perspective and probably does a lot to sell those Cruzes he refers to.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is so unbelievably sad. Instead of wanting the USA to succeed in a new and growing technology, he seems to WANT THE USA TO FAIL. Seriously now. Could you imagine if some guy at Apple said "MP3 players?!?! Who wants these?!?!" They are expensive! CD players work great and people want the artwork. He takes the cranky old reactionary to a new level.
        Smurf
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I'm sorry, but in my opinion, if you hate GM, you hate America. GM "is" America. "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet" This is unacceptable behavior for a US Congressman......
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Smurf
          :-) I remember that ad campaign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Y-2vlOegI
          Smurf
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Smurf
          We're showing our age Spec....
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Something smells here. If they didn't want a Volt, why did they order one? . . . this "because GM told me to" is pretty weak. And why was it a deluxe model (which it must be if it is priced at $45,763). Sounds like a guy who can't seem to manage his car lot very well.
        markkiernan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I would be happy to see him close down, but he wouldn't suffer because he has a government job! Yes congressman is a government job, ******* of the taxpayers nipple.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm super green - i bike whenever i can, use public transport, solar panels on my house, etc. But I actually agree with this statement. I will never, ever buy a $40,000 car. Even a $30,000 car. It just doesn't fit with my frugal savings-heavy lifestyle.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        The majority of Americans will never, ever buy a new car at all. That's fine. Do what the majority of Americans do, and buy a used car. Or you can do some math and figure out how much a $40,000 dollar car will actually cost you. Here in Colorado I can get a base Volt for for 40,000. Then I will get $7500 dollars from the feds, and $6,000 from the State of Colorado. That's a total price of $26,500 (plus junk costs). I calculated that if I drive it for ~4.5 years, in my personal situation I will save $10,000 in gas costs based on current gas prices. (You will have to do the math for yourself, and find out if your boss will let you charge at work yourself -- this number is different for everyone.) If I sell it in ~4.5 years, I can sell it for $16,500 (plus junk costs) and completely break even. By that I mean that I won't pay a single penny more than I'm currently paying to drive my current 10 year old car. That math actually fits MY frugal savings-heavy lifestyle pretty well.
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          Your Math is Great. Too bad More American's can't do math.
      HVH20
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would buy one if I didn't have astronomical student loan debt. Maybe I can get a bail out from the government? Then I would have funds free that would cover this amazing vehicle.
    • Load More Comments