2011 Chevrolet Volt
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A Forbes piece is blasting the Chevrolet Volt as a failure again, calling General Motors out for what the magazine says is a manipulation of sales numbers for the extended-range electric vehicle.

The publication has published an editorial by contributor Patrick Michaels which accused the automaker of "giving away rent-a-Volts," saying the model's record-high sales of 2,831 units last month were artificially inflated because about two-thirds of the sales were leased (for as little as $199 a month). Michaels argues that true sales to the general public are closer to about 850 units a month. Further fueling the opinion piece's claims of a government "scam" are recent reports that the U.S. Department of Defense will buy 1,500 Volts. In Michaels' words, "The fact is that no one wants this car."

As you likely recall, Reuters recently reported that GM may be losing almost $50,000 on each Volt sold, a claim that was judged to not stand up to arithmetic scrutiny – a contention that was quickly refuted by former GM executive Bob Lutz (in the pages of Forbes, no less).

And just think, there are only 12 days until GM's monthly sales numbers for September to come out. We can only wonder what we'll hear about then.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 421 Comments
      Nathan Loiselle
      • 1 Month Ago
      I'm curious if other manufacturers include leased vehicles in their sales figures. I'm betting that they not only do but don't separate them from out-right purchases. I also question Pat's background. Is he being paid by oil companies, competing auto manufacturers, crazy shadow governments? As it is, we have to move forwards with automotive technology (despite my hatred for hybrids) even if it doesn't get adopted right away. I don't recall hand-held touchscreen computers or compact discs being instantaneous success either.
        theflew
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Nathan Loiselle
        All sales numbers include lease numbers because from a sales standpoint GM has been paid for the car. The leasing company owns it.
      RGT881
      • 1 Month Ago
      I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Car is good and it has found its niche. Unfortunately for GM, early adopters are hesitant to buy this when the economy is on such a shaky ground.
        Spec
        • 1 Month Ago
        @RGT881
        It is a large price for a small 4 person car. There are many people that just won't buy it because they are fat and it is not easy to get in & out of such a small car. GM really needs to get that Voltec drive-train into more car body shapes. Yeah, the electric range will go down because they won't be as aerodynamic. But it will get more Voltec sales.
      Nick
      • 1 Month Ago
      Patrick Michaels is a talentless douchebag.
      Mike Bates
      • 1 Month Ago
      I'am glad your not all bankers, you all worried about 28 billon, the banks got over 850 billon and we dont know where it all went, buy your foreign cars, hope you like rice and tires you may have to eat them one day.
      Spyder 8
      • 1 Month Ago
      I don't thing that "nobody wants it". I think the problem here is the price... nobody wants it at 40k. Price this in the mid 20s and they'll fly off the lots!!!!
        Julius
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Spyder 8
        Therein lies the rub with the Volt haters: 1) it doesn't sell because of the price, but... 2) discounting it is unfair
          Joel
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Julius
          The issue is this is not a regular car company. The US government at one point owned 912 million shares of GM. The taxpayer has been getting screwed and loosing money big time on this bailout. If Nissan wants to loose money on the Leaf in order to push the technology, fine with me. But my, and your, tax money is getting wasted on the Volt, which makes me dislike it. We are already 16 trillion in debt and that is not going to fix itself by subsidizing industries that loose money.
      kevsflanagan
      • 1 Month Ago
      To be blunt if I had the cash for a new car and I was looking to save money on gas the Volt would be at the top of my list of cars to drive and possibly buy. My commute is 42miles daily, so by GM's estimation I'd only be using 2 miles worth of gas a day. The tech is new and the cost is high. Once GM starts to spread the tech out to its other brands (cadi anyone?) the price of the Volt itself will slowly start to go down and more people will be interested. Personally I'm hoping for a subcompact hatch version of the Volt since sedans are just not my style.
      Spiffster
      • 1 Month Ago
      Patrick Michaels would rather us all stick to finite fossil fuels or buy foreign alternative fuel vehicles? I dont get it, whats this guys motivation? Im in the process of buying a Volt... not leasing, buying... but really, what difference does it make? In either case one more Volt on the road. Whats so terrible about that? September numbers probably wont be as good as August, but im willing to bet they will still be relatively impressive. Hey Patrick, U MAD BRO?
      Kampfire
      • 1 Month Ago
      Forbes still ceases to amaze me on their level of hack reporting/research.
      markstlcard
      • 1 Month Ago
      Have you noticed that economic news is "better" than it has been, but yet layoffs continue unabated? It is rigged by the government to make people believe that the Obama regime is making progress. Many of us know better, but those who don't have a clue don't. Don't believe me. OK. I am no economist, but I get that from two international sources not known for their conservative credentials. Try the BBC.
      goatcars
      • 1 Month Ago
      Anybody paying attention already knew this. The majority of Volt sales are to Governmnt agencies and rental fleets. Retail sales to actual real consumers are rumoured to be only about 20%. The world simply isn't ready for a $45K hybrid when the competition offers them at half the price....DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      cesarvis
      • 1 Month Ago
      shocker government motors is potentaily lying about sales.....why on earth would they do that? Please keep picking winners and loser governement you are doing such a great job, thank goodness we did not leave it to the free market.....please read sarcasm in ALL of that
      Bluegoose
      • 1 Month Ago
      GM did this for PATENTS. Not to sell Volts. They are hedging their bets on what will power cars in the future. It is similar to building a limited run of super cars. They are testing the limits of tech. The Volt though is an appliance so most enthusiasts really don't care. The dimwits in the press should talk to some engineers before making their judgements. I am not a fan of GM, I am just repeating what I have heard from an engineer who works in the auto industry.
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