At auto shows and gatherings with friends, I'm often asked what I think will happen with GM and if the Chevy Volt will ever really come out. My answer is that while Volts on the sales floor won't guarantee that GM survives, if GM survives, they most certainly will build and sell the Volt. I certainly don't know if this is true, but it's the best I can do with the information I've seen and read. It appears that I'm not alone.
Rob Kleinbaum, who worked at GM for nine years before taking on a consulting role for 15, wrote a white paper in January called "Retooling GM's Culture" (PDF). In it, Kleinbaum writes:
The mainstay belief is that all will turn out well if only they [GM leaders] have the chance to implement their plans, starting with the much heralded Volt. Then they will consider turning their attention to considering these types of "secondary" issues [labor contracts, cost issues, etc.].Kleinbaum also spoke with HybridCars about his white paper and said that the Volt program is "set up to fail." The car itself might work as advertised, but, "The way they set it up as saving everything. There's tremendous risk that it won't meet expectations. [...] Even if the Volt meets all its targets, GM will not survive unless the entire product line is well executed...GM has shown it can execute world-class products; they just cannot execute a broad portfolio of them." I guess my answer to the GM/Volt question just got a bit more detailed.