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WH: Volt Lousy, GM To Make It Anyway

From an elated McClatchy:

GM says Volt isn’t dead yet, despite panel’s bleak report

Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers

April 08, 2009

WASHINGTON — The White House may have sounded a bit bleak on the Chevrolet Volt last week, but both the company and the Obama administration say don’t read that as early news of the much-advertised electric car’s demise.

President Barack Obama’s auto task force last week said in an assessment of General Motors’ viability that it was a full generation behind Toyota in "green powertrain development" and that "while the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."

A White House official who worked on the assessment said on Wednesday, however, that the statements had been simply another way of saying what GM has said all along — it will be a challenge to bring the new technology up to scale and make it cost competitive.

GM will have to make its own decisions about the pace of its advanced technology, said the official, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

"You should not expect the task force will say GM should discontinue the Volt," he said.

GM spokesman Dave Darovitz said there was nothing new in the government statement on high costs. New technology is always expensive, he said.

The company has added money to building the Volt, and it’s still the "No. 1 product development program here at GM," he said.

"We will make it happen," Darovitz said. "There is no deviation in our focus and intent to bring the car to market in late 2010."

Darovitz said the government report made an unfair comparison with Toyota because it was dealing with two different technologies — the Prius gas-electric hybrid and the battery-powered plug-in electric Volt…

Darovitz said the company expects state and federal incentives will help boost demand for the Volt, particularly a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Volt is expected to sell for around $40,000 because of the high cost of its batteries. The Energy Department has been helping with battery research to bring costs down.

Yes, making ridiculously expensive cars that nobody wants is a sure way to turn General Motors around.

Who can doubt that?

(Thanks to Canary for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

23 Responses to “WH: Volt Lousy, GM To Make It Anyway”

  1. Colonel1961 says:

    Wait until these ‘brilliant’ bureaucrats save the heathcare industry…

  2. sheehanjihad says:

    remember that patented and boringly expected “Bush lied, people died” mantra the left spewed even when anyone tried to have a level headed discussion with them?

    Here’s the new one to drone at them when they try to talk:

    Obama’s a joke, now we’re broke.

    I used it repeatedly on a libtard yesterday…no matter what he said, that’s all I said back. It was so much fun watching him catch a load of the tried and true “slogan over” of the past 8 years….

    funny how when it’s done to them, it’s derisive and hateful….use it often! It’s on my sign for the tea party on Wednesday!

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Hey SJ,

      Thanks for my sign slogan for the 04/15 Tea Party!

      EDIT: Oops SJ I didn’t see that you were using it for your sign. So if you don’t mind terribly, I’ll take my inspiration from you and revise it slightly for mine:

      Hope and change
      That was the joke
      Now here’s the punch line
      We’re all going broke!

  3. proreason says:

    The takeover of private industry is already paying off.

    Every crummy Volt will mean one more voter will be dependent on government hand-outs.

  4. curvyred says:

    I know I am not the smartest person on the planet of earth – but doesn’t the Volt use electricity which is generated mostly by coal power – so how is that green techonology?

    • U NO HOO says:

      Bingo and aaaaaaaaaaaamen!

      “more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers”

      Do you think so? Would GM, Ford, Chrysler, Fiat, Toyota, Honda, Kia, etc., be building gasoline/diesel cars if a plug in Volt was cheaper, errr, less expensive?

      As my kids say, doy!

    • Odie44 says:

      Because they said so.

      And the battery technology has been an epic fail – including it’s safety, namely causing fires. But not to worry, when your home burns down, Bambi will pay for a new mortgage, make the old one “disappear”, will give you a tax credit due to fire causing car, while your power bill goes through the roof.

      Don’t cut yourself short – your comment displayed more intelligence than the entire Dem party combined.

    • proreason says:

      Well curvy, you don’t understand the additional benefit of electric cars.

      You will get stranded a lot becuase you won’t be able to just gas-up every couple of miles, and even if you could, it will take hours. That means you will gradually abandon auto transportation altogether and learn to live with public transportation systems that except for major cities like NY and Chicago, are hopelessly worse ways to get around than automobiles. So you will learn to walk miles to get groceries, and ride a bike to the drugstore for what-nots.

      But that’s a really great thing because you will be even MORE dependent on your loving government.

      And all that walking and bike riding will be good for your health and the planet.

      Enjoy the wonderful new world they have planned for you.

    • curvyred says:

      Proreason: and they call this progress?

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Curvy: are you questioning the wisdom of the Slowbama Administration? Your IRS audit is in the mail…

  5. wstuga says:

    Remember this article posted by Steve last week?

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/ford-may-lag-behind-an-obama-run-gm#comments

    or this article posted yesterday?

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/gm-and-segway-unveil-2-wheeled-urban-vehicle#comments

    Henry Ford must be rolling over in his grave! Do these idiots at the WH belive what they are saying?

    Might be time to buy some stock in Ford, GM gonna suck as long as the Guber is in charge!

    • proreason says:

      well wstuga, The Moron has replaced a 30-year GM lifer CEO with a 25-year GM lifer CEO.

      With that kind of leadership, Obamy has proven he has everything well under control.

      The Volt is just one example.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Ford…..had the Edsel
      Obwana…….has the Dolt

  6. U NO HOO says:

    “The Moron has replaced a 30-year GM lifer CEO with a 25-year GM lifer CEO.”

    Yeah, where is the change?

    A Ford guy shouild be transferred to GM.

    Geepers peepers.

  7. GetBackJack says:

    Now hang on a second. Who says the Volt is a lousy car? Geezeus, that’s like calling for all automobiles to be shiat-canned because the original Model T was so ugly. Good grief. It’s a first model, for crying out loud.

    People bad mouthed the Prius like it was the coming of Satan, but I rented one for a drive from Eastern Utah to Denver Airport and that’s 365 miles of curves, twists, turns, a dangerous canyon in winter and the two highest passes in North America …. in December. That little car was (a) rock solid (b) handled with aplomb (c) very balanced (d) MORE than powerful enough to climb straight up and over both Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel grade (14 miles of 7%) and never once lost traction, skidded or felt squirrely in any way. It never lagged or felt under powered like almost every other car I’ve flogged up Eisenhower and Vail. It Is A Great Little Car. And I’m further to the Right than Ghengis Khan, baby. I make Gordon Liddy look like a nanny-state bureaucrat. But I am not going to piss on technology just because it’s the darling of New Age Buffoonery. The Prius was top drawer and what a pleasure to average 82 mpg for nearly a thousand miles of hard winter driving. Course, I didn’t have seven kids, two dogs and a load of luggage either, but for me and the missus and an overnight bag, it was delightful.

    Now, as to the Volt. Get a grip. Try the thing out. Don’t pass judgement until you’ve had hands on it. Or watch the movie WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR. You won’t find any guy more willing than me to turn a wrench or customize a 1967 GTO ragtop in to a hell-breathing earth stomping custom rod, but … but … if it’s performance we want, the Volt is a stepping stone on the way to silent clean energy generated at each wheel with instant torque and no rev limitiation, no radiators, no fuel pumps … I mean c’mon. Get your Can Do attitude in gear. We’re on the verge of a Great New Era in cars and nay-sating just to piss on the Left is not only childish but counter-productive.

    ‘Cause … things change, baby. Things change. Why not get out front and change them to your liking instead of bitching and moaning?

    Give the Volt a chance.

    • Odie44 says:

      So you are using your Prius (hybrid) experience to justify a car – the Volt (electronic), that you have never driven, while chastizing folks for opining about a car they haven’t driven.

      Now factor in the R&D net, net loss to create the Volt – and guess what you have – a failed business model, the issue at hand for not only GM – but also Toyota – who had their first loss ever in 2008.

      Additionally – the Prius was a “luxury” during “good times”, yet as an alternative vehicle today, for a bankrupt company, who’s own makers claim it will be “really expensive to make” is bad business.

      “Alternative” isn’t always a bad thing, in fact a driver of R&D – but at what expense?

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_NvIv-oZcQfE/STbeooCI18I/AAAAAAAABdA/T_n8okZT1vk/s1600-h/Prius+Sales+in+2007+and+2008.JPG

      http://hybridreview.blogspot.com/2008/12/prius-is-worst-performing-car-in-sales.html

      http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/car-sales-drop-prius-most.php

      Here are a few opinions, charts, etc of Prius sales. All things considered – the price of gas fuels demand, hence the “rerise” of SUV’s and pick up trucks. But to compare an electric car to a hybrid is apples to oranges.

    • proreason says:

      maybe it drives great.

      – batteries run down and no infrastructure of replacement stations exists
      – batteries are an additional cost that is never discussed
      – old batteries are a problem to dispose of
      – electricity isn’t free anymore than gasoline is free
      – gas vehicles have 100 years of testing behind them. Maybe you don’t care about it, but lots of people do.
      – if you are worried about carbon, electric cars aren’t the solution
      – there is a multi-trillion dollar investment in place to build gasoline cars. hardly any investment in place for electric cars
      – millions of mechanics have decades of experience repairing gasoline-powered cars. dozens have experience with electric cars
      – you can drive a car even if the electric grid goes out
      – gasoline cars have already pushed electic cars out of the marketplace many times. Usually, things happen for a reason.

      If there was a true shortage of oil rather than a hyped-up shortage, electric cars would be worth exploring. But the oil shortage is a myth. There is a century’s worth of oil offshore and in shale rock.

      Electric cars are only alive because of politics. The market has spoken many times and the verdict has always been the same.

      Next it could be meat, or booze, or guns, or private education, or freedom of expression, or books, or stand-alone houses, or dogs or a million other things that the nutters want to force down your throat.

      They want to control your life and they don’t care whether you give a flip or not.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Nice job pr. You have a limited, reasonable stockpile of fuel should the cyberterrorists kill the grid while you’re using gas as fuel and absolutely none if you’re using electricity. This is a national security issue as well.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Now I do surely luvs the commentators on Steve’s most excellent website, and I’m so far to the ‘right’ militias won’t have anything to do with me, but seriously … you’re dissing original iterations of car technology, first gen, second gen and so forth because it isn’t perfect right out of the box? You’re kidding, right? That’s as useful as Bill Gates epic comment – that came back to haunt him like a bad case of herpes – that no one will ever need more than 4 megs of RAM. Or, the Patent Office actually closing its doors for good in 1899 because “everything that can be invented has been invented”.

      The ‘business model’ I’m most familiar with is big losses up front as capital outlay never goes as planned, and is always more than expected as an enterprise finds it’s way into profitability. technology is never right coming off the assembly line, distribution is always as kinked as a colon and sideline quarterbacks are always sniping at the people actually doing the job. It’s tough to make a buck, stay ahead of trends and the competition and even tougher to integrate legacy systems with innovations. At least that’s my experience.

      The Prius was a dandy car. Not every one will be. The one I drove was a damn fine car. I enjoyed it. As contrasted to a Ferrari 512 I once drove which was a pain in the ass. Beautiful and sexy as hell but pretty much useless and hideously uncomfortable. But there’s a market for it. Ferrari perpetually runs in the red, no pun intended, which is pretty much a failed business model but they’re still around. There’s any number of ways to discuss this, but flagellating the first model off the line is rarely sensible …. give the Volt a chance. Give the market segment for electric power a chance. Smart people are working all over the world on this and breakthroughs are going to happen. And I’m damned glad. I loves me the feel and sound and raw brutish Visigoth power of a Lingenfelter crate at full song, but I can’t manufacture petroleum fuels independently. I can … however … make my own hydrogen, and I can make my own electricity which makes those two power sources very very very attractive to this All American White Guy with a Jones For Independence and Freedom.

      Big Oil makes me dependent. I don’t like that, even if I do like V8s.

    • proreason says:

      Do you have any other loser technologies you want to force me to buy GetBack?

      There’s nothing I enjoy more than wasting money on crap other people consider really cool.

      And in case you are urged to say “give it some time” or “it just needs a little fertilizer”………I’ve already given it 120 years. Time’s up.

  8. Reality Bytes says:

    I bet no one on “Obama’s Auto Task Force” has ever changed a tire or knows how to do an oil change. Now there’s a litmus test for ya!

    Fact is, they don’t know what they’re talking about! (Do Tell!)

    The Volt is a generation behind the Prius. It’s a generation ahead. It uses Lithium ion battery technology & it’s a plug in. The Prius is neither. Who put into their wooden heads this crap. Wait! I know, their wives – sorry – partners, uh significant others – OK, the voices in their heads brought on by their self loathing American Spirit.

    When government can’t deliver your mail, pick up your garbage, educate your kid, OR EVEN RUN A GAMBLING OPERATION AT A PROFIT (OTB & State Lotto schemes), what makes anyone think they know anything about cars.

  9. catie says:

    Mr. Goodwrench in Chief has spoken.

  10. Rusty Shackleford says:

    For me, it’s even more simple. Range. I live 40+ miles from work. There is no, nor will there be any time soon, any place in my company’s parking lot to plug in to recharge an electric car. Thus, I could get to work one time. Then, the car would sit there with a dead battery and I would have to find a generator (which burns fossil fuel) to plug the dang thing in to charge it back up for the trip home. And, it needs 12 hours on the charger for a full charge. 8 hours is ok…but not optimum.

    It’s simply the fact that, like everything else the liberal mind comes up with, is to push people to the wall and MAKE them “see the light”. If an electric car is ideal for someone, then great, I’m all for it. But I live away from the city because in the United States, I have the right to do that. I also have the right to drive what I choose, not what the government would choose for me.

    This is inline with the Department of Education picking the textbooks that kids have in school which give their idea of the “facts” and is resulting in kids growing up feelnig guilty to be Americans. To see how that works, talk to a German national who was taught from day one of kindergarten that “Being German is evil” because of the Nazis. Quite frankly, they’re sick of hearing it.

    Oddly, at the same time, the current administration is flaming the coal industry that supplies over 80% of our energy needs. So…having an electric car is a good thing?

    And, remember 1969 when the anti-nuclear activists did their thing and caused GovCo to stop building nuclear plants….and then the argument over global warming…and how that has come full circle? The globalwarmingtards are now IN FAVOR of nuclear energy vs coal.

    Meanwhile…the current administration says out of one side of its face that “We must stop global warming!” while out of the other side of their face, they are saying “buy electric cars and it’ll be good for the environment!” While also saying simultaneously, “We must not allow any more coal-burning powerplants and shut down the existing ones”.

    It’s all a great big game show to them. All hyperbole, all the time. Keep the public agitated, make sure those who are passionate about a left-wing idea remain that way to the degree of failing to see the obvious.

    Not one single member of this administration has offered a logical, well-processed thought about anything regarding energy, fuel consumption or the economics thereof. We didn’t jump into millions of cars overnight and it’s not going to be changed overnight. But this current government is ignoring that and will push the buying public to the breaking point. They will continue to force you to do their bidding by making gas cost 6 bucks a gallon. Then, they will levy heavy taxes on imported vehicles that burn gasoline….based on that “carbon footprint” BS. Then, they will limit the number of foreign vehicles that can come in under some equally lame excuse. They will attack it from all sides so that you, the consumer, will be FORCED into buying one of their POS ideas and then they will claim that they managed to show the public the “right way to think”.

    Look for a great deal of help from the MSM. Look for it to show up in your favorite TV shows…where car chases have the Volt in them. Plus news pieces on “how great they are”.

    America is being sold down the river. I never buy into any sales pitch. But a huge majority loves to hear it….thinks it’s correct and cannot think for itself. We are now dealing with a large segment of the population that helped Budweiser’s sales numbers to skyrocket all because of some stupid talking frogs.

    And, those same people may be responsible for administering your healthcare in the future. Think about THAT.


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