GM Says Volt Will Stick Around Even if it Loses Money
Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid. Photo: GMGM Can't Afford Not to Have the Volt to Lose Money On...Rick Wagoner's replacement as GM CEO, Fritz Henderson, might have recently said that all of GM's car models will need to "pay the rent" (unlike the previous business model, which was to make huge margins on ginormous SUVs and trucks, and to build unprofitable small cars as an afterthought), but there was some fine print on that claim. This new rule won't apply to the GM Volt plug-in hybrid car, and that's probably a good thing.Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid. Photo: GM
No one at GM ever said that the first-gen Volts would make money, but Troy Clarke, president of GM's North American operations, recently told Automotive News (subs req'd) that the second-generation vehicles might also be a red entry on the books. Of course, "as we get a chance to change the generations of technology, we'll lose less and less," he said, adding that, "It's not our intention to lose money forever." Well, that's something.
GM needs some long-term vision. It put all its eggs into big SUVs, and now changing direction will take much effort (as is pretty obvious from recent headlines). I can't imagine how much inertia had to be fought to even get the Volt project started after the demise of the EV1.
Let's just hope that what GM said is true and that the Volt's battery pack (the cells are made by South-Korea's LG Chem) really costs "hundreds less" than $1,000/kWh, and that the price is falling rapidly enough. Because if all GM can come up with in 2011-2012 is a $40k plug-in hybrid that isn't exactly a luxury car, many people with that kind of money will be tempted to look else (the Tesla Model S, for example). There's also China that has big plans for plug-in hybrids and electric cars...
Via AutoblogGreenMore Electric Carshttp://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/mitsubishi-increasing-i-miev-electric-car-production-strong-demand.phpVideos of the Tesla Model S Electric Car in Action in Washington D.C.Tesla Motors has Taken 520 Reservations for the Model S Electric Sedan in a WeekChina Wants to Become King of Electric Cars & Hybrids