Obama's Auto Task Force Questions GM Volt's Commercial Potential


Photo: GM
Will We Ever See Chevy Volts For Sale?
The White House has posted summaries of the Presidential Auto Task Force's assessment of the business plans of GM and Chrysler. One interesting part of the document about GM is the doubts concerning the potential commercial viability (at least in the short-term) of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.

Click on image above to see our Volt slideshow. Photo: GM

Here are the relevant excerpts about the Volt:

Product mix: GM earns a large share of its profits from high-margin trucks and SUVs, which are vulnerable to a
continuing shift in consumer preference to smaller vehicles. Additionally, while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term. [...]

GM is at least one generation behind Toyota on advanced, "green" powertrain development. In an attempt to leapfrog Toyota, GM has devoted significant resources to the Chevy Volt. 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.

What do you think? Fair assessment? Missing the point because too short-sighted (R&D; into Volt and Voltec platform might not be profitable in the short-term, but could be in the mid to long term...)? A good idea, but one that GM can't afford?

A return to $4-5 gallon gasoline in the US could certainly help the Volt be more "commercially successful", but much will also depend on the actual quality of the overall vehicle (driving characteristics, reliability, etc) and the competition at the time.

Via Green Car Congress

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