GM's Electric Car: Is There a Future?
A couple of months ago, GM said that it would keep the Chevy Volt even if it lost money. Now, post Chapter 11, they're saying that the bankruptcy won't affect the Volt. The problem is, the US government might have the final say on the matter, and Obama's auto task force seemed to think that the Volt might not make commercial sense (like the Wall Street Journal). What will happen to the Volt?
Gotta Look Farther Out Than the Next Couple of Quarters
President Obama told the media that the US government would take a "hands off" approach to GM, and if we take them at their word, this means that they won't try to axe the Volt. But, as the New York Times explains, if things keep going badly economically for a while longer and the government keeps its controlling stake in GM for a while, pressure to intervene will mount.
This could be good for GM's electric car platform (Voltec), but this could also be bad. Hard to predict what kind of decision would be taken about it if it happens that the Volt loses money at first and the government is under pressure to sell its stake and recoup at least the $50 billion it put in. As I wrote recently, the Volt should be seen as long-term investment, not as a short term way to make a quick buck (because it might not succeed at that).
What Do You Think?
Do you think that GM's bankruptcy and control by the US government is a good thing for the Volt, or a bad thing, or neutral? Will the 'leaner' GM be more able to focus on future tech, or will it cut all expensive programs to focus on 'proven' technology? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.
Via Technology Review, GM-Volt
More on the GM Volt
GM Defends the Volt, Attacks Smaller Electric Car Start-Ups (Tesla, Fisker, etc)
Wall Street Journal Wants GM to Abandon the Volt
Bob Lutz Defends the Chevy Volt on Letterman, Talks About EV1 (Video)
Bob Lutz to Defend Chevy Volt on Letterman Next Week