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Old 01-04-2012, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Chevy Volt Makes "Worst Product Flops of 2011" List

Not saying whether I agree or disagree (frankly I have mixed feelings), but I thought this article might be of interest to the community:
The Worst Product Flops of 2011 - Yahoo! Finance

The Chevy Volt made the list of "Worst Product Flops of 2011". I've quoted the section on the Volt below:

Quote:
3. Volt
Company: General Motors

GM (GM) was originally so excited about the Volt that the company had announced in January it was speeding up its roll-out by six months. But by November the excitement had fizzled out. Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director for vehicle electrification told Reuters, “It’s naive to think that the world is going to switch tomorrow to EVs [electric vehicles].” Indeed, sales for the vehicle have been consistently low. Only 125 models were sold in July 2011. This was after GM spokeswoman Michelle Bunker was quoted as saying that the Volt was “virtually sold out” due to its popularity — a statement later shown to be misguided. Adding insult to injury, Chevy Volts are under investigation for fires involving the cars’ lithium-ion batteries. For concerned Volt owners, GM has offered free loaner cars.

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I see the Fiat 500 made the list too...

Obviously efficiency is not the done thing for the USA masses at the moment..
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is clearly a biased article from a "journalist" with an agenda. They choose to list sales for July, when the plant was shut down and when the volt had very very limited availability (7 states). The volt did not go full national until November. First year sales were grater than that of the US launch of the Prius.. The fires are mostly media hysteria but clearly there is an agenda here to bash efficient cars.

In comparison US new just ranked he 2012 volt the #1 upscale midsize car

Best Upscale Midsize Cars Rankings | U.S. News Best Cars

Quote:
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt ranks 1 out of 21 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 28 published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Volt, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Reviewers agree that the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is one of the best hybrid cars on the market, thanks to its impressive fuel economy.
....
(The volt moved up from #2 position in 2011.)


Also ran across this, article last week.
IIHS Sticks By Volt Safety Rating: No Pack Issues After Crash Tests
IIHS Sticks By Volt Safety Rating: No Pack Issues After Crash Tests

Together these may help reduce some of the silly hysteria and negative articles, though the FUD does seem organized and relentless.

And to put things into perspective here are some of the Volt's other awards

Vehicle awards
  • 2009 Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal
  • 2011 North American Car of the Year at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.
  • Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year
  • Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year
  • MotorWeek 2011 Driver’s Choice Best of the Year
  • Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011
  • 2011 Edison Award
  • Highest-rated compact for 2011 J.D. Powers and Associates APEAL Study
  • 2012 Car of the Year in Denmark
  • Consumer Reports rates Volt #1 in Owner Satisfaction
  • Named “2011 Collectible Car of the Future” by Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC)[/li]

Environmental awards
  • 2009 Environmental Grand Prize awarded at the 2009 Festival International Automobile
  • 2011 World Green Car announced at the 2011 New York Auto Show
  • 2011 Green Car of the Year awarded by Green Car Journal
  • MotorWeek 2011 Best Eco-Friendly
  • Chicago Auto Show Best Green Vehicle[/li]


Technology awards
  • Ward’s AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011
  • SAE 2011 Best Engineered Vehicle
  • Top Michigan Innovation in 2011
  • Edmunds 2011 Green Car Breakthrough Award
  • Poplistar Mechanics 2010 Breakthrough Technology
  • Poplistar Mechanics Top 10 Vehicles Award for Technology
  • Poplistar Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award for OnStar MyLink for Volt[/li]

Mobile Application awards
  • Poplistar Science Best of What’s New 2010
  • Consumer Electronics Show’s “Top Products” Award for OnStar MyLink for Volt Mobile Application[/li]

Safety acknowledgements
  • Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Five-star overall vehicle score
  • Euro NCAP Five stars (out of five) in all categories[/li]
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree, horrible journalism and/or agenda based writing. As mentioned the Volt was not only not for sale in the vast majority of the states for nearly the whole year, but it was also restricted by manufacturing capacity for part of that too.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought that part of the reason that the Volt was sold out was that some of the parts (like the transmission) are sourced from Japan and Japan had that little natural disaster that shut down exports.
I'm glad to the media has latched on to the Volt starting on fire too, oh right, it only caught on fire after being run in to and flipped over in crash testing then improperly put in to storage for 2 months! number that caught on fire in normal use due to a fault of the car? zero.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The Volt seems to be rather polarizing. Most people either love it or hate it. I think a big part of it is the US government involvement in both GM in general and the Volt in particular. Those who disagree potically with the government involvement tend to have a very negative view of the Volt. And, conversely, I think those who are fans of the Volt tend to have a more positive view of the government involvement. I think it's really hard to be objective about it.

Note: I'm NOT trying to start a discussion about the politics of the government involvement--just pointing out that it certainly affects people objectivity concerning the vehicle.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, at lest they didn't rate is worse than the padded bra for 8 year olds. :P

I can imagine the marketoids going: "Hmm, no one could possibly need padding more than those who have no tits at all!"
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 320touring View Post
I see the Fiat 500 made the list too...

Obviously efficiency is not the done thing for the USA masses at the moment..
No, more like stupidly designed ****boxes. The 500 is a stupid chick car with bad fuel economy and no interior space. The Volt is an overweight science experiment.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jakobnev View Post
well, at lest they didn't rate is worse than the padded bra for 8 year olds.

i can imagine the marketoids going: "hmm, no one could possibly need padding more than those who have no tits at all!"
rofl
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
No, more like stupidly designed ****boxes. The 500 is a stupid chick car with bad fuel economy and no interior space. The Volt is an overweight science experiment.
The 500 could easily get 60mpg+, especially city, if it used a more modern drivetrain as opposed to a revamped 1970's engine. Aeromod the rearend a tad and even more. The sad part is the 500 usually gets better MPG than the Mini cooper but no one bashes the Mini Pooper either which I fail to understand. (it too should get 50+)

US cars usually get crippled, at least in Europe you get a choice of engines and can get a 6sp manual.

The VOLT is a perfectly good car, its just too darn expensive, just like a good number of other new cars, what the heck is up with $60k suburbans?

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