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Old 03-20-2008, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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News: GM -- "We'll Lose Our Shirts on the Volt"

From the Wired Magazine Blog...



Bob Lutz (the "Crock" guy) quotes that it will take years to turn a profit on the Chevy Volt.

When was the last time they made a solid profit, altogether?

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Old 03-20-2008, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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LOL! That's funny.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like an Acura rip off..

any more pictures of this prototype?
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You know what? At this point in the US economy, I have to agree. They will most likely lose their shirts on the Volt. Why?

When the Volt comes out in 24 months, gasoline will be at such an astronomical price that most people will not be able to afford new cars. Especially ones that have a complicated/expensive hybrid system.

I've always been very critcal of hybrids: "buy this $35,000+ vehicle and get better fuel economy than one that costs $13,000 and below". It makes no sense at all. Obviously people that can afford a higher price brand-new car are going to be less fuel-economy conscious than ones scraping by with 10-year-old 4 bangers.

Its time for automobile manufacturers to smarten up, and fast.

Look at the early 80s: Just 10 years prior, people were driving 18-foot luxury land yachts with massive V8s. Then suddenly there was this huge demand for Ford's Escort, Chevrolet's Cavalier, and Chrysler's "K" cars. Simple, cheap, and fuel economy is what sold cars. Chevrolet couldn't sell their 8-6-4 technology out of a paper bag, Lincoln's diesels were ridiculously expensive and unreliable, and poor Chrysler had to be on the verge of Bankruptcy before making some of the most impressive sales successes in it's history with their 2.2L cars and mini-van.

At times where the USA economy is plunging, people need to go back to the basics, and auto manufacturers will find themselves selling nothing if they don't make high-MPG and inexpensive to purchase automobiles. GM stating that adding a $7000 hybrid system to all future vehicles being the only way to achieve CAFE standards of a pitiful 35 MPG is completely absurd.

This is not 1998 anymore. Luxury SUVs and 3500+lb. cars sales are long dead with the 60 miles commute. And anyone still holding onto that dream is going to find themselves in deep doo-doo. Auto companies need to immediately start pumping out bare-bones, aerodynamic, 1800 lb., $8000 cars with electric motors only if they ever want to see the light of day in 15 years.

The more I find out about the Volt, the more of a fiasco I think it's going to be. The company is investing all this money in the Volt thinking it's going to save them but when 2010 rolls around, I will be highly surprised if I see this car for sale for less than $40K. It's pretty hard to sell a $40K car when people will be eying up $4K Aveos, Focusses, and Neons as their now expensive to own family cars.

Last edited by Peakster; 03-21-2008 at 06:23 AM..
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good rant Peakster.

I have to agreee with almost everything in it.

I like hybrids in that they do get better economy and are a step in the right direction.

I don't like how expensive and complicated they are.

My first car was an '87 ChevyGeo Spectrum. It got 47 MPG and cost me $800 to buy used. It was fun to drive, simple, and I could fix everything on it with a 10mm wrench.

My motorcycle gets the equivenant of 300 MPG with a simple motor and batteries. I am expecting over 100 mpg equivelent with the ElectroMetro when I am done with it.

Neither of those vehicles will need a radiator, gas tank, or oil change.

The US car companies are going to be surpassed by Indian and Chinese companies who realize the demand for practical, inexpensive vehicles.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I don't like how expensive and complicated they are.
Expensive? Yes... Complicated? I think the auto mfr's make them seem more complicated then they really are... "Power Split Device" - the same technology in every single planetary automatic transmission (which is just about all of them until recently)... The concept is pretty close to differential... The electronics, sure - that may be a more "complicated" - but hybrid tech. has been put to use since the 1920's.

Electric cars aren't complicated.... Gas cars are so common, we can consider them to not be complicated... A differential isn't complicated.... Advertising/marketing - now that's complicated

The term "complicated," in my opinion, ensures the mfr's are justified in MSRP. Of course, I respect the engineering costs etc. as it takes a great deal of resources to make a reliable {insert anything here}.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess it just seems that a vehicle shouldn't need essentially two complete drive-trains.

I think it would be great if everyone had an all electric car for local trips and commuting to work, and a gas car for longer trips and going out of town.

I can't think of anyone I know who only has one car and it's a hybrid.


I suppose "complicated" in my book is anything I can't fix myself in my driveway! So far there aren't even USED hybrids that I can afford!
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakster View Post
You know what? At this point in the US economy, I have to agree. They will most likely lose their shirts on the Volt. Why?

When the Volt comes out in 24 months, gasoline will be at such an astronomical price that most people will not be able to afford new cars. Especially ones that have a complicated/expensive hybrid system.

I've always been very critcal of hybrids: "buy this $35,000+ vehicle and get better fuel economy than one that costs $13,000 and below". It makes no sense at all. Obviously people that can afford a higher price brand-new car are going to be less fuel-economy conscious than ones scraping by with 10-year-old 4 bangers.
Ya hit that on the head..

I look at it this way, for a car that costs $35K and gets 50ish MPG vs something that costs $20K and gets 40ish MPG..

That Hybrid wont start paying for itself for at least 8 years the way a friend and I figured it... And at that time those Hybrids are going to be beat up and in need of some serious maitenance, replacment parts, ect.

IMHO, Hybrids aren't worth it.. I like what their all about, but for the price, I'll stick with my truck and be content pulling a consistant 29mpg.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
Good rant Peakster.

I have to agreee with almost everything in it.

I like hybrids in that they do get better economy and are a step in the right direction.

I don't like how expensive and complicated they are.

My first car was an '87 ChevyGeo Spectrum. It got 47 MPG and cost me $800 to buy used. It was fun to drive, simple, and I could fix everything on it with a 10mm wrench.

My motorcycle gets the equivenant of 300 MPG with a simple motor and batteries. I am expecting over 100 mpg equivelent with the ElectroMetro when I am done with it.

Neither of those vehicles will need a radiator, gas tank, or oil change.

The US car companies are going to be surpassed by Indian and Chinese companies who realize the demand for practical, inexpensive vehicles.
A pretty accurate summary and the final paragraph is especially relevant.
Car companies need to seize the initiative and start making relevant cars.

Cheers , Pete.

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