GM slashes Chevy Volt prices to spur flagging sales

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/gm-slashes-chevy-volt-prices-spur-flagging-sales-6C10272201
"For the first five months of this year, GM has sold only 7,157 of
what it prefers to call an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV. May sales, in particular, fell 4.3 percent, to 1,607. By comparison, the overall U.S. automotive market was up 8.2 percent for the month.
According to a report by Inside EVs, Chevy dealers have more than 9,000 Volts clogging inventories, vehicles they need to clear out before the 2014 models start rolling in."
"Industry analysts have estimated it actually costs GM as much as $75,000 to build each Volt, or nearly twice the base price."
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http://www.slashgear.com/chevy-volt-sales-stall-leaves-inventory-double-hea lthy-levels-11286012/
"Chevrolet?s first attempt at a true hybrid vehicle isn?t going so well, and the company is boosting incentives just to get the cars rolling off of dealership lots. It turns out that Chevrolet has way too many Volts lying around, mostly due to the fact that Chevrolet is churning them off of the assembly line, but no one is buying them."
"According to The Detroit News, Chevrolet spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said that GM has a 140-day supply of Chevy Volts, which is double the amount that many analysts say is ?healthy,? and even then, 70 days worth of inventory is still on the high side to some car dealerships. Obviously, this isn?t a good sign for the Volt.
To try and get the hybrid cars rolling off the lots, Chevrolet has dropped the price of the 2012 models by $5,000, and $4,000 for the 2013 models in order to make room for the 2014 models. This means you?ll be able to grab a 2012 Volt for a $39,995 base price, supplemented by up to $7,500 in tax credit and a new $5,000 incentive."
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http://www.slashgear.com/chevy-volt-sales-stall-leaves-inventory-double-healthy-levels-11286012/
"Chevrolets first attempt at a true hybrid vehicle isnt going so well, and the company is boosting incentives just to get the cars rolling off of dealership lots. It turns out that Chevrolet has way too many Volts lying around, mostly due to the fact that Chevrolet is churning them off of the assembly line, but no one is buying them."
"According to The Detroit News, Chevrolet spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said that GM has a 140-day supply of Chevy Volts, which is double the amount that many analysts say is healthy, and even then, 70 days worth of inventory is still on the high side to some car dealerships. Obviously, this isnt a good sign for the Volt.
To try and get the hybrid cars rolling off the lots, Chevrolet has dropped the price of the 2012 models by $5,000, and $4,000 for the 2013 models in order to make room for the 2014 models. This means youll be able to grab a 2012 Volt for a $39,995 base price, supplemented by up to $7,500 in tax credit and a new $5,000 incentive."
========================================== 2014 is when Gen 2 comes out?? Wasn't there sumpn where the Gen 2 will be $10K cheaper?? And better? Proly will still have planetary gears, tho.... lol If people are hip to THAT price drop, I don't think many people will bite now. Even at another $5k off, the pruis is still a much more economical overall commuter car.
I'm def'ly ripe for the Gen 2, but by then mebbe the Volt will have some less complexified competition. Or mebbe I'll just get a Leaf with a Honder generator tucked in the back.... lol
At $10K cheaper, KiddingHisSelf will be able to buy 24 of them, or some shit. Lookee, Mommy, I'm passing all these gas stations in all different colors.....
--
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On Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:13:34 -0400, "Existential Angst"

Now, now. <g> Chevrolet sold 700 Corvettes in 1955 -- the third year of production. Give it time.
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On Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:00:26 -0400, Ed Huntress

Sorry, that's incompatible with Bonkers' and EA's hilarious obsessions. I think your dig about the lawnmower deck on the Aptera really sent Bonkers into overdrive, and EA can't resist throwing in his one cent.
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On Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:38:29 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

We're still waiting for the 17-year Apteras to hatch. The newsman says the ground has been too cold, with all of the rain we've been having.
But they'll be out and humming in the trees before long. Did you ever see their headlights? They're red. Creepy.
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Hopefully the Gen 2 will take off. GM did an admirable science project, proly should get a prize. Now it's time to make it practical -- as I described to you earlier -- by addressing "true usage intent".
The bottom line nitty gritty is a Leaf with a built-in backup "anti-strandedness" Honder generator. Heh, no planetary fukngears, no clutches, no nuthin ceptin a fukn switch. Beyond the reading and general comprehension level of KiddingCan'tGetLaid, of course, but, hey, there it is.
If Nissan gets hip to this nitty gritty, the Volt will be dead. Too bad, cuz GM was on the right track, and had they not been obsessed with engineering-for-engineering's sake, they could have done the Leaf-with-a-genset ditty, and proly no one could touch them. Cuz, well, they woulda had mebbe $100 mil in R&D, not $1-2 BILLION.
They can still make an over-priced convertible model for assholes like Kidding. Lookee, Mommy, I'm passing gas stations with my hair (or what's left of it) blowing in the bloatvolt wind.....
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"They can still make an over-priced convertible model for assholes like Kidding."
I'm sure a Cadillac dealer would be happy to give KiddingNoOne a $10,000 trade-in for the overpriced, overweight Chevy Volt he got suckered into buying if the Cadillac ELR ever comes out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_ELR
KiddingNoOne can then brag on Usenet how smart he is, how well off he is, and how he couldn't resist upgrading to an even better "investment". ;>)
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On Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:52:07 -0400, "Existential Angst"

It's not a marketplace that I follow, but my impression is that GM took a shot at a market that's between a rock and a hard place. It's too expensive to compete with family sedans, and too inexpensive to compete with exotics.
At $70,000+, the Tesla S is selling above projections -- over 4,700 in Q1, but watch out for "sales" that are just dealer inventory. Anyway, Musk is a smart dude and he built an exotic market niche before he built the sedan. The roadster, which really is a Lotus Elise with an electric motor and over 5,000 Li-ion cells, is 'way cool and goes like hell. So when he put the sedan on the market, he had the cachet he bought from Lotus but which rubs off on the Tesla S sedan. He learned his marketing lesson from Jaguar's experience 60 years ago.
(Tesla Roadster)
http://tinyurl.com/mut3fgd
(Lotus Elise)
http://tinyurl.com/kykr24m
So he can sell an exotic sedan and catch the rich people who want to be the first on their block with something very cool -- no Chevies for them, nosirree. In terms of cost efficiency, the thing makes absolutely no sense at all.
Meantime, the much cheaper Toyota Hybrid plug-in goes only 11 miles on battery power. Ford's Fusion Energi goes 21. They're nibbling at the edges of "plug-in" capability. The volt goes 40 miles, which is in a different category -- lots more commuters will be in range.
But it's at a bad price point: too much or too little. And Chevy doesn't have the kind of cachet that Tesla has, so they have to go down.
That's going to be tough to do. They could do what Toyota and Ford have done -- charge less for much less capability. Or maybe they have another engineering idea, one that doesn't include three prime movers under one hood. <g>
BTW, weight is not the hangup. The Volt's curb weight is 3,780 lb. The Tesla S is 4,647 lb and it hasn't seemed to hurt them. Even the Nissan Leaf, which, like the Tesla, has no IC engine, and is quite small, weighs 3,300 lb. The state of the technology apparently doesn't give you a lot of choice, if you want to build a conventional sedan with a lot of battery power.

As you can see from the figures above, it won't be much of a weight-saver, by the time you add up the engine, transmission, and generator/alternator. Whether it would save much money is an open question.

The big picture, IMO, is that all of the car manufacturers dabbling with the various electric configurations are shooting at moving targets. As consumers, we have little or no experience with these things, and we don't know what we want. Meantime, the technology evolves, and we don't know when we'll be able to get our dreamed-for electric car.
If you want something now, you have a variety of imperfect choices. But they'll each be right for someone, and when they are, you'll have happy consumers. We appear to have some right now, including one on this NG.
--
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On Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:07:00 -0400, Ed Huntress
How will the fuel cure his complaints about cupholders and airbags and computers?

How is the fuel going to make them any lighter than current vehicles?

EA doesn't really care about the weight or complication either. He'd love to have lobster if only it cost less than a dollar meal.
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wrote:

Uhhhhh....... leave them out??

Guilty as charged!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Altho I'm not THAT fond of lobster.... plus filter-fish are fairly contaminated w/ pollutants.
And assholes like Kidding will overpay for a lobster meal just to say, Mommy!!!! Lookeeemeeee, profligately consuming BUTT AGAIN!!!! I'm BETTER than Angst, better than Angst!!!!!!!
No dear, you are stupider than Angst.....
Altho, I could see Kidding getting his lobster meal at Red Lobster, with the rest of the riff-raff.
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On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:43:15 -0400, Ed Huntress

We already have that with ICE vehicles. Or do you mean fuel cells? If so, they're highly unlikely in our lifetime, and while they might get away with one motor, they'll be anything but simple. And they'll almost certainly include batteries for regeneration.

If purchasing power continues to decline there could be more econobox models. I can't see how anything can _practically_ get cheaper, lighter or simpler than a Smart ForTwo though.

That wait would be until hell freezes over for most models these days. :) Even cars like the Smart include power windows (easier to consolidate models), along with all the other little things that are proving that well engineered complex systems can be combined to produce affordable and reliable products.
With such a huge variety of vehicles available, I'm amazed that anybody thinks there's a superior design that's been overlooked. But for those who believe that life was better with carburetors and speedo cables, there's no shortage of entrepreneurs who'll sell a rejuvenated whatever, usually for less than the cost of something new. An example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNArdYw5Agg
Neither is there any problem adding AC. http://www.iceac.com/index-1Beetle.html It STIL wouldn't have a proper heater, but apparently those weren't required in the good old days. :)
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 10:33:59 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

No, I mean that CNG vehicles are relatively light, the same as gasoline-powered vehicles. They're lighter than simple EVs, like the Leaf (my similar-size Focus is 700 pounds lighter than a Leaf), and they're lighter than any kind of hybrid in comparable sizes.

It appears that fuel prices are stable or declining. I don't see much economic impetus for alternative-fuel vehicles, although CNG is a longer-term possibility.

True. But then you can't fix them when they go wrong without paying ridiculous sums for replacement parts. <g> I paid over $500 to have the electric windows repaired on my mother's T-bird. That's why I went to roll-ups. I've been able to fix them myself for close to 50 years -- sometimes with a hammer and a file. d8-)
But my last two cars have had electrics and I've had no trouble with them, for nine years now.

In my MG, the Smith heater came out in March and went back in in October. 'Saved a few racing pounds, ya' know. <g>
Don't get me wrong. I find the present state of automobile engineering to be amazing. I'm getting ready to write some articles about it; I've covered the subject off and on for 40 years; and I'm still amazed at what they can do today.
I do object to the marketing-driven proliferation of geejaws, particularly communications devices that distract drivers' attention. But like a lot of RCM members, I don't like feeling helpless with expensive things that I can't fix myself.
End of Luddite rant. <g>
--
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 15:00:27 -0400, Ed Huntress

Vehicle repair is mostly the same as it always has been. Owners who make an effort can do almost anything, and save money over paying someone else. Although most people will find it better to stick to their own specialty than struggle at a new one. I didn't find the price of an Auto Engenuity setup to be a big deal. Whereas most people do, making it all the less likely that they'll have their own hoist or the determination to do their own repairs. I find that most (not you) of the people who complain about cars being hard to fix don't even change their own oil, and never did do much beyond alternator replacements etc., which they can still do. The other day I was asked to look into a stalling problem on a friend's car. Symptoms pointed to intermittent idle control. I wasn't familiar with the model but the owner had a Haynes manual. In a few minutes I located the IAC valve and determined that it would be easy to remove and clean to see if it had any effect.

Things have changed. Even many simple parts (think tail light lens) are expensive. The worst part is being held hostage to dealer prices if the aftermarket doesn't provide competition.

Funny you should mention that. I just upgraded to a Galaxy S4. Phone part paired perfectly with the Volt, but the contact list didn't transfer. Supposedly Onstar will download a firmware update, but not on the weekend. I think it's great that we have this tech, and that it probably only added a pound to the weight a few dollars to the price.
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wrote:

Bingo. Multiple new ones, bevies of parts destined to fail. You got the answer, and don't even know it.
I didn't find the

LESS likely?? HOw likely is that from the gitgo??? fukn idiot, fukn moron....
I find that most (not you)

Clairvoyant -- again -- are we??
The other day I was asked

And.....???

Gee, you got it again!!! Pray fer yer planetary gearset, dood....

Do you think your resultant chubby will subside any time soon?
--
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:24:03 -0400, "Existential Angst"

Most things AREN'T "destined to fail," at least not in the normal lifetime of a vehicle, and especially not during the warranty period when it doesn't matter much anyway. Your brain is one of the exceptions.
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 13:13:29 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

Pretty much true. Once I got over the minor hurdle of buying a code reader, there's very little change in basic diagnostics. OBD2 codes have been enough for me, so no scanning. The internet is a boon. And components are generally more reliable than before, with basically more sensors to go bad. Fuel regulators, pumps, injectors, coil packs and belted accessories are the main problems. I don't pull engine or trans anymore, but haven't had to. Had one car to a trans shop once to replace a valve that caused hard shifting. Jackstands are all I need. But hoists are easy and cheap enough if I needed them. Honestly, for about 15 years now, the only time my cars have been to a shop is for exhaust or tires.

I've replaced a few window motor/regulator combos. Most I paid was $105 at a GM dealer. The other 2 were mail order aftermarket, about 60 bucks each. There's some labor, but not much. An hour or two for me. I'd rather have manual windows, but they just aren't offered. Stuff like tail lights are best had at the boneyard if possible for your car. My main concern with modern cars is behind dash componentry. Very difficult to work with, but that's just how it is. But it's been only a worry, since I haven't had to do it. Good reliability from all my modern cars.
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:03:06 -0500, Vic Smith

Eh, consider a Caterham 7. No electric windows -- because it doesn't have windows.
For that matter, it ain't got no steenking doors, either. <g> Who needs 'em? No trunk latch -- because there's no trunk lid.
Floor carpets...yuck! The original Austin Healey Sprite had some pebbly rubber stuff that you just hosed down. The sports car magazines called it "Unborn Gila Monster hide."

You guys have me longing for a '54 Ford...
--
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:01:05 -0400, Ed Huntress

That '64 bug would do. I had one too. And I put a centrifugal advance dist on it , but it was a new Bosch. Never noticed mpg change, but that's what 25 cent gas does to you. Also put new jugs, pistons/rings in it. 60 bucks for the set. Ground the valves with a reversible drill and compound. It ran sweet. It was fun taking care of it. There was NEVER any frustration/confusion. Might have something to do with my youth. Here's a little test. Ever notice a very high pitched whining coming from the engine bay? Many of the era had that. Very simple fix, but still about half I'd see had that whine. Cough up the answer, and I'll tell you how an orange peel stalled me out on the street. No, I'll just tell you anyway. One day coming home from work the bug stalled on a pretty busy city street. I coasted to the curb, restarted it, but it would stall on acceleration ("acceleration" hehe.) Anyway, first thing I did was pull the air cleaner to see what the fuel problem was - maybe accel pump bad. I hadn't had the air cleaner off for at least a couple weeks, when I was last tinkering. Right away I see a bright orange peel from half an orange in the carb throat, blocking it. I tell you, it was a twilight zone moment. I wish I could have seen my face. Anyway, pulling the peel fixed it. Took me about 15 seconds to remember I'd put the air cleaner on the back seat floor temporarily a couple week ago. and that sometime before that I had eaten a couple oranges while driving and tossed the peels behind me. The orange peel had lodged in the air cleaner throat sideways when I put the air cleaner on it, then finally closed like a choke a couple weeks later. But what if I had died in the meantime, and the car had passed on to somebody else? So it gets towed to a VW shop, and the owner gets a bill saying "Labor: $80.00 - removed 1/2 orange peel from carburetor. Shop overhead and rag fee: $20.35" The possibilities are endless.
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:55:39 -0500, Vic Smith

Oooh, fancy, schmancy. <g>

Yeah, it wasn't a big issue at those prices. What happened is that the all-centrifugal advance (which the 36-hp versions had at one point, which is where the idea came from) encourages you to put your foot in it because there was a large difference in output at full throttle. And it ran a little funny at part throttle. So I used a lot more gas.

Jeez. You had all the fancy stuff. I had a hand-crank valve grinder and considered myself lucky.

Hmm. No, but my memory is losing its edge.

Aha! The old citrus choke trick! d8-)

Which reminds me of my most infuriating repair bill. It was for my '71 Super Beetle. We had a cold winter in Michigan and melted snow from my shoes ran through the carpet and re-froze on the other side. Eventually, you couldn't move the throttle from the ice build-up. The car heater sure as heck wouldn't do it -- it was still a VW. It just heated enough to melt it off my shoes. After that, all bets were off.
So I took it to the dealer, which was the only heated garage I had access to, and asked them to just let it sit in the garage for a day to let the ice melt and I'd pick it up. I bought the car from those guys, so I thought they'd do me that favor.
When I went to pick it up they handed me a bill for $35 -- for chipping the ice off. I went ballistic so they reduced it to $20. I was still pissed. The service manager was gone for the day so I had no one to appeal to. But I never went back to that dealer.
--
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