Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chevy Volt : GM will NEVER LEARN!

I hardly know where to start any discussion about GM and all the issues they suffer from, but perhaps first and foremost is they they NEVER LEARN when it comes to showing really hot looking "concept cars" and "prototypes" that, upon production run, turn into generic, boring, basic, (and occasionally hideous) typical GM junk.

Case in point: years ago (1994) I went to the Greater Cleveland Auto Show and saw this utterly fantastic looking version of what was supposed to be the Pontiac Sunfire. The concept looked more like what the production version of the 1995-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder looked like than anything (best I can describe), but when it hit the streets, it was god-awful generic GM junk. And my wife and I were seriously ready to purchase one of those beautiful Sunfire roadsters (as seen at the auto-show) until it was released, and we instead chose the Mitsubishi that actually looked nice when released!! GM: WAKE UP! Quit showing concepts that are nothing like what you will release... I will never buy a generic looking replacement for what you are showing off at an auto-show in a completely different form.

New example: the new Chevrolet Volt.
Again, count me out - the production Volt looks nothing like the concept that was shown for the past few years!


wow, that looks rather hot! I'll take one please!

Oh, but wait...
In typical GM fashion, that "Chevy Volt concept" has nothing to do with reality...
Instead... get ready...


What the hell is that!?! OK, if I wanted a Ford Fusion (or some other rather basic looking four door), I'd buy one,... but I don't want THAT! I want the HOT LOOKING PROTOTYPE THAT WAS DESTROYED BY General Motors (as always!).

The prototype reminded me of the Chrysler Crossfire or such. It had some sportiness, some flair, some styling that was semi-unique, and was bold and innovative. But, as always, the GM bait-and-switch comes around again, and my interest is fading... oops, I mean GONE!

To top it off, these losers at GM are saying they can only get 30-40 miles per charge off the batteries. And, GM (and the "American auto industry") are seeking Federal loan money to the tune of $25-50 billion dollars to "improve mileage" of their cars by something like 25% (which, is like 5 MPG or so on average for their fleet - give me a break... for BILLIONS to do what you should be doing already, you should DOUBLE MILEAGE!!).

At the same time, Tesla Motors produces an (admittedly expensive and high-end) totally hot looking electric roadster (looks like a Lotus Elise) that gets 200-250 miles per charge, and they are not getting billions from the government (they did get about 20 million in tax-incentives to keep 1000 or so jobs in California at their startup manufacturing plant). Tesla is also going to produce a more mainstream vehicle with this longer range - like a family coupe or such - for around $60K.

Before anyone tells me that the Tesla is "too expensive" and not a fair comparison, think about the indirect cost of the GM/American-auto-bailout (i.e., "loan") to work on producing what another small American Silicon Valley startup is already doing without government funds. I figure that Tesla, once they ramp production, will get their cars down to a more affordable range as battery technology comes down in price too. And, Tesla doesn't enjoy anywhere near the production volume that the likes of GM do, so I find it amazing Tesla can even offer their cars for what they do.

Well, bottom line is simple: GM screws up again and loses my interest by teasing me with a hot looking prototype that is ruined on production-release. I'll give them credit with the Pontiac Solstice though - that one looks rather nice. Now, give me a Solstice that gets 40MPG with gasoline, or 150 miles on battery, and I will think about buying one!

1 comment:

DED said...

I'd seen the Volt concept in the commercials GM was running to tout their green cred. While the production model isn't horrible looking, it does pale compare to the concept.

I'm totally with you on the Tesla. And while the price is high for most Americans, it's not too high for wealthy Americans. Seriously, it's competitive with Euro sports cars. I haven't checked on their progress in a while on that sedan.

Detroit needs to figure it out on their own. They sat on their asses while collecting SUV and truck profits for way too long. NO BAILOUT.