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Chevy Volt…the Edsel Hybrid

On Tuesday February 27, 2012 President Obama, shadowing the Republican primaries, was in Michigan before a contingent of UAW workers making a campaign speech that according to a UAW official “wasn’t a campaign speech.”

We all know it was a campaign speech.

He was hailing the victory of his nationalization of GM, sighting the jobs he saved and created, how GM was number one in the world again, etc, etc, etc. 

What he failed to sight was the bloodbath that was left in the wake of his actions. He failed to sight the thousands of non-union GM and Delphi employees who were cast out into the unemployment world, nor did he take credit for the thousands of investors who saw there investments and retirement savings decimated.

But all hail Obama, he saved the UAW at the expense of everyone else. During this “non campaign” campaign speech Obama said “at GM’s Hamtramack plant in Detroit, where I got to get inside a brand-new Chevy Volt fresh off the line.”

The next day in Washington he gave yet another UAW address during which he said “I got to get inside a brand-new Chevy Volt fresh off the line — even though Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it,” the President said, to laughs from the crowd. “But I liked sitting in it. It was nice.  I’ll bet it drives real good.  And five years from now when I’m not President anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.”

Well he certainly won’t have any trouble finding one. With dealers sitting on a 150 day supply of Volts, GM has decided to shut down the Volt plant for 5 weeks idling 1,300 workers. A mere 4 days after his GM victory speech. 

I wonder how many of those 1,300 workers were at the Obama UAW rally. No matter because those idled workers will continue receive a paycheck thanks to their union contract.

They won’t receive full pay, but receiving about 75% of your wages and full benefits while GM figures out what to do about the Volt isn’t bad.

Of larger concern is the future of the Volt. It’s a dog, and an over-priced dog at that. GM has invested a lot in this car and their grand expectation was to sell 50,000 Volts in 2012. The total amount of money invested in a ramp-up of this magnitude is not known, but it’s not chicken feed.

GM sold slightly more than 1600 Volts the first 2 months of 2012 and that’s a far cry from a forecasted monthly production average of 4,166 units.

GM is going to need those ‘record’ profits from 2011 to offset the loss the Volt will bring. And those losses are shared by the taxpayers.

GM is pulling out all of the stops, inflating sales figures, and even trying to reclassify the Volt as an “electric car,” when it is in fact a “hybrid.”

I’m sure the Obama administration will bring political pressure, forcing companies like GE and municipalities, to take early delivery keeping the Volt going until after the election. At which time Obama won’t care about the Volt, win or loose.

Mark Modica wrote:

“Speaking of suspicious activity, an interesting statistic was revealed on GM’s sales conference call. Government purchases of GM vehicles rose 32% from last year. This represents yet another conflict as the Obama Administration has a vested interest in GM’s success as it spends more taxpayer dollars to help support the company as 2012 elections near.” 

The Volt is a failure, GM needs to let it die and move on.

 

 

 

 

There is an old saying in the car business; “The first loss is always the sweetest.” That certainly rings true with the Chevy Volt, and the loss is ours, the taxpayers.

 

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