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"Voltgate" Raises the Question: Has GM Really Changed?

Bob Lutz drives in the Volt

The Chevrolet Volt's gas-powered inner explosion four sometimes powers the car's front wheels. Techie Frank Markus described this week how the long-awaited car's "extended-range electric" system works. Since then, the little of General Motors' most critics have pointed to his description, as well as which of the couple of of the competitors, as proof why the brand brand new Chevy should be called the plug-in hybrid, not an EV.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

By now, the brass occupying the tip floors of GM's Renaissance Center HQ have been asking any other, "why do they hate us so much?" Chris Paine painted GM as the guilty party in his 2006 documentary, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" 

After which film was released, Bob Lutz (pictured during tip driving the Volt upon the theatre during the 2008 world introduction) introduced the Chevrolet Volt judgment during the 2007 Detroit automobile show, as well as started referring to the Volt as an "extended range electric car." The complaint in the indirect years is not with either GM's engineers could compare Lutz's description. The complaint is which GM's selling as well as open family dialect couldn't, or wouldn't let go of the strange message.

We notched 299 miles during the initial real-world exam of the Chevy Volt, as well as available 126.7 mpg in the process. Those 299 miles reflected the approach an owner competence make use of the Volt underneath the variety of conditions. If we buy the Volt as your each day commuter, we could make use of it Monday through Friday without blazing the dump of gasoline, assuming we live within eighteen miles from work (and can't plug it in during work).

Then we could cover all your week end errands with it, plus may be dinner as well as the movie. Or we could take it upon the week end getaway, say from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara or Detroit to Grand Rapids (fold down the back seats as well as take your mountain bikes) as well as burn may be $10 of unleaded premium.

Volt advertising is perplexing to insist this all to American consumers. It's "the only electric automobile which uses gas to create the own electricity." Well, yikes. we mean, GM is still job it an electric car, as well as it's still struggling to describe how it works.

2011 Chevrolet engine bay

I don't know anything about marketing, though how about something like, "an electric automobile most of the time, the real automobile all of the time"? Awkward, perhaps, though in the final 5 years, GM selling has had the lot of time to gloss an accurate outline in to something some-more elegant.
For some-more than three of those final 5 years, it was underneath the Old GM, the same association whose selling dialect failed to delineate too most brands prolonged after "a automobile for each purse as well as purpose" had lost the value. Take the Pontiac Grand Am as well as Oldsmobile Alero. we once asked someone during Pontiac what, underneath the skin, made the Grand Am different from the Alero. Did the Excitement Division bless the Grand Am with the sportier chassis? Well, not in the springs as well as shocks -- the Pontiac exec said the Grand Am felt sportier because it had different seat mounts. That kind of thinking explains why GM selling did zero for the Volt for the initial three-and-a-half years of development.

Since July 2009's bankruptcy, we've seen most signs of GM's transformation. It's the much smaller, slimmer automaker with severely competitive brand brand new management during the top. Insiders say GM brass doesn't reason meetings about land meetings anymore, as well as the actual meetings have been shorter. Presumably, they're not guided by PowerPoints anymore, either. Things have been removing done, as well as the promising destiny product in the functions pre-bankruptcy is surpassing apace.

GM's Joel Ewanick

For the final year, GM Chairman Ed Whitacre has shuffled as well as re-shuffled the selling department. we don't know either he's satisfied with the stream selling department, with ex-Hyundai, ex-Nissan exec Joel Ewanick (pictured during left) heading it, though in the meantime, the Volt seems to have slipped through the cracks.

By the time the little engineers revealed the couple of months ago which the Volt's inner explosion engine powers the front wheels underneath certain conditions, including speeds upon top of 70 mph, GM selling should have been hard during work to fix Lutz's strange message.

So it's not the pristine electric. If we can afford to sit around as well as not go anywhere while your pristine electric recharges, don't buy the Chevy Volt.

Since the bankruptcy, GM has had about 14 months to get the summary right upon the most critical brand brand new automobile (from an picture standpoint, if zero else) in decades. It should have been honest with the question of either there is any connection between engine as well as wheels. And it should have spent the little time, income as well as aptitude to develop the new, post-Lutzian outline for the Chevy Volt.

Its disaster to do so raises the large question: Is New GM any different than Old GM?