Henry Payne: The Volt economy

With sales nowhere near the predicted 45,000-per-year, General Motors halted production of “Obamacar” — the Chevy Volt — here for the second time this year as its inventory levels lag the industry average.

If that sounds like the general economic fits and starts of the last three years under Obamanomics, it’s no accident. Welcome to the Volt economy.

Chevy’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant will suspend production from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15, idling 1,500 workers. As with its White House financiers, GM was quick with the excuses. “We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We’re gearing up for production of the new Impala,” a Chevy spokesman told the Automotive News.

But the Volt’s 84-day inventory — above the industry average of 51 days (and far from the 10-day inventory of more popular luxury models in its price segment like the BMW X3) — helps to explain the production halt. Indeed, a spokesman for a Chevy dealer told Detroit’s Frank Beckmann Radio Show this morning that Volt sales were disappointing. “We always knew it would be a niche vehicle,” he said.

We did? Actually, Volt sales should be booming according to its greatest champion, Barack Obama.

Just as Obama wrongly predicted the 2010 Summer of Recovery, 5.6 percent unemployment, and an economic resurgence powered by his green investments, the Automaker-in-Chief also predicted the Volt would lead an electric vehicle revolution that would put a million electric vehicles on American roads by 2015.

We’re not even close. “To get to one million, the White House pinned its hopes on 11 models of electric vehicles. . . . (But) six of the 11 – Ford Focus, Ford Transit Connect, Fisker Nina/Atlantic, Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster and Think City – either haven’t made their first delivery, stopped production, or are already out of business,” reports CBS News.

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8 responses to “Henry Payne: The Volt economy

  1. Just wait for the SUV sales boom when the government forced 55 MPG cars hit production.

  2. Something tells me that fleet mileage standard of 55 mpg will be relaxed once Romney gets into office.

  3. “We always knew it would be a niche vehicle,” — Dealers knew. The company knew, too. But they are beholden to their new owner, so they tell the lies he wants told. And speaking of lies, I noticed today that the Volt is the only hybrid that meets the new CAFE standards – using a “composite” of actual gas mileage in the 30s and an imaginary equivalent for all electric. Kind of like CAGW compliant data.

  4. of course other country’s motor companies are turning out more reliable, more usable competetive vehicles at two-thirds, to one-half the price of the Dolt. I’ve seen this move before. It doesn’t end well for GM.

  5. GM’s strategy of rapidly rolling out the Volt is probably the biggest problem. Doubtless they were under political pressure to build a vehicle as quick as possible with inadequate testing and development. A better strategy might have been a hybrid approach. Perhaps its time to adopt new fuel rules that would favor more efficient diesel engined vehicles. I had a Renault diesel when I worked in Europe that got over 40 mpg.

    • “inadequate testing and development.”

      What evidence do you have that the Volt was inadequately tested or developed? You just completely made that up.

      You want to drive a diesel? Drive a diesel. Keep your rules.

      It’s time the government just gets the he|| out of the marketplace.

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