GM has been under siege by governmental regulator, hoping to avoid bankruptcy. But it appears that the UAW and shareholders were not receptive to further negotiations that would hit them wallets. With this development it now appears that GM will be filing for bankruptcy protection on or about June 1, 2009. But GM is still working on their new Volt [electric vehicle], and it appears this baby will still be developed.
In addition to the Chevy line of electric cars, Cadillac and Buick may also be offering their own Volt variant. The hope is that GM will be able to bring to market this electric hybrid by the end of 2010. The new car will get 40 miles of travel per electric charge. The charging system uses standard house current and also has a gasoline engine to supplement the power plant.
Over at CBS News they did an article on their perceptions of the new Volt after they were allowed to test drive a prototype. The article states that:
“This is a livable vehicle,” said Tony Posawatz, a vehicle line director with GM. “It’s not a golf cart or whatever. This is something that people could buy in quantity … particularly if we can get the cost down.”
Perhaps way down – because the sticker price will be about $40,000 – for what GM calls a spunky car that can go from zero to 60 in less than nine seconds.
The Volt is due in dealer showrooms by the end of next year, which is itself a show of optimism about GM’s future. But there’s a problem: sales of existing hybrids have been plummeting for months because the price of gasoline has dropped. If that consumer attitude holds, it could mean that GM will be bringing out the right car at the wrong time.
If the price tag actually is at $40,00 when the Volt is released, I hope the sales people at your local Chevy dealership will like driving these around their parking lot. At $40k there will be few takers. At a time when GM has a reputation for building cars that overall suffer from a lack of quality compared to their Japanese counterparts, and when GM just announced a massive 1.5 million vehicle recall because of engine fires, it would still appear that GM doesn’t get it.