Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Polishing Turds...

Wow. This is about the most brazen spin I've seen since Obama declared the private sector was doing fine...

GM to take Volt plant off-line to control supply
DETROIT—General Motors will temporarily close the Detroit-area plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt next month to control inventory and prepare to make a new model.
Spokesman Bill Grotz says the factory will be off-line to match supply with demand and prepare to build the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. He wouldn't say how long.
I don't believe I've ever seen a forced shutdown due to slow sales defined as "matching supply with demand". That's a genius turn of a phrase right there. And the workers who will be laid off? Why, they'll be "reverse paid"! And the businesses that supply parts for the Volt won't fold, they'll be "retroactively unbuilt".

Call it whatever you want. Folks aren't buying the Turd Volt. It's overpriced for what it is and doesn't offer a single advantage over a comparably sized gas-only sedan - unless you count running coal or nuclear power for a whopping 35 miles per 8 hour charge as an advantage. It's exactly the kind of car that only the Federal government could come up with - massively overpriced, grossly ineffectual, and heavily subsidized by the American taxpayer.

My goodness, I do believe we have found the treehugger equivalent of the $600 hammer...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Bubblehead Les. said...

I also read somewhere that the main purchaser of the Volt is YOU, via the "Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work" Program. Now, how this Administration can say that Purchasing a Product at MSRP from a Company that it already owns is just more Proof that GM should have been allowed to FAIL.

Geodkyt said...

At least there's a reason for $600 hammers and such.

When you are doing a very limited production run, to fit very specific parameters outside industry norms.

For instance, the uber-expensive toilet seat the USAF bought 30-40 years ago had to meet certain fire and fire standards (including outgassing and smoke), meet environmental suitability standards from well below freezing to three digits (in cycles), fit is a specifically confined space just a touch smaller in one dimension than "standard" seats, and incidentally have a service life while doing this of about 20 years. And they only wanted a couple hundred of them, so they never actually went from "prototype" to "production" in terms of volume (the total run was smaller than some "prototype" runs we did when I was doing Sigma-Six QC analysis at a high tech casting plant). . .

Or just about any part more complex than a lawnmower engine cylinder that MUST meet Six-Sigma standards, and (for performance reasons) has to be produced with materials and techniques at the bleeding edge of metallurgy. We had some turbine blade designs that were literally worth their weight in gold when they first went into production phase, because of the R&D, wastage (molds breaking, parts obviously UNSAT before they even get to the midway point, etc.), and inordinately high destructive testing rates specified in the contract (because the parts were considered critical safety-of-life stuff). It adds up.

The Chevy Volt, OTH, is just a low-performance POS that simply cannot be produced at a price point where it would sell enough to offset the cost the design team responsible for making it look pretty, much less the actual engineering.

JD Rush said...

I think they need to make a run of Volts with 6.2 engines out of the ZL1 Camaro. Strip all the high volatage BS out. Call them the De-Volt. Why? My money was spent rescuing that company; maybe if the damn thing was interesting, they might sell a few copies. At least the platform costs might be recouped.

Anonymous said...

My boss (an engineer) bought a Volt and it drives better than a polished turd. The electric motor has good acceleration for an econobox and the mileage is about what was stated.

Handling is fair because the weight of the batteries lowers the center of gravity. No 911 but better than a Earth Fu$&er.

Now saying that I would never buy one. It cost a mint and and if you travel long distances I'm not sure of the logistics needed to keep it running. You can't jumps start the thing without a boiling water reactor.

The dealership let my boss take it home with no money down which told me thaey can't give them away.


Jay G said...

Let's face it. These cars - I lump the Toyota Pious, err, Prius into the same category, are nothing more than vehicular hair shirts.

If these people really did care about the environment, why the hell did the Geo Metro sell so poorly 20 years ago? 55 MPG on the highway and ~ 40 MPG around town, yet it languished on the lot almost as bad as the Volt (at least the Metro was able to go to rental agencies...)

Heck, why weren't they driving the Toyota Echo, or the VW Fox in the 1990s?

Hell, even the Prius didn't start selling until they changed the body style such that it was immediately recognizable as a hybrid - IOW, it became a status symbol.

When I was in the market for a full sized truck, it came down to the Tundra vs. the Ram (and I would have bought the Tundra in a heartbeat had the Toyota dealership not offered me half blue book on my trade while expecting me to pay full retail on the Tundra...)

In the Toyota dealership, side-by-side, were a Corolla and a Prius. The difference in gas mileage, while noticeable, was nowhere near enough to make up for the TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR price difference.

People buy these cars to be seen in them - otherwise the Honda Civic hybrid would have sold better. They buy these cars to feel better about themselves - and to let people know they CARE SO MUCH...

I posted a while back about the price tag on the Volt. You could buy a comparably equipped Nissan Sentra for about a third the price, and donate the rest to an environment-based charity if you really wanted to do some good...

karrde said...

Did that say the shutdown was pending the Model Year 2014 Impala?

From my hazy recollection, most auto companies should start producing Model Year 2014 cars in late summer 2013. (And producing Model Year 2013 cars...right now. Where's the demand for the next Model Year of the Volt?)

Thus, that factory will be idle for...sounds like 9 months.

Gotta love that.

JD Rush said...

They can legally start selling 2014 Impalas on Jan 2, 2013 if they want to. Which, from a quick internet search, it seems they intend to do.

Mr.B said...

Sorry dude, you are wrong on the Prius. I paid $21K for the thing, and the comparable Corolla was $19K.

46 MPG, highs on long trips of 53 (at 85 MPH AVERAGE) vs a claimed rating for the corolla of 33.

This is a far cry from a $48K vehicle (something like 38 with subsidy) that the volt is.

The payback (at $4/GAL) IS 40,000 miles, give or take.

So for the next 60k miles I am saving money. I got a bumper to bumper no deductible 100k warranty, so my only cost is brakes and hoses and tires and such.

Not all of us do the hair shirt thing.

(and my truck (my other vehicle) looks like yours, but makes a lot more black smoke....)

The Volt isn't worth the trouble to own, you'll never make the payback before you die.

Cormac said...

" The Volt isn't worth the trouble to own, you'll never make the payback before you die (in the fire your ridiculous battery causes).