How to lose another billion dollars




I was getting so pissed off about reading about how the wonderful, far-sighted Toyota is the only one who understands technology," the storied 77-year-old executive [Bob Lutz] recalled in an interview last month with Automotive News.



But winning corporate approval for the Volt was a struggle. When Mr. Lutz proposed a plug-in, other GM executives flashed back to their painful – and costly – experience in the 1990s when they dashed far ahead of the industry by creating and marketing the EV1 electric vehicle.

“One senior executive, senior to me, said, ‘Bob, we lost a billion dollars the last time we tried that. What do you want us to do, lose another billion?’” Mr. Lutz recalled.

'nuff said.

http://adage.com/article?article_id=138244

But the difference is this time that billion dollars will be subsidized by the government. So you’ll be the one losing a billion dollars. :blush:

You mean WE’LL be losing it.

From the comments, I know technically, the volt isn’t the same kind of hybrid (more electric than gas) but the comparison for consumers will be a tough sell.

By scottlackey | New York, NY August 3, 2009 10:05:29 am:
Forget the Prius/Volt comparison for a moment.

Late summer/early fall of '09, Lexus is introducing the first luxury sedan hybrid, the HS250H. Over the weekend a Lexus dealership indicated the entry price would be between $35,000-$37,000. Which hybrid is more attractive? A Volt? Or a Lexus…built with the real world experience of Prius behind it, then combined with the Lexus reputation for quality?

$40,000 is way too pricey for a Volt given the competition.

Scott Lackey
Jugular Advertising/Co-Founder & Strategic Director

Even though I’m a part owner of GM… I’d buy a Lexus any day.

Uhh… what? Didn’t they start selling the LS hybrid like two years ago? Pretty sure it was the same year they started the RX hybrid.

http://www.hybridcars.com/vehicle/lexus-hs250h.html

This would be a luxury prius though. The LS600h is like 100K loaded. And the RX is close to $50. Granted the MPG is not close to the prius, but I"m guessing the Lexus badge doesn’t care.

I dont understand the point you are making. Plug in hybrids are a good idea. Hybrids right now are more electric assisted. Plug ins are more gas-assisted electric car.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/13/technology/gunther_electric.fortune/
Obviously the problem is cost to manufacture. If BYD and Nissan already have production vehicles with Nissan planning for a 16000 USD price, it sounds like a case of not having a good sourcing/manufacturing process. I wonder if Lutz was planning on using their Chinese facilities or US factories? They might have been more successful starting out a completely new team in China sad to say.

The point is that a $40,000+ chevy (gas, hybrid, EV) is out of touch with the american consumer and the brand.
It is sadly, more of the same from GM. I would absolutely LOVE to buy a volt. I would LOVE to install a solar array on my roof to charge it.

I’m thrilled that the world is so excited and hyped about this car, but I think the sticker shock will squeeze much of the air out of it, especially if Nissan offers an all electric with a 100 mile range (!) for less. http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/

Agreed

Talk about boondoggles…the first news item from that Nissan site:

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today said it has been conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for a $1.6 billion loan to modify its Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce zero-emissions vehicles and state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery packs to power them