Volt Slowdown – Again!

Looks like another slowdown for the Chevy Volt. This is somewhat surprising considering car sales are strengthening and gas prices are high so what gives? Since the difference between the Volt and other fuel efficient vehicles seems to be price maybe Chevrolet should look at getting some cost out of the Volt and lower the price. The car looks good, drives well and is a glimpse of the future so hopefully sales can at least support keeping the Volt alive.

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Gettin’ schooled on the Chevrolet Volt

A General Motor Co employee shows the plug from a newly installed electric vehicle charging station for the Chevrolet Volt outside GM's world headquarters in Detroit, Michigan October 12, 2010. General Motors Co and two Michigan utilities on Tuesday pledged to install more than 5,300 charging stations in Michigan as part of an effort to speed the adoption of plug-in hybrids like the upcoming Chevy Volt. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)

There is a lot of confusion out there on how the new Chevrolet Volt works. Count us in as those who are still trying to figure out the high price tag when compared to other hybrids. Oops! I forgot that the Volt isn’t a hybrid but rather an electric car that uses a gas engine to create electricity. Our friends at Insideline.com break it down for those of us who need a lesson or two on the Volt!

Imagine a straight line across a piece of paper. All the cars that have ever been made exist somewhere on that line, including the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

At the left endpoint, let’s write “Gas” to represent vehicles powered by gasoline. Go ahead and add diesel, E85 or any other combustible fuel along with gasoline if you must. Point is, our left endpoint is not associated with batteries or electric motors.

That’s because “Electricity” is the label we’ll apply to the right endpoint of our line. This represents the pure electric vehicles — EVs for short. These have an electric motor, a battery pack and a place to sit. You plug them in and charge them up. When the battery runs out of juice, you’re walking.

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Onto the Cruze!

This spanking new offering from GM appears to be the right car at the right time. This is the car that could put GM back in the minds and wallets of those looking for efficiency, fuel economy and some styling to go with a small car. There has been a lot of hype around the partially electric Volt but the Cruze is the car that can make or break GM with a new generation entering the market for vehicles.

Even though I’m not sold on the styling yet, at 40m.p.g. on the highway and more trunk space than it’s competitors the Cruze has a real chance to be a top seller for the new GM.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chevrolet has built a better mousetrap. The 2011 Cruze sedan gets better fuel economy than most subcompacts and offers the passenger and luggage space of a midsize sedan.

Those achievements will mean nothing unless Chevrolet convinces customers to check out the Cruze before they buy a better-known model like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. Years of reliability and fuel-efficiency give those models credibility with small-car buyers.

Chevy can’t match that history. The mousetrap needs cheese.

“Our job is to tell buyers why they have to look at the Cruze: fuel economy, safety, refinement and quality,” said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet director of small-car marketing.

Read the full article here.


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