Audi Prez Calls Government Motors' Volt "For Idiots"... & He's Right!
Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen in an interview dealing with the future of fuel efficient vehicles with automotive industry journalist Lawrence Ulrich stated that Government Motors' Chevrolet Volt was "a car for idiots" and continued to state that "no one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla. So there are not enough idiots who will buy it."
Mr. de Nysschen was widely derided for what was seen as a "cheap shot" to his competition, but was he correct?
After all, Mr. de Nysschen went on to state that the Volt would be a commercial failure; that the U.S. government is damaging the very fabric of the free market in massively subsidizing such a profoundly flawed vehicle development program; and that Government Motors was going to shortly be facing another collapse which would require further government intervention with many more billions of taxpayers' dollars.
In my book that makes Mr. de Nysschen a prophet, or even an avatar, not a sniping snarky auto executive.
Let's take a look at statements I made in my Hub well over a year ago:
The Price: Outrageous. GM execs have been quoted in stating that the car will cost over $48,000. That would be nearly $55,000 with shipping, PDI and a small token profit for the dealer to drive off the lot. That sticker price would place it as the highest priced car on any Chevrolet lot, and at roughly the same price as a Cadillac Escalade SUV.
The Batteries: Non-existent. It seems that GM's marketing arm got just a teensy weensy a bit ahead of the engineering department when it tossed around claims of 40 miles on electric alone and New York, NY to Birmingham, AL on a single tank of gas. It seems that the technological battery breakthrough that GM was counting on has not yet occurred and the current batteries can barely power the car five miles before that Aveo-like engine has to kick in.
The Volt isn't an electric car: It's a massive POS that will act as the tombstone for what was once the greatest automotive manufacturer in the world. What a horrible shame.
The Volt was the key carrot which was slyly waved in front of the Red House in order to ensure that countless billions of taxpayers money would be poured into nationalizing GM in order to rip off thousands of American businesses who were suppliers to the auto giant but got either pennies on the dollar or nothing at all through their bankruptcy. It has been obvious for well over a year to countless wise auto industry analysts (including yours truly) that the Chevy Volt is a chimera, and a very badly conceived one at that.
There is no way, I repeat no way, that a car which has already been so heavily subsidized to the tune of over $30,000 per vehicle by some estimates, can be expected to be driven off the lot for the price of $55,000 by anyone other than dyed in the green wool movie stars who buy it for the PR value on the recommendation of their entertainment agents so they can be seen driving away from Spago in such an "eco-friendly" car on TMZ.
How many decades and millions of miles would have to be driven by the Volt owners (even if GM's bravado claims are to be believed) until the break even point is reached with a conventional small car such as a Corolla? A lot longer than the Volt can be expected to keep rolling... you see... the battery packs will be lucky to last a couple of years. And the replacement cost for the packs... er... well... pretty close to the price of a new Corolla.
Welcome to the upside down Marxist world of the Obama Administration. As George Orwell so prophetically wrote sixty years ago: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. All we can add to that is The Volt Is A Great Car.