Will the Chevrolet Volt be a failure or a success?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Reginnald, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I think most people do not care about emissions, though...even hybrid owners. They buy to save gas. Maybe some nebulous "easier on the environment", but they cannot quantify that to any extent. I have no idea, for example, about emissions of a Prius. I know they are very low and that a volt is much higher than it should be but that's about where it ends!
     
  2. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Its a lot closer than you may recall. The first Gen Prius was identical to the Toyota Echo (slight cosmetic difference in the hood). No financial analysis could show a prius ever recouping the cost difference (something like $8,000) on gas savings alone. (much like the Cruze and Volt)

    There was a federal tax break that helped close the gap and make more sense to buyers, but it was frowned on as a big handout.

    Only the handful of people who were excited about the possibilities took the time to educate themselves and figure out the true benefits. Most of the automotive press was hung up on how terribly they drove.

    11 years later there is a new automotive segment with dozens of competing manufacturers in the hybrid market. With luck the same will be true of Plug in hybrids by 2020.

    The volt, the PHV Prius, and even the leaf are good first steps into what will be another new segment with potential to really do a lot of good in a lot of ways.

    I took delivery of my Volt this week and am loving it. I haven't heard of an unhappy owner yet. I have every confidence it will be a success.
     
  3. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Tax deductible ($300-$600) started in 2005 and tax credit ($3,150) started in 2006. I don't think there were any tax breaks for 2001-2003 Prius. Prius did fine and Toyota produced a fine Gen2 Iconic Prius. Volt is getting $7,500 tax credit to begin with and it is not even an electric car.

    There are other major differences too.

    Emission - Prius was SULEV while Echo was ULEV. Volt and Cruze are in the same emission category (ULEV).

    Price - $19,995 was the starting price for Prius. Volt is starting with double the Prius price.

    Seats - 2001-2003 Prius was a compact car but it can seat 5 people. Volt can only seat 4 due to the cabin robbing battery.

    Electricity - Prius does not consume electricity because it does not need to be plugged in. However, the Volt does. If you don't plug the Volt, it'll get lower (37) MPG than the original Prius (41 MPG).

    Volt is a step forward in term of electrification but there are many steps backward (those made by cordless hybrids). This is why you can't make parallels between the Volt and the success of Prius.
     
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  4. priushater2

    priushater2 New Member

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    The volt will fail. Go V8's.
     
  5. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    It doesn't have to be black or white. As many things in life, you need a good balance. Go, affordable clean, cordless hybrid!
     
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  6. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Was the Prius sold with a tax credit or refund back then?

    Could use that info. I will be speaking at Toastmasters on Prius vs. Volt tonight.
     
  7. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Prius sold 18,000+ units in US in March 2011, #14 on list of all cars and trucks in US. I heard Volt sold 600. Don't know if that's presales or real sales, deliveries.

    Wait 'til the Prius family is in place next year. It may be in the top 10 consistently.

    After all, Accord is a family (sedan,coupe,crosstour), Corolla (sedan,Matrix), Civic (sedan,coupe, NG, hybrid), Camry (sedan, hybrid, thing Solara is gone).
     
  8. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Yeah, and the Prius is still owning the market share.

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States"]Hybrid electric vehicles in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    It has outsold next closest competitor Civic hybrid by 5x. Civic has fallen off charts in 2010 though -

    2010 : Prius 140k units, Civic hyb - 7k
    2011: Prius 24k , HCH, 1.2k
    This may be due to the 3rd gen Prius redesign.

    Insight and Fusion hybrid were Pri's closest comp in 2010, about 20k each.

    I keep saying, how dominant does the Prius need to get for someone to have a real go at it? Maybe we will see a real direct competitor to Prius in 5 years. Full hybrid with very similar body.

    In 2020, Prius will probably still be the champ. Plug-in hybrids will sell, but they don't stand a chance against regular hybrids : you have to plug them in and many cannot do that.
     
  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    No credit. There was a deduction, which worked out to about $300 to $400 for the typical buyer. That was it.
    .
     
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  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Please specify how that will be measured.

    When? Quantity? Price?

    .
     
  11. Felt

    Felt Senior Member

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    What will define a "failure?"

    Sales in the range of 600+ does not sound like the makings of a success. Taxpayers have not gotten their money back from GM. Consumer Reports was not overwhelmed with the product in their report.

    It will be interesting to see what the long-term Edmunds test will reveal, as will reports from owners now that it is getting warmer. Will the A/C drain the battery and limit mileage as much as the heater?

    OTOH .... the Volt was named "Car of the Year." To some, publicity is "success."
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Right, there are 3 ways for it to be a success:
    - sell well
    - sell other cars well
    - advance production to a better future version

    - From numbers it seems to be selling badly, but I don't know how much is production constraint
    - It may have helped to interest buyers in the Cruze.
    - We'll see.
     
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  13. Comrad_Durandal

    Comrad_Durandal New Member

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    Why am I being jumped on? I -LIKE- the Volt, I would have loved to OWN a Volt. I don't have the money to BUY a Volt though, and most people don't either. I tried to see one up close, and the only dealer who could even GET one told me that the only way I'd get ANYWHERE near it is if I purchased one sight-unseen for 10k over MSRP - else I could get lost.

    Sorry, for that treatment - I'd rather eat ground glass.
     
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  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Success or failure of the Volt is mainly based on how long they continue making it, this assuming it's not kept on life support for some artificial reason.

    I think the Volt has an incredible burden to carry. It needs to drop $8k off its price--and soon--to be of any relevance at all. Right now it's a beta test, a technical proof of concept, not a car of interest to anything but a most faithful fringe.

    To me its range and gas economy numbers are such that it's not clearly a better car than the Prius and yet can cost $10-15k more depending on options.
    Honda has taken a real go at the Prius. The insight is ok but it is inferior. Its price is lower, but the average joe ain't buying, hence the 6 or 7:1 sales of Prius vs Insight. And Honda was right there from day one with Toyota working on hybrid tech (I mean to market with the first insight). Any other automaker to come in now has a lot of catching up to do. There are other hybrids of course but they are not comparable MPG wise with Toyota first and Insight second.

    The Volt is not selling many cars. Is it demand? It it supply? Does it matter really? Whatever the reason, whether people don't want it or GM cannot make them fast enough it's still as rare as hen's teeth. I think GM is probably on a special blend of herbs if they think they can sell many at all with it at its current price.
     
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  15. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Insight came in 2nd place in hybrid sales in 2010. Far behind Prius, but I wouldn't say Insight is a failure. If the Insight was a full hybrid and matched Prius is size and power, it would chew far into Prius sales.

    I think car sales are ultimately like movies - doesn't matter what critics say, if the movie is great, word of mouth will get around, and the movie will be playing all over for a long time. If the movie is bad, doesn't matter how much critics or TV pumps it up, it won't last long. Sort of like that with cars.
     
  16. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yep. Then, on 1/1/06, it turned into a $3150 tax credit but then eventually went phaseout to $0 after Toyota hit their 60K qualifying vehicles sold on or after 1/1/06 mark.
     
  17. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    From the IRS website:

    IR-2003-114, Oct. 6, 2003

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has certified the 2004 Toyota Prius as being eligible for the clean-burning fuel deduction. The certification means taxpayers who purchase a new hybrid vehicle may claim a tax deduction of up to $2,000 on Form 1040.

    Federal tax law allows individuals to claim a deduction for the incremental cost of buying a motor vehicle that is propelled by a clean-burning fuel. By combining an electric motor with a gasoline-powered engine, these hybrid vehicles obtain greater fuel efficiency and produce fewer emissions than similar vehicles powered solely by conventional gasoline-powered engines.

    Under current law, the clean-burning fuel deduction will be reduced incrementally until it expires beginning 2007. Purchasers of IRS-certified cars will be able to claim a deduction of $2,000 if the vehicle is placed in service on or before Dec. 31, 2003. The $2,000 maximum deduction will be reduced by 25 percent for vehicles placed into service in 2004, by 50 percent in 2005 and by 75 percent in 2006. No deduction will be allowed for vehicles placed in service after Dec. 31, 2006.

    Under the law, the one-time deduction must be taken in the year the vehicle was originally used. The taxpayer must be the original owner. Individuals take this benefit as an adjustment to income on their Form 1040. They do not have to itemize deductions on their tax returns to claim it. To claim the deduction, write “clean fuel†on Line 33 of the 2003 Form 1040. Also, see the Instructions for Form 1040.

    The amount of the deduction for the Prius was set after the manufacturer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., documented for the IRS the incremental cost related to the vehicle’s electric motor and related equipment.

    The IRS previously certified the Toyota Prius for model years 2001, 2002 and 2003. The IRS also previously certified the Honda Insight for model years 2000, 2001 and 2002 and the Honda Civic Hybrid for model year 2003
     
  18. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I will consider the Volt a success if they keep making them, make new generations with improvements, and in 6-8 years when I am ready for a new one I can get one with at least 60 miles all electric range and a range extender that gets better than 60 mpg while burning E85 or biodiesel.
     
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  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    What about quantity?

    Remaining a niche defeats the purpose of Volt.
    .
     
  20. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I don't think it does, at least not at this time, and I suppose the better question becomes what is the purpose of the Volt.

    I certainly didn't expect it to hit the ground running ready to replace every other car on the road and be the perfect fit for all drivers. I see it much as the Gen I prius, as a promising new direction, not a destination.

    It has taken technology that we have been discussing for years and made it available to the public. The price needs to come down and efficiency improve, but thats not likely to happen without some economy of scale and recovery of losses on the original development.

    I think the comparison to a beta test is pretty accurate. I accept that I am paying to be a beta tester and I am willing to do so to be a part of a new product development I am excited about and may eventually make the world a better place. If we define the purpose of the present version of the Volt to be a beta test, then success would be measured by the continued development to a better final version, the success of those more refined versions will ultimately be measured in quantities sold.
     
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