In the 2 -1/2 years since the Chevy Volt concept was first unveiled there has been considerable attention from and tension with competitors. Mostly it has been a fair game, and over time in fact many automakers have started their own EV or EREV programs.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once called the Volt with its mix of gas engine an electric motor "neither fish or foul" but went on to wish the car well.

This new particular insult though is really over the top, and unfortunately in my opinion is unnecessarily derogatory.

Apparently Audi's president of North America Johan de Nysschen who is an advocate of diesels is no fan of the Volt nor all of the government and regulatory effort going in to promoting EVs.

He dismissed the Volt as “a car for idiots.”

He is said to believe very few people will be willing to pay $40,000 for a car that competes with $25,000 sedans, and is not itself a luxury car.

“No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,” he said. “So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

He argued that the Volt is simply "for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are."

Of course describing the same individuals as both intellectuals and idiots simultaneously doesn't speak well of this fellow's logic, which is flawed.

Critical logical flaws include ignoring the importance of an expensive first generation to get to more affordable second and third generations with the early technology being subsidized by well-to-do early adopters. Also missed is the fact that the true cost of the Volt will be more like $32,500 after tax credits. Important all the more is the need to wean this country off of oil which has a different value all its own. It could also be easily argued that the Volt doesn't compete with a Corolla either.

I, Mr. de Nysschen, may be a lot of things, but an idiot isn't one of them. I will also say it is commonly accepted good business practice not to speak poorly of your competitors or their customers.

I can say at least now I know of one car brand I won't be buying.

Source ( MSN ) via ( NY Times )