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So, here are my thoughts on GM and the Volt. First, a warning, I am a republican, and I didn't pull any punches.

3 years ago, if you asked me, I would have told you that I would never buy a GM car. Ever. Why? It honestly had nothing to do with the bail out. The real reason was that up until the Volt, the powers that be at GM had their heads stuck very far up their a$$, and there was no indication that they were ever going to change. Simply put, GM annoyed the living hell out me. I wanted to buy American, but I refuse to buy a piece of crap just because it has an American flag on it. In fact, the fact that GM is an American company made it so much worse. If GM was a Chinese car, and they made crap, and that was all I could afford, I think i would have been okay with it. Instead, they were always a source of disappointment for me.

When I was in high school, I was fortunate enough to get a new car. I wanted a Saturn. I thought the composite body panels, where just what I needed. One day, my dad and I went to go look at the the two door coupe. When we raised the hood and started the engine, the engine bounced and rocked so hard that it actually looked like it was a flight risk. Rather than making a decent well balanced engine, GM created these MONSTER motor mounts that tried to hide how out-of-balance it was. The car was cut. That was disappointment #1. If you care, I got the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

I still liked the Saturn concept. They listened to their employees, they were a family, they put a lot of love into what they made. Remember those warm and fuzzy commercials? Then GM decided to make the Saturn SUV in Mexico. Family Fight? Disappointment #2

While at college, UCSD, I was walking to my car in the parking lot. For those that don't know, UCSD is a pretty good school that is part of the same university system as UCLA and Berkley. Anyway, they have giant parking lots that you have to sift through in order to try to find you car. At one point, I noticed that there were NO GM cars there. None. Not one. How can a school of that size not have a car in their parking lot that was a general motors car? Of course, I spotted some on other days, but it gave me a large sense of how rare they were. How did GM's marketing people know that in the college age, up and coming crowd, they had like a 0% share. This was about 15 years ago. How did they not do anything about it? Disappointment #3

8 years after buying my Eclipse, I really wanted a Camero SS (this was the body style just before they canceled it). Then I test drove one. Visibility SUCKED on that car. The passenger seat had this huge bump on the floor, the car (nothing specific, the whole car) rattled like crazy, the finish work was sloppy, the dash was poorly laid out, and many dash items were not within easy reach. Worst of all I had no way of knowing where the car front of the car was. Most people didn't, which I think is why 99 out of 100 of them had their noses all scraped up. Disappointment #4. I ended up with a Honda Accord Coupe. Nothing like the SS, I know, but I needed reliable car, and their V6 was as smooth as butter. Oh, and it was built in the USA.

Do any of you remember the stories of how American astronauts all drove Corvettes? I went to Cape canaveral several years back and took a tour. The tour guide informed us that at that point in time, they all drove PT Cruisers because they couldn't afford Corvettes. Sad. If thats not a missed marketing opportunity for GM, I don't know what is. Discount the cars, and put them on a billboard for crying out loud. Disappointment #5

Why were GM cars just not up the the same level as most Japanese brands? I blame how often they tried to reuse parts. Several cars looks like they have the most generic center console/dash imaginable. Look at a Civic or an Accord. That DASH is made for that car. Its sculpted, it looks good, there is some design going on. Many GM cars looked like parts bins. Disappointment #6-N (too many to count). I am sorry if the truth hurts.

Fast Forward 10 years and they went Bankrupt. How in the world did a college kid with no practicle experience see that coming and the heads of GM didn't? Like I said, Heads up A$$. From my perspective, they deserved it. The company was just broken, and had been for years. I think the conservative right truly believes in survival of the fittest, and they are pissed that a company that is "too big to fail" got help while others would not. And the new Camero? It looks a heck of a lot better, but with the exception of the bump on the passenger floor, everything I said about the old one still applies. Will GM ever learn? The Mustang is super hot selling, but the GM equivalent that by all accounts, should be neck and neck with it, can't hold a candle to it in terms of sales.

Now, how do I feel about all of the negative publicity going on about the Volt? It disgusts me. The lies, half truths, and poor intentions being thrown around about an an outstanding piece of American Engineering really upset me. It should be celebrated. The fact is, America invested in GM. Like it or not, we did. So, why in the world is a piece of the political machine looking to harm something that we all own? It makes no sense, especially since its untrue. It would be like board members of Southwest Airlines actively leaking misinformation to the media about how many of their airplanes are about to fall out of the sky. (Thats just an example of a ridiculous situation, it did not happen, and to the best of my knowledge, Southwest airplanes are in tip-top shape). I wish I could say that this is my Disappointment #1 for the Republican Party, but its more like #25. Thats another post entirely, but lets just say, that in the next 10 years, there is going to be a shakeup in that arena as well. You heard it here first.

To end on a bright side, my Volt arrives on the 9th and I am soooo looking forward to it. Its an outstanding car, it drives like a dream, and I am looking forward to filling up only once every 3-4 months. I have also been frequenting this forum for quite some time, and the pride of ownership is quite evident. I just can't wait. For the record though, this is GM's one and only shot with me. If they screw it up, I'm NEVER coming back.

Now, lets just all cross our fingers and hope that they don't cancel the car.
 

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Congrats on your car. The Volt is a great car and I don't doubt you'll enjoy driving it.

With respect to your story, I wouldn't have imagined I'd buy a GM car for similar reasons. GM just didn't make good product. The first change was when some younger employees said they liked Cadillac. That was interesting. But the big change for me came a few years ago. One of my neighbors had this really nice looking car with a extremely well done interior. I didn't recognize it so I looked for the name and it said "Malibu". Somewhat in shock, I remember thinking: "This thing looks as good as the BMW and costs half as much. I could buy one of these every few years and still be ahead of the game".

These days it seems like Detroit and the Koreans are making nice cars at very competitive prices and that Toyota and Honda have lost their way. That said, in Consumer Reports I think the Volt was the only GM vehicle to get a truly outstanding reliability report. GM really does have to execute on the Volt. It's a very important car for them though I have no idea if they understand that or not.
 

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A slightly different prospective from an independent

Just for the record I voted for Ronald Reagan’s first term when I felt a politician had finally figured out the direction of deficit spending by government didn't make sense long term. If only the dreams of the campaign had matched the reality of his first term.

After getting out of the army in the 1970s and going across country in a used 1967 Camero I noticed going to California to my first career job the shift from 90% American made cars to a much wider array of foreign cars: Alfa Romeo-Datsun-Fiat-Mazda and Toyota by the time I got to the west coast as well as AMC-Chrysler-GM brands and Ford.

After several years of hearing about the quality of Japanese cars I bought a used Datsun 240Z then 2 years old. Fresh out of college my knowledge of the workings of cars was limited. Within 3 months the transmission had to be rebuilt at 41,000 miles. I had grown up driving a stick shift so I didn't feel it was my doing. First owner ruined the transmission by 41,000 miles? Maybe. I do remember the AC was anemic and the Datsun dealer could do nothing to improve it during summer heat on trips to Las Vegas. Never had AC issues with a GM car. An assortment of used American made cars followed. In 1984 having moved to Colorado and feeling the need for four wheel drive I bought a new 1984 Subaru Brat. Great gas mileage a little small for me but loved the idea of being able to haul stuff around. At 19,000 miles a casting broke on the engine and all the oil got pumped out. As the car had an oil gauge on it and not an idiot light I didn't notice for seven miles in the nighttime darkness. Dumb on my part? You bet. Had it towed to the dealer where the cracked casting was replaced under warranty but no they wouldn't pay for a new engine. So be it. A month later I drove the car down the street and traded for a new 1986 Toyota turbo charged 4WD pick up costing $9600. Drove great for 34,000 miles when the turbo unit failed out of warranty. Since replacing the turbo would have cost about 20% of the value of the truck I lived without the turbo for the rest of my ownership.

I found it more cost effective to maintain 3 or 4 used American cars with a family of 3 then pin all my hopes on just one new car. If I had a long distance family vacation I rented a car.

Test drove a Saturn, liked it a lot, but my used car assortment was still going so I passed on buying it.

2006 Bought a new Ford Escape Hybrid. Currently at 106,000 miles I've replaced a tail light bulb. That's it except for routine maintenance and tires for the car. Nothing has gone wrong.

I've had the same happy feeling with my Volt nothing has gone wrong.

I still find all the engineering and design aspects of the car amazing. I've been very happy with the quality of manufacture as well.

Since I bought the Volt in November GM management decisions for the company as a whole on the other hand leave me with foreboding. Back to short term gains and long term demise? I hope not for GM or the USA.
 

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I've had Plymouths, Dodges, Fords, Chevys, Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans. Oh, even a pontiac J2000 company car (what a piece of crap that was !) and none of them were what I would consider great. I did find that my first Chevy in 1997, a lumina sedan, was the first car I owned that did not have any problems...ran fine, smooth & quiet for 8 yrs until I finally sprang for my first Vette. Dream car is all I can say. :)
Now on to the Volt. If it lasts as long, and with the same lack of maintenance needed, as the last 2, I'm satisfied...quiet, smooth , like the new technology.
I hope GM sells a lot of these, but if not, maybe ours will all be collectors items someday. :)
 

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Five years ago I had the same sentiments about GM, the company for which I now work. I nearly didn't apply for my current position because I was afraid I might actually get the job. GM was not a company I ever thought I would want to work for.

Now that I'm on the inside, I see the struggles. Old behaviors die hard. Many people in this company, including salaried employees, have worked for GM for their entire careers. They have no other perspective on automobiles or companies. That IS changing. GM is now hiring talent from the "outside" and trying very hard to retain the younger generation of employees, while actively expediting the retirement of those who are "ready to go". This turn-over is going to be very important for the company.

GM still has the pull to recruit some of the best and brightest from the regional universities...and there are some really good schools in Michigan for engineering and business. GM has invested a lot of money and people into Voltec. I really believe that this is GM's long term strategy and I can't seem them walking away now (despite the recent Hamtramck announcement). For me, the Volt was the single point of light that brought me to work for the company. I've followed the technology closely and within the next couple of months I actually plan to lease a Volt (just with there was an employee discount on it :))

I think GM is on the right path, but it's a large company and moves more slowly than I would like. I also don't think the product mix is where it should be yet and its frustrating that everything that peaks my interests is always 2+ years out. That said, I'm hopeful and enthusiastic about the future of electric-based vehicles, GM, and the US auto industry in general.
 

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From my blog: voltowner.blogspot.com (I am also a Republican)

Why I bought a Chevy Volt
It has been a short period of time since I purchased my 2012 Chevy Volt... I've been waiting for this car ever since it was announced, while George W. Bush was still in office, and while the sting of high gas prices were still on peoples' minds.

I have taken an activist role with this car, and in my communications on twitter, facebook, and in person with others, I have been astounded by the misinformation on electric cars in general, and people's decision to vilify a car before they have all the facts.

So I wanted to take the time to explain why I, a Republican my entire life, decided to purchase an electric car, and more specifically a Chevy Volt. While I can respect differing opinions, you should at least agree that I made a calculated and very informed decision, and many of my points are compelling. I’ll speak about the costs of the car in another post.

I have been concerned about the country's energy dependence on oil for a while. Oil price spikes almost always precede recession. "If" oil prices are a catalyst is an interesting debate, but what isnt debatable is how oil price spikes affect everyone, as it erodes corporate profits and strips consumers of their purchasing power and disposable income, and raises prices for the food we eat. And what we have seen previously can get much worse. I am not a "Peak Oiler." Peak Oilers, as a generalization, believe we have already peaked, or are very near the peak of the amount of oil we can produce, and once we peak, declines will set in, and the global economy will collapse. It is accepted theory that the world needs increasing oil to grow, and without growth in production, the global economy will contract. What I do believe is that there are significant above ground (political/economical) and below ground (geological) that exist which will cause us to face higher energy prices. Higher prices will eventually push us to another crisis in the much nearer future with or without peak oil. It is also an accepted fact that the cheap 'conventional' oil has already peaked, and what is left to make up the loss of cheap oil is more expensive to reach, and will inevitably lead to higher pump prices around the world (Why would an oil company spend $70 to pump out oil to sell it at $60?). Although I won't claim I am an expert, I take more than a passing interest on this. I attend conferences put on yearly by the Department of Energy. I make friends in the industry. I stay very informed, and try to take a balanced approach on energy policy. I think it gives me enough information to make balanced decisions and conclusions about where we are headed as a country with energy policy in mind.

So back to the Volt.

Why I bought an electric car...
1) I think the diversification of the transportation system is paramount for our country. Just think about how precarious it is that we rely on a single source of fuel for our transportation system. We haven't been self-sufficient in years, and even if we do become self-sufficient (we don't need to import crude), since oil prices are traded on a global market, becoming self-sufficient doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper prices if there is a shortage of oil in the global market. Exxon will sell to China if they pay them enough, which means we have to be willing to pay the high prices that outside countries would be willing to pay for our own commodity. That us how global markets work. Maybe you feel better that we are giving Exxon $150 a barrel for oil, but it doesn’t make me feel better. The transportation system needs COMPETITION OF FUEL SOURCES. This doesn’t mean we all convert to electric. This means that there is a healthy mix of Compressed Natural Gas, Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Cells, and Internal Combustion. With this healthy mix, consumers will finally have a way to escape higher prices. If gas prices go up, when it comes time to buy your next car, you'll consider one of the alternatives. If the alternatives become too expensive, you may consider going back to gas. The good news is that the oil companies will not have you over the barrel, like they do now. Electric cars are a good start because there is no need to build out infrastructure like the other alternatives. We already have a power grid we can utilize. And what is wonderful about our power system is how diverse it is. We don’t produce all our power from once source. It is a mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, and other renewables.

2) Foreign trade reduction. We send a ridiculous amount of money outside of this country with oil imports. In 2010, we sent over $200 billion out of this country to buy oil. Most of our oil is imported from Canada. That is money that doesnt go to pay our workers or government. It really just helps everyone else but us. By going electric, almost all of the money stays in this country. We will most likely always need large quantities of oil in this country, so we won't be robbing U.S. oil companies of profit, we'll just be needing less imported oil.

3) National Security. We spent a lot of money protecting oil interest. Much of that protection is through foreign policy and with military action. I would suspect over our history, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent if you admit that even a fraction of our recent military campaigns were over foreign oil reserves. I am not a cynic. Our troops are fighting for good reasons. But they are also fighting for our economic prosperity. The protection of foreign oil reserves, and making sure they produce, is critical to keeping the global price of oil at a reasonable level. Just look at what is happening right now with Iran. The vast majority of oil going through the Straight of Hormuz is not destined to the U.S.. Do you think we'd be doing this if Iran were blockading cotton shipments? Our government understands the criticality of the oil flowing through that passage as it relates to our nation. We are so dependent on oil, that it has become a critical need to protect it abroad. It is something we have to stop, or at least attempt to be less controlled by.

Why I bought a Chevy Volt:
1) I am not ready for full electric. I, like many people, need a way to ease into electric. The Leaf is great for those that can go full electric, but I want a single car solution.
2) I like the luxury features of the car. I think the interior is superior to the other electric options out there. Certainly far superior to a Prius.
3) I like the power. This car really moves. The 0-60 is reasonable in the mid 8s, but I can't describe how amazing a single gear perfectly silent car is with loads of torque available throughout the entire range. The best description I can give to accelerating in this car is what you feel like when you are taking off in a jet. I owned and drove higher performance vehicles prior to the Volt. I have NOT been dissapointed with this car.
4) I don't want to burn gas, period. A Prius is not even a comparison to this car. It will always burn gas and is entirely too slow for my tastes. For me, I am making more compromises with a Prius than I am with a Volt.
5) I love the technology. The amount of Research and Development in this car is staggering. The addition of the gas motor to extend range and bring an electric car with no range compromises is brilliant.

I am not going to say Electric Cars are 'THE' solution for this country. However, they are part of 'THE'
solution. The other parts of the solution is exploring and drilling for more oil, and incentivizing alternatives like electrics heavily. If you buy my argument that oil is already heavily subsidized through military protection, and we already know oil companies get tremendous tax credits for exploration, it only makes sense to subsidize alternatives to attempt to level the playing field.

The response I often get is, "Well, then we should let the market decide." I respectfully disagree. The market has no business deciding our national security. As we have witnessed, oil prices can spike much more quickly than the ability of the car makers to react. And we have also seen large spikes can kill the economy, making it difficult for car makers to actually build a car people can afford to buy when the layoffs start happening in large quantities. I consider subsidies on electric cars a 'bridge'. They help support a market that may not exist in the manner that is necessary for significant investment and early adoption. When the market is artificially created, it will provide the support and demand the automobile companies and supported technologies need to innovate, and make the cars cheaper for the masses in the following generation. But you have to keep the ball moving.

Notice I didn't mention something? I didn't mention the 'Green' argument. I don't mention the green argument because it is, in my opinion, the most debatable, most polarizing argument associated with electric cars. I can absolutely make an argument that electric cars are no worse, and often much better than gas cars, but as I hoped to prove above, the other issues are far more important to our country.

It is dissapointing General Motors had to be bailed out. I can't help that. I do know that as an American tax payer, you are still on the hook for billions in GM shares. You need GM to succeed in order to have a prayer at getting any of that money back. Before you vilify the Chevy Volt, please think about the issues I have mentioned above, and try to see a bigger picture.

For the record, I have spent $58 in electricity to go 2700+ miles. This car is actually cheaper than my Mini and BMW that I previously owned, even though it is a more expensive car. But that is for another post :)

Previous cars I have owned: 1993 Nissan 300ZX, 1997 Acura CL 3.0, 1997 BMW Z3, 2011 Mini Cooper
 

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I respect your views because everyone's experiences are different but you need to check your facts. The new Camaro (not including the first few months they ramped up production) has outsold the Mustang almost every month since its introduction. The Mustang has only outsold the Camaro three months and the Camaro has higher transaction prices(less discount). Now about GM vehicles, I have owned and leased several and all have been problem free. Yes, there is some fit and finish issues, some rattles that can get annoying. But my wife's toyota' fit and finish is worse than any GM car I have owned and it died on the highway due to a bad PCM. Sure, problems happen, but their service department and the guy that sold it to her tried to blame the after-market starter for the problem(which they had installed before my wife bought the car). I knew the problem was more than that and a few years later toyota recalled her car for defective PCMs. I'd never buy a Toyota because of how dishonest this dealership was to my wife.
 

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My mother and father were GM supporters for 40+ years. Dad died in '71, though. Her inventory continued as follows:

1960's Corvair
1969 Cadillac Calais ('my car' in high school in '80-81)
1973 Nova 5-dr
1976 Malibu wagon
1979 Chevy Van
1981 Monte Carlo
1989 Chevy Van
1997 Chevy Van
2005 Chevy Venture

I've never bought a GM car since leaving the nest but if I do, it'll be either a Volt or other Sedan. I've seen their quality come way up.
 

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Carzin, you just nailed my feelings about the Volt. I used to be a Republican, now I am a Conservative forced to choose the lesser of two evils at the ballot box. I tend to vote Republican but their ranting and raving about the Volt/GM has really irritated me. I understand the zero sum game that they think they need to play, but it is biting off our nose to spite our face, in this case.
I think after all the unforced errors on the part of Republicans that Casey summed it up best:
"Can't anybody here play this game?"
Start with 'reducing our reliance on foreign oil', segue into 'reduce our trade deficit', move right into 'we currently send $1,000,000,000 a day overseas to pay for our oil addiction', hook them with a question 'have your driven a Volt? they are a ton of fun to drive', mention that 'most drivers see their monthly car fuel/electricity bills drop by about half' and close with 'do you want to support the House of Saud, Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin, because your car is doing just that.'
 

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Interesting perspective, but sometimes a nice good kick in the head is necessary to see reality. With GM it took a few more because of GM's sheer size.

But what I found with GM was that it went from building a lot of reliable cars in the 60s, to fewer in the 70s (the small cars were horrible -- and why they didn't import designs from Europe still eludes me). By the 80s and 90s it was utter hit or miss in terms of quality, there seemed a frantic attempt to cost-cut their way to quality and profits, a fool's errand. Then, by the 90s, some at GM were realizing that they had to get their quality in gear and that their designs were so derivative that all their cars looked alike. And let's not even mention the dog's breakfast the interiors were.

At this point 2000 arrived and they brought Lutz in. Some changes were already afoot, but Lutz accelerated them. Simple things were done, like make brake rotors larger resulting in better braking but also longer lasting brakes. But bigger things were done, too. Styling was moved up the hierarchy. Designers were given more say in the cars. Accountants were told to remain more quiet, though I'd have told them to shut up since they'd cost-cut GM into near insolvency. GM also brought in testing to component failure, not only to warrantee -- a simple concept, lost on some, but one that pays massive dividends in knowing when a component fails; is there anything more annoying than a part that fails one month out of warrantee? And what does that do to customer loyalty?

As the 2000s arrived GM not only started to get their quality up but they started to experiment with design again.

Ironically, just as GM was getting their act together all hell broke loose in the fall of 2001. In a fit of patriotism, never truly reciprocated, GM spent a lot of their own money to "Keep America Rolling" -- sadly, they never got credit for this in 2008. But through the 2000s GM started to spend a lot of money on new designs, new small engines, better platforms, etc. Cadillac went through a renaissance and efforts were afoot to redo all of Chevrolet's cars.

If one does a search one realizes how bad cars were from GM in the 90s and had something serious not been done GM would have collapsed much sooner -- though, ironically, the fact GM spent so much to revamp their cars and engines thus depleting their cash reserves just before the housing idiocy pushed them over the edge when credit disappeared; a damned either way moment to be sure.

But if one truly looks back at cars like the Malibu and what it looked like in the 90s and the iterations since then one sees not only attention to exterior styling but attention to quality and interiors. Where GM interiors had gotten horrible, now interiors in GM cars are usually among the best. One only need look at the horrible interior of cars like the Corolla and Prius vs. the Cruze and Volt to see what I mean.

And the defeatist attitude that held grip at GM in the 90s, that Lutz documents in his most recent book, is mostly gone. But it took a massive amount of willpower to get GM to try to truly innovate again. Lutz commented that when he said he wanted GM to build what became the Volt some said internally it couldn't be done. He'd have none of it. And, they set about doing the hard engineering to get it to work even though a lot of "experts" said it was impossible. And, as we all know, it did work and we're driving that vehicle now.

The problem is, much as with much of GM's technology from the 70s such as adaptive cruise control, night-vision, heads up displays, navigation systems, in-car entertainment, etc., Voltec is futuristic, expensive and thus a hard sell to many. But in my view it's the future. It's where the automobile industry is going. And if you look at the derogatory opinions from automakers when the Volt was shown in 2008 and subsequently announced as a production intent vehicle in 2009 and put on sale in 2010 what we see now is every one of them scrambling to make the same type of drivetrain from Hyundai to Audi to BMW and everyone in between. It's gone from a "car for morons" to "we gotta have one, too". The future is obvious when it's pointed out and drives right by you, it seems.

You can ignore the future, usually at your own peril. But to also be the leader results in a lot of people taking potshots at you because they just don't see it or don't want to see it.

I'm hoping that as people better comprehend how innovative and cool Voltec is and how great a car the Volt is sales will increase. I'm also hoping that GM can quickly get Voltec into other vehicles so that they can blend the cost across more expensive lines from Buick and Cadillac thereby addressing one of the largest sticking points.

Though I'm a Canadian, I'm very glad that GM built this car. I'd rather my money stay in North America.

And if you're curious about the internal machinations at GM during the 2000 - 2010 period, you'd do yourself good by picking up a copy of Lutz's Car Guys book. It's a great read and sounds like he's sitting across from you in a chair smoking his cigar and ranting. Wonderful.
 

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OP Pauly,
I think many things in your original post came down to cost-savings issues where they had to fight the union wages cost going into the vehicles against the actual car-parts being used to build them. Lower quality comes when more of the input goes into labor costs over the quality of the build. Young people don't like poor quality because they don't have cash to repair their cars - a college kid isn't going to fork over $2K to fix a broken cam-shaft or AC unit. They'd rather buy a used $2K import and trash it if it fails.

The New GM really is trying to fix that, it seems, with the Sonic and how they have tiered labor rates. I don't know if this will spread across all vehicles, but it's a start. And, with inflation, I have to wonder if the parts versus labor costs have evened out over time where final car prices wash out labor costs along with higher-levels of automation (robots) in the build process?
 

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Zig, thanks. I feel like I am a man without a party at this point. I am so pissed at how the conservatives have treated electric cars. During the next election, I know I will be checking the democrat box on a few positions due to their conversations with me that I did not have with the republicans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have to run to work, but I wanted to give thanks to all for keeping this thread interesting and positive.

I agree with mostly everything said here. I'm very glad to hear that the cars are getting better. Coming back to my original point, GM really annoyed me. I had written them off entirely. I hadn't checked out their new cars (except the Camero), because, why would I? I figured, it would just get my blood boiling again. The Volt is what sparked my interest in GM and it has me looking again. Say what you want about it, the Volt is bringing new people to the brand, and that can only be a good thing. Even if it does not sell very well, the technology and public interest is making GM relevant again.

djquick64, I apologize for not checking my facts on Mustang vs. Camero sales figures. I had heard that they were not selling very well, but that could have been related to when they first came out. I guess, this really gets back to my perception of GM. I actually sat in them twice. Once at a car show, it was the convertible, and my head was scraping the top (I'm only 5'10"). The second time, it was at the dealer. Both times, the car felt uncomfortable. It just did not feel right. There was all this open space around me, I could not reach the buttons easily, and there was this clear plastic molding that went across the dash that was loose and you could see where the glue squeezed into places it should't have. Lastly, I could not see the front of the car. it felt like I was in a boat, but I couldn't stand up to see where the nose was. This likely irked me the wrong way because, when I first saw it, I was like, "There she is". Its one nice looking car. I had passed that time in my life where I would buy one, but I was still looking forward to sitting behind the wheel of one. I was disappointed to say the least. This led me to believe that they were not selling well.

bonaire, your post sounds exactly right.
 

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First, I'll say upfront that I'm a left-leaning moderate and I agree with just about everything you said, Pauly. I wasn't interested in buying American at all because of the issues you mentioned. I was so disappointed in GM for killing the EV1 that I vowed never to even consider their brand again. Then they unveiled the Volt concept, and I was intrigued but highly skeptical. After following it for a few years, I was upset that GM was going bankrupt and the car might not see the light of day, so it fell off my radar for awhile. (Thankfully, they were saved and it was as net positive for the country.)

Fast forward a few years. I'm browsing around the net and start seeing hit pieces from conservative blogs popping up about the Volt. So I start paying attention again. I do my research and within a few months the Volt is available in my area. Last December, I decided to take a test drive and I was sold.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Republicans for their hit piece articles, without which I might have never ended up buying a Volt. :D
 

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Republicans are supposed to be the people that understand business and economics. As an Independent, the last time I was registered with an affiliation, it was Republican, I have 2 Questions for the folks in red. What could America business be doing with the fortune we are sending overseas every day to pay for oil? What have the oil companies done for us that makes Republicans throw tax breaks and other incentives at them? Case in point - the pipeline from Canada that they threatened to shut down the government for would largely be used to bring product to the gulf to be exported as crude or refined product.

The Volt is a symbol as much as anything else. I think it's a symbol of change and the GOP appears to want to go down the path that got us where we are.
 

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I am a liberal.

To the Republicans who are supporting the GM/Volt, I applaud and respect you for putting politics aside and doing what will help America even though it is viewed as a liberal idea. I ask that you try and convince the non believers that the Volt is great for American regardless of whether it is a liberal or conservative idea.

The transportation industry does desperately need competition when it comes to fuel.
 

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catbert,

Wasn't 'Drill Baby Drill' suppose to keep oil prices from going high again. I think the oil companies goal is unrestricted access to ALL land and offshore for drilling. It seems some politicians are only interested in giving the oil companies more control so they can bleed tax payers even more.
 

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To the Republicans who are supporting the GM/Volt, I applaud and respect you for putting politics aside and doing what will help America even though it is viewed as a liberal idea. I ask that you try and convince the non believers that the Volt is great for American regardless of whether it is a liberal or conservative idea.
I will and am :) Just do me a favor. Don't mention 'green' as the first reason you bought the Volt. TRUST ME. Use my blog, and that is THE best argument for convincing people in my party. If you mention green, you open yourself up to a world of endless, pointless debate.
 

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I think many things in your original post came down to cost-savings issues where they had to fight the union wages cost going into the vehicles against the actual car-parts being used to build them. Lower quality comes when more of the input goes into labor costs over the quality of the build. Young people don't like poor quality because they don't have cash to repair their cars - a college kid isn't going to fork over $2K to fix a broken cam-shaft or AC unit. They'd rather buy a used $2K import and trash it if it fails.
During my years working as an engineer for GM in areas related to quality evaluation, I had the opportunity to go into several assembly plants in the early 80s (not a fun time). Several times you could see the assembly workers doing something that was hurting the quality of the assembly process. Every time I had the opportunity to ask them why they were executing the task the way they were, the response was always "because I was told by my manager to do it this way". Then they would usually say they didn't think it was correct, but they had to do it the way they were told. So they knew what was wrong but couldn't do anything to correct it because of the poor directions they had to live by. I had to be very careful in addressing these issues, because it might result in being banned from entering the assembly plant in the future.

So quality starts at the top of the organization and has to flow through all levels without being impeded by anyone or anything. Kind of like sewer pipes, if you get a blockage things begin to stink.

VIN # B0985
 

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I will and am :) Just do me a favor. Don't mention 'green' as the first reason you bought the Volt. TRUST ME. Use my blog, and that is THE best argument for convincing people in my party. If you mention green, you open yourself up to a world of endless, pointless debate.
That is one thing that bothers me...people jump to the assumption that I'm buying a Volt because I want to be "green". I'm an engineer..I'm buying it because I'm a geek. If you look at my other vehicles and motorcycles, there isn't much "green" about them. Those are all about fun/speed.
 
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