[ad#post_ad]Joel Ewanick is the relatively new Vice President of GM Marketing, and from what little I've dealt with him, a terrific guy.
He is charged with improving and advancing GM's brands in consumers' eyes and bringing in new sales. The launch of the Volt (and Cruze) later this year is extremely important for GM, Chevrolet makes up 75% of sales.
Edmunds Inside Line had the chance to speak with Ewanick about the Volt launch.
It is apparently his overarching plan to present the Volt to the public as more "car" than "electric." Though we here love the Volt, there is a fear it could fail with the larger population who may be wary of new technology, and further put off by the high sticker price.
Insuring an "auspicuous" launch for the Volt and Cruze are Ewanick's top marketing priorities.
"We've got a lot of education to do with Volt because it's a whole new category of vehicle," Ewanick told Edmund's. "We want to show that it's more 'car' than 'electric.' And that we've got everything, in an electric vehicle, that you require for the average human being."
He also expects to heavily promote the Volt's ability to eliminate range anxiety found in pure electric cars, and in fact a report by Jalopnik shows GM is actually trying to trademark the term. The USPTO record shows GM submitted this application on July 6th under the heading promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities."It's something we call ‘range anxiety,' and it's real," said Ewanick. "That's something we need to be very aware of when we market this car... people do not want to be stranded on the way home from work."
He feels GM is in a unique postion to understand the importance of range anxiety in the marketplace because of its past experience with the all-electric EV-1. "We've been here before," he says. "We have first-hand experience with what the issues are."
Ewanick expects it's possible some early adopters may prefer a pure electric car, but that the Volt is best positioned for the mainstream.
"Until there's a robust infrastructure" for pure electric cars, Ewanick told Edmunds, the Volt will rule as it "won't ask the average person to make huge compromises in their lifestyle." He admits "there is a hard-core group that will be first buyers" of pure electrics that will put up with inconvenincnes.
Ewanick beleives as economies of scale drive down the cost of the Volt in the future, demand could skyrocket in turn further driving down cost.
"Once consumers begin to understand and as we build that awareness, demand will be greater than we now imagine," Ewanick believes. "Once that happens, it'll bring costs down."
Source ( Edmunds )