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Should GM reward early adopters of new technology?

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 64.1%
  • No

    Votes: 14 35.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There has been some criticism of GM for dropping the Volt.

Some criticisms range from dropping the Volt too soon, or even for not letting us know what it's long range plans are for Voltec, or plugin hybrids. So here is a different, out of the box idea for GM, they could start an early adopters program, or customer loyalty program that rewards Volt owners on future purchases, for their participation in new technologies, and their willing to assume some risk by going in early.
 

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PHEV were always an interm step to EV (just as you could say Hybrids were an interm step to the PHEV's). It was only a matter of time although most thought it was a bit down the road. One way to look at it is the sooner the switch to EV's the quicker the electrification of North America. BC has announced the doubling of stations from existing 1,000 to 2,000 although no time table was given at the Premier's speech.
 

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We've already been rewarded in the form of a $7,500 tax refund that allowed us to buy the Volt at a price comparable to the equivalently equipped Malibu while at the same time giving GM a chance to recoup some of their R&D costs for the car.
 

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The best way to reward early adopters is to offer a cutting edge EV. Build it and they will stay, go conservative and they will go.

I wonder if GM had thought of something for early adopters. The first 2000 Volts off the assembly line were specially designated by displaying their sequence number on the center screen. What was that all about?
 

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Cars get dropped when they don't sell. The Volt is a great car. We can all agree on that. However it was never a big seller for many reasons- none associated with how it functioned or it's reliability. The Gen 2 is too expensive to be an electric Cruze. The Gen 2 Volt was designed for cost reduction and nothing else- It's not cool looking or unique or fast. A decent look + 0-60 in 4-5 seconds and they probably would have sold more. It never offered anything to justify the price. Good looking fast cars sell themselves- that's why the Tesla model 3 is selling for $50K. I personally don't think it's that good looking but it's quick. Nothing moves like an electric car. I think most of the Model 3 buyers have never driven an electric car and once they took a test drive they were hooked. If the Bolt looked like something other than a blob and had an interior that wasn't designed by Fisher-Price they would be selling like hot-cakes.
 

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I think the Gen 2 is not bad looking. It is plenty fast off the line. It is small though and not a SUV. It also was never marketed at all.


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I think the answer is yes and no. Mary Barra herself stated that GM plug-in vehicle owners were among the most satisfied of any of their customers. So yes, they should "reward" these early adopters, but I don't necessarily mean with "free stuff." Keep in mind, though, they already have offered “Volt loyalty” credits in the past. When I traded up my 2012 Volt for a 2015 Volt, I received an additional $1,500 off.

However, rather just discounts off of new vehicles, I think GM should leverage that satisfied customer base to act as “mavens” for their plug-in technology. It doesn’t necessarily need to be as lucrative as Tesla’s referral program, but I do think GM should reward those owners for advancing the uptake of GM plug-in products. All of this can be budgeted under marketing. Perhaps credits for accessories, free-to-charge cards, etc.

One thing I’m hearing from a lot of Volt owners is, “We just want to know what is coming next!” As a Bolt EV owner, I’m curious but confident. I don’t hear the same from Volt owners. GM could hold a few “secret” conferences around the country where they invite GM plug-in vehicle owners to attend. Give us information on upcoming products, plans, and technology that aren’t made public yet. And send us out to share that confidence and assurance with prospective EV owners.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t really think there is a place for a Volt in a world of 300+ mile range, fast-charging EV sedans, but I do agree that GM should let us know what’s going on. One reason I’m not immediately concerned is because we know that GM has already triggered the Federal Tax Credit phase out, so they need to move as much of their current inventory and production as they can before unveiling any upcoming plug-in vehicles. They could be very concerned about the Osborne Effect.

Mary Barra is being asked to speak before Congress soon. They might force her hand. We might hear about some of these things before GM planned to unveil them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
EV tax credits don't really fit the spirit of the post as those are federal credits that are intended to help subsidize the technology until it reaches the price benefits of mass production. And they are available to all EV products, not just GM. So this one is between you and the fed, not between you and GM.

I think the answer is yes and no. Mary Barra herself stated that GM plug-in vehicle owners were among the most satisfied of any of their customers. So yes, they should "reward" these early adopters, but I don't necessarily mean with "free stuff." Keep in mind, though, they already have offered “Volt loyalty” credits in the past. When I traded up my 2012 Volt for a 2015 Volt, I received an additional $1,500 off.

However, rather just discounts off of new vehicles, I think GM should leverage that satisfied customer base to act as “mavens” for their plug-in technology. It doesn’t necessarily need to be as lucrative as Tesla’s referral program, but I do think GM should reward those owners for advancing the uptake of GM plug-in products. All of this can be budgeted under marketing. Perhaps credits for accessories, free-to-charge cards, etc.
These types of ideas are what I was wondering about when I made the original post. Being in favor any of these ideas should solicit a yes vote in that I wasn't specific about what this might entail because I wasn't sure what the best ideas might be. “Volt loyalty” (Didn't know about this, thanks for mentioning) credits seem similarly good. I was thinking that any type of loyalty or early adopter credits would go towards future EV's only, not gas'ers.

Mary Barra herself stated that GM plug-in vehicle owners were among the most satisfied of any of their customers.
If this is the case, then this would be an even higher incentive for GM to keep them happy, and the Volt crowd might feel a little jilted at this point. Again, customer goodwill is hard earned, and easily spent.
 

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As an early adopter from my late teens to now (purchased, among other things, one of the first pocket electronic calculators, a Pulsar LED watch, an Amana RadarRange microwave, a Betamax, a Laser Disc player, a Kloss NovaBeam wide screen TV, a fax machine, a cell phone that clipped to the top of the shoulder-holster battery, a CD and later, DVD player, one of the first HD TVs when there was no available content, and other cutting-edge items of the time), I've never heard of anyone even thinking of rewarding me for helping advance the various nascent technologies with my hard-earned dollars. I'm not holding my breath... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is a fairly large purchase price difference tween a CD player and a car.
New relationships between vendors and their customers are yet to be defined in the future.
 

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As an early adopter from my late teens to now (purchased, among other things, one of the first pocket electronic calculators, a Pulsar LED watch, an Amana RadarRange microwave, a Betamax, a Laser Disc player, a Kloss NovaBeam wide screen TV, a fax machine, a cell phone that clipped to the top of the shoulder-holster battery, a CD and later, DVD player, one of the first HD TVs when there was no available content, and other cutting-edge items of the time), I've never heard of anyone even thinking of rewarding me for helping advance the various nascent technologies with my hard-earned dollars. I'm not holding my breath... :)
No Apple II computer?
 

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Cars get dropped when they don't sell. The Volt is a great car. We can all agree on that. However it was never a big seller for many reasons- none associated with how it functioned or it's reliability.
One of the reasons is certainly the $7,500 that obermd thinks we've all been 'rewarded' for - That Federal credit only applies to those who have a tax liability of $7.5K or more, which effectively eliminates more than half of the buying public. It's hard for anything to be a great seller when you can only sell to half of those who might like to buy your product

Don
 

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Yes and they did in 2015. Current Volt owners got $2500.00 cash for the purchase of any new GM vehicle.

I used it to buy a new Silverado. ;)
 

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One of the reasons is certainly the $7,500 that obermd thinks we've all been 'rewarded' for - That Federal credit only applies to those who have a tax liability of $7.5K or more, which effectively eliminates more than half of the buying public. It's hard for anything to be a great seller when you can only sell to half of those who might like to buy your product

Don
You are right about the tax credit although it does benefit those who probably couldn't afford a new Volt anyway.

The tax credit automatically adds $7500 of additional depreciation from MSRP, on a used Volt, making them more affordable.

You are right though that it doesn't help sell the new ones to have the tax credit rather than say a $7500 rebate available to all.

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GM should for one simple reason--they built up a following of Volt enthusiasts who speak highly of a GM product. Now where are they going to go next?

No company should just outright kill that customer goodwill without a plan to keep the customers happy (and coming back to buy more products of course). Goodwill is hard to build up and easy to lose. I'm not convinced GM played this one right yet regarding the Volt.
 

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There has been some criticism of GM for dropping the Volt.

Some criticisms range from dropping the Volt too soon, or even for not letting us know what it's long range plans are for Voltec, or plugin hybrids.

GM released a plan, you just may have missed it. See this thread on the next 5 years of GM EV's: https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?327939-What-s-GM-s-EV-Plan-Now

So here is a different, out of the box idea for GM, they could start an early adopters program, or customer loyalty program that rewards Volt owners on future purchases, for their participation in new technologies, and their willing to assume some risk by going in early.
GM did have an early adopters program. I got 5 years OnStar free, my own personal "Volt Advisor" to handle questions or issues and bunch of swag:

Paper product Paper Notebook Technology Electronic device Transparency Gadget Product Automotive design Design Advertising Vehicle Automotive exterior Product Bumper Vehicle Hood Technology Electronic device Ipod Electronics
 

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Early adopters were rewarded by getting a $60K car for a $40K price. (before tax rebates)

How greedy can one be??? If one really wants more, they could stand in traffic outside the GM headquarters and beg for loose change. The the end, that will probably pay off more than anything else.
 

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No company should just outright kill that customer goodwill without a plan to keep the customers happy (and coming back to buy more products of course). Goodwill is hard to build up and easy to lose. I'm not convinced GM played this one right yet regarding the Volt.
They did it before with the EV-1 - Those who leased them, loved them and would have really liked to buy them at the end of the lease, but GM recalled them all and destroyed them

Don
 

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They did it before with the EV-1 - Those who leased them, loved them and would have really liked to buy them at the end of the lease, but GM recalled them all and destroyed them

Don
Well at least this time GM didn't kill the electric car. The Bolt EV lives on, with more EV's in the pipeline.

I love our 2018 Volt and am glad we bought it, but had no plans on buying another PHEV. The is my first and last one. It's replacement in several years will be a BEV, and quite possibly another GM product.

I don't blame them for moving forward as battery costs continue to decline. Especially in the absence of the $7500 tax credit, the Volt was going to be an increasingly tough sell in an era of 200+ mile BEV'S at similar prices.

The point being that BEV prices have been dropping, at least as far as price per mile of range. The Volt has not similarly come down in price.

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