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I'm a doubter from the get go.
I'm the son of a GM retiree and raised on GM cars, though it pains me, I have no trust in the company to do the right thing.
With unions juicing the big 3 for all they are worth and quality falling all the time, the future is bleak at best.
If everyone looked into the past and laterally across topics involved in the Auto industry (incl: Psychology, marketing, politics), its easy to get a clear view of the intentions of these greedy and misleading companies.
I am a huge huge car buff. Although I am not rich enough to indulge in my love as I would like to. I spend alot of time reading and absorbing as much info about all cars as I can. Thankfully I drive a lowly 2001 honda civic that has given me nothing but joy. Besides changing my belts as scheduled, buying new tires and replacing an air conditioner, I have not had any issues in 177,735 miles. Even though I drive it like a maniac, the cruise stays on 75 miles per hour at all times. Its a little commuter and only goes to 113mph... I've been there a few times. The resale on my car is still good, but I'll never sell it. I'll own it till it dies. When I drive nice I can get 33-35mpg.
I've got a new interest in Diesel/electric hybrids. I think the new eco/auto revolution will come from the people not the companies. We have more to gain from the results. They aren't going to build themselves out of a paycheck.
I have no no no interest in the Volt, but thought this may be a good forum to vent about GMs poor attempts, and gain some insight into alternatives and the science behind the technology that will move us all head. Thanks for having me.
 

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I'm a doubter from the get go.
I'm the son of a GM retiree and raised on GM cars, though it pains me, I have no trust in the company to do the right thing.
With unions juicing the big 3 for all they are worth and quality falling all the time, the future is bleak at best.

I've got a new interest in Diesel/electric hybrids. I think the new eco/auto revolution will come from the people not the companies. We have more to gain from the results. They aren't going to build themselves out of a paycheck.
To start, the UAW has resolved the longterm liability issue with GM, settling for 71 cents on the dollar. In addition, GM is able to hire new UAW labor at rates only slightly higher than their non-union competitors in the US (Toyota, Honda, BMW, etc.), and GM is offering buy-outs to the extremely high paid UAW laborers to reduce future costs sooner.

GM is launching their flextreme platform approach, which creates a standard short range electric vehicle platform, with market specific range extenders (gasoline, diesel, fuel cell) under corresponding brands (Chevy, Opel and Cadillac). This is the best way to exceed the 35 mpg CAFE target, as parallel hybrid configurations from Japan aren't efficient enough to compensate for the gas guzzling segments of their complete product offering.

GM has already launched "mild" hybrid platforms, with efficiency improvements of 15% to 25%, called Belt Alternator Starter or BAS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_alternator_starter

GM is also rolling out parallel hybrids in other vehicles.

All this is to allow the marketplace to choose what types of fuel efficient vehicles they prefer, at various prices, since their is little historical data to go on.

Please read this presentation to see GM's entire product plan moving forward:

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/PDF/presentation-sm.pdf
 

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GM may be broken, but they build some fine cars.

I drive a HHR and a Colorado, two of the best vehicles I have owned. And I have owned many. I am not a union member, though once upon I time I paid my union dues to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Both vehicles were bought below list price, They are a tremendous value. I love the GM red tag sale and the GM card. Also my wife is a very hard negotiator. Some of my union friends drive imports, and they complain about them! I do not understand.

Anyway what I would like to say is that GM has to build cars. They are going to pay their people wither they build cars or not. So they might as well build them. To sell them they have to build them right, so they will build them right. Yes there are better cars out there, but I can not afford them. Frankly, most of the other cars are not better.

So I do have a little respect for the union, without them I would not be driving a Chevy.

As for the volt, they will have to build it, & build it, & build it. Because if they did not build it, they would have to pay their union people anyway.

GM may be a broken company, but they build some fine cars.
 

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I can understand your skepticism...

I am, by nature, a skeptic as well. However, I have found that in 95% of the cases, the "quality" of the vehicle is directly related to the care the vehicle is given over it's lifetime. Obviously there will be lemons of all brands that roll off the line. However, it's often people with smaller wallets that purchase imports. These people see the need to take care of their vehicle, because they don't have the financial capability to replace the vehicle for some time.

I have a 2000 Blazer with 126K on the "clock" and it has proven extremely dependable. Of course, it has received regular maintenance at scheduled intervals, and I don't subscribe to the average American's theory that the road is a drag race to the next red light. I did have a fuel pump go out, but pumping gas for 120K miles...I'll cut it some slack.

My personal belief is that union labor in the 70's and 80's crippled the big 3. You have a worker who essentially can't get fired working on an assembly line with no extensive formal education, but demanding the same wages as a registered nurse or college professor? The drive to build quality wasn't as important as the drive to cash their paycheck, and the automakers fell to manufacturers with less resources, less technology, but people who were driven to make a better product, and willing to get paid less to do it. I see the powers that be realizing the error of their ways, and making changes accordingly. I hear more people speaking highly of their "new Chevy" and that leads me to believe that the company is doing something right.

If this vehicle comes into production, it will be another large step in the right direction by taking cues from their overseas counterparts by being driven to make a better product!
 
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