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I think it's a fair and insightful look at what's been wrong with GM marketing the Volt. The ads and marketing for Chevy trucks are quite good, but not great for cars and absolutely abysmal for the Volt. Splitting the Volt/Bolt line from Chevy would be effective at selling more electric cars, but I think GM is more interested in selling more Chevys. Hence they'll have to tie the brands together. That's probably not a bad idea since Chevy is moving towards hybrids so there should be some synergies. But overall Chevy was likely not a ideal landing for the Volt.

There will probably also be some tension between existing Chevy dealers and Volt buyers. The Chevy dealers where I am are fine but I could see how you might feel like an alien at some. Heck, you have some dealers refusing to sell the Volt. Would you feel welcome there?
 

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I think if they made a green one like the one shown there, it would help! I love that color!

In all seriousness, I think the marketing strategy for this car was to go on word of mouth with happy owners. It has worked in anecdotal situations, but not as fast as it needed to obviously.
 

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It's about what I'd expect to hear from a bunch of MBAs. How many MBAs were involved with the campaign that was run?
 

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First mistake: Putting the blinders on.

The Volt’s advanced EV technology appeals to an urban, educated and liberal demographic—one that is concerned about climate change.
We know this isn't true for at least half of the owners on this forum.

This contrasts sharply with Chevy’s brand image, with its top-selling car, the Silverado, considered a gas-guzzler. Silverado buyers identify with Chevy’s marketing that emphasizes ruggedness, rural living and patriotism.
Um, I don't identify with rural living and my other car IS a Silverado. I fear that if they knew about people like me their brains might suffer a collective stroke. BTW, I'll bet more than a few "liberals" own Silverados too. Just an uneducated guess....

P.S. I don't ascribe to the term "conservative" either.
 

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GM created Saturn, which were great cars at first. Then GM "GM'd' Saturn and the brand disappeared. My first car, a 1994 Saturn SL1, still to this day is out on the road with something like 200K miles and not a spec of body rust (mostly plastic anyway). It was slow, it was loud, it was a great start to begin competing with the Hondas and the Toyotas for real. Then... PFFFFFF bean countered.

And GM, with its infinite wisdom, seems to be doing the same sort of thing with the Volt. They are not TRULY passionate about it. They are passionate about profitable trucks and SUVs. But I'd be throwing the young, trendy marketing staff people at this full bore putting them in a separate building even - like one of those exposed brick lofts with pool tables and what not. And get them on the marketing of the Volt. You'll see MUCH more creativity and attention brought to the details that make the Volt superior than any other "electric-ish" vehicle on the road without question.

Alas, if the Volt had a Toyota badge on it, it'd be selling out without the lifting of a finger by Toyota. That's GM's fault.
 

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First mistake: Putting the blinders on.

We know this isn't true for at least half of the owners on this forum.

Um, I don't identify with rural living and my other car IS a Silverado. I fear that if they knew about people like me their brains might suffer a collective stroke. BTW, I'll bet more than a few "liberals" own Silverados too. Just an uneducated guess....

P.S. I don't ascribe to the term "conservative" either.
Urban: yes
Educated: yes
Liberal: I suppose you could say I own the hat, but don't wear it.
Conservative: See above.
Concern about climate change: 0.01%
Rural living: On weekends
Patriotism: 21 years in uniform
My other car: diesel Silverado

Good thing I didn't ask those guys if the Volt was right for me. I'm convinced that I'm about as much of a "mainstream American" as you'll ever find. Not too far left, not too far right, a little bit selfish and looking out for number 1 (but I do charity work and donate to Goodwill), I've owned and loved a variety of gas guzzlers and hot-rods, I smile a little when I hear a big-block making power, and worst of all I didn't vote in the last election. I cut down trees for profit and burn a lot of diesel fuel doing it which probably removes me from anybody's Tree Hugger list.

Based on my demographics, I probably shouldn't have bought a Volt either. Marketing guys who assume the Volt only appeals to tree hugging hippies who panic about global warming and cringe to ride in a truck or SUV are going to miss a LOT of potential customers!
 

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young, trendy ....... people
urban, educated and liberal demographic—one that is concerned about climate change.

Pffft.

For mass-market appeal, the first goal has to be to break through stereotypes, not align with them.
 

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I often read the comments here before deciding to read the linked article. I am glad I decided against that this time. Y'all had me convinced that I needed to pull out my photo of the deer on the back of my Volt and send it in. Yeah, I hate being put in a box.

Read the damn article again. You TOTALLY messed up in biasing what you THOUGHT was being presented. Yes, indeed they stated,
'The Volt’s advanced EV technology appeals to an urban, educated and liberal demographic—one that is concerned about climate change.'
But you act as if the word ONLY had been inserted in the comment. Does the Volt appeal to this group? Um...YES. But they didn't stop there and categorize it with that demographic. Certainly it could be agreed that GM failed to market to this group...as well as those who like silent electric drive, those who want to get us off foreign oil, etc.

Note what came after the comment that got y'all so excited:

Online advertising could focus on the power of the Volt—more horsepower than BMWi3 and quicker than any hybrid.

Another emphasis could be to use 100 percent “Made in America” energy for 90 percent of trips. And when you want to go on a road trip, you’ve got the independence and freedom to drive as far as you want.


Does it REALLY sound like they were trying to box in all Volt buyers? Um...NOPE. Let's try being 'fair and balanced' when reading up on the Volt- something that I believe these Yale folks ACTUALLY DID RIGHT! They assessed the car and found out how marketing could be improved based on ACTUAL FEATURES OF THE VOLT! Geez, imagine that.

The bias of the comments above is actually pretty embarrassing. I truly am getting tired of people taking pride in NOT caring about the environment....Happy Earth Day to one and all, and happy fifth anniversary of Deepwater Horizon, too! You don't have to believe in climate change to know that oil is bad for us all.
 

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it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
Isn't that a mantra for doing nothing?

Mankind's technological progress has been in the hands of thousands of crazy fools nattering about magical stuff, legends, ethers, Gods, bodily fluids, elements, crystal spheres, etc., and one or two of them happen to have hit on the right stuff every now and again with ideas that have resonated with people's thinking at the time, and we've built progress on it.

If everyone was happy with what they had and didn't try new ideas, then we'd still be eating bananas in a forest in Africa. We're descended from apes at the crazy-end of the crazy spectrum, a few 100k years ago, that wasted their time doing 'other stuff' than sitting around eating bananas.
 

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Urban: yes
Educated: yes
Liberal: I suppose you could say I own the hat, but don't wear it.
Conservative: See above.
Concern about climate change: 0.01%
Rural living: On weekends
Patriotism: 21 years in uniform
My other car: diesel Silverado

Good thing I didn't ask those guys if the Volt was right for me.
I think you still fit into what they intended for their little demographic description!

I think what they mean with 'concern about the climate' is people who don't think it's funny to buy as big a truck as you can find, and leave the engine running just to burn petrol and annoy people 'just because you can'.
 

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There's a reason GM hasn't actively advertised the Volt. Selling more units at a loss doesn't help the bottom line. You would think Yale grads could figure that out.

The Volt is about generating carbon credits for the Silverado, a powertrain R&D platform and to a lesser extent, acting as a halo car.

You want to sell a lot of Volts? List the MSRP at $29,999 and reform the $7500 tax credit into a $7500 tax rebate.
 

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There's a reason GM hasn't actively advertised the Volt. Selling more units at a loss doesn't help the bottom line. You would think Yale grads could figure that out.

The Volt is about generating carbon credits for the Silverado, a powertrain R&D platform and to a lesser extent, acting as a halo car.

You want to sell a lot of Volts? List the MSRP at $29,999 and reform the $7500 tax credit into a $7500 tax rebate.
Excellent point. I bought a used Volt because they were / are too expensive new. Lower the price and sell a ton. Unless you can't because you're losing money. And here we are.

Monty
 

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Urban: yes
Educated: yes
Liberal: I suppose you could say I own the hat, but don't wear it.
Conservative: See above.
Concern about climate change: 0.01%
Rural living: On weekends
Patriotism: 21 years in uniform
My other car: diesel Silverado
For you non climate change types --
Did you buy your Volt because
1) cool technology -- quiet ride; quick off the line; and other neat stuff about driving a Volt EV
2) would rather use local electricity than foreign Oil
3) convenience of plugging in rather than going to the gas station
4) bang for the buck; best car for the money
5) cheaper to drive a Volt on electricity than the alternative internal combustion engined cars

Just curious. I fall firmly into the tree hugger green camp; I had to convince myself that the Volt with our local electric grid was at least as good as a Prius today. I wanted to encourage long range EV and plug-in EV development. Plus, I always sort of dreamed of actually driving a battery powered car, and I still can't quite believe I own one. All the other stuff; amazing technology, fun to drive, would rather plug in; just say no to foreign oil, economical -- that's all good stuff too. I wish everyone else would buy one too!
 

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The bias of the comments above is actually pretty embarrassing. I truly am getting tired of people taking pride in NOT caring about the environment....Happy Earth Day to one and all, and happy fifth anniversary of Deepwater Horizon, too! You don't have to believe in climate change to know that oil is bad for us all.
you hit the nail right on the head
you actually have a group of teabaggers out there (and here) that are proud that they hate the environment
 

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There's a reason GM hasn't actively advertised the Volt. Selling more units at a loss doesn't help the bottom line. You would think Yale grads could figure that out.

The Volt is about generating carbon credits for the Silverado, a powertrain R&D platform and to a lesser extent, acting as a halo car.

You want to sell a lot of Volts? List the MSRP at $29,999 and reform the $7500 tax credit into a $7500 tax rebate.
This is probably more true than anything, making the marketing angle a moot point.

One thing the article attempts to illustrate early on (quoted above, which I find to be a bit dubious) is the dichotomy between their highest selling unit (gas guzzler) and their lowest selling unit (EV). I don't buy that, since I own one of each. But it's possible that within the walls of GM corporate that dichotomy exists, and the biggest seller wins the day and the marketing dollars.
 

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I truly am getting tired of people taking pride in NOT caring about the environment...
you actually have a group of teabaggers out there (and here) that are proud that they hate the environment
Exactly agree. That's all I think their comment meant - not so much people that want to go hug a tree, but recognise unnecessary pollution and harm.

I don't actually think EVs are currently making any difference (not simply because of the small volumes, but because manufacturing techniques for producing the cars and the electricity are not yet sufficiently mature). But that's not really the point, which is actually that it is a path towards a better, more efficient option once the tech and the performance reality catches up with the needs of a wider demographic (and in no small measure, one of those needs is 'low cost').
 

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Exactly agree. That's all I think their comment meant - not so much people that want to go hug a tree, but recognise unnecessary pollution and harm.
and now you understand my earlier comment:
"it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

you have a group of idiots proudly boasting that they hate the environment.
 
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