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EV Caddy Re-Intro & Volt Losing Sparkle?

August 17, 2011

Brown-out for GM Electrics?

I haven’t been kind to the Chevy Volt in posts on this blog. While I am a fan of EVs I am no longer a fan of GM and its performance over the last few decades. Its management, cars and workforce have ruined my early love affair with Chevy, my one time favorite.

My First Chevy Looked Like This Beauty

In 1961 Chevrolet brought this stunning 1961 Impala convertible to the public. With the original Jewel blue exterior and blue interior the white top makes this car. Lovingly restored in 2006 with everything being rebuilt or replaced on this Impala. Read more…

Reports are that GM may soon re-introduce the electric hybrid Cadillac Converj (awful name) built on the Volt platform. Anybody remember the success of the Cadillac Cimarron?

GM bigwig and vociferous Volt proponent Bob Lutz said in January the project was a go. Autopia

Chuck Squatriglia of Wired’s Autotopia wrote in March 2010

The Cadillac Converj concept was a sexier, more luxurious version of the Chevrolet Volt we’ll see on the road by the end of the year. GM never confirmed the Converj, first seen last year at the Detroit auto show, was anything more than a slick showpiece. Still, everyone figured it was as good as done because GM bigwig and vociferous Volt proponent Bob Lutz (that’s him in the pic) said in January the project was a go.

But Bloomberg, citing “two executives with knowledge of the move,” says the General decided in late January to kill the project after concluding the car wouldn’t have enough amenities and range to be compelling for consumers. GM has decided to focus instead on developing plug-in hybrids for Cadillac because the batteries are smaller and cheaper.

However, NY Times Wheels blog recently noted that the once dead project that may be up for a recharge.

Exclusively to Wheels, however, a G.M. spokesman, Rob Peterson, confirmed in an e-mail that while the Converj was at least under consideration…

If the Volt platform is to be used by an upmarket Cadillac product, G.M. would be joining a growing movement. Other brands, like Ford and Toyota, are basing entire model families — the C-Max and the Prius, specifically — on a single-platform strategy, and G.M. itself fueled speculation that the Volt would spawn siblings by showing the Volt-based crossover MPV5 concept at the Beijing auto show in 2010. That would fall neatly into a strategy announced by Daniel F. Akerson, the company’s chairman and chief executive, to whittle its number of vehicle platforms as a means of cutting costs.

Looks Like the Volt Maybe Losing Some of its Sparkle…

Interest in buying the $39,995 plug-in car is starting to taper off, not only among “early adopters” but among lots of other buyers, as well, reports CNW Marketing Research.

In March 2011, more than 21% of early adopters said they were very likely to consider the GM vehicle. In the July study, that figure had dropped to 14.6%, CNW says. They’re not the only ones. Those identifying themselves as “electric vehicle enthusiasts” were pulling away, as well. Their consideration fell from 25% in March to 17% in July. Most alarming: “In fact, all categories of new-car intenders are reporting less likelihood of even considering the vehicle.”

To be fair, Volt supporters are wary of reports from Oregon based CNW. The firm having claimed in 2006 that the  “H1 will last 379,000 miles, but a Prius only 109,000 miles so that they could publish a better cost per mile figure for the Hummer.” said

And, GM denies that the bloom is off the Volt even though its sales are lackluster. Sales of the Chevrolet Volt peaked at 608 cars in March, but fell to just 125 sales in July. Through the end of July, the company had tallied 2870 Volt sales for 2011. Sources: USA Today, GM.

GM claims. “In June and July, our Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant was shut down to retool and prepare for increased Volt production (In 2012, global production capacity is expected to be 60,000 vehicles with an estimated 45,000 to be delivered in the United States), and of course, that inevitably impacted our sales numbers for June and July. Those sales numbers were exactly what we expected them to be for those months.”

Other Questionable statements from GM…

“The Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid,” General motors claimed. “It is a one-of-a-kind all-electrically driven vehicle designed and engineered to operate in all climates.” Not true says Edmunds’ Inside Line

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Edward E. Whitacre Jr. has vowed that any car made by GM, including the Volt, will be a moneymaker for the company.

Don’t forget that Whitacre is the the guy who made the disingenuous claim that GM had fully paid back taxpayers early, failing to mention that it was paid with government money.

Cadillac Escalade EV Conversion

If you really want a big, comfy, luxurious electric Caddy you could build one yourself. Jack Rickard is doing just that. You can read about it on Jack’s EVTV Blog and watch videos of his Cracker Jack Team doing conversions of Porches, Cobras, Minis and more – They’re a gas, gas, gas… Viewer warning – Jack’s videos run 1-2 hours and cover a wide range of EV topics. They’re also shot in HD and require a fast connection.

Related stories…

USA Today: Report: Cadillac will clone Chevrolet Volt electric car

Automobile Magazine: Are Buyers Losing Interest in the Chevrolet Volt? Not According to GM. Sales poised to significantly increase

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