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GMs Chevy Volt 'Bait and Switch'
National Legal & Policy Center ^ | July 21, 2011 | Mark Modica

Posted on 07/21/2011 3:11:52 PM PDT by jazusamo

Volt photo

According to a report by the Detroit News, General Motors claims that it now has fewer than 100 Chevy Volts sitting on dealer lots. In addition, only 1 in 9 dealers are offering the vehicles for sale. However, a search for Volt inventory on the cars.com website uncovers 500 new Chevy Volts advertised for sale to the public. This data confirms that GM dealerships are using a version of "bait and switch" to lure consumers into showrooms by advertising Chevy Volts that are not truly available for purchase.

This may not be illegal but I have to believe that most consumers would nonetheless consider the advertising strategy deceptive. Customers are probably most often switched to the lower priced Chevy Cruze. GM continues to operate with a lack of credibility. Marketing strategies included an ad campaign that proclaimed that government loans were repaid in full when that was obviously not the case. The Chevy Volt was presented as an all-electric vehicle when, in fact, even in battery mode the gas engine helps power the vehicle under certain conditions. Mileage claims were made that the vehicle gets 230 MPG, another statement that is inaccurate.

More recently Chevy dealers were caught gaming tax credits on the Volts. And now the evidence of the bait and switch scheme may shed light on why GM would spend so much money hyping the Chevy Volt when sales have been dismal. It seems the true goal was to sell alternative vehicles that might actually be able to make a profit for GM as opposed to selling high quantities of the money losing Volt.

The credibility question for GM extends beyond marketing. I recently wrote about how GM seems to be stuffing inventory channels to goose second quarter earnings. GM seems to walk a fine line on legality. Insiders at Old GM were also given a bye when they sold their GM shares one month prior to a bankruptcy filing that, according to then car czar Steve Rattner, the executives knew about. With friends in high places, like the Obama Administration, it is unlikely that there will be criticism from government officials. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on television ads may also buy GM some favorable network coverage. The internet has become one of the few places to find criticism of GM.

It will be hard for GM to continue to deceive the public on what they claim to be unbelievably strong demand for the Chevy Volt. My guess is that the next phase of the Volt hoax will be to pump up sales by selling the vehicles to the Obama led government fleet agencies and thousands more to GE, headed by Obama crony, Jeff Immelt. To add insult to injury, GE will most likely benefit from millions of dollars in subsidies provided on the Chevy Volt by the good old American taxpayers who continue to foot the bill for the auto bailouts.

Eventually the truth will come out that the Chevy Volt was not the "game changer" that GM claimed it would be. Some unbiased sources that are helping to expose the weaknesses of the Volt include Consumer Reports, which claimed that the vehicle didn't make a lot of sense, particularly when compared to the Toyota Prius. A more recent report was made by CNNMoney that also points out the strong advantages of the Prius and states, "it is hard to understand the adulation surrounding the Volt." Even UAW and Obama ally Steve Rattner states in his book, Overhaul, that the Volt had "commercial clay feet" and, "The bottom line was that there was no way for the Volt to have a positive impact on GM's finances any time soon."

At least Mr. Rattner was honest with his evaluation of the Chevy Volt. And CNNMoney is correct that it is hard to understand the adulation given the Volt. Is it really just environmentally conscientious idealism and naiveté that is driving the adulation, or is it more likely the political influence and taxpayer supplied bankroll of Government Motors that is behind the hype? I'll place my bet on the latter.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow



TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: bailout; baitandswitch; cruze; gm; governmentmotors; nlpc; shock; stuned; volt
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1 posted on 07/21/2011 3:11:56 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Oddly enough, this is the same Bait and Switch marketing plan to be rolled out for ObamaCare.


2 posted on 07/21/2011 3:14:07 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: jazusamo

This is a shocking development.


3 posted on 07/21/2011 3:14:33 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Good point, this ‘bait and switch’ possibility on the Volt and Cruze has been mentioned before and I tend to believe it.


4 posted on 07/21/2011 3:16:52 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

5 posted on 07/21/2011 3:17:26 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
What an unexpected turn of events.

-PJ

6 posted on 07/21/2011 3:19:17 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day, Mexican on Cinco de Mayo, and American on Election Day.)
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To: Disambiguator
This is a shocking development.

Only if you can find one of their charging stations. Otherwise, you're safe...

7 posted on 07/21/2011 3:19:26 PM PDT by bcsco
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To: jazusamo

My, how unexpected!

The company that stole from taxpayers, stole from bondholders, and generally sells a marginal product is lying to its customers about an inadequate but overpriced golf cart. Who would have guessed? Since the bailout, when GM stiffed the rightful claimants on its assets to reward the UAW and other politically connected groups, I have sworn to boycott GM until it dies a richly deserved death. I will never change my mind on that and never deal with GM for as long as I live. It’s nice to know that values have the bonus of protecting me from their continuing corruption.


8 posted on 07/21/2011 3:20:00 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: jazusamo

“if you’re accustomed to dodging parking meter fees in New York, you might want to watch out for the city’s latest addition to traffic enforcement: the Chevrolet Volt. The Volts will be used to cruise the city to issue parking tickets. The new Volts are part of a recent purchase by the New York government totaling 70 new electric vehicles: 50 Volts, 10 Ford Transit Connect Electrics and 10 Navistar eStar utility trucks. The Fire Department, Department of Correction and other agencies will also get EVs.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/13/autos/chevy_volt_police_car/index.htm?iid=HP_LN


9 posted on 07/21/2011 3:21:18 PM PDT by anglian
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To: All
Shop for a Volt, buy a Cruze
10 posted on 07/21/2011 3:24:38 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a better design.


11 posted on 07/21/2011 3:29:47 PM PDT by reg45
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To: anglian

Yep, it’s sad (to me) that government agencies are buying this over priced vehicle to prop up sales for the Obama/Government Motors/UAW pact.


12 posted on 07/21/2011 3:30:31 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

The Chevy Volt is just a 4-wheeled Segway. Hyped as a revolutionary game-changer while turning out to be little more than an ugly gimmick.


13 posted on 07/21/2011 5:43:08 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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To: jazusamo

The Chevy Volt as well as the Nissan Leaf are almost totally impractical for just about everybody. Neither could be a family’s only means of transportation. Other than for to and from work commuting where your workplace is very close to your home both would be be unsuitable. They are too small for a typical family. It would be nearly impossible to manage their limited range driving kids to school, going to work, running errands, getting groceries etc. especially if you have need for the air conditioner, defroster, heater, lights, or wipers all of which greatly decrease travel range. Forget about taking one on vacation.


14 posted on 07/21/2011 5:48:21 PM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people's money" M. Thatcher)
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To: jazusamo

Bait & switch would be doing the customer a great favor.


15 posted on 07/21/2011 5:57:53 PM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
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To: jazusamo

I’ve been thinking it’s approaching the time for a new car. Bookmarking the cars.com site. Thanks.


16 posted on 07/21/2011 10:17:11 PM PDT by tlb
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: jazusamo

Interesting thought.

I bought a Chevy Cruze Eco and LOVE it.


18 posted on 07/22/2011 12:50:25 PM PDT by nascarnation
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator


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