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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

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

Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: seminarcallerva; Admin Moderator

Seminar caller signs up today to sell us on lemons. Hmmmm......


22 posted on 07/22/2011 1:01:22 PM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: seminarcallerva
Personally, I’m somewhere around 330 MPG in the four months of ownership and gimmick or not, I think that’s pretty darn practical.

So tell us where that electricity comes from - the electricity fairy?

Someone had to burn coal, oil or gas or run nuclear for that. And then transmit the electricity.

And it took a lot of energy and pollution to mine and manufacture the metals the make up the batteries.

So while you think you are riding 330 mpg green, all you've done is dump your pollution elsewhere than out your tailpipe.

Typical liberal.

23 posted on 07/22/2011 1:03:39 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: nascarnation

I think you made the right decision and the Cruze is about half the sticker price of a Volt isn’t it?


24 posted on 07/22/2011 1:03:40 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: seminarcallerva
Would you care to elaborate on your claim that the Volt is overpriced golf cart? You obviously have not driven one and so it’s curious why anyone that hasn’t driven one would compare it to a golf cart. There’s a button on it that you can put it in “SPORT” mode and due to the high torque at low rpms of an electric engine the acceleration is really quite impressive especially for how heavy the car is. It also handles great due to a low center of gravity and it is really just fun to drive in general. In short, go test drive one and you will see how the golf cart claim is just so very, very far from the truth.

I actually have driven one (not with any intention of buying from a corrupt company that stiffed its bondholders, but so I'd know what its weaknesses were as a product), and it was barely adequate - for a $15,000 car. I found it uncomfortable, sluggish (which some describe as "good for its weight", in the same way as Rosie "looks good for her weight"), and poorly finished, as well as trying too hard to look high tech instead of simply being laid out naturally. I am boycotting GM forever because of their corrupt bankruptcy progess, and even if the Volt was good, I would not buy it, but it's actually nowhere near worth the huge price.

25 posted on 07/22/2011 1:06:04 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: jazusamo

Yeah, that’s about right. Being retired, I really don’t put on all that many miles.

One of my friends has a Volt, he had to go to Michigan to buy it because they aren’t on sale here in Indiana yet. He’s very pleased with it because the battery range is just about equal to his daily commute, so he’s not buying much gas at all.


26 posted on 07/22/2011 1:13:31 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: dirtboy; Brett66; seminarcallerva

Semi seems to have the GM and Greenie propaganda down pat.

Is this you’re first signup at FR, semi?


27 posted on 07/22/2011 1:15:08 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: seminarcallerva

I do believe the Volt is the right concept and how many cars will be configured in the future.

But due to batteries not quite advanced enough and the economies of scale not yet there I can’t justify buying one at this time.

Thank you for being an early adopter. Your pain is my gain.


28 posted on 07/22/2011 1:22:31 PM PDT by toast
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To: jazusamo; seminarcallerva
Semi seems to have the GM and Greenie propaganda down pat.

Not only that, he/she's in the DC area. Notice how he says he "ordered" a Volt. Didn't the Feds buy a bunch of these things? Even if he did pay for it himself, what do you want to bet he's a government employee/contractor and plugging the car in at work every day, which means we're paying for him to "go green."

29 posted on 07/22/2011 1:23:50 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: jazusamo
Semi seems to have the GM and Greenie propaganda down pat.

To be fair to the electric car concept, it's not a fundamentally bad idea. It's the implementation that is flawed, and not even because of the GM engineers but simply because it's still early in the evolution of this product. Perhaps in a decade it will be worth considering (and I'll consider Ford, Honda, Toyota, or anyone that has not been involved in a corrupt nationalization process like GM/Chrysler), but for now, it's just not ready for market.

If anyone I knew bought a GM/Chrysler product, I would think less of them. Socialism is wrong. Grade theft is wrong. Stiffing the bondholders was wrong. Forcing taxpayers to pay for GM's losses was wrong. Contributing to the survival of a corrupt company is wrong. I will not be a part of that corruption, hence, even if they upgraded the Volt to where it was worth owning and cut the price in half, I still would not buy it. At the current price though, I would not buy the Volt even from an honest company.

30 posted on 07/22/2011 1:24:30 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Pollster1
If anyone I knew bought a GM/Chrysler product, I would think less of them.

Reporting for duty. Sorry I didn't match up to FReeper expectations.

31 posted on 07/22/2011 1:30:00 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Pollster1
I agree with the bulk of your post and have made similar posts.

The problems I have with the Volt is initial cost, depreciation, unknown maintenance costs at this time and the fact it is not truly the environmental friendly car it's made out to be.

I believe new technology will have to be discovered to make electric cars cost effective and truly environmentally friendly.

32 posted on 07/22/2011 1:35:17 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: seminarcallerva
As a proud American who has bought his first new American car ever I’m very proud that this car was conceived, designed, and built here in America...

By a tax-subsidized, nationalized union-controlled company (bought and paid for with MY tax dollars!) that cannot compete, except by stealing more tax dollars (Volt tax credits -- hah!) from other proud Americans, like me, who wouldn't buy a Government Motors Volt (or any other vehicle from GM for that matter) if they were giving them away!!

33 posted on 07/22/2011 1:47:56 PM PDT by The Citizen Soldier (I will always remember exactly where I was when Obama made his NCAA picks.)
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To: jazusamo
The problems I have with the Volt is initial cost, depreciation, unknown maintenance costs at this time and the fact it is not truly the environmental friendly car it's made out to be.

Excluding luxury goods, I suspect that the environmental impact of most products is closely tied to both the life-cycle energy use and to the price. The Volt, as you imply, fails that test.

34 posted on 07/22/2011 1:53:57 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: seminarcallerva
GM is selling them a lot faster than most every other car on the market because for some people the Volt makes a whole lot of sense since it is a super fun car to drive, has great acceleration, a great fit/finish and it personally saves me about $200 a month in gas and maintenance costs.

Can you back up the claim that Volts are selling faster than most every other car on the market?

Yes, this is a test.

35 posted on 07/22/2011 2:08:32 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: Brett66
Seminar caller signs up today to sell us on lemons. Hmmmm......

Probably one of Jesse Lee's malsentients.

36 posted on 07/22/2011 2:21:32 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: seminarcallerva; All
Looks like seminarcallerva was a retread, adios semi.

Kitty

38 posted on 07/22/2011 2:47:33 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Brett66; dirtboy; nascarnation; Pollster1; toast; Hoffer Rand; tacticalogic; The Citizen Soldier

Viking Kitty Ping!


39 posted on 07/22/2011 2:52:18 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

That was quick. I love the smell of ZOT on a late Friday afternoon.


40 posted on 07/22/2011 2:59:42 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: jazusamo

They richly deserved the zot, they sounded like a Volt commercial.


41 posted on 07/22/2011 9:20:38 PM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: tacticalogic
Can you back up the claim that Volts are selling faster than most every other car on the market?

Actually, I am more intrigued by the claims to saving $200/month in fuel.

The claim was this was this person's first new American car, so the previous ride was either foreign or not a car. If it was a foreign car, surely not a Maserati or Ferrari so more likely something from Honda or Toyota or a vehicle that would likely travel 2000+ miles in order to go through $200 in petrol. In the span of a month, that distance is greater than what the volt can travel when charged twice a day even when using employer/tax-payer underwritten recharge. Of course this person didn't factor in the cost of the electricity.

I'm thinking that the only way that this statement makes sense is if the claimant was driving a Caterpillar D9 as a commuter (and they run diesel).

42 posted on 07/22/2011 9:43:21 PM PDT by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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