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The Sad Plight of Obama’s Edsel (The Volt won't make it to 2017 -- the time he says he'll buy one)
National Review ^ | 03/20/2012 | Rich Lowry

Posted on 03/20/2012 6:35:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

President Barack Obama says he wants to buy a Chevy Volt when he’s out of office in five years. If getting into a General Motors electric automobile means so much to him, he’d better hope he loses in November. What the president dubbed the “car of the future” in a visit to a Volt plant may not make it to January 2017.

The partially government-owned General Motors has suspended production of its government-approved miracle car and temporarily laid off 1,300 workers at a Detroit plant. The halt is the result of a piddling detail lost in the gushers of praise for a big, bad car company supposedly learning the error of its environment-destroying ways — people don’t want to buy the damn thing.

GM hoped to sell 10,000 Volts last year and sold only 7,500. It planned to sell 45,000 this year and is scaling back production to meet the real rather than the imaginary demand. The Volt is the Solyndra of automobiles, another Obama-touted recipient of government subsidies that was succeeding as a great paladin of the future in all the speeches and press releases until it ran into hard market realities.

The Volt is too expensive, too small, and too complicated to appeal to all but a tiny slice of what is already a tiny segment of the car market. Hybrids have never been more than about 3 percent of all U.S. sales. To buy a Volt, you need the money to splurge and the exquisite environmental consciousness to think plugging in your car will help save the planet, even though about half of electricity comes from coal. The Volt is as much affectation as car.

It costs more than $40,000. At that price, perhaps GM should have made it part of the Cadillac brand rather than Chevy. Most buyers dropping that much prefer to go all the way and buy something really nice — say, an Audi or a BMW.

According to GM, the average income of a Volt purchaser is $175,000 a year. These well-heeled buyers get a $7,500 tax credit for selecting a car out of reach of many Americans, a trickle-up redistribution toward the upper, politically correct end of the car market.

It’s not that the Volt isn’t a fine piece of machinery. It is a smooth ride and has been well-reviewed. It’s just not going “to make Big Oil sweat,” in the words of a smitten writer for the New York Times. Big Oil presumably has other things to worry about than a rounding error in the more than 12 million vehicles sold in the U.S. every year.

As Henry Payne of the Detroit News argues, the Chevy Volt is basically the electric version of the gas-powered Chevy Cruze. Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s rating that the Volt gets 60 miles per gallon, as a practical matter it’s more like 35 (it can go less than 40 miles on battery alone and then needs to switch over to gas). That’s comparable to the Cruze, which costs half the amount, has greater range, seats more people, and is easier to operate since all it requires is a visit to the filling station. GM sells more than 200,000 Cruzes a year.

The Volt is looking like Obama’s Edsel. What the president so confidently deems “the future” when he talks of energy and cars is his ideological vision dressed up in the language of historical inevitability. If he had been told in 2009 that the real future of the car market would be trucks, SUVs, and the like, which again ticked above half of sales, he surely would have blanched. If he had been told that technological breakthroughs would bring a future of new oil production, he would have been no less insistent on funding the likes of Solyndra.

For all his smug confidence about his vision of the future, he doesn’t truly know what car he will be driving in five years. If he stays true to his word, it might have to be a secondhand Volt.

— Rich Lowry is editor of National Review

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2012; chevyvolt; coalcar; corruption; electriccar; envirofascism; fail; fraud; gm; governmentmotors; greenfraud; nobama2012; obama; obamamotors; obamasedsel; thegreenlie; volt

1 posted on 03/20/2012 6:35:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Rush needs to launch a fund to “Buy Obama a Volt”

Everybody can spare a dime and pitch in.
We can make this happen.

Instead of “Hope and Change” we can call it “Spare the Change”. We can give obama a Volt of his choice of color- a white Volt or a black Volt, or maybe a red one.

Why, I remember when Rush started a fund to pay for Dick Gephardt’s mother, to buy her the medicine Dick said she couldn’t afford.

Any leftover money can go to the Georgetown “Condoms-for-Coeds” fund

2 posted on 03/20/2012 6:40:34 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: Nachum; Red Badger


3 posted on 03/20/2012 6:43:00 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: SeekAndFind

They haven’t replaced the White House limo’s with Volts?

4 posted on 03/20/2012 6:43:08 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: SeekAndFind

> The Sad Plight of Obama’s Edsel (The Volt won’t make it to
> 2017 — the time he says he’ll buy one)

How convenient...

...for him.

5 posted on 03/20/2012 6:46:41 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Second-hand Volt? I don’t think there will be very many of those, since the ‘First-hand’ Volts will be still sitting on the lots with their batteries corroding away...............

6 posted on 03/20/2012 6:47:56 AM PDT by Red Badger (If the Government can make you buy health insurance, they can make you buy a Volt................)
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To: SeekAndFind
when he’s out of office in five years.


7 posted on 03/20/2012 6:54:26 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Red Badger
Recently, GM has been running tepid Chevy Volt commercials with some guy who looks like a typical San Francisco drone. He loves his Volt and he says that when its batteries are low, the gas engine kicks in to get him there. (He never bothers to mention that once “there” where he can plug it in or how long it takes to recharge.)

This is the most pathetic car ad I've seen. It must’ve been written by the White House.

8 posted on 03/20/2012 6:58:02 AM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: Army Air Corps

McNamara had his Edsel literally when he was at ford before becoming SecDef, now Obama has his in the volt...

9 posted on 03/20/2012 7:02:16 AM PDT by Schwaeky (The Republic--Shall be reorganized into the first American EMPIRE, for a safe and secure Society!)
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To: MasterGunner01

Da, comrade.........

10 posted on 03/20/2012 7:06:04 AM PDT by Red Badger (If the Government can make you buy health insurance, they can make you buy a Volt................)
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To: SeekAndFind; TPD_Jim.Smith

Government Motors “Volt” car runs on a LOT of electricity, and must be re-charged frequently.

Since half of America’s electricity comes from utilities burning 98.7 % carbon, maximum known Carbon Footprint, old-technology, fossil fuel, dirty-air COAL, then which half of the Government Motors “Volt” car should we despise?

Which half of the “Volt” should be praised for it’s “Greenability” for the future of Mankind, as our Czars know that it SHOULD be?

These questions must be answered, so our Dictator Baby-Doc Barack can dictate how we are to think about the companies that he puts OUR tax dollars into.

BTW, wasn’t the “Volt” supposed to jumpstart, stimulate and otherwise “grow” the Economy? Maybe something “shorted out” between The District of Corruption and REALITY?

11 posted on 03/20/2012 7:15:46 AM PDT by Graewoulf (( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: silverleaf; rush

That is a great idea, but you should have pinged him to it.

12 posted on 03/20/2012 7:19:19 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Beagle8U

I guess you did
I didn’t know ‘he” was a freeper

13 posted on 03/20/2012 7:30:12 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: SeekAndFind
Great news for zero.....there will still be plenty of Volts available in November......
14 posted on 03/20/2012 7:32:47 AM PDT by Hogblog
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To: SeekAndFind

The idiot does own a Ford Escape Hybrid. I like the Escape, but it’s stupid as a hybrid.
I’ll bet that puppy will soon be coming up on needing a battery replacement.

15 posted on 03/20/2012 7:41:28 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (End Obama's War On Freedom.)
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To: silverleaf
You would be surprised at the number of famous FReepers that are little known as such.
16 posted on 03/20/2012 7:49:42 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: MasterGunner01

Been seeing that one ..... it would be laughable if I didn’t know Obama is trying to cram this cr@p down our throats by cutting off the oil lifeblood of the country. There is a female version as well .... I think ‘Sandra Fluke’ every time it runs.

17 posted on 03/20/2012 9:49:06 AM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: SeekAndFind; DungeonMaster
In the case of the Chevy Volt, ...

435 lb. battery = 1 gal. gasoline

... in terms of how far it will take you.

Makes little sense to me. Of course, I'm no off-grid, free-loving, sandal-wearing, bong-sucking, rarely-bathing, tofu-eating, microbus-coveting, earth-worshipping, whirled peas visualizing, tree-hugging, hookah-toking, hemp-growing, koolaid-swilling, Nader-voting, Lennon-singing, herb-squeezing, ganja-rolling, solar-collecting, foil-ovening, cave-dwelling, peace-signing, backpacking, brokebacking, flag-burning, quiche-gumming, Volvo-loving, hybrid-humping, earth-shoeing, God-hating, gun-grabbing, pony-tailing, thumb-sucking, navel-gazing, Obama-fawning, granola-crunching, earth-first vegan hippie commie deadhead loser, either. Although I did test-drive a used Volvo once.

18 posted on 03/20/2012 9:53:58 AM PDT by newgeezer (It is [the people's] right and duty to be at all times armed. --Thomas Jefferson)
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To: SeekAndFind
20 miles on a charge running A/C or heat. I'll bet it has really high output heating & A/C. (sarc)

How many people have a Volt as their only vehicle?

If they have another vehicle, what is it? Hummer?

19 posted on 03/20/2012 10:04:22 AM PDT by faucetman ( Just the facts, ma'am, Just the facts)
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To: SeekAndFind

Chevy Volt battery warranty


“Chevrolet Volt Coverage
Propulsion Battery Warranty
Like all batteries, the amount of
energy that the high voltage
“propulsion” battery can store will
decrease with time and miles
driven. Depending on use, the
battery may degrade as little as
10% to as much as 30% of capacity
over the warranty period. A dealer
service technician will determine
if the battery energy capacity
(kWh storage) is within the proper
limit, given the age and mileage of
the vehicle. Typical tests can take
up to 24 hours.
If possible, components will be
repaired or replaced, and the
original battery will be returned to
the vehicle.
Replace (If Necessary)
Under warranty, the high voltage
battery will be replaced with either a
new or factory reconditioned high
voltage battery with an energy
capacity (kWh storage) level at or
above that of the original battery
prior to the failure.
Your Volt battery warranty
replacement may not return your
vehicle as an “as new” condition,
but it will make your Volt fully
operational appropriate to its age
and mileage.”

20 posted on 03/20/2012 11:00:10 AM PDT by faucetman ( Just the facts, ma'am, Just the facts)
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To: SeekAndFind
I like the article, but I would not compare the Volt to the Edsel. Instead, I would compare the Volt and Obama to the Volkswagen.

Most people think the Volkswagon Beetle came from the 60's, but it was actually developed in the 30s under the NAZIs. Autos at the time were upper middle class or better luxuries, and so Hitler wanted a car that ordinary people could buy and drive. The result became the Volkswagon "People's car" Beetle.

The design and concept was a smash hit. So much so that the Beetle survived being associated with Hitler, World War II and NAZIs, and went on to become a wildly successful global brand. This is because like the Model T before it, it pushed the boundary of the middle class lifestyle downwards to include more people. A generation after Americans bombed German cities, their baby boomer kids would drive around in Beetles as their first car, freeing their generation from home.

So in 2012, what is the people's car? The top candidate for me is the Tata Nano in India:

This is the world's smallest and cheapest car. It would probably not have a big market here, but for India, it once again pushes a middle class lifestyle down within reach of millions more Indian families, which had to drive much more dangerous motorcycles.

I actually like the Volt and the drive that GM had to produce it. It generally does what they said it would. Allowed to succeed or fail on its own merits, it is a good example of the entrepreneurial spirit of capitalism.

But the Volt has been linked now to the Obama administration and the auto bailout, and it is going to be judged along with it. Its success or failure now is one of politics, not engineering and marketing. The Volt was already being developed by the time Obama came onto the scene, but since the bailout of GM, the Obama administration has effectively claimed the Volt as one of its accomplishments, as a benefit of the bailout.

So how then, does Obama and the Volt compare to these? Obama and the Volt are actually the anti-Volkswagon. Rather than continuing to push a middle class lifestyle downwards to include ever more people, Obama immediately added higher CAFE restrictions for mileage, which will drive up the price of cars. As for Obama's Volt, it accomplishes Obama's goals of pushing electric hybrid cars, but the high price and maintenance costs make it unaffordable for most. People aren't rushing to buy it, because it doesn't meet their needs. The only way he can sell it is to force people, through involuntary subsidies or government buying.

In comparison Hitler, one of the worst dictators in history, wanted a people's car for the masses that they would want. And they loved the car, because it benefited themselves. On the other hand the democratically elected president Obama, however, wants to impose a car design on people that we were not crying out for, but is one that fits the mold of what he wants us to drive.

21 posted on 03/20/2012 5:57:09 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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