Last night on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News Channel, NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica discussed disappointing sales of the Chevy Volt, and GM’s apparent goosing of sales figures through fleet sales. Here’s a transcript:
Neil Cavuto: Ten thousand Volts. That was the sales jolt that GM was hoping for this year. But with less than two weeks to go, lets just say that this puppy may be about to short circuit big time. Volt watcher Mark Modica says the numbers may be even worse than they appear. They are going to be well shy of that right, Mark?
Mark Modica (National Legal and Policy Center): Correct.
Neil Cavuto: What is the real story?
Mark Modica: Well, not only are they not hitting the goal, but it seems like a lot of these purchases, once again are being purchased by taxpayers, who through federal funds are giving the money to townships which are purchasing the vehicles. A lot of sales are also going to other fleet sales to crony company general electric has committed to buying twelve thousand. They have already bought hundreds and are buying more daily.
Neil Cavuto: All right, so there are these built in sort of beneficiaries who are getting a chunk of this. The White House bought some. There are others who bought some. Not a gross amount, but enough as far as individual sales folks like you and me would go in and say I got to get one of these. How are those numbers looking?
Mark Modica: Nah. Every time I speak to someone from a Chevy dealership I am hearing that there is not a great deal of interest. I have heard one fellow say they refer to them a gawkers who come in but aren’t really buying. I spoke to a finance manager who said that after these fires, they had one sale scheduled which cancelled because of the fires that Nitza found. What you had here is GM portraying its vehicles as something that had such high demand. The demand never really was there. Taxpayers put in billions of dollars to produce this car which was supposed to save the planet and be a moon shot. But it looks like it is moon shot attempt with an electric Edsal. It is ridiculous. GM used it as a halo car to try and bring people into the showrooms so they can bait and switch them over to a Chevy Cruise. So why did the taxpayers have to pay billions of dollars so GM could try to sell Chevy Cruises? They pretty much admitted that is what they were using the Volt for and nobody seem to be very outraged that the taxpayer money went toward that.
Neil Cavuto: All right. Now how are sales of the Nissan Leaf? I guess the other plug in?
Mark Modica: Not good.
Neil Cavuto: Not good, so the same big deal. So the appetite for this sort of thing is still wanting, right?
Mark Modica: Ha Ha. That is an understatement.
Neil Cavuto: All right.
Mark Modica: The problem is, here is the issue, it is not…There is a few wealthy elitists that might be buying the Volt that say they love the car. Great. But why charge taxpayers seven thousand five hundred dollars per vehicle for the wealthy? Here you have all of these people saying the wealth should pay more of their fair share, but you want to give them seven thousand five hundred dollars just to buy a forty five thousand dollar Volt. Or worse yet, a $100,000 Tesla or Fisker. Representative Mike Kelley wants to get rid of that $7,500 EV credit and viewers should be calling their Congressman and saying lets stop this madness. We don’t need to put in more billions of dollars to support these cars before they are ready for prime time.
Neil Cavuto: All right. Mark thank you very much. The amazing Mark Modica.
Mark Modica: Merry Christmas