I made an appearance on the Cavuto show last night to discuss low sales for the Chevy Volt. This came after I had listened in on the sales conference call by General Motors. I recognized a major shift on the call regarding the Volt, which is that GM management is finally starting to hedge on the potential for Volt sales after having hyped the vehicle as being a game changer with projections of demand that far exceeded supply.
Statements such as “It’s much more than just being about sales, the Volt is a magnet to showcase our brand.” give evidence that GM management has been gaming auto journalists regarding the true demand for the vehicle while using a bait and switch strategy to lure consumers into showrooms, all at the expense of taxpayers. More importantly, it seems the pundits may finally be catching on.
Other statements by GM execs that … Read More ➡
It’s another day, and another round of layoffs by a recipient of millions of dollars under the Obama Administration’s renewable energy initiatives, administered by the mismanaged Department of Energy.
This time the Recovery Act largesse – taken out of the hide of taxpayers – went to A123 Systems, Inc. The Massachusetts-based energy storage company was given $249.1 million to help launch two battery-manufacturing plants in Michigan. A123 also received grants and tax credits from the state that could total more than $135 million. In a separate federal grant as a subcontractor for another grantee, A123 received nearly $30 million for a wind energy storage project.
In the Wolverine State, the company will lay off 125 employees at the two plants in Livonia and Romulus. Officials said diminished production by a top customer – Irvine, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive – led to the cutbacks. A123 had expected to deliver batteries for 7,000 … Read More ➡
Coca-Cola’s just-announced holiday campaign to supposedly protect Arctic polar bear habitat – highlighted by the company changing its iconic red cans to white – is ending, with the company killing off its new packaging two months earlier than planned.
No, Coke hasn’t seen the light on its disguised support for the global warming hoax. The images of polar bears will instead appear on redesigned red cans, after many consumers mistakenly grabbed the white cans believing they were selecting the silver-canned Diet Coke.
For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that in recent days about a half-dozen customers at an Atlanta deli returned their opened cans of “polar bear” Coke because they believed they had chosen Diet Coke. They were given the sugar-free colas without additional charge.
And other classic Coke drinkers said their sodas tasted differently in the white cans than they did in the red ones. The … Read More ➡
Some troubling inconsistencies are arising regarding General Motors and NHTSA’s response to the crash-tested Chevy Volt fires first reported a few weeks ago. NHTSA and GM delayed informing the public of the initial Volt incident that occurred about six months ago until recently. According to an early NY Times piece on the exploding Volt, NHTSA and GM claimed that they were unable to replicate the fire that occurred at the time. In fact, according to a CNN Money piece that ran when the story first broke, GM spokesman Greg Martin stated that the Volt battery pack was subjected to more than 300,000 safety tests.
About two weeks after these statements, NHTSA announced that in three more recent tests on the Volts, two caught fire or emitted sparks and smoke. It is unbelievable that NHTSA and GM ran multiple tests after the first fire without incident only to now have two … Read More ➡
The competition in corporate America to show who is “Greenest” or “most sustainable” has spun out of control, with the Alinskyite effect that drives corporations to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to address the whims and requests of every Leftist niche group that waves some kind of scorecard in their faces.
Meanwhile customers pay for the lunacy in higher prices, and shareholders (those not in the Corporate Social Responsibility movement) bear the burden in diminished returns on their investments.
A Businessweek report from Thanksgiving Eve illustrated how unwieldy the demands of eco-graders and CSR activists have become, as “companies are buried in requests for data as groups jockey to be the arbiters of sustainability.” And you thought IRS and other government regulatory compliance was a headache.
The article explains how companies like Intel and Walmart are inundated by organizations who seek to rank their performances on … Read More ➡
Many articles written over the past year have questioned if President Obama will be able to reach his goal of having a million electric vehicles on US roads in 2015. A more important fact has been overlooked. That is, even if we get a million EVs on the roads in four years, we will have done practically nothing to reduce oil consumption in America. To be more specific, we will reduce consumption by approximately 0.15%. Is it worth the billions of taxpayer dollars spent producing controversial vehicles like the Chevy Volt in order to lessen foreign oil dependence four years from now by 0.15%?
Let’s first review how we get to the 0.15% oil reduction number. Total vehicles on the road in 2015 are estimated to number close to 300 million. Oil consumption in the US by passenger vehicles is estimated at about 40% of total consumption. Do the math … Read More ➡
In 2009 Google announced a project in which it would pursue a so-far elusive goal – to produce “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal” (“RE<C” was Google’s acronym). Why the Internet search giant thought it could succeed where other more experienced and knowledgeable companies (like electric utilities and alternative energy businesses) have failed for many decades shows the level of arrogance reached at the upper management levels. Either that or it illustrated how much Google’s leaders sought to ingratiate themselves with the Obama administration by following its “Green jobs” agenda.
But last week the company announced it will end RE<C, as part of an effort under CEO Larry Page to eliminate a number of non-core projects, which it called “spring cleaning, out of season.”
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” wrote Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of … Read More ➡
The Associated Press has reported that new fires involving the Chevy Volt have prompted NHTSA to open an investigation to assess the risks for the vehicle. Two Volts that had been crash-tested by the government agency recently caught fire or “emitted smoke and sparks.” This follows an incident that occurred about 6 months ago when a Volt burst into flames three weeks after a crash-test. Considering that NHTSA delayed informing the public of that incident, will it be possible for an agency of the Executive Branch of government to now give a fair assessment of the risks of a vehicle that General Motors and the Obama Administration have hyped and gambled much credibility (as well as billions of taxpayer dollars) on?
A statement out of NHTSA gives a clue as to how biased the agency already is when it comes to electric vehicles. “NHTSA continues to believe that electric … Read More ➡
Last week, the sequel to 2009’s Climategate scandal was introduced to the global Internet audience, and preliminary reviews show it to be potentially more explosive than the original. Gems include iconic Hockey Stick scientist Michael Mann advancing a “cause” and admitting “we certainly don’t know the GLOBAL mean temperature anomaly very well,” and University of East Anglia scientist Phil Jones advising colleagues involved in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “to delete all emails at the end of the process,” so to avoid being subject to any Freedom of Information Act requests.
And the Solyndra-splattered Department of Energy doesn’t come off too well either, with Jones warning:
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and
… Read More ➡
NLPC has piled pixels in reporting the crony capitalism and gaming of government regulations by Duke Energy CEO James Rogers, who has favored a political engagement approach to the conduct of business rather than the delivery of services to consumers at affordable prices. That’s how the electricity business works: when you have monopoly control and are guaranteed a profit by your regulators, then you don’t have to worry about besting your competition to earn your customers.
No less passionate an advocate for regulatory favoritism – especially in support of greenhouse gas regulations such as cap-and-tax and carbon (dioxide) taxes – is Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe. While not as big a supporter of Democrats as Rogers, Rowe – like your typical corporate honcho – has thrown money to both Democrats and Republicans, most which have supported his GHG-restrictive policy beliefs.
Over the weekend National Journal published an … Read More ➡