Crotchety Bob Lutz Leads GM’s Defense of the Chevy Volt

Bob Lutz photoAnyone following the Chevy Volt story has seen the internet headlines trumpeting the blog by General Motors’ Bob Lutz in which he blasts Bill O’Reilly, Fox News and what he calls, “the rabid, sadly misinformed right.” It remains a mystery as to why GM would take a political stance, and seek to identify with one ideological faction over another. It’s ridiculous to blame poor Volt sales on a Republican conspiracy. It is also pretty stupid. After all, some of the people who buy cars are Republicans.

Before moving on to the Lutz offensive defense, let’s review the facts. Sales for the much-hyped Chevy Volt have never materialized. Prior to the ridiculous misdirection play by GM and Lutz (yes, he is a paid consultant for GM) that sees Fox News and Rush Limbaugh being vilified for criticizing the Volt, the excuse for the low sales was that supply could …

Will GM’s Akerson Come Clean on the Chevy Volt?

Akerson and VoltGeneral Motors’ CEO, Dan Akerson, is scheduled to testify at congressional hearings on the NHTSA delay in reporting Chevy Volt fires. GM and the government agency waited about five months to report an incident involving a Volt which erupted in flames weeks after a crash-test. Up to this point, Akerson has not exactly been honest about the Volt; can we now expect him to come clean?

A culture of deceit has been evident at GM since the Obama Administration orchestrated a manipulated bankruptcy process that favored the politically powerful UAW over other classes. It was during the time of the bankruptcy process that the Chevy Volt hype gathered steam as the public was presented with a green wonder-car that served as partial justification for using $50 billion of taxpayer money to bailout GM. While Akerson’s part in the story came later, the stage was set for the Volt to become …

Chevy Volt Buyback Sets Stage for Tax Credit Abuse

General Motors has announced it is buying back Chevy Volts from any purchasers who are concerned about safety risks associated with the vehicle. NHTSA is currently investigating fires that occurred after crash tests of the vehicles when the volatile lithium-ion batteries ignited days after the tests. Any buybacks of the vehicles sets the stage for wealthy purchasers to take advantage of lax rules for the $7,500 tax credit available on the vehicle. Essentially, many purchasers can return their Volts and then go ahead and apply for the credit, even though they do not currently own the vehicle and received a refund of what they paid for the car.

Overall abuse of the tax credits for plug-in vehicles is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. A USA Today article back in February estimated false claims for the credits at 20% equaling $33 million just for the first seven months of 2010. It …

Obama EV Goal Does Little to Lessen Oil Consumption

Obama and Chevy Volt photoMany 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 …

GE, Duke Energy, Exelon Can’t Quit Their Self-Serving ‘Green’ Politics

grassy dollar signU.S. Climate Action Partnership members General Electric and utilities Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation are addicted to the politics of gaming environmental regulatory policy so they can make millions off mandates and subsidies, often at the expense to taxpayers and their own customers.

The latest example was the three companies’ purchase of tables at the second annual Teddy Roosevelt Dinner, hosted by Republicans for Environmental Protection in Washington. This year GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who as Utah governor a couple of years ago led the charge to bring his state into the Western Climate Initiative regional cap-and-trade agreement, keynoted the dinner.  Looks like the companies have a hard time giving up on political losers, considering that Huntsman has only 39 percent name recognition and has 2 percent support among Republican voters, leading Gallup pollster Frank Newport to identify him as the likely next Tim Pawlenty.

REP honored Exelon …

More Problems for the Chevy Volt

Akerson/Volt photoA new report by USA Today offers further evidence that demand for the much-hyped Chevy Volt is not living up to the great expectations laid out by General Motors. Additional negative news includes an overheating charger fault and a power loss glitch, both of which were recently exposed.  The USA Today piece cites a study by CNW Marketing that revealed that “prospects are starting to lose interest in the Volt.”

Starting to lose interest? That’s pretty funny, considering that Chevy sold only 125 of the money-losing Volts in July. How much more interest can be lost? The real story is that GM, the Obama Administration and the media have been so dishonest regarding the potential and the demand for the Volt since the vehicle was first offered to the public.

Apologists for the Volt with ties to GM continue to try and spin the story. A piece points …

GM Confirms Slow Chevy Volt Sales

Chevy Volt photoSales of the much-hyped Chevy Volt fell to new lows as did GM share price as July auto sales figures came in. Only 125 Volts were sold during the month of July. Recent reports attributed the slump to supply constraints as GM spokeswoman, Michelle Bunker, was quoted as saying that the Volt was “virtually sold out” and only a “few” were available nationwide. I have confirmed that this statement is not entirely truthful and have gotten clarification from GM through Director of Communications, Greg Martin.

A search of site showed nearly 500 Chevy Volts listed for sale. I had originally assumed that GM dealers were advertising vehicles that were not actually available for sale, since GM has stated that there were only a “few” Volts available. I decided to call a few dealers within 75 miles of my location to determine what the true situation was. I stopped my …

GE’s Immelt Blames at Home, Employs Abroad

Immelt Obama photoGeneral Electric announced this week it will relocate its X-ray business to Beijing in order to capitalize on the burgeoning Chinese health care market.

Bravo for them. Kudos. I’m sure it’s a smart business move for the company – just like not paying taxes in the U.S., rent seeking for “Green” subsidies and mandates, and reducing American jobs are also bottom-line wise.

But let’s please stop listening to GE CEO Jeffery Immelt (if he ever was really taken seriously), who is the head of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, whenever he tries to lecture other American corporations on how to conduct their businesses. His hypocrisy is astounding, as illustrated in a Wall Street Journal report about his visit to one of his own gas turbine factories in South Carolina just two weeks ago:

Mr. Immelt said the wage differential between the U.S. and China and India

GM’s Chevy Volt ‘Bait and Switch’

Volt photoAccording 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 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 …

GM Spends Taxpayer Money to Lobby for More Taxpayer Money

According to CNBC, General Motors has ramped up its lobbying efforts to the tune of $3.58 million in the first quarter of 2011. This is nearly triple the $1.36 million it spent in the first quarter of the prior year. It is also over double the $1.67 million spent by non-bailed out Ford in the same quarter. The $50 billion that taxpayers gave to bail out GM is now partially being distributed back to President Obama, Congress and a variety of agencies in an effort by GM to, well, receive more taxpayer money.

One of the requests made by GM lobbyists is to increase the number of Chevy Volts that qualify for the $7,500 tax credit from 200,000 to 500,000. At the current rate of sales, that’s about a 100 years of subsidies! It is also an additional $2.25 billion of taxpayer money added to the current $1.5 billion of …

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