Is this the car that will change the world?

September 25th, 2008

Chevrolet has been tantalizing us with the promise of an all-new electric sedan called the Volt.

Will this car revolutionize the cars we drive, or be the nail in the coffin for struggling GM?

Chevy hasn’t even committed to an official launch date for their much-hyped innovation, but the potential to score a major home run with it is huge. Yes, it’ll be expensive for a midsize family sedan, and yes, GM will still lose money on every one sold.

So how could this possibly be a winner?

It’s all in the facts, the marketing, and the target audience.

The average commute for 75 percent of Americans is less than 40 miles per day. Hence the Volt’s range to run without using a drop of gas: 40 miles. At first not impressive, but when positioned as a daily short-range commuter it’s suddenly an environmentalist’s dream.

Pricing hasn’t been released, but initial estimates are the Volt will cost between $30K and $35K. GM’s cost on each one is rumored to run about $40K.

Simple economics point to the Volt being a terrible investment.

But we obviously don’t live in the times of simple economics anymore. While still a gamble for GM, the Volt represents the future of vehicle design. No doubt some company needs to step up to the plate and offer an alternative source of thrust for the cars that transport us. GM is doing just that; creating a car capable of hauling us to work or our families to the grocery store without ANY gas.

GM is hoping that early adopters with the means to afford one will buy about 15,000 Volts per year, thereby reducing the cost over time for the rest of us. Those people are out there, and the Volt could very well be the car that Earth has been waiting for.

What do you think: Is Volt a savior or a one-way ticket to bankruptcy for GM?

-tgriffith

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