Way to go, General Motors! You've staked your survival on electric cars, hybrid cars, and high-mileage cars - apparently reading tea leaves and thinking that was what Obama and Congressional Democrats wanted. Instead, it turns out Barack Obama thinks you did it all wrong. Even more surprising, it's GM's high-tech, environmentally-friendly, crown jewel car of the future that was your biggest mistake.
The Chevrolet Volt may wow the media when it arrives in dealerships next year, but the Obama administration believes the plug-in electric car will cost too much and won't attract enough buyers.
"While the Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term," the administration said in its evaluation of General Motors Corp.'s restructuring plan. The car "is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."
The analysis was a significant blow to GM. Since the vehicle's unveiling at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the Volt has helped GM reshape its image as a more environmentally conscious company. GM parlayed the Volt into massive media coverage and has invested heavily in the program...
The government audit of GM's restructuring plan suggested the carmaker had invested too much time developing the Volt to leap frog Toyota's lead in green technologies.
General Motors always knew that the Chevy Volt might not be a great commercial success; they were certainly aware that it would be so costly to produce that it might earn them very little money. At the same time, carmakers have been told ad nauseam that they needed to manufacture technologically advanced cars, environmentally friendly cars, and cars that used little gas. In short, they were told they needed to build things like the Volt. Now it turns out they never should have listened to Washington. Thanks to a huge flip-flop from their new CEO (Barack Obama), it seems like the Volt will be stillborn.
So what about General Motors does the White House like? Could it be the SUVs and trucks? Nope:
The report also noted that GM remained too dependent on trucks and SUVs.
So if it's not the SUVs and trucks, and it's not the Volt, what does the White House like? It must be the up-and-coming compact, high-mileage vehicles, right? Wrong again:
The government report didn't mention other small vehicles GM plans to debut in the coming years. They include the Chevrolet Cruze, a high mileage compact car that will arrive in America next year to replace the Chevy Cobalt, and the Chevy Spark, a stylized urban microcar.
Apparently, there's nothing that General Motors currently makes (or plans to make) that the White House thinks will lead them out of the wilderness. Instead, the White House thinks General Motors needs to make cars that people will want to buy:
Instead of focusing on a car that will not produce a commercial winner out of the gates, GM should focus on producing better smaller cars, the report suggested.
Ah! Better cars! And all this time GM was trying to manufacture crap! What a loser strategy that was; no wonder Rick Wagoner had to go. Now that Barack Obama is running the show, he's going to make sure GM makes better cars. It was so simple all along! All that General Motors has to do is build popular small cars that get plenty of miles to the gallon using conventional technologies. In short, they need to build the types of cars that Honda, Toyota, VW and others have been making for years.
One question: why do the taxpayers have to give General Motors tens of billions to do what other carmakers have been doing profitably for years?
Update: Now we know the answer to this question, which liberals have speculated on for years.