General Motors (GM) announced another “temporary” production halt for its $40,000 electric hybrid Volt car. This car was doomed to fail from the start when they priced it almost twice the cost as Toyota’s Prius. The average passenger car shopper is looking for a car that is priced similar to other cars in the size range. Most American buyers are only willing to spend $40,000 or more if purchasing SUVs.
Unless GM can figure out a better way to price this vehicle and compete on price, then the temporary production delay will be permanent and will go the way of other GM failures. Corporations should take risk, however it seems like GM has a long history of failures when they try to develop cars to compete with high gas mileage technologies, remembering their terrible aluminum block Vega in the 70’s, diesel Oldsmobiles in the 80’s, the EV-1 in the 90’s, and now the Volt. Also in the recent GM bone yard are discontinued Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Saturn.
GM overall is doing very well these days with its Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC producing many high quality, and high gas mileage cars, trucks and SUVs. If gasoline prices climb to much over $4 per gallon, the demand for ultra high gas mileage cars will be intense, and I wonder if domestic manufacturers can use their massive resources to develop ultra-high mileage affordable cars.