By most measures, the Chevy Volt has proven to be a successful and clever plug-in hybrid vehicle in every regard save cost. At $40,000, it is still quite an expensive car even with the $7,500 Federal tax credit. CEO Dan Akerson knows this, and says that GM is seeking to slash the Volt’s price by as much as $10,000.
Akerson actually said that GM wants to lower the Volt price by between $7,000 and $10,000, and that the next car will be profitable. Akerson then admitted that GM is actually losing money on every car. That stings, though it was already known that GM was basically selling the Volt at-cost.
The next Volt will reportedly cut weight, down from the more than 3,700 pounds of the current car. It will also ride on a dedicated platform, rather than adopt another chassis (in this case, the Cruze). GM is reportedly aiming to launch the next-gen Volt in 2015 as a 2016 model, and Akerson says that GM will make money on this car. They have to.
GM has to find a way to make money on the Volt while cutting its price to stay on par with the competition. The Nissan Leaf dropped $6,600 from its initial price tag, and cars like the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive have a starting price of just $25,000. The Volt is unlikely to survive as a $40,000 vehicle, tax credit or not. GM also needs to start spreading its Voltec technology out to other vehicles, and will focus on plug-in hybrids rather than standard hybrids going forward.
That is a bold move in a market that is increasingly turned on by hybrid cars, but sometimes a bold move is exactly what a company like GM needs to make.
Source: Green Car Reports