General Motors are in serious trouble.
They plan to produce the GM volt towards the end of 2010. This is a 4 door 2,500 pound sedan, described as a plug-in hybrid whose primary source of power is an electric motor. A single charge of the lithium-ion battery,(estimated to cost $10,000 to US$15,000 a car) will provide a range of 40miles.
An integral 1.4 litre, 4 cylinder engine will run a generator that will power the car and recharge the batteries once they are depleted and extend the range to 640 miles.
GM plan sales of 10,000 Volts in the car’s first year, current estimates provided by GM are that the car will retail at US$40,000. Toyota currrently advertise their Prius starting at US$22,000.
Mysteriously Jon Lauckner, G.M. vice president for global program management said at the LA Motor Show. “It’s a huge change in the whole paradigm of where cars have been.”
“We’ve turned into a plug-in society. We’ve got cellphones, PDAs, you name it, that are all plugged in. To a certain extent, it’s not much more complicated conceptually than coming in and plugging in your cellphone.”
So the guys who run this company have plans for a car that will generate US$40 Mn. sales, runs for 40 miles on a charge and will have (given a replacement battery is going to cost US$10,000 plus) virtually no resale value.
The same guys who have run the company for many years, whose shares sell today at US$3.04 and have a market capitalisation of US$1.84 Bn.
The same guys who want Congress to throw them billions to make the payroll till the end of January.