Investor’s Business Daily Insists Chevy Volt is a Failure; We Sound Off

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 47

Not A Failure According To Our Scorecard (*Estimated Sales for Tesla/Fiat in July 2013)

Not A Failure According To Our Scorecard (*Estimated Sales for Tesla/Fiat in July 2013)

With General Motors slashing $5,000 of the Chevy Volt, it was inevitable that some would jump on GM’s back by calling the Volt a failure.

In steps Investor’s Business Daily, who says this:

Ask Volt Owners if Their Vehicle is a Failure...Bet None Will Say Yes

Ask Volt Owners if Their Vehicle is a Failure…Bet Nobody Will Say Yes

“Nearly a year ago General Motors was losing almost $50,000 for each Chevrolet Volt it built. Now GM’s business model, driven by trendy environmentalism, calls for it to cut the price and lose even more money.”

“The green lobby wants more hybrids and plug-in electric cars on the roads. Therefore the president wants 1 million electrics humming around by 2015 — and the carmakers have to ignore market reality under pressure to do what the environmentalist-political complex demands.”

“Even if it makes no sense.”

“In September of last year, we said “Obama’s Government Motors needs to shut down the Volt line indefinitely” — not just for the month it planned to halt production — then restart the assembly lines only when it could make a profit on the car.”

“In May, we noted: “The market for electric cars is so weak that consumer costs are approaching almost nothing.”

“Here it is August, and the Volt, the car that USA Today calls the “supposed” star of General Motors’ portfolio, is back in the news.”

“Back in the news” happened when that $5,000 price cut was announced.

Although our plug-in sales scorecard shows that the Volt is a massive success in the electric segment, there remains those who insist it’s an utter failure.

Quoting Investor’s Business Daily:

2012 Scorecard Disagrees With Some of the Figures Presented by Investor's Business Daily...800 LEAFs?  Are You Crazy?

2012 Scorecard Disagrees With Some of the Figures Presented by Investor’s Business Daily…800 LEAFs? Are You Crazy?

 “Aside from those whose egos demand that they use their cars to scream out their moral superiority as environmentalists, and maybe a few enthusiasts who dabble in the technology, does anyone really want these electric cars? Their dismal sales numbers simply do not justify their existence.”

“Sales of the Volt, the most popular electric vehicle, were only a little more than half of the 45,000 that GM expected last year. Ford built 1,627 Focus Electrics in 2012 and sold only 685 of them.”

“Foreign makers fared no better. Mitsubishi could sell only 600 of its i-MiEVs while Nissan sold fewer than 800 of its Leafs last year. Sales in 2013 remained stagnant until Nissan cut the price by $6,400 early in the year.”

Now is where it starts to get ugly.  We’ll forgive Investor’s Business Daily for fudging the LEAF figures for 2012, but the next few quotes don’t resonate well with us at all:

“Yes, Tesla seems to be doing well. But remember: It makes a luxury car that appeals to the wealthy who buy them as toys. It’s an outlier.”

“Meanwhile, Chrysler has wisely decided to stay out of the EV market until “consumers are willing to step up and pay for the technology,” Automotive News reported this week. That’s the way it should be.”

“Government involvement invariably introduces inefficiency, improper incentives and, in the end, failure.”

Was the government not involved in turning around the once-again highly successful General Motors?  Where’s the failure there?

Time To Break Out The Stock Footage Of The President In The Chevy Volt.

Time To Break Out The Stock Footage Of The President In The Chevy Volt.

We don’t even have to dive into an explanation of why the Volt is a grand success, as Investor’s Business Daily stumbles over its own word on too many occasions here to be taken seriously.

Could the Volt be better?  Sure.  But it’s here.  It’s here to stay.  It’s revolutionary and likely wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the help of the US government.  Failure?  We think not.  The Volt proves precisely that US-designed, developed, engineered and built can still result in an end product that nobody else in the world can match.

There’s no way that a breakthrough vehicle as technology packed as the Volt could ever be considered a failure by a reasonable individual.  Even if the vehicle itself was a sales flop (which it’s not), it would ultimately be considered a technological success.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily

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47 responses to "Investor’s Business Daily Insists Chevy Volt is a Failure; We Sound Off"

  1. kdawg says:

    I guess Warren Buffet doesn’t read Investor’s Business Daily, LOL

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130815/AUTO0103/308150068

    1. GeorgeS says:

      It doesn’t say so in the article but Buffett bought GM because he knows of a closely held secret that GM has a 200 mile EV in testing that is 20000$ less than the Tesla and also has a quicker 0-60 time.

      1. John F says:

        If Buffet was buying GM based on information not known to the public, it would be insider trading. Not only would that be a bad investment for him, he would go to jail (like Martha Stuart did for trading on inside information). While the secret car sounds interesting, it is a bit unbelievable.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        LOL, believe it when I see it.

      3. John Hollenberg says:

        The “secret” must not be that closely held, since we just read about it from your post. I have a “secret” bridge for sale in a northeastern state.

    2. Schmeltz says:

      Warren also bought shares of BYD…just saying.

      1. kdawg says:

        BYD’s bus & large-EV business seems to be doing well.

  2. Gary says:

    More FUD from an anti federal government mouthpiece. Unfortunately, some will internalize the message and believe this crap. Flat out lies…”while Nissan sold fewer than 800 of its Leafs last year.”, when the 2012 US sales total was actually 9819. Shame on you Investor’s Business Daily.

    1. Tom A. says:

      Yes, the language and style of the article is clearly a teabagger rant and not in touch with reality. There was clearly no intention of providing useful information or valuable insight. The author couldn’t even get simple facts straight (Leaf sales).

      The entrenched automotive industry deliberately made grandiose claims of sales, and then when sales were laughably short, then they left the market open for FUD.

      The fact remains that EVs are ahead of the hybrid curve. That’s the only meaningful comparison for making a case for or against EV success in the market.

      The continued anti-gov’t ranting from various corners of this country leaves me fearing the rest of this decade and beyond. Instead of empowering us to take a more active role in our gov’t., the rhetoric shuts us down, thus allowing the contingent of bought-and-paid-for “leaders” to run amok, and to increase in number, at our expense.

      This idea of an environmentalist complex (suggestive that there is an environmentalist version of the Military-Industrial Complex) is flat-out silly. Environmentalism comes from common sense (however uncommon it may appear to be); 100s of thousands of scientists across all cultures and political boundaries worldwide, working for decades, publishing results of thorough, reproducible studies and experiments in peer-reviewed journals; and from 100s of thousands of engineers around the world, actively solving pollution problems and increasing efficiencies across the board.

      There is no environmental “complex”. It’s called survival of the fittest. We will not survive (at least not comfortably) without ramping up sustainable initiatives across the board.

      In addition, several of these rabid financial types conveniently ignore the fact that “being green” is good for business profitability. Granted, if you’ve been making a huge mess, then it’s going to cost you to clean up your act, and it may take a while to recover those costs…but if you started out on the right foot, you’re golden and have the competitive edge to succeed in the 21st century.

      It never ceases to amaze me – and disturb me – how so many people are content to derive their morality solely from market forces. Wall St. dogma demands that the cheapest solution is also, by default, the best solution. Fools. Even if the markets were able to accurately price-in every critical externality (which is neither reasonable nor possible), the final price, per se, is necessary, but not sufficient, to properly assess the needs of the future and the means by which to satisfy those needs.

  3. Nelson says:

    Well that validates my decision years ago to cancel my Investor’s Business Daily subscription.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  4. kdawg says:

    Haven’t we been through this before w/Forbe’s attack piece calling the Volt a “failure”. Then Eric Miller posted a list of all cars sold in the US, in which the Volt outsold half of them?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/0922/Failure-Hardly.-Chevy-Volt-outsells-half-of-all-US-cars

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Yeh, even outsold the Corvette!
      I can’t believe I ever even looked at IBD.

  5. Anthony says:

    Considering they couldn’t get through the article without dragging Obama into it makes it come off as a partisan screed (even if the Volt was started in 2006, and the vehicle rebate program was enacted under GW Bush).

    We’d be better off ignoring the obvious troll.

    1. David Murray says:

      Indeed. As soon as you see the words “government motors” in a post you immediately know that the author is extremely partisan. And mentioning the words Obama and Volt together in the same paragraph almost always tells you that the author is anti-Obama. From that point on it is hard to trust anything they say or take anything seriously. Some of the numbers used in there were so misleading and many downright lies.

      The good news is that with the price cut on the Volt, I think we’ll see the day soon when Volts start breaking 3,000 per month on a regular basis and maybe higher. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

      1. Tom A. says:

        +1 to both of you.

  6. Bloggin says:

    I think that magazine is struggling with the fact that they wanted GM to die, thousands of autoworkers to loose their jobs and homes, and they didn’t. Instead GM has over $27 Billion in cash, 2nd Qt Revenues of over $39 Billion and 2nd Qtr 2013 Net Profits of $1.2 Billion, which just pisses them off.

    Then on top of that the Volt, which they hate with a passion because they see it as the beginning of the end for the oil industry as they know it, is the best selling plug-in vehicle in the US/Canada. Bringing up the fact that the 40% drop in battery pricing since 2010 helped allow EVs to drop in price by up to $6k so far can’t be mentioned as it works against their agenda.

    So to resonate with the dwindling demographic still stuck on stupid, they must draw on their groups hate for President Obama. But not because he is African-American, but because…..

    However, after ‘Government Motors’, I am surprised that they didn’t find a way to add Obamacare in the article somewhere. But that could be because many of their stressed out readers playing in the stock market, suffering from high blood pressure, obesity and various heart conditions, that could not get healthcare due to their pre-existing conditions, can now get healthcare. lol

    They say ignorance is bliss, but sometimes it’s really funny. lol

    1. Tom A. says:

      MIght as well laugh, because for people like us to take it too seriously would increase our healthcare needs! 🙂 The stress isn’t worth it.

  7. Rick Danger says:

    In 10 years or so, we’ll see how “wise” Chrysler was to stay out of the EV market.

    1. Rick says:

      Chrysler may be wise to stay out, as long as they have a plan to jump in when it makes economic sense to do so. If they have their heads in the sand when that happens, then yes, they are doomed. (They may be anyway.)

  8. Chris says:

    IBDs fact checkers are clearly not ‘plugged in’. Only 800 LEAFs sold in 2012? A lot of other red flags in the article…..like this huge one – no named author. IBD is just playing ‘telephone’ here…..article fail

  9. pjwood says:

    It was an editorial. As a feature story, or blurb in the meat of the paper, I’d take greater offense, but what today’s less than objective business journals, on Left and Right, publish in places like this, or in the Opinion sections, tendds to be off the deep end.

  10. Rick says:

    I don’t read IBD either, but it occurs to me that some of the readers of this blog, while claiming not to take offense at the half truths in the IBD article, then proceed to do exactly that. Listen, if EV technology succeeds, and it’s looking better every day, it will be on its own merits. You don’t have to worry about what IBD says about it.

  11. Spec says:

    “driven by trendy environmentalism”, “The green lobby”, “pressure to do what the environmentalist-political complex demands”, “their moral superiority as environmentalists” . . . gee . . . what are you trying say IBD?

    Hey jackholes, have you considered the fact that the price of oil has has gone up 5X since 2000 and yet oil production has only gone up a few percent. Car production is currently growing at 3 times the size oil production is growing. The oil-powered car is just not a long-term economically sustainable business model and the car companies know it. The move to electricity is NOT JUST environmentalism you mental midgets. The ‘shale oil revolution’ you’ve been talking up has done what to oil prices? . . . THEY’VE GONE UP. Figure it out!

  12. HVACman says:

    Strident editorials like this are becoming increasingly rare as pure EV’s and plug-ins continue to flow into the market to rave technical, safety, and reliability reviews, even without the green aspect. Inch-by-inch, they grab more mainstream support. I remember the torrent of bad EV press a couple of years ago, especially about the Volt. The + to neg. opinion piece-ratio is way up from what it was in 2011.

    1. kdawg says:

      Yes, this seems like an article written by a young author who just finished reading Atlas Shrugged.

      1. Assaf says:

        Bad press on EVs still seems to grossly outweigh the good press in the mainstream media.

        For example, google news search on ‘Tesla’ right now, one day after its spectacular safety ratings came out.

        You have ABC: “Agency Pushes Back on Tesla 5.4 Star Safety Rating Claim”
        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/tesla-crash-test-rating-high-maker-claimed/story?id=20024779
        The pushback? “No matter what, you can’t say it’s the safest car ever tested, just that it had the best overall test score of any vehicle tested by NHTSA.” Tomato-tomahto anyone?

        The rest of the mainstream press is mostly missing in action on the safety ratings report. If we don’t report it – it didn’t happen. Remember how much noise was produced by one lazy auto reporter’s idiotically-driven abortive Tesla S trip.

        Meanwhile, Forbes is out today with yet another “coal car” screed in its opinion pages.

        To ICE the cake, you have the supposedly “objective” research bodies like Climate Central issuing biased and myopic reports, framed in the most anti-EV presentation imaginable.

        Now, the battle over the EV narrative in the mainstream press is still uphill and lopsided. It is actually on the ground where we are gradually winning.

        1. Tom A. says:

          True, and true. Fortunately, the ground game will win-out.

      2. Ambulator says:

        “Atlas Shrugged”

        Hey, I liked that book! Though, the only correspondence between the book and today that comes to mind is the fight between Tesla and the auto dealer’s association.

  13. James says:

    No one will remember these naysayers in 50 years, but they will remember the Volt and the Tesla. Anyone remember a horse advocate and prominent critic of the Model T?

  14. scott moore says:

    Wow, I am morally superior for having an electric car! Thanks, I feel much better now.

    1. Spec says:

      Yeah, I had no idea that I was such a pious environmentalist just because I didn’t want to spend so much money on gasoline and support foreign dictators. I thought I was just cheap and a bit patriotic.

      1. Tom A. says:

        🙂

    2. kdawg says:

      Why is it that authors that call other people “morally superior” come off as morally superior.

      1. Tom A. says:

        Psychologists call it “projection” – you perceive others as you perceive yourself. If you feel morally superior in your own entrenched dogma, and you see someone else who points out the flaws in your dogma, you are threatened, and insulted, regardless of the intentions of the person that pointed out the flaws. As such, you go on the defensive, and end up accusing them of what you are.

        The gop does it compulsively. For example: they scream “crony capitalism” whenever environmental legislation is passed and green companies get the incentives. Well, duh…if you represent a green trade organization, are you going to contribute to the candidate that screams “drill, baby, drill!!”? No. You’re going to support the candidate with the green platform.

        Meanwhile, the gop is basically a lobbying arm of Big Oil. Awarding no-bid contracts to Halliburton IS “crony capitalism”. And, by the way, there is nothing capitalistic or competitive about “no-bid” contracting. Very “Un-American”, to use their own phrase. Exempting fracking waste fluids from environmental protection laws IS “crony capitalism”. Big Media conveniently fails to point these things out.

        The pattern is amusingly transparent. Everytime they scream something negative about liberals or whatever, you’ll quickly notice that it is they that are doing that negative thing, not the people they are screaming about.

  15. Fred says:

    GMs self made image problem isn’t helped by having executives state they’re losing money on every one they sell.

    How are folks supposed to respond when after stating they are losing money on every one, they drop the price. Means they’ll lose even more money. Nissan has claimed they make money on every Leaf.

    Amazing how off they were on Leaf sales. They claim 800 when number in your table is 9816. Maybe they forgot the thousands column.

  16. Tony says:

    If it were on paper, I’d wad it up, and put it on the TP holder in the bathroom, as that is all this article is worth. And yeah, some anon “writer” penned it. I hesitate to use the term “journalist,” as it’s REALLY not fitting here.

    As others mentioned… 800 Leafs for all of 2012? Are you HIGH? They sold almost 12 TIMES that figure in 2012!! And these supposed investor-types are still regurgitating the $50K/car loss which was shot down last year. I wonder who actually takes investment advice from these clowns?

    I’ll not respond or comment on the article directly. I will NOT give it even a resemblance of credibility or legitimacy by commenting there. It needs to just sit there and fester in it’s own pool of misery, hatred, short-sightedness, and just plain lying, because it will be quickly overlooked and forgotten.

    And yeah… I wouldn’t have put my name on that trash, either.

  17. drucifer says:

    The original Apple iPhone was almost $500 when it first came out. Now one can be had for around $100, due in part to production efficiencies in Gen 4 of the phone. The iPhone must be a total failure.

    This type of writing explains why my wealth exceeds any 10 average tea party readers of this rot.

  18. drucifer says:

    oh, BTW, the market is up a bit from a DJIA of 8000 or so when Obama became President 4 1/2 years ago. We can ignore that statistic as well.

  19. James says:

    Yup… I got 2300 miles out of the first tank of gas on my Fusion Energi. I went form $130 a month in gas to about $18 with about $30 in higher electric bill.

    I certainly won’t see the car payback in its lifetime, but better than the 33 MPG I was getting out of it 19 yo car it replaced.

    That said, the $3751 tax credit will certainly help, but the car dis cost over 10k more than the normal version.

    1. Audi RS5 says:

      ford fusion is lame

    2. Spec says:

      Sure it will pay back. You are already saving around $1000/year. As the years go by, you’ll be saving even more money as the price of gas goes up such that you’ll easily make back the $10K over the life of the car. People just look short term and don’t see the full value of such investments.

  20. Bill Howland says:

    IBD is grasping at Straws. I find it hard to believe they are losing $50k on each one. Bob Lutz said the economies are not really that bad for the Volt.

    IT is overly complicated, but about what you’d expect from GM. Why they don’t transfer this to more body styles is the big question.

    Hey, its better than an Edsal. Or a Volare.

  21. Martin T says:

    They wouldn’t be building it if it wasn’t making money … they are leverage it of it big time.

    The Volt would have been absolutely huge if it was for the episodes of US political football.

    I worked for a US company 20 years back and the Americans were proud of their products – no matter what.
    Now …
    Fast forward to Volt era and some “citizens” in the USA just love to carpet bag a truly world class leading product for purely political point scoring.

    Are people crazy these days or what?
    because If you offered a disguised Volt with a premium Euro badge, people would pay a fortune for the performance, build quality / reliability (J.D.Powers)

    If you had these sort of nay sayers at Toyota or citizens in Japan – when the first Prius was designed it would never got off the drawing board!

    Remember it’s 1st generation practical EREV & a TRUE EREV at that.

    Why do you think I waited so long to get my first EV vehicle ….the Volt.

    1. Mark H says:

      Well said Martin. The EV transition is tough enough without Americans fighting our own products. As for the education of the next generation, I truly love teaching the young about EVs. I had a friend over recently showing him a PV/EV future. Upon leaving, his son looked up to his dad and said “I want to drive an EV when I grow up daddy.” I looked at my friend, smiled and said “My work here is done.” One at a time IBD, one at a time….

  22. Tom A. says:

    Anytime an article asserts that Teslas are rich toys, you know that the author isn’t competent.

    Leafs and Fit EVs and Spark EVs are toys. Teslas are cars that can take you to many more places than the grocery store and soccer practice.

  23. Paul says:

    “Was the government not involved in turning around the once-again highly successful General Motors? ”

    No, they weren’t, because GM wasn’t turned around.

    Anyway, I just saw a commercial for the Chevy Volt, boasting its 380 mile range. Then I paused it and read the fine print: 38 mile range on electric, 342 miles on gasoline.

    FAILURE

  24. Paul says:

    “Fast forward to Volt era and some “citizens” in the USA just love to carpet bag a truly world class leading product for purely political point scoring.”

    How is a car sold as an electric vehicle that only gets 38 miles on electric a world class leading product? Do you work for GM?

    Of course, the Volt is NOT an electric vehicle. It’s a hybrid. That’s part of the failure. They wanted to make an electric vehicle, and couldn’t figure out how to get any miles out of it, so they had to put a gasoline engine in it!