By Noah Graff
General Motors is suspending work on the $370 million factory slated to build engines for the Chevrolet Volt, but says the plug-in hybrid will appear in showrooms by the end of 2010 as promised. (www.wired.com)
“It’s temporarily on hold as we assess our cash situation,” GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t think it’s any surprise that we’re studying and reviewing everything, given the position we’re in.”
Come on GM, do you take us all for fools? In all of the current mess going on at the company, having the car released in 2010 already sounded like a stretch, but if no factory exists to build the Volt’s engines the car will never be produced.
GM already does have a plant that builds the engines in Austria, which it claims could ship them here, but if that was a practical option, why wouldn’t it have been the game plan in the first place?
And if there is not enough money to finish the engine plant in Michigan right now, and it’s unknown when there will be enough money, the great Volt is starting to seem like nothing but a failed, desperate dream. Can anybody say Fuel Cell?
The Volt was supposed to be the lifeline that would bring GM back to the forefront of car companies. It was supposed to make GM special – the cutting edge car on the block. That’s why the company was willing to sell them at a loss for the first few years of production.
The project was a huge gamble, but it gave the company hope for a rebirth of success, and now it looks to me like that hope may be gone. Without the Volt, GM is just another ailing car company. It had a fighting chance to rise to the top but now it will likely just stay a loser.
Why did the company make this decision? Is GM thinking that now that gas prices are lower, it can resurrect its old truck and SUV oriented business model to pay the bills?
Pathetic GM. Don’t try to fool us that on a dime you can finish the engine factory and starting popping cars out as soon as you get the money. All of these decisions take time, and putting decisions into action such as halting or resuming work on a factory takes even longer. I wouldn’t be shocked if this decision to halt the construction of the factory was made a month ago, before GM knew what the government would dole out. If GM doesn’t have the money right now to spend on the baby that was supposed to be the company’s savior, my guess is it won’t have it to spend on the “future” when it finally gets its scraps from the government.
Times are tough for everyone right now, but still, future success stories are at this very moment in the making, with individuals risking everything to live out their dreams.
What about the parents who live on food stamps so their child can train to become a professional athlete? What about the future Hollywood star who toils as a waiter while she waits for the big break? What about the restaurant entrepreneur who risks every dime he has to become the next McDonalds? Taking risks is extra scary in this economy, but now its even more vital to success.
I just hope GM has not given up on its dream to become a special car company.
Question: Are you saddened that GM stopped construction of the Volt’s engine plant? Should the company give up on the project? Or has it already?