Saturday, January 28, 2012

Did He Really Say This? -- Absolutely Nothing To With The Bakken

Link here.

Did he really say this?
The General Motors Co. Chevrolet Volt, the first mass-market electric vehicle sold by a U.S. automaker, has become a “political punching bag,” GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said.

Akerson, testifying before a U.S. House panel today, said the Volt, which the company is fixing after fires following crash tests, is engineered for safety.

“Unfortunately, there is one thing we did not engineer,” Akerson told a House subcommittee led by Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “Although we loaded the Volt with state-of-the-art safety features, we did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag. And that, sadly, is what the Volt has become.” 
Did he?


The GM CEO is still a salesman.

When Apple was struggling years ago and when Dell was saying that Apple should simple liquidate and close shop, Steve Jobs kept pressing on. One needs to keep selling the product no matter what. One does not say his/her product has become the laughing stock of the industry.

This would be the same as if I walked into a Chevy dealer to look at the Volt, and to be told by the salesman, "Yes, it's a beautiful car isn't it? Unfortunately it's become the laughing stock of the automobile industry." That would certainly turn me off.

I didn't pay much attention to the rest of the article but it certainly makes me think the CEO used this as a trial balloon to prepare the public / the government for the news that GM will throw in the towel with regard to the Volt.

GM can't afford to keep losing money on the Volt. Dealers don't want it (earlier story). People are no longer coming into showrooms to see it. And the bean counters in the back rooms of GM headquarters are showing the front office how much they are losing with the Volt program. It can't go on much longer.

The Volt was simply an experiment that failed. Badly.


  1. Yes, he really did say "this".

    When one gives sworn testimony to a congressional investigation the purpose of which is to embarrass the other party by holding the hearing in the first place and then issuing a "report" that alleges improper conduct surrounding a safety non issue directed at one's product it is difficult to imagine what other comment the CEO could have made. No apple product has ever been described as "potentially" being the recipient of improper testing by a govt agency as has the volt by a majority congressional committee report. The usual practice for committee reports is to establish facts and not to speculate as happened to the volt. The idiots among us get sucked in to the partisan political bs and the product is unfairly tarnished. The CEO was fully justified in his response to the partisan political hacks on the committee.

    1. Justified? Really?

      Appropriate? No.

      The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the CEO is under increasing pressure to scrap the Volt and this will provide him top cover. When a vehicle becomes the laughing stock of the industry (or the punching bag, I guess), it's well past time to move on.

  2. You may be right. The politicians win (again). The only thing about this sorry investigation (other than the complete lack of a basis) is that the target was obama's reelection. It had nothing to do with auto safety. The CEO comments were both accurate and appropriate. More than can be said for the politicians pontification and the random speculation of the peanut gallery.

    1. Accurate but not appropriate for a salesman to admit that his product is the laughing stock/punching bag of the industry.

      Others can say that, but for heaven's sake, the chief salesman of the company should not be saying that.

      He as easily could have said, "that despite the challenges, we believe this is the best automobile going forward, and that a year from now we will be selling 50,000 units / year without subsidies or help from the government."

      For heaven's sakes, he's the head salesman for the company. Act like it. That's his role. To be a salesman.

      Politicians and news reporters have their roles.