Chevrolet Volt becomes a political punching bag for Republicans

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 11, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt has become “a political punching bag” for Republican politicians after it had been reported that its batteries caught fire after government tests, GM CEO Dan Akerson said during a Congressional hearing about the Volt last January. The Volt has been cited by conservatives on many issues ranging from government bailouts to radical left-wing environmentalism. Among the various comments that had been reported include Republican Newt Gingrich who criticized the Volt because it doesn’t have space for a gun rack. Mitt Romney referred to it as "an idea whose time has not come."

Meanwhile, conservative group American Tradition Partnership Inc. described them to be “exploding Obamamobiles." Akerson said that the Volt’s sales had been affected by all these negative vibes.

Those who oppose Obama consider it as an effective way to raise their appeal among voters. Art Spinella, the president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore., studies new-vehicle buyers. He said that there are more Republican owners of Silverado pickups and other Chevrolets than Democrats ones.

CNW’s survey of 1,416 people determined that Chevy customers tend to lean conservative but less than 14% of Volt buyers so far this year refer to themselves as Republicans. On the other hand, around 53% identify themselves as Democrats.

Those who buy Chevrolet models as a whole were 37% Republican, 22% Democrat and 41% independent. Regardless of what’s going on politically, GM has been disappointed with Volt sales. It had expected the Volt to get a 230 mpg rating in 2009 but the Environmental Protection Agency only gave it a 95 mpg rating for city driving.

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