GM responds to story on Chevrolet Volt development costs

Article by Christian A., on September 11, 2012

As you remember, yesterday we told you General Motors is losing as much as $49,000 on each Chevrolet Volt it builds and it appears that this information bothered the American company. As a result, GM released an official statement saying that Reuters' estimate of the current loss is grossly wrong due to the fact that the reporters allocated product development costs across the number of Volts.

Apparently, there is a mistake there, because GM says that the development costs should be allocated across the lifetime volume of the program, which is how business operates. Moreover, the research into battery cells, battery packs, controls, electric motors, regenerative braking and other technologies has applications across multiple current and future products.

This will help GM spread costs over a much higher volume, thereby reducing manufacturing and purchasing costs. It appears that GM is quite positive about it and hopes this will lead to profitability for the Volt and future electrified vehicles. Now, if Reuters was wrong and GM is right, you decide.

Even with only a glimpse, the new Chevrolet Volt looks very capable, thanks to its sleek yet bold stance. Chevrolet was able to give the Volt this appearance by endowing it with wide tracks both on the front (61.2 inches of 1,556) and the rear (62.1 inches or 1578 mm) as well as with a wheelbase that measures 105.7 inches (2,685 mm). The bold appearance of the Volt also features a wheels-out stance and sculpted belt line.

Bob Boniface, director of design, called the Volt as a revolutionary car with a sleek and dynamic design. He added that the Volt is technical and refined in its execution, featuring interrelating surfaces as well as clean yet crisp edges.

To shape the Volt, Chevrolet’s design and engineering teams worked with aerodynamicists in General Motor’s wind tunnel, thereby resulting to the most aerodynamic vehicle in the brand’s history. The aerodynamic design of the Volt means that less energy is required to offset air resistance, which means that eight miles is added to its total electric range and 50 miles to its extended range. Designers gave the Volt a rounded and flush front fascia, as well as tapered grille and corners to lessen aerodynamic drag. Designers also gave the Volt a special spoiler and sharp edges for better airflow control. In addition, designers implemented an assertive rake on the back glass and windshield to reduce both turbulence and drag.

As designed, the element-to-element gap and flush connections on the exterior and in the interior of the new Volt are on par or even better than its rivals. Chevrolet has made sure all components – whether seen or concealed – feature an appearance that is consistent all throughout the car.

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