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Will the Chevy Volt Succeed?

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    If you committed to purchasing or leasing a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, a reporter wants to interview you. Please email pr@edmunds.com no later than Friday, December 3, 2010 and include your daytime contact information including a few words on your decision to get your new vehicle.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Nothing said she had to stay home and suffer. You could have invited her to your place Gary. Or she could have gone out to eat, or to a movie, etc etc.

    No one can "force" you to sit home in a hot house.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Well the closest mall is about 14 miles. So the gas she used would be more than the electric she saved. Plus she cannot drive at night and that is when they shut it off, just about dark. It is a lousy deal. By the way she sold the place and lives close to her son now. Taking advantage of people because they do not understand is not right. You can try to spin it any way you want. Our problems in CA are primarily caused by ECO NUTS. Now we have one as governor. As if Ahnold wasn't bad enough.

    The Volt will do little to help anything, except make GM look green.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, she saves 5% 100% of the time, right? Not just on the day they reduced her load?

    So, no, it would not have cost more than her savings in gas to go to the Mall.

    No one condones "taking advantage of people because they do not understand" something. Of course I'm not saying THAT is OK. By the same token, she's a grown woman, and needed to know what she signed up for.

    The Volt will save a lot of gasoline in CA and in the USA. Even if that other analysis by MommaEarf was right, then a Volt is at least as clean as a Prius.

    EcoNutsSchmecoNuts.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited March 2011
    Volt impresses AutoWeek editors for the most part

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110318/CARREVIEWS/110319903

    SENIOR WEST COAST EDITOR MARK VAUGHN: First off, I like the looks of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. It doesn’t look nearly as nice as the concept version, but what production car ever does? The exterior design is a little busy, in a General Motors way, with a line of blackout under the windows, strips of chrome around the greenhouse and different layers of design sort of slathered over each other. But the shape and the proportions look good. I see it as a slightly smaller, much-better-looking version of the 2004 Malibu Maxx five-door station wagon/hatchback thing. Not that anybody but rental-fleet sadists would remember that.

    Inside, the Volt has a very futuristic-looking center console--almost too futuristic, if you ask me. The console really does look like a concept car, like those instrument panels they show off at the Consumer Electronics Show. It works: All of the buttons operate the functions they’re labeled for, but I wouldn’t have picked this particular finish for the console--it looks like a 14-year-old’s makeup case, especially when contrasted with the more utilitarian, GM-generic rest of the interior.

    Seating is perfectly comfortable, though it only seats four, not five, because of the massive battery hump running down the middle. The rear hatch offers plenty of room for various cargo. I loaded up stuff from the hardware store easily and carried passengers both front and back without complaints. In fact, everybody liked it.

    The four-cylinder engine’s exertions are quieter than in the development mule I drove at Dodger Stadium a couple years back, particularly when you hit a hill and floor it and the engine has to spin up to make enough juice. Mostly you have to listen carefully to hear it at all. I was happy to hear it. Having driven all of the early EVs of the 1990s, I can tell you that having a range extender makes a world of difference. You can run the Volt like a regular car without a second thought.


    They did not mention if they had the Granola model.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Evidently the $7500 tax credit is not getting the job done. Now the spokesperson for GM wants the tax payers to just hand over $7500 when you buy the Volt.

    Cash for Clunkers 2: The Return of Government Motors

    Ready for another cash for clunkers program? It looks like General Motors is attempting to replace it's own consumer incentives with tax payer money. The car company, bailed out of bankruptcy in 2009 by the American tax payer, appears to be turning the government into an automatic rebate provider.

    The Obama administration and their friends on Capitol Hill are floating around a proposal to change the $7500 tax credit for green vehicles. This change can be found not only in President Barack Obama's budget but also a bill proposed by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat.

    Edmunds.com, a 45 year old trade magazine company that provides automotive information, posted a Department of Energy document listing the department's funding highlights. The proposed Obama Budget, changes the existing $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit “into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale.”
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,663
    I'm missing how that makes a difference for us, the tax payers. $7500 now or $7500 in April. Who cares? heck, I think it makes more sense for the buyer to get it off the price. That's what was done for me when I bought solar panels for my home.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Not everyone will have a $7500 tax liability. If you don't have to pay it you cannot get a tax credit. It cannot be spread over more than one year. Plus if you fall into that AMT trap, No tax credit for you. This makes it a gift with no strings attached.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,251
    I'd think that AMT aside most households that can afford a $41K car are very likely paying more than $7500 in taxes. We are nowhere near rich but we still paid more than twice that last year.

    IMO such a change merely widens the market for the Volt. The effective price becomes $33.5K today v. $41K today - $7500 tomorrow. Easier to finance, easier to pay cash for if one were so inclined. Depending on your state it may mean less sales tax.

    Of course, it also means the Volt will take an added $7500 depreciation hit on Day 1 of ownership. :surprise:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Agreed. $7500 now, $7500 later, what's the diff?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,663
    I have no idea what an AMT is, but I agree with fushigi, if you are buying a $41k car, I'm SURE you pay more than $7500 in taxes.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    A married couple basically needs to gross $70,000 to hit that kind of tax bill and with itemized deductions they could easily still not hit it. Certainly not uncommon, but I'm sure there are cases where somebody thought they were getting a big tax credit and didn't. Someone that's self-employed could have a lot of depreciation or section 179 deductions and end up with not enough tax to cover the credit.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    YHou get the $7500 whether you pay taxes or not. That is the way it is setup as my wife got a Fusion Hybrid and she payed NO taxes at that time and got the rebate. Thats why it is called a TAX CREDIT.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,663
    As the person above me stated, I don't believe you actually need to have an end of the year tax bill to benefit.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That's why GE is trying to buy a whole fleet of them.....

    They pay NO TAXES anyway, so it's just a straight $7500 bonus for them for each Volt they buy.

    GE pays NO TAXES

    Something to think about as tax day nears: General Electric is so good at doing their taxes, the government pays them. In 2010, the company reported global profits of $14.2 billion, $5.1 billion of which came from the U.S. But using a combination of offshore accounts and aggressive lobbying for tax breaks, GE managed to not only pay no taxes, but get a benefit of $3.2 billion. GE spent $200 million on lobbying in the last decade. At one point, when a generous tax break was about to expire, the head of GE's tax team met with Representative Charles Rangel, then chairman of the ways and means committee, and begged for an extension on one knee. Supposedly it was a joke, but GE got its extension, and Rangel got a $30 million gift for New York City schools. GE is an extreme example of a historical trend: The corporate share of the nation's tax receipts went from 30 percent in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,251
    edited March 2011
    qbrozen - AMT = Alternative Minimum Tax. Under some conditions and at certain income levels it replaces the normal tax rate/deduction schedules with a pseudo-flat tax.

    sebring95 - If a household has a $70K gross income it's doubtful that they are in the market for a car in the Volt's price range. Not out of the question, but unlikely unless they have a very large down payment.

    Ultimately, how much federal tax you pay doesn't matter. Being a tax credit and not a deduction, it reduces your tax owed by $7500. It can swing you from owing to getting a refund. Example: After figuring taxes you determine that you owe the feds $2000 but you bought a Volt and get the $7500 tax credit. Instead of owing $2000 you get a $5500 refund. I did this with qualifying home improvements last year. I swung an "owe" to a "refund" by virtue of the amount of the credit.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    I'd think that AMT aside most households that can afford a $41K car are very likely paying more than $7500 in taxes.

    for a married couple to have a $7500 tax liability they have to have taxable income over $55,500. That would be a gross income of almost $75K if not itemizing and no kids. If they itemize and have kids it could be as high as $100K or more.

    A single taxpayer would have to have a taxable income of $45,275 or a gross income of 454,625 if not itemizing.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,251
    Yep. An individual with a $54,625 gross annual income would not be making a wise choice if they bought a car that cost over 70% of that income. Heck, unless their situation was very different than the average person today they might have trouble getting a loan approved given the tight credit market.

    The situation is potentially more positive for the married household, but not necessarily so. The possible $75K-100K gross income has to cover other expenses, for instance a second car payment or other travel expense like a bus or subway pass. If they're homeowners like me they're spending several thousand a year on maintenance, repairs, and/or upgrades to their house on top of property taxes and homeowners insurance.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    The Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (IRC 30 and IRC 30D) is not a refundable credit. What that means is you cannot take a credit for more than what your tax liability is for the year (line 60 on the 1040).

    Check out IRS Form 8936 where you take the credit and line 11 pulls over the total tax from line 60 of the 1040. That's the max credit you can take.

    There are very few refundable credits.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    You're assuming someone's income is consistent year over year. Many self-employed individuals or those that invest will see wild swings in income and if they buy one of these vehicles on a down year...they could lose out.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    edited March 2011
    From the customers standpoint the rebate at purchase is MUCH better than the tax credit with the unknown possibilities. I know I have a friend that bought a home expecting his tax credit to lower his high taxes. He got hit with AMT and will not get the tax credit.

    The other bugaboo with the Volt are the prices offered being substantially more than the projected $41k. In San Diego there are 6 listed in the inventory of Edmunds with a starting price for a base model of $43,700 going to $44,695. That is getting up where you can buy a real nice car. :shades:
  • tonyanhtonyanh Posts: 1
    There's a rumor online about GM is coming out with 2012 Chevy Volt Convertible. Anyone know anything about this? Is it feasible to have an electric hybrid convertible?

    The Volt sedan looks good, but I wonder how it would look without the top. It would be interesting to see.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,057
    edited April 2011
    It might be interesting to see if the thing functions as advertised before we start tweaking the looks.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Volt picking up "steam?"

    General Motors sold 608 Volts in March

    General Motors sold 608 Volts in March, a small amount relative to larger brands, but more than double February’s tally. GM sold more Volts in March than it did in January and February combined.

    For 2011, GM has sold 1,210 Volts. That figure is chump change relative to the 50,000 Chevy Cruze’s sold to date, but the momentum appears to be picking up. Here’s GM’s sales statement and PDF of March deliveries.

    As noted before, GM is gradually launching Volt sales nationwide so there’s no need to panic about low sales figures yet. There may not be an accurate gauge of Volt sales until 2012.

    Nevertheless, GM has to work through pricing issues for the Volt—a point that may be less of an issue as gas approaches $4 a gallon. As gas prices rise, electric vehicles look more compelling.

    For now, the Volt looks like it’s the domain of early adopters. Persistent high gas prices may boost the Volt’s popularity over time.

    Bottom line: Volt sales are headed in the right direction and the death watch can be called off for now.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Bottom line: Volt sales are headed in the right direction and the death watch can be called off for now.

    I would not count on that. It looks like the same 7 are in stock at our local dealerships as they were a week ago. I think people will wait to see if Congress makes the $7500 an outright gift as proposed. I get hit with AMT too much to take a chance on Tax Credits.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I think ( and have said ) that anyone worried about that just needs to go with the $350 lease.

    Affordable, and safe, and you can change your lease to a different car if you don't like the Volt.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    I cannot think of a single positive for leasing a vehicle, unless you can write it off to a business. It is a big rip-off and horrible interest. Now for the reality check. That $350 lease is IN FACT $430 per month. Read the Chevy promotion. $2500 down, $350 per month and $395 at the end of the lease. I was offered $30k cash for my pristine Sequoia last month. If I was to sell it my out of pocket for the 43 months I have owned it would only be $238 per month. I am sure leasing it would have been way over double that figure. Just no way a person can financially justify a lease without writing it off to a business expense.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    First of all, $430 is still not a bad price for a lease on a $41,000 car.

    Secondly, leases are GREAT for trying out new technology. You might not want to own a Volt for 10 years and deal with battery issues, but 36 months? That's nothing.

    The financial benefit of a lease? Lower payments than ownership.

    If you're like me, and have had car payments EVERY MONTH SINCE 1991, then leasing a car is just a "cheaper" car payment.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    If you're like me, and have had car payments EVERY MONTH SINCE 1991, then leasing a car is just a "cheaper" car payment.

    I guess I am not, I have not had a car payment for at least 15 years. I have better things to spend money on than give it to the bankers. With a lease you just don't see how much the bank is getting as easily as with a loan payment. You are still throwing money down the bankers toilet.
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