Sign of the Times: GM Cancels L.A. Auto Show Reveals

Voltshowimage

GM announced it has canceled its plans to host a press conference at next week’s L.A. auto show. Originally, the company had planned to unveil its all-new Buick LaCrosse sedan and Cadillac SRX crossover at the show. Instead, the company says it has decided to postpone those reveals until a later date — we assume the Detroit auto show in January — because any new models would be overshadowed by financial news. You know — the kind about government bailouts and the possible collapse of the auto industry.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be new GM products to see in L.A., though. A restyled Pontiac G6 lineup will be on hand, and it will also be the first time most people will get to see the production Chevy Volt, Chevy Cruze and Chevy Camaro at a major consumer show. GM will also display the Saab 9-X Air concept that debuted in Paris earlier this year. Stay tuned for our coverage of the L.A. auto show next week. We also expect more news to come over the next few days.

GM scraps plans for news conference at upcoming L.A. Auto Show (The Detroit News)

Comments 

Bloke

This is really going to hurt GM if the Volt comes out and gas is at $1.50.

Bloke,
One way or the other they need it and others to meet new CAFE standards. they'll still sell a ton in California where gas is always more expensive than most of the country. Or places like Chicago and NY.

Jason

I don't think gas prices will stay low for long and I think people will still be interested in alternative vehicles like the Volt.

sheth

We can only hope gas is $1.50 a gallon when the Volt comes out. I dont think its likely though. Gas is only cheap because the economy is bad. Everything will change is the economy APPEARS to be getting better. What happened to all the experts who were predicting the death of the pickup and SUV during the summer? By now we were all supposed to be driving Fits and hybrids in the land of $6/gal gas. Once credit unfreezes people will start buying larger vehicles again. After seeing $4/gal people wont be scared by $3/gal whenever it returns and thus the shock factor wont exist.

Bloke

I think that it is a good thing that CAFE may force automakers to make vehicles like the Volt, but if GM is going belly-up what will happen? I doubt that it would necessarily signal the end of the vehicle but it would definitely disturb its supply and availability. I would think a vehicle like the Volt, which probably required a good bit of money in R&D is expected to draw quick profits. And I don't think those quick profits will come if the gas is priced so low.

I don't see how they will sell a ton if it is priced high, as a lot of people on this site myself included, have said. Is the price of gas that much higher in NY, Chicago, and CA? And even then, in those areas they probably have seen a decline in price, at least somewhat proportional (hopefully) to what the rest of the country has seen.

Bowrider

GM loses money on every Volt is sells.

They lost money on every one of the first Corvettes too. Look at it now, fifty years later.

Bloke

How does GM lose money on every Volt it sells? They haven't sold any yet.

Bowrider

Well, let me clarify...on every Volt it will sell. In other words, GM already knows it is going to lose money on every Volt sold.

Bloke

Do you have anything to support that claim?

Yes it's called amortization...all cars technically lose money for the first x number of production units as the R&D costs and capital costs have to be paid back before a car makes money. In the case of the Volt, limited initial production and high R&D costs means it will lose money initially but long-term, the R&D put into the Volt will be spread across numerous vehicles which is why they can justify spending so much money on the Volt development.

Detfan

The Volt will sell well, even if gas is at $1.50. It only takes 80 cents to charge the Volt for 40 miles. If you are moving from a car that gets 25 mpg, you would've be paying $2.40 to fill your car with enough gas to go 40 miles.

GM will be subsidizing the cost of the Volt, just like Toyota subsidezed the first two years of the Prius.

If they subsidize the Volt by $7,500, then they will have invested &750 million to sell the first 100,000 Volts. Not alot of money in the scope of things. There will also probably be a $7,500 tax credit on the Volt to further reduce the cost. If the Volt really costs GM $40,000 to make, these two price breaks could get the price down to $25,000.

Bloke

Wait a minute, by support I meant some facts. Not a remedial explanation of how a company develops a product. I would hope everyone understands the idea that it takes money to make money, and that overtime a company recovers money spent on research for any product.

There will be a point where either GM starts making money on the Volt or else they won't make it anymore. I would like to see some information on where that is. As the price is higher it seems that the technology should have cost a lot more than a regular hybrid. But being that there are many parts of this car that were manufactured before I would think the cost would have been less. But by just giving an explanation of R&D costs, you are not saying anything new.

Bloke

Detfan, I would hope the Volt will sell, but just like any other energy consumption solution, they only sell when there is concern about the price of the resource. So if you compare you price analysis - a car that gets 30 mpg costs $.05 per mile with gas at $1.50. The Volt would cost $.02 per mile if it costs $.80 to go 40 miles. And that is only if you use it to go 40 miles. So if you drive 15,000 miles in either car, you have a cost of $750 compared to $300, only in fuel expense costs. For a difference of $450. I have not seen anything that has said a Volt will be priced any less than $35,000. In fact I have seen reports that it will be higher, subsidies or not. If you can get a car for $20K that gets 30 mpg, you would have to own the Volt for 33 years to make up the cost difference. And the fact that there are cars that get better mileage than that and are cheaper only supports that less people will buy the Volt only to save money on fuel costs.

I also believe that if you research it, you will find that Japan, not Toyota subsidized the research on the Prius. And after all that the Prius was still priced above compact cars at the time it came out. Unless it sells really well right out, GM will not have any money to subsidize the Volt. I think the only place you will see breaks is through the fed.

I would like to see as many incentives on this vehicle as possible, but I just think energy market realities will not weigh in its favor.

Well by all means then go ahead and contact GM's planners for the specific information you are looking for because nobody is going to have that info except them.

Bloke

No kidding, so why make stupid comments that don't have any support.

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