GM boss driving Volt mule to Senate meeting
4 December 2008

GM boss Rick Wagoner has arrived in Washington at the wheel of a prototype Chevrolet Volt for crisis talks with the US Senate.

The move comes after bosses of Detroit's Big Three manufacturers were criticised for flying by private jet to previous meetings where they asked for billion-dollar government bailouts to keep the US car industry alive.

Wagoner drove a Volt mule fitted with body panels from a Chevrolet Cruze (which shares GM’s basic Delta platform architecture) for the 525 mile trip from Detroit to Capitol Hill.

The Volt is a groundbreaking car for GM. It uses a range-extender hybrid system to ensure frugality and low emissions.

In an effort to take advantage of the media circus surrounding the Washington meetings, GM will also bring the concept version of the Volt to Washington.

As we reported yesterday, the UK government has given GM its backing to build European versions of the Volt at the Ellesmere Port factory in Britain. Production is expected to start in 2011.

Tough talks

Wagoner and his counterparts from Chrysler and Ford face an uphill battle to get a $34 billion loan package approved by a very sceptical Senate.

"It's fair to say that last month's hearings were difficult for us, but we leaned a lot," Wagoner told reporters. “We're here because saving General Motors, and all this company represents, is a job worth doing."

However, a poll conducted by CNN revealed that many Americans don’t agree with the GM bosses’ sentiments. A majority 61 percent of 1100 polled were opposed to the car-makers getting a bailout. Only 36 percent supported them.

It’s a stunning reversal of public opinion. Similar poll results in November were much more sympathetic towards the Big Three's proposals.

Will Powell

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Comments
8

4 December 2008

Shouldnt he have done this the first time round? Good PR stunt, hopefully the car wont break down or anything, otherwise that might not look too good....

4 December 2008

"The Volt is a ground-breaking car for the company, and uses a range-extender hybrid system to return very high fuel consumption and low emissions. "

Seems a strange time to be seen driving a car that has " very high fuel consumption"

4 December 2008

[quote Autocar]The move comes after bosses of the Big Three were criticised for flying by private jet to previous financial bailout meetings.[/quote]

Where are the Jets now? Have they been sold? I doubt it. They will just be stored away until the loans are approved.

4 December 2008

[quote Quattro369]Where are the Jets now? Have they been sold? I doubt it. They will just be stored away until the loans are approved.[/quote]

Apparently they have four of the seven up for sale.

On a different note, must be great for development driving them back and forth to Washington.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

5 December 2008

Say Rick Wagoner at the L.A.car show the greenest car award went to the Jetta clean diesel.Question Rick ?I would love to buy a G.M.N.American clean diesel car do you have any?

5 December 2008

[quote reidbrand]Say Rick Wagoner at the L.A.car show the greenest car award went to the Jetta clean diesel.Question Rick ?I would love to buy a G.M.N.American clean diesel car do you have any?[/quote] Americans can't pronounce "diesel".

5 December 2008

[quote Dan McNeil]Americans can't pronounce "diesel".[/quote]

- they obviously had trouble with 'Edsel' too.

Why not use 'DERV', as I think was quite common in Britain, to call diesel (oil), up till the 1970s?

DERV - Diesel Engine Road Vehicle

5 December 2008

someone would have to look it up, but I think, diesel was not seen as good years ago in the USA i.e. if you remember the old diesels ("oil burners") they were dirty smelly things! Petrol was cheap, by comparison it was clean and hence (I think) why the US did not ever really get into diesel (......but not sure if that is the reason)

I think there is also restrictions now on the diesel particulate emissions types i.e. I have not gone into the various bits and bobs, but if you look at the Merc USA site, certain diesels (blueTec) you cannot buy for CA and others and I think ths is down to emissions type rather than volume; have a look at the bottom of the picture in very light grey text:

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/#/vehiclesMenu/exploreOverview/?vc=E&vmf=E320BTC&yr=2009

Even though the car is the winner of the "world green car" award? go figure!

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