by Seton Motley
The Jurassic Press have long had a field day puffing up bailed out General Motors (GM) and their electric automotive windmill - the Chevrolet Volt.
When it came to August Volt sales numbers, the Media were Justin Bieber-excited.
But the Press left out a few non-incidental facts.
Fully 2/3s of the “sales” were leases, leaving around 925 cars that were truly sold.
And this lease scam appears to have been going on since the Volt’s November 2010 launch.
$159 a month on a two-year lease, with no money down.
Let us pause here to do the math. $159 x 24 months = $3,816. For an $89,000 car.
New cars lose 20% of their value the moment they roll off the lot. And after two years of additional depreciation, these Volts are then returned to GM dealers.
Who’s on the hook for the massive cost differential and value loss? Why, We the Taxpayers of course.
Meanwhile, the vaunted Volt batteries are then two years closer to extinction. GM guarantees them for eight years - during which they will lose 10%-30% of their already pitiful 25-mile range.
And how much does it cost to replace a Volt battery? GM their own selves say - in the $8,000-$9,500 range.
And in case they’re fibbing (as post-bailout GM is wont to do):
Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally indicated battery packs for the company's Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 apiece.
How many used, post-lease Volts will GM realistically be able to sell - when the record for new “sales” is just over 2,800? And that non-lease sales number is actually under 1,000?
And who’s on the hook for all these leftover, depreciated pre-owned Volts? Why, We the Taxpayers of course.
And about those 925 actual sales.
Sales of the Chevy Volt have increased recently, but it's largely due to GM's 25 percent discount on the electric vehicle, according to Consumer Energy Report.
And who’s on the hook for this $59,000 difference between the Volt sale price and its actual cost? Why, We the Taxpayers of course.
And because all of this is working so splendidly:
Federal policies to promote electric vehicles will cost $7.5 billion through 2019 and have "little to no impact" on national gasoline consumption over the next several years, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report issued on Thursday.
Consumer tax credits for buying electric vehicles, which can run as high as $7,500 per vehicle, will account for about 25 percent of the $7.5 billion, the CBO said.
$2.4 billion are grants to battery makers and projects to promote electric vehicles, $3.1 billion are loans to auto companies.
$2.4 billion in grants to battery makers?
All of which makes the Press‘ attempted sale of the Volt’s “record-setting” “success” more than a mite difficult to swallow.