Yesterday, Reuters reported that (federally-bailed-out) General Motors’ Chevy Volt is selling at a loss of as much as $49,000 per vehicle, and that certain experts think it doesn’t look likely that GM will ever make that money back. GM fired back today, claiming that Reuters performed an unfair, “grossly wrong” assessment of their business operations, but whatever, GM — you’re missing the point. Either way, I don’t really care how you choose to run your company or whether you choose to take big risks and develop new products, because that’s what businesses do. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they fail. I care, however, when you’re doing it at my expense — no matter the outcome but most especially when the evidence is pointing to failing.
The green car industry has become completely politicized and tangled within the clutches of the federal government, which is never a good thing if you want that industry to succeed on its own merits. Not only does every Chevy Volt come with a $7,500 tax credit, but now taxpayers will also be boosting their sales numbers as the feds start to purchase them through the Department of Defense in order to ‘green up’ the military.
The Chevy Volt, the plug-in car that has been plagued by sluggish sales and mounting losses since General Motors rolled it out in 2010, has one deep-pocketed customer: the Pentagon.
The Department of Defense is planning to purchase 1,500 electric cars including Volts as part of its effort to make the military more environmentally friendly. But given the federal government’s bailout of Chevy maker General Motors, President Obama’s praise of the Volt and the car’s long-running problems, the federal purchase is likely to become the latest controversy in the Volt’s short life. …
Those sales will be boosted at taxpayer expense. The Department of Defense began buying Volts this summer as the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif., purchased two in July. Another 18 Volts will soon be delivered to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is based, according to military magazine Stars and Stripes.
So, let me get this straight: The defense budget is looking at billions of dollars in budget cuts to create a “leaner military” over the next decade, and Secretary Panetta has said that the upcoming half-a-trillion sequester would be a “disaster” as-is, but now we’re using our limited defense funds to buy cars that the free market is rejecting in order to prop up the Obama administration’s green agenda? …Is this real life?