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USA: As 1,849 Chevrolet Volts Are Sold In July, GM Celebrates 30,000th Volt Off The Line, But Without Original Cast

Chevrolet enjoyed another above average selling month in July, with 1,849 Volts moving into customers hands, the second best monthly result to date (2,289 were sold in March of this year). This figure was almost triple that of its main competitor, the somewhat extended range (11 miles at speed), Prius Plug-In, which Toyota only managed to move 695 copies of.

So far this year 10,666 Volts have been sold, and while GM will fall well short of an earlier ambitious projection (now rescinded) of 45,000 sold for 2012, it still represents a 271% increase over last year (2,870).

General Motors also passed another significant milestone last week, as the 30,000th production Volt rolled off their Hamtramck, Michigan assembly line. Thinking back to when the car first debuted as a concept at the 2007 NAIAS (also known as the Detroit Auto Show), the extended range car has come a long way.

Bob Lutz And Rick Wagoner Shake Over Concept Chevy Volt
In a weird twist of fate, almost every executive and high level engineer associated with the project, has since left the Voltec project:

Bob Lutz (former VP of GM): Considered to be the ‘father’ of the Volt, he first envisioned the car as an all electric vehicle before Jon Lauckner proposed the compromise, extended range concept you saw in 2007. Lutz has since retired from GM, a couple times (at least) and now is on the board of VIA Motors, and can be seen these days shilling, ironically enough, an extended range conversion of GM’s Sierra truck (video of Bob and the VTRUX)
Jon Lauckner (former General Motors Vice President for Global Vehicle Development): Who first told Bob Lutz, “Look, I know you’ve got your heart set on all-electric, but let me show you why that’s a bad idea…”, and famously penned the Volt concept on Bob’s napkin (which is a nice story, but it didn’t happen…it was a regular old lined pad in Lutz’s office, and he used his “expensive gold-nibbed pen”). Jon now toils for General Motors Ventures LLC, that seeks out to “identify, engage and build relationships with other venture capital firms and innovative companies.”
Rick Wagoner (former Chairman and CEO of GM): The much maligned former CEO of the company was the man ultimately responsible for green lighting the Volt, and despite being known as the CEO that finally lead GM into Chapter 11, he also managed to keep the Volt alive as the only development project online during GM’s descent, while everything else was either canceled or put on permanent hiatus. Rick was fired resigned at the request of the White House on March 29th, 2009. He now chairs the university of Duke’s Board of Trustees.


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