Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GM's Chevy Volts ... Government Motors and Taxpayer Subsidies

Have you seen the TV commercials advertising the wisdom of happy consumers buying the Chevy Volts, going green and not needing to buy gasoline for weeks at a time?

Well, perhaps it's because the government knows best gang "encouraged" GM to advertise and try to sell more of these heavily taxpayer subsidized electric powered cars to prevent further embarrassment to the government. There's ample evidence that consumers aren't buying the Volt story, even though some of We the People as taxpayers are offering others of us as consumers thousands of dollars each time we do buy the Volt.

So GM goes broke, taxpayers bail them out, government tells GM to sell more green cars and hits up taxpayers to subsidize the sale of them, GM spends bailout money to advertise subsidized Chevy Volt, consumers say no and GM lays off employees and taxpayers subsidize unemployment compensation paid to affected employees.

Economy stays stuck in the mud and economic growth remains stalled. National deficits and debt continue to escalate, and government acts to "save" the middle class. Maybe we need another 'cash for clunkers' program for the Chevy Volt. Oh, that's right. We already have one.

Government rules can't make consumers choose what the government is "encouraging" them to buy. Not in a free society.

Now if we could only convince government to keep its hands out of our pockets and stop interfering with which automobile companies succeed in convincing free choice consumers to choose among their various offerings. Maybe then they'd stop advertising what we're not inclined to buy and save that money for more appropriate uses. That would save We the People as taxpayers lots of money, too.

GM Curbs Volt Plant Production has the latest on the Volt saga at Government, aka, UAW Motors:

"General Motors Co. said it plans to suspend production of its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt for 26 days as part of a move to pare excess inventory.

Production of the Volt at its Hamtramck, Mich., plant is set to stop Sept. 17 and resume on Oct. 12, a GM spokeswoman confirmed. It is the second time this year output has been idled due to soft demand for the electric vehicle. . . .

About 1,400 hourly workers will be affected by the production suspension.

The Volt has been heavily promoted by GM as an example of the company's technological prowess. But it also has been criticized as a boondoggle by critics of GMs 2009 financial rescue by the U.S government. Supporters of the bailout, including President Barack Obama, say the Volt represents an innovative step forward. Detractors point to the Volt's weak sales as an example of the government pressing GM to build a car that meets policy goals but isn't in sync with U.S. consumers. GM shut the Hamtramck plant for five weeks earlier this year after a prolonged holiday shutdown.

The company has sold 10,666 of the about $40,000 vehicle year-to-date through the end of July, according to researcher Autodata Corp. At the end of last month, Chevrolet dealers had 6,450 Volts in stock, enough to last 84 days at the current rate of sales. Auto makers generally consider 60 days of inventory optimal, although they usually have tighter inventories of specialty vehicles like the Volt.

Volt uses a lithium-ion battery to power the car and has a small gasoline engine that kicks in when the battery runs low. Automotive News earlier reported the plan to slow production."

Summing Up

Couldn't our government leaders find a better use of their time? Perhaps work on not wasting all the money they waste by picking the pockets of the taxpayers on postal service operations, ethanol, sugar subsidies, Chevy Volt subsidies and other wasteful endeavors.

The consumers sure aren't buying what the government knows best gang is selling, even though as taxpayers the consumers are paying through the nose to help the government help Government Motors advertise something we aren't buying.

Maybe someday we could try the free market approach and let taxpayers keep their money and consumers make their choices freely and let the poor performing companies and individual product offerings focus on pleasing customers and not the government.

And maybe allow the private sector to drill for more oil, natural gas and extract more coal, too.

Then they'd employ more workers, pay more taxes, lower prices and help We the People eliminate the deficits and debt.

Now that's a happy thought.

Thanks. Bob.

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