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Chevy Volt Ad Has No Juice

01/27/2012

The much maligned Chevy Volt, you know, the electric car…the one you have to plug-in and is prone to catching fire? Yeah, that’s the one! Chevrolet wants us to believe that the Volt is a car that “has to be built”. Gas at $3.50 a gallon is no ones idea of a great buy…but I’m not convinced auto makers have nailed an economically feasible alternative to combustion engines.

At $32,000 MSRP the Volt is not inexpensive. Of course, buyers are eligible for an $8,000 tax break (that mean’s we taxpayers are subsidizing the Volt). Residential charging stations, such as the one at left, are pricey – going for $1,075. Home charging is essential – just as it is for your mobile devices. The thought of my car battery running out of power is even more unappealing than my iPhone running out of power.

Chevrolet is pressing consumers with an ad called Hamtramck. The ad, which shows the Volt assembly line snaking through the city of Hamtramck where the Volt is built, sends the message that the Volt isn’t just important to GM, but the entire city of Detroit.

Chevy was smart in choosing actor Tim Allen to narrate. He’s a Detroit native. He’s a guy’s guy and he’s a regular guy.

But there is something entirely odd about this spot. The cars moving down the city-wide production line appear to be in a funeral procession more than heralding the new age of automobile production. Does Chevy know something the government doesn’t? Are they reading the Volt its last rites?

I’m not anti-green. I don’t mind pixies in FedEx commercials to promote “green” but this commercial is depressing – not uplifting.

You be the judge…

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