Government Motors, Central Planning Department, Division of Collusion
From Forbes Magazine
The Chevrolet Volt is beginning to look like it was manufactured by Atlas Shrugged Motors, where the government mandates everything politically correct, rewards its cronies and produces junk steel.
This is the car that subsidies built. General Motors lobbied for a $7,500 tax refund for all buyers, under the shaky (if not false) promise that it was producing the first all-electric mass-production vehicle.
The Volt will only run 25 to 50 miles on a battery charge. Then a gasoline engine requiring premium grade fuel comes on to recharge the battery. Batteries do not last the life of the car. Replacements are exceedingly expensive and disposal presents an environmental hazard challenge. Sales were 326 in December, 321 in January, and just 281 in February.
Recently, President Obama selected General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to chair his Economic Advisory Board. GE is awash in windmills waiting to be subsidized so they can provide unreliable, expensive power.
Consequently, and soon after his appointment, Immelt announced that GE will buy 50,000 Volts in the next two years, or half the total produced. Assuming the corporation qualifies for the same tax credit, we (you and me) just shelled out $375,000,000 to a company to buy cars that no one else wants so that GM will not tank and produce even more cars that no one wants. And this guy is the chair of Obama’s Economic Advisory Board?
Consumer Reports got about 30 miles to the gallon of premium fuel; which, in terms of additional cost of high-test gas, drives the effective mileage closer to 27 mpg. A conventional Honda Accord, which seats 5 (instead of the Volt’s 4), gets 34 mpg on the highway, and costs less than half [the cost of a Volt] even with the tax break
Here we have a government that is building an overpriced car at a loss, paying people $7,500 to buy it and still can’t sell it. It’s the perfect example what you get when the free market system is replaced with central planning – a surplus of unwanted products, shortages elsewhere and industry/government collusion to make it all happen.