Originally Posted by Mystic
If It was $20,000 people would buy it.
Yes, but GM can't make it at that price. So I think they gotta work on that. But also, look at Macs, it's "expensive" to most people, but it's doing well.
If GM knew what it was doing, or if it was Apple, it would figure it out.
~$29,000 Chevy Volt availble in the standard model, or the Ampera "premium" model for $39,000. Right now it's a one-model-their-way-or-the-highway offering.
~Better integration with solar facilities will boost marketing, practicality, economics as well as hype. Partner with a program across the globe which enables house owners, businesses, nonprofits, city councils and so on which allow you to charge your Volt or Ampera free (or included in a standard city parking fee). 10kWh for a full charge for ~50miles/80km is not that much, good solar home installations in many parts of the world easily generate 8kWh each day during 1/2 of the year. And a lot of this daytime generation with solar is excess which is either simply lost or sold back to the grid for very little money, when it could be charging a car [yes, you'll need batteries for home solar, which is an area GE could get in since, like Apple, it already has to invest a huge amount in battery technology, why not sell batteries for home use as well? A daily use battery for your house that can handle even 5kWh is nothing to sneeze at, in any case done well it increases the "value add" to the Chevy Volt/Amp].
~Can the "extended range" stuff. Nobody understands that. I thought the Volt was pure electric. Some people think it's only 50 miles or less in range. Market it as "plug-in hybrid". People are just starting to know about hybrids, and their competitors are all hybrids. Very simple. If you plug it in, then you never need to fill up petrol. Besides the regulatory mileage specs calculated on a full tank (therefore includes electricity and petrol use), give the estimated petrol use for 100miles, 200miles, 300miles, so people can understand the plug-in hybrid concept better. For example, it would be a curve comparing distance, cost and mileage which changes over 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles and so on. Because at 100 miles half of that is on pure electricity, while the remainder is on gasoline alone. But at 100 miles your mileage and cost competes well with hybrids. At 300 miles then it may not be so fantastic, but you can be upfront about that. Your modern car consumer is not the muscle jocks of the 50's. Rmember at least 50% or more of ~everything~ that Apple does is educating people on the Apple ecosystem. Yes, they're sitting pretty with iPhone and iPad as hype items. But Apple spent over 20 years continually educating people and correcting misperceptions.
~When the branding is strong enough then they can just call it the Chevy Volt or Chevy Amp, no need extended range, electric, hybrid, plug-in or whatever. Until then, not yet. Eventually, you can go on marketing or branding alone, just like Apple used to say "G3 500mhz" in the beginning, now just "MacBook Air" or "iPad 3", where people can look up the specs if they want, which are good, or they can go on branding and concept alone.
~[And this is a pet peeve]. Figure out why the heck outside the US we get the lousy American cars. We want the stuff we see in Transformers and the like, really (Chevy Spark is a success story). We want the new Mustangs, Camaros, Volt, Ampera and the like. The USA brand itself is still remarkably strong, but I see the US car companies potter around with crappier US-badged but who-knows-where-made cars around the world. As Tim Cook says, don't assume everyone around the world simply wants the cheapest product. They want the best product. At least they want the best product for the money, even if that money is a lot. As we see from Apple, there are a ton of people in Asia and Latin America who have massive disposable income and businesses. A lot of them ~are~ already buying hybrids, high-efficiency fuel cars, and a lot are running on LPG.
~Get celebrity endorsements. A bit cheesy, but if it's a worthwhile product I'm sure more people than just Jay Leno will jump on it.
~Start developing, selling and distributing inductive charging kits for the garage and corporate workplaces (which might offer it like a perk just as they offer employees to BYO a Mac, iPad, iPhone). Just make it a floor mat under your car that's wired to your house. Drive home, Boom! Charges automatically. Drop-dead-easy marketing. Imagine, never ever having to visit a fuel pump ever again. Never having to stop and fill up your tank. The convenience alone is unbelievable. As they have found, 40 miles is generally enough for a lot of people's daily commute. Given the "don't even think about it" angle of inductive home and workplace charging, your petrol tank is just a "backup battery" ~ how it should also be marketed.
~Make a global Chevy Volt/Amp portal where everyone competes against each other to see how long they can go without using a drop of petrol (ie. just recharging). Obviously like Nike Run, Runkeeper and so on. Link with solar portals such as SunnyPortal (SMA) to see solar use overall and for cars. iPhone, iPad and Android integration with distance and charging info, music and voice is so last decade. Eg. you're at work, and you're wondering if you have enough charge or petrol to go home... So push notifications too. If the product is good, I'm sure you can easily find 50,000 passionate people each year around the world to buy the darn car. And another 50,000 hipsters who want to get in on the action. And probably another 50,000 a year in Asia and Latin America and other regions who see it as the new American status symbol they gotta have, because Mercs and BMWs are so old skool. And of course with all this a daily, monthly and all-time CO2 and and cost reduction value. Regardless of what one thinks about that, if you're buying a Volt/Amp you'll be interested in that stuff.
~Initiate a full dealer-accessible battery program and environmental reporting system so people know how the batteries are made and what's done before, during and after it has been in cars. Because for hybrids and electrics a lot of people are concerned about that, and is probably the top negative point about getting a low-emission car. It can be pointless if the battery is screwing things up. Again, GM, battery tech. Do not underestimate its importance.
Tell me the above don't make the Chevy Volt (and the superb looking Ampera) better, besides all the obvious things that need to be done on the product side, such as being able to go 600miles/ 1000km on charge and full tank.
(Yeah, I swear one day I'll get the big bucks for all this free consulting I'm offering to big companies...)